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The Playing Pieces

The square game pieces represent platoon-sized


military units of various types. The tan-coloured
pieces represent Commons forces, while the bluecoloured pieces represent Liberation forces. The
symbol of silhouette identifies the type of unit
represented by a given counter, while the three
numbers represent are called "factors" and
represent the capabilities of the unit in three
categories: attack, defence, and movement.

General Outline of Play


Instant War: Tank Battles I (TB1 hereafter) is the
first in a series of war games set in the fictional
world of the Third Colonies, a collection of small
states that are perpetually at war with one
another. In the period you are playing in, the
Colonies are split into two factions: the ProCommons faction, which favours bringing the
Colonies together in a confederation, and the
Liberation forces, which prefer the loose style of
alliances and partnerships that currently holds.
In TB1, you control the Commons forces as they
begin to mount a counterattack against
Liberation, which had taken possession of several
Commons states, including Estremera, Adrada,
and Landete. Each scenario presents a different
battle from this counteroffensive, generally
following the campaign temporally.
Each scenario is played out on a unique map that
also serves as a game board. The player and the
computer take turns moving the pieces allotted to
their forces for that scenario, attacking the
opposition when possible and advantageous.
After combat odds are calculated, a random "roll"
of a 6-sided die, plus or minus relevant modifiers,
determines the outcome.
The object of each scenario is to defeat as much
of the enemy force as possible within the allotted
turns, while also protecting one's own units. All
scenarios are open to the player from the outset,
so victory is not required; only desired.

The identification and description of all unit type


symbols and silhouettes may be found in
Appendix B of this rule set.

Factor Definitions
Movement Factor (MF) The movement points
the unit is allowed to use each turn. Each plain
hex "costs" 1 MF to move, while others can cost
more (such as forest and swamp) and less (such
as roads).
Attack Factor (AF) The offensive power of a
given unit.
Defence Factor (DF) The defensive power of a
given unit.

The Map
Each scenario plays out on its own map of an
area of the Colonies under dispute. Most maps
connect, so that the content on the southeastern
corner of one map, for example, will appear in the
northwestern corner in the next scenario. This
area of the colonies lives under a temperate
climate, so there should be no surprises in terms
of terrain.

Scenarios
TB1 comes with ten scenarios, each capturing a
different
battle
in
the
Pro-Commons
counteroffensive.
More scenarios will be
available in later editions of Instant War.

Scenario Card

Starting TB1
When TB1 is started up, scenario #1 is loaded,
and the Instant War splash title graphic is
displayed.
Click anywhere in the window to
remove the graphic.

Instant War Console


Any business you have with TB1 may be
managed via the Instant War Console. This is the
command-line prompt available at the bottom of
the window. Click at the prompt to begin entering
commands.

Console Commands
next Ends the current player turn.
The
computer will take its turn, and then the next turn
will begin (or the game will end if all turns have
been used up).
new Starts a new game in the current scenario.
Player will be asked to confirm this command.

Type card to read more about the scenario you


have loaded. The card provides background text,
and tells you the location of the battle, and how
many units are given on each side.

Movement
Terrain Features
Each scenario map is divided into hexes, each
with a dominant terrain feature.
Common
features include forest, road, river, and swamp.
Hexes that are pale green or brown are fields, and
are considered to be essentially "neutral", in that
they impose no movement penalties or benefits.
Generally, forest and swamp hexes will slow units
down, while roads will allow them to travel more
quickly.
Rivers are impassable for all but
amphibious units.
Terrain may be at three different levels of
altitude. Generally, most hexes are at the lowest.
Hexes at the second altitude level are highlighted
in green.
Hexes at the highest level are
highlighted in light green.

save Saves the current game using filename


supplied by player (e.g. 'save "game1"').

Changes in altitude affect unit movement to


varying degrees. Generally, moving up in altitude
imposes a movement penalty, while moving
down allows the unit to move faster.

load Loads a game with the filename supplied


by the player (e.g. 'load "game1"').

How to Move Units

scenario Loads a scenario file with the supplied


filename (e.g. 'load "sc2"').

Each unit may be moved once per turn, but the


player may elect to not move a given piece.

card brings up the scenario card for the current


scenario being played.
score displays the current score

To move a unit, click on its hex. TB1 will calculate


all the potential moves the unit may make, and
highlight them on the map in blue.

help displays the list of commands, or


description of a command if supplied (e.g. 'help
scenario').

Click on any of the highlighted hexes to move the


unit to that hex. Click anywhere else to cancel
the move.

quit quits the game. Player will be prompted to


confirm.

Load Scenario
After TB1 has loaded up, and you have cleared
the title graphic, you may load any scenario you
wish to play.
e.g. scenario "sc2"
will load scenario 2 into the system, ready to play.
The scenarios are named sc1 through to sc10.

Combat
How to Have Combat
Combat is initiated by the player or the computer.
A unit may attack before or after it moves. If it
attacks before it moves, however, it cannot move
for that turn.
To attack an enemy unit, click on the hex of the
attacking unit. Enemy units that are in range to
attack will be highlighted in red. Click on the red
hex to attack.

Combat pits the attacker's AF against the


defender's DF. The difference between them is
expressed as the ratio AF/DF, rounded in favour
of the defender to match up with the ratios listed
on the Combat Results Table (CRT), as shown in
Appendix A.
Combat results are decided by the simulated roll
of a 6-sided die. Modifiers are then applied (see
next section), and the CRT is consulted. There
are four possible outcomes:
No Effect Nothing happens.
Dispersal The defending unit is dispersed. It
cannot move or fight for one turn, and becomes
"ghosted" onscreen.
Subsequent attacks on
dispersed unit have -2 modifier.
DD Special dispersal. If the defending unit is
already dispersed, it will be killed. Otherwise, it is
dispersed.
Kill Defending unit is killed, and removed from
the map.

Modifiers
Based on various game situations, modifiers may
be applied to the combat die rolls, as listed
below:
/2: applied when attacking unit is higher altitude
-2: applied when defending unit is dispersed.
-2: applied when defending unit is in town hex
and attacking unit is infantry
+2: applied when defending unit is in town hex
and attacking unit is not infantry.

Score
Scoring is quite simple in TB1. You get +1 point
for every enemy unit you kill, while you lose -1
point for every Commons unit that the enemy
kills.

Appendix A
Combat Results Table
Roll
-1
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7

1:4
D
-

1:3
DD
D
D
-

Odds Ratios
1:2
1:1 2:1
X
X
X
DD
DD
X
D
DD
X
D
D
DD
D
DD
D
D
-

3:1
X
X
X
X
X
DD
DD
-

4:1
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
-

Explanation
X Unit eliminated
DD Special Dispersal

D Dispersal
- No effect

Appendix B
Unit Types
Commons Tank. Slow moving but
powerful. Cannot move on water.
Commons Armoured Truck. Fast and
relatively strong. Cannot move on
water.
Commons Amphibious Armoured
Truck. Somewhat fast. Can move on
water.
Commons Infantry. Relatively slow
and weak, but strong in urban areas.
Cannot move on water.
Liberation Tank.
Liberation Armoured Truck.
Liberation Amphibious Armoured
Truck.
Liberation Infantry.

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