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CURRENT STATUS

There are some fairly modest changes in the current version, starting with game DA72. I've also included the necessary software to allow for freemailers in Dark Age, and I'll be using that for standby places.

The only major task in the current work list is the proposal to develop an improved map routine so as to provide the roundup map (the one that shows who owns what) written over a scan of the proper map instead of the mockup we're using at present. But that would take resources away from further development of the play-by-email software and the active website. We've still got more games that aren't yet email-capable, and others that are waiting for the most recent updates, so the email changes will still be the priority for a while yet.

RECENT CHANGES

The TAX action has changed to be the same as in Empires (ie. it raises 2 BPs instead of one). The SABOTAGE action has changed so that instead of destroying an army it merely disperses it back into reserve. At the point of the action it's effectively the same thing, but this way makes a bit more sense (the same change is being included in Empires). You can now LOAN troops between kingdoms (see below - at present the rules are the same as in Barbarians, but I'll probably change it so that you can only loan troops to kingdoms of the same nationality, or ones with the same High King).

A proportion of the armies lost in each land battle are now DISPERSED instead of being DESTROYED. They're added back to your army reserve at the end of the turn at the same time as other dispersals (this is a version of a rule already used in Star Chase).

LOAN TROOPS

Kingdoms my loan troops to each other. Loan troops move from the reserve of one kingdom to the reserve of the other, but can't be used until the following turn. A kingdom may loan troops to ONE other kingdom, and may borrow troops from ONE other kingdom (but you are allowed to borrow from one kingdom and loan to a different one). Troops that have been loaned to you can be returned any time you like. You can also recall troops that you've loaned to someone else whenever you like, provided the other kingdom has troops in their reserve. Troops returned from loans can't be used until the following turn.

The BORROW action allows you specify which other kingdom is allowed to loan troops to you. The LOAN action sends troops to another kingdom (provided they previously made a BORROW action to say that you're allowed to). Multiple LOAN actions to the same kingdom are allowed. The RETURN action sends borrowed troops back to the kingdom they came from (they come from your reserve, and you can do this at any time - but you can't return loan troops to a non-player kingdom). The RECALL action takes loaned troops back from the reserve of the kingdom they came from (you can do this at any time).

You can't send loan troops to someone who hasn't made an action to say they want them.

Note: The proper process is that the kingdom which wants to borrow troops makes a BORROW action. The other kingdom can then make a LOAN action (later in the same turn, or in a later turn). Normally you'd expect the troops to be sent back with a RETURN action at an agreed time, but if they're not then you can grab any or all of them back with a RECALL any time the other player has troops sitting in reserve.

ACTION FORMATS

The formats of the new actions are as follows :-

BORROW same as FIND         ie. BORROW blank WHO blank
LOAN same as GIFT LOAN blank WHO HOW_MANY
RECALL same as HOUSE RECALL blank blank NUMBER
RETURN same as HOUSE RETURN blank blank NUMBER

KING ARTHUR

The next most likely change would be to revive the suggestion to run the same game, or maybe a variant, set in an earlier period when the Saxons first arrived and the map of the kingdoms and their politics are different. This could stick to the history (Vertorius, Artorius etc) or we could wander off into subsequent myth and legend by throwing in Merlin, magic and the Knights of the Round Table. Or we could maybe do both.

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