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«CREATNE COMPUTING PRESS MORRIS PLAINS, NEW JERSEY Photographs of video displays generated by Wizardry are the copyright property of Robert Woodhead, ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

COMPUTER WARGAMES,

FANTASIES AND

ADVENTURES

BRIAN MURPHY

CREATNE COMPUTING PRESS

MORRIS PLAINS, NEW JERSEY

Photographs of video displays generated by Wizardry are the copyright

property of Robert Woodhead, Inc. and Andrew Greenberg, Inc. and are used with their permission. Photographs of video displays and graphic materials from North A tlanfic '8 6, Germany 19 8 5, Bomb Alley, Pursuit of the Graf Spee, Computer Bismarck, Baffle for Normandy, Tigers in the Snow, Knights of the Desert, Broadsides, Computer Ambush, and Fighter Command are the copy- right property of Strategic Simulations, Inc. and are used with their permis- sion. Photographs of charts from the Tactical Armor Command manual and of the map-board for Close Assault are the copyright property of Avalon Hill Game Company and are used with their permission.

The Author and the Publisher have made every effort to verify the accura- cy of the information contained in this book. However, neither the Author nor the Publisher assumes any responsibility for the use of this information, nor for any infringements of patents or other rights of third parties that may arise from the use of the information in this book. Neither the Author nor the Publisher assumes any liability for any damages that may result from the in- formation contained herein.

Sorcerers & Soldiers Copyright IC 1984 Creative Computing Press All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced-mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying-without ex- press written permission from the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Murphy, Brian (Brian J.) Sorcerers & Soldiers

1. Computer games. 2. Computer programs. I. Title. II. Title: Sorcerers and Soldiers.

GV1469.2.M87 1984 794.8'2 84-19861 ISBN 0-916688-79-8 (pbk.) Creative Computing Press 39 East Hanover A venue Morris Plains, New Jersey 07950 USA Manufactured in the United States of America 86 85 84 987654321 Original illustrations by Tom Stvan.

To Kerry, who is my wife and my best friend. Thank you for making my dream come true. Also, to my baby girl Elizabeth Emily, my inspiration. I love you both with all my heart.

I

CONTENTS

1

INTRODUCTION

1. WARGAMES THROUGH THE COMPUTER ERA 5

2. WHY COMPUTER WARGAMING? 11 15

3. ARMY GAMES 23

4. USING TERRAIN 37

5. GENERALSHIP 51

6. TANKS

7. SMALL-UNIT TACTICS 63

8.NAVAL WARGAMING 79

9. SHIP-TO-SHIP FIGHTS 93

10. WAR IN THE AIR 107

–  –  –

Wmagine...

... What it would be like if you possessed a time machine that could bring you to any era of history you chose-real or imaginary-for magical treasurehunting adventures or for battlefield exploits that could change the course of history.

Imagine...

... That you're the leader of a band of adventurers in an age of swords, wizards, monsters, and magic. Can you take your party of heroes into a mysterious dungeon maze on a quest for treasures and glory and come back alive?

Imagine...

... That it's England in 1940 and you're the leader of RAF Fighter Command. Can you beat the Luftwaffe in the skies over England or will you fail and doom all the world to a thousand years of Nazi domination?

Imagine...

... That you're in a deserted town just beyond the edge of time. Overlooking the village is a vast, deserted mansion where fabulous treasures are said to be hidden. Are you clever enough to break into the mansion and take those treasures from sinister guardians?

Imagine...

... That it's the future, but only the day after tommorrow, the day World War III begins. You're the commander of NATO forces in Central Germany.

They're defending against a flood tide of Russian tanks and motorized troops.

Can you hold back the Soviets long enough for reinforcements to arrive from America, or will the Soviets break through to conquer all of Western Europe?

Just how healthy is your imagination? Chances are it's in excellent shape, ready to conjure up vivid and exotic images of action and adventure. After all,

1SORCERERS & SOLDIERS

it's almost impossible to find anyone who hasn't gone adventuring in his mind's eye at one time or another. Dreams of daring exploits in the days of knights of old or on the batlefield are shared by almost everyone with at least a little imagination and time to dream.

Just a little while ago I asked you to imagine a wonderful machine, a time machine, which could move you not only forward and backward through time, but into alternate realities as well. It would be a machine that could send you to worlds where magic is real, where nightmare creatures of myth and fantasy live and are slain by heroes and heroines who wield mighty weapons.

It would be a machine that could take you to any era of history you might choose. It would place you in command of vast armies on the eve of battle. If you wished, the machine would tailor histroy as you like it, to exist just the way it reads in the books or, warped just a little to suit your taste.





It really doesn't take any imagination at all to picture a time machine like this because you can see and touch one wherever they sell home computers.

A computer can't physically transport you through time and space to another era or another reality-not yet. What they can do is take your mind on an amazing voyage, mightily boost the powers of your imagination, and make your fantasies come alive for you. They make it easy to play a heroic role-in simulation. Do you want to be a mace-swinging, spell-casting hero of the mythic age of swords and sorcery? So be it! Do you want to command a fleet of carriers and battleships in the South Pacific of World War II? Done! Do you yearn to solve mysteries which would have bafffled Sherlock Holmes?

Here's your chance!

Here's where this book comes in. Sorcerers & Soldiers will help you to discover games of the imagination and intellect. You'll see how these games are played and discover strategies that will help you play successfully.

We will no! be dealing with what are commonly called "arcade games." Instead, we'll be playing "mind games" that fall into three very general categories: wargames, fantasy/roleplaying games, and adventures.

Wargames are recreations of historical or hypothetical battles, with one big difference: While war is nasty, dirty, bloody, brutal, and expensive, computer wargaming is only expensive. The violence of wargaming is all just a simulation. The blood you spill is all imaginary; no one gets hurt.

Wargaming is an immensely satisfying hobby for anyone who has read history or has dreamed of battlefield glory. In a world where you are never the boss, you can be a grand admiral or a field marshal!. In a computer wargame, imaginary thousands will obey your commands and lay down their lives at your slightest whim. Wargaming gives you all the advantages of unlimited power without having to suffer any of the consequences, moral or otherwise.

There are many different kinds of wargames based on the kind of fighting that takes place (land, sea, or air) and the number of men involved. We'll examine most of these subcategories in depth, looking at some of the most poplnfroducfion ular, exciting, and realistic games and discussing strategies and tactics that can help you win.

Fantasy games have been played as long as there have been humans capable of dreams-and nightmares. Today's computer fantasy/roleplaying games are simulations that let you assume the part of a legendary hero in a fantastic world of magic, swinging swords, and fierce monsters that anyone who reads "swords 'n' sorcery" fiction will instantly recognize.

We'll discover how to create a character from the ground up and how to keep him alive in the dungeons, wildernesses, and mazes which lie in the darker recesses of your computer. We'll also review some tips that might just help you win.

Adventure games are intensely cerebral; they challenge your powers of analysis to the limit. The level of challenge to be found in games such as Zorlc, Deadline, Cranston Manor, and Time Zone is part of the growing folklore of computer owners.

Unfortunately, we can explore adventure games only in a relatively superficial manner. Explaning how to win at these games is nearly the same as giving away all the solutions and clues. Since that is 99 percent of the fun (and we certainly don't want to spoil your fun) we will have to handle the subject delicately. We will give you insights into the kind of thinking you must do in order to win.

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

Sorcerers & Soldiers is not a technical manual or a programming tutorial. It will stay far, far away from technical jargon. The idea here is not to explain how your computer works or to teach you how to program it. What we are going to do is demonstrate how to turn your personal computer into a time machine you can use to escape to a world of your favorite fantasies. Once in that world you'll learn how to survive and prosper there.

Most of the chapters in this book explore game concepts and strategies through the examination of a particular game (or games) that embodies them.

For instance, Chapter 6, "Tanks" explores the principles of tank warfare primarily through exploring two tank games-Tan/dies and TAC. In this way, you will be able to get a taste of specific games, while learning general principles applicable to other games as well.

If you want to key on a specific kind of game, such as naval warfare, tank games, roleplaying, etc., then by all means go to those chapters first, absorb the material, and play the games. The best introduction to this hobby is to play the kind of game that you find most interesting. After you' re done, read the rest of the book. Chances are you'll find other varieties of games that will capture your imagination.

3

SORCERERS & SOLDIERS

One note: If you don't own a computer, never fear. The concepts here, for the most part, are readily adaptable to all kinds of games, board and computer. By reading this book, and investing a modest sum in a board wargame or a Dungeons and Dragons game, you can get your feet wet and then decide whether or not you want to go on to computer games.

If you do decide to take the plunge, Appendix I, "Choosing a System" will come in handy. This is a section on how to pick a home computer, from a game-playing point of view. Appendix I is the only part of this book with computer terminology and information. If you already have a system, ignore this section... until a friend comes along who needs advice on buying a system; then you can quote chapter and verse.

In Appendix II you'll find a listing of games in every category we covered.

It is not a comprehensive list, but a representative list designed to give you the essential information on a sampling of good games.

You may find, here and there in the text, military terminology and hobby jargon with which you may not be entirely familiar (though I've tried diligently to define and/or explain all terms and concepts in the text). If you find yourself in that situation, just turn to Appendix III, and you'll find a glossary of all the important terms, jargon, and concepts in the book. You can also use this glossary as your interpreter when you buy a wargame or fantasy and have trouble understanding what the manual is trying to say. I'm proud to note that it will work as well for board games as it does for computer games.

I hope you'll keep Sorcerers & Soldiers handy as a reference and as your strategy coach. Most of all, I hope that this book unlocks for you a world you will find exciting, entertaining, and intellectually challenging.

4 11. ~""""'i-w_A_R_c_A_M_Es_T_H_R_o_u_c_H_T_H_E_

COMPUTER ERA

cc IA Iu wargames and fantasy games are descended fortifications, all playfrom chess, the first wargame. In chess there are footsoldiers, cavalry, and ing their vital roles as in real life. There's even a religious/political element, as portrayed by the bishops, queen, and king. Chess became the most popular game of all time-which certainly says something about the appeal of the war theme.

For our purposes, when we talk about wargames, we will be specifically referring to games that use the computer to simulate historical or hypothetical future battles and which require generalship of the combatants. Games like these represent an old concept, but are, as computer pastimes, a relatively recent development.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

The first real wargames-games that realistically recreate actual battle conditions-were developed around 160 years ago. The reason they were invented is simple: There were no real wars to fight. Napoleon was dead; the great armies which he had led through Alpine passes to Italy, under the hot Spanish sun, over the deserts of Egypt, through the gates of Moscow, were no more. After a 20-year world war, Europe was finally at peace. For young officers just entering the service, it was a boring era.

It was in 1824 that a Lt. von Reisswitz demonstrated in Berlin a game he called Kriegsspiel which tranlates literally as wargame. It was nothing like the

Abstract

wargames such as chess or the Japanese game of Go which had been

5SORCERERS & SOLDIERS

around for centuries. Rather than symbolically portraying a battle, Reisswitz's game was intended to accurately simulate actual combat.

Young Reisswitz had been working on that simulation since the time he first joined the army, refining a game which had been invented by his father.

Having joined the service as an artillery officer just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the call of duty did not involve what a young officer like him would consider the glory of the battlefield. Reisswitz had plenty of time to develop his father's idea into an easily playable game, a game which was to set a pattern for war simulations to the present day.



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