Modem Wars (MODWAR10.TXT)


The Project 64 etext of the Modem Wars manual. Converted to etext by
Willard Baker <>.

MODWAR10.TXT, October 1996, etext #92.


The History of Modem Wars

As the decades of the twenty-first century passed, football changed.
Violence (which had been banned worldwide with the signing of the
Global Peace Agreement) found a new and comfortable home on the
football field.  Pads and helmets evolved into armor and bionics.
Penalties for personal fouls were erased from the rulebooks. Knocking
out the quarterback (QB) became a method of winning. In response to
this trend towards violence, the Global Football League made a radical
move and replaced all the players - except for the quarterback - with
armed robots and renamed the game to the Sport of War.

Spectator interest in Sport of War exploded. More people came to watch
this display of raw aggression than all the other sports combined. The
newly-formed Global War League (GWL) invested billions of dollars to
make sure these attendance figures remained high. Stadiums were
enlarged to house bigger battlefields. "Modi-form" turf made it
possible to have terrain that could be changed between battles. Elite
QBs recieved hugh salaries to direct the battles from inside hi-tech
mobile command centers.

Before long, the GWL funded the development of a home computer version
of the game. Called Modem Wars, this game is identical to it's parent,
except that the plane of play has moved from the stadium to the phone
lines. Every detail of the battlefield, every action of the robots,
ever feature of the QB's comcen have been captured on disk.

Anybody with a home computer and a holophone can experience what only
pro QBs have before experienced. If you turn out to be a bad QB,
you'll diappear unceremoniously into the phone line or a junction box.
If you're good, you may win a place in the Strategists' Hall of Fame
in Little Rock.  Take it from Ted Aldirt, 2025 Modem War's QB of the
year: "All you need is a little concentration, a little dedication,
and a lot of desire to pound your opponent into a cube steak."

Your goal is to win. There are two ways to do this:

1. Knock out your opponent's command center (comcen), which is the
brains of the operation. No brains, no operation. A comcen is knocked
out when its energy level goes to zero as a result of enemy attack.
You'll use your robots and comcen weapons to accomplish this.

2. Score more points that your opponent before time runs out. There
are three ways to score points. Cross the center line with any of your
robots; cross your opponent's back line with any of your robots; or
hit your opponent's command center (comcen). Time is measured in
clicks; 10 clicks equals a minute.

Playing Scrimmage

This section introduces you to Scrimmage, the ideal scenario for the
new QB (quarterback) to try. Based on the popluar twentieth century
game of NFL football, this was the first scenario developed for Modem
Wars by the top QBs.

The walk through that follows is a simple presentation of Scrimmage.
It's meant to familiarize you with the game. You'll see how Modem
is set up, what robots you'll get to use, what the terrain is like,
and so on. Don't sweat the details about strategy yet; that will come
the more you play. Once you're familiar with the mechanics of the game
and you're ready for more in depth play, read the section Getting Into

Load the game, and with a joystick in port #2, select Practice With
Solo Trainer from the Games Options menu. Select Scrimmage from the
Game Type menu.  Press the activate button (F1) to start the battle.
The size of the playing field is 40 spaces by 40 spaces. A space is
the area a robot occupies. Each space can accommodate only one robot
at a time and each space can be made up of only one type of terrain.
The five types of terrain are;

 Plain - Conatins on obstacles.
 Forest - Slows movement and hides robots. Reduces range of fire in
    most cases.
 Stream - Slows movement. Robots hit while in stream take extra
 Slope (lines on the hill) - Angled part of the hill. Slows movement.
 Plateau (area in between lines on hill) - Level part of the hill.
    Gives robots a better view; lets them shoot harder and farther.

Your battle console shows the entire battlefield. You'll spend most of
your time on this console, maneuvering your forces and keeping your
eye on the "big picture." Here's a complete list of robots
you'll use
in Modem Wars. Their availability and head count depends on the
scenario you pick.  Scrimmage uses only grunts, riders, and a comcen.
NOTE: You can't make robots shoot; they pick and shoot at the enemy
when they're in range.

 GRUNT - Your basic foot soldier.
 RIDER - Your cavalry. They work like grunts, but they're speedier.
 BOOMER - Your big guns; slow but strong. Tilted cannons let them
     fire farther than grunts and riders can.
 SPY - Your reconnaissance unit. Finds the enemy and reports their
     locations back to your comcen.  Invisible to enemy robots except
     for the enemy spies.
 COMCEN - Your headquarters. You lose the game if this gets knocked
     out.  Look for the console rattling when your comcen comes under

Move your robots. Using your joystick, put the cursor (the blinking
box) on top of the robot and press the activate button (joystick fire
button). When you move the cursor, you'll see SETTING DESTINATION,
which means your robot is ready to go to a new location. Position the
cursor anywhere on the map and press the activate button to start the
robot moving or the Space Bar to cancel this action.

Go to the Multi Console (F7) to check your resources. Look at the
Stats, Repairs, or Misc screen, using your joystick to toggle between
the choices.

 STATS - Shows statistics for both players.
 REPAIR - Shows how much energy your comcen has left. If it runs down
    to zero, you're knocked out.
 MISC - Gives option to end your current game and return to the Game
    Options menu.

Go for the win. Get as many of your robots over the enemy's back line
before time runs out and avoid having your comcen discovered. Or, if
you happened to spot the enemy comcen, send your robots after it and
knock it out for an immediate victory (your robots will automatically
shoot when the enemy is in range).

Battle over. Hope your debut was a winning game. Go to the
Multiconsole, select MISC with your joystick, and then select WATCH
GAME FILM to review your game. Go on to the next section, Playing Full
War, when you're ready to play Full War.

Playing Full War

Full War offers you a number of new items and commands to humble your
opponent with. Although it's a big jump from a simple game of
Scrimmage to the total challenge of Full War, a quick practice round
can acquant you with all the features of Modem Wars. After this round,
you can try all the other scenarios.

Select FULL WAR from the Game Type menu. Press the button when ready.
Position your recycler. The recycler sends in replacements for
destroyed robots (more on recyclers under "Individual Customization
Commands" in the Customizing Your Game section). You must place your
recycler on open terrain (not on hills, in water, or in forests) and
in your territory.

Set up your robots before battle begins. Position them anywhere on
your territory where you think it'll give you an advantage when the
game starts.  You'll notice that robots are now in groups. Put the
cursor on a robot and press the activate button twice to call up the
Group Options menu. You can choose from any of the following commands
(see Advanced Commands section for complete descriptions).


 Cloaking On - Electronic camouflaging.
 Dig In - Instructs troops to entrench. (Only available when not
 Set Blitz - Tells troops to move extra fast. (Only available while
     your troops are moving to a destination previously set.)
 Membership - Adds or removes a robot from the group.
 Formation - Changes the positioning of your group.
 Direct Unit - Gives a single robot its own command or a separate


 Cloaking On, Dig In, and Set Blitz are same as the above.
 Join Group - lets the robot join another group.
 Set Target - Tells an individual Boomer which target to shoot at.
(Not available if the boomer is in a group.)

The Battle Begins! You can still use the advanced commands listed
above any time during the game. A robot automatically picks a target
and shoots at that enemy when it's within a designated range (see
"Robot Weapon Range" in the Technical Information section for exact
ranges). However, you do have some offensive control. You can instruct
your boomers to shoot at certain targets (see the "See Target"
in the Advanced Commands section) and your comcen can now fire
missiles and drones.

Develop your strategy. Cross your robots over the center line and the
enemy's back line to earn as many terrain points as possible or try to
surround the enemy comcen so your robots can blast away at it and
score a knockout. One asterisk on a robot's profile screen means the
robot has earned points for crossing the center line; two asterisks
means it has earned points for crossing the center line and the back
line. Press the right cursor key to see the current score and time

If you want to go for the knockout, surround the enemy comcen so your
robots can blast away faster than he can repair. Even if you don't
score a knockout, you'll get points for hitting the enemy comcen. As
the game develops, you can decide which offers a better road to

Go to the Radar console (F3). Use the Radar console to scout the area
around your comcen, make an offensive attack with missiles, or shoot
down an oponent's drone with missiles. To shoot a missile, line up the
crosshair on your target and press the activate button. The main
window of the Radar console is a scan area (17 x 21 spaces) updated
once a second.  As the scan bar cycles through the display area
surrounding your comcen, your robots and the background terrain show
brightly as the scan passes over them and then fade to black once the
scan has passed. Enemy robots that your units have sighted "persist";
that is, they won't fade after a scan (see "Robot Sighting" in
Technical Information section for more details on sighting enemy
robots). Enemy robots that your units haven't spotted won't persist;
they will appear as flickering figures in the background terrain.
Using this console see if there's a spy snooping in your comcen's
neighborhood. The upper righthand corner will flash when an enemy
drone is incoming.

Go to the Drone console (F5). Drones are your main offensive air
power.  Press the activate button; the drone will launch and the
console window (11 x 13 spaces) will fill with the drone's infrared
camera view of the battlefield below the drone (as with radar, your
robots and spotted enemy robots show clearly, while unseen enemy
robots appear as flickerin figures.) When you press the activate
button again to detonate the drone, the drone moves one more step and
then dives down to explode over an area of four squares. Any robots in
the target area are stunned - they can't move, shoot, or repair for 15
clicks (1.5 minutes) and lose half their energy (except comcens, who
lose 24 percent of their energy). Once you launch a drone, you can't
exit this console until the drone is detonated or runs out of fuel (it
starts with 100 units). At 20 units, your fuel monitor will flash to
warn you of the critical fuel situation.

Go to the Multi console (F7) to perform any necessary repairs. If
you'd received any damage, you'll get the Repair screen instead of
Stats screen.  Press the activate button and you'll see the parts of
the comcen that you can repair. Use your joystick to highlight the
section of the comcen you want to repair and press the activate
button. You'll hear a sound - much like an engine trying to turn over
- which means it's attempting to repair. When the sound stops, press
again. Repeat this process until you've fixed it or until you're
of trying and want to move on to other QB business. The comcen can't
repair and move at the same time, so prepare to come to a dead halt
when you have to repair. If you're stunned, you have to overcome the
stun before you can repair. To do this, keep pressing the activate

Check the Stats screen. You'll see a comparison between you and the
Solo Trainer on soldiers, drones, and missiles remaining, your comcen
speeds, terrain points you get for each robot crossing the center line
(except for the comcen which earns more [see Terrain Points in the
Technical Information section for exact amounts]), your recycler
settings (more on recyclers in the Customizing Your Game section), and
the map's ID (this falls in the column of the player who chose the map
and game; in this case it's you.)

Return to the Battle console. Move, dig in, blitz, cloak - do whatever
it takes to win. Go for the crushing attack or rack up your terrain
points while keeping the enemy at bay.

Game's over. Go to the Multi console and select the Misc screen.
Select WATCH GAME FILM to review your game. While you're watching the
game film, you can set the speed of the reply by pressing a number
from 1 (slow) to 9 (fast).  If you want to save the game, select SAVE
GAME FILM, enter a name up to 16 characters, and press the activate


Scrimmage and Full War are only two of seven scenarios. Here's the
rest of them. The scenarios become progressively more challenging as
you move down the list.


Players: Each side gets 5 riders, 5 grunts, and 1 comcen (speed 2).

Time Limit: 63 clicks.

Setup: No setup time; game starts immediately.

Damage: No comsen systems can be damaged; no comcen repair possible.
The Game: The sweet and simple scrimmage. Go for your terrain points
and then try to attack their comcen if you've got the time and energy.


Players: The quarterback has 3 riders and 1 comcen (speed 3) with 8
missiles.  The defense player gets 5 riders, 5 grunts, and 1 comcen
(speed 2) with 8 missiles. Defense gets no terrain points, but gets a
20 point lead. Whoever picks the game is the quarterback; the roles
will alternate if you play another game of QB Sneak.

Time Limit: 63 clicks.

Setup: Both players must end setup to start the game.

Damage: No comcen systems can be damaged; no comcen repair possible.

The Game: In QB Sneak, the QB should try to avoid opposing riders and
collect his or her terrain points with daring end runs. The defense
should scour the map, looking to sack the QB's comcen while avoiding
sneak attacks on his or her own comcen.


Players: Each side gets 1 comcen (speed 2) with 4 drones and 12

Setup: No setup time; game starts immediately.

Damage: No comcen systems can be damaged; no comcen repair possible.

The Game: The Bomb offers prime training ground for your air combat
game.  Practice controlling your drones and missiles as you try to
knock out the opponent's comcen.


Players: Each side gets 28 riders, 3 spies, and 1 comcen (speed 2).
Each comcen gets 3 drones and 12 missiles.

Timit Limit: 127 clicks.

Setup: Either player can end setup. GWL has a "quick pitch rule"
states that you do not have to wait for the other QB to be ready in
order to start the game. If you're a QB who's fast on the setup, you
can start the game while your opponent is still scratching his head
over where to put his robots.

Damage: Comcen systems can be damaged; comcen repair is possible.  The
Game: Here's an excellent exercise in lightning warfare. Devoid of the
slower grunts and boomers, this rider-intensive game lets you practice
the fast attack.


Players: Each side gets 12 riders, 12 grunts, 4 boomers, 3 spies, and
1 comcen (speed 2). Each comcen gets 3 drones and 12 missiles.

Time Limit: 127 clicks.

Setup: Either player can end setup.

Damage: Comcen systems can be damaged; comcen repair is possible.

The Game: Slugger adds a new dimension to warfare with boomers, your
heavy artillery unit. As the name suggests, you can expect to slug it
out in this one. This scenario uses all the robot types.


Players: Each side gets 28 grunts, 12 riders, 6 boomers, 3 spies, and
1 comcen (speed 1). Each comcen has 5 drones and 20 missiles.

Time Limit: 254 clicks.

Setup: Either player can end setup.

The Game: Full War is full war. It's the game that the pros play. You
can move your robots as groups or individuals and you get new advanced
commands like cloaking, blitzing, and digging in. You'll also get to
recycle robots, so as they're scrunched, new ones come in to take
their place. Be sure to eat a big breakfast because at 254 clicks,
this could be your longest battle.


Players: Each side gets 28 grunts, 12 riders, 6 boomers, 3 spies, and
1 comcen.  The attacker's comcen travels at speed 1 while the
defender's comcen (player who picked the map) can't move. The
gets 2 drones, 20 missiles, and a 200 point lead, but gets no terrain
points and no robots recycled. The attaker gets 5 drones, 8 missiles,
standard terrain points and robot recycling. Whoever picks the map is
the defender; the roles will alternate if you play another game of

Time Limit: 254 clicks.

Setup: Setup is over whenever the defender starts the game.

Damage: Comcen systems can be damaged; comcen repair is possible.

The Game: As the defender, you have to protect your comcen and bide
your time, a task that's harder than it seems. You can take the
offensive, but that's a risky proposition you can only consider as the
game develops. As the attacker, you'll want to rack up points or knock
out the opponent's comcen. As in Full War, you can move your robots as
groups or as individuals and you get all the advanced commands.

Questions and Answers -


Q: How do I remember where I told my robots to go?
A: If you've forgotten where you ordered a robot to move, put your
   cursor on top of that robot. The grey box emanating from the robot
   shows the path the robot will follow to the destination you've set.
   If it has no box, it has no desitnation.
Q: Why can't I see my opponent's robots on the Battle console?
A: They're too far away. You can only see the enemy robots when
   they're within a certain range of your robots (the exact ranges are
   listed under "Robot Sighting" in the Technical Information
   or when they're firing on you.  And remember that during set up,
   you just plain don't get to see your opponent's forces.

Standard Display shows on the screen your forces and those enemy
robots which your troops have spotted; this is the default setting.
Whenever you practice with the Solo Trainer, you can choose between
STANDARD DISPLAY or BEGINNER DISPLAY. Beginner Display shows your
forces and the Solo Trainer's forces on the screen, which is nice if
you want to see every step your computer opponent takes. When you play
against a modem opponent, you only get the Standard Display.

Q: Why can't I see any robots on the Battle console?
A: Your battle map was damaged during battle. Go to the Multi console
   and then select REPAIR to try to fix it, or you can use the
   magnified window (upper left corner) to view the battlefield.
Q: How do I make my robots shoot?
A: You can't. Robots pick their own enemy targets to shoot at. The two
   exceptions are:
   1) You can select a target for an individual boomer in Full War and
      Defender (see "Set Target" in the Advanced Commands section).
   2)In most of the scenarios, your comcen can shoot missiles and

Radar Console

Q: Why are there no missiles?
A: You're either playing Scrimmage, a scenario that doesn't have
   missiles or else you used them all up. Check your Radar console or
   Stats screen to see how many you have left.
Q: Why won't the missile fire when I tell it to?
A: The Radar unit in your comcen has hit. You have three choices: 1)
   Go to the Multi console and the select REPAIR to try to fix it. 2)
   Keep trying to fire; sometimes all it takes a couple of tries and a
   little luck. 3) If your comcen is cloaked (a feature normally
   available only in Full War and Defender), the Radar console is
   completely inoperable; you'll have to uncloak.
Q: Why is the radar console malfunctioning?
A: Same reasons as above.
Q: Why am I missing the enemy drone?
A: Since there's a lag time between when you fire the missile and when
   it reaches its destination and explodes, you'll have to lead the
   moving target a little. The Bomb is a great training scenario for
   learning how to use missiles.  It takes a little practice to guide
   one, so don't be surprised if nobody calls you "Ace" for a

Drone Console

Q: Why are there no drones?
A: You're either playing Scrimmage or QB Sneak, scenarios that don't
   have drones, or you used them all up. Check your Drone console or
   Stats screen to see how many you have left.
Q: Why won't the drone launch when I tell it to?
A: The drone unit in you comcen was hit. You have three choices:
   1) Select REPAIR to try to fix it.
   2) Keep trying to launch the drone; persistence may pay off.
   3) If your comcen is cloaked (a feature normally available only in
      Full War and Defender), the Drone console is completely
      inoperable; you'll have to uncloak.
Q: Why is the drone console malfunctioning?
A: Same reasons as above.
Q: Why is it so hard to control a drone?
A: When you push the control stick in any direction, you're telling
   the drone to make that its new heading. If that heading happens to
   be in the opposite direction it's now flying, the drone will have
   to sweep 180 degrees (a bit of a task since drones don't cut back
   and forth like kites). For best control, use the compass to check
   the drone's current direction and make small turns rather than wide
Q: What's the drawback to launching a drone?
A: There's a small price to pay for launching a drone. When you launch
   a drone, your comcen becomes visible on the enemy's Radar Screen
   for several clicks.  This gives your opponent the chance to find
   and nail you.

Repair Console

Q: Why doesn't the repair option work?
A: The more damage you suffer, the worse things look for a successful
   and speedy repair. There's no guarantee that this will work, but,
   for all its time-consuming inconvenience, many a QB has rued the
   day when he chose not to attempt repairs.
Q: What's energy about?
A: Energy is your comcen's life blood. Once the comcen is completely
   drained of energy, it won't even have the strength to spit out a
   white flag. Keep an eye on your energy and recharge it if you're
   getting low.  And be sure to do it before you wind up just "bailing
   water," a situation where you're repairing as fast as the enemy
   keeps pouring it on.
Q: Why is the repair screen all red?
A: Your comcen is stunned when this screen goes red. During the stun,
   two things happen:
   1) You can't move; it's paralysis for 15 clicks. You can still use
      this down time to examine the battlefield or give orders to your
   2) Your systems become faulty.  You can attempt to overcome the
      stun by repeatedly pressing the activate button.  Clearing the
      stun is vital if your comcen needs to run away or repair other


The Advanced Commands listed below are available in Full War and

Advanced Commands for Groups of Robots.

CLOAKING ON - Cloaking is electronic camouflaging. Cloaked robots
cannot see or shoot. Normal robots see cloaked robots from 2 spaces
away, while spies can see them 3 spaces away. A cloaked comcen can't
use the Radar and Drone consoles and can give no orders until it

DIG IN - Digging in gives you both a defensive and offensive
advantage. If the shooter is dug in, two points are added to the
damage inflicted on the target.  If the target is dug in, the damage
it receives is reduced by one quarter, but only for basic- and
blitz-type damage. You can't dig in while under enemy fire or when
your group is moving. To move again you have to dig out, which takes a
click to do.

SET BLITZ - This option is only available while your troops are moving
to a destination previously set. On the up side of having your robots
blitz, they move at spy speed and add 15 extra points to any damage
the inflict (except for boomers, which add 5). On the down side, they
lose energy for moving faster and it costs them one and a half times
the amount of energy for each extra point of damage they inflict. A
robot that causes 15 points of extra damage pays 22 points itself.
Although they can blitz themselves to zero energy, robots survive
until they're hit by enemy fire, missiles, or drones. Your robots
can't cloak and blitz at the same time.

MEMBERSHIP - This adds or removes a robot from the group. Select
Membership and you'll see SETTING MEMBERSHIP and then the robot's
profile.  Click to remove or add. If you remove a robot from a group,
it becomes an individual (See Advanced Commands for Individual Robots,
below, for its new commands). When you're done, move the cursor to a
neutral area (any spot where there isn't a robot) and click the
activate button or press the space bar. The comcen can never be part
of a group.

FORMATION - Formation lets you quickly change the direction of your
group.  The highlighted robot is the point on which the group pivots.
SWEEP LEFT rotates your group 90 degrees left. SWEEP RIGHT rotates
your group 90 degress to the right. REVERSE turns the group 180
degrees. CUSTOM lets you position individual robots anywhere. When
you're done, move the cursor to a neutral area (any spot where there
isn't a robot) and click or press the space bar.

DIRECT UNIT - Use this to give a single robot its own command or a
seperate destination. When you select this option, you'll see the unit
cursor. If you move the cursor and give the robot a destination, it
will resign from the group and move there. If you press the activate
button without moving the cursor, you will get the Unit Options menu
for that robot (see below). A robot can execute any command except for
JOIN GROUP and still remain a part of that group. For instance, in a
group of cloaked robots, you can tell one robot to uncloak and be the
"look out".

Advanced Commands for Individual Robots.

An individual robot can choose from CLOAKING ON, DIG IN (or SET
BLITZ), JOIN GROUP, and SET TARGET (for boomers only). The first three
choices are covered above.

JOIN GROUP - If you choose JOIN GROUP, you're shown a list of all the
groups; select the one you want it to join. If a group is too far
away, the robot can't join it. Note that the robot doesn't physically
join up with the new group; it adopts whatever movement the group is
performing and accepts all commands from it's new group. The comcen
can never be part of a group. Groups cannot be spread over more than
10 spaces.

SET TARGET - this option lets you tell an individual boomer which
target within range to shoot at. When you select this option, you're
given a cursor whose movement is limited to the current range of that
boomer (including bonus for hills). Press the activate button when the
cursor in on an enemy unit to set that as the target. As long as that
robot is visible and within range, the boomer will continue to fire
exclusively at it. (Note: You never need to set the enemy comcen as
the target; any robot who can shoot at it always will.) Select CLEAR
TARGET to let a boomer return to picking its own targets.


Feeling your oats as a commander and ready to play a game on your
terms?  There's a lot you can customize in Modem Wars, from map type
to robot speed to handicap points. Here's what you do to customize:

1. Toggle the customization option by pressing the wildcard key (*)
   when you see the Game Type menu on the screen.  If you change your
   mind about customizing, press the wildcard key again to toggle it
2. Pick the scenario you want to play.
3. Set the custom settings described under Global Customization
   Commands, below. Only one of you can set these commands - the honor
   goes to whoever pressed the space bar first when you connected your
   computers (this option alternates; whoever doesn't set the commands
   this time gets to do it next time). The settings will be the same
   for both you and your opponent.
4. Set the custom settings described under the Individual
   Customization Commands, below. Both you and your opponent can set
   these commands and they don't have to be the same. to check the
   values that you've both set, go to the Multi console and look at
   the Stats Screen.

Global Customization Commands

UNIT MENUS - When Unit Menus are on, you get to choose from the wide
variety of advanced commands like cloaking, blitzing, and digging in;
when they're off, you can't. You get a much simpler game when you
the Unit Menus off.

DAMAGE - You can choose to have the comcen systems subject to damage
or immune to it. If you choose on, a drone hit will disable all of
your systems and enemy robot hits have a chance of damaging any of the
systems.  However, you can still attempt to repair. If damage is off,
the comcen cannot restore its energy nor can it repair.

MAP TYPE - If you choose standard, the computer will generate a random
map and give it a name. If you choose custom, you can choose from
RANDOM (which generates an asymmetrical random map) or SYM/RND (which
generates a symmetrical random map). The computer assigns the map a
name. Press the activate button to accept the map. Another way of
generating an asymmetrical random map is to type in any five-letter
name; the computer will generate a map for that name.  Another way of
generating a symmetrical random map is to type in any four-letter name
and an equal sign (for example: PUTT=). All map names ending with the
equal sign (=) are symmetrical maps. Press the activate button to
accept the map. Valid characters for map names include A through Z,
Space, + - = / *. If you use an asymmetrical map, you should play with
the map twice so each player gets to play each side of the map (F1
flips the map). If you use a symmetrical map, you only need to play it
once since each player faces an identical battlefield.

Individual Customization Commands

CUSTOM/STANDARD SCENARIO - You can now play the game with the setup
you've designed so far, or you can further customize it (the Solo
Trainer never customizes; it always choose the standard settings).

COMCEN SPEED - Choose 0 (no movement), 1 (grunt speed), 2 (rider
speed), or 3 (spy speed).

TERRAIN POINTS - Choose 0 (no points); 1 (robot crossing center line=1
point, back line=2; comcen crossing center line=16 points, back
line=32); or 2 (double the values of setting 1). Robots can only
collect for crossing each line once.  Asterisk(s) in the upper left of
the status window of each robot tell what points a robot has
collected: one asterisk for the center line, two for the back line.

DRONES - Choose from 0 to 9.

MISSILES - Choose from 0 to 36. The GWL handbook recommends that you
have 4 missiles for every enemy drone.

RECYCLER - A recycler is the location where replacement robots arrive
on the battlefield according to the rate you select. You can choose
from NONE (no replacements), HALF (one replacement for every two of
the same type eliminated on the field of play), or FULL (one
replacement for every robot eliminated). If you choose to recycle,
you're asked to pick a place where you want your replacement robots to
come in. You can choose any spot, as long as it's open terrain (not on
hills, in water, or in forests) and on your side of the battlefield.

HANDICAP - There are two types of handicaps: point lead or robot
advantage. You can give your opponent a point lead from 0 to 500. You
can also give the other player a robot advantage by removing as many
of your robots as you want. (This option is available whether you're
playing a standard or custom scenario.) To do this, press the wildcard
key to toggle DESTROY ON during robot setup (press it again if you
change your mind).  Put the cursor on a robot or - if you're so bold -
a group of robots and press the activate button. The robot or robot
group is instantly vacuumed off the field by the Hoovamax machine.
(The only robot you can't get rid of is the comcen.)


You can play against anybody who owns a modem and Modem Wars. If you
belong to a computer bulletin board service, find out who else is
looking for an opponent, or offer yourself as one. Once you find a
challenger, load the game and select COMPETE WITH MODEM OPPONENT. You
will be instructed that one player press A and the other press O. When
ready both press their space bars and hang up when CONNENT is
displayed. The player who presses his or her space bar first gets to
select the game type and pick the map. When you're playing a modem
opponent, you get the VOICE/PAUSE option on the Misc screen. This lets
you pick up the phone and talk with your opponent. During your
conversion, the game will pause.

For rewarding challenges (in other words, games where nobody gets
skunked), find an opponent whose skills are equal to yours. How do you
compare skill levels? By comparing your batting averages. Keep track
of the points you earn for each game you play - win, lose, or draw -
and the number of games you play.  Divide the total points by the
number of games you've played and you'll get your batting average.
Here's the points you get: winner by knockout=500; winner by terrain
points=number of terrain points earned divided by two and added to
300; loser by knockout=150; loser by terrain points=200; draw=250. An
average player's batting average is about .300, while a good player's
is about .375. If you can't find an opponent whose skills are equal to
yours, the less experienced QB can take a point lead or have a robot
advantage. See "Handicap" in the Customizing Your Game section for
more details.


To send a message anytime your're connected to a modem opponent, press
RETURN, type your message, and then press RETURN again to end
transmission.  There are no rules of etiquette when it comes to using
the message ticker board. Some QBs, like Golf Winston (GWL Rookie of
the Year, 2024), were gracious players who always sent a
congratulatory message to the winner and a message of encouragement to
the loser. Others, like T.C.Steeple (Most Offensive QB, 2023) peppered
his game with remarks like "Is that your diaper I smell?", "Even
dog wouldn't do that" and "That's a maggot move if ever
there was


This section contains technical information. If you want the winning
edge, this is recommended reading. It can make the difference between
getting your face on the cover of the Modem Wars Weekly of The Nobody


Robots start the game fully charged (energy=100%). They lose energy
whenever they're shot, missled, or droned. When energy drops to zero
as a result of an attack, they're out of the game and zapped off the
battlefield. Robots can repair their energy during the game. If a
robot (other than the comcen) is not shooting or moving, it
automatically repairs at a rate of 2 percent per click.  When the
comcen loses all its energy it's "knocked out." In Scrimmage, QB
Sneak, and The Bomb, the comcen can't restore energy; all you can do
is hope that energy doesn't hit zero before the battle's over.
However, in the other scenarios, you can manually replace lost comcen


There are three speed categories. The Space Per Click figures are for
robots moving through open terrain; the only exception is the spy, who
moves at the same speed through all terrain. See Effects of Terrain
for details on how certain terrain slow your robot's movements.

Robot Type      Speed        Space per Click
Grunt             1            1/2 (base rate)
Boomer            1            1/2
Rider             2            1
Spy               3            1 through all terrain
Comcen            Depends on scenario


Terrain can affect the movement, sighting and combat capabilities of
your robots.

 type    Effect on Movement   Effect on Sighting    Effect on Combat
Plain    None                 None                  None
Stream   Move at 1/3 speed.   None                  Target in stream
                                                    recieves 10 points
                                                    extra damage.
Forest   Move at 2/3 speed.   Can be spotted        Grunts and riders
                              only by adjacent      only fire at robots
                              enemy; remains        adjacent to them.
                              spotted up to two
Plateau  None                 Robots on plateau     Weapon range is
                              can see one space     increased by one
                              extra for each level  space for each level
                              of elevation. Robots  of elevation. Damage
                              can't be seen         is increased by two
                              through hills.        points for each
                                                    difference of
                                                    level the shooter
                                                    is above the
                                                    target and
                                                    decreased by two
                                                    for each level
                                                    the level the
                                                    shooter is below
                                                    the target.
Slope    Move at 1/2 speed.   Same as plateau.      Weapon range is
                                                    increased by one
                                                    space for each
                                                    level of
                                                    elevation. Damage
                                                    effect for
                                                    difference of
                                                    level is reduced
                                                    by one. Target on
                                                    slope receives
                                                    two points extra


Robot groups and individuals can "move through" friendly groups and
individuals; cloaked enemy robots can move through each other; spies
can move through anyone. As a result, groups can get spread out, but
they will retain their group formation and will return to it as soon
as they are able to.  However, if you select MEMBERSHIP or CUSTOM
FORMATION, all the robots in the group will halt where they are and
consider their arrangement to be their new formation.


Robots face the direction they were last moving unless there's an
enemy robot within range. In that case, they will turn and face that
direction until they move or another enemy shows up. When a robot is
selecting a target from multiple options, it will shoot at enemy
comcen first (if possible), and then at the nearest unit. Once a robot
selects a target in a certain direction, it will only turn towards a
new target in a different direction if the new target is more than on
space closer.


Robots sight other robots when they come within a designated range. In
Standard Display mode, enemy robots won't show up on the Battle screen
until they're sighted. A robot can't shoot at an enemy robot until it
has sighted that enemy.

Observer            Observee                                    Range
Grunt, rider,      Uncloaked grunt, rider, boomer or comcen.  3 spaces.
boomer or comcen.
Grunt, rider,      Cloaked grunt, rider, boomer or comcen.    2 spaces.
boomer or comcen.
Spy                Uncloaked grunt, rider, boomer or comcen.  5 spaces.
Spy                Cloaked grunt, rider, boomer or comcen.    3 spaces.
Spy                Spy                                        4 spaces.


Except for the spy, each robot has a weapon they'll shoot when the
enemy's close enough. Terrain can effect a robot's shooting range, so
be sure to refer to Effects of Terrain in this section of details.

Robot Type     Weapon              Range
Grunt          Laser               3 spaces
Rider          Laser               3 spaces
Boomer         Projectile Cannon   6 spaces
Spy            No Weapon
Comcen         Drone               No range limit.
               Missile             Radar scan area.

Laser fire is also known as "line of sight" fire. Projectile cannon
fire is also known as "indirect fire." Grunts and riders can't
if there is a friendly robot in their line of fire. However, robots on
any slope or hill never have their shots blocked since they shoot over
any robots in their line of fire. Boomers have cannons that fire at an
angle, so their shots are never blocked. Cloaked robots cannot fire.
It takes a robot one click to reload after each shot.


Grunts and riders cause the most damage when they hit the target in
the back or sides. A shot in the side adds 10 extra points of damage,
while a shot in the back adds 20 extra points of damage. Boomer shots
aren't affected by the angle of the attack since they fire from
cannons; their shots arc and hit the target from above.


Damage that your robot takes depends on who's giving and who's
getting.  This table shows the percentage of damage a robot inflicts
when it hits its target.  For example, a rider must hit a boomer 5
times (at 20% damage per shot) to eliminate it. The numbers under the
Comcen column Target represent both the damage a robot inflicts and
the number of points you get for hitting the Comcen. For instance,
when a boomer hits a comcen once, it inflicts 10% dammage and you get
ten points. If the boomer hits a comcen 9 times, it inflicts 90%
damage and you get 90 points. One more boomer hit, and you'll knock
out the comcen.

                        Damage Table (by percent)

Shooter                     Target
            Grunt   Rider   Boomer    Spy   Comcen
Grunt          4       5       25       8      6
Rider          3       4       20       6      4
Boomer        12      16        8       8     10
 Drone        50      50       50      50     24
 Missile      28      28       28      28      6

Activatie button = fire button on joystick


End of the Project 64 etext of the Modem Wars manual.