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Invade Earth manual

This is the online manual for the game Invade Earth.

Rules

Invade Earth is based on the popular game Risk 2210 A.D.™ by Avalon Hill. View the Risk 2210 A.D. rule book for instructions on game play. We have been careful to implement the rules exactly as they are written, so veterans of the board game should have little trouble learning Invade Earth.

The Pantheon rules are based on Risk: Godstorm™, also by Avalon Hill. Read the Godstorm rule book for instructions on game play.

Interface

To start a new game, select "New" from the Game menu and choose a map. Several maps are included in the submenu; if you make your own with the map editor, you can use it by selecting "From File...". Add players and set their names and colors in the players dialog. The game will shuffle the player order before the game starts, so the order is only relevant when you load a game state. You can save a player list (with names, colors, and agent data) to a file. If you wish to change the rules before the game starts, select "New Custom...".

On your turn, click territories on the map to claim them, place reinforcements, etc. To distribute reinforcements across multiple territories, select the desired force for one territory and click that territory. The remaining force will be available. To declare an invasion or free move, simply select the appropriate territories. Declaring the "attacking force" and "defending force" allows you to specify which dice you would like to roll. For example, if want to roll only one eight-sided die from a territory with a Nuclear Commander and six MOD's, you could select only the Nuclear Commander. If the defending territory falls, the Nuclear Commander will be forced to advance into the territory, but the other MOD's may stay or move at your descretion. Some rules require that all players acknowledge certain events, such as invasions. This is to insure that all players have an opportunity to use defensive cards, such as those that grant "stealth" units.

Calling off an attack: After dismissing the dice display, you can either attack again by clicking one of the territories involved in the battle, or call off the attack by clicking an empty area. If you click another territory, the game will attempt to invade that territory from the previously selected attack area.

The "Cards" tab lets you can view your cards, the active cards, the quantity of cards held by other players, and the number of cards remaining in each deck. If you select a card and meet its condition, click "Play" to use it. Many cards require additional input, such as a target territory. Under some conditions the current player may be forced to play a card, in which case the Cards display will remain active until a card is selected. The information panel below the tab panel shows the current turn order and the amount of energy reserved by each player, as well as the number and type of cards in each player's hand.

In Secret Mission mode, your mission is listed as an active card. You may only complete a mission on your turn. If someone else causes your mission to be completed, you will win at the beginning of your next turn, unless someone else wins first. This prevents simultaneous victories in Secret Mission mode.

The Pantheon interface is similar to the normal Invade Earth interface. To view the armies in Heaven or to see which relics are in play, go to the Cards tab and click "Active". In the "Embark from Heaven" phase of your turn, you may fortify spaces in the underworld with "dead" armies, or place them in the "Heaven" cloud space to invade through the gates.

Gameplay Shortcuts

The options in the Automate menu may be toggled at any time and apply to all local human players. "Use Default Defense Dice" is enabled by default, since the default (maximum) defense is almost always preferable. "Skip Invasion Acknowledgement" options are particularly useful if a player has no cards that can be played defensively. They do not block acknowledgement for the Armageddon card or the end of the game. Standard rules allow players to use "Stealth MODs" to boost defense of others. If you have "Stealth MODs" but no intention of using them to help another player, you might find "Skip Invasion Acknowledgement (Opponents)" to be useful. Even when some of the features on the Automate menu are disabled, you can:

  • Dismiss the dice display by clicking anywhere on the map.
  • Accept the current unit selection by clicking anywhere on the map.
  • Move the current unit selection into the destination territory by clicking the destination again, either during a free move or after an invasion.
  • Waive a free move by clicking the original territory; this is common when attacking into a "dead end."

A note about invasion acknowledgement: The primary purpose of this feature is to allow players the opportunity to use defensive cards. The default game rules will never ask for acknowledgement at all if you have no cards that can be legally played, regardless of the GUI flags. This was added to speed up network play. If you are afraid that opponents might be able to discern whether you have playable cards by the delay time after an invasion, you can disable this rule flag using Custom Rules: Change AcknowledgeInvasionsOnlyWhenNecessary to "false". The difference between the GUI options (on the Automate menu) and the rule flags is that rules may be slightly faster, cannot be changed mid-game, and cannot set by individual players. The GUI options work essentially by simulating a button click when necessary, so the network messages are still sent and the only gain is achieved by eliminating player reaction time.

Network Play

Please see the network guide for information about network games.

Computer Players

Invade Earth includes some computer opponents. You may select an agent for each player in the players dialog. Some of the settings for agents can be adjusted by clicking "Customize...".

  • Lazy Random Agent makes the least possible number of legal moves (it never attacks or free moves) and plays randomly otherwise.
  • Random Agent will attempt random invasions each turn, and will also buy randomly selected units and cards whenever possible.
  • Alpha Agent is a weak attempt at intelligence; it tries to conquer continents and shrink its borders. It is usually able to beat random agents.
  • Beta Agent is somewhat more powerful than Alpha Agent, though generally less aggressive. It is more careful to defend continent borders and has improved behavior when bidding for turn order. When customizing the values for this agent, some of the most important ones are MinAttackMotivation, MinAttackStrength, and LeaveBehindContinentBorder; lower values will yield a more aggressive and reckless agent. BerserkOnLastTurn causes the agent to initiate almost any invasion on the last turn of the game.
  • Vigilante Agent is a Beta Agent with a grudge against the leader. It attacks players with more territories more often; the weight given to this statistic can be adjusted by manipulating the Vigilantism value.

Agents may be used in network games; the computer that starts a game will control all autonomous agents. At any time, a user may assume control of one or more (locally-controlled) AI players.

Selecting "Replay..." from the Game menu will allow you to replay an entire game from the beginning. This is implemented by assigning all players a master Replay Agent that "remembers" the game; thus, you may assume control at any point and try different possibilities. The Replay Agent will refuse to move if it does not control all players.

The Agents are not as intelligent as humans. They are stateless, do not form alliances, do not have long-term goals, do no game-space search, and are of moderate tactical strength. Given these limitations, we find relatively conservative agents to be the best complement to human players in a multi-human game. They do buy units, play cards, bid for turn order with some rationality, attempt to take continents, and fortify borders to some degree. It is possible to modify Agent constant values at run-time and even save a set of agent configurations from the Players dialog. If you think you can write a better agent, then feel free to download the source and get hacking! Ask for help in the forums if you have questions.

Map Editor

You may find it useful to view one of the included maps as a reference. You can do this by opening a "saved game" file in the map editor, since a map is saved in each game state file.

There are two modes: territory mode and edge mode. Switch using the radio buttons on the toolbar. In territory mode, you can place new territories by clicking any empty place on the map. Double-click to close the polygon and name the territory. Left-click any territory to select it, drag it around, etc. Right-click to produce a pop-up menu for altering the territory properties.

In edge mode, right-click to select a territory, and left-click adjacent territories to place or remove edges. Use the combo box to change edge types. Use the View menu as you would in the Invade Earth program; you may find it more useful in the editor than in the game. You can put an image in the background and trace the borders of territories. The image can be used during the game as well, if you like.

The map menu should be self-explanatory, except for the Rules Editor. This is the same as the "custom rules" option available in the main program, but the editor will let you save your custom rules as the default for a particular map. Many constants in the Risk rules can be adjusted. If you change the game algorithm to Secret Mission, you can even change which continent sets exist in the mission deck; continents are identified by index number. A constant value of -1 can indicate "unlimited" (for end year, max cards, etc.) or "any continent" in the case of "continent set" secret missions.

The other combo boxes on the toolbar let you set the "default" options for territories. For example, if you want to make the lunar colony Sajon, it is easier to set the toolbar options and then create the territories; then you will not have to right-click and choose Set Continent and Set Territory Type each time you add a territory.

Polygon vertices that are close together will automatically "snap" for convenience. You can adjust the snapping threshold or disable this property on the Tools menu. The Rules can be changed when you play the game, but rules in a map file will be the default whenever you start a new game. So if you make a custom map with secret missions, you can customize the mission deck to a great degree by setting the rules to Secret Mission and adjusting rule values. Note that in general, a rule value of -1 indicates "unlimited" (for end year, max cards, etc.) or "any continent" in the case of continent secret missions.

More Rules

Invade Earth now includes the rules for the Invasion of the Giant Amoebas expansion pack. Each turn, the current player must experience an event from the Giant Amoeba deck. If aliens invade a territory, the owner may retreat to an adjacent territory or fight to the death (but not play cards). To stay and fight, click the defending territory. The strength of some cards can be altered with the Custom Rules dialog. Cards may not be used to defend from aliens, but nuclear weapons will affect them.

The Mars map uses the standard Invade Earth rule set, but you can combine the map with a custom rule set. It is possible to have an amoeba invasion on Mars.

Rule Questions

Some Risk variants have complicated rules. This section deals with possible adjudication issues that may arise. In most cases, the decisions that Invade Earth makes are based on the instructions, FAQ's released by the original authors of the games, or official forum posts by the original authors. A few of the cards for Godstorm have conflicting interpretations in rare scenarios, so we made decisions for those based on our own common sense and experience.

Pantheon

  • The Mighty Have Fallen: What happens when there are ties for the largest armies on the board?

    The God of Death breaks ties randomly. (Differs from some interpretations on the internet.)

  • The Fog Lifts, Eagles Take Wing, or The Dead Walk: Can you completely abandon a territory by moving all the armies out of it with one of these cards?

    No. The move is treated as a fortification (free move), so one army must stay behind.

  • Blood Coats The Land, The Ground Shakes, or Paradise is Lost: If Atlantis is sunk, is it possible that these cards will have no effect by targeting Atlantis?

    No. Once Atlantis is sunk, it cannot be the target of any cards. These cards will always select a continent or territory that has not been sunk.

  • The Siren Calls: If an army is swapped into a plague territory, when does the plague first take effect?

    During the plague phase of the targeted player's next turn. If gods are swapped into the territory, they remain in play until the plague phase, when they are banished. (Differs from some interpretations on the internet.)

  • Aegis, Shield of Athena: Do I get to see the effects of an attack before I decide whether to block it?

    Yes. Invade Earth will ask players for moves and roll dice to determine the outcome of a miracle. If Aegis is in play, the owner will then have a chance to block that miracle. Even if a miracle is blocked, the player who attempted to play it must still sacrifice faith. For example, Andrew plays Blood Coats the Land. Invade Earth informs Bob that his continent is about to get toasted. Bob discards Aegis, blocking the destruction, but Andrew still sacrifices 1 faith. (Too bad for him.)

More Options

The Options menu contains a few extra features that you will probably not use frequently. You can disable sounds or the warning messages that may occasionally pop up that do not actually affect game play. The "Debug" options are mainly for programmers. The "Resend Last Move" command can help if clients get out of synch during a network game.