[Core War]

Philip Kendall - Getting started in Core War

Right, so now you know what Core War is, how do I go about creating a warrior? The first thing that you'll need is a MARS simulator, MARS being the environment under which Core War is run. By far the most popular simulator is pMARS, which best obtained from the mirrors of the FTP site, either in France or the USA. DOS users can get the precompiled executables as pmars08.zip, whilst Unix users will want the source distribution, pmars08s.tar.gz. Win95 users are best getting the version from Nándor Sieben's Home Page which runs properly under that OS.

The thing which I found most helpful when starting was Steve Bailey's 'Guide for Beginners': this is available from Stormking. Read through this, and make sure you understand it, as the concepts in here are fundamental to the game; A newer introduction which looks very good is Ilmari Karonen's Beginners' Guide to Redcode.

Once you've done all that, you've probably tried to code some warriors, but they've been thrashed by everything - the solution here is 'Core Warrior' - a newsletter about the game of Core War, and the first eight contain some very helpful stuff on writing basic warriors; these are available from Planar's Web Page. For more reading, the rest of the Core Warriors are also a good idea: see my Core Warrior Index for more information.

After reading some of those, you should be able to create some warriors which will hold their own (at least on the Beginner's Hill). For information on submitting your warriors to one of the on-going King of the Hill (KotH) tournaments, check out the FAQ.

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