CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1. System Requirements 1.2. Installing the game 1.3. Uninstalling the game 1.4. Product updates 1.5. Multi-player registration 1.6. Game forums 1.7. Need help? 1.8. Conventions 5 5 6 6 6 6 7 7 7 2. MAIN MENU 2.1. Singleplayer 2.2. Multiplayer 2.3. Options 2.4. Editor 2.5. Exit 8 9 12 18 21 21 3. CAMPAIGN MAP 3.1. Core Units 3.2. Specializations 21 22 23 4. UNITS 4.1. Unit Categories 4.2. Unit Classes 4.3. Unit Stats 4.4. Selection 4.5. Movement 4.6. Embarking & Disembarking 4.7. Zone of Control 4.8. Efficiency 24 24 24 29 32 32 34 35 36 4.9. Entrenchment 4.10. Combat 4.11. Purchase & Deployment 4.12. Experience 4.13. Repairing & Reinforcing 37 38 44 46 47 5. COMMANDERS 5.1. Detaching 5.2. Injury & Imprisonment 48 49 49 6. SCENARIO GAMEPLAY 6.1. Briefing 6.2. Controls 6.3. Objectives: Victory & Defeat 6.4. Hexes & Territory 6.5. Supply System 6.6. Unit Selection Interface 6.7. Terrain 6.8. Resources 6.9. Command Points 6.10. Minimap & Strategic Map 6.11. Fog of War 6.12. Aircraft Maintenance 50 50 50 52 54 54 57 60 62 63 63 64 66 7. SCENARIO EDITOR 7.1. Editor Hotkeys 67 68 8. CREDITS 68 1. INTRODUCTION Order of Battle – Pacific is a turn based strategy game set during The Pacific War. It covers the conflict from the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 until the “what-if” invasion of Tokyo in 1946. It puts you, the player, in command of either the Japanese Empire or the US-led Allies. The game has been carefully designed to be easy to play yet hard to master. The AI opponent will give even the most experienced players a good challenge. The user interface is laid out in a clear and easy-to-use manner, meaning you’ll be spending your time fighting the enemy and not the game’s interface. 1.1. SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Minimum Spec Windows® XP/Vista Pentium 4 or equivalent 2Gb RAM 512Mb DirectX 9 video card with shader model 2.0 CD ROM Drive (not required for the digital version) DirectX Compatible Sound Card DirectX 9.0c or higher (included in installer) Recommended Spec 4GB RAM 1Gb DirectX 9 video card or better Please ensure your graphics and sound drivers are up to date before playing the game or you may experience graphical glitches or more serious errors. Check your manufacturer’s website for the latest version, as new drivers are released regularly. 5 1.2. INSTALLING THE GAME Please ensure your system meets the minimum requirements listed above. To install the game, either double click on the installation file you downloaded or insert the Order of Battle – Pacific CD into your CD-ROM drive. If you have disabled the autorun function on your CD-ROM or if you are installing from a digital download, doubleclick on the installation archive file, then double click on the file that is shown inside the archive. Follow all on-screen prompts to complete installation. You can also launch the game on Steam. 1.3. UNINSTALLING THE GAME Please use the Add/Remove Programs option from the Windows Control Panel or the Uninstall shortcut in the games Windows “Start” menu folder to uninstall the game.Uninstalling through any other method will not properly uninstall the game. 1.4. PRODUCT UPDATES In order to maintain our product excellence, Slitherine Games releases updates containing new features, enhancements, and corrections to any known issues. All our updates are available free on our website: www.slitherine.com They can also be downloaded quickly and easily by clicking on the “Update” link in your Game Menu or by using the “Update Game” shortcut in your Windows “Start” menu folder for the game. 1.5. MULTI-PLAYER REGISTRATION We highly recommend registering your game first before playing. You can simply do this through the game menu, from Multiplayer or directly at Slitherine’s website at: 6 http://www.slitherine.com/sign_up This is because you will need a registered account to play Multiplayer games on Slitherine’s PBEM (play by e-mail) server. When registering you can choose to sign up to the newsletters to receive regular updates, offers and discounts on the rest of Slitherine’s catalogue so it is worth registering! 1.6. GAME FORUMS Our forums are one of the best things about Slitherine Games. Every game has its own forum with our designers, developers and the gamers playing the game. If you are experiencing a problem, have a question or just an idea on how to make the game better, post a message there. Go to www.slitherine.com and click on the Forums hyperlink. 1.7. NEED HELP? The best way to contact us if you are having a problem with one of our games is through our Help Desk. Our Help Desk has a FAQs section as well as a dedicated support staff that answer questions within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. Support questions sent in on Saturday and Sunday may wait 48 hours for a reply. You can get to our Help Desk by going to http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk Direct e-mail support:: [email protected] 1.8. CONVENTIONS Throughout the manual we use a number of terms and we list their meaning here for those who may be unfamiliar with the jargon. ww Click: Place your mouse pointer over an area or button and click the left mouse button. ww Right Click: Place your mouse pointer over an area or button and click the right mouse button. 7 ww Drag: Hold down the left mouse button while moving the mouse pointer across the screen ww Select: Click on an item or unit to “focus” or highlight it. ww UI: User Interface is a generic term that we use to describe the “in-game controls” that will be used by you to manage the game. ww Tooltip: Useful instant text guidance found by hovering the mouse pointer over buttons and other UI elements. ww Strength Plate: The UI box positioned below each individual unit deployed on the battle map. It contains various types of information on the current state of its unit. 2. MAIN MENU After the intro video sequence you will arrive in the Main Menu. Here you have a number of options available: ww Singleplayer: From here you can start a singleplayer campaign or scenario, as well as load previously saved games. ww Multiplayer: You can play against human opponents using the PBEM++ server system, or on the same device using the Hotseat mode. Both modes allow matches of up to four human players to take part in a single match. ww Options: Takes you to the Options Menu which offers a number of gameplay, performance and visual settings. ww Editor: Allows you to create your own custom singleplayer and multiplayer scenarios. Below these options at the bottom of the screen, a set of flags can be found which allow you to change the game’s language setting. 8 2.1. SINGLEPLAYER CAMPAIGNS The first tab in the Singleplayer menu provides an overview of all available Campaigns. Use the arrow buttons on the left and right side of the campaign description text to scroll through the campaigns. The base game offers three campaigns: ww Boot Camp: Focuses on teaching the player the basic elements of the game. You play as a batch of US recruits facing another team of US trainees in a series of wargames and training exercises. ww Imperial Japan: Puts the player in command of the Imperial Japanese Forces at the start of the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. The campaign eventually leads to the fictional “what-if” invasion of Australia. ww Pacific Allies: Puts the player in command of the US-led Allies facing the Japanese aggressor. From a series of hard fought defensive battles starting at Pearl Harbor, the Allies will face a long fight to regain the initiative and turn the tide of the war. 9 If you are new to this game it is strongly advised to start with the “Boot Camp” tutorial campaign. The other campaigns will start with a higher difficulty level and will not introduce the gameplay features gradually. Even if you are used to hexagonal strategy games, it will be a useful introduction to some of the game’s unique gameplay mechanics. SCENARIOS The second tab in the Singleplayer menu lists all available individual scenarios. Scenarios marked with a golden star are official scenarios provided by the game’s developer, while a silver star marks any custom scenarios created by yourself or the community. By default, custom scenarios are located in the “My Documents\My Games\Order of Battle - Pacific\Scenarios” folder. 10 A number of settings are available for individual scenarios: ww Quick Experience: When enabled, units gain experience much faster to allow acquiring elite units over the course of a single scenario. ww Combat Randomizing: By default, the combat outcome is slightly randomized and does not match the prognosis exactly. ww Custom Starting Force: Checking this will remove all core units from the default scenario setup and allows players to purchase and deploy their own custom starting force. ww Scenario difficulty: The difficulty level of the scenario will affect the strength of AI controlled players. There are five levels available, “I” being the easiest and “V” being the hardest. 11 LOADING GAMES In the “Load Game” tab you can load and continue previously saved games. This lists both games saved during the campaign and individual scenarios. The list is sorted by creation date, the highest game in the list being the most recent one. At the bottom of this menu the scenario name, campaign (if any) and current turn of the selected game is displayed. 2.2. MULTIPLAYER There are two ways to play multiplayer: ww Hotseat mode allows up to four players to play the game on the same device. Players must “change seat” whenever it is their turn. ww The Online PBEM++ Server System allows you to play Multiplayer games with and against other players across the world, on any platform and at any time. 12 HOTSEAT The Hotseat menu allows you to start a new multiplayer game through the “New Game” button. It also provides an overview of unfinished Hotseat save games – if any are available. These are automatically created when a new Hotseat game is launched. To continue one of these games, select it in the list and click “Continue Game”. The Hotseat “Game Setup” menu is very similar to the Singleplayer Scenario Panel: select a scenario from the list and change the settings according to your preferences. The only difference is that you can change the avatars of all the (human) players involved. Clicking the “Launch Game” button will start the turn for the first human player. 13 PBEM++ The online multiplayer option requires you to log onto the server. If you already have a Slitherine account or have previously played other multiplayer games on our server, choose the Log In button and enter your username and password. If you do not have an account, click the Register button to create one. After this you also use this account on the Slitherine forums to communicate with developers and other players. After logging in you arrive in the Multiplayer Lobby which has four different tabs: ww “All Games” lists all challenges and matches of any type and state. 14 ww “My Matches”, lists the active games you currently have in progress. ww “My Challenges” shows the challenges you hosted which are waiting for other players to begin ww “Open Challenges” lets you see if there are any challenges available from other players. Challenges displaying a padlock icon are private challenges which require a password to join. From here you can accept other players’ challenges or create your own. HOSTING A CHALLENGE If you want to initiate your own challenge, click the “Host Challenge” button to open the Game Setup menu. This interface is very similar to the Singleplayer Scenario Panel: select a scenario from the list and change the settings according to your preferences. The only 15 difference is that you can choose any available open player slot. This will put you in control of that specific nation (or group of nations) once the match has started. By clicking the “Open Slot” bar at the top of an open slot box you can reserve also reserve a specific slot for a specific player. A window will pop up allowing you to search for the player and confirm the reservation. A reserved slot cannot be occupied by any player other than the reserved one, allowing you to specifically choose your allies and/or opponents. If you do not reserve any slots, any player can join your game unless you assign a password to it. Once you are happy with the setup, click the “Confirm” button to launch the challenge. From this moment other players will be able to join your game. It will automatically turn into an active “Match” once it has filled up with the required amount 16 of players, the player controlling the first side in the selected scenario will then be able to play the first turn. When it is your turn you’ll be able to select the game and press “Launch “ to start the game. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for your opponent(s) to take their turn(s). When it is time to play your turn you’ll be notified by e-mail. It is important that you enter your real email address when registering or you will not see these e-mail alerts. UPLOADING YOUR TURN When you are playing a multiplayer match and are ready to finish your turn, simply click the End Turn button. This will automatically upload the turn to the server and allow the next player to make his/her moves. Once all other players have completed their turn, the game will once again be available for you to play. CHAT In both Hotseat and PBEM++ mode you can create chat messages to communicate with other players. This interface can be accessed by clicking the chat bubble button next to the End Turn button in the bottom right side of the UI bar. From here you can select the message recipients: all players, allied players or an individual player. Optionally you can use the “place marker” button to point to a specific hex on the map. This can be useful when discussion strategy with other players to mark a location of attack or defense mentioned in your message. Clicking the same button again will clear the marker. Once your message is ready click the “Send” button to confirm it. The message will then be displayed to the recipients 17 at the start of their next turn. By clicking the “Overview” button you can access the Chat Overview panel, which displays all previously sent and received messages. 2.3. OPTIONS PREFERENCES Enable Hex Grid: Toggles the visible hexagonal grid to highlight individual hexes on the map. Map visuals: ww 3D World Map: Switches the map to the animated “real world” visual style. (Default) ww 3D Tactical Map: Switches the map to boardgame style visuals. ww 2D Tactical Map: Identical to the above, but without any 3D perspective. End Turn Warnings: Enabling these will create various warning popups on clicking the End Turn button. Display hovered unit’s name as tooltip: When enabled, hovering over a unit will display its (custom) name. Instantly show strength loss from combat: Update the unit strength plates instantly when launching an attack, instead of waiting for the damage number in the attack animation to pop up. Always adjust unit size to current ground/air focus: When switching between ground and air focus, all ground/naval and air units respectively will be displayed in either large or small size, regardless of whether they share a hex with another unit. Summarised Unit Stats: Display only the most important statistics when selecting a unit. 18 Pause game if windows is not focused: When enabled, the game rendering will pause when another window is switched to in the operating system. Animation Speeds: Controls the speed of movement and rotation animations as well as the delay between individual unit actions. Separate settings are available for player and AI units animations. Classic Unit Facings: When enabled, units will turn to left or right facing to resemble the 2D orientations used in many classic hexagonal strategy games. Unit Scaling: Change the display size of the unit visuals. On “Dynamic” their scale changes as with the camera zoom level, displaying the models on “Large” size when zoomed out completely and on “Small” size when zoomed in all the way. Tutorial: Allows you to disable tutorial popups or reset the tutorial history. CONTROLS Mouse Controls Scheme: The “One-button” control scheme allows you to play the game exclusively with the left mouse button, while the two-button scheme uses left-click for selection and right-click to issue orders. Map Scroll Speed: Sets the scrolling speed when moving the mouse cursor to the edges of the screen or using the WASD/ZQSD or arrow keys to scroll the map. Mouse Zoom Speed: This slider allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the mouse wheel, used to zoom in and out on the battle map. Hotkeys: The customisable list of hotkeys allows you to review or change the keyboard shortcuts to certain common actions. To change a hotkey, click the button next to its name and press the desired key combination on the keyboard. 19 PERFORMANCE This tab offers a range of settings that have an impact of the performance of the game. If your hardware is producing a slow frame rate, experiment with various performance settings to improve it. Render Quality: This setting affects the overall quality of the 3D graphics. The lower this setting the better performance you will get on older hardware, the higher the setting the better the graphics will look. Effects Quality: Determines the quality of various combat and ambient effects, such as fire and explosions. Lighting Quality: Determines the quality of the lighting in the 3D World Map display. Bloom: Toggle the bloom visual effect, which creates a feathering glow around brightly illuminated areas. Weather Effects: Toggle weather visual effects on or off. Permanent Wrecks: When enabled, destroyed units will remain on the map until their hex gets occupied by another unit. Unit Accenting Glow: To increase the contrast of unit models over specific terrain types, the unit glow can be enabled. Other settings allow you to switch the effect on or off permanently, or adjust the glow colour to the unit’s player colour for easier identification. Screen Resolution & Windowed Mode: When running full screen you should always try to use your display’s native resolution. This will be selected by default. When running in Windowed Mode make certain the resolution is small enough to make it fit in your operating system’s native screen resolution. AUDIO & VIDEO Here you can adjust the volume of the music and the sound effects and ambient sounds, or turn them off altogether. 20 Play intro video on game start: When disabled, the intro video sequence will no longer play when starting the game. Instead it will go directly to the Main Menu. SAVE & LOAD When in campaign or scenario mode, you can access the Save & Load tab through the options menu. Here you can save your current game progress or load a previously saved game. When accessing the Options panel through the Main Menu this fourth tab is not available. Instead you have to use the “Load Game” tab from the Single Player menu. 2.4. EDITOR From here you can access the built-in scenario editor which was also used to create all the official game content. 2.5. EXIT Exits the game. 3. CAMPAIGN MAP When launching a new campaign, the campaign map view will appear. This screen displays a map of the region the campaign takes place in, marking the territory controlled by all involved parties as well as marking the next available mission(s). If multiple missions are available, click on their map marker to choose between them. To start the currently selected mission, click the play symbol in the bottom right corner. During later stages of the campaign, coloured pushpins may appear 21 on the map. These mark the state of specific scenario events which have a lasting effect in the campaign. When hovering over a pushpin a tooltip will appear to explain its exact meaning. The colour of these markers also indicate who benefits from the event. The Campaign UI also allows you to set the difficulty level, review unlocked Specialisations and inspect your current Core Force. 3.1. CORE UNITS When playing a campaign, surviving units will be carried over from one scenario to the next. The force you maintain throughout a campaign is called a “Core” or “Core Force”. The units that are part of it are called “Core Units”. These can be recognised on the battle map by the yellow outlines of their strength plates. 22 Some scenarios also contain Auxiliary Units – which exist only in the current scenario – marked with a black outline around the strength plate. This distinction is also visible in the unit list, where core units have a yellow unit type name and auxiliary units a white name. 3.2. SPECIALIZATIONS At specific points throughout the campaigns a choice between two Specializations will be given. You can only pick one of the two available choices – the other will be unavailable for the duration of the current campaign. 23 Specialisations add unique abilities and units to your forces. They are inspired by the unique historical strengths, characteristics and doctrines of the warring nations and allow you to add further customisation to your Core Force. 4. UNITS In Order of Battle – Pacific, everything evolves around the creation of a powerful, well-mixed force of different unit types and using each individual unit to the best of its abilities. 4.1. UNIT CATEGORIES Each unit type belongs one of these three categories: ww Land Units Are restricted to land hexes ww Air Units Can move anywhere when airborne. ww Naval Units Restricted to water hexes. 4.2. UNIT CLASSES Unit categories are further split into unit classes, which assign specific roles and behaviours to the unit types. ww Infantry The infantry forms the backbone of any army during WWII. They excel in cities, forests and mountains – terrain types with high cover values. In open terrain, however, they are vulnerable to artillery fire and armored attacks. Infantry units move fairly slowly on foot, but can be equipped with motorized transportation to increase their mobility. 24 ww Reconnaissance Units of this class have the unique ability to spread their movement points in two consecutive moves. Land-based Recon units will also be more likely to retreat from combat to prevent taking significant losses. This behaviour makes them effective at surviving scouting missions, but ill-suited for holding defensive positions. Their high movement speed also makes them effective harassment units which can target vulnerable enemy units even behind enemy lines. ww Tank This class contains armored combat vehicles designed to fight in general combat against various target types. While most Tanks are designed to fight infantry and overrun enemy defenses, the majority of tanks also perform well against other armored vehicles. In high cover terrain such as cities and forests tanks generally do not perform as well , aside from a few specialized types such as flamethrower – or howitzer-equipped assault vehicles which are effective to fight against units in cover. ww Anti-Tank These units are specialized in destroying armored vehicles of the Tanks class. They have the unique ability of providing fire-support to any adjacent friendly unit when the latter is attacked by an enemy Tank-class unit. Towed and turretless anti-tank weapons suffer more from outflanking attacks however, and often have poor protection against close infantry attacks. ww Artillery Artillery fire is not very accurate and as a result does not do much direct damage. Instead these weapons 25 are mostly effective at breaking the enemy efficiency and keeping them pinned down. Towed artillery units are slow and generally only suitable for defense or battering large fixed defenses. Self-propelled artillery units however can travel quickly and can fire during the same turn they moved. This allows them to support a rapidly advancing attack. ww Anti-Air AA units are used to protect ground targets from air attacks. Because of their poor mobility AA units are hard to use to gain air superiority. They are however valuable on the defence, providing protection against any air attacks within their firing range. Some AA guns can switch to direct fire mode, acting as Anti-Tank class units in this alternative setup. Compared to true AT weapons however, AA guns are generally more prone to taking casualties in ground combat. ww Fighter Fighters are the ultimate weapon when struggling for air superiority. Some types are designed for their dogfighting capabilities against enemy fighters, while others excel against Strategic Bombers thanks to their heavy weapon-loads and excellent high-altitude performance. Fighters are also useful in a defensive role: when placed next to a friendly bomber, land or naval unit, they can support it against attacks by enemy aircraft. Fighters can also be used for attacking ground and naval targets, but only specialized attack planes are truly effective in this role. ww Tactical Bomber Tactical bombers are designed to deliver precise blows against enemy ground or naval units. They carry either torpedoes to use against naval targets or bombs which can be used against both ground and naval targets. Most torpedo 26 bombers can also be switched to carry bombs instead but can only do so when deployed on an airfield or carrier. ww Strategic Bomber Strategic bombers perform bombing raids from great heights and are much less precise than tactical bombers. Similar to Artillery, their attacks don’t do a lot of damage to enemy strength, but can cripple their targets’ efficiency. Their large size and high altitude generally makes them difficult to destroy, requiring specialized Fighter aircraft or high-calibre AA guns take them on effectively. They can also be used to target enemy supply sources directly, destroying their supply output. A sustained strategic bombing campaign can therefore affect the performance of large numbers of enemy units. ww Destroyer The Destroyer is the workhorse of any fleet. Cheap and numerous, these fast warships act as scouts, escorts and the screening of larger, more expensive ships against enemy destroyers. They are, however, vulnerable to long range fire from larger Cruisers and Battleships. All Destroyers have the ability to launch torpedoes, which can be used with deadly effect against even the largest warships. They also excel as hunting down enemy submarines and protecting other ships against this threat. ww Cruiser The Cruiser class contains fast, medium sized warships packed with various light and heavy gun batteries. They are ideally suited for escorting important targets such as transports, supply ships and Aircraft Carriers. They also carry a large array of anti-aircraft guns to face off any attack from above. Japanese Cruisers are 27 ww ww ww ww ww generally less well-armored but have the ability to launch deadly torpedo volleys. Battleship This class contains the largest, most powerful surface ships in the game, capable of attacking naval and ground targets from great distance. When used for ground bombardment – much like artillery – they rarely cause direct damage. Instead they will wear down enemy efficiency with a barrage of massive explosions. These ships are incapable of attacking submarines, relying on Destroyer escorts to deal with this threat. Carrier Carriers serve as mobile airfields which can maintain carrier-based Fighters and Tactical Bombers. This makes them useful in supporting naval battles and invasions where land-based airfields are not available or are too far away from the action. Depending on their size Carriers can store one to three air units in their cargo holds, providing these with repair and refueling. Submarine Submarines are naval vessels capable of moving and attacking while being submerged. In this state only enemy ships equipped with the Sonar Pulse ability can effectively reveal and attack a submarine. Structure Structures range from static combat units such as Bunkers and Coastal Guns to passive Radar Stations and Fuel Depots. Transports The transports class contains all “organic transports” – motorized transportation vehicles attached to 28 specific Infantry or towed weapons – as well as air transports for paratroopers, naval transport ships and trains for railroad movement. ww Mines Mines are static units which – once deployed – belong to no one. Land and naval mines can only be spotted by adjacent land and naval units, respectively. Once spotted they remain visible but can only be removed by moving a unit through them – causing several casualties – or using the Mine Clearing ability of specialized units such as Engineers. 4.3. UNIT STATS The strength and weaknesses of each unit type is defined by the sum of all its stats. These are carefully balanced to accurately reflect their historical characteristics. ww Strength Current strength of the unit. This essential value is displayed on each units’ strength plate on the battle map. Strength is damaged in combat and replenished using Repair and Elite Repair abilities. The higher the strength value, the more effective a unit is in combat. When it is reduced to 0, the unit will be destroyed. ww Entrenchment Entrenchment level of the unit. When not moving and not involved in combat, land units automatically dig in and entrench their position. This makes them more resistant to attack. ww Experience This represents the unit’s level of experience. It will gradually increase when a unit is involved in combat. Experienced units perform better in combat and are more difficult to destroy. 29 ww Chassis The chassis type defines “how a unit is moved”. Chassis types range from “foot” for infantry to “wheels” or “tracked” for ground vehicles. Naval units are either “shallow draft”, “deep draft” or “submerged”. Only the first type is capable of moving through shallow water hexes. The chassis thus directly affects how far a unit can move across different terrain types. ww Movement Points The number of movement points a unit can spend every turn. Depending on the unit’s chassis type, every terrain type takes a certain number of points to travel across, so the combination of these two attributes determine how far the unit can travel in one turn. ww Line of Sight (LOS) The LOS value determines how far away a unit can spot enemy units. Each terrain type has a specific “LOS cost”. For example “Open” terrain has a cost of two, “City” terrain a cost of three and “Mountains” a cost of five. This means a unit with a LOS value of six can see three hexes across open terrain (6 / 2), two hexes across city terrain (6 / 3) and one hex across mountains (6 / 5). ww Range Unit’s shooting range (in hexes). A range of 0 means that the unit needs to be adjacent to the target and actually be able to enter the terrain type of the enemy. For example, a Tank cannot attack Infantry positioned in a Mountains hex because it cannot enter that terrain type. ww Attack Each unit type has various attack values used against various different unit categories or (defensive) combat types. 30 ww Defense Each unit type has various defense values used when being attacked by various different unit categories or (offensive) combat types. ww Offensive Combat Type (OCT) Defines which defense stat is used by the enemy unit in combat. This determines what defense value is used against a specific unit type. For example, when a unit with OCT “Mechanized” attacks, the defender will use its “Defense Against Mechanized” defensive value against it. ww Defensive Combat Type (DCT) Defines which attack stat the enemy will use against this unit. This determines what attack value is used against a specific unit type. For example when an aircraft with DCT “Small” is being attacked, the attacker will use its “Attack Against [Air] Small” attack value against it. ww Bombardment Strategic bombers can target and damage supply sources. The amount of potential damage done is defined by the bombardment value. ww Shock Units such as artillery and strategic bombers will lower their target’s efficiency level when attacking. Their shock value determines how much severe this effect will be. ww Assault Units with an Assault value of 1 or higher will damage and decrease enemy entrenchment at the beginning of their attack. Use them to lead an assault on heavily fortified positions to soften up the target’s defenses before the other units move in. 31 4.4. SELECTION When hovering the mouse cursor over a friendly unit, the default cursor will change to a selection cursor. Click the left mouse button to select it. You can only select your own units, not allied or enemy units. 4.5. MOVEMENT Most units can only move once per turn. An exception to this rule are Recon class units which can move twice, provided there are still movement points left after their first move. Most units can still attack after moving, but cannot move after attacking. However towed artillery units however can only fire if they have not yet moved during the current turn. When a unit is selected, a white overlay is displayed over each hex it can move in that turn. Clicking on any of these hexes will move the unit to this position, provided it is not blocked enroute by a previously invisible enemy unit. 32 Each hex can contain one air unit, one ground (land or naval) unit or one of each. If it contains both an air and a ground unit, only the focused unit will be displayed in full scale with its strength and status icons visible. To switch focus between air and ground layers, click the toggle button in the top-left corner of the screen or press the <TAB> key. SWAPPING UNIT POSITIONS Adjacent units of the same category (land, naval or air) can swap positions, provided they can both move into each other’s terrain type and have not yet moved this turn. To swap two units, select one, hold down <CTRL> and click on the other unit. MOTORIZED TRANSPORTATION Infantry and towed guns move slowly without motorized transportation. You can assign a transport vehicle to these units through the Upgrade menu, accessible through the Upgrade button in the Abilities panel in the lower left corner of the screen. These transport vehicles are called “organic transports” because they remain part of that unit wherever it moves. Organic transports cannot be detached from a unit, but can be removed through the Upgrade menu if the “No Transport” option is selected. When upgraded with an organic transport, the white movement overlay will also display truck icons for hexes only reachable using the transportation vehicle. Clicking on such a hex will automatically turn the unit into its organic transport type and move it to the destination. 33 RAILROAD TRANSPORTATION When a unit is positioned in a city or village with a railroad line it can be moved by train. Select the unit, click on any of the available marked hexes with a locomotive icon and the unit will turn into a Train transportation unit, moving it to the chosen destination. In the following turns, infantry units can leave the train transportation from any hex. Other classes such as tanks or artillery need to be in a city or village to be unloaded from the train. LONG DISTANCE MOVEMENT Sometimes you need to move a unit across a large distance which would take a number of turns, making it a rather cumbersome endeavor. To automate such an assignment you can set a long distance destination by holding the CTRL key and clicking on the unit’s final destination. When a long distance destination is set, the unit will automatically move toward this position at the end of every turn. Clicking the End Turn button will trigger a popup asking permission to complete all long distance moves. On confirmation all units will complete these moves just before the turn ends. To cancel a unit’s long distance destination, hold the CTRL key and click on either the unit or destination hex. When you give any other order to the unit the long distance destination will also be removed. 4.6. EMBARKING & DISEMBARKING Land units can be transported across water by embarking on naval transportation. The option to embark is available if the unit is: 34 ww Positioned on a city, town or village adjacent to a port hex. ww Adjacent to a friendly warship (not including submarines or transport ships). Clicking on a valid embarkment hex will turn the unit into a naval transportation ship and allows them to move across bodies of water. A transport ship can disembark on adjacent land terrain provided the unit type it carries can actually enter that terrain. For example infantry can disembark on a coastal mountain hex, but tanks cannot. 4.7. ZONE OF CONTROL Ground and naval units project control over all adjacent hexes. This area is called the “Zone-ofControl” or ZoC. Hexes inside an enemy units’ ZoC are more difficult to move through: It costs three times as many movement points to move from one hex to the next if the first hex is in enemy ZoC. This means moving past an enemy unit or gap in the enemy defense generally takes several turns. As displayed in the image above, the Japanese destroyer’s movement is restricted by the ZoC of the two US destroyers. Besides affecting movement, all hexes within the ZoC of a land unit will automatically be captured if it has not moved or attacked 35 during the previous turn – provided these hexes are not in the ZoC of an enemy unit and do not contain a supply source. 4.8. EFFICIENCY While a unit’s strength value determines how “healthy” it is, its efficiency represents its current state of cohesion, morale and fatigue. This value has a strong impact on unit combat capabilities, especially the ability to deal damage to enemy units – defensive capabilities are affected in a lesser degree. The colour of the strength number on the unit plate gives an indication of its current efficiency level. As efficiency drops, the number turns yellow, orange and eventually red. Efficiency can be damaged through combat, especially when bombarded by artillery, naval gunfire or strategic bombers. Movement through difficult terrain types such as mountains and jungles will also decrease efficiency. This is indicated by negative values on a unit’s predicted movement path. The presence of a 36 dirt road will decrease this movement penalty, while moving along a hard road causes no efficiency loss at all. Disembarking from transportation ships also causes an efficiency drop. The amount of efficiency loss depends on the terrain type the unit lands on. Beaches cause a fairly low penalty making them ideally suited for naval invasions. Disembarking from a port to an adjacent city hex causes no efficiency loss at all, making the capture of coastal cities useful in the course of a naval invasion. Unlike strength, efficiency will automatically recover when a unit doesn’t not move and is not involved in combat for at least one full turn. It may take several turns for a 0 efficiency unit to fully recover to the maximum efficiency level of 10. 4.9. ENTRENCHMENT Idle units will automatically create entrenchments at their position. The effectiveness of the entrenchment will increase gradually over several turns, ranging from 0 (no entrenchment) to 10. These levels are visualized on the map by sandbags around the unit. The more bags, the higher the entrenchment level. The following actions will prevent a unit from entrenching: ww Attacking an enemy ww Moving to a different position ww Being attacked by an enemy unit ww Using certain special abilities Repairing and upgrading do not prevent a unit from entrenching. Moving a unit to a new position will clear its previous entrenchment. Attacking from an entrenched position will 37 also reduce its effectiveness. As such, in order to maintain entrenchment defending units must hold their position and resist the temptation of launching counter attacks. 4.10. COMBAT All units can only attack once per turn. When selecting a unit which has not yet lost its ability to attack in the current turn, all valid targets will be marked with a red crosshair. COMBAT PROGNOSIS When hovering the mouse over a valid target, the combat prognosis will be displayed. This is an estimated outcome of the attack, displaying the amount of damage each side is expected to deal to the other. The number under each flag indicates the estimated damage the unit of that nation will do to the other. So the higher your number is compared to that of the enemy, the better the combat odds are for you. Similar to the scores of a sports game, a prognosis of (USA) 3-0 (Japan) means the American unit is expected to score 3 hits on the Japanese unit. To initiate an attack, simply leftclick on a valid target. Remember that the outcome may not exactly match the prognosis, as combat results are slightly randomized and currently invisible enemy units may also affect the real combat outcome. 38 When hovering over a hex marked as a valid move, a combat prognosis will appear over every target which is in range from that position. These potential prognoses display the expected combat results as if the unit has moved to the hex the cursor is currently pointing at. This allows you to check your attack options before having to confirm the move order. AMBUSH When moving a unit it may run into an enemy unit that was invisible or hidden in the fog of war. This will trigger an ambush attack between the enemy unit and the moving unit. Being caught by surprise, the moving unit will suffer from significant combat penalties. RETREAT When a defender takes heavy casualties’ damage in an attack, it will attempt to retreat to safety to reduce its losses. This increases its chances of survival but causes further deterioration of its efficiency. The amount of damage taken during the retreat depends on the movement speed difference between the attacker and the defender. Highly experienced units also suffer less efficiency and strength loss when retreating. STRATEGIC DAMAGE Strategic Bombers have the ability to target enemy supply sources directly to decrease the amount of supply they provide. Sustained strategic bombardments will eventually decrease the efficiency of all enemy units within the affected territory. 39 Simply move the bomber over an enemy supply source and it will show up as a valid target, regardless of whether it contains a (visible) enemy unit or not. OUTFLANKING SUPPORT A unit engaging a target can get outflanking support from other friendly units. To provide such a bonus, the friendly unit must be: 1. Adjacent to the target unit 2. NOT adjacent to the attacking unit 3. NOT adjacent to any other enemy unit which is also adjacent to the target Friendly units providing outflanking support will be highlighted with a pulsing blue cross during the combat prognosis. DEFENSIVE FIRE SUPPORT All units in the Anti-Tank and Anti-Air classes count as “support units”. They will provide a combat bonus to any adjacent ground unit when the latter is attacked by a tank or aircraft respectively. Enemy units providing fire support will be highlighted with a pulsing red cross during the combat prognosis. A maximum of three units can provide support in a single attack. If more valid support units are available the best ones will automatically be used. 40 FIGHTER COVER Similar to defensive fire support, fighter-class units will defend any adjacent friendly ground, air or naval unit against enemy air attacks. For example when a bomber attacks a carrier with a fighter adjacent to it, the fighter will be involved in the combat calculation and cause additional damage to the attacker. The only exception is that fighters will never assist other fighters in combat. A maximum of three fighters can provide support in a single attack. If more supporting fighters are available the best ones will automatically be used. AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT A mechanic unique to air-to-air combat is that the damage done by both attacker and defender depends on the defender’s strength value. For example when a 10 strength fighter attacks a 3 strength bomber the damage taken and dealt by both will be lower than if both units had been at full strength. This represents that there are only so many attacking aircraft that can safely engage a single target simultaneously, and that weakened targets are more spread out – trying to avoid combat – resulting in longer flight times to catch up with them. In practice this means it is better to spread out your fighters when engaging several incoming enemy bombers rather than concentrating all fighters on a single target until it is destroyed. It also gives to badly damaged aircraft a better chance to escape back to the safety of their airfield or carrier. NAVAL COMBAT When engaged in combat, ships would face their sides to the enemy to allow all guns to aim at the enemy and deliver maximum broadside fire. This meant that – once they got in firing range – 41 fleets would generally sail parallel to the enemy, not toward them. In the game this is simulated with the following mechanic: When ships increase or decrease the distance toward a specific target before firing, its attack capability will be decreased. 42 In the example above the Japanese cruiser does two damage to the enemy ship from a distance of five hexes. If it chooses to move upward to a hex that is still five hexes away from the enemy, the combat prognosis does not change. If instead it moves toward the enemy – thus changing the distance from five to two hexes – the predicted damage output will decrease to 0+. In addition to this, the combat calculation also takes into account that firing accuracy decreases over range: Damage caused by ships decreases if the target is further than 1/3rd of the ship’s range + 1 hex. So for example a three range Destroyer will deal maximum damage at any target within a range of two hexes (three range / 3 + 1 hex), while a six range Cruiser can hit targets up to three hexes away with maximum accuracy. Targets further away will take less damage when fired upon as illustrated in the screenshot above. Note: Torpedoes are not affected by any of these two naval combat mechanics. NAVAL TORPEDOES Various naval and air units have the ability to fire torpedoes. After firing a volley of torpedoes it takes a number of turns to recharge the ability. Torpedoes generally deal very high damage, especially to large – easier to hit – capital ships. Unlike normal attacks however, torpedoes require a clear line of fire: Land hexes and other ships – friend or foe – can block a target if they 43 are positioned on the torpedoes trajectory. In the example above, the Japanese destroyer can fire torpedoes at the bottom cruiser, but not the one at the top, because it is shielded by a destroyer. The damage output of a torpedo is determined by whether the target has moved in the previous turn or not. This is indicated by the national emblem next to the enemy unit’s strength number: if the unit has moved the emblem is fully darkened, meaning torpedoes will be less effective at hitting and damaging the target. Note: A ship which has not moved or attacked during its own turn will automatically count as “moved” for this torpedo penalty, so you don’t have to move every single ship every turn if it is not involved in combat. Only ships which have fired their guns but did not move will take maximum damage when targeted by torpedoes. 4.11. PURCHASE & DEPLOYMENT The Production Panel can be accessed during your turn through the “Purchase” button above the Unit Abilities panel and allows you to acquire new units. In the Production Panel, select the desired unit class, pick a unit from the available selection and click the purchase button to complete the purchase. If you do not have enough Resource Points to purchase the unit or not enough Command Points to deploy it, a tooltip on the Purchase button will inform you. 44 After purchasing a new unit it is added to the force pool list, under either the “All” or “Reserve” tabs. Clicking on its icon will select that unit and highlight valid deployment hexes on the battle map. As a general rule, ground units can be placed adjacent to cities, air units around airfields and naval units around ports. Note that these locations are only valid if they contain a Victory or Capture Point and are controlled by the player who owns the unit. In addition to these standard deployment rules, a lot of scenarios also mark additional areas as valid deployment positions. Sometimes these areas are only available during 45 the deployment phase, other times throughout the course of a scenario. Freshly purchased units can still be sold by clicking the “$” button at the bottom right side of their icon. This will refund the full cost of the unit, but once the unit has been deployed on the battlefield once you will no longer be able to sell it. DEPLOYMENT SUPPLY REQUIREMENTS Note that land units can only be deployed on regions which have enough supply output to support them. For air unit deployment, there must be enough supply output from friendly airfields or carriers available on the map. Most carriers for example provide enough supply to maintain only carrier-based 3 aircraft. If there are no airfields available – for example in a naval battle – the deployment of land-based aircraft will be prohibited. Valid deployment hexes which are unavailable due to supply shortages will be marked in a red overlay. In the example above, the M3 Stuart tank requires 4 supply and cannot be deployed because there is 0 supply surplus available in this territory. 4.12. EXPERIENCE When units are involved in combat, they gain experience. this means that green recruits – should they survive – will eventually grow into tough veterans. The amount of experience gained in a single attack depends on the amount of damage done and taken. 46 Experience slightly improves a units offensive and defensive capabilities, but mostly impacts unit efficiency and survivability. Veteran units will suffer less efficiency loss from combat and movement, and will take fewer casualties when forced to retreat. A unit’s experience level is visualised with small yellow dots above its strength plate on the battle map. These dots match the experience stars displayed in the lower UI panel if a unit is selected. Hovering the cursor over these stars will display the exact experience points the unit currently has. Not designed as combat units, Aircraft Carriers also gain experience from refueling aircraft. 4.13. REPAIRING & REINFORCING Land units can be repaired anywhere on the map as long as they are not cut off from supply. When not adjacent to the enemy and if it has not yet moved in the current turn, a unit will recover up to 5 strength points from a Repair action. Otherwise only 2 strength points can be recovered per turn. These rates can decrease if the unit is suffering from supply shortages. Units which can operate in enemy territory – such as commandos – cannot repair until they reach friendly territory. To repair an air unit it must be undeployed or landed on an airfield or carrier. Naval units must be deployed inside a friendly port hex, but also have a damage control ability to repair a limited amount of strength on the open sea. The specialized “Support Ship” unit can also repair naval units on the open sea, albeit at a slower rate than port facilities. 47 There are two types of repair available in the Unit Abilities panel: Normal and Elite Repair. Using normal repair will reduce the unit’s experience level based on the amount of fresh reinforcements added. Elite reinforcements will maintain the experience level, but becomes more expensive as experience grows. The cost compared to standard reinforcing is significant, so you should restrict the use of elite reinforcements to key units in your army core. REFORMING DESTROYED UNITS When a Core unit is destroyed, you can track its history in the Force list under the “Destroyed Units” tab. When selecting it in the list a “Reform Unit’ button will appear in the Unit Abilities panel. This allows you to reform the unit for full cost, maintaining 5% of its former experience. It will also keep the logbook and statistics history of the unit in place. 5. COMMANDERS Commanders are automatically unlocked in specific scenarios on specific dates or events, and can be attached to a unit to provide specific bonuses to its unit and any other unit within its command range. There are three types of Commanders, each can only be attached to a specific category of units: ww Generals: Attach to land units. ww Captains: Attach to naval units. ww Pilots: Attach to air units. 48 To assign a newly unlocked Commander to a unit, just click on its portrait in the top-right corner of the screen and all valid targets be highlighted on the battlefield. Then click on a valid unit to confirm the attachment. Just like Core Units, Commanders will be carried over from one scenario to the next throughout a campaign. When a Commander is attached to an Auxiliary (non-Core) unit it will automatically be detached from that unit at the end of the scenario. The Commander can then be attached to another unit at the start of the next scenario. 5.1. DETACHING Commanders can be detached through the Information Panel of their current unit. Click the red cross in the top-right corner of the portrait to detach it. The Commander will instantly detach from that unit but requires two turns before it can be reassigned to another unit. 5.2. INJURY & IMPRISONMENT When a Commander’s unit is destroyed in combat it will become unavailable for a number of turns. This timer can be tracked on its portrait in the top right corner of the screen. Once the timer has ran out, the Commander can be reassigned to another unit. 49 If a commander’s unit is destroyed while completely cut off from supply, its status will be “Imprisoned” instead of “Wounded”. Imprisoned commanders take longer to recover – or rather, escape imprisonment – than wounded commanders. 6. SCENARIO GAMEPLAY 6.1. BRIEFING Most scenarios start with an briefing sequence to take you through the objectives and background of the mission. Click the “Start Briefing” button to initiate the briefing display, then use the next or previous buttons at the bottom UI to read through the various pages. You cannot select units or interact with the battle map during the briefing. Once you have reviewed the briefing, you can click the “Start Game” button to start the game. 6.2. CONTROLS UI MOUSE CONTROLS ww UI controls: Left click select/apply, Right click to cancel ww Drag the map: Drag the right mouse button UNIT MOUSE CONTROLS Single mouse-button controls scheme: ww Select unit: Left click on unit ww Deselect unit: Right click ww Move unit: Left click on destination ww Attack unit: Left click on target ww Swap unit: CTRL + Left click on target 50 Double mouse-button control scheme: ww Select unit: Left click on unit ww Deselect unit: Left click on a open hex ww Move unit: Right click on destination ww Attack unit: Right click on target ww Swap unit: CTRL + Right click on target HOTKEYS Hold Space Bar: Display supply mode. TAB: Switch between air and ground view Page Up/Down: Scrolls through units that still have movement or attack points left F5: Quick save F8: Quick load F9: Take screenshot, saved in the game documents folder (PNG file format) Escape: Opens the options menu. Arrow keys: Scroll the map WASD keys: Scroll the map (qwerty) ZQSD keys: Scroll the map (azerty) P: Open/close purchase menu F: Open/close force pool list CTRL + Enter: End turn R: Repair selected unit E: Elite repair selected unit U: Open upgrade menu for selected unit C: Open chat messenger (MP only) I: Toggle the Unit Information panel. +: Zoom in -: Zoom out 51 6.3. OBJECTIVES: VICTORY & DEFEAT There are two types of objectives in a scenario: ww Primary Objectives: Need to be achieved in order to win the mission ww Secondary Objectives: Completing these is optional and will give various bonuses in the current scenario or at later points in the campaign. Failing to complete all of the primary objectives before the turn limit expires will lead to a defeat. Also keep in mind that it is not always possible to achieve all Secondary Objectives. In some scenarios you have to choose specifically on which objectives to focus on, rather than try to complete them all. While Secondary Objectives may not always affect the current scenario, they may affect the strategic situation of the campaign and have noticeable consequences in later scenarios. TURN OVERVIEW The objectives of the current scenario are displayed in the Turn Overview panel. This will automatically be displayed at the start of the scenario and each new player turn. To get more information about an objective, such as its award or the position of hexes or units it refers to, click on the icon in front of it. 52 You can also bring up the Turn Overview panel at any time by clicking on the turn & date indicator in the bottom right UI bar. It allows you to review the scenario objectives and their status at any point in the game. VICTORY & CAPTURE POINTS Some hexes are marked with animated flags which come in three types: ww Primary VPs: Marked with a golden flag. ww Secondary VPs: Marked with a silver flag. ww Capture Points (CP): Marked with a bronze flag. Primary and Secondary Victory Points are generally linked directly to the scenario objectives, while CPs merely mark the ownership of important locations. Both VPs and CPs are also very important in the deployment of new units: when present on a city or village hex, new units can be deployed there by whomever controls the hex. Note however that when you (re)capture an enemy VP or CP it takes 3 turns to establish full control over the point. This is represented by the height of the flag: Until the flag is fully raised, the hex will not provide any supply and will not allow the deployment of new units. 53 6.4. HEXES & TERRITORY Every hex is owned by a specific player. Hexes are captured by moving land or naval units to or through them. Air units cannot capture hexes. Regions of hexes uninterrupted by enemy or neutral hexes form “territories” and are visually defined with borderlines. When a hex contains a Victory Point or Capture Point its flag will represent the nation that owns the hex. Water hex ownership is not visualised with borderlines because unless it also contains a VP it has no effect on the gameplay. Isolated patches of territory containing no units or supply sources will be automatically captured if they are completely surrounded by enemy territory. 6.5. SUPPLY SYSTEM Supply plays a vital element in Order of Battle and can be the difference between victory and defeat. You can enable the Supply Display mode by holding the <Space Bar> or clicking on the Command Points display in the bottom left side of the UI, just above the date & turn indicator. In this mode, supply sources are marked on the map and unit strength plates change to display their supply type and cost requirements. 54 LAND SUPPLY Land units generally draw supply from cities, villages or other landbased supply sources. The supply level of a land unit is calculated by adding up the output of all supply sources in its territory and dividing that by the sum of the supply requirements of all units in that territory. Each unit type requires a specific amount of supply. For example, in the screenshot above there are two towns providing five supply each in a small pocket of territory. This means there are a total of ten supply points available here. The five US units in this territory require four supply each, so the supply balance is: (5 + 5) / (4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4) = 10 / 20 = 0.5 = 50% supply level for each of the five units. The red – 10 indicates that there is a total shortage of ten supply points in this territory. 55 So in order to operate at full efficiency the total amount of supply provided by all supply sources in a territory must match or exceed the total supply requirements of all units in that territory. When there are not enough supply sources available in a territory, units will gradually lose efficiency until their efficiency level matches their supply level. So in the example above, the 5 units will drop to 50% efficiency over the next few turns. Units on less than 100% supply level are marked with yellow, orange or red dots depending on the severity of the shortage. The supply level of a unit will also affect its movement speed and repair rate. It is also not possible to deploy additional units in a territory if its supply output cannot sustain the extra supply requirements of those units. COASTAL SUPPLY Naval units do not require supply. However, they have the ability to provide supply for land-based units when adjacent to land territory. When in supply display mode, black arrows will point to the territory each coastal ship is currently providing supply to. The amount of coastal supply provided depends on the ship type and strength: larger ships generally provide more supply than smaller 56 ones. The unique “Supply Ship” unit provides by far the most supply and is essential to support naval invasions until sufficient land-based sources can be captured. When deployed in a port hex, ships provide twice as much coastal supply as they normally do. Note: Carriers do not provide Land Supply, but provide Air Supply instead. AIR SUPPLY Air units draw supply from any friendly airfield on the map, regardless of the distance to the aircraft. Carrier-based aircraft can also draw supply from Carrier units. Just like land units, if there are not enough air supply points available to match or exceed the total amount of required supply points of all aircraft present on the battle map, the air units efficiency level will drop. While losing all airfield or carriers may not directly damage your aircraft, it will effectively cripple them. Once depleted to zero efficiency, they will be unable to defend themselves properly let alone cause further damage to enemy units. 6.6. UNIT SELECTION INTERFACE The bottom UI bar displayed during scenario gameplay can be divided into 3 sections. From left to right it contains: 57 ww The selected unit’s Abilities Panel on the left side of the bar ww The selected and hovered units’ information display in the center of the bar ww The scenario information display on the right side of the bar The far left side of the UI bar displays the Unit Abilities Panel, which provides access to Repair, Elite Repair, Upgrade and certain special abilities depending on the type of the selected unit. It also contains “next” and “previous” button which allow you to scroll through all currently active units. Active means that the unit can still execute a move or attack during the current turn. The content of the center section is dynamic and can display a variety of unitrelated information. When selecting a unit, it will display the basic information about that unit as well as on overview of its most important stats. On the right side it will display the terrain type of the unit’s current position on the map. By clicking on the terrain type name, this display can be toggled to display a list of the unit’s traits instead. While the unique balance of a unit’s statistics largely define its purpose on the battlefield, their use is often augmented by one or more special traits. These can define passive bonuses or benefits such as the ability to travel 58 through difficult terrain more easily, or grant active abilities such as minesweeping capabilities or special attack types. When hovering the cursor over another unit, the terrain or traits information will be replaced with the icon of that unit. The central statistics will also change to display either information about a combat prognosis between the two units or a comparison of their statistics. UNIT INFORMATION PANEL Clicking the “i” button on the bottom right of the unit icon or pressing the <I> key will open the unit information panel. This panel provides an overview of the unit’s statistics and history. The “General” tab displays the current unit type’s statistics, the attached 59 Commander (if any) and his bonuses as well as the Logbook, which contains a summary of the main events in the unit’s career. The “Statistics” tab provides a detailed overview of the unit’s performance in combat, listing kills of each unit class as well as some overall statistics. 6.7. TERRAIN Every hex has a specific terrain type. You can bring up a Terrain Information Panel by clicking the “i” button on the terrain picture of the currently selected unit. TERRAIN INFORMATION This popup shows the combat effects and efficiency penalties related to the selected terrain type. Terrain can cause an attack penalty for the attacker, the defender, or both. Fighting on terrain with an “attacker damage” factor of less than 1.0 will cause fewer casualties for the defender, while terrain types where both sides have lowered damage output – such as mountains – result in lower casualties in general, thus making decisive combat much slower and more difficult to achieve. The panel also displays the efficiency loss for moving to or through this terrain, the efficiency loss for disembarking here from naval transportation and the terrain “cover rating”. COVER RATING The cover rating of a terrain type determined how much cover from direct fire and natural obstructions are available. Terrain 60 types such as cities, jungles and hills have higher cover values than open terrain and beaches. All attack stats against land based targets consist of two values. The terrain cover value determines what actual value is used when fighting on a hex. For example the M4A3 Sherman 105mm above is armed with a low-velocity howitzer, designed for assault and infantry support but not for fighting enemy tanks. Its “Attack against [Land] Mechanised” (lower-left corner) has a range of “12-16”. This means it will have 12 attack against tanks on terrain with 0% cover and 16 attack in 100% cover. If the terrain has 50% cover it will have 14 attack. This means the unit’s gun is less effective against tanks on open terrain, where shots would be fired from long ranges, but its performance improves in towns and cities, where its high-calibre gun can be used to bettter effect. The exact calculation for range “X - Y” is: (X - Y) * (100 - (cover rating)) + Y ROADS & RAILS Dirt and Hard Roads decrease the cost from moving through hexes. When there is a road connection between two hexes, moving from one hex to the other will only take half the movement points it would normally cost. Railroads allow trains and other railroad unit types to move through the hexes. RIVERS & BRIDGES Rivers are among the most important natural obstacles you will encounter in the game. A unit always spends all its movement 61 points to enter or exit a river hex. This means it takes three turns for a unit starting adjacent to a river hex to cross over and move away from the river. In addition, while sitting on a river hex a unit is highly vulnerable to attack. Crossing rivers near a strong enemy presence should only be attempted when strong artillery support is available. Whenever possible, bridges should be used to cross a river quickly and safely. They do not cause any movement restrictions but being attacked while on a bridge still causes a combat penalty. Bridges can be destroyed using the “Demolition Explosives” ability of specialized units such as Engineers. A hex with a destroyed bridge has the same penalties as a river hex without any bridge. Engineers also have the ability to create pontoon bridges. These have the same benefit as standard road bridges. 6.8. RESOURCES The main resource type in the game is given the general name “Resources” or “Resource Points” (RP). These are used for various actions: ww Purchasing new units ww Repairing units ww Upgrading units ww Executing certain special abilities The amount of RP currently available in a scenario is displayed in the top-right corner of the main UI bar. Additional RP can be acquired in a few different ways: ww Most scenarios provide a steady income of RP every turn. If the scenario is completed faster than the turn limit, any RP for the remaining turns are automatically added to the stockpile. The amount of RP income per turn is displayed in the Turn Overview popup window. 62 ww For completing specific objectives. Sometimes the cost of repairs to complete these objectives may exceed their RP bonus, but they may provide additional advantages in later scenarios. 6.9. COMMAND POINTS The amount of available Command Points (CP) is displayed in the top-right corner of the main UI bar, next to the resources display. These values determine how many units can be deployed at a given time in the current scenario. There are 3 types of CP, one for each of the three unit categories available in the game: ww Land CP, indicated by a green helmet icon ww Naval CP, indicated by a blue anchor icon ww Air CP, indicated by a red aircraft icon Each unit type consumes a specific amount of CP when it is deployed. If there are not enough remaining CP the unit cannot be deployed until more CP become available through a specific scenario event or the destruction of another Core unit. Auxiliary units do not consume CP and do not return their CP cost to the reserve pool upon destruction. 6.10. MINIMAP & STRATEGIC MAP The minimap is positioned on the right side of the main UI bar. It displays an overview of the whole battle map. Units are represented by dots matching their owner’s player colour. Bright dots are units that have not yet moved, darkened dots are units that have consumed all their movement points for the current turn. 63 Note that enemy and neutral units are only visible on the minimap when they are actually within line of sight of one of your own units. The white rectangle indicates the area that is currently visible on the battle map. Left-clicking anywhere on the minimap will move the camera to focus on that location. Right-clicking on the minimap will open the Strategic Map. This is essentially a larger version of the minimap, providing a full overview of the map, friendly and (visible) enemy units and their classes. Note that you cannot control the units in this view, it only serves to provide a quick overview of the current strategic situation. 6.11. FOG OF WAR All hexes on the map that are not within Line of Sight (LOS) of at least one friendly unit will be covered in a dark shroud, called the Fog of War (FoW). Enemy units in the FoW are not visible on the battle map. The distance a unit can see depends on the terrain types of its surrounding. Note how in the screenshot above the US unit can see 2 hexes along the open road, but cannot see past the jungle terrain on its 64 right. This is because jungle terrain has a higher “LOS cost” than open terrain. At the start of a turn, all your units reveal the FoW of all hexes within their LoS. When you move them, they reveal all the hexes along their path of movement. Enemy units attacking from inside FoW – for example long range artillery – will automatically be revealed for the duration of their turn. At the end of each turn the FoW is recalculated, hiding hexes that your units can no longer see. There are also a number of special units such as submerged submarines and commando type infantry units which can be invisible to the enemy even when their location is not concealed by the FoW. In addition, Infantry and towed guns positioned in certain terrain types such as jungles and cities can only be spotted by adjacent ground or naval units. DISTANT VISION & RADAR Aircraft and Radar Stations have the ability to see past their LOS range, revealing the position of enemy ships or aircraft in the fog of war. These hexes are covered with a lighter version of the FoW as opposed to the standard black shroud. Enemy units detected in this manner will be marked as an icon without revealing their type or strength. 65 6.12. AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE Air units require fuel to stay up in the air. The number on the right side of an air unit’s strength plate indicates the amount of turns it can stay up in the air. If an aircraft is selected, red movement markers indicate hexes that will be out of fuel range in the next turn. When the fuel indicator drops to 0, the air unit will lose strength each turn until it finally drops out of the sky and crashes. To prevent this from happening the aircraft must land on a friendly airfield where it will be refueled automatically in the next turn. Carrier-based aircraft can also land and refuel on aircraft carriers. When on or adjacent to a friendly airfield you can use the “Land” ability to put it on the ground. When landing on an empty airfield, a Hangar unit will be created and the aircraft will be stored inside. If a Hangar already exists, the aircraft will be added to its current cargo. Hangars will automatically disappear when the last aircraft inside takes off. Selecting the Hangar or Carrier allows you to select and manage their cargo in the bottom left UI bar. Float Planes and Flying Boats are an exception to this rule: They do not require refueling. This ability to stay airborne makes them ideal for long range reconnaissance missions, but they carry very little armament and are vulnerable to enemy air attacks. 66 7. SCENARIO EDITOR Scenarios are created using the boardgame visuals style. You can at any point test how your creation looks and plays by clicking the “Launch Scenario” button in the bottom right corner of the screen. When opening the editor you will start off with a blank map filled with the “Open” terrain type. The buttons in the bottom left side of the UI bar allow you to change terrain types or place decorations, units, roads, rivers and other special objects on the map. The editor allows you to add every feature that is used in the official game content to your own creations, thereby letting you design single-player and multi-player scenarios of any size and complexity that you want to. For more information on the scenario editor and game modding, you can visit the game forums on the Slitherine website: http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=264 67 7.1. EDITOR HOTKEYS Shift + Click (with unit selected): Move unit to new location CTRL + numpad number (with unit selected: Set AI team <number> ALT + numpad number (with unit selected: Set AI team 10 + <number> CTRL + click (with valid transport type selected): Assign transport to target unit on the map CTRL + T: toggle overlay image on/off (<yourscenarioname>_ template.jpg) 8. CREDITS ARISTOCRATS LEAD DESIGN & PROGRAMMING Lukas Nijsten AI PROGRAMMING David Forster 3D MODELLING Bernd Brosing ARTISTS Massimiliano Del Bono, Wim De Mulder ANIMATIONS Niels Vaes SOUND FX Paulo Costa MUSIC Alessandro Ponti VIDEO Michèl Niedermeier 68 SLITHERINE CHAIRMAN JD McNeil DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Iain McNeil PRODUCER Alex Stoikou OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Erik Rutins TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Philip Veale MARKETING DIRECTOR Marco A. Minoli CREATIVE DIRECTOR Richard Evans PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER Olivier Georges COMMUNITY MANAGER Bart Schouten ASSETS MANAGEMENT Liz Stoltz ART LEAD Claudio Guarnerio, Myriam Bell QA & PRODUCTION ASSISANTS Andrew Loveridge, Gerry Edwards, Matthew Davis ADMINISTRATION Dean Walker CUSTOMER SUPPORT STAFF Paulo Costa, Joseph Miller WEB DEVELOPMENT Valery Vidershpan, Andrea Nicola, Fernando Turi 69 NOTES 70 Printed in China through WorldPrint Ltd.
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