ARCHLORDS: The Ascensions
In the following few lines I write about the game, it's not the final version, but maybe it will give picture about the game's nature. When we will have time we will correct it as the project goes on. (last update by Erdi: 01-15-2006)
so what's going on?
By the first view the game could seem very complicated. This is because the game is complicated. :) But don't panik! The beginners can learn how to play easily, and you don't have to know everything about Archlords to be successful leader of an empire. Maybe this is the best side of the game. From it's complexity, there are many ways to win the game, and got into the hall of fame. You don't need to use every feature to become winner. Art of war, economical power and/or diplomacy or even smaller shady practiques will help you to reach your goal: be the best in galaxy.
The art of war
Wars solved many problems in history. Empires raised and fell because of their well or poorly leaded military. In the Archlords the weapons and military have important place. You can get more space to live by taking other's, if you have no more planets to colonize.
In the game there are many type and class of ships, they are grouped by power and size.
The list of ships can be found in help topics, when it's ready. All of ships can be used by themselves, but they support each other, so it's worth to combine them to increase the efficenty. It's a fine system where you will need to find out how will be the best to send an attack and what worth to produce. For example you will need to decide how many fighters and how many destroyers needed with one battleship. And should you send flagship with them? Or keep them to the defense? Of course any of them fight by their own, but a good strategist will know how to use their true tactical power.
In every well organized army the ships needed to assign into flottiles. The admirals will give you some hints about the next battle, they know every captians' nature, and they know their abilities. So if you have the proper informations, they can say something about the possibilities of the next battle. But of course they are not wisemans in cave.
You can assign the flottiles to move, defend or attack, or even other missions to do. You can give orders under Flottila menu. You can combine more Flottiles. (Of course only which flottiles have ships in them), their mission's target could be allied, hostile or neutral planet also. Beware the hostile actions on a neutral player will mean war, and the lack of declaring war means many retorsions by the galactic senate. You can assign an admiral as leader to attack who have specialities. And when you combine the army with your friends, you need to agree who will be the attack's leader. If your army reaches the target after the peace concluded, the army will return to their start position.
There are many types of products to defend you planets. Military star bases, interceptor systems, planet- or sunshields. They are somewhat cheaper than the ships, but remember, while you spend all money to defend yourself, somebody maybe creates an army what will go through your defenses, to take everything what you made in peaceful times.
When hostile flottiles arrive to a planet, the battle begins. The battle based on turns and generated by algorithm. It includes the defense and offense power of the armies and the types of the ships. Then it calculates the losses on both sides. Beside the flottiles, the defense systems and their power two other things are important. The agressivity of the army, what can be adjusted in "Empire" menu. This tells the people how big losses are too costy for the battle, and when the battle becoming too risky and life-demanding they will retreat. The other one is the army's morale. When the people think that the losses are too high, and the enemy becoming too strong compared with them they will flee from battle. In "Empire" menu you can get the fresh information on soldiers' mood.
Not the complete flottile will flee on low morale. When a ship feels that they got serious hit, they will flee to save their lives, they will return when the battle is over. If you won, they will be avaible in the target system, If not, they head to the nearest allied system. After a side in battle annihilated or retreated, the battle is over. The planet's ownership will be the winner's. Of course the battle's winner get some morale bonus, they feel themselves much better than the loser. The bonus depends on how easy vicory was it. The planet's economy gets some damage on it's economy if it is occupied. The frequent owner changing can ruin the best economies too.
Victory! The way: Army!
The game can be won by conquering the galaxy. If your allies (or even only by yourself) are the evidently the biggest in galaxy you won the game. You have your place in Hall of Fame.
A strong economy is the base of a modern empire. If there is producion and money, you can do anything! If you have money, you will have army, and powerful friends. The economy is an important part of the game.
They are bases of the economy. You can produce only on planets. Four main datas tells how worthy is the planet. population, ore, infrastructure, and industries. The last two can be produced in planet directly, it's not a fast think to do. And of course there are negative sides also if you build factories on every square inches. Anyway in long term if you have strong producing potential, you will triumph. You can assign your population to four main duty by percentage. First: To produce commercial and trade goods, create money (Credits). Second: To mine Ore what represents every raw materials. Third: Farming, to produce vital foods for themselves and maybe for other planets. Fourth: Industrial Working, that's what means that your people works for directly to the goverment. Build up industry, produce ships, and anything else, what are too big projects for private companies (if they exist). What to produce? Just take a look on "Economy" menu. You also can also adjust the weekly workhours. Depending on people's type it can be hard to work 100 hours so always watch out on their mood. But you can find out what is your optimum. The profit hungry emperors must know how to maximalize the resources.
As you already could see the morale is important to production. If they go to work with good mood, their productivity is better, if they are happy, your economy will begin to flourish. On the other side if the people feel themselves bad, they will just hang around and will only do what they really must. The weekly workhours definetly linear, people with 80 workhours wont produce double more than people working 40 hours. Keeping the workhour at high level can cause riots and unrest.
The morale affected by food availibity, no food, no happiness. If there is enough food or even more than needed the morale becomes better. Of course starving won't make people happy and motivated.
The wars also make people happy or (as usual) unhappy. A serious war can ruin the planet's economy, but of course the winner gains a lot.
Maybe it happens if you don't take care of people's mood, they decide that you are not neccessary and they will attempt to coup a planet and takeover the governing. If it is successful they will be neutral. But if you can send there enough troops and ships, the rebellion can be stoped and cleared up. But of course better to don't have unrests and riots.
This function is not done yet. This will symbolize the planet's economy's potential and the planet's worth. You can takeover the planet by buying the stocks what related to the planet. Even if you have very high majority the planet will be yours. You can manage your empire as an intergalactic corporation what has enormous wealth in galaxy. Even the planet will profit you when you are at war with it's master. The owner can do nationalisation in planet to shake off you before too late. But this step has huge cost. The planet's economy takes damages after nationaisations. Not sure that worth to do it, but at least the enemy won't suck down your money.
Victory! The way: Economy!
The key function of the game is the economy. Now you can only use it to produce military equipments and expand the planets' possibilities, but naturally in final version there will be the stock market, and many other way to spend the money. When your hand reach everywhere and you have incredible big influence in galaxy, you won the game!
The galactic empires are only chess figures for you in the big political game. Let's be the controller of the history! You have many smaller and bigger tricks. Promisings to bigger empires, intriques, bluffs, pirate synicates, hirable terrorist gangs, spy networks, votes in galactic senate, even other's votes. Use them to fulfill your goals. Why do you fight when others can fight for you?
With your friends or with unknown people you can form alliance. This way to can fight with previously invincible enemy. The alliance will have a leader who decides who can join or say who must leave. But the members will have their own foreign policies. Not everyone must fight in a war, the open attacks in alliances are not permitted, you must leave the alliance if you want to attack an ally. Or force him to leave. Now only military alliances exist, but there will be alliances with other nature (like economical or spying alliances). In military alliances the armies can move together and fight with common enemy. Beware, the ally won't automaticly defend you unless he declares war on hostile empire. Every alliance have own forum where they can discuss the recent situations.
Friends - Enemies:
Naturally you don't have to ally with your friends, some well coordinated messages could make miracles. A common enemy and the common goal can force the people to cooperate with others without entering a fully formed alliance. Try to make friends and take care of foreign affairs. Maybe your enemy has important link to others you must know everything! If you well informed you have many cards in your hands. Use them!
Sometimes the diplomacy is not enough and the time is came to show armies, but not neccessary to use them. Show him what you have and tell him more, maybe he believes you and won without real force. Of course it's not a riskless method of waging war.
Victory! The way: Diplomacy!
If somebody becomes the biggest alliance's leader of the galaxy, and his power is unquestionable, he wins the game.
Enjoy the game!