In earlier days of Yankee Trader it was possible to use robots to safely scout out the universe. Robots, the mercenary king, and many other features were removed but it is still possible to explore and map out the universe using single missiles. To do this, simply paste the missile scripts (link at the bottom of this appendix) one at a time into the terminal. This is extremely dangerous because you are exposing yourself to retaliatory attacks from Xannor or uncloaked players. As mentioned before, one method of reducing risk is to fire missiles from BEHIND (not on top off) one of your planets with a large number of ground forces. This will of course reveal the location of that planet to all of the players on the newspaper.

If you are playing one of the “NO MISSILES” versions of the game, you can choose to travel to each sector rather than send a missile to each sector.

Alternatively if you simply have a huge number of fighters and a decent amount of shielding and do not care about their loss, go to a random sector away from your planets and use your scripts there.

A third alternative is to somehow trick the Xannor into firing a missile into a black hole, as described earlier which will turn off all of their retaliatory attacks for that session. An example of how many turns can be added to a single day’s game is shown by the following newspaper:

Yankee Trader Missile Turns

Finally make sure you have a use for the turns you earn! Either spend them by earning credits or by further mapping out the galaxy with missiles. If you locate a group of Xannor you do not want to destroy yet, use the computer’s avoid function (c;7) to prevent further missiles from hitting and stopping at the same group of fighters. Of course make sure you turn off that sector in the avoid list before you plan to travel there.

Download or view the missile scripts here.

Note that many of the wandering 19 Xannor groups and many mercenaries hide out in dead end sectors. It becomes progressively more difficult to find additional groups as to destroy the first few.

Alternatively if you fire off a large number of missiles and find a group of mercenaries or Xannor late in a game session, chances are they are in or near a dead-end sector since the missile scripts are designed to traverse as much open space as possible in a grid search pattern (as opposed to firing missiles to every sector sequentially)

If you want to build a custom missile script to send single missiles into every dead end sector instead of to every single possible sector, there are several possible ways to quickly map out all dead end sectors in the game.

  1. Map out all dead and sectors with ports by traveling to all un-owned ports and buying them. The following script will be useful: y;b;y;;y;s;c;14;u;3/
  2. Log your communication session and travel to every single sector in the entire game. This will take a lot of effort because of black holes, fighters, and running out of turns. To do this, use the Zoc scripts 3000-1 and 3000-2, or in Yankee Trader 3.2, 1000

A “mature” player with a decent number of planets will eventually be able to fall into this routine:

1) Travel a few sectors away from a planet, exclude all sectors known to contain other players planets (c;7), cut and paste missile scripts to the terminal until one or more Xannor groups are located. Clear out your block list (c;7) after you are done.

2) Return to one of your planets, use up nearly all your turns selling cargo from the planet to the port. I usually don’t do this until the planet has at least 50,000 production in the area I’m selling off. Once a planet or a port is exhausted, move to the next planet.

3) Before you run out of turns, go to one of the Xannor sectors you located earlier. Use plasma bolts to reduce the fighters down to around 100,000, and then enter the sector and destroy the rest with your fighters to get the extra turns. Repeat step #2 as long as you know where Xannor fighters are. Repeat step #1 until if you get too tired of playing the game, run out of planets with cargo to sell, or cannot find any more Xannor fighters. Remember there are only 20 groups minus the number of groups shown destroyed in the newspaper at the beginning of the day.

Alternatively you can use the following planet scanning script. Compared to the missile scripts, this method:

  • Does not locate planets with defensive fighters in the sector
  • Does not scan all sectors between your ship and the sector you are scanning
  • Useless for finding Xannor and enemy fighters
  • Only returns the results of the scan to you, not to the newspaper
  • No danger of retaliation from enemy missiles
  • Still requires one turn per sector scanned