LandGrab Starter’s Guide

LandGrab Starter’s Guide by CaptainCaptin

(At the moment, this is an attempt for a standard LandGrab basics. It will cover what everything does in every category. This message will be edited ALOT, and the stuff between these parenthesis will probably be deleted if this gets accepted into the standard.)

Hello! Welcome to LandGrab! This is an online strategy game based upon the popular Hasboro board game Risk. I know; all these shiny buttons and strange links may seem a little bit intimidating. This guide will help you understand how to play a game, how this site is organized, how to make a game, some of the different rules in the game, and so much more!

First, it’s important to know the basics of the game. The standard LandGrab rules are the same as Risk rules, but for those unfamiliar with risk, I’ll outline them here.

Now, we can talk about how the pages are set up! Let’s start with just the top toolbar on the front page:

The very top gives you the last game you made a move in and its current status, and it gives you the person logged in (hopefully you!) and a Logout button.

Next we have the categories:

  • Home: It’s the page you’re at right now
  • Create a Game: This is where you can make your own LandGrab game!
  • Settings: Change details of your account, like your e-mail, password, notifications, and Friends and Foes.
  • Forums: You’re on the forums right now!
  • Tools: Has a map editor, map browser, game search, and public API.
  • Help: Some help categories on the intricacies of the game

Create a Game:

Ready to create your own game on Landgrab?

Assuming that you have already logged into your account, just click on the “Create a Game” icon toward the top of your screen in the green header.

Step 1: Naming your game and choosing a map.

Feel free to get as creative or simple with your game names as you’d like but please try and be somewhat tasteful if you intend to make it a public game. Your game name cannot be longer than 64 characters and cannot contain periods, slash marks or dollar signs.

The maps that are made available to you as a default are the *endorsed* maps of Landgrab that have a rating above 5. There are hundreds more maps that you may browse through and choose if you’d like by clicking the little green icon labeled “map filter options” located right below the map name inside the drag and drop tool.

The filter options allow you to sort maps by any or all of the following criteria:
-Show Endorsed maps only (uncheck the box if you’d like to see maps that are not endorsed)
-Rating (the higher the rating the more it has been rated as a higher quality map by landgrab users)
-Category (examples of a few categories are as follows: Historical, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Structures etc…….)
-Size (this refers to the number of territories in a map) This option also allows you to search above or below a specified number of territories.

After you are finished with your filter options press the green button labeled “FILTER” and your options will be implemented.

You can also find out more information about a map you select by clicking the green “ABOUT MAP” button. The smaller green “Map Browser” icon located to the right of the “ABOUT MAP” button lets you browse and view the maps you have filtered as thumbnails. At that point you can also filter the maps by name, rating, popularity or author.

Step 2: Choosing your game options and Specifying game rules.

Game flavor:
This option is set to default on “The standard LandGrab game.” (Card trade-in values are based on the set type, with 2 bonus armies per territory for owned territory cards. You get 1 path fortification per turn. These rules will be explained momentarily).
You may choose from 4 other “flavors” that are listed or create and save you own by clicking the small green “show advanced options” icon located under the GAME FLAVORS and saving your options by clicking the green button labeled “ADD THE SELECTED OPTIONS TO MY GAME FLAVOR LIST

If you would like to adjust certain or all options that are specified in any of the game flavors then click the “show advanced options” icon and adjust the options to your liking. For a detailed explanation of each of the options please continue reading, if you’d like to move on skip ahead to STEP 3.

Ok, let’s start at the top.

The first option is the Wild Card Ratio: This allows you to specify how often the “wild cards” are thrown into the mix with all the standard cards (circle, diamond and star). Wild card trade-in’s are generally worth more so be mindful of this unless you alter how much the wild card sets are worth or if you intend to have large trade-in values.

The next option is the Trade-in Values: This allows you to make trade-in’s based on card symbols (click the green icon labeled “specify values” if you wish to customize how much specific sets are worth). By clicking the drag and drop tool you can choose options which make sets worth increasingly more as more sets are traded in, another option here makes card sets increase to 12 and then start back over at 4 and repeat, and another option makes sets always worth the same without increasing no matter what the set.

The next option is Forced Trade-in: Default is set to force trade in once you accrue 5 cards but you can adjust it up to 8 if you’d like. *Be aware that while this does give you a better chance to put together a more valuable card set it also gives people the chance to turn in multiple sets at once if they get the right cards and that can prove devastating to your defenses if you are the unfortunate recipient of said onslaught*

The next option is Trade-in Time: This option has two choices which are: A) “No Restriction” – which allows players to trade in a card set at any time during their turn, when it is not their turn or even at the beginning of their turn, while the next choice: B) “Only at the Beginning of a Turn” – restricts players to being able to trade-in card sets only at the beginning of their turn.

The next option “Army Placement” runs along with trade-in time and disappears if “Only at the Beginning of a Turn” is selected. If “No Restriction” is selected in the Trade-in Time option above then you can allow players to place reinforcements from their card sets at any time during their turn by selecting “Immediately” in this option. *This can be very useful but can also allow players to potentially roll over the entire map by conquering a player, collecting his/her cards and trading them in, placing the reinforcements and continuing their attack….possibly repeating this action again and again.* Choosing the Army Placement option of “Only at the Beginning of a Turn” restricts players to placing their armies at the beginning of their turn regardless of when they trade-in their set. (for example: If player 1 trades in a set during his/her turn, the reinforcements will not be allowed to be placed until the beginning of his/her next turn).

The next option is Trade-in Bonus: Default is set to 2 armies, this is the amount of armies that a player receives for owning territory they have a card for. The box below this option allows for these armies to either go on the specific territory they have the card for or receive the allotted bonus into their reinforcements to be placed where they choose.

Next you’ll see the option for Initial Army Placement Type: This has 2 sub-options: Placed and Flat Rate. Placed means that each player has the opportunity to place their allotted initial troops anywhere they own a territory on the board and in any amount they wish. If this option is selected then the default initial troops is 35, you may adjust it to whatever number you wish and you may also select the option “Forced Disbursement” which is explained by clicking the question mark icon next to the term.
Flat Rate means that each player gets a specified amount of troops assigned to each territory they own. If this option is selected then a new box will appear below asking how many armies you would like each territory to start out with.

The nest option is Reinforcement Type: There are 3 sub-options and they are: Continent Values, Territory Area and Both. Continent Values is the default and this is the standard risk option, you get reinforcements for the amount of territories ou own as well as the continents you own.
Territory Area allocates reinforcements based on the size of each territory you own and disregards continents and numbers of territories you own. If this option is selected then another box will appear (with a default of 30) that you can also adjust to whatever you’d like, the higher the number, the more reinforcements are allocated based on size. *An important note here is that maps with disproportionately big and small territories can swing large advantages to those who are lucky enough to own the large territories. Presumably, one could own 30 small territories and get less than someone who owns 5 large territories.*

The next option is Fortification Type: There are 3 sub-options and they are explained by clicking the question mark icon next to the term.

The next option is Number of Fortifications: Default is set to 1 but you may choose however many fortifications you would like including Unlimited Fortifications, just check the box that says Unlimited Fortifications.

The next 3 options are for Capitols, Fortresses and Leaders: These are all explained by clicking the question mark icons next to the terms.

STEP 3: Adding Players, Choosing you nickname and color, and making team games:

The first thing you see is a green phrase that says “Allow me to invite specific players
If you click on the phrase you will be able to invite your friends to games by using their email address or if you have friends that are already on Landgrab then as long as they are on your buddy list you can just add them by going through the drag and drop tool that appears with your “buddy’s” and clicking the big green “Invite Selected Buddy” button.

Below this there is a box that asks if you would like to make this a public game, it is set to default to make it a public game which allows anyone on the site (with the exception of people on your foes list) to join your game. If you un-check the box it will ask you if this is a private game, private games are good for friends or family who share the same internet connection and just want to play each other. Since sharing the same IP address for multiple accounts is a violation of Landgrab rules this is the only way to allow friends and family of the same household to play in games together. Private games will NOT appear in the public games.

Below this is a box that asks if you would like to make this a team game. If not then leave it unmarked, but if you’d like to make it a team game the check the box and a slew of new options will be presented to you.

First off, you choose how many teams you’d like, followed by how many players will be on each team. Name each of your teams and select a team color to the right of the team name. (You may also click the little color pallet icon to select a custom color)
Next you’ll select the team options which are as follows:
A) Allow fortification through allied territory: This allows you and your teammates to fortify or pass through each others territory as if it were their own.
B) Enable army donations: This allows teammates to donate armies to other teammates but it has 2 sub-options. If you select “Donations must be placed Immediately” then you can select where to place them and they are allocated immediately to your teammate. If you select “Donated must be placed at the start of the next turn of the donee” then the Donated armies will be made available to the donee/recipient at the beginning of their next turn.
C) Allow allies to view cards: This allows you and your teammates to view each others cards.
D) Allow card trading between allies: This allows teammates to trade cards among one another which is a very strategic ability because you can funnel cards to a teammate in need or pass them off if you are in danger of being taken out. Be mindful of owned territory cards and your teammates which may own them. If you have a set but your teammate owns 2 of the cards you have and the bonus is a decent amount then it may be more beneficial for your team if you pass the cards to your teammate who will get more reinforcements out of it.
E) Allow territory ownership change between allies: This allows teammates to flip the ownership of territories they own that posses ONLY 1 army to another one of their teammates at the end of their turn. If selected, a box will appear that will allow you to select the number of territories allowed to be flipped.

Next you’ll choose your nickname for this game as well as your color. Again, if you click the little color pallet you can select a custom color. If you chose to make this a team game then this is where you also select which team you are on.

Below this is a box which asks if you would like to include computer players. If not then leave it unmarked, if you would like to add a computer player(s) then check the box and more options will appear that will allow you to customize the computer player.
You will need to name the computer player(s), select its color and adjust how aggressive you’d like it to be (0 being lowest 100 being highest)
If you decide to make it a neutral player (doesn’t attack at all) then aggressiveness is a moot point. If you make it a neutral player you can also choose if you’d like it to not receive reinforcements by clicking the box labeled “No Reinforcements”
Lastly you decide which team the computer player(s) are on.

The last options of STEP 3 are found by clicking the green phrase “Show advanced player options.” Here you can require a minimum player rank/score or allow a maximum player rank/score when joining your game. This can be helpful in either weeding out brand new accounts which may be multi’s or excluding higher ranked players to level the playing field for a game of new players.
A box below this is labeled “Discourage Alliances” this box is checked by default and doesn’t allow players to send private messages to other players in non-team games so as to prevent players from forming alliances against others secretly. If you would like to add this dimension of game-play to your game the un-check the box and private messages will be allowed.

STEP 4: Game Timers, Turn Skips and Borgs:

The first option – Turn Reminders: This is how long each player will have to take their turn. If you un-check the box there will be no reminder so whatever amount of time you list is how long people will have. If you leave it marked then the option below labeled Turn Skipping will allow for a certain amount of reminders before the players turn is skipped. (For example: If you select 12 hour turns with 1 reminder….which is default, then a reminder will be sent to the player when their turn starts, then again after 12 hours and if they don’t take their turn then they get skipped) So essentially you just made the turn 24 hours, if you made it 2 reminders then it would be 36 hours etc….

Realtime games have shorter timers and are listed in the drag and drop tool of Turn Reminders.
The next option – Borgification: This options specifies at what point players who have missed a certain amount of turn become “borgified” or controlled by the computer. If you select 2, which is default, then once a player misses their turn 2 CONSECUTIVE times they borgify.

The options below this are to specify the elements of the borgified player:
You may have them borgify into neutral players which no not attack and as well you may make it so that the neutral borg does not receive reinforcements, or you may make it borg into a computer controlled player with either random aggressiveness or to a specified aggressiveness.

If you are satisfied with your options then click the green button in the bottom right corner that says “CREATE GAME” and your game will be created and invites will be sent out to the players/people you specified if you did in fact invite people.
Your finished! Sit back and wait for people to join and place armies.

Forums:
The forums of LandGrab are powered by the phpBB engine. For more information, support, or help with the phpBB forum, you can go check their website: phpBB.com

Tools:
The Public API is a documentation of features to make game information, such as players, colors, territories, armies, etc., accessible to programmers, in the case that they want to make an application for LandGrab. That is why you probably don’t need to know about it. If you do need to know about it, look up SOAP technologies on Google, as this is the protocol the API uses. If you’re still having trouble, ask around for some help.

Help:
If you still need more help with the game, you can go here.

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