Pocket War Instructions  


Here is an picture of the map screen in Pocket War. Most of Pocket War is played on this screen.

map screen

Looking at our first city

Right now you have one city. Your city is the one on the screen with the blue tint to it. All of your units and cities will be displayed with blue on them somewhere (assuming that is the color you choose for your armies.) All of the enemy cities and units will have some other color on them. To get information on the city on the screen click on it. The city is now selected. When you select a city, unit or waypoint a summary of its information is displayed in the message area at the bottom right corner of the screen. More details on what this information means is available in the Q and A section. The bottom of the message area has buttons that can be used to change the setting of the selected item. The right side of the message area has navigation buttons. The purple arrows will take you to the next item of the same type as the item selected and the red box will show you the details page for the selected item.

Seeing the details of a selected item

city screen

Now we will go to the details screen of this city. You can do that one of two ways, either tap the selected city again or tap the details button in the message area. It's the one with the red box in it. You can now see a details screen for this city. For more information see Cities. You can see a detail screen for any item that belongs to you in the same way. The one thing that you should note right now is in the area labeled "Building" there is a little man. This is a unit that is being readied for battle. To get back to the map you need to close this window. You can close any window by tapping the white X in the blue box at the top right hand corner of the window.

Taking turns

map view

So now lets let some time pass so our city can produce a "Military Police" unit for us. First, look at the message area at the bottom. In the message you will see "Military Police 0% done." This means that the city is currently making a "Military Police" unit and that it is 0% done. Now tap the single light blue arrow to take a turn. If you watch the status area you can see the computer calculate your turn and then the computer's turn. While the computer is thinking you cannot make changes to the game but when it is done you will be able to make changes again. If you look at the top left hand corner of the screen you can see the turn number. We are now on turn number 2. Notice on your status bar that the city is now 14% done building this unit.

We want to keep taking turns until the marine is done. You can do that by hitting the next turn button (the blue arrow button) over and over until your unit is ready, or you can hit the "next until message" button (the double blue arrow button next to it) and have the game go until you get a message. Let's do that now. If you watch the status area the computer will keep processing your turns and its turns until the unit is done (or your existing unit finds something interesting.) When the unit is done the computer generates a message and the turns stop. You could have also stopped the computer from taking turns at any point by tapping anywhere on the map.


map view

Now that we have a unit lets use it to go explore the map. Tap on the unit to select it. When you tapped on the unit a couple of things happened. First the message area updated to give you information on this unit. More details on what this information means is available in the Q and A section. The second thing that happened is two boxes were displayed on the map around the unit. The two boxes are labeled A and S (the A is at the top left and the S is at the top right.) These two boxes are how far the marine can attack (A) and how far it can see (S). A unit (in this case our marine) will only automatically act on things that it can see. So if our unit is told to go attack cities it will wander around until a city happens to fall withing the see box. When that happens the unit will head straight for the city and try and take it. The see box (S) also represents the amount of the map that will be uncovered when the unit moves around. If our unit gets close enough to an enemy unit that the enemy unit is inside the attack box (A) then our unit will shoot at the enemy. So we want to take our unit and have it wander around until more of the map is uncovered. If you look at the left side of the message area right now you will see that our unit has three buttons. The first button is a red X and it means dismiss this unit. The second one is set to a burning building, and the second one is set to a shoe. The burning building means that the marine will try and capture cities if it goes near them. The shoe means that the marine will try and explore the map. These are both good settings so we won't change them now. Hit the "move until message" button and lets watch the marine wander around. As the marine wanders around it uncovers more of the map. You will notice that the area you uncover is shaded. There are bright areas around your city's and units and darker areas farther away. You can always see the land that you uncover but you can only see enemy units in the bright areas close to your units. So be careful or enemy units can slip right past you.

map view

You should have stopped when the next unit was produced by the city. It is possible that you ran into an enemy or a city (as we did in the example screen shot.) If one of those two things happened then your unit would have either attacked the city or the enemy. If that happened then tap the "next until message" button again and keep going until another unit is made.

Scrolling the map

You might need to move the map around to better see both of your units and your city. To scroll the map click on one of the slightly colored edges outside of the center square. The map will scroll in the direction that you tap. In the PC version of the game you can also scroll the map using the mouse wheel on the mouse. Moving the mouse wheel up and down will scroll the map up and down. If you hold down a 'Shift' key and move the wheel the map will scroll side to side. You can also scroll the map simply by hovering the mouse over one of the colored borders. In the Pocket PC version of the game you can scroll the map using the direction pad in the middle of the bottom of your PDA. A quick way to jump to a location on the map is by tapping on the mini-map in the bottom left corner of the screen. That will quickly center your main map screen at the location you tapped on the mini-map. Once you have the map where you want it tap on one of your units (assuming one is still alive.)

Forcing a unit to go somewhere

map view

We want to make this unit go somewhere specific. To do that we will create a waypoint. Tap on the selected unit and drag. When you do you will see a red dot appear. This is a temporary waypoint. Continue to drag until the dot is a little way away from your marine. Make sure the dot is still over a forest, desert or grass square. Stop dragging. The dot will drop on the map and a number will be displayed on it. You can also create temporary waypoints using the waypoint creation button. To do this, select the unit you want to create the waypoint for. When you do you will see the waypoint creation button light up (that is the button with the green square around a blue dot in the bottom middle of the screen.) When you tapped the button it should have gone from green to red. The next time you tap on the map it will create a temporary waypoint at that location as if you had dragged the waypoint from the selected unit. If you want to cancel this mode just tap the (now red) waypoint creation button again and it will turn back to green and cancel that mode.

If you now look at the message area you will see that the movement of this marine has changed. It is no longer a shoe now it is a blue dot. Also, the number next to the blue dot has changed from 0 to 1. These changes indicate that the marine is now set to go to waypoint 1. If you look at waypoint 1 it will have a green box around it and there will be yellow dots from your selected unit to the green box. When you select a unit that is going to a waypoint the waypoint is hilighted like this. Now tap on Waypoint 1 to select it.

What are waypoints

Waypoints are used to send units to specific areas of the map or to get them to perform specific actions. Since you just tapped on waypoint 1 it is now selected and the marine now has a green box around it. When you select a waypoint everything going to that waypoint will be hilighted like this. If you look at the message area it now contains information about this waypoint. Waypoint 1 is a temporary waypoint. You can tell this because it is red. When all units that are set to go to a temporary waypoint reach the waypoint then the waypoint will automatically get removed from the map. Sometimes you don't want a waypoint to be removed even if nothing is going to it. This is called a permanent waypoint. To make a waypoint permanent tap the red box at the bottom right of the message area. When you do this the waypoint (and the red box) will turn blue. Blue waypoints will not go away until you remove them from the map. To remove this waypoint from the map tap the red X in the message area. This kills the waypoint. If you now select the marine that was coming to this waypoint you will see in the message area that the marine is again set to explore (the little shoe) and that its waypoint ID has been set back to 0.

Other notes about waypoints

Units tend to "do the right thing" when they reach a waypoint. So if you drag a waypoint from a unit an on to one of your cities the unit will go to the waypoint and enter the city when it gets there if it can. If you drag a waypoint from a unit to an enemy unit it will chase the enemy down and try and kill it. If you drag a waypoint from a unit to another of your units then the first unit will follow the second unit around. There are many more uses for waypoints. Generally if you want to make something happen waypoints are the way to go.