This is a game like "Empire - The Wargame of the Century" from Interstel or "Empire Deluxe" from 3dO/White Wolf. It has the same simplistic attitude, but it is more flexible, more pbem-oriented and less tedious in the later stages.
The objective of the game is to conquer the world.
The world consists of a rectangle map. Every square has a terrain. Possible terrains are:
A special terrain is "settlement" (bases, towns, cities). It works like a combination of plains (for land units and flying units) and sea (for sea units).
There are two kinds of settlements: towns and cities.
towns: 100% production rate, all units without "*" (no sea units, if not adjacent to a sea square). Own wounded units will heal 1 hp per turn.
cities: 150% production rate, all units including those marked with an "*" (no sea units, if not adjacent to a sea square). Own wounded units will heal completely.
Forces consist of units. Units are produced in settlements. There are two kinds of forces: armies and garrisons.
Garrisons do not move. They are located in settlements. There is no limit to the number of garrisons.
Armies can move. There is no limit of armies one player can support.
Every force can be made up of all possible units.
Every unit has movement points (mp) and a movement table. The movement table contents the amount of mp necessary to pass one square of a given terrain. For instance: The infantry has 2 mp and the movement table is:
plains (p): 1, forest (f): 2, mountain (m): 0, sea (s): 0 - abbreviated:
p1, f2, m2, s0
An infantry unit can move 2 plain squares or 1 forest or mountain square. It cannot move in or pass through sea squares.
An army has the mp of the unit with the least mp and the movement table of the worst values of all the units. If the movement table value for a certain terrain exceeds the mp value, it is put on a level with the mp value (one-step-rule).
Example: An army consists of 2 infantries, 1 cavalry, 1 archer, 3 spirits.
Infantry: 2 mp, p1, f2, m2, s0
Cavalry: 4 mp, p1, f4, m0, s0
Archer: 2 mp, p1, f1, m2, s0
Spirit: 3 mp, p1, f1, m1, s1
Whole army: 2 mp, p1, f2, m0, s0
Hint: The movement table for forest would result to 4 if not for the one-step-rule.
An army moves square by square. All armies move their first square of the current movement order, then the second square and so on. They move simultaneously.
It is possible that armies of more than one player occupy a square at any time. If armies of different players are found in the same square, combat occurs. Exception: All armies are in "peace"-mode.
The range of sight (ros) of each army is equal to the unit with the best ros. A town has a ros of 2, a city has a ros of 3. After each movement step of each army the observations are recorded. Outdated observations are visualized in a "shaded" manner. If a hostile army is sighted, its owner, its internal number, the number of units, the sum of the actual hp and the sum of the maximum hp is recorded.
Every settlement can produce a unit. The time is measured in turns. The time necessary depends from the kind of settlement and the kind of unit to be produced. A produced unit will be part of the garrison of the producing settlement if it is not forwarded.
A settlement can forward a produced unit to a force (army or garrison). It will arrive at the target force after some turns. The turns necessary for forwarding are the result of halving the distance between sending settlement and target force and then applying the most favourable terrain movement cost for this unit. The result is rounded up.
Example: The distance from settlement in (7,4) to target in (10,6) is 5. An infantry unit is forwarded. The most favourable terrain movement cost is the cost for plains (2 steps in one turn). The time necessary for forwarding is: 5/2 = 2.5 (halved distance); 2.5 / 2 (steps per turn) = 1.25 or 2 turns. This applies regardless of the terrain between settlement and target force.
If the target of a forwarded unit is eliminated, the forwarded unit appears in the forwarding settlement at the end of the turn the target is eliminated in. If this occurs and the forwarding settlement has got a new owner in the meantime, the forwarded unit will become property of this lucky fellow.
If the target of a forwarded unit moves, the number of turns necessary will be recalculated and prolonged or shortened accordingly.
A force attacks another force by moving into the same square. Only an army can be an attacker because garrisons don't move.
A battle is fought between two sides. If one side has more than one force present in the square or prepared to move into the square, they are treated as one army/garrison for the duration of the battle. A third combatant has to wait until the two sides have battled it out between them and then to deal with the winner. The sequence of battles are determined by the processing sequence of the movement orders.
A battle is fought in combat rounds. Every round consists of phases:
- special phase, i. e. mage attacks.
- distance attack phase, i. e. archer attack.
- melee phase, i. e. infantry and cavalry attack.
- escape phase.
- evaluation phase.
In the first three phases every unit with the required kind of ability attacks simultaneously (even if it is killed in this phase it gets its chance). Every unit of a given side attacks the least valuable unit (if there are more than one eligible: the unit with the least hit points), which it is permitted to attack. The "value" is the number of production turns for the unit. A unit with "land attack" can attack units which can move on at least one kind of dry land, but not units with the special ability "fly". A unit with "air attack" can attack units with the special ability "fly". A unit with "naval attack" can attack units which can move at sea.
The attack is performed by determining a random number between 0 and the av of the attacker and 0 and the dv of the defender. There are certain modifiers, especially for experienced units. If the number of the attacker is greater than the number of the defender, the defender loses one hp.
After each of the first three phases killed units are eliminated.
In the escape phase every army checks its morale. An army flees if the total sum of hit points of all its units is reduced to less than half of the value at the start of the battle (this can vary later in the game). It flees into an adjacent empty square (no towns or cities, no other hostile armies). An army does not flee, if the opposing force is totally wiped out. An army does not flee, if there is no adjacent square which is a suitable escape target. A garrison never flees. The attacker checks first. If the attacker flees the defending force will stay regardless of its morale.
In the evaluation phase the result of the battle is determined. There are three possibilities:
- The attacker is wiped out: The defending force wins and will stay in the square. If the defending force is also wiped out, the square will stay in the control of the defending player nonetheless.
- The attacker flees: The defending force wins and will stay in the square. The attacking force will be placed in an adjacent square.
- The defender flees: The attacking force takes the control of the square and becomes the new defending force of this square. The old defending force will be placed in an adjacent square.
If there are armies from more than one player present in a square (only possible, if all armies are switched to "peace"-mode), control of the square does not change.
An army with bombing units can bombard adjacent squares. After each move all adjacent squares are checked if there is a hostile army. Every bombing unit bombards the hostile army once. If there are more than one hostile army in an adjacent square, the target is chosen randomly. If there are more than one adjacent squares with hostile armies, every square gets one hit from every bombing unit.
A unit starts at "green"-level (novice level). After the first, third and fifth battle the unit is promoted one level (shown as *, ** and ***). The experience level determines how the unit rolls the die in combat. Normally, a unit rolls one number randomly between 0 and its av for attacking and between 0 and its dv for defending. A level-n-unit rolls n times; the best die roll is taken.
The player can freely change units between his armies and/or his garrisons while they are in the same square. At the end of all the changes to and fro all armies and garrisons which are targets of forwarded units should contain at least one unit. Otherwise they will wink out of existence and the forwarded units will cease to be forwarded and will appear in their production site.
A new army is created by splitting off units from a garrison.
A settlement is conquered if the defending garrison is defeated. If there is no defending garrison, an army occupying the settlement square is enough for conquering.
A unit has the following attributes:
prod: Production time (in turns, if production rate is 100%).
mp: Movement points.
Movement table (p, f, m, s).
ros: Range of sight.
av: Attacking value.
dv: Defending value.
a:ph: Attacking phase (special, distance, melee - s, d, m).
a:kd: Kind of attack (land, air, naval, bombing - l, a, n, b).
Special Attributes (example: av+1 for whole army, mp+1 for whole army).
*: Can only be produced in cities.
transport<n>: transports up to n units
firemagic: double damage against icemagic units
icemagic: double damage against firemagic units
whitemage: double damage against blackmagic and undead units
blackmage: double damage against whitemagic and holy units
undead: half damage from normal units (i. e. their attack die rolls are halved)
dimmune: immune against distance attacks
mimmune: immune against melee attacks
firsttarget: The unit is a preferred target regardless of its value
av+<n>: The whole army gets a bonus of av+<n> (boni are accumulative)
dv+<n>: The whole army gets a bonus of dv+<n> (boni are accumulative)
holy: double damage against undead and hell units
hell: double damage against holy and whitemagic units
The units are defined externally in a file "units.dat". This includes the name of the icon used for each unit.
The terrains are defined externally in a file "terrain.dat". The terrains can be renamed (for instance: space, wormhole, asteroid belt, flux) and customized icons can be used, but the number of terrains is always four.