Rules of TNT

Initial situation
Results of combat
One-ship-rule (spy drones)
Tech points
Sequence of turn processing

Hint: The program has an extensive help file. If the help file contradicts the rules stated here on the web page, the help file is authoritative.

Initial situation

The map of normal size contains about 50 x 50 sectors and about 100 planets. Up to 15 players (human or computer) are owning one planet (their home planet) each. In the middle of the map Throne is placed.


Every planet has a production value (prod) between 0 and 9. The home planets have prod 10. Throne has prod 20.

Planets have also attributes (these funny little icons). They describe the attitude(s) of the people on the planet. The attributes can increase the production in certain areas and are required for some improvements.

A planet can produce (only) one of the following items:

a) Ships. The planet produces every turn a number of ships equal to its prod. Example: A home planet produces 10 ships every turn. This can be increased by the industry technological level, by planetary attributes and by improvements.

b) Production. A planet with prod less than its maximum production value (between 1 and 9; home planets: 10; Throne: 20) can enlarge its prod. Example: A planet with prod 3 increases its prod to 4, if its maximum production value allows that.

c) Tech Points (TP). A planet with prod n produces n TP. This can be modified by planetary attributes or improvements.

d) Improvements. A planet with prod n has n building points (modified by planetary attributes or improvements).


The ships from a planet (all or a part of them) can move to another planet. To move ships around, click on the source planet, then hold down shift and click on the target planet (or right click to send a spy drone). The speed of such a fleet is 2 sectors per turn (base speed), eventually increased by speed technology boni. The distance is calculated according to the formula of Pythagoras and then divided by the speed. The first two digits after the decimal point are kept. The result shows ETA: the exact time of arrival of the fleet. For this purpose you can imagine a turn as a year, divided in 100 days. ETA of 3,47 means: A fleet arrives in the fourth turn on day 47. This is important because the sequence of the battles is resolved on a day-by-day basis.


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You are Nikodemus, residing on your home planet Nice (N). 345 ships are stationed on Nice. You decide to conquer Algol (A). You send a fleet of 100 ships to Algol. 245 ships are left behind to guard Nice. The distance between Nice and Algol is: 6 x 6 + 7 x 7 = 85, square-rooted: 9,22. 9,22 divided by the base speed of 2 sectors per turn (assuming you have no speed technology level acquired yet) results to 4,61. This is the exact time of arrival (ETA), meaning your fleet will use 5 turns and arrives on the 61st day in the 5th turn.

It is possible to send more than one fleet in the same turn from a given planet, but only to different planets. It is possible to cancel fleet orders, but not if the fleet is already underway.

Fleets are visible to the opponent, if the spy quotient is greater than the spy limit. The normal spy limit is 40 and increases every turn. It is modified by the cloak and scan levels. The spy quotient is the number of ships divided by the remaining ETA to the target.

Example: 107 ships are homing in on Algol. The ETA is still 1,22. The spy quotient is 107/1,22 = 87,7. Under normal circumstances the ships are clearly seen by the opponent.


A fleet arriving above a hostile planet (and all planets are hostile if not owned by the fleet owner) tries to conquer the planet. The conquest is successfull, if all opposing ships are destroyed and at least 1 ship remains.

Every ship has a 10% chance to eliminate an opposing ship. All ships fire simultaneously.

A fleet arriving above an own planet joins the defending force at once.

If more than one fleet arrives above a planet, the exact time of arrival will determine the sequence in which the fleets are performing their actions. If more than one fleet arrives at the same time, reinforcement fleets land before attacking fleets. Remaining ties are resolved at random.

If more than one fleet of the same owner arrives above a hostile planet, the first fleet (fleets) will wait for the last before acting.


You are still Nikodemus, Lord of Nice. Your 100 ships fleet arrives at 0,69 (the 69th "day" of the turn) above Regulus. Regulus is owned by Rachutus, 45 ships are stationed there. Your fleet will now attack the defending force. Let's say, 57 of your ships survive.

A little bit later, on the 69th day, 3 ships of Brutus of Beram arrive in orbit of your new planet Regulus. But they receive the message, that 77 ships of Brutus will arrive in the same turn on the 83th day, so they hide away.

On the 71st day 23 ships of Rachutus show up. They were intended as a reinforcement, but your ships were a trifle faster. Regulus is now your planet, so the 23 ships fleet of Rachutus attacks your defending force of 57 ships. You rebuff the challenge, losing 24 ships.

The 77 ships of Brutus arrive on the 83rd day. They unite with the 3 ships already in the Regulus system. The total fleet of 80 ships attacks your meager defending force of 33 ships, smashing them to pieces. The flag of Lord Brutus waves over the remnants of the once proud planet Regulus...

Results of combat

A planet conquered by another player loses 1 prod. If the owner of the planet changes more than once during a turn, the planet still loses only 1 prod. The planet does not produce anything this turn. Exception: If a home planet is reconquered by its rightful owner (the Lord, who ruled it at the beginning of the game), the planet gets its starting prod again immediately and it will produce willingly.

All participants in battles over a planet will receive a report of the state of the planet (owner, ships, production level) at the end of the turn, after all battles have commenced and the production has taken place (like a spy drone report).

One-Ship-Rule (spy drones)

A special case is a fleet consisting of only one ship. This "fleet" is considered a spy drone. It's sole mission is to look at the planet which it is aimed for and report back all informations gathered upon the planet. A spy drone will not fight. It will not unite with other ships of the same lord. It will not be detected by the owner of the spied-upon planet. It will be lost after reporting back. It reports the state of the planet at the end of the turn (after all battles have commenced and the production has taken place). And the most important thing: It will move twice as fast as a normal fleet.

Tech points

You can "buy" technology with TP. The costs are calculated by TNT.

a) Weapons Level (Weap)

The chance to kill an opposing ship increases by 1%. Example: Weap 2 means a killing chance of 12%.

b) Industry Level (Ind)

The output of ships increases by Ind x 10% (fractions of 0.5 and more are rounded up; the calculation is made for every planet individually).

Example: Your planets have a prod total of 23. To get Industry Level 1 you have to invest (23:2+1=12,5=) 13 TP. If you want to increase your Ind from 0 to 2, you have to invest (23:2+1=) 13 + (23:2+2=) 14 = 27 TP.

c) Cloaking Level (Clk), Scan Level (Scan)

Clk and Scan modify the spy limit. If Clk of your opponent is greater than your Scan, your spy limit doubles (Clk - Scan) times. If your Scan is greater than your opponent's Clk, your spy limit halves (Scan-Clk) times.

Example: A fleet homes in on your home planet Nice, consisting of 92 ships. The ETA is 1,45. Your Scan Level is 3, your opponent's Cloak Level is 5, the base spy limit 40. Your spy limit doubles two times, resulting to 40 x 2 x 2 = 160. The spy quotient of the approaching fleet is 92/1,45 = 63.45. You will not see the fleet. One turn later the ETA is only 0.45 and the spy quotient 92/0.45 = 204.44. You will see the nearing danger, but it may be too late now. The next turn the hostile fleet will try to conquer Nice.

d) Speed Level (Spd)

The speed of your fleets increases by Spd x 10%.

Example: The base speed is set to 2 sectors/turn. Spd 1 means that fleets will move with 2,2 sectors/turn. If the speed level increases this will effect only new fleets.

TP costs

TNT will calculate the TP cost for your desired tech levels. Weap and Spd are directly dependent from the number of ships in your possession, Ind depends from your planetary production levels and Scan and Clk take both in regard.


Every planet can build improvements from a list of possible improvements, if the requirements for the improvements are met. You can access the building screen of the planet shown in the info panel if you click on the "Build"-button or if you press "B" on the keyboard.

Basically the prod level of the planet is the number of building points (BP) a planet produces. These building points are invested in the building of an improvement. The planet does nothing else until the improvement is finished. Some planetary attributes are helping to increase the building points (for example: "diligent"). As a rule of thumb you should wait with the building of improvements until you have a secure share of planets ripped off from the old Emperor. On large maps with not so many players improvements are more important than on small crowded maps.


According to your game performance, the Grand Emperor awards titles (ranks) to the feuding Lords, thereby fully ignoring that these succession feuds are fought in spite of the Grand Emperor still living. Every title is connected with a privilege.

Lord without special title.

Prerequisite: none. Bonus: none. You will be degraded to Lord if you do not rule your home planet at the end of the turn.


Prerequisite: 2 planets ruled, among them the home planet. Bonus: 5 TP every turn.


Prerequisite: 3 planets (or the quotient of all planets divided by the number of players, rounded up - whichever is more) ruled, among them the home planet. You have to be senator before becoming Quaestor. Bonus: Weap+1, when promoted.


Prerequisite: The same as for Quaestor, but under the Quaestors, Senators or Lords the one and only with the most planets ruled. You have to be Quaestor before becoming Praetor. Bonus: Ind+1, when promoted.


Prerequisite: The same as for Quaestor, but among the ruled planets is not only your own home planet but another home planet. You have to become Quaestor (but not Praetor) before becoming Princeps. Bonus: Spd+1, when promoted.


Prerequisite: You rule a quarter of all planets ruled by Lords including your home planet. You have to become Princeps before becoming Consul. Bonus: All tech levels increase by 1.


There can't be more than two consules. If a third Lord qualifies for consul the oldest consul will be promoted to Censor (ties are resolved randomly). A Censor has the right to ban Lords with no rank or with the rank of Senator. He can ban one Lord every turn. A banned Lord is stripped of his rank and planets ("out of the game"). The planets become property of the Empire. The fleets in transfer and half of the ships orbiting around the banned's planets become property of the Censor; they will appear in orbit of his home planet at the beginning of the next turn. If two censors try to ban the same victim, it is randomly decided who gains the benefits of banning.

To issue a ban order, double click on the appropriate Lord in the Lord page (info panel).

Vice Emperor

Prerequisite: You rule more planets than all other Lords together including your home planet, and you are Consul. Bonus: 10 percent of all remaining Empire defense forces (subtracted equally and rounded down from all defense forces orbiting around the Empire planets including Throne at the end of the turn). You get at least 10 times the turn number ships. These ships appear in orbit of your home planet.

There can be only one promotion per player per turn.

"Highest" or "most" means unambiguously highest or most; in case of a draw the rank is not awarded.


The diplomacy in the Queelon Nebula is very simple. There are two different kinds of relations between two Lords:

- peace,
- war.

Didn't I say that diplomacy is very simple?

At the start of the game, all is peaceful.
You see blue, the colour of peace, everywhere: blue alien planets and in the "Lord page" in the info panel blue names.
But that won't last long: red, the colour of war, will spread all over the map.

Every peace treaty is a biliteral matter. A peace treaty will be broken, if one of the contractors will conquer a planet of the other one. A peace treaty ends normally, if one of the contractors abrogates it. To abrogate the peace treaty, double-click on the name of your partner in the list of Lords (info panel, "Lord" page). If you see a "/" before the name, you know: you offered him the best you have in your heart for him - war and hatred. The abrogation is in effect at the end of the next turn, after combat has taken place. If you quit the treaty and attack in the same turn, this will lead to a breach of contract.

To get a new peace treaty with an up-to-now hostile Lord, offer peace to him. Double-click on the name of your enemy in the list of Lords (info panel, "Lord" page). If you see a "+" before the name, you know: you have proposed to him the next round of insidious cheating - erm - the next era of peace, happiness and progress. The peace will be in effect at the end of the round when both partners offer peace to each other.

Computer players never forget betrayals. They will never again make peace with you, if you broke it by overtaking their planets. The other way round - that is another story.

Rewards of Peace

Peace is the boring form of diplomacy but it has its merits. You get a TP bonus, if you see blue planets (planets of Lords you have a peace treaty with) on your map. The maximum bonus is 20 TP. You get a bonus of blue divided through the sum of blue and red planets on your map, multiplied with 20. Every blue planet counts 3 TP at most.


You see 14 planets of other Lords. The 8 planets of Cordialus are blue, because you have a peace treaty with him. 3 planets of Gorgion are displayed in red; likewise the 3 planets of Seamus. Gorgion and Seamus are not counted among your special friends... You get a bonus of 8/14 x 20 = 11 TP. Hint: It is not important to whom the blue planets you see actually belong. It may be that the planets you credit to Cordialus are in fact in the hand of greedy old Gorgion. But your information sources say that they belong to a friend and that will spur your civil society to better performances.

Another example:

You see 1 planet. This one planet belongs to Cordialus, your friend from old. You get a bonus of 3 TP, because one planet can not cause a higher bonus than 3 TP.

Penalties of treachery

If you betray another Lord, you have to pay a penalty in TP. "Betrayal" means that you have not issued an abrogation command by double-clicking on the Lord's name (info panel, "Lord" page) but simply conquered a planet of him. The penalty is thrice the sum of planets of the betrayed Lord you see on your map or the quotient of these planets divided through all seen planets of Lords multiplied with 20 - whatever is more.


You see 14 Planets of other Lords. You betrayed Cordialus. Now the 8 planets you credit to him (because your map says that they belong to him) are not blue anymore but of the colour of war and blood. Your penalty is calculated as follows:

(1) 8/14 x 20 = 11 TP.
(2) 8 x 3 = 24 TP.

"(2)" is more, so your penalty will be 24 TP. 24 TP will be deducted from your TPs at the end of the turn. If you have not enough TP you are lucky in a way: you pay what you can, the remaining debt is forgiven.


You have won if you rule Throne, rule more planets than any other Lord left in the game and at least half of all planets (you can modify this in the setup).

Sequence of turn processing

a) Computer players issue orders
b) Fleets leave
c) Buy technology
d) Fleets move (ETA is lessened by one)
e) Fleets arrive and fight
f) Planets produce
g) Planets build improvements
h) Diplomatic actions
i) Spy drone reports, incoming fleets reports, ranks
j) Rewards and penalties for peace and war