On that day I wept.

I wept silently, and behind my bloodied faceplate so that my men would not see. From behind the tears, I peered out across the passing sea. In the distance I could still make out the remains of my once mighty kingdom, farther and farther away with every lap of the waves. I could hardly then make out the forms of the barbarians moving among the flames, forcing my people into slavery, executing the last of my knights. But even at that distance the Deathlords last words rang in my ears. I could set foot no more on Normandy, but I would bide my time on Wales until I could return.

Yes, I wept over the loss. I wept and vowed revenge.

Conquest is a multi-player game of strategic warfare set in a fantasy world based on medieval England. In it you will start as a lowly knight, with but a castle to your name. By matching your army against others, however, you may gain rank and pr estige... or ruin.

Connecting to Conquest

Conquest is played over Internet Relay Chat (IRC) on the Undernet and on DalNet. On the Undernet the game bot is Conquest, on the DalNet it's Conquest. There are many excellent and free IRC programs available on the World Wide Web. If you are on a PC computer, I recommend mIRC. If you use a Macintos h, I recommend Ircle. Whatever computer you use, check out an IRC tutorial if you're new to the medium.

Once you've understood the basics of IRC,

  1. Connect to undernet by typing: /server undernet.org or connect to the dalnet by typing /server irc.dal.net
  2. Join our channel, #conquest, by typing: /join #conquest
  3. (From here on in you can ask for help from people on the channel. We're a pretty helpful bunch)
  4. Type /msg conquest newplayer to create a character in Conquest! 
  5. Immediately change your password. Type /msg conquest password <yourpasswordhere> . Don't forget your password!
  6. The game is played by communicating directly and privately with a robot program which runs on the Emperor's computer. This robot is named, appropriately enough, Conquest. Establish communication with the robot by typing: /dcc chat conquest. Different IRC programs treat dcc (direct-connection chat) differently. Most likely ano ther window will open with your private chat to the Conquest robot. For now on commands to the robot, which will be written in teletype, should be written over that dcc chat.

Personalizing your character

By using the person command, you can look at the basic stats for your new Conquest character. I will explain these stats in a moment, but for now notice that your kingdom is named My Kingdom and that your elimination message (what you s ay when you destroy someone else's kingdom) is "I can't believe I won?!?!". You'll want to take a few steps to customize your character.
  1. Your character is male by default. If you would like a female character use the gender command.
  2. To change your elimination message use the winmsg <yourquotehere> command.
  3. To change the name of your kingdom use kname <thenameofyourkingdomhere>
  4. Right now your army will surrender if you lose only 25% of your troops in battle. You'll find that it's to your benefit to drive your troops harder in this game. Try surrender 95
Now, you are well on your way to making a name for yourself in Conquest!

Understanding your character

There are two ways to get your stats in Conquest. One, mentioned already, is person. It will give you something like this:

=Conquest= The Kingdom of My Kingdom:
=Conquest= [----] Personal Stats for Saxon Knight Example:
=Conquest= [\()/] 31 Movement Point(s) | 1 Castle(s) | 15000 copper
=Conquest= \__/ 100 Acres of Land | 100 Peasant(s) | 100 Food
=Conquest= -==)-@ You serve under ??? of ???.
=Conquest= Your elimination msg is: I can't believe I won!?!
=Conquest= You are currently in the city of Ayr on Scotland.
=Conquest= You have not initiated a battle.

Movement Points: Define how much you can do in this game. Most things you will want to do -- such as attacking, traveling and spying -- all cost movement points. When you are out of movement points you are very limited in what you can do, and will have to wait to get more. You get 3 movement points every fifteen minutes, and a lump at Housekeeping.

Castles: Protect you from attack and house your troops. You can hold 100 troops per castle. A battle is over when a castle is claimed, so the number of castles you own also defines how many times you can be defeated before you are eliminated from the game altoge ther. Notice that you only start with one castle...

Copper:  Buys your things at either a cities market or at an item market (located in the port cities on each continent).  To buy from the regular city market, type 'market' to see what is available and type buy <amount> <item> to purchase something.  Although not shown on the market, you may also buy castles buy using buy <amount> castle (3mp).  At the item markets in the port city, you can type buy item for a complete list of what is available.  If there is something you like, type buy item <item you want>.  Alternatively, you may sell items to the item market (these are items you may have found when you quest item).  The command to sell an item to the market is sell item <item>.  The maximum items of anyone type that the item market will hold is 25.  After that the good merchant will buy no more.

Food: Some of your troops require food at HouseKeeping to stay in your army.  This food is usually measured in bushels and can be traded in some of the cities.  

Land: Each of your castles takes exactly 50 acres of land.  To build more castles, you need more land.

Peasants: Your peasants work your land to produce your food.  They also pay taxes, although you must have 50 peasants for each of your castles to gain taxes. 

Housekeeping (acres, peasants and food)

Every day in real life is one year in Conquest, and so a full season is passed about every six hours. At the top of each season the conquest robot updates it's records. These are called "housekeeping" and they occur at 6am, noon, 6pm and 11pm in the Eastern Time Zone. 4am, 11am, 5pm and 11pm UK Time Zone.

Many things happen at a Housekeeping, but most importantly right now, Housekeeping is when you must feed your troops. At a housekeeping, first each of your troops (except mercenaries) eats 1 bushel of food. If you do not have enough food at the beginning of a housekeeping, to feed them, the ones you cannot feed will desert your army. Once you have fed your troops, the second thing that happens is that 1 peasant on 1 acre of land will produce 1 bushel of food.

Also, at a housekeeping your attacks and your reprieve (more about reprieve later) are "reset." As a knight you have three attacks per housekeeping.

What you've been waiting for: How to Attack

You cannot attack until half-an-hour after you've established your kingdom. Your first half-hour is for you to grow and get the lay of the land. To find the names of ten people on your continent, use the population command, which takes 1 mp. T o spy on another player, you must first buy a spy. Then, spy in employ, you can spy <otherplayer'snick>. But be ready. Your spies can be caught, and even tortured to reveal valuable information about your kingdom.

By decree of the Emperor Romulus you cannot be attacked until you first initiate an attack. This is called the Protection of the Emperors. Know that in Conquest you start the game very small. If you attack do not expect your enemies to be merciful.

Look at your army with the review command, which also costs 1 mp. It will look like this:

=Conquest= You have made 0 of 3 attacks.
<Conquest> You have lost 0 of 3 battles on England.
<Conquest> Your generals report that your troops on England will surrender after sustaining casualties of 25%.
<Conquest> Your generals report that your formation on England is: [ Renegade Soldier Archer Knight BloodGuard Catapult Corsair BladeLord ]
<Conquest> Your generals will enlist your Peasants if you lose a battle.
=Conquest= Your Castle(s) on Normandy can support a maximum of 100 troops.
<Conquest> Your Mercenaries cost 0 copper each Housekeeping to maintain.
=Conquest= Your army consists of the following:
=Conquest= Total Troops: 100
=Conquest= 0 Renegade(s) (1/2)            | 100 Soldier(s) (3/4,shd,swm)
=Conquest= 0 Archer(s) (5/2,fs)           | 0 Knight(s) (8/6,x2)
=Conquest= 0 BloodGuard(s) (10/12)        | 1 Catapult(s) (10/0)
=Conquest= 0 Corsair(s) (4/4,swm)             | 0 BladeLord(s) (6/8,x3)
After each troop type there are two numbers. The first is the attack value, and the second is the defence value. Once you've found a target, simply compare your armies to theirs and, if you like use the attack <nick> c ommand!

You are well on your way to a path of Conquest!

Other things to do

Whether you are waiting for your half-an-hour to come, planning to build before breaking the Protection of the Emperors, or have used all of your attacks and still have movement points left over, here are some miscellaneous things that you can do in Conquest: