| - What is this game?|
- Picking a country
- Getting started - Midshipman
- Your first command? - Sea Lieutenant
- Preparing for sea - Sea Lieutenant
- Travelling at sea - Sea Lieutenant
- Your first sea battle - Sea Lieutenant
- Repairs - Sea Lieutenant
- Your next promotion - Sea Lieutenant
- New possibilities - Commander
What is this game?
This game is a simulation of 18th century warfare, both on land and at sea. You will be one of the thousands of officers in the army or the navy of one of the more than 50 countries in the world.
Together with the people in your country, you aim to make your country the most successful of them all. Whether you are in the navy, fighting for domination of the seas and oceans and securing transport routes for your countries army, or in the army, fighting in cooperative strike to capture cities from other countries, you will form an important part of your countries success.
This tutorial explains the navy part of the game. Of the 2 parts, this is the more complicated and individual one. There is still a lot of cooperation necessary with your fellow naval officers and the army, but there is a lot you can do on your own.
The army is simpler in the individual part and gets its complexity from the coordination with other players. You can only capture cities by combining your army with that of other players, preferably those who are online and can join and rejoin several strike forces. It is the army's task to make sure the country keeps cities and captures them from your enemies. They also have to make sure the country keeps enough harbours to be able to support a fleet. As a navy officer it's good to have a general idea of the how the army works and what they can do because your options in the game depend partly on them, and they depend on the navy to travel fast and across seas.
Most of the communication in this game takes place on IRC. This is a very popular internet chat protocol which allows real-time chat. Almost all countries will arrange a chat channel for the people in their country so that you can communicate about attacks and help each other with the game. Even if you are not familiar with IRC, it's worthwhile to get acquainted with it to get more involved in the bigger political picture of the game, but also to find plenty of experienced player in whose interest it is that you become more experienced too so who will usually be more than willing to help you with any questions you may have about the game.
These IRC channels are not an official part of the game though; they are arranged and monitored by players. For King and Country admins therefore cannot be held responsible for what is said and done on IRC.
Picking a country
Before you can play, you have to pick a country. When you first log in you automatically get this screen. The number in brackets is the number of free places in this country.
The countries are balanced, but the number of navy and army players is also separately balanced. Therefore, it might be possible that you are unable to join the navy in the country you selected. If you want to play navy you might wait to see if a spot opens up, but if you aren't particularly attached to this country it would be wiser to just pick another with more open slots.
If there is a space, you will join the navy and be put in a random harbour city of the country you selected. You might want to look on the map first if the country you want to choose has harbours. All the countries have them at the start, but if cities are being taken it's possible that weak countries will lose their harbours, in which case you cannot start as a navy player.
Getting started - Midshipman
You start in the navy as a Midshipman. This is the lowest possible rank as a navy officer, meaning you'll get to do all the jobs no one else wants and you most certainly will not be allowed to command a ship.
Since you do need a ship to play, you have a choice of two things now:
- Join as sub-officer on a ship of a countryman
- Go to the academy and pass the lieutenants exam
- Go to the merchant and get a Merchant ship
In the first case, just find a friend to take you on his ship and explain you the game. You will gain xp and when you have enough you will be promoted to Lieutenant, the lowest grade on which you can command a ship (though not all ships, only very small ones)
The second method is a much faster way to become a Lieutenant. Just answer 5 very simple questions, to which you are even allowed to look up the answers in the FAQ and there you are, a brand new Lieutenant! Of course knowing the answers to these questions means you have to know a little about how the game works.
The third option will not give you xp, as you will get a non-military ship. You can get merchant ships not in the shipyard but at the merchant, which can be found in all (friendly or foreign) cities. All you have to do with a merchant is move it to its destination city. When you arrive there the ship dissapears and you are given gold. Half of the gold given for merchants arriving at its destination is taken by the country as tax. It is then divided over all the army and navy officers, so being an active merchant helps your country by generating gold for the army. You can do this while you are still midshipman, and its an easy way to learn the wind system and navigation before having to bother about ammo and crew. You can later use the gold to buy better crew and ships when you want to make a start with military ships.
Once you are promoted to Lieutenant you can go on to the next step of this tutorial.
Your first command? - Sea Lieutenant
Good, you are a Lieutenant. You are no longer at the bottom of the food chain and can be trusted with a little (ok, a very little) bit of responsibility. There are 3 ship types that you can command: The slow Transport and, fast Schooner and the equally fast but even tinier Cutter.
To make your choice, you must know a bit about these ship types.
This is a slow, badly armed, poorly manned, non-weatherly ship. It would be pretty useless, were it not for the fact that it's spacious enough to transfer army officers across the sea. Army officers can capture cities and to do this they will often have to travel. As owner of a transport, you can earn money by transporting these officers to wherever they want to go. Of course, you have 6 guns at your disposal, so you can take your ship to war as well, but if that's what you want, the Transport is probably not the best choice.
One of the smallest ships in the game, but also one of the fastest. The faster your ship, the more moves you get per turn and thus the more squares you can travel. It's also an advantage in battle because you are harder to hit if you are faster than your opponent is. This is why, even though the Transport has more hull and guns, the Schooner is still likely to beat the Transport in a battle. The Schooner also can carry more crew, but we'll come to that later.
The Cutter is much like the Schooner, but smaller and thus cheaper. If you buy a cutter you have more money left for buying better crew, but a smaller ship brings less xp and gold per battle.
Ordering your ship
To order a ship you must go to the shipyard (using the button under the city image). You have to give your ship a name between 3 and 15 characters before you can order it. It is wise to give ships unique names, but this is not required. It can be hard to identify them if there are multiple ships of the same type with the same name in a battle. You can't change the name of your ship once you ordered it, so pick a good one. Many ships in this time were called after cities, women or something the owners valued, like Hope, Unity, Freedom etc.
Now, unless you have not enough money, you can order your ship by clicking "order".
After you order a ship, the ship need to be built. That brings you to an important aspect of this game: ticks. Every half an hour, at :00 and :30, there is one such "tick" in which the game gets updated. Income is received (or paid), ships are being built, repaired, crew healed, it all happens at these set times.
Building ships takes time, and the bigger your ship, the more time it takes. Fortunately, you can only command the small ships, so you won't have to wait very long. If you picked the Schooner it takes 1 tick to build, the Transport takes a bit longer. You can see how long each ship type takes to be completed under "time" in the shipyard. This number represents the number of ticks you have to wait.
Now that your ship is being built, you have time to deal with other important issues, such as crew. A good crew is vital for your chances of success in battle. If you click on a ship type in for example the shipyard, you can see how much crew a ship can carry. Pay also attention to the number of guns, because it decides the number of gunners you will need.
A Schooner has 6 guns and can carry 10 crew. For such small ships, it's a good choice to take only gunners and sailors. Each Gun crew can handle 2 guns, but for training battles it's usually enough to have one for each 4 guns on your ship (we'll explain why later), and a bit of reserve in case some get injured during the fight. For a 6 gun ship, 3 gunners would be enough for most fights.
The rest you fill up with Sailors. Sailors handle the manoeuvring of the ship, how this works exactly will be explained with battles, but in general: the more you have the better.
It is worth spending money on getting as good a crew as you can afford. Especially the skill of your gunners is important in the beginning as it decides how well they aim for their targets. Keep about 4000 gold though, because you also need to buy ammunition later.
Crew you just hired still does not have a ship, so you can hire more crew than can fit on your ship. To put your new crew on the ship that's being built, go to "My Ship" in the left hand menu and then to "Personal Crew" at the top. Here you see all the crew members you have. Select your new crew and click "Employ selected" at the bottom to put them on the selected ship (you have only 1 now, so this should be automatically your new ship)
Now that you have your crew, there's nothing you can do but wait for your ship to be completed. Once it is, it will disappear from the shipyard and appear in the harbour. While you wait for this, read the FAQ, there are many interesting facts there.
Preparing for sea - Sea Lieutenant
If you got to this stage of the tutorial, you should have your own ship, even though you may have no clue where it is.
It is always easy to find your own ships: Just go to "My Ship" in the left-hand menu and select "Ships owned" at the top. There will be your ship. If it is not, it's either not completed yet, or you don't have one. Click "inspect" to see your ship in detail. It will now show the crew on board, the officers on board, and the location. If you happened to travel around, return to the city where your ship is and go to the harbour there.
The harbour is the place where you can find the ships that are currently in the harbour. Because there might be many, they are grouped by ship types. You see an overview of how many of each type is present in the harbour:
Own: these are your own ships. Use this to find your own ship by clicking "select" to select the ship type of which you have a ship in the harbour.
Country: These are ships from people of your country.
Foreign: These are ships from people from other countries that are in your city. Fortresses are always foreign because they don't belong to anyone.
Now find your ship (it's bold in the list of ships of the type you selected) and click "embark" to embark as passenger on your own ship. To leave a ship, you have to go to the same place again and click "leave", but you don't want that now.
Appointing yourself captain
You are now only a passenger, and thus can't give orders yet. Everyone can join your ship as a passenger (and you can transport them to other cities if they ask). Each ship can have up to 3 navy officers as passengers. The captain and the owner can appoint commanding officers from the passengers. To make yourself a commanding officers, go to "My Ship" again.
It should now automatically show the ship you are on. Click "make officer" next to your name and you'll see your name move from "Passengers" to "Commanding Officers". You now have your first command.
Now that you are on this page, check if you have a full crew. They will be shown under the commanders. You also can see the total number at the top of this page among the ship statistics (eg. 9/10 under crew means you have 9 crew members on a maximum of 10) You need to have both gunners and sailors, as explained in the previous section.
Assuming you now have a ship, a captain and a crew, there is only one thing you need to do before you are ready to go to sea: Buy ammunition.
You can only do this when you are commanding a ship and unlike with the crew you'll always buy it for the ship you are on.
To buy ammo, go to the harbour again and look for the Armoury. There are 4 types of ammo you can buy:
Powder: You need this to fire your guns, regardless of the type of ammo you use. Each item of powder allows you to fire 10 guns.
Cannonballs: Round heavy balls. Using these you aim for the hull of a ship in order to sink him.
Grape Shot: Many small bullets, used to slaughter the enemies crew. It will not really damage the ship, but it's very efficient against personnel.
Chain Balls: Two cannonballs, connected with a chain. They are used when you are aiming for enemy sails/masts. Damaging them reduces your opponents speed.
For now, buy 10 powder and 100 cannonballs, or a bit more if you can afford it.
Never buy too much powder, since the more you have, the higher the chance your ship will explode. Larger ships can carry more powder than smaller. It's always pretty safe to have about 20-30 or fewer shots per gun.
You are now ready to get to sea.
Travelling at sea - Sea Lieutenant
You can travel using the box you can find on the top right of the city overview screen. When you are on a ship, it shows destinations on sea, if you are not it shows destinations by land. If it shows "Embarked on ship", you are still a passenger and can't give travelling orders. You have to return to "My Ship" to make yourself an officer.
Mind the weather
Now look at the wind. You can find it under the city or the sea picture. For example, this can be:
Wind: Northwestern Strong Breeze (1.8)
This means that there is a strong breeze of 1.8 blowing from the northwest. Because your schooner or transport is 100% dependent on the wind, your move cost is divided by 1.8. The higher this number, the less it costs to travel. When there is a Gale or Storm, it can be dangerous to get to sea. Weather can change at each the tick.
Moving in the direction of the wind is always harder than moving from the wind, so pay attention to the direction too. A schooner should be able to go in this direction for a slightly higher cost, but if you have a Transport, it's a very important difference. How much a ship is affected by the wind direction is shown by its weatherliness (which you can see in the detailed overview when clicking on a type name in for example the shipyard). The better the weatherliness the less it costs to move against the wind.
When you are at sea you can see the exact cost of travelling in each direction in brackets behind the destination in the move form at the top right of the screen.
Pay attention to storms too. When there is a storm, you will get damage to your hull and sails for being at sea on the tick and for moving around. If your sails get below 50% you also run the risk of sinking, losing your ship altogether. An exact description of the effects of storms can be found elsewhere in the FAQ, but in summary:
Storms and Violent storms are pretty rare (6% and 1% resp) so it might be wise to sit them out in a harbour.
- Gale (wind-speed 2.0 to 2.9): slight damage to hull and sails
- Storm (wind-speed 3.0 to 3.9): moderate damage to hull and sails, real risk of sinking when travelling more than 4 or 5 squares.
- Violent Storm (wind-speeds above 4.0): stay in the harbour.
Pick your homebase
Your first targets will be coastal villages of another nation. You can find them near their cities. To get such a battle, you will have to get to a city that doesn't belong to your country. To repair and buy crew/ammo you should preferably get to one of your own cities. Look at the map to see where you are and what is around you. Because you have to travel around a lot between your own and a foreign city, it's wise to take a homebase that is near an enemy city. You country does not have to be at war with the country you pick, you can still do training battles against their coastal villages as this will not hurt them.
Cities usually connect to only 1 sea square, even though their territory might border more than 1. The square that connects to the harbour is indicated with the anchor icon on the map.
Count your moves
Leaving and entering a harbour always costs 1 move, and doing a fight also costs 1 move. Count your moves so that after a fight you are always able to return to a harbour. It is possible to enter harbours of another country, but buying things is twice as expensive there. For repairing your ship it doesn't matter, so in emergency it's a good option.
There is a lookout on your ship who can tell you which ships there are in the squares next to you. If you are looking for targets to attack, this will prove very useful.
It's possible that one of the sea squares is blocked by an enemy ship or fleet in blockade mode. If there is, no ships that aren't significantly stronger or faster than the blockade can enter that square. You have to move around it, or attack them from a neighbouring square through the lookout view. It is not likely that your fast schooner will meet a blockade fast enough to stop you, but it might happen.
Your first sea battle - Sea Lieutenant
Now you have a ship and can sail it, it's time to use it for what it was build for: burn, sink or capture enemy ships.
There are several targets you can attack and you'll have to make your choice:
You can check which countries you are at war with by clicking on the "war" link in the menu at the left. To learn the game, it's best to pick a village (mind: not a city) and raid it. They are easy to find and always a good deal weaker than you are yourself. You will automatically enter the combat mode after you clicked raid.
- Enemy villages:
computer generated training targets, have no owner and attacking them doesn't hurt the country they belong to. Their strength is relative to your own so you should be able to have a good match for any ship you have, provided it's well-manned. You can always find them near cities that do not belong to your own country.
- Pirate ships:
They are also computer generated on random locations in the sea. They are just like enemy ships, only they don't have a country so they can be attacked by all countries without an official war. There are several reasons why you perhaps can't attack a pirate you found:
- The ship might be too strong for you. If it's 2 times as strong as you are, you are not allowed to attack him, nor should you want to.
- The ship might be too weak for you. If it's less than 70% of your strength, you are also not allowed to attack. Since there is no honour in such fights, you probably didn't want this anyway ;)
- The ship was attacked in the past 6 ticks. After an attack, if the defender wins he is protected from attacks for 6 ticks or until he moves. This is to prevent multiple attacks while someone is offline.
- Enemy ships:
You can also attack ships belonging to an enemy nation, but only if your country is officially at war with the country they belong to. The same rules apply that apply to attacking pirate ships, but you get much more xp for beating ships belonging to an enemy nation.
- Enemy cities:
You can also attack enemy cities, then you will fight against the 5 ships/fortresses with the most guns that are present in the city and don't have attack protection. You are not advised to do this with your schooner.
The battle screen
On the top of the screen, you see the opposing fleets. On the left your own and on the right your opponent. Below that there is the form for giving attack orders and below that the log of events in the battle. There is no hard limit to how much time you can spend on thinking over your orders, but after 90 seconds, the battle goes to idle mode and outsiders can interrupt it, for example by attacking you. It is advised to keep making your orders within 90 seconds until the battle is over, but this is plenty of time, especially with 1 ship against 1.
First you have to select a target. In this case, there is only 1 target (but fleets later on can have up to 5 ships). Select Fortress 1 from the first list. The name in the selection box is followed by 2 percentages, eg. (guns 100%, board 80%). This is the chance that your order against this target will succeed. Any gunnery order has 100% chance to succeed, and if you attempt to board and fight it out crew vs crew you have a 80% chance that you'll manage to get your ship alongside (that doesn't mean you'll win, it only means you'll fight).
These percentages are so high because your opponent is so slow. Actually, it's a fort so it doesn't move at all. These percentages increase if your ship is faster or if the total skill of your sailors is higher and decrease if your opponent is faster or has more or better skilled sailors.
Gunnery percentage lies between 45% and 100% with an average of 77% for equal ships/crews.
Boarding chance lies between 10% and 80% with an average of 20% for equal ships/crews.
Secondly, you have to select the type of attack.
That's easy; just destroy the fort with cannonballs. Capturing a fort is senseless since you can't take it home and using chain shot to decrease the forts speed is not a very bright way to spend your time either.
If your only option is to board, that means you are out of ammo (of either powder or balls). Do not board even if it's your only option, it's a very good way to lose your ship since forts have a lot of crew. In square brackets, you can see how many shots of this ammo you can still fire.
After you selected both the target and the attack type you can click attack. Now a round of the battle is processed. The defender first fires at you (or tries to fire) and then you try to fire at the enemy. Then you should repeat this several times. A battle can take up to 14 rounds, but most battles will take less. If there is no winner after 12 rounds, the battle is a tie and ends.
If you think, you are going to lose the battle you might choose to escape. If you press escape, there is a 33% chance that you will escape the fight. You will have a loss, but your ship is saved.
If you destroy enemies, you will get money for them. This is how you can earn money that you need for buying new crew, ammo and ships.
Return to the harbour
After the fight, you probably need repairs. It's possible that you can do more than 1 fight without repairs, you should judge that for yourself, but with an inexperienced crew it's likely that you will have to return home now. While you are at sea you can be attacked by countries you are at war with, so in wartime, don't linger at sea longer than necessary.
Repairs - Sea Lieutenant
After a battle, your ship needs to be repaired. This goes a lot faster when you are in a harbour.
per tick you are healed:
Hull: 100 points at sea, 1000 in harbour
Sails: 15 points at sea, 350 in harbour
Crew: 40 HP per tick (at sea/harbour equally)
Guns: 2 in harbour
You can speed up repairs by having carpenters, sailmakers and/or surgeons on your ships, but in small ships like Schooners this is not very useful. Your schooner should be repaired in a single tick so you can attack with them every tick.
Once you earned enough money, you can buy another ship and move to the undamaged one while the other is being repaired.
You will have to do a lot of fights to get money and gain experience points, which you need to get to higher ranks.
Your next promotion - Sea Lieutenant
Now that you have won several fights you may wonder what you have to do to get your next promotion. For this you'll have to understand how the rank system works.
Midshipman to Lieutenant you already know. However, from now on the promotion depends on your relative position in the country. If your country has fewer commanders than allowed, the highest Lieutenants can apply for promotion. You can see how much xp you need for your next promotion in the city overview to the right of the picture. If your xp shows 54/200 that means you have 54 xp and need 200 to promote. If it shows just 54, that means that at the moment there can be no more Commanders and you will have to wait until more people join your country or some of the higher ranks die.
Every 6 hours (at 12:04, 18:04, 00:04 and 06:04) the promotion requirements are recalculated.
If your xp is higher than the required amount, you can apply for a promotion by going to "My Ship". The button will be at the top of this page.
I can't get a promotion, what now?
You may just have too little xp to get promoted, or the rest of your country just has too much which is possible too. There will always be some Lieutenants, so it's possible you are one of those unlucky fellows for whom a promotion just doesn't come. You can improve your chances by starting actively at the beginning of an age, but it is no real disaster if you are never promoted either.
If you would get enough money for bigger ships, you can still buy them and hire a captain in the harbour who can be captain of your ship if your ship can't be commanded by a Lieutenant. Lieutenants can be officers on all ships that can't be commanded by them, so you can be 2nd in command under your hired captain (or under another real player) and have all the powers that the captain normally has.
If you get thoroughly acquainted with the game as a lieutenant it's inevitable that you will eventually be promoted.
New possibilities - Commander
So you are a Commander now. Not quite accomplished yet, but you're well on your way to write naval history. There is a whole range of ships now available for you to command. Here's a couple of things to look at when choosing your next ship:
With bigger crews on a ship, it might be interesting to look at the different crew types. Marines can be useful in boarding fights, Surgeons, Carpenters and Sailmakers repair your ships faster. You might also think about other ammo types and attempt to capture ships rather than sink them. If you capture a ship, you will become the owner and can sell it or use it for yourself.
- The bigger the better?
In general, you get more xp and gold for winning battles against larger ships, which is a lot easier when you have a large ship yourself. However such ships take longer to build, longer to repair and require more crew to operate. Having large ships gives you less opponents to fear and makes you more important on national level.
More speed allows you to move around more. Fast ships are good for travelling or sailing around looking for enemy ships.
If you hate being unable to reach a particular harbour because the wind is blowing from the wrong direction, buy a weatherly ship. It will still go slower in the wind direction, but the difference will not be as big.
- Wind dependency
Some ships don't need wind to move. They will prove very useful in a calm.
This is all I can teach you Commander, good luck on your own from here.