The Professional Guide to the Loopholes in Barren Realms Elite 0.985 and below

Everything here has been tested in games up to version 0.985 - more recent games may still have these problems, but that remains to be seen.


This is not meant to be used to further the massive cheating possible in BRE. Rather this document seeks to explain how many of the major holes in the game currently are used, and what can be done to prevent them. Unfortunately, many of these are so simplistic to operate that there are no effective counters to them. Mehul Patel will hopefully correct what he can of these in the near future, to make things much more difficult to enterprising sysops.

Note also that none of these are possible without access to the operating system on the host bbs. Anyone using these cheats is, or has the cooperation of the sysop.

Fake Planets

This is one of the simpler methods to use. This allows one BBS to have 2 or more invisible supply centers for their main system. With dupe checking turned on, this becomes much more difficult to use, but it is still quite possible.

  1. Take the supplied nodelist, and add in another BBS, just like a new board had joined the league.

Case Study

League 100

BRE league 100, an international league with roughly 130-150 BBS's in it has several suspected boards using this method. All of these are boards that seem to have tremendous and undiminishing support even though the league has ridiculously expensive settings (everything is set to High costs), and every one of their allies is getting attacked daily as well. This has been highly effective in keeping certain boards in the league for long periods of time, and also allowed a massive Configuration Update, as documented later.

Configuration Updates

The most dangerous of all these loopholes is the Configuration Update. Depending on the settings of the league, things can become ultra-conservative overnight, or so ultra-cheap that whole boards die overnight. Well, maybe not, but these can have remarkable effects on game play during short periods of time.

Case Study

Again, BRE league 100 was the first case I saw with an effective and widespread configuration change. It involved changing the settings from the very expensive settings that had previously been set, to the lowest possible, with the highest interest rate and most devestating attacks. I believe this was an accidental update, possibly due to the fake planets mentioned above. This update was quickly followed by a correctional update, reducing the number of terrorist operations down to 10 per day, from the 10,000 it had previously been set to. These 10,000 terrorist operations were also free. Ouch!

This update caused widespread problems and the removal of several boards pending an apology for the use of the incorrect setup. It may have destabilized things enough to cause an early reset to the game, but that remains to be seen.

Multiple <insert packet data type here>

Ahhh.... The most complicated cheat of the bunch, and overall the most obvious. However, if use sparingly, these can be devestating in the long run. Regular attacks are not possible using this method, as BRE won't do multiple returns. It will however do multiple hits (I believe) and allow massive devestation to the target board, without massive changes in the launching board. To hide the real perpetrator of these types of attacks, it is benefitial to impersonate another board when creating the initial attacks. This is done using the method outlined under Configuration Updates for impersonating the League Coordinator. Simply change the entry you impersonate and go!

  1. Launch the set of attacks you want from your fake board, to the destination.
  2. Capture the outbound packet from the \outbound directory
  3. Using a set of fake boards (NOT INCLUDING THE DESTINATION BOARD) process the packet.
  4. Copy the packet created by the routing board back into the inbound, and process again.
  5. Store the resulting packet, and run it through a second fake board.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 multiple times, storing each packet after both boards have seen it once.
  7. When you feel enough copies have been generated, drop it into your board's inbound, and let the main BRE on your end process it. Make sure your copy knows about all the fake boards first. (Packets from unknown boards get deleted) See Fake Planets for more information on setting up fake boards
  8. By processing it through your real system, it drifts into the routing system without anyone noticing (hopefully). If someone does complain, hand modify your log file to show a connection with another board and a BRE packet dropped off, which your system then processed.

Case Studies

League 100

In this league (see above entries for contact information), at least one BBS got hit by 63 gooies from an ally. This is an obvious use of this cheat in an attempt to destroy them. After this strike, the whole board had an average of 10 regions left, and I'm sure the gooies survived to a second day.

It is possible that a second board got hit by them, but restored from a backup to prevent the overwhelming damage this would've caused.