Margetios Bazaars

Author: Montcalm Consultants

Margetios Bazaars
Version 3.1 1997/06

Have you:

  • Felt limited by standard ship configurations of your Planets race?
  • Wanted to confuse your enemies with a fighter-bearing Large Deep Space Freighter? Torps on that Alchemy ship?
  • Needed to get your hands on that ‘special’ ship?
  • Wished to upgrade components like those Fed-guys?
  • Wondered where your enemy bases really were?
  • Been curious about your own minefields?

If these issues never concerned you, close this file now!

Ah… you’re still reading? Presenting ‘Margetios Bazaars for VGA Planets.’ Margetios Bazaars will provide services to meet those ‘special needs’ for the discerning Commander.


Margetios Bazaars are part of an add-on utility for VGA Planets 3.5 that takes advantage of the AUXHOST features found in HOST 3.20. This add-on provides the capability for players to Build and Improve ships, Collect Information on enemy starbases and obtain reports on their own minefields.

A number of Margetios Bazaars (as defined by the Host Configuration) can be found wandering throughout the Echo Cluster. Margetios Bazaars travel about Warp5 in roughly straight lines, automatically wrapping the edges of the known map. You should be able to see all bazaars on your WinPlan or VPA star map, however all players receive Margetios messages detailing bazaar locations for the current turn.

Margetios Bazaars provide many functions for you. Each function comes at a price. The price and corresponding Friendly Code list is provided each turn as a Margetios message.

By moving your ships to dock with these bazaars, you can request special functions through new Ship friendly codes introduced with this program. To dock, simply move to any bazaar location. Ships serviced by a bazaar will move with it through space, allowing multiple requests in successive turns. You can request functions as long as your ship has sufficient credits. Once a request has been serviced, the ship’s friendly code will be set to ‘*.*’ and it’s warp to 0. Please note the Margetios friendly codes are case sensitive.

Steps for a ship to request a Margetios Bazaar function…

1) Ensure the ship has sufficient MCs

2) Set ship’s friendly code to the appropriate Friendly Code

3) Move ship with it’s end-point for this move at any Bazaar location

4) When a ship stops on a Bazaar with an appropriate FC, Margetios will check the ship for sufficient MCs… A message will be sent to the player indicating success or failure of the request.

5) If the request fails, no further Margetios action will be taken with the ship. On successful completion, Margetios will set the ship’s FC to ‘*.*’, it’s warp to 0 and move the ship with the Bazaar to that Bazaar’s next location.

6) With successful requests, the ship remains docked with the Bazaar, so setting another Margetios request FC will continue the cycle, no ship movement is required. The ship is free to move elsewhere if desired.

Margetios will notify each player of the Bazaar locations for the next turn by a message for each bazaar. These messages allow DOS Planet players to use the Bazaars… simply set a ship’s way point for a Bazaar to initiate contact.

VPA users can use the supplied VPA.MSG file to identify known Bazaars in the universe. As with any player, setting a way point on a Bazaar constitutes docking with it.

The current codes supported by Margetios follow…

+Sf – Swap ship for Margetios Fighter Carrier
+St – Swap ship for Margetios Torpedo Chucker

The default Margetios ship is a 5-engined cloaking vessel with a mass of 773, cargo and fuel capacity of 218 and 980 respectively and a crew of 847. The ‘Margetios Clipper’ has 9 Margetios beams and can be outfitted with either 9 torpedo (+St) or fighter (+Sf) launchers. This ship configuration can be changed by your host.

+Uw – upgrade Beam Weapons to Margetios standards
+Ut – upgrade Torpedo Launchers to Margetios standards
+Ue – upgrade Engines to Margetios standards

Margetios beams, torpedoes and engines are of a tech-10 quality superior to those available to the typical tech-10 base. Through special arrangement, they may be purchased at your own starbases at considerable cost. Requests to upgrade equipment to Margetios levels are performed at the rates shown in the price list, regardless of the number of units upgraded. Upgrading 10 beams is the same cost as upgrading only 2.

+Aw – add an Extra Beam weapon
+At – add an Extra Torpedo launcher
+Af – add an Extra Fighter Bay

On request, Margetios Bazaars will add components to your ships. The components added will match those already installed on the ship. If the requested component is the first to be added, Margetios will install a Margetios-class tech 10 unit.

Limits to equipment additions do exist. Ships cannot support both Fighter Bays and Torpedo Launchers at the same time. PHOST games allow up to 20 units of any component while HOST only 10. It is possible to add weapons to freighters or any ship class excepting those limits previously discussed.

?I# – obtain race # Base info (eg. ?I6 for race 6 bases)

Margetios will provide base information for up to 10 bases owned by the race you request. If more than 10 bases are owned, Margetios does its best to give representative information, albeit incomplete.

Margetios Bazaars does offer a ‘free’ planet friendly code function.

?MF – your minefield status as of the end of the current turn

The following is the sequence in which Margetios Functions are handled….


Remember, Margetios functions after all ship movement and combat are complete. Potential combat in the turn would have been resolved prior to Margetios assuming universal control.

Bazaars do not exist, yet they do! Bazaars live as UFOs… Bazaars will never be involved in combat… Bazaars cannot be towed nor can they be intercepted as they are UFOs, not ships… You must go to them, wherever they are!



Margetios Bazaars contains two programs:


Place these programs in the same directory that HOST normally runs. Margetios Bazaars require access the the VGA Planets databases (HULLSPEC.DAT, BEAMSPEC.DAT, etc.) as well as the host databases (SHIP.HST, XYPLAN.HST, etc.).

Margetios Bazaars also provides replacements for the following files….


These files should be placed in the HOST root directory as well as provided to all game players. It is advisable to create copies of existing files before any replacements are made.

NOTE: Failure to place these DAT files in the HOST root directory will likely result in RED conditions for most submitted TRN files. Similar RED conditions will arise if any players have not placed these updated files in their respective locations as outlined below.

New Margetios files supplied…


Provide this BMP to all Win-Plan users for inclusion in their ‘bmp’ sub-directory.


Provide this file to VPA players. An updated file, VPA.MSG recognizes the Margetios Bazaar locations and shows them as ‘markers’ on the VPA star map.


This documentation which should be provided to all players using the Margetios add-on.


New Game Setup

Margetios Bazaars may be added to any game, either starting or well along in turns. Before Margetios Bazaars can be used the configuration program, MARGLOAD.EXE, must be run. The format is:

MARGLOAD # directory

For example; to configure a new game in E:\ with 5 bazaars


Run MARGLOAD any time after the MASTER program has been run. This updates UFO database as well as creates a ‘MARGETOS.INI’ file in the game directory with default values. The default contents of MARGETOS.INI follow. You should change the values to suit the requirements of your game.

PHost=N ; Running PHost(Y) or Host(N)
hull=26 ; Margetios Hull #
ship=10000 ; Loaded Ship MC : +Sf or +St
xbeam=1000 ; Extra Beam MC : +Aw
xtorp=1000 ; Extra Torp MC : +At
xbay=1000 ; Extra Bay MC : +Af
mbeam=500 ; Margetios Beam MC : +Uw
mtorp=500 ; Margetios Torp MC : +Ut
meng=500 ; Margetios Engines : +Ue
info=2500 ; Base Info MC : ?I#
beam@10 ; Margetios Beam slot
torp@10 ; Margetios Torpedo slot
eng@9 ; Margetios Engine slot
name=Team Whump

You can change the values but not the parameter format!!

‘hull=26’ refers to the hull used in the ‘+S’ hull swap request. The HULLSPEC.DAT and TRUEHULL.DAT have been modified to reflect the creation of the ‘Margetios Clipper’ utilizing hull number 26. No race has been allocated this hull class. In the default host configuration, hull 26 is allocated to Race 3, ‘The Birds’ as the ‘White Falcon Class Cruiser.’

The default DAT files supplied with this Margetios program make use of the last available ‘slots’ to define the special engines, beams and torpedoes. These defaults are ‘eng@9’, ‘beam@10’ and ‘torp@10’. If the last slots are not those to be used in your game, these values should be changed appropriately. These settings are used in the running of the bazaars only, game players need not bother themselves as they will get the appropriate devices upon request.

Why would one need to change the default settings??? We are aware other add-ons may require specific devices for their operation. As we can be flexible, we are.

DAT files included with Margetios reflect the tastes of the author. The supplied DAT files were created from those originally supplied by Tim Wisseman. Modifications were made using PlanMap, however there are many such tools available thru the net. If you need assistance for ‘special’ configurations, contact the Margetios author…he may either help you or direct you to a reliable source.

You can personalize your copy of Margetios Bazaars. By adding a ‘name=’ entry to the Margetos.ini file, Margetios will add your name to some of the Margetios messages (in case your players forget who you are when they are sending those thank you gifts!) The first 20 characters after ‘name=’ will be recognized as your name.

If this is a PHOST game, indicate such. PHOST supports up to 20 beams and fighter bays per ship while the HOST limits these values to only 10. HOST does allow more than 10 components per ship but will use a maximum of 10 in battles so any extras are simply deadweight.


HOST Setup

MARGETOS.EXE is an Auxhost 2 program. Add a reference to your game’s AUXHOST2.INI as follows:

MARGETOS directory
MARGETOS d:\games\vgap\whoopie

where ‘directory’ references the game directory. Both direct and relative directory references are supported by MARGETOS.EXE. Margetios will create a log in the referenced game directory for each execution.


THE Author…

Margetios Bazaars are free. The files in this package are not crippled in any way. If the programs are of interest to you and your friends, I would like to hear about it! Contributions or comments for Margetios Bazaar development should be directed to:

[email protected]

Updates will be available through the following WWW page…

If problems arise, please forward a copy of the Margetios log, your INI file with a detailed description of your symptoms. I will endeavor to respond to all notes in a timely manner…



Revision History

  • 97/06/11 3.1 Maintenance release…bug fixes
    Flexible engine/beam/torpedo slots
    Improved diagnostic and trace information
  • 97/01/06 2.2 Code Rewrite to reduce overall memory footprint
  • 96/11/15 1.2 Initial release


Margetios Bazaars
for VGA Planets 3.5

Design, Programming & Documentation:
Montcalm Consultants

Special Consulting:
Don (Robo) Friesen, Blair Cusack


[email protected]

VGA Planets is a Trademark of Tim Wisseman

Margetios Bazaars Copyright (C) 1996 Montcalm Consultants
All Rights Reserved.


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