War! Age of Imperialism Rules FAQ

This section lists, in a FAQ format, clarifications of War! Age of Imperialism rules that are used in the computer version. If you are looking for a FAQ on the computer game in particular, scroll down to the bottom of this page.

All of these clarifications also apply to the board game as the goal is to make the default rules in the computer game exactly the same as the board game.  Therefore, this FAQ is the official reference for board game players as well. All questions have been approved as official by Glenn Drover, the game's designer.

This list also defines the House Rules that are included in the computer game.  House Rules are variations to the rules that fans of the game have created that we have incorporated into the computer game.  All house rules are optional (in other words, you have to turn them on).  The default behavior of the computer game is the advanced ruleset as described in the rule book (with the exception of the new "Plan and Reveal" method the computer game implements).  House Rule names are noted in bold red

Finally, there are some new rules that supercede rules in the game manual.  These are noted in bold green.

Note:  These rules clarifications apply to the Advanced rules (some may also apply to the Standard rules).

Q1. Is the player order the same every turn?

A1. Yes.  Once the initial order of players is determined, it stays the same throughout the game.  Some have suggested this causes inequities for both early and later players, but we addressed that with the way we interpreted the purchasing round (see below) and via the optional house rules regarding turn order.

Q2. What are the House Rules regarding turn order?

A2. There will be two optional settings for handling turn order.  The first, Random Turn Order, causes a dice roll to happen at the end of each turn (after the production round) to determine the player who goes first during that turn (overall player order is the same as the initial dice roll).  The second, Rotating Turn Order, simply rotates, in the order determined by the initial dice roll, who goes first.  For example, if the initial order was Doug, Greg, Hal, then the 2nd turn would be Greg, Hal, Doug, third turn Hal, Doug, Greg, etc.

Q3. Does a player purchase and place his new units before the next player starts?

A3.  According to the initial version of the board game rules, the answer is yes.   However this can be unfair because the earlier players are at a disadvantage because they can't respond to actions of other players (however they do have an advantage when it comes to revolting and westernizing natives).  The computer makes it easy to use another method, one that was originally developed as a Donohoe Digital house rule:  the Plan & Reveal purchase phase method.  This method has been officially approved by Glenn Drover for use as the default method in the computer game.

Plan & Reveal works as follows:  Each player does his/her purchases effectively at the same time, but those purchases are not revealed until all players are done.  In other words, when you are purchasing, you don't know what the other players are going to do.  We think this reflects more accurately what the time was actually like: it simulates the "simultaneous" nature of planning for war.  It also removes any advantage from the early players who could revolt/westernize before anyone else and to later players who could respond to the purchases of others.

This has an impact on how native westernizing and revolts are handled, which we address below.

The only impact on technology is that inflation application is clarified.  Since any discovery of "inflation" happens after all players production has happened, inflation isn't applied until the next income/production round and affects all players equally.  Any other technologies discovered are of course applicable immediately.

If you wish to play this way using the board game, then you can do one of two things:  Use the "honor system" and trust that people are honest about what they purchase and where they intend to place the pieces.  The other, for more sensitive purchases (e.g., westernizing, revolting, etc.) requires that you write down where those events occur to avoid disputes.  It all depends on how much you trust your friends :-).  For example, you don't want someone pulling out a new city from a region they forgot to westernize the second they see you revolted there!

Q4. What happens if a player pays to westernize his region at the same time that another player pays for a revolt?

A4. We decided to view funds spent to westernize and incite revolt on equal footing.  Each goes towards convincing the natives to do a particular thing.  We figured that the natives would split in their decision, going in equal numbers to each source of funds.

When a westernization and one or more revolts are applied to the same region, a battle still happens.  However, the native force is reduced by ratio of the westernization force to the revolt force:  1/(1 west + # of revolts).

Thus, if the owner westernizes and one player pays to revolt, then 1/2 of the natives would be convinced to westernize and 1/2 would be convinced to revolt.  Thus the computer reduces the native revolt force by 1/2 (rounding up any fractional units to the nearest integer, regardless of the fractional value, which is different than the calculation used to round fractional PPs as described in Q39).  If two players paid for revolt, then the native force is reduced by only 1/3rd.  If three players paid for a revolt, then the force is reduced by 1/4th.

For example, suppose in a rare case, the owner of Persia decided to pay to westernize the force of 10+ natives.  But two other players paid for a revolt during the same purchasing turn.  The resulting battle will be against a native force of 10 * (2/3) =~ 7 infantry and 5 * 2/3 roundup =~ 4 cavalry.

If the player wins the battle, then the natives are indeed westernized.  Otherwise all is lost.

Q5. When is a native revolt battle fought?

A5. On the turn of the player that owns the region the revolt happened in, after all movement happens (in other words, along with the other battles and exploration that player does).

Q6. Can I move forces into the revolting region on my movement turn?

A6. Yes.  We felt if you had pieces in a neighboring region, you could choose to help them fight the revolt.

Q7. After a revolt has been declared, can I move pieces out of that region before the battle is fought (related to Q6)?

A7. Yes.  Similar to A6, we figured you could move pieces out from a revolt, except of course at least one piece is required to be left behind.   However, you may not move Army pieces out of a revolting region into an adjacent enemy or native region to fight a battle.  The rationale is that you would not have time to properly organize a battle in another region due to the distraction of the ongoing revolt.  You may only move out to one of your own regions (think of it as a pre-retreat).  Likewise, you may not move out of a revolting region onto a ship (just like you cannot retreat back onto a ship during a battle).

Note:  Explorers may be moved to another region to explore or onto a ship.  Engineers may be moved onto a ship.  The rationale for these exceptions is that the explorer and engineer represent individuals and these can easily slip away from a revolt (versus an army piece which represents hundreds or thousands of people).

Q8. After a revolt is declared, can another army move into that region before the owner fights the native battle?

A8. We decided to allow this, with the following clarifications.  First, the invader has to be at war (of course).  2nd, the invader 1st fights the other players army.  Assuming that battle is won, then the invading army has to then fight the native revolt (immediately, on the same turn).  Finally, if it also happened to be the case that the original owner had paid to westernize at the same time (as explained in Q4), and the new owner defeats the natives, then the westernization still takes effect.  Our reasoning is that even though the new owner didn't pay for the westernization, the natives don't really care which imperialistic empire controls the government as long as they get nice schools and roads, etc.  The money was spent and takes effect.

This will probably rarely happen, but the rule is here just in case!

Q9. In the "plan and reveal" purchase mode, two players can buy a fort for the same native region and not realize it.  Isn't that a bummer?

A9. Yes, this is true.  The native region only gets one fort, and still defends at +1, but it is probably pretty nice as it cost twice as much to build.  Perhaps a little table talk with allies could prevent this!

Q10. Why would I want to buy a fort in a native region after all?  And why can I do it anywhere?

A10. If a native region stands between you and an enemy, and they have a 12++ marker, then a fort just makes it that much harder to take via battle.  It is a nice buffer.  As for why you can buy a fort anywhere in the world, even if you aren't remotely close to that part of the world, the answer from Glenn is that historically all it would take is sending an "advisor" to help the natives put the fort together.  Sending advisors around the world didn't require much effort (the British did it all the time) and therefore doesn't necessitate rules limitations involving proximity to an existing region or fleet.

Q11. Please clarify the +/++ next to the number on native markers.

A11. In a battle, the number represents the quantity of native infantry that will fight in an invasion or revolt.  A single + means the natives have (in addition to the infantry) a cavalry force equal to 1/2 (rounded up) the number of natives.  Two pluses (++) means they have this cavalry force plus an artillery unit.  For example, if you have a 9++, this equals a native force of 9 infantry, 5 cavalry and 1 artillery.

Q12. In the case of a tie during an attack, do you re-roll to determine the winner or is it the next players turn?

A12. A tie is considered the result of the attack and the next player goes.  If a tie happens during a native attack, the pieces sacrificed for the human wave are still lost!

Q13. If natives are beaten during a battle, do you still need to westernize them?

A13. Yes.  They are part of your empire, but not necessarily happy about it.  They can still revolt unless you spend the PPs to placate them.

Q14. Can I buy a port and a ship (next to the new port) at the same time?  Can I buy a school and an engineer/leader/artillery at the same time (assuming the city already exists).

A14. No to both - any requirements for purchase must exist prior to the purchase round starting, so new purchases don't count.

Q15. Can I buy an engineer and get a discount on a building at the same time?  Can I buy a city and a school at the same time (in the same region)?

A15. No.  By the same logic as A14, an engineer must pre-exist before a building can be bought benefiting from it.  Same logic follows for a school.  Since a city bought at the "same time" as the school would not already exist, the school cannot be purchased.

Q16. Does a school purchased on the same round as a technology purchase count towards the Discover Rating?

A16. No, since the technology rating is calculated at purchase time, it cannot take into account any new school purchases. This also applies to the number of tech rolls you get. You don't get to purchase 2 tech rolls until the Spend Production Points phase after the one in which you purchased the necessary number of schools.

Q17. Is the factory:city ratio of 2:1 a strict ratio of only 2 factories to an individual city or a general ratio of all factories to all cities?

A17. The ratio is all factories to all cities.  For example, it is correct to have 1 city with 3 adjacent factories and a 2nd city with 1 adjacent factory, for a total ratio of 4:2 = 2:1.

Q18. Can either player retreat at any time after 1st two attacks happen?  Or do I have to wait until after every 2 attacks, so each player gets a chance to attack?

A18. Either player can retreat after the first two attacks have happened.  For example, after the invader attacks once and the defender returns an attack, either can retreat.  If none chooses to and the invader attacks again, the defender still has the option to retreat instead of returning fire.

Q19. Can I carry over unspent PPs to my next purchasing round?

A19. Yes, you may carry over any number of PPs, except for the initial purchase round in which you must spend as much as possible.  The reason the board game did not allow this was due to lack of room in the box for paper money!

Q20. The rule book does not match the summary card regarding the placement of artillery, leaders and engineers.  Do these require both a City and a School or just a School?

A20. Both a City and School are needed (in the same region) to buy and place an artillery, leader or engineer.  This is important because you could conceivably have a school by itself from the initial purchase round.

Q21. Can I have multiple explorers in a native region?

A21. No. The computer game limits the number of explorers in a region to one, except when unloading from a ship, because you could move the extra explorer(s) from the unload spot to explore multiple regions.

Q22. A Factory not next to a City doesn't generate PPs, but does it affect the calculations for Railroads, Ports and Victory Point?

A22. Yes, non-PP producing factories are included in the calculations for rail, port and victory points.

Q23. What happens if I conquer a region and gain a Factory and that Factory places my ratio over the 2:1 limit?

A23. You may keep it and it does produce PPs, but you cannot buy additional factories until the ratio is correct.

Q24. Can engineers move through native owned regions with explorers?

A24. No.

Q25. Can multiple leaders move through with explorers for exploration?

A25. No.  The rules state only one leader may assist an exploration, so we restrict the number of leaders to one when in a native region with an explorer.

Q26. Do forts defend against a native revolt?

A26. Yes.  The owner of the region is considered the defender for a native revolt.

Q27. Do forts defend against invaders in a native battle (i.e., help the natives when they are invaded)?

A27. Yes.  A fort in a native region adds +1 to the natives roll.

Q28. Are ships allowed in the Caspian sea?

A28. No.  While the computer game could allow it, it seems silly to do so.

Q29. How does destroying building/undeveloping work?

A29. One army piece (infantry, cavalry, artillery or leader) must be "assigned" to each building being destroyed or resource being undeveloped.  These assigned pieces cannot move during that turn.  At the end of the players movement/battle phase, the buildings are considered destroyed and removed from the board.

Q30. Can I go into the Black Sea if Ottoman is owned by the natives?

A30. The rules state that the owning player has to give you permission.  We figure the natives can't be bothered to stop you, so the answer is yes.

Q31. The rules state a leader adds +1 to the roll during exploration.  Why does the computer game use +2?

A31.  The rules were wrong as explained in the errata section at Eagle Games.

Q32. If I have two adjacent regions, with only 1 piece in each of them, can those pieces swap places?

A32. No.  A region cannot be left empty, even temporarily.  You can swap these pieces if you have a 3rd from somewhere else to act as a place holder while they move.

Q33. Can the natives use the human wave during both the attack and defense during a battle?

A33. No.  Human wave is an "attack" and can only be used during the attack phase of a battle.

Q34. Can the natives sacrifice any army piece (infantry, cavalry or artillery) during a human wave attack?

A34. Yes.  Each piece sacrificed, regardless of type, adds a +1 to the battle roll.

Q35. Do players need to be at war to fight a ship battle?

A35. No.  They can occur at any time.

Q36. Suppose two opposing ships end up in the same sea region, but neither wants a battle. They both stay in the same sea zone, acting as a buffer. Later on (possibly several turns later), when one of them decides to move out of the sea zone, does the other still have the option of starting a battle?

A36. No. A sea battle may only be started when a ship enters a sea zone for the first time or when it is a player's turn (he/she is the one moving).

Q37. Suppose a ship is blockading a port and the owner of the port buys ships during their production round and places them in the same region as the blockading ship. The owner of the port goes first and wants to have a ship battle. Does the owner of the blockading ship have the option to move out and not battle or does a battle occur?

A37. The blockading ships can not move away. They must fight. See the rule clarification above. The only time a sea battle can occur is when a new ship moves into a sea zone (then any player with a ship in the zone may declare a sea battle) or if the moving player wants a sea battle in a sea zone that already contains his ships.

Q38. How come I can't unload from a ship after a battle is declared?  Can't I fight a land battle after the sea battle, assuming I win (like in Axis and Allies?)

A38. No.  After a battle is declared, all further movement of the ship is prohibited.  Since unloading is considered a ship movement, that isn't possible.  If you win the battle and those ships survive, you may unload on your next movement turn.

Q39. What happens to fractional PPs left over after an inflation reduction?

A39. The computer game rounds up, which is defined as adding .5 to the result and truncating.  For example, if you had 65 PPs and the inflation was 1/2, you would end up with 65/2 = 32.5, rounded up is 32.5 + .5 = 33.0, truncated = 33.  However, if you had 64 PPs and the inflation was 1/3, you would end up with 64/3 = 21.3333, rounded up is 21.3333 + .5 = 21.8333, truncated = 21.

Q40. Can a player incite a revolt in their own region?

A40. No.  As Glenn says, "It's unnatural. As in, 'Please slaughter all of our women and children, we don't like this colony anymore.'"

Q41. What is the Rich World house rule?

A40. With this turned on, the number of resources with value on them that are part of the pool is increased 50%.  For example, instead of having only 2 tokens with 12 - Diamonds, you now have 3.  This means that more of the regions should have resources.  To implement this at home, you can convert some of the blank tokens by writing on them or you can purchase extra markers from Eagle Games for about $3.00 (the total pool of markers should total 90, so if you do purchase more markers, simply replace blank token with 1 of each type from the new set).

Q42. What is the Weak Natives house rule?

A42. With this rule turned on, there are no native markers with 11 or 12 on them.  To implement this at home, simply remove all the markers with 11 and 12 on them before distributing them to empty regions.

Q43. If a Leader helps with an exploration and the roll fails, is the Leader eliminated along with the explorer?

A43. Yes.  Kind of harsh, isn't it?

Q44. The rule for calculating Railroad PPs says "Each Railroad produces 4 PP's for each City, Factory, Port, or Resource (with a value greater than "0") that is in a region adjacent to or in the same region as the Railroad and in the player's empire".  Does this mean other buildings can be in the same region as a Railroad?

A44. No - a railroad may not share a region with a city, factory or port (it may have a fort however).  The "in the same region" applies to a developed resource, which may be in the same region as a railroad (or any other building for that matter).

Q45. Is it permitted to move from the Ottoman region to The Balkans?

A45. Yes (see map clarifications on page 38 of the manual).

Q46. Eagle's website allows you to purchase white and black armies to allow 7 and 8 player games.  What is the Number of Starting Regions for 7 and 8 Player Games?

A46. 3 starting regions for each player in 7 and 8 player games.

Q47. Do forts and schools count towards the VP count?

A47. Yes (all buildings count, even factories not adjacent to cities).

Q48. Do Developed Resources count towards the VP count?

A48. Yes, each developed resource is worth 5 victory points.  This is not specifically mentioned in the manual, but Glenn said that developed resources should be counted along with buildings.

Q49. Do the Standard rules regarding "reserves" for land battles apply in the Advanced rules?

A49. No.

Q50. If I use an army piece to destroy a building can I move the rest of the pieces out of the region on the same turn, thus leaving the one destroying the building as the one fulfilling the "must have one in a region" rule?

A50. Yes.

Q51. What is the new rule regarding Blockades?

A51. Glenn felt that the rule on Page 34 of the manual regarding blockades was too punitive.  The new rule is summarized as follows:  For each port that has at least one "at-war" enemy ship adjacent to it, 10 PPs are deduced from the income of the owner of the port (up to 50% of the total PP income).  Clarifications:

  • If more than one port (owned by the same player) is adjacent to the same sea zone with the ship, the deduction is still only 10PPs.  The idea is that the sea zone is blockaded, so the number of ports on the sea zone is immaterial.
  • If more than one port (owned by different "at-war" players) is adjacent to the same sea zone with the blockading ship, the deduction is 10PPs per player.  Again, since the sea zone is blockaded, all "at-war" players with ports on the sea zone are affected, but again for only 10PPs.
  • If more than one ship is in the sea zone, the deduction is still only 10PPs.   The number of ships in the blockade doesn't impact the deduction anymore.
  • If you have a port adjacent to 2 sea zones, and both have blockading ships, the deduction is still only 10PPs since one port cannot be blockaded twice.
  • You can have multiple blockades in effect against an "at-war" player if each port has a dedicated ship to blockade it and those ships are in separate sea zones.
  • The total deduction for blockading cannot be greater than 1/2 of the players PP income.

    The manual stated that you have to declare a blockade, however the rule the computer game is going to use is that blockades are automatic and the deductions are handled automatically.  The rationale behind this is that we couldn't come up with a reason why someone would not want to declare a blockade against an at-war opponent.

Q52. Does the +1 for having a fort affect both attack and defense rolls in a battle?

A52. Yes.  When your region with a fort is invaded, you get +1 on all rolls (i.e., when you pick the pieces and when your opponent picks the pieces).

Q53. After failing in an exploration, can I send in another explorer on my next turn?

A53. Yes.  You may keep doing so until you (a) get lucky (b) run out of money or (c) throw the dice out of the window.  Note:  you may only explore once per movement round (in other words, you can't send in 3 explorers and try 3 times).

Q54. The rules for destroying and undeveloping state that an "Army" must be used.  Does this mean I can't use explorers or engineers?

A54.  Yes.  Army pieces are those used in battle:  Infantry, Artillery, Cavalry and Leaders.

Q55. After inflation is discovered, does it effect just the next round or all rounds after the discovery?

A55. Inflation is in effect for all rounds after it is discovered.   The rule book is unclear about whether inflation discovered by the 1st player affects the 2nd player in their calculations.  Our interpretation of the rule is no:  We figure all players generate income at the same time, so the purchasing part of the production round is spending "old" income.  The manual says inflation affects "New Production Points".  So we take that to mean any income earned at the end of the next round.

Q56. How many Army pieces can a ship transfer between two regions that are adjacent to the same sea zone (i.e., when the ship doesn't have to move)?  For example, From India to Arabia via the Persian Gulf.

A56. Only 5.  A ship can basically load a maximum of 5 Army pieces per movement phase.  You can unload pieces from a previous movement phase if they are still on the ship and then load more on.  However, the maximum number of Army pieces that can be loaded onto a ship during one movement turn is 5.

Q57. The rules state I have to have at least one army unit in each region.  Do explorers and engineers count towards this?

A57.  No.  Only Army pieces (infantry, cavalry, artillery and leaders) may satisfy the "at least one per region" rule.

Q58. What is the new rule regarding Ship Purchases in Sea Zone with Existing Ships?

A58.  One of the oft talked about rules issues is the ability to purchase a ship, place it into a region where there are ships belonging to other players (e.g., someone blockading a port) and then using that ship to load/unload Army pieces before the other players have a chance to act.  In a recent test game, this was the beginning of the end for one of the players.

After discussions with Glenn, we decided to treat the placement of a new ship in a sea zone the same as moving a ship into a sea zone.  Any player with ships already in that sea zone have a chance to declare a battle before the purchasing player can do anything with it (just as if an existing ship had been moved into the region from somewhere else).  If a battle is declared, then that ship cannot move or load pieces - it must fight the battle!

Also, special case: If two players both buy a ship in the same sea zone, then both are considered to have "entered" and both, on the other players turn, have the ability to declare a battle before allowing movement or loading/unloading.

Q59. What is the new rule regarding Canals?

A59.  The computer game will implement a new technology called Canals, which board game players are free to implement as well.   The new technology appears above Advanced Engineering on the technology chart (and this is its only pre-requisite).  When this is discovered, the Suez Canal and Panama Canal (on North/South America expansion map) are built and usable.  The owner of the Egypt region controls access to the Suez.  The New Granada region controls access to the Panama canal.  The rule is similar to passage to the Black Sea (through the Dardanelles Strait).  If natives own the controlling region, then passage is allowed.  If a player owns the controlling region, their permission is required to pass through the canal.

Q60. If I have two or more regions with battles against an opponent and those battles are adjacent to one another, and the 1st goes poorly, can I retreat into the 2nd battle region?

A60.  No. You can only retreat into an area of yours that is not currently in battle. An area is considered "in battle" if any unresolved combat is occurring, including native uprisings.

Q61. If i'm an attacker and I want to retreat from a battle, can I retreat to any of my regions?

A61.  No. You can only retreat into an area that one of your armies came from (and all must retreat to the same area). A defender, however may retreat to any of their areas (provided a battle is not occurring there).

Q62. If inflation is discovered and I have PPs in the "bank" at the end of the purchasing round, does that get reduced by the inflation rate?

A62.  No. Inflation only affects new income.

Software FAQ

This section answers some frequently asked questions about the computer version of War! Age of Imperialism.

Q1. What platform(s) does the game run on?

A1. Windows 98/2000/Me/XP, Mac OS X and Linux.

Q2. Where can I purchase the game?

A2. Through the Eagle Games online store as well as most major computer stores.

Q3. Is the game written in Java?

A3. Yes, we are using JDK1.4.1 as the primary platform for the games.

MacOS Note:

MacOS 10.2/Jaguar users will need to install the Jaguar Java 1.4.1 update.

MacOS 10.3/Panther users should not need to upgrade because Java 1.4.1 is part of Panther. However, some Panther users may have an incomplete install and should install the Panther Java 1.4.1 update.

Q4. Is it be distributed as a standalone executable or require an external VM (virtual machine) to run?

A4. On the PC and Linux, the game is distributed as a standalone, complete executable and will not require an external VM.  It is installed with a typical installer and launched from the Start menu or desktop. The normal game player will not be aware or need to know about the use of Java or a particular JVM.

On the Mac, the game is installed using a typical installer and launched from the Applications folder like any other Mac application (see note in Q3 about Java 1.4.1 update requirement).

Q5. Is there a central server set up in order to facilitate locating other players?

A5. There is a central server to facilitate on-line play, such as storing moves while a player is offline and directing interaction between on line players. 

We would have liked to add other features such as player matching, ranking and tournaments to the central server, but we didn't have the time, resources or money to finance the cost of operation.

Q6. How is combat handled in the online games? How about the natives in Hot Seat and Online games?

A6. The player most affected by online battles is the defender.  There are two options - control your own battles, where battle choices alternates from player to player. The other option, if the game is played in a more asynchronous manner, is to allow the computer to control your battles. The computer will play as the AI players do in Hot Seat mode, including choosing to retreat if the odds get too low.

The computer plays the natives in the case of revolts and native battles and makes judicious use of the "human wave"!

Q7. Are players able to transition from online mode to offline mode and back to online mode?

A7. Yes.

Q8. Can an online game be saved so that it can be continued at a later date?

A8. Yes.

Q9. Can games be recorded so that they could be reviewed later?

A9. No.

Q10. Are you going to be looking for testers?

A10. Beta testing is currently closed - thanks to all that volunteered.

Q11. Are there built in chat functions or is an external program (such as AIM or ICQ) required?

A11.  Yes - built in chat is there, including the ability to direct a message to a specific player or players (for alliance type discussions).

Q12. Is there a configurable option to time limit games?

A12.  No. However, games may be limited to a certain number of turns, which is a good way to limit the length of the game. In addition, turns in the computer game take far less time than in the board game, so it is possible to get further along in a game in a shorter amount of time.

Q13. Can War! Age of Imperialism be played on a LAN?

A13.  Yes. However, each computer on the LAN is required to have access to the internet, their own copy of War! Age of Imperialism and access to their email account. Here's why:

All War! online games are coordinated through a central server (the War! Game Server), which is located on the public internet and managed by Donohoe Digital.

When you start an online game, you ("the host"), choose the number of players and specify an army color and email address for each player. You then register with the War! Game Server to start the online game. The War! Game Server creates the game information on the server and an email is sent to each player inviting them to join the game. The email contains the game ID and a password for validation purposes.

When a player receives an invitation email, they then start their copy of War! Age of Imperialism and enter their email address, game ID and password. The War! Game Server authenticates the user as part of the "join" process.

After joining, the War! Game Server then coordinates the game amongst all the players. It relays chat messages, moves and other game information. If a player is off-line, the information is stored until they sign on again. Without a public server on the internet, it would be impossible to support the offline or "asynchronous" method of play.

Another reason we used a public server on the internet is to support players who have NAT (network address translation) home networks or play the game from behind a firewall (e.g., at work or a home firewall). Previous online board games like Axis and Allies did not work well across the internet in such scenarios because you were required to enter an IP address, which in the case of some home users are non-routable or inaccessible. The War! Game Server architecture supports the most widest possible range of internet network configurations.

Thus, LAN play is possible, but each computer still need access to the internet and each player needs to be able to bring up their email to get the game id and password.

Q14. How do I get support for War! Age of Imperialism?

A13.  Please post any questions to Donohoe Digital's Discussion Forum. Your questions will be answered as soon as possible (our goal is to answer them within 24 hours, but most are done sooner!).