Author: Janet & John Ansell | Publisher: A&B Computing | Released: 1986

Mabwars is a great simple strategy game that my friends and I loved playing in our school’s computer room at lunchtimes.

Play is based around a grid of interlinked ‘stars’, on which players take it in turns to move armies from one star to an adjacent star. Each turn, a player’s armies increase by 1 on stars that are connected to two or more other stars owned by the player. Thus, triangles of three interconnected stars are the optimum, with each receiving 1 new army each turn. The winner is the last player left standing.

You can choose to play with up to 4 human players, plus 1 computer player (“Mab”).

I can’t remember where I came across Mabwars and never had any idea who the author was. Previous searches of the internet turned up no information. However, I have finally discovered that it was a type-in game from A&B Computing April 1986. The original version has 5 maps, but the version I have has 26. I remember creating some maps myself by changing the program, but I’m not certain if I did all these extra ones, or if I inherited a version that had already been edited.

I’ve always loved Mabwars and even ported it to Palm OS in 2000. The source code for that is still on GitHub. The computer player logic is identical to the original BBC Basic, but recoded in C.