I – INTRODUCTION
Based on the empire building of the late 1800′s, COLONIAL CONQUEST is a grand strategy game for 1-6 players. Using diplomacy, espionage, armies, and fleets, up to 6 Major countries vie for control of more than 130 Minor countries and each other.
COLONIAL CONQUEST features diplomacy, loans between countries, espionage of Major and Minor countries, subversion of Minor countries, the building of army and navy forces, and combat. Each army may contain many regiments (of 1,000 men each), and the fleets many individual warships. At the start of each new STANDARD game, the army strength, the victory point and the revenue of each region are randomly set. In the 1880 and 1914 scenarios, the army strength and the revenue are preset. Each game is different, and the strategies are endless.
In COLONIAL CONQUEST, the player is awarded victory points (VP) for winning battles and acquiring control of regions. The player who first attains a preset number of points is declared the winner.
II – Main Menu
Once the developper’s and publisher’s logs have been displayed, the game’s Home Page appears and from there you can reach the game or its options.
A / Menu
The main menu appears after the title screen which allows you to choose between a new game and a loaded/saved one.
The menu allows to select the scenario to be played, the overall difficulty level, the victory objective (score to be reached) and to precise which of the nations are playable by the computer (if so, also to specify the AI advantages individually for the same, ranging from 1 to 5 – see AI below).
B / Options
The Option menu seen in Illustration 2.3 below can be reached from the main game home page. There, a few of the gaming options can be adjusted, such as language changes (to validate a language change, the game must be restarted), scores, sounds and music.
You can also reach from there the online rules of the game (at : www.colonialconquest.com ) and various information on the achievements.
C / Scenarios
There are 3 in this version of the game. You can select from the scenario menu (Illustration 2.4), and for each of them you can see the details in a window pop-up by clicking on the “?” symbol on the right (Illustration 2.5).
The Standard Scenario
The six Major countries control only their own home regions as the game begins.
The 1880 Scenario
A historical scenario in which, as the game begins, the six Major countries control the additional regions actually controlled by those countries in 1880.
The 1914 Scenario
A historical scenario in which, as the game begins, the six Major countries control the additional regions actually controlled by those countries in 1914. See the Scenario Data Card for the identity of the controlled regions. In addition, if the computer controls Russia, France, or Britain, the country is at war with Germany. Conversely, if Germany is controlled by the computer, it is at war with Russia, France, and Britain.
D / Victory Score
A button allows you to select which score you want to reach to win the game. For the moment, we offer 500 VP, 1500 VP or Infinite (game lasts till there is only one remaining player in the game).
The score directly impacts the duration of the game, the lower the score, the shorter the game.
E / Save and load
This function allows you to save an ongoing game or load a previously saved game. Please note that the game automatically offers an autosave (a game is saved automatically at the start of every turn). You can rename your saves by double clicking on their names in the window.
III – Players and Nations
A / Major Nations
Each one of the six major nations can be controlled by either a player, an AI, or be left as a ‘neutral’ power in a game.
A major nation that is neutral behaves like a minor (see below), but with the difference that she has her starting forces on the map and that her industrial centers are not active.
Major nations have land and sea military forces of different power (in attack and defense) and purchase cost, as shown in the Illustration 3.1 below.
Game sequence is determined by major nations, which are always playing in the following order :
1 – Great Britain
4- United States
At the start of every new game, a small contextual presentation of the major nation you are playing is presented to you, as an event (see Illustration 3.2) :
B / Minors
A minor nation (usually a light grey flag is displayed for it in this version of the game) has no specific influence on the game. It just « owns » a territory that will soooner or later be the target of one (or more of the) major power(s).
Minor nations may possess armies and fleets, but they only use them for defense. They can receive the benefits from economic aid of major powers, which they use to immediately purchase extra armies.
Army: the minor nations armies have a defensive value of 7 and a purchase cost of £ 10 000£ (useful information, as this cost is the one used by minors to purchase new forces with the funds you give them through economic help – see below)
Navy: the minor nations ships have a defensive value of 7 and a purchase cost of £ 10 000£
On the opposite, subversion from major powers will reduce the military power of minor nations they target.
Conquest or subversion of minor nations always bring victory points.
NB: minors are shown on the map and UI by a white or grey flag
C / Players and AI
The AI (Artificial Intelligence) will make the major powers not represented by players active (if selected as computer-controlled) and give them the means to win the game according to the selected difficulty level of the currently played scenario
Each power sis played independently, according to its own specific economic and strategic criteria.
There are currently two AI difficulty settings: normal and difficult
In Normal level, AI plays exactly like a player would (no specific advantage)
In Difficult level, the AI has increased advantages that make it more competitive.
IV – Map and Main Interface
Once you have selected a scenario in the menu, just click on the big arrow (on the bottom right of the screen) to launch the game. After a brief loading screen (Illustration 4.0), you shall arrive on the main map and interface where the game is played. Hereafter are the necessary explanations about these.
A/ The Interface
Please refer to Illustration 4.1 above for the following description.
Return to Main Menu ①: the ball-bearing symbol takes you back to the main menu, in particular the save procedure.
Nations ②: the flag of the 6 great powers of the game are displayed, with the one of the currently active nation highlighted and slightly bigger.
Years & Seasons ③ the current year in progress is indicated in the center, as a figure. On each side, the symbol tells you in which season you are currently playing (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter – See section V.A below).
Number of Moves ④ : this indicator tells you how many land and naval moves the active nation can still execute this season. Maximum is 20. A nation is not forced to play all her moves.
Score and Treasury ⑤ : the top right part of the panel visually display the nation’s current victory points score, as well as the funds (in £) at her disposal.
Selected Land Region ⑥ : this panel pops-up only if a land region is currently selected. It displays a pictogram informing you about the type of terrain there (influences combats), the region’s name and, when know, the VP gain it brings upon conquest. Inside that panel pictograms (from top to bottom) give indications of the naval and land forces present in defense, as well as the annual £ income of the region (all this information is replaced by ? if the region is not yours and has not been spied upon).
Regional Possible Action Buttons ⑦ according to the region, up to 4 order buttons may be displayed (from top left to bottom right). The Information (I) button is always present, opening a more detailed information window on the region (see below). If the region is neutral or nenmy, the Spying button comes next, followed by the Economic Aid and the Subversion ones. For your owned regions, buttons allowing Movement, Fortification or Construction are possible (the last two only in the Spring, and only in regions that can be fortified or where building is allowed – see next).
End Phase/Turn Button ⑧: when you click on the arrow, you move to the next phase. In some cases, the game may send you a confirmation request (via a pop-up window). Also note that when an event occurs in the game (see below), a round shaped icon is displayed above this button, and you can click on it to see what event is concerned.