Cyningstan DOS Games

Games for Early PCs

Gameplay Tutorials

The Anarchic Kingdom: The End Game


2 Feb: As you approach the end of the game you'll get a good idea of how things are going for your barony. If you're lucky, you'll be at the top holding your own against attackers. Or you might be unlucky, languishing in 8th place struggling to keep things together. Most likely you'll be somewhere in the middle, and as time wears on you'll be wondering how to effect a breakthrough. If you're in the middle of the pack, October ... (read more...)

The Anarchic Kingdom: Attack Strategies


26 Jan: We've already looked at the merits of how many baronies to attack in a turn: none, one or multiple. But after the first turn, the baronies are no longer identical in size and resources, and the choice of who to attack becomes more interesting. If attacking a single barony, there are three strategies I can think of. Attack the biggest barony, attack those just ahead of you in the rankings, or punch down and attack those who are ... (read more...)

The Anarchic Kingdom: Reading the News


19 Jan: The first thing you'll notice when the next month rolls around is that your barony has grown or shrunk. You'll want to know how and why, and the way to do this is to look the the news report, accessed with the "Report" option. This is generally the first thing you'll do every turn. The good news comes first. The first reports will be the result of your attacks on other baronies. These reports will remind you who ... (read more...)

Team Droid: Level Tiles and Thinking Ahead


17 Jan: When instructing your robot, you'll naturally be thinking ahead, since the robot doesn't move until you've given it all the actions for the next turn and selected Go! from the menu. When sending it in a straight line across a clear floor, it's easy to predict where the robot will end up. Once you introduce turns and other actions into your programming, things become slightly more difficult. Then you'll need to "dry run" your program (because the list ... (read more...)

The Anarchic Kingdom: Recruitment


12 Jan: On each turn apart from December, you will need to spend some of your money to recruit forces for your next turn. It's inevitable that you'll lose some knights and footmen that you send out on attack, and that you'll lose some castles and footmen to incursions by the enemy. You will also do better if you can increase the size of your military. Make sure you're looking at your own barony, and select the "Spend" option (which ... (read more...)

Team Droid: Multiple Robots


10 Jan: Spoiler alert: the last level in the Jam Levels pack has not one, not two, but three Robot Spawners. I believe the level has no solution with just a single robot. It can be solved with two, but is designed to be solved with three. I believe the three-robot solution is probably the quickest. In the Double Trouble level pack, ever level has two Data Cards, two Card Readers and two Robot Spawners. Today's article will describe how these ... (read more...)

Team Droid: Dealing with the Guards


3 Jan: Some levels have guards. These are the dark, spherical robots that move around on their own each turn. Sometimes they shoot, and sometimes they don't. But contact with them is always fatal to your robot. And if they do shoot, putting an item in their path can be an invitation to them to destroy it. The most tempting way to deal with the guards is to shoot them. With the guards out of the way, any challenge that ... (read more...)

Team Droid: Inventory Management


27 Dec: This is a rather grandiose term for robots that have at the most one inventory slot. But sometimes isn't not possible to pick up or put down items when you need to. And there are tips to help with this. The most obvious tip is to choose Carrier as your robot. This means that you can always pick up an item if your inventory is empty. It still leaves you with the difficulty of putting the item down ... (read more...)

Team Droid: Getting the Robots Moving


20 Dec: In principle, moving the robots is simple. Tell them during the programming phase what actions you want them to follow, and then select Go! from the menu. The steps and missteps will all be played out in front of you, then you get another turn, and so on. In practice, things are not so straightforward, and this is where the game's challenge lies. Of the twelve possible actions in the game, only six are available at any one ... (read more...)

The Anarchic Kingdom: Your First Attack


15 Dec: One important thing to note about The Anarchic Kingdom is that all the action in the game takes place simulaneously at the end of each turn. What you're doing during your turn is giving orders. Those orders will be carried out at the end of the turn, at the same time as all the other players' orders. Another thing to note is that the game is entirely deterministic. When a player is attacked, the amount of land taken ... (read more...)

Team Droid: Choosing Your Robot


13 Dec: You might choose your robot at random. For most levels, but not all, you will still be able to successfully complete the level. But you will do much better if you examine the level and choose the robot accordingly. Levels with a labyrinthine set of twists and turns might favour Strider. Strider can always step forward, but also has the equipment to step left and right if the corresponding actions are available. This makes Strider a good choice ... (read more...)

The Anarchic Kingdom: Getting Started


8 Dec: The Anarchic Kingdom was released in 2021 as a jam game. It takes the simple gameplay concepts of the Hammurabi game of the 1960s, adds a combat element, and introduces competition by having multiple "kingdoms" trying to outdo one another. The text user interface of Hammurabi is swapped for a graphical one, but the numeric core of the game is still on display. Getting into the game is relatively easy, but understanding why you lose takes a bit ... (read more...)

Team Droid: Some Tips to Help You Out


6 Dec: In 2022 I released the game Team Droid for a game jam. Since then it has achieved a modest success, being the second most downloaded game after Ossuary. But like the board game that inspired it, Robo Rally, its appeal seems to be largely limited to those comfortable with programming. So I've decided to put together some tips for players. For this future article series I'll concentrate on the actual process of programming robots and the interface, which ... (read more...)

Ossuary: The End Game


20 Mar: As you appropach  Ossuary 's end game, things become a lot more difficult, and the ways of dealing with them depend upon the type of character you are playing. As a melee character with your blade and shield, you'll have had a relatively easy ride until the spectres appear. But now you have to make a choice: if your intelligence is above average, you can switch to using the wand and amulet to take on the new enemies ... (read more...)

Ossuary: Becoming a Bad-Ass Dual-Wielding Barbarian


13 Mar: One of the most fun combinations of stats in  Ossuary  is an average attack strength and a high defence skill. This will always be offset by a lack of intelligence, but it has a real benefit in the mid-game: dual wielding becomes viable. When you wield dual blades, the bonuses are added together. So if you have a high enough defence skill to forego a shield, you can keep hold of that +2 dagger when you find the ... (read more...)

Ossuary: the Role of Magic


6 Mar: As an intelligent hero trying to make a living using magic, it's easy to feel hard done by down in the Ossuary . After the dagger, you see swords and battleaxes giving +4 and +6 bonuses to brainless fighter characters, where your wand stays stubbornly at +2. While the iron shield gives the figher a +4 bonus, your amulet again is stuck at +2. But there is a more subtle bonus offered by magic, and being an intelligent ... (read more...)

Ossuary: Your First Descent


27 Feb: Some games encourage you to go into them with an attitude like "I wanna be a  WIZARD !" and let you choose what you are.  Ossuary  isn't like that. In real life we have to make sensible choices, and Ossuary is a bit like that. Your player starts out the game with a set of statistics, or natural abilities, and you probably want to look at those to decide how you'll play. There are no formal "character classes", ... (read more...)


New Comment

Yes No