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Standard Keyboard Commands

These commands should be available in all versions of Xconq. Additional commands may be defined for some interfaces; see the interface's documentation below for more details.

You may specify a command in two ways; by typing the single letter for the command, or by using the `o' command and typing in a long command name followed by any additional data, as appropriate to the command.

You may also specify a numerical prefix argument by entering a sequence of digits 0-9 before entering the command. The interpretation of the prefix argument depends on the command; typically it will be a repetition or size. Negative prefix arguments are not possible. Prefixes apply to both single-letter and long-name commands.

Xconq uses the "standard" letters to specify directions. While the positions of "yubn" are all analogous to their respective directions from "h" on a normal keyboard, the rationale for "hjkl" is lost in the mists of time; but those of you who are already programmed from years of vi, rogue, nethack, etc will appreciate the compatibility!

                       y  k  u
                        \ | / 
                       h- . -l
                        / | \ 
                       b  j  n

As commands, lower-case letters [yubnhjkl] indicate that the unit(s) should move one cell in that direction. Upper-case letters [YUBNHJKL] tell the unit(s) to move repeatedly in that direction, either forever, or to a distance specified by the prefix. Control-case letters are reserved for future definition.

In worlds with hexagonal cells, two of the directions (usually `j' and `k') cannot designate an adjacent cell. In those cases, the commands will alternately move the unit to one of the two cells whose direction is closest. So for instance, if `k' moves north, the unit will move northwest for every other move, and northeast otherwise.

The following list is generally in alphabetical order.

' '
(reserve) Reserve unit. (This is the space bar.) Put selected unit(s) into reserve for the remainder of this turn. Units that are in reserve may still be selected and moved by direct order, but will not insist on being moved before the turn can end.
(detonate) Detonate. The selected unit will detonate at its current location.
(help) Display help info.
(escape) Escape character. This is implemented as a command, but in practice, it is a way to escape from interaction modes.
(angle) Change view angle. This command will cause the map to display at an angle. This is useful for seeing elevations more realistically. The command cycles through angles of 90 degrees (overhead), 30 degrees, and 15 degrees; the prefix argument sets the vertical exaggeration.
(distance) Display distance to selected place.
(up) Move to a higher altitude. (not yet implemented)
(down) Move to a lower altitude. (not yet implemented)
(recenter) Center around the current point. For interfaces that can zoom, this command also focusses on the current point, so that it will still be in the middle as you zoom in.
(zoom-out) Zoom out (cells appear smaller).
(zoom-in) Zoom in (cells appear larger).
(attack) Attack.
(add-terrain) Add terrain. If you supply no prefix argument, and the selected unit(s) can add any one of several types of terrain, then you will be asked to choose the terrain type. Then you will be asked for the cell or edge to modify.
(auto) Set AI control of unit. If you supply a prefix of 1, then the unit(s) will become AI-controlled. If you supply a prefix of 0, then the unit(s) become manually controlled. If you supply no prefix, then the AI control will toggle.
(southwest) Move southwest.
(southwest-multiple) Move southwest multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit(s) will move as far as possible.
(change-type) Change unit's type (if possible).
(clear-plan) Clear unit plans.
(delay) Delay unit. Postpone doing anything with the selected unit(s) until after all others have moved in this turn.
(disband) Disband unit. Make the selected unit(s) do one disband action.
(detach) Detach a unit from the selected multi-part unit. The prefix argument gives the number of parts of detach; by default, the unit will be divided in half.
(embark) Embark on transport.
(disembark) Disembark from transport, staying in same location.
(fire) Fire unit.
(formation) Set formation. You will be asked to designate a unit to lead the formation. Then the selected unit(s) will get a goal to maintain the same relative position to the leader that existed at the time the command was entered. The prefix argument says by how many cells the following unit may vary from its designated position; for instance, if the value is 1, then the unit is in formation if it is in any cell adjacent to its nominal location. The variation defaults to 1.
(fire-into) Fire into a location. Fire indiscriminately into a designated location, whether any target units are visible.
(give) Give supplies. Transfer non-essential supply from the selected unit(s) to occupants and others in same and adjacent cells.
(give-unit) Give unit to side, with number given by prefix. The sides are numbered in order, starting from 1. To make a unit independent, give it to side 0.
(west) Move west.
(west-multiple) Move west multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit will move as far as possible.
(in) Cycle through cell's interior. Use this command to cycle through all the units at the location(s) of the selected unit(s). Successive commands eventually go down through all occupants and through each unit stacked in the cell.
(idle) Do nothing for a specific number of turns.
(south) Move south.
(south-multiple) Move south multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit will move as far as possible.
(north) Move north.
(north-multiple) Move north multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit will move as far as possible.
(east) Move east.
(east-multiple) Move east multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit will move as far as possible.
(move-to) Move to a place. You will be asked to specify a location to move to. The prefix argument specifies how closely will be satisfactory; the default is 0, meaning that the unit must actually be in the chosen destination cell. If, for instance, the prefix is 2, then the unit will stop moving when it reaches the first cell that is 2 or fewer cells from the destination.
(message) Send a message to another side or sides. The default is to broadcast to all sides; if you wish to send a message to only one side, prefix the command with the side's number (1 for the first side in the list of sides, and so forth). By default, you will be identified as the sender. To send an anonymous message, begin the message with "(anon)". Note that the parentheses are required. The message %reveal is special; if you send this, then the receiving sides will receive information on the positions of your units. This is obviously useful for allies; it is useful for enemies, if you want to convince them to resign. (Of course, if they're stronger than you think and don't resign, then you just gave away your secrets!)
(end-turn) End activity for this turn. (This is the "return" key.) This command indicates that you are done with your moves, and that the game may proceed to the next turn. If sides are moving sequentially one-at-a-time, then the next side will become the only one actually moving, and you will not be able to have any of your units do anything more (although you may set orders to be executed during the next turn). If sides are moving simultaneously, then you may still do actions, but you will have to select the units manually.
(southeast) Move southeast.
(southeast-multiple) Move southeast multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit will move as far as possible.
(other) Do other commands. This command brings up a dialog or prompt that lets you enter a long-name command and additional data for it, all as text. When you indicate that you are done composing (either by typing return or by clicking OK, as appropriate), Xconq) will attempt to interpret and then execute the command. The parenthesized names in this list are the long names to use for single-character commands, should you wish to do so.)
(produce) Set material production.
(produce-unit) Set up unit construction. Xconq will ask you for a unit type to construct, then sets up a construction task to produce one or more of that type. You can use the prefix argument to request the number to build; the default comes from the side's doctrine, and is usually 99.
(repair) Repair a unit.
(quit) Quit the game. If the game is still in progress, then you will be asked if you wish to draw or resign. If no other players are willing to declare a draw, then you must resign in order to get out.
(return) Return to a resupply point. The unit will search for the closest unit which has supplies of the types that it needs, and attempt to move there. If it cannot find such a unit within the radius that it expects to survive without resupplying, the command will fail and the unit will do nothing.
(remove-terrain) Remove terrain. This command will usually ask for a type of terrain to remove and a location/direction for the removal.
(refresh) Redraw/refresh display. For various reasons (usually a bug in the code), an Xconq display might become incorrect. This command will erase all windows and redraw them.
(sleep) Sleep. Put selected unit(s) to sleep. A sleeping unit will not ask to move again until it wakes up. Units may be woken explicitly, or may wake up automatically if an unfriendly unit gets too close.
(save) Save the game. Xconq) will save the complete state of the game into a file. You may or may not get a choice of file name, depending on the interface you're using.
(take) Take supplies. Transfer materials from a "nearby" unit into the selected one(s). First choice of donor unit is the transport if there is one, then units stacked in the same cell, then occupants.
(northeast) Move northeast.
(northeast-multiple) Move northeast multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit will move as far as possible.
(flash) Flash the current unit. (Xt/Xaw interface only)
(wake) Wake up. Selected units that are asleep or in reserve will be woken up. The prefix argument specifies a radius of effect around each unit, in which all units not in transports will also be awakened. A value of 0 means to affect just the cell of the unit, so `0w' will wake up all units stacked with the selected unit.
(wakeall) Wake up all. Similar to wake, but wakes all occupants of each unit as well.
(northwest) Move northwest.
(northwest-multiple) Move northwest multiple. If supplied, the prefix argument specifies how many cells to move by; otherwise, the unit will move as far as possible.
(survey) Switch between survey and move modes. In move mode, there is a current unit to which commands apply, and when the current unit has exhausted its available action points (or has been explicitly told to wait), the next unit will be automatically made current. In survey mode, you can look at anything and give orders to anything, but the turn will not be over until you explicitly end it, or have manually moved all units that have action points.

The following commands do not have single-letter versions. Instead, use the `o' command or bring up a command window if available, and start typing.

Some of these commands may take arguments. Spaces and/or tabs separate the arguments from the command name, and from each other. If any argument, such as the name of a unit, must include a space or tab, you may enclose the argument in double quotes.

add-player [ playerspec ]
Add a side and player into the game. If supplied, the command argument is a specification of the player, with the same syntax as used to specify players when starting a game. If no command argument is supplied, the new player will be an AI of the default type. The new player's side will have a set of starting units comparable to those of other sides at the time of addition, and will be placed according to the same rules as applied to the existing sides.
(Unfinished) agreement-building commands.
ai [ + | - | typename ]
Toggle the AI. If you're turning the AI on, it will immediately take control of all units, unless the AI control has been explicitly disabled (unit plan displays `NoAI'). When you turn the AI off, all unit plans and tasks will be cleared.
c-rate rate ...
Set material conversion rates for the side. This command sets the conversion rates of one type of material into another. At present, it is only useful for Civ emulation, where the arguments would be three values giving the conversion rates of trade into taxes, luxuries, and science.
collect material-type
Begin collecting material of type material-type.
Display the copying rules.
Distrust the given side.
doctrine unit-type property [ value ]
Set/show doctrine.
Declare a willingness to draw. If all players are willing to draw, then the game simply ends, without any losers or winners being declared.
Follow the action. When set, the map or view will automatically scroll to any place where combat actions are happening.
if condition task
Set up a standing order. A unit will execute a standing order if it has done all of its pending tasks, and the order's condition applies, by adding the specified task to its agenda. The condition has the form
type at/in/near/within location/unit-name
where type is the name of a unit type, location is of the form x,y, and unit-name is the name of some unit. The task has the form
task-type arguments
where the arguments are determined by the task's type. Note that units consider standing orders only when it has nothing else to do. For instance, if a unit is moving to some location, and on the way happens to pass through a cell that has a standing order, it will NOT be affected by that order. The unit must actually stop in that cell.
Map commands specific to an interface. The arguments to this command are interface-specific subcommands, usually to manipulate the map display somehow. See the interface documentation for the exact list of subcommands it supports.
Set the name of a unit.
Create a new map window.
Print the current view of the world.
rate slow fast
Set AI play rates. The values slow and fast are numbers of plan executions per minute. The slow rate is for when human players are still actively moving, while the fast rate is for when only AIs are doing anything.
Make a side no longer controlled.
Make the AI replan.
research [ advance ]
Set/show the side's research activity. `research' with no argument displays the current advance being researched, its degree of completion, and other advances that are available to be researched. An advance of `nothing' stops the side's research indefinitely.
Resign from the game. This causes the side to lose, but leaves the game running.
[This command only has effect in curses interface.] Run continuously for several turns. By default, you must manually end each turn. This command allows you to set the number of turns that will auto-finish. Note that if the AI is controlling your side, and turns auto-finish, you will not be able to do any of sort of input, even to look around, unless the AI allows for it (by giving one or more units a passive plan).
Be controlled by the given side. This causes the side to become controlled by the side being submitted to, but the side still remains in the game.
Trust the given side. This is a unilateral declaration of trust, which means that the trusted side will see what your side sees, its units may use your units, and so forth. (This is quite risky if the other side does not also trust you!)
Open a closeup window for the current unit. (Xt/Xaw interface only)
Display the version and copyright.
Display the lack of warranty.
Toggle warning logging.

The following commands are intended for game designers, and are only available if designing has been compiled into Xconq. See the chapters on game design and GDL for more information.

Toggle design mode. The exact effect depends on the interface, but in general the designer may move units arbitrarily, may change terrain and other layers, and save selected parts of a game.
Evaluate a GDL expression. Note that some values derived from GDL forms are precomputed and cached, and it is not guaranteed that they will all be recalculated. It may even be that the new value of a table or property is not compatible with something that is cached, and the game may crash as a result; so you should use this command carefully and sparingly. (It may be that future versions of Xconq will not need this caveat.)

The following commands are intended for debugging, and are only available if debugging support has been compiled into Xconq.

They act as toggles, and are independent of each other, so you can control what kind of information is output. The transcript will go to standard output or to a file, depending on the interface and system. These commands are really only of use to Xconq hackers and sometimes to game designers.

Toggle general debugging.
Toggle graphics debugging.
Toggle AI debugging.
Toggle profiling.
Toggle activity tracing.

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