Copyright © 2011 Ben Asselstine
Copyright © 1989 Dwain Goforth
To report a bug or make a suggestion regarding the game, the editors, or this documentation, see the ARMY Project Page.
This game is a clone of a 1989 shareware game of the same name, written by Dwain Goforth. Every attempt is made to recreate the gameplay faithfully. The text of this manual is taken from the original manual, altered only slightly.
ARMY is a turn-based strategy game where two players can play.
The object of the game is to defeat the opposing captain while protecting your captain from attack ("capture the flag".) There are four kinds of pieces, a board with various kinds of terrain and two rafts which can be used to cross the lake.
Each turn consists of the play of four dice. For each die, a piece can either move or fight. Movement is limited by the die value, the movement power of the piece, and the terrain that will be crossed. Fighting is limited by the the die value and the fighting power of the attacker versus the defender's die value and fight power.
Here is what the main game screen looks like:
It's pretty much that simple, move or fight for four pieces per turn, so the novice can learn to play instantly.
The game does, however, have a lot of rules - which the computer sees to it are enforced. The following sections summarize the army pieces, terrain and rules:
The piece shaped like a tent (either blue for the west team or red for the east team) is your captain which you must protect at the cost of the game. It is limited to a move of 1 (for a move die of 1) or 2 (for a move die of 2 to 6). It has a fighting power of 1.75 times the die making it the strongest piece. The captain can fight with impunity against any other piece except the other captain; that is all fights initiated by a captain end in victory for the captain or a draw. The captain's attack range is 2 spaces but unlike all the other pieces can only be attacked from an adjoining space. Because of this, your captain is completely protected if it is surrounded by your men, water or walls (but see artillary and and walls). Captains cannot cross water either to move or fight (they don't want to get their boots muddy) but they can use the bridges or ride the rafts.
The cannons are second in fighting power (1.5 times the die) and can attack from within four spaces. There are five each to start with. Artillery have the unique ability to destroy walls by using a six die to fight against a wall (only a six will work). After the wall is destroyed the pieces are free to move or fight through it. While powerful, they are the slowest of the main pieces, having a move ability of only .75 of the die value. They cannot cross water (they would rust) but can use the bridges and rafts. They can, however, fight across water (cannonballs fly through the air, right?) Cannons cannot attack over walls; none of the four units can do that.
The horsemen have a move ability of 1.25 times the die value so they are the fastest pieces. They can cross water (if the far shore is within range) but the water will slow them down to just reaching the far shore no matter if the die value is greater. Their fighting power is 1.25 times the die and they can attack within three spaces. Fighting across water will reduce their fight power by one. Each player starts with ten.
The foot soldiers take the brunt of the fighting and are often called on for suicide missions (just like real life.) They have a fight power of one and a move ability of one times the die. They only have an attack range of one so they cannot fight across water but can move across water with the same restrictions as calvary. Each player starts with 15.
When you fight, the computer will role the opponents defense die, announce the winner and display the score. A little practice with the scoring will give you a feel for fighting ability.
No piece can move past an enemy piece if the path (determined by the computer of course) would land on the location of the enemy piece.
Also, captains and cavalry cannot fight a piece if the path to that piece is blocked by an enemy piece. This is not true for artillery because cannonballs fly through the air, remember? Infantry can fight only one square away, anyway.
Once you have chosen a die you must use it; you must use it to either attack an enemy piece or move one of your own.
After the game has progressed you may occasionally receive reinforcement army pieces arriving near where your pieces started (west or east roads.)
Well that's about it. Don't forget that you must be right next to a captain to fight it.
Since the computer is calculating your route of travel across the board you may find that some moves that look ok will be denied. All I can say is you can't argue with the umpire. However, I can give the umpire a lobotomy so forward your suggestions.
This game was written by a pacifist. Any references to real armies, guns, bullets, and killing is purely coincidental to the goal of producing a fun game. While one person can play ARMY it is much more fun with two real live humans. My six-year old loves to ride the rafts and shoot cannons at walls. I think games should be social, most computer arcade games leave me dry.
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