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Best War Docs by Gandalf the White

                    

Beast War Docs
--------------
Written by:
Gandalf the White

History
-------

In the galaxt if Alaxis, a game of strategy and cunning is played which
has come to be known as the Beast War. Inhabited by several strong but
warring races, their constant conflicts had reduced their population to
where mutual destruction would result. In 3853 QA, the tribal leaders
called a temporary truce, and formed the Council to find a nonviolent
means for settling disputes. It was decided that disagreements would be
settled by a tournament which would be won through the use of clever
strategy. To avoid Alaxian bloodhsed, the tournaments would be fought
using semi-intelligent beasts controlled by their Alaxian masters. Any
disagreements between the tribes would be settled with a Beast War
tornament.

Due to racial differences among its members, the Council agreed to three
tournament standards. The Terran Common rules were facored by the
Humanoid member of the council. These rules enabled the slower-thinking
humans to devise innovative strategies. The Alaxian Universal rules were
favored by most of the council members. These rules demanded rapid
numerical analysis of your position, your strengths, and your opponents
weaknesses. To compromise between the desires of the Humanoids and the
Alaxians, the Galactic Standard was agreed upon. The rules were refined
over the centuries. Advancements in holographics technology allowed the
destruction of innocent beasts to end.

Object:
------

To capture more sectors than your opponent(s). The game consists of a
series of rounds. During each round, you control an army of six beasts.
A sector is captured by moving one of your beasts into the sector.
Captured sectors will contain one of your beasts, or a small satellite
in your color. Each round ends when only one players beasts remain on
the galactic grid.

Options:
--------

After you enter your name, the question "Would you like to play against
the computer at novice level?" will appear. You can see the letter Y in
a white box. This is the "default condition" and the computer will
automatically accept this as your answer if you press return. If you
don't want to play the computer at this level, press N for NO and hit
return. There are four different sets of rules to choose from: novice
challenge, terran common, galactic standard, and alaxian universal. Each
set changes four factors. A fifth rules set will allow you to set the
factors:

The number of rounds to complete a tournament
Time limit for each round
The energy recharge time for creatures on the plexus(center of the board)
Whether or not you want random starting positions



Novice Terran Galactic Alaxian Custom

# of
rounds 2 3 4 5 1-5

# of
minutes 30 10 5 1 1-60

plexus
recharge
time
(seconds) 4 3 2 1 1-60

random
starting
positions? no yes yes yes yes/no


Number of rounds for each tournament: A tournament consists of one to
five rounds. At the end of each round, the scores are totaled based upon
the number of pieces in play and how many sectors each player has
captured. At the end of the tournament, the one with the most points
wins.

Number of minutes for each players turn: each player has a timeclock
that is turned on each time it is that players turn. Each player must
make all of his moves within this time period. Failure to do so
automatically ends the game, with that player losing all his pieces.

Plexus recharge time: this is the amount of time it takes for a beast on
the plexus(center sector on board) to regain one unit of energy. Energy
is lost by moving and by attacking.

Random starting positions: changing the starting positions of the beasts
makes it more difficult to predetermine the opening moves of the game.

The Grid:
---------

The galactic game grid has 41 sectors around the plexus. They are
arranged in three orbits: the outer, middle, and inner orbit.
Surrounding the grid are four colored fields. In the field of your color
is a counter showing how many sectors your beasts have captured. When
your start a round, you have controlled six sectors, the sectors your
beasts are occupying. The beasts move from one sector to another by
jumping through hyperspace. Jumping is done by setting up two windows. A
home window is built around the beast selected for movement. and a
destination window is formed at the sector you want the beast to move
to. Once the windows have been built, the beast jumps through hyperspace
from the home window to the destination window. Each beast has its own
unique movement pattern, as explained in the Beasts section.

When it is your turn to move, the information box in the upper right
corner of the screen will display:

(your name)
SELECT BEAST USING (keys or paddle)

Depending upon whose turn it is, and whether you are using paddles or
the keyboard, the fourth line could be PDL 0 or PDL 1. A AND S for the A
and S keys, or K AND L for the K and L keys. Keys A and K are used to
select a beast or sector; keys S and L enter your choice into the
computer. If you want to take back a coice press the ESC key. If your
are using paddles, rotating the paddle back and forth across the middle
area will move the source and destination windows. Pressing the paddle
button will enter your choices.

The Graphs:
-----------

To the right of the grid are three graphs showing energy, time and
power. JThe Energy and Power grpahs show the condition of the beast the
window is on. Energy can be replenished by occupying the plexus sector
and by defeating other monsters. When a beast runs out of energy it
perishes. The power of a beast is determined by its strength, the
amount of moral support it has, and its combat bonus. For more info see
the Strategy section. The Time graph shows how much time you have left
to make your moves. If you run out of time, the tourney ends and your
beasts perish.

Beasts:
------

There are six different beasts. Each has strengths and weaknesses and a
unique movement pattern. In addition any beast can jump into the plexus
from any sector in the inner orbit and vice versa. Movement consumes
energy. Each beast moves to an adjacent sector, but some can only move
to a certain color or direction. Jumping to a sector containing your own
satellite(left by a previous friendly beast) consumes two energy units.
Entering an empty sector uses four units. Jumping into a sector
containing an enemy satellite consumes 12 units of energy. If your beast
uses up all of of its energy in making the jump it perishes but leaves
one of your satellites in the sector. The plexus is the center of the
grid. As a focus of energy, it will channel that flow into any beast
occupying that sector. The rate of flow is set at the beginning of the
game. For example, if the recharge time is four seconds, that means that
every four seconds, a beast on the plexus will recieve one unit of
energy until it is totally recharged.

The Aeroctus:

The aeroctus is the only winged beast chosen by the Council for Beast
War. It has 44 energy units. When attacking its prey, the tentacles of
the aeroctus close together to form a spear tip which can easily
puncture the thin metallic skin of a mechanos. However, the light bone
structure and musculature of the creature does not provide it with
enough power to easily damage the thick plating of an arachnid. The
aeroctus have a strength of four units. Movement pattern: the aeroctus
can move only to an adjacent sector that is in a different orbit and
color.


The Dracon:

The dracon is a fearsom inhabitant of Alaxis. Its awesome flame breath
makes it extremely dangerous. The dracon has a strength of nine and its
far reaching flame is especially effective against the light bone
structure and musculature of the aeroctus. However, it has little effect
on the metallic structure of the mechanos. A dracon begins with 16
energy units.
Movement pattern: the dracon can move to any adjacent sector.


The Arachnid

The arachnid has a highly evolved neuromotor system to control its many
legs. It can have up to 38 energy units, and has a strength of 5 units.
The great dexterity of this beast enables it to slip its pincers under
the protective scaling of a saurus, inflicting especially grievous
wounds upon the beast. Only the mighty dracon appears to be resistant
to the attack of an arachnid
Movement pattern: the arachnid can move diagonally only.


The Wraithil

The unique appearance of the wraithil is responsible for its association
with a mythological group of hominoid creatures called the Undead. It
strikes a chord of superstitious fear in many creatures. This effect is
very much noticeable in the saurus, which seems to be afraid to bite
down upon a wraithil with any degree of force. The energy field
projected from a wraithils hands during combat is known to be especially
effective against the highly evolved neuromotor system of the arachnid.
However, the diversified nerve net of the aeroctus is resistant to this
attack. Wraithils can have up to 30 energy units and have a strength of
6 units.
Movement pattern: the wraithil can move to a different colored
sector.


The Saurus

The fearsom saurus is believed to be a distant relative of the dracon.
Strong competitions for the same ecological niche is suspected of being
the basis for the intense hatred sauri have of dracons. In combat, a
saurus becomes quite frenzied the moment he bites into a dracon.
Although the saurus recovers almost immediately, this results in
especially serious wounds being inflicted on the dracon. Known for their
bad tempers, sauri turn green with rage when attacking each other. A
saurus can have up to 24 energy units, and has a strength of 5 units.
Movement pattern: the saurus can move to any adjacent sector
of the same color.


The Mechanos

The mechanos is the only silicon-based lifeform in Beast War. It is
therefore the only beast capable of using a gravgen propulsion system. A
mechanos is not intimidated in the least by a wraithil, and is effective
against one in combat. A mechanos can have up to 20 energy units, and
has a strength of 8 units. The laser weapon of a mechanos is largely
dispersed by the reflective scaling of the saurus and thus is less
effective against the beast. Movement pattern: the mechanos can move to
an adjacent sector in a different orbit.


Combat:
-------

If you select a destination sector which contains an opponents beast,
its power and energy will be shown alongside your beasts ratings. If the
move is made, combat occurs. The top view of the grid is replaced by a
side view of the sector with the two beasts facing each other. At the
top are their energy and power graphs.


Controlling the Beast
---------------------

If the keyboard controls are being used, the following keys are used to
control the beasts:

Left group:
A:move left
S:stop
D:move right
W:flee
X:attack

Right group
K:move left
L:stop
;:move right
O:flee
.:attack

If paddles are being used, turning the dial to the right will move the
beast to the right and turning it left will cause it to move left.
Centering the dial will stop movement. Pressing the paddle button while
the beast is advancing or standing still will cause the beast to attack.
Pressing the button while youu beast is backing up near the edge of the
screen will cause it to flee. A beast can flee only to its original
position, and then only if it contains one of your satellites. If it is
already occupied, it cannot flee. If it doesn't have enough energy to
make the jump, then it will perish when it emerges from hyperspace.
Fleeing from your opponent will allow your enemy to move again.


Scoring:
-------

The round ends when only one players beasts remain on the galactic grid.
At the end of the round, each player receives 300 points for each beast
remaining on the field, and 150 points for each captured sector. At the
end of the tournament, the player with the highest score wins. If you
have been playing against the computer using one of the standard rule
set, your name and score will be saved.


Special Features:
----------------

PAUSE
Holding down the CONTROL key and the P key will stop the game. Press
return to continue.

SOUND
Pressing CTRL-S will toggle the sound.

QUIT
Pressing CTRL-Q will end the tournament.

RESET HIGH SCORES
Press CTRL-R and the high scores will be reset back to 0.

SELECTING A DIFFERENT BEAST
If you have selected a beast and change your mind, pressing the ESC key
will allow you to choose another beast.

Strategy for Beast War
----------------------

The objective of Beast War is to capture more sectors than your
opponent(s). To do this you should consider your beasts movement
patterns, energy, power, combat capabilities and strategic positioning.

The movement patterns of your beasts need to be carefully considered to
enable you to capture sectors, attack your opponents, and defend your
terrain. For example, certain beasts will only move on one color. Moving
it through the plexus can change the color of the sector it is on.
Moving a beast through the plexus also enables it to regain energy.
However, trading beast positions can cost valuable time, allowing your
opponent to takle the initiative.

Moving to a sector containing an enemy satellite uses much more energy
than moving to a free sector. It is advantageous to block your opponents
moves with your own satellites. If your opponent captures a sector
containing your satellite, his beast will be weakened and open for
attack.

This strategy calls for using your energy efficiently. Your beasts can
gain energy by capturing and defending the plexus against your
opponents, and by defeating them in combat. Since beasts lose energy
through movement, any move that does not enhance your position is a
wasted move.

If your beasts energy is less than three units it will perish on the
next move. There is little you can do with it in combat unless it has a
very long weapon range versus its opponent.(such as the dracon fighting
the aeroctus) The kamikazee strategy is recommended: move into a sector
containing an opposing satelitte and (poof!) your beast is gone but
leaving a friendly satelitte behind.

But to be a successful Beast Warrior, you have to fight well. The amount
of power a beasthas is determined by its strength, moral support, and
combative relationship with its opponent. The strength is determined by
its nature; it cannot change. If the adjacent sectors contain friendly
forces, your beast will be strengthened by their presence. Each friendly
beast will increase the combatants power by one unit.

Finally, each beast is especially effective in fighting one other beast,
and resistant to attacks by one other beast. These factors provide
combat bonuses which can increase or reduce a beasts power by 2 units.
The Beasts section provides more info on this.

The power graph reflects the sum total of these factors. In combat, the
amount of damage a beast does is determined by a random number that
depends upon its strength, moral support, and combat bonus. The minimum
amount of damage inflicted upon your opponent is determined by your
beasts moral support and combat bonus. So a beast which has a combat
bonus and moral support can often be quite successful in deafeating an
apparently more powerful opponent by repeatedly striking with an above
average amount of damage.

Your positiin becomes greatly improved when you defeat an opponents
beast, and greatly weakened when one of your beasts are defeated. If
your beast is defeated, you lose a sector and a beast, your total energy
pool is reduced, and the victors pool is increased. It is often the
better part of valor to retreat when threatened by a superior force.
Fleeing from combat is also costly, though not as much as being
defeated. Recovering from a flee will lose time and energy, but it will
preserve your beast.