Once the first turn begins, you can begin looking at the display and moving your units. Depending on the game design and startup options, you may or may not be moving simultaneously with the other players. If not, then the players move one at a time, in the order that their sides are listed in any display. Usually, you can choose freely which units to move next; you can move one a bit, switch to another, move it, then come back to the first one later, and so forth. Some game designs may require that you move units in a specific order; for instance, you may be required to move all your aircraft before any ships can move.
At the beginning of each turn, Xconq computes the number of action points available to each unit. Each unit gets a certain number of action points each turn.
Normally, each of your units gets its action points, uses them up during the turn, and must stop doing anything when no action points are left. However, some unit types may have a minimum ACP below 0, and/or a maximum that is greater than the number gotten each turn. You can use this extended range by allowing a unit to accumulate extra action points by doing nothing for several turns, or to recover from an activity that used many action points all at once. Think of this as a sort of temporary action "debt". Units in debt at the beginning of a turn cannot act during that turn, and will continue to be inactive until they start a turn with an ACP of 1 or more.
Actions are the most basic kinds of things your units can do. During play, the interface will usually give you capabilities that are easy to use, such as the ability to point at a destination and have the unit figure out which path to take to get there, but all such input eventually breaks down into sequences of actions. Also, the rules of a game design are expressed in terms of allowed actions, their costs, and their consequences. You will therefore find it useful to understand all the types of actions available.
Each type of action may have one or more "arguments" associated with it. These are mentioned below as "given" values.
Unit Manipulation Group:
Material Manipulation Group:
Terrain Manipulation Group:
Normally, you as the player and the side simply tell units to perform these actions themselves. However, some games will allow the unit to cause the action to done as if another unit were doing the action. For instance, a transport can pick up or drop off a non-moving unit.
Not all interfaces can be guaranteed to allow the most general forms of all these actions; you must consult the interface's documentation to find out which of these actions is available.
Movement into a cell is easy to request--interfaces let you do this with a keystroke or mouse click--but each game design will have many rules constraining possible moves, depending both on the unit and the terrain it is moving over. Certain kinds of terrain cost extra time to enter, leave, or cross. The destination must usually be adjacent to the unit's current location, and may be at any altitude.
The other kind of movement action is to enter a transport. The only argument is the unit to enter, but again the constraints may be complicated. The transport must have sufficient space, both the entering unit and the transport must have sufficient mp and acp to complete the move, and the entering unit must be able to cross the intervening terrain. The transport may be able to ferry the would-be occupant over any barriers; possibilities include no ferrying, ferrying only over the transport's terrain, ferrying over any borders, and ferrying over all terrain between the would-be occupant and the transport.
Although as with other actions, you use up action points to move, the cost of movement is based on movement points or mp. A unit's speed determines the relationship between acp and mp; most of unit have a speed of 1.00, so for them acp and mp are the same. However, a unit with a speed of 4.50 and 2 acp will be able to do moves costing up to 4.50 * 2 = 9 mp.
In some games, you may be able to make one of your units leave the world entirely. Sometimes this will seem like a good idea, perhaps to keep a trapped unit from falling into enemy hands, or because you win the game by leaving through a designated place. To do this, you just direct your unit (which must already be at the edge of the world) to move into one of the cells along the edge. If the departure is allowed, then the unit will simply vanish and be out of the game permanently.
In other games, you may be able to do a border slide. This is where a unit can jump to a non-adjacent cell if the two cells have a border whose endpoints touch the starting and ending cell. This is typically allowed in games so that ships can go through narrow straits without having to be "between cells" at any time.
War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied. -- SUN TZU (ca 400 BC)
There are two basic kinds of combat, each with two versions. A unit can either attack or overrun, meaning that it comes to grips with the enemy in some way, or it can fire, meaning that it keeps its position and throws something at a target.
Attack is directed at a particular unit, while overrun is a more complex action where the unit attempts to clear enough units from a given location so that it can move in.
A unit wishing to attack picks a position or unit to attack, Xconq computes the defender's response, then the outcome is computed.
Firing can happen at long ranges, up to a maximum range for each type can that can fire. It may or may not involve using a specific material as ammunition; if the game gives you a choice, you will have to choose which, or else all possible types will be used. You can fire at a specific unit if you can see it, otherwise you will have to fire into a cell; perhaps without knowing whether or not you're actually hitting anything in it. Some units may also have a minimum range and cannot fire at anything that is closer than that range. (ICBMs and some kinds of artillery are limited in this way.)
Some units are capable of capturing other units, with a probability depending on the types of both units involved, and whether the unit being captured is independent or belongs to a side. If the capture attempt is successful, the capturer will move into the cell if possible, either as occupant or transport. In some games, the capturer may be partially or even completely disbanded, to serve as the garrison. Capture may also occur as a side effect of a normal attack or overrun.
Detonation is a special kind of "combat" available to some units. The action requires a location, either the unit's own position or a nearby cell. Upon detonation, the detonating unit may lose some hp and even die (changing to its wrecked type, if defined, or else vanishing). At the same time, it makes one hit on any units within its radius of effect. Detonation may also be triggered automatically, such as by damage to the unit or even by another unit appearing nearby.
Knowledge is power. -- FRANCIS BACON (1597)
Individual units may perform research to achieve advances.
Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. -- THOMAS EDISON
Development increases a side's tech for the unit type being developmented. Although your unit can only develop one specific type of unit at a time, some game designs allow for a crossover effect, where increases in the tech level for one type also increases the level in others.
You can have more than one developer unit working on the same type, and thereby speed up your progress, but note that some games put a ceiling on how much progress you can make in one turn.
Development is different from research in that its goal is to enable the ability to see or work with a specific type of unit, while research achieves abstract advances.
We must be the great arsenal of democracy. -- FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT (1940)
In some games, the construction of new units is an important part of play, whether you're recruiting cannon fodder for the wars or building great ships in a shipyard.
Xconq always uses units to perform construction. It first checks that the research, development, and tooling prerequisites have been met (most interfaces will autom development and toolup actions if a unit is told to build something that needs tech or tooling first). Actual construction of a unit happens in two steps; creation and building towards completion.
Tooling up prepares a unit to create or construct the desired type. As with development, game designs may allow a crossover effect for tooling. Tooling may also decline gradually over time; this is called tooling attrition. Many games do not require tooling up.
Creation is the actual step of bringing a new unit into existence. If the new unit is complete, then it can be used immediately. If not (which is usually the case), then the incomplete unit will exist and belong to your side, but be unable to do anything at all. Incomplete transports cannot have any occupants, unless the occupants are types capable of helping complete the transport. Incomplete units always have exactly 1 hp.
You achieve completion by doing build actions on the unit. Multiple units can all work on completing the same unit, but they must be sufficiently close, within a range defined by the game (usually the same or an adjacent cell). In some games, some units will have a level of completion past which the unit will start working on itself automatically, and eventually become complete without you needing to do anything else.
It is usually the case that the same unit will be able to both create and complete a unit, but if not, you will have to pay special attention to your construction plan, since an incomplete unit cannot act in any way. You would have to either transport the incomplete unit to a type that can complete it, or the completing unit must come to the incomplete one. Some games may allow the incomplete unit and its completer to be some distance apart, but the usual rule is that they must be in the same cell.
Note that multi-part units will be considered "complete" when just one of their parts is completed. Most interfaces will have the builder continue growing the just-completed unit as long as it remains within construction range.
Repair restores lost hit points to a unit. Repairs can be done by the damaged unit itself, if it is not too badly damaged, or by another unit that is close enough.
Some games also feature automatic hit point recovery, so you don't always have to remember to do explicit repair actions.
Disbanding is a voluntary loss of hp, ultimately resulting in the disappearance of the unit. Most games only allow it for a few types of units. Depending on the game, you may be able to disband the unit with one action, or you may need several before the unit actually goes away.
Units with occupants can disband, but only if the occupants are unaffected by the action. If the unit would vanish or lose transport capacity, then the occupants must be disbanded or removed first. (The interface may arrange to do this for you automatically.)
You always get back all of the disbanded unit's supplies, and they will be distributed to other units nearby. In addition, the disbanded unit itself may become a source of materials. A percentage of the total material will become available after each action, if disbanding takes several actions to accomplish.
In games where units can vary in size, you can shift one or more parts of a multi-part unit to another unit, or else create an entirely new unit.
You would use this action if, for instance, you wanted to detach a survey party from an exploring expedition, then rejoin later.
In many games, you can give some of your units to another side. You may also be able to take them from another side, if you control that side.
Unlike other actions, you may be able to cause a unit to change side without actually needing any action points, if the type is one that cannot act on its own.
A few games allow you to change the type of a unit.
For instance, you might have this ability in a construction-oriented game, where you can take a town that has accumulated sufficient building materials and change it into a city. Another possibility is that you have increased your technology level and are now able to transform a low-tech ship into a higher-tech ship.
Production is how a unit can produce a quantity of a material.
Often there will be plenty of some type of material in the world, but the problem is getting it from the units that have it to the units that need it. The transfer action is how you move material supply from one unit to another.
As with production, many games have some automatic transfers set up. For instance, games involving aircraft generally refuel them automatically whenever the aircraft has landed in a place with fuel to spare. [Demands should be set by doctrine.]
In some games, units can add or remove borders, connections, or coatings, or may even be able to change the overall type of terrain in a cell. The actions are add-terrain, remove-terrain, and alter-terrain, respectively.
The change happens immediately (for the sake of simplicity), but in practice, you may find that preparing for the change may take awhile. For instance, the unit executing the change might have to accumulate acp or materials required for the change.