August 13, 2002

I modified my terminal color scheme slightly, hope you like the change.

You'll notice when I connect today, I got mail from another nation, Tyrain, nation #12. Tyrain appears pleased at the knowledge of a nearby undiscovered island. I respond cheerfully. It's good to be responsive to messages, and assure your neighbors that your intentions are honorable.

As you remember, I have expanded, update, and collected workers into some of my docks. I needed to update 50 time units in order to build a PT boat, and between by movement and update time, I've got enough.

I update 50 (see below). You'll notice I grow a bunch of new people, that's good. Check out my docks now and you'll see a couple of things. First, the civilians in each dock has jumped from 100 to 269. Next you'll see that every dock where there is over 100 civilians, I also have 50 production. Since a PT boat costs 50 production, I can build a PT boat in any of the 6 docks that have 50 production. In fact, I could build 6 PT boats.

Now I do a RADAR to refresh myself on where those two undiscovered islands are. In general, they are to the northwest. I'll launch my PT from the north coast.

I build PT Boat #2. This says that at least one other nation has built a ship before me, because they got ship #1. Now lets load up my new PT Boat. All ships require at least 1 military to captain the ship. Civilians cannot drive. Up to this point, I've not enlisted a single military. My entire nation is civilians, and for good reason. Once you enlist (or draft) civilians into the military, the are military for life. You cannot convert military back to civilians. Although military are needed to attack (and defend against attacks), captain ships, fire artillery, and drop bombs - they will not work in factories, or breed. That last point is important, because this means if you draft 100% of your population, then your population quits growing, and will no longer produce any new ore or material. This is bad.

So, with that in mind, we'll ENLIST 10 military to be crew on our new PT Boat.

Now that I have loaded 10 military and 10 ore (fuel) onto my PT, I can't remember whether a PT holds 10 military or 15. I use the DATA command to find out.

A PT can hold 15, so I enlist another 5 and load them on board. No point in going to sea short handed.

Next we want to leave the island and get on the ship. This is done with the SEA command. To get back on the island, I would use the LAND command. You name the ship number as an argument to the SEA command, and the island number (or name) as an argument to the LAND command. This concept of land and sea is important.

When you are at sea, not all of the commands you were using on land still work, and some commands work differently. The other thing to notice is the different prompt. Now the prompt displays which ship you are currently on (PT Boat #2), which fleet number the ship belongs to (0), and how much movement time the ship has (39.9).

Each and every ship has its own time. If I had 4 ships, each would be accumulating it's own time, and each could use this movement time separately. Furthermore, each ship type accumulates time at a different rate. PT Boats are the fastest ships, and accumulate 40 time units per day. Unlike land, they cannot build up more than a single days worth of time. Remember the DATA command we showed earlier? This command will tell you which ships accumulate how much time.

The other thing you'll notice when you move from land to sea, is that ships are using a different X,Y coordinate system that the island. Ships use "world" coordinates, whereas islands use "island" coordinates. Each island has its own coordinates and sometimes it is necessary to translate island coordinates to world coordinates. This is important, and a bit confusing at first.

Look at the image below. When my PT boat starts to SAIL, the SAIL command informs me that I am on PT Boat #2, and it is located at 400,491 (world coordinates), which is the same as sector 27,1 on island #15 (National park). When you see islands on a RADAR report, or list them in an ISLAND INDEX, the world coordinate shown for the island is actually the world coordinate for island sector 1,1.

There are two basic commands used to move a ship. The first is SAIL, where you enter a direction and distance. The second is COURSE where you specify a destination (in world coordinates).

When you SAIL, the direction is in compass headings (0-360 degrees), with 0 being due north, and 180 being due south. The SAIL command is somewhat unique in that you can execute some other naval commands from the "Direction?" prompt within the SAIL command. And example is the VIEW command.

An example of the VIEW command can be seen above. In this VIEW, the PT boat is just off the southern coast of island #224 (which is undiscovered). I am looking for an acceptable place to ASSAULT and establish a beachhead. You can see my ship is at 492,471 (world coordinates), but just north on sector is island sector 18,19. The VIEW command will show island coordinates when you are within the bounds of an island, and world coordinates when you are not. Notice that island sector 18,19 is water. My PT Boat can SAIL right into that island sector. These sectors are called "inland waters". The coastal sector where I am above is called "coastal waters". It's only important to understand these concepts because some ship types (like Ferries and Barges) cannot leave inland or coastal waters. This ability to travel between island is called "seagoing", and you can see which ship types have this ability on the DATA command.

In the image above, my PT boat has docked on island sector 17,19 and assaulted the sector. Since the sector was unoccupied I captured it without loss. If the sector had been owned by another nation, with military, then casualties would have been probable.

Now that I own a sector on island #224, I can use the LAND command to go to the island.

Once on the island, I can take a visual to see what it looks like. It's not a great island. There is a lot of mountains and inland waters, but - it's all mine. You'll notice that at first my prompt says "No Capitol". Remember, no capitol means to time. Worse yet, no capitol means I'm not even accumulating time. First thing I want to do is designate a capitol. Next I decide to name this island Alcatraz. I actually name the island "Alcatraz 224" including the island number as a part of the island name. This is not an uncommon convention, but is certainly not required.

Now - with no time, there is no need to hang around so it's back to the PT Boat.

You'll notice when I went back to the PT Boat (using the SEA command), I did not specify a ship number. The SEA and LAND commands remember the last ship or island you were on.

When you dock on an island, you must undock in exactly the opposite direction. Sometime this is difficult to remember, so the SAIL command provides UNDOCK as a valid argument for direction (see above).

Now I want to get to that second undiscovered island. I set COURSE to 481,481. You'll notice the COURSE command verifies that the proposed destination is at 13,0 (island #232 coordinates). It's good practice to take visually verify that you are headed to the right destination prior to using your movement time. If the destination looks wrong (maybe you fat fingered the coordinates), you can enter zero (or //) to cancel the command.

I arrive at the second undiscovered island with but one movement time left on my PT Boat. When I VIEW the surroundings, I see that the island sector next to me is a mountain "^". You cannot assault mountains from the sea, so this would not make a good landing spot. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to SAIL to be better landing spot so I guess I'll have to come back later to claim this island.

Below is an example of the SHIP command. The SHIP command is used to view details on the contents of individual ships. It is roughly equivalent to the TROOP command on land, which is used to see the contents of individual sectors.

Now that I have more than one island, I can get a one line summary of each island using the EMPIRE command. This is handy for spotting which islands have accumulated a lot of time and therefore might need attention.

Another summary command is the ISLAND INDEX (see below). It report on every island you know about, even if you've never been on the island. Even though the game has 255 island, I only know about 3 of them. As you spot islands on RADAR, or other nations tell you of island locations, this list will grow. Information about islands must be learned - but once learned, cannot be forgotten.

Finished with my activity for this session, I disconnect. Notice that the entire session only lasted 11 minutes.

Oh - By the way, I did come back in an hour or so and establish a capitol on that second undiscovered island.

I welcome comments:

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