Rules

Rules overview

ORK PC 3.10 beta - Rule book N2

(c) Thomas Naumann, Kiel, 1994 - 2005

English translation by Jan Zeysing, Kay-Viktor Stegemann, and others.

Revision: 28. 09. 2005

Table of content

Alphabetical command index

0 Terms and expressions
1 Introduction
2 The Black Empire
2.1 Structure of the Black Empire
2.2 Society
2.2.1 Ranks
2.2.2 Vassals
2.2.3 Gollum- and Notoriety Table
2.2.4 Population
2.2.5 Tribal Upkeep
2.3 Castles
3 Religion
4 Magic
5 Economy
5.1 Taxes
5.2 Caravans
5.3 Production sites
5.4 Products
5.5 Prices
5.6 Exports
5.7 Branches
5.8 Improvements
5.8.1 General

5.8.2 Improvements one by one
6 Combat
6.1 The army
6.1.1 Orcs
6.1.2 Equipment
6.1.3 Experience
6.1.4 Morale
6.1.5 Army strength
6.1.6 Mysteries
6.2 Campaigns
6.2.1 Movement
6.2.2 Combat
6.2.3 Skirmishes
6.2.4 Raids
6.2.4.1 Gold raids
6.2.4.2 Slave raids
6.2.5 Siege
6.2.5.1 Subjugation
6.2.5.2 Eviction
6.2.5.3 Conquering a castle
6.2.6 Support
6.3 Army orders

7 Heroes
7.1 Heroes - General
7.2 Monsters and treasures
7.3 Fighting monsters
7.4 Duels
7.5 Heroes supporting campaigns
7.6 Hero advancement
7.7 Small print
8 Other elements
8.1 The dragon and the dragonslayer
8.2 Random events
8.3 Computer-played tribes
8.4 The Foreland
9 Summaries
9.1 Commands
9.2 Spells
9.3 Tables and formulas
9.4 Processing sequence
9.5 Turn report
9.6 Hints
9.7 Creating a starting move
10 Victory

0. Terms and expressions

Area: One space on the map.

Army: All soldiers belonging to a castle, temporarily reinforced by mercenaries.

ASF: Army Strength Factor - an important number measuring the strength of one soldier in an army.

Automatic deductions: see also "tribal upkeep".

ay: short for "average yield". The average yield of a production site is the amount of its associated product it would produce without any modifiers like science level or terrain.

Boxer: A soldier without armour, without sword, without experience, and with a morale level of 0. Moreover, he has not a drop of booze inside him.

Branch: A commercial facility within another tribe that allows you to sell your own products for the other tribe's market prices. Additionally, every branch has its own branch budget which can be utilized for selling products in addition to the tribal budget, and branches increase the annual growth of the number of merchants. On the other hand, a branch makes it easier to raise taxes for the other tribe, in which it is established.

Budget: The amount of goldears your own merchants are prepared to spend for buying your products. Every branch comes with a (small) extra budget which can be utilized additionally to the tribal budget if products are sold using this branch.

Castle: In every area, except water areas, a castle can be built. A tribal area will always have a castle (main castle). Every castle can have an army.

Castle area: An area with a castle.

Concession of favour: A special grace by Illmir Steißschneider, the archpriest of the Black Empire.

controlled area: Areas a player controls are his tribal area, all other castle areas where his keeps are placed, and his cultivatable areas.

Cultivatable area: A controlled area without a castle.

Deadline: The date (and time) the game master has to have received your moves.

Eviction: A campaign which aims at evicting the attacked tribe from its tribal area.

fu: food unit.

GM: Game Master

Gold raid: A campaign that aims at looting gold from another tribal area, and other products as well.

Gollum points: A number in the range of 0 to 10,000 which specifies the esteem and respect the average orc shows you.

Illmir Steißschneider: Speak "Ill-Mere Stice-Shnyder" - the archpriest of the High Temple and the direct link to Khurrad's favour.

Improvement: There are several improvement buildings which provide certain advantages, have certain prerequisites, and upkeep costs. Relocation (EX command) will destroy all improvements.

Jool Harbour: A city in the east of the Black Empire. This city does not belong to any tribe but is neutral ground. It is full of thieves, killers, and other furtive scum, but also with a wealthy merchants guild, shipping companies, factories, and a university. The university of Jool Harbour for example trains the mages you so much need for your tribe. It also contains an important history department.

Keep: Every castle that is not a main castle.

Leader: Your position in the game. A ruler of a tribe.

Leap promotion: A promotion by more than one rank level.

magic level (ML): A value in the range of 0 to 99 specifying the abilities of your mages. A ML of 10 or higher allows your mages to discover spells.

Main castle: A castle in a tribal area. Every tribal area contains a main castle.

MyOrktool: A software application supporting a player when drafting his turn orders. It was created by Jan Zeysing and Sascha Adams. It is freeware, running with Windows 95/98/ME/NT and can be found on their Homepage.

Neutral area: An area not controlled by a player.

NMR: No moves received. That means a player has not submitted moves. Normally, computer generated moves will be provided for him. A player with multiple NMRs will be ejected from the game.

Notoriety points: A standard of measurement for the overall success of a tribe. Every year, a tribe earns notoriety points for its main castle class, its vassals, its rank, and for every enemy leader killed. For certain achievements, special notoriety points are awarded.

Orcish rounding: In Ork, rounding will always be to the disadvantage of the player.

Ork: The name of the game - do not confuse it with "Orc": they are the protagonists in this game.

Peasant: A peasant consumes one fu a year. Normally, he will produce more than one fu. In an average year , in a tribe without any special abilities, he will produce 1.5 fu.

Rank worthiness: A standard of measurement for some possible victory conditions. A player is rank worthy in the victory conditions' meaning if he has the highest rank of the game's rank table (this is the rank of "Greater King" in most games), or if he alone holds a rank which is several levels (e.g. three) higher than the next highest ranking player. The exact definition of rank worthiness for a certain game will be announced in the starting report.

Required magic level (RM): Every spell has a RM. If your ML is lower than the RM, your mages will not discover this spell, and if they acquire it in another way it will be very difficult for them to cast it.

Science level (SL): A value in the range of 0 to 99. This value is a bonus modifier for production of food and other products in your tribe.

Slave: A slave consumes 1 fu a year, and will produce approximately the same amount.

Slave raid: A campaign which aims at abducting peasants and slaves from the attacked area and enslaving them in your tribe.

Subjugation: A campaign which aims at making another leader your vassal or conquering a keep.

Support: A campaign which aims at supporting a campaign of another army (yours or an army of another leader). The supported army may not conduct a supporting campaign itself. An army which does not conduct a campaign at all, may be supported; in this case, it will be supported defending against an attacker.

Tax bonus: Branches of other players in your tribe mean that your merchants will tolerate your taxes more easily. The merchant growth is influenced by a fictitious tax rate which is calculated as the difference between the actual tax rate and the tax bonus.

Tax shock: If you demand very high taxes, the merchants will be shocked in the year of the tax increase. Due to the shock, they will pay only 60 per cent of the taxes normally expected, because their revenues diminish too. In the subsequent years the merchants will pay taxes normally. Taxes are considered "very high", if they are higher than 30 per cent. If the tax increase is not more than 5 per cent, no tax shock will occur. You can include the tax bonus in your calculations.

Tribal area: The area a tribe resides in. Every tribe resides in exactly one area at a time. This area can change, for example by relocation.

Tribal budget: see also "Budget". The budget of a tribe's merchants without counting the additional budgets of the branches. The tribal budget can be utilized with VK commands as well as with VX commands.

Tribal upkeep: Every turn report will start with this stage which cannot be influenced by the player. Food and gold is distributed to the tribe to prepare them for the coming year.

u: short for "unit".

Year: Unit of game time. One turn is one year.

1. Introduction

Ork is an email game ("pbem" - originally a postal game). Several players (at least 10 or 15, in most cases approximately 20) compete for the crown of the Black Empire. Every player plays a leader of an orc tribe.The game is managed by a game master (GM) who must have the Ork software program. The players, on the other hand, can use "MyOrktool" or no software at all.

Ork can even be played by snail mail, although this is a rarely used option nowadays. These rules do not deal with playing per snail mail; details would have to be obtained from the respective game master.

A game of Ork is managed by a game master (GM). At the start of the game, every player receives a starting report. This, as well as all following reports, can be prepared in different file formats by the Ork software. Normally, HTML will be used, so that the report can be opened and printed with a standard browser. The players then consider which moves to submit. The possible commands are named in this rules book. The moves are submitted to the game master by email. The commands should be specified in the mail directly, attachments are rather inconvenient to handle. The mail with the moves could also contain so called "meta commands" (# commands). Meta commands manage everything outside the actual game, i. e. the report file format, requests for certain texts, sending messages to other players or to everyone, and much more. The structure of a mail with Ork moves is specified in another document which your game master will gladly provide. If you are reading this text online, you can find the specifications for a mail with Ork moves here.

The game master collects the moves until the deadline, which is announced before, is over. He processes the moves with the Ork software. The software supplies individual reports for every player. These reports are sent to the players who create a new set of moves, and so on.

A disadvantage of email games is the long time span they take. A game of Ork will take approximately six months if the game is played with weekly deadlines.

The advantage of email games is the possibility of much more complicated game rules than with normal games. Email players have a lot of time to complete their moves. Another advantage: it is a chance to get more than fifteen people together to play a game. Furthermore, diplomacy and negotiations between the players are very important, and deceiving someone might be found easier if the victim is not sitting next to you.

Players can exchange "diplomatic mail" via the game master. This is done with the "#MV" meta command in a move mail. Details are given in the specifications for move mails.

If a player does not submit moves (NMR), computer moves are generated. If a player is evicted from the game due to subsequent NMRs, the game master might use a standby player, or let the computer take control of this tribe. The rules for this case are set down as house rules by every game master himself.

2. The Black Empire

Orcs. Tiny, louse-ridden, dirty beings created by black magic. Scorned, abused, or fought by everyone else they spent their life as servants of satanic powers for a long time, until they won their own empire - the BLACK EMPIRE.

No one could say everything was peaceful in the Black Empire until the infamous High King Kuon the Terrible died. However, peace is not part of the nature of the Empire's inhabitants. There is nothing the orc tribes love more than a neat and cunning raid, outnumbering the foe ten to one, if possible.

But after Kuon's death, chaos reigns. Even the dragons, obsessed with their treasure caves in normal times, have been stirred up by the battles and the stench of the dead, and they begin to haunt one or the other place. Therefore, the powerful priests of Khurrad, the Serpent God, are looking out for a strong new High King who provides a certain degree of stability for the Black Empire; stability for the priests so that they can continue to tax the ordinary orc for Khurrad's temple. Only peace - un-orcish as it may sound - permits the priests of the temple to grow fat and rich. A peace provided by a strong, cruel, despotic ruler.

The crown of the Black Empire means power and riches - the right thing for you, an aspiring chieftain of a yet unknown orc tribe. How's that? A little deception and violence at the right place, at the right time will easily allow you to destroy your rivals and have the High King crown be placed on your head by Illmir Steißschneider, the archpriest of the High Temple.

2.1 Structure of the Black Empire

The Black Empire consists of areas (map spaces) with a number and a name each. The number is important for commands; the name is not really relevant for the game. The areas are numbered sequentially, line by line beginning at the top left.

An area is either a tribal area, a castle area, a cultivatable area or a neutral area.

A tribal area is an area a tribe lives in. It contains a castle (main castle) with a castle class of at least 1. A tribal area can have production sites, and it contains supplys, bazaars, and branches.

A castle area is an area with a castle but with no tribe. These castles are called "keeps". A castle area can have production sites.

A cultivatable area is an area without a castle. That means that no tribe can live there. But a cultivatable area is controlled by a tribe. Control of an area without a castle is gained by being the last one to cross this area in the movement phase or by conducting a campaign there. However, other than winning control of the area this campaign will have no effect, normally. If you control an area you may build production sites there, and/or erect a keep.

The summary term for tribal areas, castle areas, and cultivatable areas is "controlled area". Exception: in later stages of the game there may be castle areas that are not controlled by any player. This will occur if a tribe is destroyed and this tribe had keeps in other areas. The keeps will then be "neutral" castle areas.

A neutral area is an area controlled by no player.

Areas can have different terrain types. The possible terrain types are Water, Plain, Forest, Mountains, and Swamp. Terrain attributes are specified in the terrain table in the supplement ("Tables and Formulas").

In some games there may be the additional terrain type "Alpine". Alpine areas are impassable.

Areas will have different names in every game. Players can name their controlled areas freely. Similarly, players should name themselves as soon as possible (with the first move set). A game master might reject any name at his own discretion.

2.2 Society

Orcs are not very advanced regarding social development and modern society. The principle of organisation of an average orcish population is a simple one: power and terror. The individual who can display these attributes best, will be the boss. The power of a leader like you, however, reaches a little longer than his arm, because he has mages, scientists, and willing priests at his side to maintain his position. But this support is limited: like the rats who abandon a sinking ship, these pillars of your power will hurry to leave you if your star fades - treachery is one of the main orcish virtues. The same, by the way, also holds true for the relationships between the leaders themselves.

2.2.1 Ranks

Next to power and terror, vanity and splendor are typical orcish vices. For this reason there are ranks to achieve for the leaders. These ranks depend on the number of vassals a leader has.

Rank table:
NomalefemalevsccgoldsoldMLFLgrdsrdAS+
0VassallVassall---------
1ChiefChief--------10
2KnightLady-Knight11------15
3BaronBaroness21------20
4RobberbaronRobberbaroness31----1-25
5EarlEarl41------30
6MargraveMargrave-51-----30
7CountCountess63------40
8Blood CountBlood Countess71-----145
9War CountWar Countess81-1000----50
10Grand CountGrand Countess91--60---55
11Imperial CountImperial Countess10150000-----60
12PatriarchMatriarch101---50--65
13DukeDuchess111-2000----70
14Grand DukeGrand Duchess124------75
15ArchdukeArchduchess131100000-----80
16Crown PrinceCrown Princess141----2285
17KingQueen154-3000----90
18Greater KingGreater Queen165--7050--100
19High KingHigh Queen--------100

Column explanation:

"male": rank name for male rulers.
"female": rank name for female rulers.
"vs": number of vassals required for this rank.
"cc": main castle class required.
"gold": gold required.
"sold": number of soldiers required (including keeps).
"ML": magic level required.
"FL": faith level required.
"grd": number of successful gold raids required.
"srd": number of successful slave raids required.
"AS+": army strength modification (in per cent) for the rank.

The required values must be present when the rank is evaluated in the processing sequence. The first rank in the list is the rank for a ruler who has an overlord.

The GM may define a different rank table and specify additional conditions for certain ranks; in this case, the rank table in use will be provided in the starting report of the game.

For promotions and for its opposite, downgrades, the following rules apply:

1. In general, you can rise only by one rank level in one year. If you have concessions of favour, you may be promoted by more than one rank level (leap promotion). You can rise by as much additional rank levels as you have concessions, but you need to fulfil the respective conditions of the rank table for every additional rank. If you do not, you will only be promoted to the rank for which you meet the conditions. That means you do not skip ranks but you are getting speedily promoted rank by rank. Every additional promotion will use up one concession. If a leap promotion is possible, you cannot avoid it even if you want to.

2. If you lose vassals, you do not lose your rank.

3. If you are subjugated, you become a vassal.

Ranks are not for prestige only. The higher your rank, the higher the respect of your subjects and especially your soldiers. As a consequence, the army strength in the above rank table will normally increase with every rank level (see also "Combat"). Other rank tables may specify different army strength factors.

2.2.2 Vassals

Vassals are subjugated leaders. For them, the following rules apply:

1. Every vassal the subjugated leader had before will become a vassal of the new overlord.

2. The number of vassals the subjugated leader had before will be the number of his personal following candidates.

3. If a vassal subjugates another tribe, the other tribe will be a vassal of his overlord and will increase the number of his personal following candidates.

4. If a vassal changes his overlord, the number of his personal following candidates will be halved, fractions rounded down.

5. A vassal has to pay tribute to his overlord every year. The tribute is calculated with the following formula:

Number of soldiers x (number of personal following candidates + 1 ) x 5

6. A vassal has to pay a fee of 10 goldears each to his overlord for recruiting a soldier or a mercenary.

7. In order to be free again, a vassal has to rebel. An attempt to rebel will cost the double amount of the normal tribute of the year. That means, in this year the rebelling vassal has to pay the triple amount: first, the normal tribute, and then the double amount for the rebellion. If the rebellion fails, this gold goes to the overlord. If it succeeds, the gold is lost (for agents, bribes and so on).

8. A rebellion attempt is not possible in the same year in which you become a vassal. But it is allowed in every subsequent year, even if the overlord changes for whatever reason.

9. If a vassal rebels, other vassals of the same overlord might follow him, normally about 75 per cent of his number of personal following candidates. Which vassal follows is random and will not be related to the vassals the rebel had when he was subjugated.

2.2.3 Gollum- and Notoriety table

Ranks are not enough for the leaders to satisfy their ambition and vanity. Therefore, there are two methods of evaluating the tribes' achievements and creating a table for it: the Gollum table and the Notoriety table. The Gollum table is the classic method, the Notoriety table has been added recently. The difference is that the Gollum table represents the overall impression of the average orc in the Black Empire, a kind of poll; the Notoriety table, on the other hand, is an objective measurement of a tribe's success.

At the beginning of the game, it will be announced whether the Gollum table or the Notoriety table will be used. If the Gollum table is used, every player will be told individually how many Notoriety points he has scored, but this announcement has no further meaning.

a) The Gollum table

Every year, the Gollum institute will use a special magical artifact (the Great Golden Questionnaire) to create an Envy table, which lists all free human players in the order of the impression they make on the average orc.

The table is created in the following way:

1. The highest value is determined from each of the following attributes which a leader in the Black Empire has (maximums):

a) number of vassals
b) sum of the castle classes of all castles of the tribe
c) sum of the number of soldiers of all castles of the tribe
d) faith level
e) magic level
f) gold

2. Now, your own value in each of these attributes is determined as a portion of the maximum. This portion is stored as a value in the range of 0 to 10,000. 10,000 is equivalent to 100 per cent.

3. An average of the six portion values is calculated. This average will also be a number in the range of 0 and 10,000.

4. The Gollum value of the last year is added to the average (in the first year, this will be zero); the result is divided by two. The final result is the Gollum point score in the envy table.

If this sounds complicated, do not despair: just keep in mind that 10,000 is perfect.

b) The Notoriety table

The Notoriety table is maintained by the Jool Harbour University historians. It is calculated as follows:

Every year, for every tribe there will be added:

the castle class of the main castle,
the rank (vassal = 0, chieftain = 1, and so on),
the number of vassals,
the number of enemy leaders killed (by poison, pillage or otherwise).

Special notoriety points are added afterwards. A special notoriety point is scored for

the highest sum of all ASF from all of his armies,
the highest ML,
the highest faith level,
the highest number of concessions of favour,
the most experienced hero,
the highest number of different improvements,
the highest number of medals,
the highest number of peasants,
the highest number of slaves,
the highest number of merchants,
the highest number of self-built production sites,
the highest number of successful raids,
the highest number of keeps.

Special notoriety points are not awarded before turn 2. In the case of a tie (e. g. two tribes with the same number of medals, and no tribe has more), no one will receive the special notoriety point.

This value is the new notoriety point score.

Example:

A baron (rank=2) has one vassal and a main castle class of 3. He has not killed another leader yet. His tribe has the highest number of merchants.

The new notoriety point score is:

2 (for the rank) + 1 (for the vassal) + 3 (for the main castle class) + 1 (special notoriety point for the highest number of merchants) = 7.

The score is added to the notoriety points of the previous years. The total is the value in the notoriety table. There are two variations how the placement in the notoriety table is determined: in the more peaceful variant the places are awarded in the order of the notoriety points, in the more aggressive variant the places are awarded in the order of the number of kills of human players (their tribes) and the notoriety points are only tie-breakers. If two tribes have the same notoriety table value, the number of soldiers (in all armies, without mercenaries) breaks the tie.

2.2.4 Population

In your tribe several population sections exist:

1. Peasants

They are the foundation of your tribe. You should try to achieve a high number of peasants. Peasants produce food ("fu" for food units). A higher science level will make for a better harvest. If your science level is 0, one peasant will produce approximately 1.5 fu in an average year.

2. Slaves

They have a lower food production rate than the peasants. They also do not learn very much if you have a high science level so their productivity will not increase much. Slaves can be bought and sold on the slave market. You can also acquire slaves with raids or by enslaving peasants or other parts of your population. Slaves are needed particularly for working production sites.

Slaves can be set free, in this case, they will become peasants.

3. Scientists

They are useless, actually. But you need them anyway. Every time you recruit scientists, your science level (SL) increases, and that will improve the harvest and production. Unfortunately the science level increase occurs only in the year they are recruited, and afterwards you have to feed and pamper them while they do nothing useful any more. On the other hand, your cannot simply get rid of them. The easiest way would be to enslave them, but watch out: the more you enslave, the faster your science level will decrease again, because the remaining scientists will conclude that research is no fun anymore in your tribe. A scientist needs one unit of food and 5 goldears a year.

4. Mages

Mages are expensive. They need 100 goldears and one unit of food a year. Every mage will produce one unit of adder blood a year. This is their most important task because adder blood is rare and precious and spells cannot be cast without it. Besides, the chance of success for spellcasting and also for writing scrolls depends on the number of mages. The more you have, the better. You can recruit one mage a year. This is done with the SM command.

5. Merchants

Merchants pay taxes. They also pay in gold for products. If you have no merchants, you cannot sell anything. This would be quite ruinous for you. Merchants love low taxes. Low taxes will lure new merchants into your tribe. High taxes are a merchant's curse. The migration of merchants depends on the average tax rate over all the Black Empire (including computer-played tribes) and your own tax rate. The difference between both values is calculated; if your own tax rate is lower than the average, merchants will migrate into your tribe, otherwise, merchants will leave. The overall number of merchants is continuously rising, so that even with an average tax rate you might have a certain increase in merchants.

Branches of other tribes in your tribe will make your merchants more tolerant against taxes. In the game report, this tolerance is stated as "tax bonus", if it is positive. This tax bonus represents the percentage of your tax rate which is not considered for the calculation of merchant migration. For example, a tax rate of 10 per cent, and a tax bonus of 6 per cent, makes for an effective tax rate of 4 per cent when calculating merchant migration. Even this effective tax rate cannot be lower than 0, of course. After the indication of the tax bonus, the report states the maximum tax rate which allows the full possible merchant growth. Branches you have placed in other tribes increase your own merchant growth by one per cent for each branch - without regard of your own tax rate.

If you increase taxes above a certain level (normally, 30 per cent), this will shock the merchants in that way that they will pay only part of the normally paid taxes (usually 60 per cent), because they lose revenue in the year of the tax increase. In the following years this effect disappears; the remaining merchants will pay every outrageous tax rate and will "only" react by migrating away from your tribe. Merchants react very delicately on the way you lead your tribe. For example, the overall tax total will decrease if you lose a battle against another tribe (at home) or if you are a vassal. If one of your caravans is robbed, your economy will also suffer. On the other hand, successful caravans which have been taxed mildly will make your merchants happy. If you commit a gold raid on another tribe this will damage the other one, but your own merchants will be enthusiastic. Overall, a solid and peaceful way will satisfy your merchant population and make them pay their taxes accordingly. A merchant needs one unit of food every year. He will pay for the food. If you have not enough food for the merchants, this is no problem, because they are able to buy their food abroad. Of course they will pay you only for the food you provide, for the rest they will pay other suppliers which are not relevant for the game.

6. Priests

They are plump, loosely dressed, chattering orcs who reside in the gold-decorated temple of your tribe and wait for the faithful to drop their hard-earned gold into their hands. Priests will also demand gold and food from you: every priest needs 20 goldears and 2 fu a year. On top of that, they expect you to donate gold to the temple, every year more than the year before, and at least 100 goldears.

7. Soldiers

A soldier needs 2 goldears and one fu a year. A certain minimum number of soldiers is required (approximately a tenth of the number of peasants), otherwise, your population will become insolent and rebellious. Putting down a rebellion will cost the lives of some peasants and soldiers and will weaken your tribe, so better pay up for your armies and avoid this.

2.2.5 Tribal upkeep

At the beginning of each year (see also processing sequence), your population has to be taken care of. This is done in the following order:

Soldiers (2 gold, 1 fu), mages (100 gold, 1 fu), priests (20 gold, 2 fu), scientists (5 gold, 1 fu), peasants (1 fu), slaves (1 fu), merchants (1 fu which is paid for, or bought abroad). Orcs which are not provided for - regardless if they do not get their gold or their food or both - will mostly starve or desert you. The only exception are the merchants. They buy their necessary fu from you at the current market price. If you have not enough fu for them, they will buy the remaining fu abroad. Merchants will not leave you if you do not provide enough food for them. In certain, unpleasant situations you may find that your tribe has less than 350 peasants and 400 soldiers, and less than 5000 goldears are left in your coffers near the end of the turn (before scouting is processed). If this happens to you for the first time, orcs from unknown lands will immigrate into your tribe, bringing their own food with them and settling as peasants. This is called "emergency assistance". The number of immigrants depends on the game year this situation occurs in - the later, the more immigrants. In any case, your tribe will be replenished to at least 400 peasants. If this situation happens to you a second time, your tribe will show his unhappiness with you in a very painful way. Warning: I seriously discourage you to cause this emergency situation intentionally in order to receive the "free" peasant orcs. Experience shows that this plan will go wrong at some point in 80 per cent of the cases, and your tribe will be ruined beyond hope. Especially beginners should never consider this idea.

Here is an example for tribal upkeep:

fu: 1200
g: 2400
fu market price: 7 g

Population: 100 soldiers, 3 mages, 24 priests, 129 scientists, 678 peasants, 229 slaves, 129 merchants

Tribal upkeep will be as follows:
Population groupfugoldremaining furemaining gold
starting amount--12002400
100 soldiers-100-20011002200
3 mages-3-30010971900
24 priests-48-48010491420
129 scientists-129-645920775
678 peasants-678-0242775
229 slaves-229-13775
129 merchants-13+910866

(116 merchants will buy their fu abroad)

2.3 Castles

Castles can be erected in controlled areas. Existing castles can be strengthened. The size of a castle directly influences the defending army strength. This size is measured in classes. Castles with a class of 8 or higher are called citadels. If a main castle reaches a class of 8, the game is over and the owning leader is the winner, unless he is a vassal at this time. Higher castle classes have not only military but also economic value, because they improve the yield of production sites (see also "Terrain table" in the supplement).

For strenghening a castle, stones, gold, and vassals are required - see also the instructions for the EB command.

Keeps (castles in areas without a tribe, in opposition to main castles) cannot be built next to another. You can build a castle only in an area that is not adjacent to any area which contained a castle at the end of the previous year (areas touching at the corners are not considered adjacent in this case).

Example:

   oooooooo      "o": empty area
   oooxoooo      "B": area with a castle
   ooxBxxoo      "x": area where castle construction is not possible
   oooxxBxo      ".": area the player wants to build a castle in
   o..o.xoo
   oooooooo

In this example, in the areas marked "x" no castle may be built. But it is permitted to build castles in the "." areas, because at the end of the previous turn no castles were present in adjacent areas. That means it is possible that castles are existing in adjacent areas, but these castles must have been built in the same turn.

3. Religion

Khurrad, this is the name of the all-powerful Serpent God. Khurrad is a God who not only requires passive devotion. He loves his priests and he likes to meddle hands-on in the affairs of the Black Empire. And if he appears in his huge, scaly, physical form and/or displays his divine powers, the victims of his wrath will suffer.

Khurrad likes success, gold, and diamonds. Khurrad despises losers, victims of dragon attacks, and some orcs just by chance. Khurrad is not a god the orcs have chosen themselves, but they have to live with him. Some fail.

The degree of faith is measured in points in the range of 0 to 99. The more faithful you are, the higher the point value. Unfortunately there are the priests, and you better do not show your contempt for them. Offer them food and gold, otherwise they will be happy to put in a bad word for you.

Faith is increased mostly by donations to the temple. But successful pillage campaigns, or besieging the least faithful tribe, can be helpful, too.

Every year the priests announce who is the most faithful, the second most faithful, and the least faithful. Special random events await these objects of Khurrads attention (sometimes).

The most faithful leader will receive the dragon banner for one turn, but not before turn 5. The dragon banner means that this tribe will only pay half for soldiers or mercenaries (overlord fee included) than normally.

Illmir Steißschneider, the archpriest of the Black Empire, sometimes allocates his favour to certain leaders. His concessions of favour are acquired in the following ways:

a) If you are the most faithful leader, and have not been the most faithful in the previous year.
b) For eliminating a player (computer player or human player).
c) By a random event, depending on the faith level.
d) Two concessions are won for a successful siege of the player who is proscribed by the priests.
e) If you are first in the Gollum table or Notoriety table, if you have not been first in the previous year.
f) One per year, if you are King and have not become King just this year.

This list is not necessarily complete.

Concessions of favour are not only useful for promotions. Sometimes Illmir Steißschneider also commissions players with concessions with special tasks, and completing these tasks will mostly be rewarding.

What's more, the archpriest bestows titles on you depending on your faith level. These titles correspond to clerical hierarchy levels, but you are bearing them on a honorary basis. They affect your population: a specially honoured leader will make the orcs work more efficiently. Slaves are most impressed by these titles. You can only rise one level in this hierarchy. If your faith level falls below the required minimum for your title, Illmir Steißschneider will be quick to remove it and replace it with a fitting, lower one.

4. Magic

Not only fear and terror dominate in the Black Empire, but also magic. Black magic, to be sure. The mages study in Jool Harbour, an obscure city in the East of the Black Empire, which has a university with several magical departments. Mages are keen on exercising their art and on learning. So they offer themselves for gold to the leaders and support them in destroying their enemies.

For their spells, mages need several ingredients. These are represented in the game by adder blood. The ingredients are very expensive and very rare. Every mage in a tribe refines one unit of adder blood a year. A spell needs several units of adder blood - depending on the power of the magic. Adder blood is consumed for casting spells, not for finding them. If the spell fails due to the incompetence of the mages, no adder blood is lost. But if the spell cannot work because other requirements are not met, the adder blood is used up.

Example: For a POISON spell, the potential victim has to be your vassal, subjugated by force. If your mages succeed in casting the spell, but it cannot work because you could not subjugate the victim by force, the adder blood will be deducted from your stock. If the mages fail from the start, you keep the adder blood.

A tribe's mages have a certain magic level (short: ML). Beginning with a magic level of 10, they can find spells on their own. With higher magic levels you can have up to five spells at a time. One spell a year can be cast. The spells are found randomly. If it is cast, the spell is lost; for the free "slot" you probably will receive a new one.

Increasing your magic level will always lure one new mage into your tribe, no matter if it was successfully increased or not. The magic level is increased by bidding a certain sum of gold. The bid must not be lower than 1,000 and not be higher than 30,000 goldears.

You also can use the SG command for an attempt to create spells yourself, by writing a scroll (this is informally called "baking" a scroll). In order to do that you have to expend as much adder blood as possible and force your best mage to risk his live for the scroll with the desired spell. The mage has a 25 per cent chance to die in the attempt. Up to three scrolls can be used a year. All spells cast in one year (scrolls and "normal" ones) have to be different. Spells from scrolls also use up adder blood when they are cast, the same amount as normal spells (see list of spells).

Example:

SG 32, 9

You bid 9 units of adder blood for a POISON scroll (spell 32). The adder blood will be lost in any case. Maybe a mage dies. If it works, you can use the scroll with the command SR 32, victim (in addition to other spells, for example ZZ 51). This will use up 5 units of adder blood which is the normal spell cost. On the whole, the spell will have cost you 14 u adder blood - but a successful POISON spell is well worth it.

A scroll which has been used for spellcasting (SR command), is used up and gone.

5. Economy

5.1 Taxes

Taxes are levied from incoming caravans, and from merchants. The tax rate (same for both) is determined with the ST command.

For increasing tax revenue, you can erect bazaars. See the description of the RB command. Normally it is wise to start with low tax rates in order to win enough merchants for building bazaars. However, if all players follow this strategy, it will be pointless ...

5.2 Caravans

You can send caravans to other tribes. Details are given in the description of the KW command. The farther the journey of the caravan the more profitable it will be. The profit will be reduced by the tax rate of the target tribe. To avoid confusion: Caravans are not loaded with products like iron, salt, sulphur etc., but with gold. In this case the gold amount represents the "special" products of your tribe.

5.3 Production sites

In cultivatable areas, castle areas, and tribal ares (controlled areas), you can place production sites. See the description of the RP command for details. Production sites wear down with time and produce less and less. Products can be sold for the announced market prices which differ from tribe to tribe. But many products also can be made good use of; for example, swords are made of iron and armour is made of leather.

If you win control of an area, by conquering a castle area or just walking through a cultivatable area, you gain control over the production sites in this area. Therefore production sites should only be placed in suitably fortified areas. On the other hand it is quite important to control one mountain area with production sites, because most of the time there is a lack of iron in the Black Empire. Tribes with a mountain area as a home count themselves lucky.

Production sites of different products in one area can handicap each other. For example, many salt mines will reduce the yield of wood, because the salt in the ground damages the trees. How the products influence each other can be seen in the dependency table.

5.4 Products

Products of the production sites are also called A products. Adder blood, leather and food also belong to this group. Other groups are called B products, C products and D products. These products are created by combining certain products of the lower levels.

At the beginning of a game, only A products can be produced. The conditions for B and C products are stated in the overviews ("Tables and formulas").

How to achieve D products is announced during the game.

It is absolutely crucial for success to acquire the opportunity to produce B and C products as soon as possible.

5.5 Prices

Products are one of the most important ways to gain gold. They have to be sold then, of course. They are sold to your merchants, but the merchants cannot buy any amount. If the merchants are in a good mood, they will tell you how much they are able to afford ("budget").

The game report states the market prices for your tribe. These prices are paid for your products early in the following year (see also processing sequence). The prices are fixed; if you do not overexert your merchants, you can calculate the gold you will get as product of amount and price, and plan with this gold. Of course you can use this gold only for any actions following the sale in the processing sequence.

The relation of market prices of a product in two tribes is the same during a complete game, normally. If wood has the double price in tribe A as in tribe B, it will cost double during the whole game. Only rare random events may change this "price profile" of a product in a game.

Prices change randomly on the whole, but there are some general rules. A bad harvest, or bad output of the production sites, will correspond with high prices. This is also true for the price profiles. A tribe with a generally high price of salt will build rather inefficient salt mines, and vice versa.

Tribes selling products are also influencing prices. The quotient of the total (Empire-wide) amount sold and the complete stock of a product is compared to the same quotient of the year before. If the quotient has decreased, the price increases, and vice versa. However, this effect is limited. The complete stock must exceed a certain limit before these market mechanics operate. The nice thing is (well, actually not so nice for you) that this price change is independent of the production site output, contrary to price changes due to the price profile. You can expect that market prices for salt and diamonds drop throughout the game, but iron will rise in value. The game report sometimes states price tendencies in the part "World News".

5.6 Exports

Products can be exported to other tribes. Normal exports - the only kind possible in the beginning of the game - work like this: A certain number of product units is moved to the receiving tribe and added to its stock. For the sender this has no positive effects, so it might be wise to negotiate a reverse transport up front, like "I'm sending 100 u iron to you and you send me 10 u adder blood".

5.7 Branches

You will learn quickly that your merchants pay prices that are to their own satisfaction, but not to yours. Since the tribes have different prices for the products, it would be nice to sell products to other tribes instead of your own merchants, wherever the best price can be obtained.

To do that, you need branches in other tribes. For details, see the VX command and the EK command.

5.8 Improvements

5.8.1 General

You can construct several buildings in your tribe. These improvements provide certain different bonuses, but they are not cheap.

To build improvements, use the EE command. You can give one EE command every year, with up to five parameters. Every parameter must be an improvement abbreviation.

Example: EE LIBR WIT LIBR

Improvements can only be built if the necessary conditions are met. If you have an improvement, and fail to meet the conditions later in the game, no big deal: once built you keep it. The conditions have to be met in the moment the improvement is created; even changes within the processing of the EE command do count (the command parameters are processed in sequence). That means you can, for example, build missing libraries and the university within one command.

The table further below shows in the "purchase" column which resources have to be paid for the building. These resources are deducted in the moment when the EE command is processed.

In the following years, you have to pay the upkeep cost in the column "continuous" for the building. These resources are deducted right after the regular tribal upkeep.

If you have not enough resources for the upkeep, the unsupported improvements are "out of order" for the current year. They do not operate in this year.

Example: For 3 libraries, three scientists are deducted every turn (such a sacrifice - but a leader has to make unpopular decisions at times). If only two scientists are left, the deduction for all three libraries is not possible, and no library will operate this year. Another example: The indication "200+100*x goldears" as construction cost for one library means for the fourth library you have to pay 200 + 3 x 100 = 500 goldears.

If a number of slaves is necessary as a condition, construction cost, or upkeep cost, you need "real" slaves. If, in the course of the game, you find a way to change peasants into slaves automatically when need arises ("RP3" as a clue), this will work here in the same way as producing leather automatically ("AL").

The effects of the improvements are permanent, i. e. they will occur every year.

Relocation (EX command) will destroy all improvements.

5.8.2 Improvements one by one

The game master can change the selection of improvements that can be built in his games. The following table is an overview of the "standard selection" of improvements. The starting report will contain a detailed table with the possible improvements in a certain game.

Improvements
abbnameprerequisitespurchase
LibrLibrarySci:10+10*x@:200+100*x,wo:10+10*x
UniUniversityLibr:5,SL:80@:30000,st:500
WitWitch KitchenMag:1+x@:500+500*x,wo:20+20*x,su:20+20*x
MagMage TowerWit:5@:30000,st:500
GuiGuildMer:250,Baz:5@:30000,st:500,wo:500
ArenArenaSold:200@:200+200*x,st:20+20*x,Sold:10+10*x
ArsArsenalSold:300,SL:50,Aren:5@:30000,ir:200,lt:200
MissMissionFL:15+x,Prie:5+5*x@:200+200*x,st:20+10*x,wo:20+10*x
NeeNeedle TowerFL:30,Miss:5@:30000,st:1000,Sla:100
HosHospitalUni:1,Nee:1@:50000,Peas:500,st:1000,wo:1000
CanCannerySL:20@:500+500*x,ir:50+50*x,su:20+20*x
TavTavernPeas:700,Baz:3@:200+200*x,bo:20+10*x,wo:20+10*x
BarrBarracksSold:300,Tav:5@:10000,st:250,wo:100
PitOrc PitMaxPeas:400-20*x@:1000+1000*x,st:50+50*x
SlaSlave CorralMer:120,Baz:3@:2000+2000*x,wo:50+50*x
CurCurse ShrineMiss:5@:500+500*x,di:20+20*x,Peas:50+50*x
FireFire BrigadeGui:1@:5000+5000*x,ir:50+50*x,Peas:50+50*x

abbmaxcontinuouseffect
Libr1000Sci:1MAXSL1
Uni1@:1000,wo:20,su:20PHCOST75
Wit1000ab:1,Peas:10RANDMAG20,ADDML5
Mag1ab:10SPELLCOST50,PITFAST,ADDML50
Gui1@:1000,Mer:10CARAV50,GOLDMINEFAST
Aren1000-HEROEXP5,HEROATTR10
Ars1@:1000RANDSOLD100,ADDARM5,ADDWEAP5
Miss1000Peas:5CONVERT1
Nee1Sla:50FAITHFAST20,SLEDGEFAST,KHNULLFAST
Hos1@:5000IMMUN,RANDPEAS100
Can1000ir:5ADDFU100
Tav1000bo:5ADDPEAS10,RANDPEAS20,ADDMORALE2
Barr1@:1000RANDSOLD50,ADDEXP2
Pit1000ab:1RANDPEAS100
Sla1000Mer:2ADDSLA18+RANDSLA22
Cur5fu:100,Peas:50CURSE1
Fire1000Peas:20FIREPROTECTION20

Regarding the prerequisites and costs, the following abbreviations are used:
x: number of improvements of the same kind already built.
MaxPeas: maximum number of peasants allowed in the tribe (a "maximum" condition in opposite to "minimum" requirements in the other cases)
Peas, Sla, Sci, Mer, Mag, Prie: Minimum number of peasants, slaves, scientists, merchants, mages, and priests required in the tribe.
Sold: minimum number of soldiers in the tribal army.
G or @: goldears.
wo, st, ir, sa, di, lt, fu, bo, su, ab: wood, stone, iron, salt, diamonds, leather, food, booze, sulphur, adder blood.
Baz: number of bazaars.
SL, ML, FL: science level, magic level, faith level.
The other abbreviations relate to the improvements.

The effects of the improvements mentioned in the table have the following meanings:

addArm<n>: Every year, the armour value of all armies increases by n points. This happens at the end of the processing sequence.

addExp<n>: Every year, experience in all armies increases by n points. This happens at the end of the processing sequence.

addfu<n>: Every year, n fu are generated.

addML<n>: There are n chances of 1 per cent a year that the magic level increases.

addmorale<n>: Every year, morale in all armies increases by n points. This happens at the end of the processing sequence.

addPeas<n>: Every year, n peasants are generated.

addSla<n>: Every year, n slaves are generated.

addSold<n>: Every year n new soldiers appear in the tribal army.

addWeap<n>: Every year, the weapon value of all armies increases by n points. This happens at the end of the processing sequence.

carav<n>: The yield of caravans is n per cent higher than normal.

Convert<n>: Every year n peasants are converted to priests and increase the faith level by n.

Curse<n>: The most faithful player is cursed and loses n faith points.

FaithFast<n>: The faith level cannot drop lower than <n> at the end of the year, except if the temple was pillaged.

Fireprotection<n>: There is a certain defence against fire attacks (dragon, arson and so on). There are no exact formulas known, but a fire protection of 100 is viewed as a very good defence.

GoldmineFast: Gold mines do not wear out.

HeroAttr<n>: Every year there are n chances of 1 per cent for every hero that one of his attributes (a, d, m) increases by 1.

HeroExp<n>: The experience of all heroes increases by n points every year.

Immun: Immunity against civilization diseases and swamp plague.

KhNaughtFast: Immunity against Khurrad's Naught.

maxsl<n>: The science level limit increases by n points. This modifier is maintained even if the science level limit later increases for other reasons.

PHcost<n>: The number of raw materials needed for products produced with the PH command is reduced to n per cent of the original value.

PitFast: Snake pits to not wear out.

Randfu<n>: Every year, a random number between 2 and n fu are generated.

RandMag<n>: There are n chances of 1 per cent that a new mage appears in the tribe.

RandPeas<n>: A number between 2 and n peasants are generated randomly.

addSla<n>: A number between 2 and n slaves are generated randomly.

RandSold<n>: Every year a number between 2 and n new soldiers appears in the tribal army.

SledgeFast: Immunity against Khurrad's Sledge. If the vassal himself has this improvement too, he can free himself with Khurrad's Sledge, but the other effects (loss of faith) do not occur.

SpellCost<n>: The adder blood expense for casting a spell is reduced to n per cent. Writing scrolls is not affected.

6. Combat

6.1 The army

6.1.1 Orcs

Every castle can have one army only. An army consists of soldiers and mercenaries. A soldier is created by recruiting a peasant. He will stay a soldier forever - until heroic death or enslavement, whichever comes first. The soldiers are the "standing army" of a castle. Mercenaries, however, are recruited for one campaign season only and will wander off without greeting afterwards. Mercenaries are always equipped exactly as the regular soldiers.

An army cannot have more than double the number of mercenaries as the number of soldiers. Mercenaries are marching first into every campaign. If, for example, you have an army with 300 soldiers and 200 mercenaries, and direct this army into a campaign with 250 orcs, 200 mercenaries and 50 soldiers will march off, and 250 soldiers will stay in the castle. Casualties will be divided among the groups accordingly.

Recruiting a mercenary costs 20 goldears in the beginning of the game. If an army has accumulated enough experience, it will turn into a veteran army which has a mercenary price of approximately 40 goldears which normally will rise further, but a veteran army has a 10 per cent fighting bonus. The next status level for the army is elite status with a mercenary price of approximately 80 goldears. Dependent on game configuration, there may be more status levels. They, and the exact mercenary prices, will be indicated in the game report as soon as one of your armies has obtained at least veteran status.

6.1.2 Equipment

Soldiers can be equipped with sword and armour. For one armour you need one unit of leather. You need to "leather" one pig for that (PL command). For a sword, you need one unit of iron. The equipment level of weapons and armour is measured in per cent and can be a maximum of 99. Newly recruited soldiers bring no sword and no armour with them ("Boxers"), so they will reduce the armour and weapon level of the army.

Additionally, an army may have catapults and fire arrows. In the course of the game it will also be possible to equip it with carts to save supply costs. Details will be announced as soon as you meet the necessary, and undisclosed, conditions.

6.1.3 Experience

Every campaign increases the army's experience. Successful campaigns increase it more. Siege campaigns are more important for experience than raids, and leading an attack is more important than just supporting. Recruiting new, "green" soldiers will decrease the experience level, and it cannot exceed 99.

6.1.4 Morale

Successful campaigns will heighten army morale, failures let it drop. You can also increase morale with gold payments. Morale is measured in points in the range of 0 to 99.

In all new games of Ork, the so-called annual morale loss can be implemented. The game master will announce in the beginning of the game if this option is used. This game option has the following effect:

Bored soldiers decrease army morale. Soldiers are bored if they do not leave the castle. A quotient is calculated of the number of soldiers and mercenaries on campaign, and all soldiers and mercenaries in the army (before combat starts). This quotient is multiplied with a constant value (the annual morale loss, normally 20). Army morale then decreases by the result (as a percentage rate).

This morale decrease occurs after all battles and their respective morale modifications.

Example:

The army of Knastburg (34) has 200 soldiers. The leader recruits 150 mercenaries for the army. 270 orcs are sent out into a campaign. The annual morale loss constant is set to 20 for the game. This means an individual morale loss for this army of (80 / 350) * 20 % = 4,57 %.

That means, if morale was set to 80 after all battles, it will be changed due to the boredom of the stayathome soldiers to 80 x (100 - 4,57) % = 80 x 0,9543 = 76.

6.1.5 Army strength

To calculate army strength, multiply the number of soldiers and mercenaries with the army strength factor (ASF):

army strength = (soldiers+mercenaries)*ASF

The ASF is calculated as follows:

ASF = (1 plus (experience times 0.01))
 times (1 plus (morale times 0.01))
 times (1 plus (armour times 0.01))
 times (1 plus (weapons times 0.01))
 times rank factor)

The rank factor is obtained from the rank table. The ASF is displayed in the report.

If an army is in a castle and this castle is under siege, the army strength is multiplied with the castle factor. The castle factor is calculated as

(1 plus (castle class divided by 4)).

This bonus is only for the army within the castle, not for armies which support this defending army.

Recently, a certain variant has been played ("defensive Ork") with a higher castle factor, calculated as

(2 plus (castle class divided by 2)).

If this variant is played, the game master will announce this in the starting report.

The ASF can also be raised by supporting heroes. Details are explained in the "Heroes" section.

6.1.6 Mysteries

Hermits dwell in certain areas in the Black Empire. These hermits will improve the army strength of any army which complete a campaign in this area. A supporting campaign does not count. As soon as one of your armies passes such an area, the game report will announce that a hermit lives in there. You will not know, however, what kind of improvement the hermit offers. Further details can be discovered in the course of the game.

6.2 Campaigns

Every army can conduct exactly one campaign a year. Any number of soldiers and, if recruited, mercenaries can be left behind in the castle. For a campaign you have to issue an army command (BU, BV, RG, RS, or UN). Details are explained in a separate section ("Army commands").

First, all armies are moved in order of experience; the most experienced army moves first. Next, all armies conduct their campaigns; this is also processed in order of experience. There are several kinds of campaigns: gold raid, slave raid, subjugation, and eviction. A campaign can also be a support of another army. We will now first explain army movement, and what happens if more than one army tries to conduct a campaign in the same area. The different kinds of campaigns will be discussed. How to issue your orders to the army is described in a separate section.

After all is over (movement and combat), all armies return to their home areas. No orders are needed for this, it happens automatically.

6.2.1 Movement

Before the fighting starts, armies move to the battlefields. The movement is processed in order of experience, starting with the most experienced army.

Movement is not free. You have to pay goldears for supplying your army (movement costs). Movement across areas with your own castles or outposts is free, they do not count. For all other areas, you have to pay movement costs. The first such area costs a fifth of a goldear per warrior, the next area costs three fifths of a goldear, the third area costs nine fifths of a goldear, and so on. The cost for every additional area grows by a factor of 3. Movement costs have to be paid for soldiers as well as for mercenaries.

Example:

 +1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10
0          
10          
20       X  
30      x   
40      x   
50   !xx    
60          
70          
80          
90          
You want to move an army from 28 (X) via 37, 47, 56, 55 (marked with "x") to 54 (!). 100 soldiers and 50 mercenaries are moved. Movement casualties, which normally influence supply costs, are not considered in this example.


Movement to 37: 150 x 0.2 g = 30 g
Movement to 47: 150 x 0.6 g = 90 g
Movement to 56 - you have a castle in this area, therefore: 0 g
Movement to 55: 150 x 1.8 g = 270 g
Movement to 54: 150 x 5.4 g = 810 g

Total: 1200 g.

This example also illustrates:

- armies are moving from one area to an adjacent area

- areas touching at the corners are considered adjacent for purposes of movement

If you run out of gold while the army is moving, the movement stops in the last area for which supply could be paid, and the campaign will be conducted in this area.

To facilitate the calculation of supply costs, here is a supply cost table:

Areas you have to pay forg per orcg per 100 orcs
10.2020.00
20.8080.00
32.60260.00
48.00800.00
524.202420.00
672.807280.00
7218.6021860.00
8656.0065600.00

Additional movement costs: For moving through a water area, you need 1/10 u wood for every soldier or mercenary in addition to the usual supply costs. If you have not enough wood, you have to pay the normal supply costs anyway, but the movement stops in the area before entering the water area. If this area is also a water area you will find that your orcs are poor swimmers.

The wood is deducted from your tribal stockpile automatically. You do not need to worry about that, as long as you have enough wood at all.

Depending on the terrain, the movement causes casualties among the soldiers and mercenaries of your army due to the hazards of the land. The expected casualties are stated in the terrain table in the supplement. As a specialty, armies from swamp areas do not suffer casualties when entering swamp areas.

6.2.2 Combat

All fights between the players' armies are resolved according to the following system:

o First, a combat quotient is determined (CQ). This quotient is a number between 0.3 and 0.7 with a strong tendency to 0.5. It represents luck, weather conditions, terrain advantages and so on. When besieging a tribal area, the combat quotient is always exactly 0.5.

o Next, an attack quotient is determined (AQ). Army strengths of the attacking and the defending side are added; if applicable, several modifiers are applied to the army strengths. The attack quotient is determined according to the formula:

 Attacker's army strength
AQ =-------------------------------------------------------------
 Attacker's army strength + defender's army strength + 1

o Attack quotient and combat quotient are compared. If the attack quotient is higher, the attacking side wins, otherwise the defending side wins.

The following sections describe specialties and results of the different kinds of combat.

6.2.3 Skirmishes

Any given area can only be attacked by one army in a year. This army is the attacking army. Supporting armies are not counted for this; it is possible that an army from A is supported by seven other armies and attacks B with this combined force.

If an area is attacked by two different attacking armies, because, for example, both have stated the same target area in their respective campaign commands, they have to fight among each other first, for the privilege to attack the area. These fights are called "skirmishes". This combat is resolved normally without any special advantage for either side. Supporting armies also support in skirmishes.

If more than two attacking armies meet in an area, the experience of the attacking armies decides the sequence of the skirmishes. The most experienced armies fight first. The victorious army then may conduct its campaign against the target area.

The losing armies of the skirmishes are not "at home" during the remaining combat phase, of course. If another player attacks the home area of the losing army of a skirmish, this losing army cannot defend at home and the area might be badly defended.

6.2.4 Raids

There are certain differences between raids and siege campaigns. Catapults and fire arrows are not used, and the defenders army strength is not improved by the castle class. Both kinds of raids have the same chances of success, only the kind of booty differs.

Only the attacking army carries away the booty from the raid. Supporting armies get no portion.

6.2.4.1 Gold raids - RG

If a gold raid is successful, the treasure and possibly the stock of products of the victim is plundered. If it was a high victory, the tax income of the victim may suffer. Your own merchants will be quite fond of a successful gold raid.

6.2.4.2 Slave raids - RS

Parts of the peasant population and a larger portion of the slaves of the victim are driven away by a successful slave raider.

6.2.5 Siege

In a siege campaign, fire arrows and catapults are used. First, the defenders fire their burning arrows on the attacker's catapults and try to set them on fire. The remaining catapults of the attacking army (and only the attacking army is able to use its catapults) damage the walls of the castle and lower the castles "combat class", thereby decreasing the castle factor for the defending army. The exact formulas are stated in the supplement ("Tables and formulas").

A castle damaged in this way is repaired immediately and automatically after the combat phase. The repairs consume gold and stones. This works similarly to the EB command, but no vassals are required. Since this is only a repair and not a new construction, you do not need the full amount of gold which would be necessary for a normal build, but only a fifth of it.

The following siege campaigns are not possible:

o A vassal cannot besiege his overlord.

o An overlord cannot besiege his vassal.

o A vassal cannot besiege another vassal of his overlord.

Note: Vassals are allowed to conduct siege campaigns, as long as they do not violate these conditions.

These limitations are only relevant for main castles. Keeps can always be besieged.

Repelling rule: If two players besiege each other's main castle, the stronger army (with supporting armies) will perform the siege, the weaker army is driven back to its home castle and defends there (without supporting armies, these will not participate in forced marches home).

Example: A has keeps in 11 and 21 and his main castle in 31. B has a keep in 24 and his main castle in 34. With his army from 11, A attacks the main castle of B in 34. With his army from 34, B attacks the main castle of A in 31. Both armies are supported as follows:

A:Attacking army:Keep in 11
 Supporter:Main castle in 31
 Supporter:Bit-orc vassal of A from 22
 Supporter:Human player from 55
B:Attacker:Main castle in 34
 Supporter:Bit-orc vassal of B from 27
 Supporter:Human player from 48
 Supporter:Human player from 37
Note: Observing readers might have noticed that a bit orc supports a keep of A. This is normally not possible, but in the course of the game you can discover ways to accomplish this.

If the combined force of A is weaker than the combined force of B, A is driven back. B will attack in 31 with the complete force. In 31, there is only the army from 31 defending. The army from 11 which should lead the attack of A was driven back to its home castle and defends in 11 with all orcs. The supporters from 22 and 55 are still in 34, the designated battlefield (too bad B was stronger), and enjoy an involuntary vacation.

Note: This special rule is only applied when both besieged castles are main castles. If one of them is a keep, the repelling rule is not used and both sieges are resolved normally.

The siege campaigns are resolved in the sequence of experience of the attacking armies. The most experienced army comes first.

6.2.5.1 Subjugation - BU

If a siege against another player's main castle succeeds, the victim becomes a vassal of the attacker. If the attacker is a vassal himself, the victim is made vassal of the attacker's overlord. All vassals of the victim are made vassals of the new overlord. A new vassal cannot rebel in the first year of his subjugation, but he can be poisoned, for example.

The subjugation is also the campaign type for conquering enemy keeps. Even if the keep contains no soldiers, it has to be "subjugated".

6.2.5.2 Eviction - BV

If a siege aims at evicting the enemy from his main castle and the siege is successful, an eviction attempt is made. This eviction will be successful if

the number of attacking soldiers and mercenaries, including supporting soldiers and mercenaries,

is greater than

the population count of the defending tribe, including the soldiers of the main castle, but excluding mercenaries, excluding supporting soldiers and mercenaries, and excluding any soldiers and mercenaries of the main castle who are away on another campaign.

Example:

Olm Urgubal, supported by Snerk and Frollo, attacks his old chap Mübürück Wyrgywyrg. Mübürück is supported by Hans Schnödelblöm. The armies and their numbers:

Attackers:

Olm: 450 mercenaries, 30 soldiers
Snerk: 300 mercenaries, 100 soldiers
Frollo: 320 mercenaries, 400 soldiers

Defenders:

Mübürück: 200 mercenaries, 400 soldiers
Hans: 300 mercenaries, 10 soldiers

If the siege was successful, the attackers try an eviction of Mübürücks tribe with 1600 orcs (all attacking orcs count). The tribal population is counted, and the 400 soldiers of Mübürück are added to this number, but the supporting soldiers and mercenaries of Hans will vanish as quickly as possible, and Mübürück's 200 mercenaries will also lie low and are not counted.

If the eviction attempt fails, nothing happens. Note that the victim will not be subjugated in this case.

If the eviction attempt is successful, the unlucky tribe has to be relocated. The computer chooses one of his keeps which becomes the new main castle. A castle from which the tribe has been evicted already in the same year cannot be chosen.

The former main castle becomes a keep of the victorious attacker - but this change takes place only after resolving all campaigns of this year, see processing sequence. This is the reason for the above mentioned restriction. The castle's soldiers will defect to the attacker in great numbers, the rest is killed, except soldiers who are away on another campaign. The relocation causes, as always, substantial loss of life and supplies.

If no keep is eligible for the relocation, the evicted player is eliminated from the game; the tribe is destroyed.

6.2.5.3 Conquering a castle

If a siege ("subjugation") against a keep is successful, the keep becomes property of the attacker. Some of the keep's soldiers are killed, the rest obeys the new master. To besiege a keep, a subjugation campaign (BU) has to be conducted successfully in the respective area.

6.2.6 Support

Supporting another army is done with the UN command. To be able to support another army, the supporting army has to be in the same area as the supported army, or in the home area of the supported army. In the first case, the supported army is supported in its attack. In the second case, the supported army is supported in its defence.

The supported army must not have a UN command: you cannot support supporting.

Supporting is also not possible if the supported army attacks one of your own castles.

Computer tribes can be forced to provide support. This is done with the FU command. It is successful if you offer more than 5 goldears per soldier of the computer tribe's tribal army. In this case, the computer tribe will support you with his complete tribal army. But also for computer tribes the same rule applies: they cannot support you supporting. That means, if you want to support another leader in his campaign, an FU command for your own vassals is of no use. If you submit this command and the computer tribes are willing to support you, they will support you indeed but only at your own main castle defending it.

6.3 Army orders

The commands for moving armies and for combat are more complicated than other Ork commands. Therefore they are not explained in the command overview, but here, and somewhat more detailed.

For every kind of campaign, there is a special command:

a) Support:

UN B:castle V:defenders S:mercenaries U:supportedArmy W: route1 route2 ... target

b) Raid for gold:

RG B:castle V:defenders S:mercenaries W: route1 route2 ... target

c) Raid for slaves:

RS B:castle V:defenders S:mercenaries W: route1 route2 ... target

d) Subjugation:

BU B:castle V:defenders S:mercenaries W: route1 route2 ... target

e) Eviction:

BV B:castle V:defenders S:mercenaries W: route1 route2 ... target

With all army orders,

o colons may be replaced by spaces or commas,

o spaces may be replaced by commas.

If parameters are omitted, the following defaults are used.

a) no B parameter: the main castle.

b) no V parameter: no defenders.

c) no S parameter: no gold is spent for mercenaries.

d) no U parameter, in case of a UN command: your own main castle army is supported.

e) no W parameter: this makes the whole command invalid.

The parameters may be submitted in any sequence.

The route must consist of a sequence of adjacent areas. The first area of the route ("route1") must be an area adjacent to the starting area, and every following area of the route must be adjacent to the preceding area. Areas are considered adjacent also if they are only touching at the corners.

Example for a gold raid:

RG B:32 V:50 S:1000 W:40, 48, 57, 66, 75, 84, 93

Meaning: With the army from area 32, leave 50 soldiers at home defending, spend 1000 goldears for mercenaries, move the army via 40, 48, 57, 66, 75, 84, to 93 and conduct a gold raid in the target area (93).

Example for supporting an army from 85 in a raid in 93:

UN B:32 V:50 S:1000 U:85 W:40 48 57 66 75 84 93

Meaning: With the army from area 32, leave 50 soldiers at home defending, spend 1000 goldears for mercenaries, move the army via 40, 48, 57, 66, 75, 84, to 93 and support an army from area 85 in the target area (93).

If you do not want to conduct a campaign with a certain army but you want to strengthen it with mercenaries for defensive purposes, you can use the ZS command. With the ZS command, mercenaries are recruited for a castle, following the same rules as with the army orders.

The length of the route in an army order may not exceed the maximum of the width and height of the game board.

A maximum of 5 army orders may be submitted. That does not mean 5 BU commands, 5 BV commands, 5 RG commands and so on, but a total of 5 commands which can be BU, BV, etc. commands. Furthermore, not more than one army order may be submitted for each castle.

Note: The HB command which was used in earlier versions for army movement is still supported by the Ork program but no longer documented in the rules.

7. Heroes

7.1 Heroes - General

At the end of the first game turn, heroes emerge. In every tribe some soldier orcs excel by their deeds and henceforth are called heroes. The tribal army will be reduced by a respective number of soldiers, but the game report will show the statistics of the new heroes.

A hero has a name, an attack value (A), a defence value (D), a mental value (M), a number of body points (hit points) representing his physical constitution (B), an experience level (L) and experience points (E) which will increase over time. He can use up to seven different items (treasures): one on his neck (an amulet, typically), one on his ring finger (a ring, typically), one on the head (a helmet, cap, mask or the like), a weapon, a shield, an armour and footwear (shoes or similar). Some items use more than one "slot": a broadsword, for example, uses the weapon and the shield "slot".

The hero also has an "escape limit" (F, as in "flight"). This means that as soon as the hero drops to a certain number of hit points in combat, he will try to escape. An escape limit of 5, for example, means that the hero tries to remove himself from the fight if he has 5 or less hit points.

Heroes can fight monsters, discover treasures (and use them), scout areas (which could be considered a waste of their talents), duel other heroes and support campaigns.

Most hero actions are initiated through the HD command.

7.2 Monsters and treasures

The GM will distribute treasures and guarding monsters at will in inhabitable areas. Of course, more valuable treasures are guarded by fiercer monsters. A hero who slays a monster will win the treasure and bring it home to your treasure chamber. Your treasure chamber may hold an infinite number of treasures.

Some treasures are locked in chests. In this case, the hero will only bring the chest home. A chest can only be opened with one of three possible keys (copper, silver, gold). These keys can be manufactured similarly to B or C products. One key of each kind will suffice. If you possess a fitting key, any respective chest you have or receive will be opened automatically.

There is a huge number of different monsters. Like heroes, they have an A, D, M, and B value. Furthermore, many monsters have special abilities which make it even more difficult to overcome them. A monster is dead if its B value (body points) drops to 0 - the same, of course, applies to a hero if he meets this sad fate.

Throughout these rules, a monster value will be denoted with a preceding M, and a hero value with a preceding H. For example, HHP means hero's hit points.

If you want to find out about monsters and treasures in other areas, you can scout areas or move armies through them.

7.3 Fighting monsters

A combat between hero and monster is fought in turns. Every turn, the monster attacks the hero and the hero attacks the monster simultaneously. For every attack a random number between 1 and the attack value of the attacker (short 1D[A]), and another between 1 and the defense value of the defender (short 1D[D]) is determined. If 1D[A] is greater than 1D[D], the difference between both values is deducted from the constitution value of the defender. This happens at the same time with the counterattack, i. e. in one turn both hero and monster can lose points, they even could die at the same time.

The fight ends as soon as the monster dies (MHP=0), the hero dies (HHP=0), or the hero escapes. A hero may try to escape at the end of a turn. The escape is successful immediately if 1D[HM] (hero's mental value) is greater than 1D[MM] (monster's mental value). Otherwise, the hero has to endure one "free attack" of the monster before the escape succeeds. The hero will try to escape as soon as his B value (body points) drops to his escape limit or below.

If the hero did not flee and the monster is dead, the hero receives the treasure and automatically returns to his home area. The treasure, which will be a more or less magical artifact, will be placed in your treasure chamber, and you can use it to equip any hero of your choice.

In all other cases, the treasure will remain in its place, and in the next year the same monster will be back at its full strength and await the next hero.

If a hero dies in an area, all his treasures disappear. They will reappear at a later time somewhere in the Black Empire, properly guarded by appropriate monsters, of course.

If more than one hero want to get at the treasure (and fight the monster) in the same area, the hero of the controlling tribe will fight first. If no such hero is present, the attacking hero is chosen randomly.

For a victory against a monster, experience points are earned depending on the strength of the monster. A defeated (and surviving) hero earns a fifth of the experience points which would have been scored for a victory.

7.4 Duels

A hero may challenge another tribe's hero to a duel. The challenged hero is the first in the list of heroes of the challenged tribe at the time the duel is performed.

The fight is fought in the same way as between hero and monster. If the challenger defeats the challenged hero, he receives the most valuable treasure of the loser. If the loser was not equipped with any treasures, the challenger receives a treasure from the treasure chamber of the challenged tribe, or even a treasure of another hero of this tribe if the treasure chamber is empty.

If both heroes die or both escape at the same time, the duel is considered a tie. If the challenger loses, the challenged hero receives a treasure from the challenger according to the same rules as above.

If the challenger dies, his treasures disappear (except the reward for the victor, if applicable) and will reappear later in the game as monster-guarded treasures. If the challenged hero dies, his remaining treasures are returned to the tribe's treasure chamber.

The victorious hero receives a number of experience points equal to 10 per cent of the experience points of the loser, but at least 10 points. The loser receives a number of experience points equal to 5 per cent of the experience points of the victor, but at least 5 points.

7.5 Heroes supporting campaigns

Every hero has a certain HeroSF (hero strength factor). For every hero you can decide if and how he is to support the tribal army (and only this army). A hero can support the army defending, attacking, or not at all. If the hero supports the army, his HeroSF is added to the ASF of the tribal army.

The HeroSF is calculated as follows:

(1+A/50)*(1+D/50)*(1+M/50)*(1+B/50)*(1+L/10)

The part of this value greater than one is multiplied with a correcting modifier of 0.4 or 0.25, typically.

Any improvements from treasures do count here, of course.

Example:

The hero has the following values: A 11, D 12, M 9, B 14, and a level of 5. The correcting modifier in this game is 0.25. The HeroSF is calculated as follows:

h = (1+11/50)*(1+12/50)*(1+9/50)*(1+14/50)*(1+5/50) = 1.22*1.24*1.18*1.28*1.1 = 2.51

HeroSF = 1 + (h-1) * 0.25 = 1.38

If the campaign is a siege campaign against a main castle, a duel between the topmost supporting heroes of both sides is fought automatically before the combat. Heroes of supporting armies are not counted. The duel has the same results as normal duels between heroes (see above, "duels").

If only one side has a supporting hero, this duel is considered won automatically by this side, but the "victorious" hero does not receive any experience points.

7.6 Hero advancement

The most important thing about heroes is that they get more and more heroic all the time. This process is represented by the hero's level. Every hero starts his career at level 1 with 0 experience points.

For every new level the hero receives 2 extra hit points, and two points which can be distributed to the A, D, and M attributes.

A hero advances according to the following table:

experience points requiredlevel
202
503
1004
1805
3106
5207
8608
14109
230010
etc.

7.7 Small print

A hero can perform only one of the following activities in one year:

o Challenge another hero to a duel.
o Fight a monster in order to win a treasure.
o Scout an area (this works in the same way as normal scouts, but is free, and the hero scouts as good as a 500 g scout).

Additionally to this activity, he can as well

o be challenged to a duel,
o support the tribal army,
o equip or unequip treasures.

A hero can equip only one treasure each year, but unequip any amount of treasures. Later in the game, your heroes might learn to equip several treasures at the same time. The game report will notify you of this mysterious ability.

At the beginning of each fight, the hero always has his full value of hit points.

8. Other elements

8.1 The dragon and the dragonslayer

From time to time, a dragon haunts the Black Empire. In the beginning of the game no dragon is active. In the world news part of the game report, it will be announced when the dragon will appear (in the fourth game year, normally). The dragon enjoys performing missions for mischievous leaders. Every leader who wants to damage another, may bid on the dragon (DR command). The dragon follows the wish of the highest bidder, and terrorises the indicated area. This means the faith level of the victim tribe is reduced, soldiers are killed, gold is lost, and all the spiteful neighbours have a good time watching.

Unsuccessful bids have not to be paid, apart from a "bidding fee" of 10 per cent of the high bid.

Example:

A bids 20000 gold ears for a dragon attack on B.
B bids 22350 gold ears for a dragon attack on A.
C bids 50000 gold ears for a dragon attack on B.

This is resolved as follows:

The dragon follows C's wish. C pays 50000 goldears, A and B pay a bidding fee of 5000 goldears each (10% of C's winning bid).

The gold stolen by the dragon goes to the dragon's treasure, but the bids and the bidding fees do not.

Similarly to the dragon, you can bid on the dragonslayer. If the dragon victim has successfully bid on the dragonslayer, the dragon is killed. In that case, half of the dragon's treasure goes to the victim tribe, and the Black Empire will be free of the dragon for three years. But the dragonslayer will not be out of work forever. After three dragonless years there will be another one.

8.2 Random events

Ork is not a braintwisting or strategy game, but an entertaining game with a lot of chance. There are many random events which will occur especially to the faithful, and be advantageous in most cases. Other random events are reserved for the less faithful, and may prove less desirable.

Furthermore, there are many hidden elements in the game which have to be discovered by experience.

8.3 Computer-played tribes

Computer tribes ("bit orcs") have their own, more or less successful economy. It is important to know that computer tribes remember it if you bother them and use their own aggressive spells and campaigns preferably against their special enemies.

8.4 The Foreland

In the northwest of the Black Empire, a land strip called the Foreland connects the Black Empire to the domains of the soft skinned races (humans and elves, mostly). An enormous fortification protects the soft skinned peoples from the hordes of orc warriors, but also vice versa the Black Empire from conquest by the Good.

Will this protection work forever?

9. Summaries

9.1 Commands

A maximum of 25 commands is allowed every year. For each command, a maximum equal to the number in brackets [] is allowed every year. For some of the commands, the first parameter must be different for every command in the same year. For example, you can submit 5 ZB commands in one year but only for five different castles. These commands are marked with an additional asterisk in the brackets.

The parameters of a command must be submitted in the sequence shown in the command list. The sequence normally follows the principle: areas first, amounts last, everything else in between. The only exception are the army orders which are not explained in detail in this summary. See "army orders".

There are certain commands which have to be discovered by the player first ("hidden commands"). If certain conditions are met, the game report in the section "Your advisor reports" shows which command has been discovered and how to use it. Normally these commands are available to this tribe for the rest of the game. All hidden commands discovered are listed in the section "tribe statistics". Sometimes it may occur that a hidden command cannot be used any longer, if the necessary conditions are no longer met. Questions regarding hidden commands are futile - rely on your own sense of adventure and discovery.

In the following summary, the commands are listed in the processing sequence. Here is an additional alphabetical index of commands:

aa ac ar as bs bu bv bx dr dt eb ee ek em ex fu gb hd hi ht hv hw kg kl ks kv kw kx oh pa ph pl pt pw rb rg rp rs sg sm sp sr st su sv sx te ts un uw vb vk vs vw vx wx xa xp zb zs zz

SU [1]

Create an Invulnerability Sphere.

If you have 50 u sulphur, 50 u diamonds and 5000 g at the end of a year, you will receive the SU command. It can be submitted every other year and costs 50 u sulphur, 50 u diamonds and 5000 g. It is a 100% reliable protection against the Clay Serpent and against the POISON spell, but not against pillage. The game report will show the availability of this command.

PT [1]

Pillage the temple. If you do this, your faith level will drop to 0 immediately and all priests will become slaves, but you will get hold of the temple treasures - or at least of the part the priests could not hide in time. Since this command is processed before tribal upkeep, this emergency measure may provide you with gold needed for the upkeep. You may expect a return of at least (faith level + game year) * 200 goldears. If you have already a faith level of 0, pillaging the temple will yield nothing.

Example: In the game year 13 and with a faith level of 37, you can expect to receive (13+37)*200=10000 goldears when pillaging the temple.

Pillaging the temple is not advisable if it is not absolutely necessary.

KL a [1]

Buy a units of food. You have to pay double the market price for this.

SV a [1]

Slaughter a pigs. For every pig, you receive one unit of food.

VK a, b [5*]

Sell b units of product a. The product codes are as follows: 1 - wood, 2 - stone, 3 - iron, 4 - salt, 5 - diamonds, 6 - leather, 7 - food, 8 - booze, 9 - sulphur, 10 - adder blood.

The market prices depend on the area type of the tribe, a special price profile which is appointed to every player for every product and normally will not change throughout the game, and the selling practice of all tribes in the Black Empire. Your merchants will not buy any amount, it depends on their number and on the economic state of your tribe.

The "budget" of one merchant, i. e. the maximum amount of gold he is prepared to spend for all your products in one year, is calculated as follows:

Budget = (50+economic state)*(1+(year/50))*(1+bazaars/25)

The economic state is measured as a number between 0 and 99, but you will only receive a general notice of this value, like "Your merchants are getting by."

Example: 500 merchants in a tribe with optimal economic state (99) and 10 bazaars in year 11 will have a total budget of 500*(50+99)*(1+(11/50))*(1+10/25) = 127246 goldears to spend for your products.

If branches of other tribes exist in the tribal area, the budget is reduced by 10 per cent for every branch, but never by more than 30 per cent.

Example: In the previous example the merchants would only buy for a maximum of 89072 goldears if the tribe holds three or more foreign branches.

VX a, b, c [5]

Sell c units of product b using the branch in a. The products are coded similarly to the VK command. The products are sold for the market price of area a. The leader of tribe a deducts a fee which is calculated with the tax rate of this tribe.

Branches have their own budget (branch budget), which is exhausted first before the actual budget of the selling tribe is reduced. The branch budget is 10 per cent of the "raw budget" of the tribe where the branch is located - "raw budget" means the budget without modifications from branches. If more than three branches are located in this tribe, 30 per cent of the raw budget are distributed equally to all branches. The game report shows a branch table which already has calculated these values for you.

Example: VX 88, 4, 50

Sell 50 units of salt using the branch in area 88. If this area has a market price of 45 g for salt, and the tax rate of this tribe is 10 per cent, you will receive 2025 goldears and the other leader will receive 225 gold ears.

If the raw budget in 88 is 20000 goldears and your branch is the only one in this area, the other leader can use a budget of 18000 goldears and your branch has a budget of 2000 goldears. Since your merchants paid 2250 goldears for the salt, the branch budget is depleted and set to 0 after this sale, and your own tribal budget is reduced by the remaining 250 goldears.

If your own tribal budget was 30000 in this year, you have a remaining budget of 29750 goldears for other sales. Additionally, if you have more branches in other tribes, they will provide their own budget if you use them for other VX commands.

GB a, b [1]

Offer b goldears for a units of the latest special offer ("Foreign merchants offer"). The bid with the highest b/a quotient (i.e. the price for one unit) is resolved first and then the other bids in sequence of the unit price until the amount offered is completely sold. If you receive only part of the amount bidden for, you have to pay only the proportional amount of goldears.

PL a [1]

Produce a leather units from a pigs. (no, you cannot produce food and leather from the same pig, it is either one or the other. Orcish butchering methods are, while bloody, somewhat ineffective.)

EB a [5*]

Extend the class of castle a by 1. To extend a castle from class n-1 to class n, you have to pay n*n*n*500 - (n-1)*(n-1)*(n-1)*500 g and n*50 stone units, and you must have at least n vassals (except when building a class 1 keep).

A summary table for this:

Fromtocosts goldearsstonevassals
01500500
1235001002
2395001503
34185002004
45305002505
56455003006
67635003507
78845004008

It is absolutely possible to build castles of even higher classes, but at this point you might already have won the game.

Keeps may not be built adjacent to each other (to be precise, you may not build a keep adjacent to an area which contained any castle in the previous year. Areas touching at the corners are not considered adjacent for this purpose).

ZB a, b [5*]

Recruit b peasants for the castle in a. The peasants are converted to soldiers. You have to pay 10 g recruiting costs for each peasant recruited. If you are a vassal, you have to pay an additional fee of 10 g for each recruited peasant to your overlord.

ZS a, b [5*]

Pay b goldears for mercenaries in a. This command allows recruiting mercenaries without conducting a campaign with an army order. If you recruit mercenaries with the ZS command as well as with an army order for the same area, both gold amounts are spent and the mercenaries are recruited. It is permitted, but completely useless, to recruit mercenaries in both ways at the same time; keep in mind that you cannot recruit more than double the number of soldiers as mercenaries in one army, and you cannot avoid this restriction by using both kinds of recruiting.

VS a, b, c, d, e [5*]

Provide the soldiers in castle a with b goldears, c armours, d short swords and e units of booze. The gold will improve morale (1/2 g per soldier and morale point). For one armour you need one leather unit, for a short sword you need one iron unit. You have to find out on your own the effect of the booze; consider a measure of one booze unit per soldier optimal.

AR a, b, c [5*]

Construct b catapults and c fire arrows for the castle in a. For a catapult, you need 5 u wood and 1 soldiers. For a fire arrow, you need 1 u wood and 1 u sulphur. Later in the game, the command may have another parameter which is used to build carts. This will be announced in the course of the game.

SM a, b [1]

Bid b gold for increasing your magic level by a. The bid must be at least 1000 goldears and not more than 30000 goldears. To increase your magic level from x to y, you need approximately y*y*10 - x*x*5 g. In any case, regardless of the success of the bid, every SM command results in a new mage who settles in your tribe. Every mage will produce 1 u adder blood every year. The gold for the bid will be lost in any case, if the bid was successful or not.

When bidding, you should take deviations of plus or minus 20 per cent into account. But in theory there are no upper or lower limits for the amount required.

VW a [1]

Provide your scientists with a g. For approximately 50 g a new scientist will arrive in your tribe. Every year the price for a scientist rises by about 5 g. Every new scientist has a chance of 30% to increase your science level by 1. The higher your science level (before processing the VW command) and the farther the game has proceeded, the lower is the chance for a new science level point (see also VW table).

A high science level improves the return of the production sites. The food harvest also improves. On the other hand, civilization diseases might spread. But on the whole, a high science level is always useful.

Certain science level limits can only be crossed if certain conditions are met.

1st limit: SL 20

The first limit can only be crossed it the tribe has successfully sent out at least 3 caravans.

2nd limit: SL 40

The second limit can only be crossed it the tribe has at least four different production sites. At least two different products have to be produced outside the tribal area.

3rd limit: SL 60

The third limit can only be crossed if the tribe has at least a class 3 main castle and at least two keeps.

4th limit: SL 80

The fourth limit can only be crossed if the tribe has eliminated another human player from the game.

The conditions are checked at the end of the year (see below, processing sequence). Once a limit has been removed, the required condition needs not to be met in the following years.

Every year only one limit can be removed. If more than one condition is met, only the lowest applicable limit is removed. The SL limit cannot increase by more than 20 in one year.

The only exception to the rule is the fourth SL limit. The program will always store the fact that this condition has been met, even if the third limit has not been removed before.

BX a [1]

Enslave a peasants.

WX a [1]

Enslave a scientists. The science level will drop accordingly.

KX a [1]

Enslave a merchants. All other merchants will immediately run away.

SX a, b [5*]

Enslave b soldiers in castle a. Morale will suffer.

BS a [1]

Set a slaves free. They will turn to peasants. Freeing a slave costs an extra fu and additionally %1 g.

KS a, b [1]

Buy a slaves and pay a total of b goldears for them. The slave market will resolve all bids and offers in the following way:

a) For every bid and every offer, a unit price is calculated (b/a).

b) All offers whose unit price is higher than the unit price of the highest bid are discarded.

c) The best bid (bid with the highest unit price) will be filled from the offers whose unit price is equal or lower. The price paid is always the bidder's unit price. The next best bid follows and so on until all offers are sold or are too expensive.

AS a, b [1]

Offer a slaves and demand (at least) b goldears for them. If not all slaves of your offer are sold, you will only get part of the demanded sum. But if there are higher bidders, the return might be even more than you demanded (see KS).

XP a, b, c [5]

Export c units of product b into area a. The area must be a tribal area. The products are coded as in the VK command, but you can also export gold with the product code 0: XP 23, 0, 500 means you are exporting 500 goldears to area 23. Occasionally, exports are held up and robbed completely or in part. If you have exported frequently enough you will find a way to counter these robberies.

XA a, b, c, d, e, f [5*]

Export artifacts b to f to area a. You can export up to 5 artifacts with one command.

KV a [1]

Buy a pigs. A pig costs 10 g and 1 fu. Pigs are especially useful for producing leather. This is done with the PL command.

RB a [1]

Build a bazaars. To build a bazaar, you have to invest 10+x merchants and 10+x units of wood and pay 200+20*x goldears. The first bazaar will increase the tax paid by the remaining merchants by 25 per cent, the second by 24 per cent, the third by 23 per cent and so on. There is also a random modifier included. x is the number of bazaars already built before the next new bazaar.

Example: You have 200 merchants and already 3 bazaars, and you build 4 new bazaars:

Wood: 13 for the fourth bazaar, 14 for the fifth bazaar and so on = 58 u wood, Merchants: 58 merchants (same calculation as for the wood), Gold: 260 for the fourth bazaar, 280 for the fifth bazaar and so on = 1160 goldears.

142 merchants will be left. With 7 bazaars, every merchant will pay approximately 154 per cent more taxes than without bazaars.

PH p1, m1, p2, m2, p3, m3, p4, m4, p5, m5 [2]

Produce m1 units of product p1, m2 units of product p2 and so on. The product codes must be codes for B, C or D products. Unneeded parameters may be left out, i. e. the command may have 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 parameters.

The PH command is not available at the start of the game. Only if you meet certain conditions (e. g. for producing B products) the game report will tell you that this command is available for you now.

EE imp, imp, imp, imp, imp [1]

Build improvements. "imp" means a shortcut for an improvement. Which improvements are available may differ from game to game. The command may have up to five parameters. Building several identical improvements in one year is allowed, as long as you do not exceed the maximum total of this kind of improvement.

The following shortcuts are normally allowed:

LIBR - Library
UNI - University
WIT - Witch Kitchen
MAG - Mage Tower
GUI - Guild
AREN - Arena
ARS - Arsenal
MISS - Mission
NEE - Needle Tower
HOS - Hospital
CAN - Cannery
TAV - Tavern
BARR - Barracks
PIT - Orc Pit
SLA - Slave Corral
CUR - Curse Shrine
FIRE - Fire Brigade

Example: EE LIBR AREN AREN CAN

Build a library, two arenas and one cannery.

Warning: If you cannot pay in full the upkeep for one kind of improvement, even for a small fraction, all improvements of this kind are deactivated for this year (e. g. if one single unit of booze is missing for the upkeep of your taverns, all taverns will be deactivated for this year).

PA a, b, ... [5]

Remove production sites. This command may have up to 16 parameters. It is not available at the start of the game; the game report will notify you as soon as the command is available.

The parameters denote an area and then the codes for the productions sites to be destroyed. Such a parameter sequence is preceded with an "L". The "L" is counted as a parameter of its own.

All production sites with the denoted product codes are completely destroyed. The destruction is free.

Example:

PA L 34 3 5 L 88 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 L 112 4

In area 34, remove all ore mines and diamond mines, in area 88 remove all production sites, in area 112 remove all salines. In this example the PA command has the maximum number of parameters.

RP a, b [5]

In area a, expand your production site for product b. b can have the following values:

1 - wood (10 peasants, 200 G)
2 - stone (10 slaves, 100 G)
3 - iron (10 peasants, 20 slaves, 300 G)
4 - salt (5 peasants, 5 slaves, 400 G)
5 - diamond (10 peasants, 50 slaves, 1500 G)
8 - booze (20 peasants, 10 slaves, 600 G)
9 - sulphur (30 peasants, 30 slaves, 500 G)

Every production site increases the average yield (ay) by 10 u. Production sites can be established in the tribal area or any other controlled area. A castle in the area is not required.

The number of production sites which can be built in an area is limited, depending on the terrain type. See the "Great production table" for details.

In a water or alpine area, no production sites are allowed.

Producing certain products in an area may influence the production rate of other products in the same area (negatively or positively).

ST a [1]

Set the tax rate to a%. This tax rate is levied on your merchants and on foreign incoming caravans.

If you raise the tax rate to more than 30 per cent, the merchants will pay only 60 per cent of the taxes you would normally expect. This effect (called "tax shock") occurs only in the year you raise the taxes. It does not occur if the increase is not more than 5 per cent.

The longer a game lasts and the higher your tax rate, the more your merchants will learn to avoid taxes, i. e. the overall tax paid will drop eventually, especially for high tax rates.

KG a, b [1]

Offer a bounty of b goldears for the head of the player in area a. All bounties on the same player are accumulated and remain in power until the end of the game or the end of the player, whichever comes first. If anyone succeeds in killing the proscribed player, the killer receives the total reward. Only bounties of at least 1000 goldears are publicly announced.

HD a, b, c,... (parameters see below) [5*]

This is the general hero command for directing most hero activites. The first parameter is the number of the hero, the following must be pairs of parameters consisting of a letter (subcommand) and a number. No subcommand may occur more than once (there may be exceptions from this rule which will be announced in the course of the game). The following subcommands are available:

D <target area>

DUEL: Send the hero to <target area> in order to challenge a hero in this area. The first hero in the list of heroes of this area who is present will be challenged. This is the most experienced hero, normally.

E <target area>

EXPLORE: Send the hero to <target area> in order to fight a monster there and win the treasure guarded by this monster.

A <treasure number>

ARTIFACT: The hero equips himself with the treasure <treasure number>.

H <mode>

SUPPORT: The supporting mode of the hero for the tribal army is determined:

<Mode>Effect
0The hero will not help.
1The hero will support the tribal army defending.
2The hero will support the tribal army attacking.

S <target area>

SCOUT: Send the hero to <target area> in order to scout this area. This command will have the same effect as an "SP <target area>, 500" command, but scouting with a hero is free. For this activity the hero receives 1 (one) experience point.

F <escape limit>

FLIGHT: As soon as the hero is down to <escape limit> constitution points, he will attempt to escape.

T <bribe>

TOURNAMENT: This subcommand is not available until Illmir Steißschneider, the Archpriest of the Black Empire, has announced hero tournaments and their rules in the "World News" section of the game report.

P <new place number>

PLACEMENT: The hero is placed at number <new place number> in your hero list. You may only reposition one hero each year.

XA <number of points>

EXPAND ATTACK: From the bonus points the hero received for level advancement, <number of points> points are used to improve the attacking value of the hero. The bonus points are used up for this, but on the other hand, the hero improvement is permanent.

XD <number of points>

EXPAND DEFENCE: Like XA, but the defending value of the hero is improved.

XM <number of points>

EXPAND MIND: Like XA, but the mental value of the hero is improved.

Only one of the following subcommands may be used within one HD command: D (duel), E (explore), S (scout). A hero cannot, for example, fight a duel and scout an area in the same year.

This is a valid hero command:

HD 3 D 128 F 5 H 2

Hero 3 is ordered to fight a duel in area 128, set his escape limit to 5 and his support mode to 2, i. e. he will support the tribal army attacking.

Another example:

HD 3 E 135 A 17 XA 1 XD 1

Hero 3 is ordered to equip himself with treasure 17, explore area 135, and add 1 of his bonus points to his attack value and another of his bonus points to his defence value.

AA a, b, c, d, e [5*]

Artifacts (treasures) a through e are moved into your treasure chamber. This command may have less than 5 parameters.

EX a [1]

Relocate your entire tribe to area a ("exodus"). Peasants, slaves, pigs, bazaars, your stockpile of products and your gold hoard will suffer. The average losses are 10% of the peasants, 10% of the merchants, 40% of the slaves, 40% of the stockpile of every product, 50% of the bazaars, and 30% of the pigs. All improvements are lost. What's more, Khurrad deems such a relocation an act of cowardice and defeatism. It could also happen that some mages are lost with a small effect on your magic level.

You can only relocate into one of your areas with a keep.

FU a, b [10*]

Demand support from a bit-orc vassal in area a and pay b gold for it. The gold will be lost in any case, regardless if the bid is successful or not. The vassal will either support you with all his soldiers or with none - depending on your bid, which must be higher than 5 times the number of soldiers in the tribal army of a to be successful. This command can only be applied to computer controlled vassals!

If your tribal army conducts no campaign or a support campaign, the vassal will support your tribal army at home defending. In any other case, he will support it attacking.

You might consider the idea to backstab your vassal by raiding his tribe with another of your armies while he is away supporting your tribal army. Be warned: A bit-orc will notice and remember this kind of cheating.

TE a [1]

Donate a goldears to the temple. The sum must be at least 100 G and cannot exceed 10000 G. The higher your donation, the more priests will appear in your tribe, but also the faith level will improve accordingly. Note that mages and priests are not very fond of each other. Mages may convert to priests if they realize that you are more interested in faith than in magic.

Priests are rather greedy. They will remember the largest donation you have given to them (this is stated in the game report), and if a later donation is smaller, they will be unhappy.

Here is a formula to roughly estimate the amount of goldears needed for increasing your faith level by a certain number:

new faith level := old faith level + square root of( ( donation - maximum previous donation ) / 100 ) + 1

Example: Your maximum donation up to now was 500 goldears. Now you want to donate 2000 goldears. Your faith level is 16. Apply the formula like this:

new faith level:=16+square root((2000-500)/100)+1
 =16+square root(15)+1
 =16+3.87+1
 = ca. 21
Keep in mind that this is an approximation only. The computer includes several other modifiers which might change the result by one or two points up or down.

AC a [1]

Prepare for an attack by armies of the tribe living in a. This command may only be used a certain number of times in the whole game. If the tribe does really attack your main castle in this year, your tribal army's strength will double (only against siege attacks).

RG B:castle, V:defenders, S:mercenaries, W:route1, route2, ..., target [5 army orders *]

Conduct a gold raid campaign with the army from <castle>. Leave <defenders> orcs at home defending, and spend <mercenaries> goldears for mercenaries. The army is ordered to move from <castle> via <route1>, <route2>, and so on, to <target>.

[5 army orders *] means: A maximum of 5 army orders may be submitted. That does not mean 5 BU commands, 5 BV commands, 5 RG commands and so on, but a total of 5 commands which can be either BU, BV, etc. commands. Furthermore, not more than one army order may be submitted for each castle.

RS B:castle, V:defenders, S:mercenaries, W:route1, route2, ..., target [5 army orders *]

Conduct a slave raid campaign with the army from <castle>. Leave <defenders> orcs at home defending, and spend <mercenaries> goldears for mercenaries. The army is ordered to move from <castle> via <route1>, <route2>, and so on, to <target>.

BU B:castle, V:defenders, S:mercenaries, W:route1, route2, ..., target [5 army orders *]

Conduct a subjugation campaign with the army from <castle>. Leave <defenders> orcs at home defending, and spend <mercenaries> goldears for mercenaries. The army is ordered to move from <castle> via <route1>, <route2>, and so on, to <target>.

BV B:castle, V:defenders, S:mercenaries, W:route1, route2, ..., target [5 army orders *]

Conduct an eviction campaign with the army from <castle>. Leave <defenders> orcs at home defending, and spend <mercenaries> goldears for mercenaries. The army is ordered to move from <castle> via <route1>, <route2>, and so on, to <target>.

UN B:castle, V:defenders, S:mercenaries, U: supportedArmy W:route1, route2, ..., target [5 army orders *]

Conduct a support campaign with the army from <castle>. Leave <defenders> orcs at home defending, and spend <mercenaries> goldears for mercenaries. The army is ordered to move from <castle> via <route1>, <route2>, and so on, to <target>. In <target>, support the army from <supportedArmy>.

KW a, b, c [as main castle class]

Send a caravan with b gold to area a, using c soldiers from the tribal army as guards. The caravan's revenue depends on the distance covered. The distance is measured according to Pythagoras:

dx is the horizontal difference, dy is the vertical difference between your home area and the target area. Add the squares of dx and dy and calculate the square root of the sum.

Example: KW 58, 1000, 0 (sent from 33).

The distance is the square root of (25+4), i. e. ca. 5.4 areas, if a map of 10x10 areas is used.

A caravan may be loaded with up to 1000 goldears. For every distance unit covered, you have to pay 2 goldears for every guard soldier, and 3 u wood for the caravan wagons. Any fractions are rounded orcishly. This costs apply only for the simple distance, not for the way back: in the above example with 5.4 distance units, you would have to pay 324 g for 30 guard soldiers, and 17 u wood.

The soldiers for the guard duty may already have fought in campaigns at home or abroad in the same year. Caravans are processed after all campaigns.

In the target area, the caravan's revenue is taxed using the target area's current tax rate.

Caravans may be held up on their way to the target area by computer-driven brigands, and on their way back by other tribes. If you order a caravan to an area without a tribe, the caravan does not start at all, and no gold is expended.

HI a, b, c [1]

Send c soldiers of your tribal army to hold up a caravan moving from a to b. There are (contrary to older Ork versions) no special limits, you may even hold up your own caravans or caravans sent to your tribe. The hold-up is successful if a caravan is found moving from a to b (not vice versa) and the strength (number times ASF) of the guards is lower than the strength of the raiders. If more than one player wants to hold up the same caravan, the higher tribal army experience decides who is allowed to. In case of a tie, the raider is randomly chosen. Only one ambush per caravan is performed.

EK a [1]

Establish a branch in a. a must be a foreign tribal area. In every tribal area a maximum of ten branches of other tribes can be established. It is possible to create more than one branch in the same foreign tribe.

Every branch costs 10 peasants, 10 merchants, 100 goldears, 10 u wood and 10 u stone.

The budget of the tribe where the branch is built drops by 10 per cent for each branch, but not by more than 30 per cent.

PW a, b, c, d, e [1]

This command may have one to five parameters. Every parameter is a product code (see VK command). This command determines the products which are listed in the branch table with their prices.

Example: PW 4, 7, 8, 9, 10

The branch table is set to list the prices for salt, fu, booze, sulphur, and adder blood.

The PW command settings are permanent, i. e. the settings are kept until you submit another PW command.

UW a [1]

Submit to the player in a. This means you voluntarily pledge allegiance to this player and become his vassal. A leader who is a voluntary vassal cannot be poisoned. This protection is lost if the leader who submitted himself is subjugated by force by another player.

You can only submit if you are free and your Gollum score in the last year was not higher than 75% of the Gollum score of your prospective new overlord. If you have not appeared in the Gollum table last year for whatever reason, a Gollum score was calculated anyway. In this case you must rely on guessing. The computer players also have a Gollum score which will not be published in the turn report under normal circumstances.

If the notoriety table is used in place of the Gollum table, this rule applies accordingly.

VB a [1]

Feed the peasants with an additional a fu. This increases their fertility. The most efficient way is to spend one extra fu per peasant. If you spend more than two extra fu per peasant, they might start throwing up ...

OH a, b [1]

Send b soldiers into an outpost in a. If there is no outpost yet, a new one is established. a may be any area; controlling this area is not required. You have to pay 50 g per soldier for equipment. Only soldiers of your tribal army can be sent into outposts, a maximum of 500 soldiers per year and outpost. The actual strength of the outpost does not only depend on the sheer number of the soldiers but also on their quality.

If a foreign army enters an area with an outpost of yours, and your soldiers are alert and not napping, they will start a little ambush (or a not so little one ...). This means the foreign army will lose some soldiers, and you learn who is running about in your neighbourhood.

What's more, outposts save supply costs for your own armies.

HV a, b, c [5]

Transfer c soldiers from a to b. This will cost you 2 g per soldier and per distance unit between a and b. The distance is measured in the same way as for caravans.

ZZ a (, b) [1]

Cast spell a, with parameter b if applicable. You can only cast one spell per year. The parameter b will always be an area number, not a player number.

SR a, b [3]

Cast spell a from a scroll, with parameter b if applicable. You can use a maximum of three scrolls in this way per year. All spells you cast, including any spell cast with the ZZ command, must be different. The scroll is gone afterwards, regardless if the spell worked or not.

HW [5]

Recruit another hero. The price for a new hero depends on the number of heroes you already have. The formula for the price is 2 to the power of (number of heroes you have) times 1000. Or look it up in the following table:

Existing heroesPrice for the next one
01000
12000
24000
38000
416000
532000
etc.

HT [1]

Manufacture a chest key. The first key you can create is the key for copper chests, the next for silver chests and then for golden chests. Requirements:

Copper20 iron, 10 sulphur
Silver5 expensium, 1 slime, 3 heroes
Gold20 expensium, 10 slime, 3 heroes, one of them in level 8

To manufacture a key you must possess the appropriate chest. The products are used up in the process, the heroes only have to be present.

TS a [1]

Conjure the Clay Serpent to kill your vassal in a.

The Clay Serpent is a holy ceremonial item. Illmir Steißschneider, the archpriest of the Black Empire, will hand it to you as soon as you have successfully besieged seven tribal castles. Conjuring the Clay Serpent is always successful, unless the victim has protected himself with the SU command or has relocated his tribe in time.

The Clay Serpent is in your possession until you use it. If used, it is lost, and you have to besiege another seven tribes to regain it.

The game report will notify you as soon as this command is available for you.

DR a, b [1]

Make a bid of b goldears for the dragon and ask him to attack area a. You can bid any sum. The dragon follows the highest bidder. If the dragon visits an uninhabited area, a forest will turn to a plain area due to fires, but nothing more happens. If the dragon is sent to an area with a keep, soldiers and lumber mills are affected. In tribal areas, gold is plundered, stockpiles of wood burn away, and peasants and slaves are killed.

DT a [1]

Make a bid of a goldears for the dragonslayer. You can bid any sum. If your bid is successful, the dragonslayer will protect all your controlled areas from the dragon.

SG a, b [1]

Try to inscribe a scroll with spell a and spend b units of adder blood for the attempt. The attempt can be successful if you spend more adder blood than casting of the spell requires normally.

The more you spend, the higher the chance for successful creating the scroll. If you spend the triple amount which is normally needed for casting the spell, the success is guaranteed. There is a 25% chance of a mage dying in the attempt, regardless of the amount of adder blood. A high magic level improves your chances.

If you have no mages, the command has no effect. If the last mage dies your magic level will drop to 0 at once.

SP a, b [5]

Pay b goldears for scouting area a. The quality of a scouting report will be better the more gold you spend.

EM a [1]

Rebel against your overlord. A rebellion in the same year in which you have become a vassal is not possible. The closer parameter a is to the number of soldiers in the tribal army of your overlord, the better your chances of a successful rebellion. If you have concessions of favour, your chance will be much better.

Regardless of the success of your rebellion, you have to pay an extra double tribute. If your rebellion is successful, this is the price for spies, assassins etc.; otherwise, it is a reconciliation gift for your best friend (your overlord).

Example: "EM 200" means that you guess 200 is the number of soldiers your overlord has in his tribal army when this command is processed. If your guess is wrong (i. e. if you have not properly prepared your rebellion), the chance of success decreases. If your overlord has, for example, 400 soldiers in his tribal army, your prospects are poor - as poor as if he had only 100, in contrast to the 200 you guessed.

9.2 Spells

General information about spells:

RM: The required magic level (RM) means you need at least this magic level to be able to find this spell. Casting a spell is also possible if the spell has a required magic level higher than the magic level of your tribe. However, the chance of success will be significantly lower in this case.

ab: The amount of adder blood to spend for casting the spell.

A spell marked as "offensive" is an aggressive spell, and the victim will have a certain chance of deflecting the spell. A spell marked as "not offensive" will give the victim, if there is one, no chance of deflecting it, normally because the spell is harmless in nature.

Some spells need a parameter stating the area the spell is directed to.

1 SCREEN (RM: 10; ab: 2; not offensive)

The SCREEN spell is always directed at your main castle. Siege campaigns against your main castle automatically fail if you are protected by a SCREEN spell. The spell only works in the year it was cast. Raiding campaigns are not blocked by the SCREEN. In contrast to other spells, SCREENs will become more expensive every time you cast one. The game report will state how much adder blood is needed for the next SCREEN if it is more than 2 u.

2 ARMOUR (RM: 10; ab: 2; parameter needed; not offensive)

The armour and the weapons level of the army in the selected area. You can direct this spell at any area, your own or foreign.

3 HARE (RM: 10; ab: 2; not offensive)

Your peasants procreate an extra time, in addition to normal population growth.

4 GOLDEN ASS (RM: 10; ab: 2; not offensive)

Out of thin air, goldears materialize in your treasure chamber. Luckily, there is always enough thin air around.

5 KHURRAD'S GRACE (RM: 10; ab: 2; parameter needed; not offensive)

This spell may only be directed at other players and helps them. But how? Give it a try. The parameter must be the tribal area of the chosen player.

6 KHURRAD'S FAVOUR (RM: 10; ab: 2; not offensive)

The mages of your tribe invite your priests for a magnificient banquet. Normally, the priests do not like to mix with the mages, but they never say no to a rich meal. While the priests are feasting, some of the mages carefully hide away and prepare the lavatories with a nice illusion. This improves the priests' opinion about your tribe and its sanitary standards. Your faith level increases.

7 ILLUSION (RM: 10; ab: 2; parameter needed; not offensive)

All armies trying to move through the selected area are stopped there in their movement. Armies starting their movement in the selected area are not stopped, though.

21 DESTROYER OF MAGIC (RM: 20; ab: 3; parameter needed; offensive)

The victim's magic level decreases. This spell might hurt the victim very much if he already has a high magic level.

22 SPOILAGE (RM: 20; ab: 3; parameter needed; offensive)

The victim's stockpile of food units starts to rot away. Yes, food can degrade in a way that even orcs will not touch it any longer.

23 PIG PLAGUE (RM: 20; ab: 3; parameter needed; offensive)

Some of the victim's pigs are afflicted with a horrible disease which makes their intestines rot away. The disease spreads and may afflict the tribe's pigs for several years.

24 FORTIFICATION (RM: 20; ab: 3; not offensive)

The spell caster's main castle class increases by 1. If you already have a castle class of 4 or more, the spell will have no effect. However, your mages have a vague feeling there might be a way ...

25 KHURRAD'S WRATH (RM: 20; ab: 3; parameter needed; offensive)

Normally, Khurrad does not like to be pushed. But if you ask him to direct his wrath against someone, he is happy to oblige. The victim's faith level decreases.

26 DEBRAINER (RM: 20; ab: 3; parameter needed; offensive)

The victim's scientists feel like after three nights of heavy drinking, only without the fun. The victim's science level decreases.

27 PORC-TO-ORC (RM: 20; ab: 3; parameter needed; offensive)

This spell is one of Khurrad's secret favourites even though his priests are not amused. Some of the victim's pigs are turned to priests and immediately demand gold and food. Quite a career for a pig which was actually planned as a useful, self-multiplying reserve of food or leather.

31 TELEPORT (RM: 30; ab: 5; parameter needed; not offensive)

The tribal army is teleported to the target area of the TELEPORT spell. In addition to the spell, an army order must be submitted for the tribal army. The campaign of the army order is conducted in the target area of the spell. The army order does not need to have the same target area as the TELEPORT spell, it is only the campaign type that matters.

If the TELEPORT spell is successful, the part of the army order with the marching route is entirely ignored. If the TELEPORT spell fails, the army order is performed as is.

If no army order was submitted for the tribal army, a TELEPORT spell will have no effect even if successful.

Note that weather conditions do not inhibit teleportation in any way.

32 POISON (RM: 30; ab: 5; parameter needed; offensive)

Your vassal in the selected area is poisoned. This is only possible with a vassal who has not voluntarily submitted. If you ask why there is such a strange restriction in this spell, it just shows you have no idea how magic works. In this case, a mage sends out a little fly after instructing it thoroughly. The fly carries vassal glue, a special vassal venom. The fly will land on the next meal of the vassal (this will go unnoticed since there are a lot of insects on any orc food) and with the next hearty bite, the vassal has downed the fly and the vassal glue with it. Vassal glue goes right into the blood circuit and from there to the brain. If there is any synaptical activity showing that the vassal is not entirely happy with his lot, the vassal glue immediately reacts with the negatively loaded vassal ions and turns the brain to a slimy mess, and that's why no forced vassal can withstand this poison. Simple, once you know it.

The vassal will be replaced by a bit-orc player who will be your new vassal from now on. He will even hold you in high esteem since you were the one who enacted his ascendancy.

33 KHURRAD'S SLEDGE (RM: 30; ab: 5; not offensive)

If you are a vassal, you can rebel with this spell. At the same time, your faith level will increase and the faith level of your recent overlord will decrease. Too bad you cannot take any other vassals with you. Note that this spell is considered not offensive, that means the overlord has no special chance to deflect this spell once your mages get it right.

34 WEATHER FORECAST (RM: 30; ab: 5; not offensive)

Your peasants will deliver a second harvest this year, even though the second harvest will not be quite as productive as the first one. This spell has several positive side effects. It is a measure against pig plague, for example.

35 SCIENTIST'S HORROR (RM: 30; ab: 5; parameter needed; offensive)

Scientists are scared away from your area to the target area and start feeding on the victim's resources, without decreasing your SL or increasing the victim's SL. The target area must be a tribal area.

36 BACKDOOR (RM: 30; ab: 5; parameter needed; not offensive)

This is a spell to counter a SCREEN. Cast it against an area you want to besiege. If the victim's tribe has not cast a SCREEN, or if you do not besiege him, nothing happens except the adder blood being deducted. However, if the victim has cast a SCREEN, it is negated by the BACKDOOR and rendered useless.

41 CHARISMA (RM: 40; ab: 8; parameter needed; offensive)

Soldiers of the chosen army run away and join your own tribal army. They will be equipped in exactly the same fashion as your own tribal army soldiers, since they neither want to boast nor to beg. Soldiers are sensitive, in this case.

42 MAGIC RAID (RM: 40; ab: 8; parameter needed; offensive)

Your mages create a huge vacuum hose reaching into the victim's treasure chamber, irresistibly sucking away gold coins into your own coffers.

43 ANIMAL FARM (RM: 40; ab: 8; parameter needed; offensive)

A secret horror of the victim's orcs comes true: their pigs realize that their masters are not smarter than they are. As a consequence, the pigs demand their own rightful place in history, but orcs are reluctant to give away anything, especially rights, without a fight. And what a fight it is: pigs versus orcs and no one really knows who is who. Anyway, there will be bloodshed and that's what it was all about.

44 ECONOMIC MIRACLE (RM: 40; ab: 8; not offensive)

Some of your scientists discover an interest in economics and turn to merchants, without decreasing your science level. Too bad not all scientists have a talent for business, but it's worth it.

51 PILLAGE (RM: 50; ab: 13; not offensive)

The PILLAGE spell has an effect only if you successfully subjugate a tribe in the same year. If you cast PILLAGE and subjugate a tribe with your tribal army at the same time, the victim tribe of the subjugation is completely destroyed and all valuables are carried away from the area. To call this spell "not offensive" sounds like a blatant lie, but in fact the spell affects your own soldiers only who turn berserk and run wild in the conquered area. This works only with the tribal army. Not without reason, PILLAGE is the all time number one blockbuster among the spells.

52 GRINDER (RM: 50; ab: 13; parameter needed; offensive)

In a great combined effort, all your mages start magically shaking and tearing the castle of your enemy, and if they succeed, the castle class decreases by one (but never below one).

53 ORC PLAGUE (RM: 50; ab: 13; parameter needed; offensive)

The notorious pink-spotted fever is not, as humans and elves would have it, spread by bad beer but by this spell. Orcish mages are especially good at it, and if a tribe is hit by this plague, peasants and slaves will suffer.

54 ANTI MAGIC (RM: 50; ab: 13; not offensive)

If you cast this spell, all other leaders in all the Black Empire have a certain chance that their spells, cast by ZZ and SR, are completely cancelled. Your own spells are not affected. ANTI MAGIC spells themselves cannot be cancelled.

Optional rule "Disarmed ANTI MAGIC": If this optional rule is used, ANTI MAGIC has a different effect than described above: If ANTI MAGIC is cast, all other leaders have a certain chance, that their offensive spells, cast by ZZ and SR and directed at the caster of ANTI MAGIC, are cancelled. Your own spells are not affected. ANTI MAGIC spells themselves cannot be cancelled. Keep in mind that PILLAGE is not an offensive spell, and remember this from time to time.

Whether the optional rule "Disarmed ANTI MAGIC" is used or not is announced in the starting report.

55 WEYLETH'S CURSE (RM: 50; ab: 13; parameter needed; offensive)

This is a nice little spell for every occasion. It combines the effects of DESTROYER OF MAGIC, KHURRAD'S WRATH, and DEBRAINER. A kind of all-purpose weapon, it does not do dramatic damage at something, but affects everything you cherish.

61 STONE AGE (RM: 60; ab: 21; parameter needed; offensive)

Holy Moly! From one moment to the next, the common peasant orcs forget how to wield a plough, how to catch a piglet before the sow devours it, and that dead enemies are the best fertilizer. All knowledge and wisdom is gone in one instant. The science level drops to zero, and all SL limits have to be crossed anew.

62 KHURRAD'S NAUGHT (RM: 60; ab: 21; parameter needed; offensive)

Normally, mages and priests have not much to say to each other, but when this spell is cast they both know that the victim is born and bred a loser. That much contempt even catches Khurrad's attention; a faith level of zero is the result, with all unpleasant side effects.

63 ARSON (RM: 60; ab: 21; parameter needed; offensive)

A very unpleasant weapon in the hands of your enemy. You could call it the great economic equalizer. Above the marketplace, normally a spot of bustling orcish activity, a big red fireball materializes (a favourite toy of most Black Empire mages) and rapidly settles down. Bazaars and merchants do not feel very happy about this. That's because bazaars are made of wood, and merchants are routine ranters anyway.

Improvements may also be affected.

64 STRIKE (RM: 60; ab: 21; parameter needed; offensive)

All production sites of the affected area are destroyed. The average yield (ay) of every product will be zero. In the following years any newly built production sites in the affected area will only yield half the normal return.

65 SNAUGUL'S MIRACLE (RM: 60; ab: 21; parameter needed; not offensive)

This spell is directed at a controlled area, which can be a tribal area or a castle area but need not be. For the controlling player, the effect is like KHURRAD'S GRACE. Additionally, all production sites in the target area are set to the maximum average yield - a real gem of an area. Too bad you cannot direct this spell at one of your own controlled areas. That would be too good to be true.

71 TERRAFORM (RM: 70; ab: 34; parameter needed; offensive)

The area type of the affected area changes. If it becomes a water area - oh well ... and it can also be very unpleasant in other cases. The castle class in the area may decrease by more than one level. TERRAFORM can only be directed at a controlled area of a player, and not at water areas.

72 WE ARE THE PEOPLE (RM: 70; ab: 34; parameter needed; offensive)

This spell must be directed at a controlled area of another tribe. In this area, a new tribe emerges. The former controlling tribe loses roughly a third of his population, products, and gold to the new tribe and other things as well. If the affected area has not had a castle yet, a class one castle is created automatically. The new tribe holds a general grudge against the original tribe.

This spell can only be cast if, at the beginning of the year, there are less tribes left than at the start of the game. Note than poisoning does not reduce the number of tribes (one leader dies, a bit-orc replaces him).

9.3 Tables and formulas

a) Great production table

Product nameNoPriceProduction siteGPSlMaxPMaxFMaxMMaxSw
wood115lumbermill20010040802020
stone25quarry10001020208020
iron320ore mine300102020306020
salt430salt mine4005580204040
diamond5100diamond field1500105040202020
leather610--------
fu77--------
booze840distillery600201020604080
sulphur950sulphur pit500303020202080
adderblood10200--------

Notes:

No: The Code for XP-, VK- and RP-orders (and other orders that need product numbers or production sites as parameters). Production site: Name of the corresponding production site. G, P, Sl: Gold, peasants and slaves needed for building a production site or expanding an existing site by 10 u mean yield. Max...: Highest mean yield for the province types plains (P), forest (F), mountains (M), and swamp (Sw).

b) Other than A products

The following conditions must be met before you are able to produce B products:

o The tribal stockpile must, at the end of a year, hold at least 100 units each of wood, iron, salt, sulphur, and booze. The products need only be there, they are not used up.

o Your science level must be at least 50.

Once you meet these requirements, you can manufacture B products from the following year on.

Before you can produce C products, you have to complete a task. This task is given to you as soon as you fulfil the following requirements:

o The tribal stockpile must, at the end of a year, hold at least 100 units each of stone, wood, iron, sulphur, booze, and diamonds, as well as 20 units each of expensium, tincture, and slime. The products need only be there, they are not used up.

o Your science level must be at least 70.

The following table shows how B, C, and D products are manufactured.

ProductCodeby
expensium1110 iron, 5 sulphur
tincture1210 booze, 5 sulphur
slime1320 salt, 20 fu
grenade141 sulphur, 1 stone
arcaneum155 slime, 5 tincture
ring1650 diamond, 10 expensium
moloch1750 expensium, 200 wood
golem1810 tincture, 200 stone, 50 expensium
colossus1910 tincture, 200 diamond
carts201 iron, 1 wood
crown21100 ring, 100 arcaneum
factory2210 moloch, 500 carts, 500 expensium
projectile2320 golem, 50 arcaneum
ankh2420 ring, 500 tincture

c) Terrain table

 WaterPlainsForrestMountainsSwamp
Growth--1.081.061.041.05
Movement losses(???)0%2%5%7% (Sw: 0%)
TYF wood--100%120%80%70%
TYF stone--110%80%120%80%
TYF iron--90%90%120%80%
TYF salt--120%80%120%110%
TYF diamond--100%90%90%70%
TYF booze--100%120%90%120%
TYF sulphur--90%100%110%150%
(???): Special events; TYF: Terrain yield factor; "Sw: 0%": No losses for armies from swamp provinces.

Explanations:

Growth is the terrain growth factor (TGF) showing the growth of the peasant population and the pigs. The formulas for the growth factors are:

- for peasants: TGF+SL/2000+ML/2000+0.01 x random+0.1/turnNumber
- for pigs: TGF x TGF+ML/1000+SL/1000

Movement casualties is a value showing how many average per cent of a passing army will be lost if it passes through an area of this type. In water areas there are no movement casualties normally, but special events, positive or negative, may occur there.

Terrain yield factors (TYF) show the influence of the terrain on the yearly yield of the production sites. The yield factor of one product p is calculated as follows:

Yieldfactor =EmpireHarvest x (1+SL/100) x (0.9+castleClass/10) x TYF
 x priceProfile.

"EmpireHarvest" is a random value which is created anew every year and which is the same for all tribes. "castleClass" is the castle class of the production site area. "priceProfile" is the permanent price profile of the player for every product.

d) Product dependency table

InterferedInterferingChange in %
lumbermillsalt mine60
quarrydiamond field120
quarrylumbermill80
ore minequarry120
ore minesulphur pit60
salt minelumbermill80
salt mineore mine80
salt minesulphur pit120
diamond fieldlumbermill50
diamond fielddistillery75
diamond fieldsulphur pit120
distillerysulphur pit50
sulphur pitdistillery50
sulphur pitdiamond field130

A production site can influence another production site only to the maximum of its own average yield. Here's a general example:

In an area, there are production sites for products A and B, and A is negatively influenced by B. A has an average yield of 30, B has an average yield of 18. While B influences A negatively, only 18 of the 30 u of the average yield of A are affected. The other part, an average yield of 12, can produce without any negative influence by B.

Science table

By spending 1000 goldears you will get an average of NewSci scientists in turn Year. The table shows how many SL-points you will get from these scientist depending on your starting science level (0, 20, 40, ...).

YearNewSci020406080
1206.005.645.284.924.56
4154.083.843.593.353.10
7132.942.762.582.412.23
10112.192.061.921.791.66
13 91.671.571.471.371.27
16 81.301.221.141.070.99
19 71.030.970.900.840.78
22 60.820.770.720.670.62

Standard settings:

Basic price for one scientist: 50 g + 5 x turnNumber.

Basic chance for one science level point per new scientist: 30%.

Chance reduction for a starting SL of 100: 30% (for lower SL, the chance reduction is reduced linearly).

The chance calculated in this way is multiplied with (0.96 to the power of turnNumber).

f) Particular formulas:

Tribute: numberOfSoldiers x 5 x (followingCandidates + 1)

Army strength: (soldiers + mercenaries) x ASF

If standing in a besieged castle: Army strength = army strength x castle factor

with

castle factor = 1 + (0 x castle class)

Note: The castle factor does not apply to supporting armies.

Number of fire arrows used when under siege:

FA = Min (fireArrows, defenders, attackerCatapults x 2)

hit chance of a fire arrow: (20 + experience) / 200

hit chance of a surviving catapult:

experience / 100 -> effect of a hit: castleCombatClass = castleCombatClass x 0.95.

Anonymous slave offer: (numberOfPlayers x 5) + random x (numberOfPlayers + turnNumber) x 5. - offer price: 20 + random x (turnNumber - 1).

Taxable income of a merchant:

(100 + economicIndex) x (1 + turnNumber / 100). This value is modified by a random deviation of up to 10 per cent.

Merchant growth

Merchant growth can be individually set for every game by the gamemaster. The default method is the following:

First, a fictitious tax rate FTR is calculated.

FTR = Max (0, Min (99, taxRate - taxBonus))

The average tax rate ATR, and the average number of merchants ANM is calculated either. Then, two cases are handled differently:

aa) FTR > ATR:

 1,5 1,5 
additionalMerchants = (FTR - ATR) x merchants / (100) x -1

(-1 to make the value negative)

bb) FTR <= ATR:

additionalMerchants = ANM x (ATR - FTR) / 75

Then a second value is calculated to reflect the general progress in the Black Empire. These second additional merchants are calculated as:

additionalMerchants2 = ANM x 0,01 x (1 + ownBranches)

Both values are added:

totalAdditionalMerchants = additionalMerchants + additionalMerchants2

if totalAdditionalMerchants is greater than zero, the number is halved.

The new number of merchants is calculated:

merchants = merchants + totalAdditionalMerchants

And finally the number of merchants is slightly modified randomly.

Tax bonus

The tax bonus is relevant for the merchant growth calculation (see above) and is calculated as follows:

 2
taxBonus = ((100 - taxRate) / 40) 

9.4 Processing sequence

The computer processes the players' orders in an exactly defined sequence. The sequence of commands in the player's moves is irrelevant, they are re-sorted by the computer anyway. The complete data record of the game is modified after every single processing step. That means for example that the money from product sales is available immediately for the next step, the special offer. It also means that soldiers sent on a campaign automatically return to their home castle at the end of the campaign step (you do not have to order this) and can be re-used later in the same turn, as caravan guards, for example.

Pillage temple
Sphere of invulnarability
Buy food
Memorize chosen spells
Anti magic
Slaughter pigs
Tribal supply (Sol, M, P, Sci, Pea, Sla, Merch)
Income from obligatory food unit sales to merchants
Debit for adder pits
Debit for enhancement buildings
Sell products to own merchants
Sell products via branches
Special offer
Produce leather
Build/enhance castle
Assign monsters to armies (MO, GO, KO)
Recruit soldiers
Recruit mercenaries (as part of army order or with ZS)
Pay tributes for recruitment to your overlord
Supply armies (VS)
Heavy gear (AR order)
Increase magic level
Increase science level
Enslave population groups
Free slaves
IN order ("An island with 2 mountains...")
Accept offer of marriage (BA)
Offer marriage (BN)
Slave market (sales first, purchases afterwards)
Export products, gold and treasures
Import products, gold and treasures
Buy pigs
Bazaars
Manufacture B-, C-, D-products
Build improvements
Build monuments
Knock down production sites
Build production sites
Change tax rate
Offer bounty
Increase hero statistics
Heroes change treasures
Melting treasures (later in the game)
Heroes quest
Change hero support
Heroes explore provinces
Heroes duel
Relocation (Exodus)
Ask bit-orc for support
Donation for temple
Alert against other tribe (AC-Befehl)
Depute defenders
Battle phase (Movement of armies, skirmishes, raids, sieges)
Return of soldiers in their castles
Change of ownership of conquered keeps
Caravans and ambushes
Build branches
Define products for branch price table (PW order)
Voluntary submission
Normal increase of peasants
Additional food supply (VB order)
Increase of slaves
Taxes (bazaars included)
Increase of merchants
Increase of pigs
Income from production sites
Wear of production sites
Harvest of adders blood
Partial spoilage of surplus food
Harvest of food
Tribute from vassals
Orcen outposts
Relocate armies
Spells (except special spells; ZZ first, SR afterwards)
Recruit new heroes
Build chest keys
Snake of clay
Offers for Guild Protector and assumption of office (later in the game)
Offers for dragon
Offers for dragonslayer
Get new spells
Create new scrolls
Random events
Impact of normal improvements
Test for help in need
Rebellion
Heroes change places
Test passing of SL limits
New titles
Espionage including espionage by heroes
Gollum ranking or index of fame
Foreland war (if active; donations, MA etc.)
Allocate new treasures
Check for victory

9.5 The game report

The game report is, in most parts, self-explanatory. Only within the product table and the area table, the terms and shortcuts may appear somewhat cryptic. Here is an example for a product table:

productstockpilecodeyieldtotal aypricevalue
wood315111778237117
stone625220711752998
iron380320689197233
salt3074307154257713
diamonds1415432811816706
leather206------14281
fu41977------1041506
booze1098158353850
sulphur68900795400
adder blood9104---2181958

"Stockpile" is the number of units of this product your tribe possesses. This stockpile can be used in the next year, e. g. for production of weapons and armor, for selling or exporting or anything else which appears useful to you. Note: The fu stockpile is the amount before tribal upkeep!

"Code" is the product number as used in the VK command, XP command and so on.

"Yield" is the total yield of your production sites for this product in the last year. Imports are not included; only the results of the toilings of your slaves (or peasants).

"Total ay" is the total of the average yield (ay) of all your production sites for this product. If you wish to know about the distribution of the production sites among your areas you have to look it up in the area table.

"Price" is the market value of one unit of this product. In the above example, one unit of wood will sell for 23 goldears.

"Value" is the theoretical total value for this product, i. e. the number of goldears you would receive for selling the total stockpile of this product to your merchants. This is actually not possible in all cases: food units will partly be needed for tribal upkeep first, and the merchants will not buy any amount of the products.

Your controlled areas are listed in a table at the end of the game report. There are two tables, one for military and one for production purposes. The tribal area is always printed in bold type. The shortcuts in the first line of the area table "armies" have the following meanings:

No: area number, T: terrain type (first letter), C: castle class, soldiers: number of soldiers, mo: morale, E: experience, a: armours, w: weapons, ASF: army strength factor, cat: catapults, farr: fire arrows.

An "x" in the "C:" column means no castle can be built in this area (otherwise, an area without a castle has a hyphen).

Example:

NoTCsoldiersmoEawASFcatfarr 
221Sx--------Goblinwell
241P197500001.4--Frostpit
242Fx--------Conceitham
261Mx--------Soaphome

In the area production table, the following additional shortcuts are used:

T: terrain type (first letter), LM: lumber mill, QU: quarry, OM: ore mine, SM: salt mine, DF: diamond field, DI: distillery, SP: sulphur pit.

For the production sites, the first number is the average yield, the second number, after the colon, is the current yield.

Example:

NoTCsoldierslmquomsadispsu
221Sx--------
241E19719:1817:22-10:10---
242Wx--------
261Gx--------

9.6 Hints

In the Black Empire, there is always a shortage of gold. For the first years, a fat purse should be your foremost aim. The most effective way to achieve this at the beginning of the game is sending out caravans. But in order to outfit a caravan in the second year either, you definitely need lumber mills. Two or three RP x,1 commands should be submitted in the first year no matter what.

After the first few years you will realize that the gold returned by caravans is limited, even though their return on investment is quite profitable. The expenses for your armies and everything else can only be covered if you manufacture products in vast quantities. At the same time you must prevent your number of peasants falling below a critical level. This would cast your tribe into a downward spiral. Falling below 400 peasants should only be accepted for a very good reason.

Salt is a product with an attractive relation of expenses and results. If your tribe does not reside in a plains area itself, you should try to gain control of a plains area and establish salt mines there. They pay for themselves within a very short time. There may be products with even better profits like booze, sulphur, and diamonds, but these require high investments first. What's more, certain bit orcs are prepared to share valuable knowledge in exchange for several hundred units of salt.

One more point regarding products: Creating B products fast (and C products, for that matter) is essential.

In Ork, peasants are the backbone of the game. You should concentrate on growing your tribe to 1000 peasant orcs before considering great armies and all. Early investments into your peasants pay back thousandfold in later years. If the number of your peasants drops below a critical level, you may get a warning, and you may even have to quit the game if this happens again. The game report will tell you when this occurs.

Science is important. If you have a fully developed science (SL=99), all yields are approximately doubled. It is a good idea to push up your science level early and in big chunks, because increasing the science level becomes more expensive with the starting science level and with every game turn. The exact settings for these price increases are determined by the GM. Normally, the chance for an additional science level point in year 10 will be approximately 20%. If your starting SL is 50, the chance normally declines by 15%. Both modifications work in sequence. In this example, the chance for an additional science level point per scientist, in the year 10 with a starting SL of 50, would be about 17%.

Adder blood is the rarest product in the Black Empire. If you can afford it, by any means acquire a mage every year (SM 1, 1000). Later in the year 15, you will yearn for PILLAGES aplenty and you will need every single unit of adder blood you can get.

Computer played tribes (bit-orcs) remember your slave and gold raids and will pay back in kind. Be prepared! Subjugation of barons and princes is especially rewarding, because due to their personal following candidates these have to pay multiple tribute.

If your army is too small, your peasants will revolt. But do not recruit too many peasants, because peasants are the only part of your population which will grow by itself (apart from the slaves who have small fluctuations in their number).

Let your armies pass through many areas or send out scouts in order to find all the hermits who are able to strengthen your armies permanently. Other valuable things might be found as well, such as magical purses which can substantially improve your income.

Gold mines and adder pits have been heard of. They have obvious advantages as well as secret ones. If you want to learn more about them, visit many forest and mountain areas.

Never ever consider enslaving merchants! You need them to buy your goods - the fewer you have, the poorer your chances to sell. Keep in mind that all merchants will run away as soon as you enslave a single one of them. A tax rate too high can ruin a tribe from the start, too. On the other hand, there is such a thing as the KX command. So it cannot be altogether useless. Or can it?

At times you might encounter a phenomenon called "orcish rounding". This means that the program will always round to the disadvantage of the player, either up or down. So if you are in doubt about the exact result of a calculation, fear the worst, and you will probably be right!

Production sites should not be distributed among your areas randomly. For example, combining your main salt and wood production in the same area is quite a bad idea. The wood harvest will suffer badly. Also do not dig for diamonds where you cut trees. There are more rules like this, look them up in the product dependency table.

Heroes are not only nice toys, they are also useful for campaigns. Their hero strength factor is added to the army strength factor if they support the tribal army. You should try to get four heroes soon and always recruit new ones if one is lost. Better weak heroes than no heroes!

Summarily, a strong economy and many peasants are more important than aggressive play - in the starting phase of the game. If you have many production sites, you will have many products for selling later, and this is the main source of income for well managed tribes. If you conquer areas with production sites, you can save the expenses for building them yourself, of course.

9.7 Creating a starting move

In this section, Random McGuilty, the successful counselor of the late Greater King Rainier the Ultimate, will share some advice regarding your first moves with your new tribe. Note that Random McGuilty was a sensible advisor, but there are better ones and always have been; in other words, the following suggestion is an average starting move, not a brilliant one.

Your starting situation will be somewhat like this:


Your tribe:

Groupnumberportionspecial
peasants50062.3%-
slaves10012.5%-
scient.10.1%SL: 1; SL limit: 20
mages00.0%ML: 0
priests10.1%faith: 1/claim: 0 @
merch.10012.5%tax: 20; bazaars: 0
soldiers10012.5%AC: 3
total802----

Your advisors appear subdued and silent, as you ask for their assessment of your economic situation.
Merchants' budget: at least 5000 goldears (after tribal upkeep).

products
productNostockpileYieldtotal aypricevalue
wood130---022660
fu71000------66000
adder blood103------238714
gold: 3000, pigs: 50

After tribal upkeep:
197 fu (value: 1182 g) and 3375 goldears.

Heroes (Price for the next hero: 8000 g).
1.: Fumbler Plirurag Killsquire: Lvl 1, E0 (HX: 2), A7, D7, M8, B7, Fl0, H-, ASF 1.22
2.: Fumbler Kreruk Corpsedrummer: Lvl 1, E0 (HX: 2), A8, D8, M9, B7, Fl0, H-, ASF 1.25
3.: Fumbler Fuhai Pigsprinkler: Lvl 1, E0 (HX: 2), A6, D6, M7, B8, Fl0, h-, ASF 1.21
(Lvl: level, E: experience, HX: bonus, A: attack, D: defence, M: mind, B: body points/maximum, F: escape limit, H: army support (-: none, def: defence, att: attack), ASF: army strength factor (contribution of the hero), +x: modifications for artifacts)

production
NoTCsoldiersLMQUOMSMDFDISP
88-1100-------

armies
NrBCsoldiersmoEawASFcatfarr 
8812100500001.4--Plains/Rhilon

To prepare your orders, you either need a client software for creating moves - at the moment, "MyOrktool" is the best one - or a (selfmade) map of the Black Empire, a sheet of paper, a pencil and an eraser. Of course, you need a set of rules. In the following example, let us assume you are using pen and paper.

In your rulebook, open the section "processing sequence". On your sheet of paper, write down the game number, the player number and the number of your tribal area. On the right hand side, start two columns ("gold" and "fu"). Now, the top of the paper should look like this:

   Game 19, player 24 from 88.

                                        gold      fu

Now, follow the processing sequence:

Pillage the temple - No! This is an emergency measure, and with a faith level of 1 would be really useless.

Buy food - You have enough food at the moment, and buying food units would cost the double price, and this is much too expensive.

Memorize the chosen spell, anti-magic - Not yet relevant.

Butchering pigs - Might be worth considering, but keep in mind that a pig effectively costs 16 or 17 goldears (10 + fu), and butchered pigs no longer multiply.

Tribal upkeep, income from obligatory fu sales is already specified in the game report. Put the values from the game report at "After tribal upkeep" below the headers "gold" and "fu".

Sell products to the merchants - Now this is the first difficult decision. You cannot sell wood because you need it for the caravans later (see below). If you sell food, you might lack it later for freeing slaves or extra feeding your peasants (VB command). Adder blood is not needed at the moment, but the three units may be important later. On the other hand: gold invested now will "pay back" richly.

Random McGuilty says: "Sell the adder blood, but invest in magic at the same time, in order to get it back early enough and get a head start in magic." - "Controversial!" Jarl Serfhanger whispers, one of your ambitious scientists. "You are residing in a plains area, so you will have food aplenty. Why not sell the surplus food now?"

Sounds good. You write down on your sheet of paper: VK 7, 197. Calculate the total profit and write it down in brackets (1182 goldears) and now, add this amount in the "gold" column of your worksheet. Now, the paper should look like this:

   Game 19, player 24 from 88.

                                        gold      fu
                                        3375      197
   VK 7,197 (+1182 g)                   4557

Special offer - Not available in the first turn.

Manufacture leather - If you want to be really nasty, besiege another human player in the first move. This is expensive, but your victim will suffer even more. If you really want to do this, you need the leather from your pigs now for armours. Random says: "Rubbish. You need a solid economy in the first place. The highlights of any ruler's life, sending your enemies to the dust, will come early enough, then." - "Controversial!" Jarl Serfhanger whispers again. "An early hit hurts quite a bit!" But in this case, you decide for mediocrity and for Random.

Build or expand castle - Not possible at the moment, you need controlled area first, or vassals, and stone.

Recruit peasants, recruit mercenaries - Do you want to attack a human player? Random: "Nonono! Don't do it! Peasants turned soldiers will not produce food, will not multiply, and might even die." But what if another player launches an attack on us? Random: "Oh well. No risk, no fun ..."

Increase magic level - Another difficult question: should you raise the magic level in the first turn? Random says: "Definitely, yes." You should increase the ML by 10 points, you cannot afford more. 1200 goldears is a realistic bid for that. SM 10, 1200, and you are down to 3357 goldears...

Increase science level - Random says: "Scientists are morons, but you need them." What's more, Random adds, in later years increasing the science level will be more and more expensive. But, you protest, increasing the SL in smaller steps is ineffective, and for a big step you don't have enough gold. You need your gold now for a caravan and for production sites. Random, not really convinced: "Very well. If you think so."

Supply armies, Heavy equipment - Only if you follow the aggression plan, but as you know, Random is strictly against that.

Enslave certain population segments - Yet another difficult decision. If you enslave all merchants, you have 100 more slaves, and slaves are potential peasants. Peasants, again, are the single most important thing a ruler needs at the moment. On the other hand, you need gold, and without merchants you cannot sell products or raise taxes. Random's opinion: "Very risky, enslaving the merchants, but might prove very rewarding either. You, as a newbie, better don't."

Free slaves - Random: "Actually, this is a must, especially because you have a plains area. But since you recklessly sold all food units, you cannot do this right now."

"Controversial!" Jarl protests. "You need the slaves later for production sites, anyway. Freeing them now would be pointless."

Marriage - "Take it easy! This will all be revealed in the course of the game!" You hate this kind of obscure statement, but you have to rely on Random right now.

Slave market - Selling slaves is absolutely inappropriate; only bit orcs do that. Buying slaves is very interesting of course, but very uncertain too - you cannot be sure if this works or not. Random: "Forget it - you have no gold to spare for that."

Exporting goods or gold, importing goods or gold - Random: "Well, nobody is going to send you a gift, so why should you? For what it's worth, they say if you export even a small amount of goods to any other tribe you might gain experience that allows new options when exporting."

Buying pigs - This is a particular top priority, since a large herd of livestock is the best protection against famine; but Random says: "Later."

Bazaars - Random has a tax rate of 0 in mind for you, in order to lure more merchants into your tribe. In this case, building bazaars would be pointless. But if you are going for a high tax rate (e.g. 99%, the so-called rip-off tactics), creating bazaars makes sense. 2 bazaars would be optimal, then.

Build improvements - "Impossible at the moment!" Random declares, and if you have a look into the list of improvements and their prerequisites, you have to agree. As you take a closer look, the prerequisites for orc pits sound quite attractive. Few peasants, that should be easy: just enslave some peasants, build some production sites and there you are. "Think twice", Random suggests. "You are living in a plains area with fine prospects for population growth. That's not like the poor mountain or swamp tribes where the prospect for growth is rather dim. And orc pits are by no means cheap, you know." Once again, Random persuades you and you drop it.

Build production sites - Two lumber mills, as you have agreed with Random (see above), are a must. You really would like to add three salt mines, but salt poisons the ground (that is to say, salt mines negatively influence the yield of the lumber mills, see product dependency table). Quarries are equally important. You need stone quickly for keeps and branches. While there is also a negative influence of lumber mills on quarries, you have to live with that. Therefore, you build two quarries (in a mountain area, one would suffice). At last, a distillery, because booze is a good product for selling, you can use it later for your soldiers and you need 100 u booze as a prerequisite for the B products later. Alternatively, you could think about a sulphur pit, but not both, since booze and sulphur do not get along with each other very well, either.

   Game 19, player 24 from 88.

                                        gold      fu
                                        3375      197
   VK 7,197 (+1182 g)                   4557      0
   SM 10,1200 (-1200 g)                 3357
   RP 88, 1  (-200 g)                   3157
   RP 88, 1  (-200 g)                   2957
   RP 88, 2  (-100 g)                   2857
   RP 88, 2  (-100 g)                   2757
   RP 88, 8  (-600 g)                   2157

Change tax rate - "Zero! Zero!" Random exclaims. "You can only hope for new merchants if you offer them OPTIMAL conditions." Oh well. ST 0 if you wish. A different way would be to set the tax rate to 99, hoping that other rulers send their caravans to you and you can exploit them totally. The tax rate is, at the same time, the caravan toll rate. The drawback would be that nearly all merchants would run from your tribe and in the next turn there would be not enough left to sell your products to. The tax yield would be high, but not as high as you would normally expect, due to the tax shock (when increasing the tax rate in such a way, only 60% of the normally expected tax will be paid).

Jarl Serfhanger comments: "You will most likely engage in active diplomacy and start swapping branches, which is quite a must. That will lead to a tax bonus, so that a tax rate of 10% is the real thing."

You choose a tax rate of 10%.

Hero commands: - "Never don't fight", Random variates a well known proverb. "First of all, you have to distribute the bonus points. You hardly can go wrong if you distribute them equally to A (attack), and D (defence), except, well, in certain cases, but you will get the idea, well, when it's too late." Random continues and advises you to set the escape limit one point lower than the B-points (body points) and to challenge other heroes to a duel, preferably heroes from far away areas. The heroes will probably survive the duels and gain important experience. As long as you do not know which area holds which kind of monster, you should not start exploring.

On the whole, you like Random's plan. In the human player list within the starting report, you find tribes in 356, 378, and 394, and decide on a surprise visit with your heroes there to provide them with a little training.

Your order sheet now looks like this:

   Game 19, player 24 from 88.

                                        gold      fu
                                        3375      197
   VK 7,197 (+1182 g)                   4557      0
   SM 10,1200 (-1200 g)                 3357
   RP 88, 1  (-200 g)                   3157
   RP 88, 1  (-200 g)                   2957
   RP 88, 2  (-100 g)                   2857
   RP 88, 2  (-100 g)                   2757
   RP 88, 8  (-600 g)                   2157
   ST 10
   HD 1 XA 1 XD 1 F 6 D 378
   HD 2 XA 1 XD 1 F 6 D 394
   HD 3 XA 1 XD 1 F 7 D 356

Set a price on someone's head, relocation, call on bit-orcs for support - These things are not yet possible or useful, respectively. Some say that relocation in the early stage of the game, to a strategic corner position, is a reasonable idea. But to do this, you need an appropriate keep, which you do not yet have.

Temple donation - "100 goldears maximum!" Well, less is not possible. And as soon as the priests once have received more, they demand the same sum again in the following years, if not more. So if you would donate 1000 goldears now and 900 in the following year, the priests will get very unpleasant. Your order therefore: TE 100. You are left with 2057 goldears after that.

Special warning about another tribe - Keep in mind that you can do this only three times in the whole game.

Designate defenders, army movement, skirmishes, raids, sieges, final change - Random's opinion: "It is too early for a serious campaign, but try to grab some cultivatable areas!" The best thing is to send out a very small army, consisting only of some mercenaries, in a circle around your home area in order to control as many areas as possible. For your army in Rhilon, for example, the following would be possible:

UN B:88, V:100, S:100, U:89, W:108, 128, 129, 109, 89

This means you order your army from 88 to leave 100 defenders at home, spend 100 goldears for mercenaries (1957 goldears left!), and march with the 5 mercenaries to 108, 128, 129, 109, and 89. In 89, a local army is supported (if this area is occupied by a bit orc, he will be pleased, otherwise - if there is no army present - nothing happens). If you are lucky, you will control 5 areas after that. If you decide on the route for this kind of "control campaign", you should avoid tribal areas of other tribes, of course.

For this movement order you have to calculate the supply costs. If you assume you march with 5 mercenaries, the supply will cost you 5*0.2+5*0.6+5*1.8+5*5.4+5*16.2=121 goldears, and you are down to 1836 goldears now.

Random McGuilty, the old grumbler, still has some second thoughts: "What if your control army walks through water areas? You'd loose wood which would be needed for caravans later ..." Well, Random always had a somewhat negative attitude.

Jarl Serfhanger has a different point of view: "If you wish to control areas for building keeps, you should plan your campaign in a way that avoids directly adjacent areas, because you cannot build a keep in them. Better go for areas touching your home area at the corners only."

Caravan and ambush - Random says: "A caravan is obligatory!" You have only 1836 goldears left, this is enough to maximize the profit from the caravan. You cannot load it with more than 1000 goldears. The remaining gold is a reserve for surprising events.

Since you do not know about any bit orc locations, in the starting move you can send your caravans to other human player tribes only. Keep in mind that, like you, other players contemplate which caravan to strike with an HI ambush. It might not be wise to use the most obvious caravan route. Of course, you should try an ambush with a HI command yourself. A successful ambush in this stage of the game is one of the best things can happen to you, and quite the worst that can happen to the victim.

Guards for the caravan should not be assigned at the moment. They just would lower your profit, and they would never stand a chance against a serious ambush.

From the list of human players you see that a human player is located in 148, so you send your caravan there.

Establish branches - Branches should be established as soon as possible, but you have no stone at the moment. Random McGuilty thinks: "Branches! I have not yet thought about them. A well placed branch can be a big boost for your profits in the early and middle game. Imagine your big fu harvest from your plains area, and selling these food units for the price paid in an always hungry mountain area! Profits, profits, profits! Decide yourself!" Sounds not really helpful, your average advisor. You secretly consider locking him in chains when the audience is over; slaves are always needed.

Voluntary submission - Hah! In your dreams!

Additional food for the peasants - If you have fu left, you should use them now, otherwise they would partly rot.

Outposts - Hopefully, your caravan has collected rich profits in gold now. Anyway, further calculation of gold or fu on your worksheet is futile from now on since you do not know the exact return of the caravan. - Strategically thinking orcs will establish an outpost every turn, and do this as a kind of "orc highway". This is a diagonal sequence of outposts in the direction of the farthest corner of the playing field. With such a placement of outposts you are prepared to reduce supply costs to a bearable amount, in most cases. Area 109 looks like a promising space for this purpose, so you send 3 orc soldiers there.

Scouting - Scouting areas which you have already passed with your army is not necessary, but gathering information at least about the terrain in the Black Empire is very much recommended. For simple scouts, 50 to 70 goldears are reasonable sums. If you spend less gold, the scout will fail too frequently.

After consulting the processing sequence top down, you have set down a "raw command list" on your worksheet which could look like this:

   Game 19, player 24 from 88.

                                        gold      fu
                                        3375      197
   VK 7,197 (+1182 g)                   4557      0
   SM 10,1200 (-1200 g)                 3357
   RP 88, 1  (-200 g)                   3157
   RP 88, 1  (-200 g)                   2957
   RP 88, 2  (-100 g)                   2857
   RP 88, 2  (-100 g)                   2757
   RP 88, 8  (-600 g)                   2157
   ST 10
   HD 1 XA 1 XD 1 F 6 D 378
   HD 2 XA 1 XD 1 F 6 D 394
   HD 3 XA 1 XD 1 F 7 D 356
   TE 100 (-100 g)                      2057
   UN B:88, V:100, S:100, U:89, W:108, 128, 129, 109, 89
          (-221 g)                      1836
   KW 148, 1000, 0 (-1000 g, + X)        836 + X
   OH 109, 3 (-150 g)                    686 + X
   SP 87, 70 (-70 g)                     616 + X
   SP 67, 70 (-70 g)                     546 + X
   SP 107, 70 (-70 g)                    476 + X
   SP 109, 70 (-70 g)                    406 + X
   SP 69, 70 (-70 g)                     336 + X

These orders have to be written to the order sheet or the order e-mail to the gamemaster (without the gold and fu calculation remarks, of course), and there is your starting move. The rest is good wishes (by the way, Random McGuilty has gone on vacation for some years ...). As mentioned before, this suggestion is not the ideal starting move, but a working one.

The e-mail to the gamemaster could look like this:


Hello dear GM! Here are the orders for the next year.
#anfang
#bef 19 1 24 ohsosecret
VK 7,197
SM 10,1200
RP 88, 1
RP 88, 1
RP 88, 2
RP 88, 2
RP 88, 8
ST 10
HD 1 XA 1 XD 1 F 6 D 378
HD 2 XA 1 XD 1 F 6 D 394
HD 3 XA 1 XD 1 F 7 D 356
TE 100
UN B:88, V:100, S:100, U:89, W:108, 128, 129, 109, 89
KW 148, 1000, 0
OH 109, 3
SP 87, 70
SP 67, 70
SP 107, 70
SP 109, 70
SP 69, 70
#ende

Upper case, lower case or mixed case for the commands is allowed ("ST 10", "st 10", "St 10", or "sT 10" are equally valid). Commas or spaces may be used as separators ("sp 69, 70", "sp 69 70", "sp,69,,, ,,70" all mean the same).

10. Victory

A player wins the game under the following conditions:

a) He is rank worthy, and the added ranks of all leaders (including bit orcs) are less than the rank of the player (for this calculation, a vassal counts as 0, a chieftain as 1, all other ranks as denoted in the rank table; for bit orcs, the rank value is reduced by one): "Rank victory".

b) He is rank worthy, and has subjugated more than half of all tribes including bit orcs: "Power victory".

c) He is free and the only one to have a tribal castle with the highest class, at least class 8: "Castle victory".

d) He is the most faithful, rank worthy and has a castle class of at least 5: "Faith victory".

e) He is the only human player left.

A player is rank worthy if he has the highest possible rank in the used rank table ("Great King" normally). The gamemaster can change the setting and define that the sole highest rank in the Black Empire is sufficient for rank worthiness. Other conditions for rank worthiness may be set; this will be stated in the starting report.

The victory conditions are processed top down, i. e. a) is checked first, then b), c), d), and e).