Any modern browser will do, but it is recommended that you use Mozilla/Firefox (www.mozilla.com), it's the best and fastest browser out there.
The operating system you are running doesn't matter, as long as you've got a good and reasonably recent browser.
A fast internet connection makes life more comfortable, but the game works with any connection speed.
This means that the game is not played in real-time. Every general participating in a battle will get his turn, one after the other. During his turn, the general can move or take other actions with every unit on the battlefield.
This means that you and your opponents DON'T need to be online at the same time.
Once a general finishes his turn, the next general is notified by email to take his turn and make his moves.
If a general doesn't take his turn, the game will automatically close his turn after 24 hours and the next general will take his turn.
If a general misses several turns in a row, he will be kicked from the battle.
This also means that a battle is not finished after one or two hours, but stretches over several days, weeks or even months - all depending on the individual generals and how often they play.
That is the whole point of this game: you can make your moves from any computer that has a browser and an internet connection (from the office ;), without your opponents being online at the same time, all in a few seconds or minutes, depending on the size of the battle.
To ensure the smooth progress of a battle, always close you turn when you're done making your moves. Use the "CLOSE TURN" button (circling arrows) in the top-left function group when in the battlefield view.
As a special feature, although the game is turn-based, it can almost be played in real-time if all the generals in a battle are online at the same time.
The game has a built-in updater that always checks for movement of the enemy units and updates them on your screen, in your browser.
This means: Keep your browser window open and the battlefield loaded after you have closed your turn. You will see the moves of the enemy (given he's not hidden in the fog of war) and you will immediately get another turn when he's finished.
It's great fun to play like this.
Starting/joining a battle
Once you are logged in, you may start new battles by clicking on the NEW BATTLE link in the deathmatch view. Depending on whether you have a paid membership or not, you may have two or 20 simultaneous active battles.
On the "new battle" screen you have to select a map, a battlefield where the battle should take place. On the bigger maps, more than two players can play in a battle - adjust the "max. players" value for this.
Give a name to the battle and select the army (family) that you want to command.
The "join style" switch lets you choose if you want to start an open battle that any general can join (until max. player is reached) or if you want to invite one or more specific generals to have a private battle.
If you choose the later, you can select generals from your buddy list or from the list of all generals by searching for a name. Additionally you can invite a friend of yours directly by entering his email address, an invitation will be sent to him and hopefully he will take the challenge.
Last, the "worm activity" choice lets you increase or disable the worms that roam the battlefield and hunt for any units.
Be aware thet these worm are the only source of Crystallized Time (ressources/money), if you disable them, you will have a quick fight to the death with your opponent, as no additional ressources will appear on the battlefield. If you increase the worm activity, they will make your life very hard and you will have to be very carefull not to lose your valuable harvesters.
When you are done customizing the battle, click the "start" button. The battle will then be listed as waiting in your deathmatch view and as soon as all the opponents have accepted or declined the challenge, the battle will become active and you will have the first turn to make your moves.
The battlefield, a grid
To make your moves in an active battle, click the link that says "PLAY" (this indicates that it's your turn) in the list. You may also load a battle where the link says "observe", but then it's not your turn and you will not be allowed to make any moves with your units.
The battlefield will then load and you will notice that it is a grid made up of square fields. All your actions - moving, building, attacking - are based on these fields.
To the left you will see the status frame where some basic functions are grouped at the top and where important information is displayed about the status of your base.
At the bottom of your browser there is a wide frame that says "metatron" in red letters, this will return a message on every action you take, telling you whether it suceeded or why it may have failed.
You can now make your moves by pointing and clicking on the battlefield, everything is explained in detail below.
This game is like chess, only more colorfull and complex.
You need to put some thought into your next moves, always anticipating the moves of the enemy in the dark and even more so the actions of the enemies units that have emerged from the fog of war (black).
Try to surprise your enemy, try to get the first shot, it's all about dealing more damage than you take at the same time.
Know when to attack and when to retreat.
Sometimes, whether your unit stands one more field to the left or to the right makes all the difference, so be carefull, keep your eyes open and your mind sharp.
Fog of war
When you start a new battle, you will only see a small portion of the battlefield, thats how far your units can see.
By moving your units towards the black fog of war, you will make it disappear and you will see more of the battlefield, discover the terrain and eventually the base or some scouting units of your enemy.
Build a radar to lift the fog of war permanently, if you don't, the fog will close again after a unit has passed through it.
It is very important that you can see at all times what is happening on the battlefield, or your enemy will take you by surprise with an army coming out of the fog.
Select a unit
Simply click on one of your units to select it. If the unit is selected, you will see a bright green border framing the unit.
Hoover your mouse over a unit to see its details and get access to its functions.
If you click on the larger image displaying the currently selected unit, a pop-up will appear with detailed information including attacks.
Make sure the unit you are trying to select belongs to you! Your units appear on the battlefield as they are, without any marks or frames, while the units of your enemies are framed red and the units of your alliances are framed light blue.
Every unit has a certain number of Apts (Action Points) that it can spend during every turn. The Apts are displayed on every unit as a small green bar. The orange point menas the unit can still shoot in the current turn, red points mean the unit has shot already and can't move anymore.
As long as the unit has got Apts left, it can move around, attack and take all kinds of other actions.
Everything you do with a unit will cost action points, so plan your moves carefully. You don't want to spend all Apts of a unit for moving forward and then stand in front of a group of enemy units an not be able to attack them!
Building your base
The first thing you want to do when starting a new battle is to build the HQ of your base. To do this, select the MRC unit (the big one) and move arond if necessary (explained below), until there is 2x2 fields of free, rocky ground right next to the unit.
Now hoover your mouse pointer over the unit and you will see that the selected MRC unit can build a building called "construction HQ", click on the image and move your mouse pointer to the battlefield.
You will notice that there is a green shape of the buildings 2x2 field outline following your pointer. Place the shape on the free space right next to the MRC unit and click - WHAM! there's your first building.
After that, select the new building and notice that you can now build another building, the "energy receiver".
Building you base works all the same now, just expand with every turn. With every new building your tech level will rise and allow you to build more buildings and units.
Building takes action points. If you can't place the building, you may have already spent all action points of the unit, wait for the next turn.
If you have selected a unit that is mobile (vehicle, infantry, aircraft...), you can click on any free field around the unit and it will move to that field.
The unit can move as many fields as it has action points left, you don't have to move the unit field by field, just click the last field of the route.
Most units can NOT move after they have shot, only a few special units can do this.
Finding and harvesting CrysTime (ressources)
As soon as you have a "reffinery" in your base you should use it to build a "harvester" unit. Use your normal units to scout for CrystTime fields (ressources) or compacted heaps thet you can attack until they explode and produce a new field.
Move your harvester to the CrystTime field, it will automatically harvest the ressources on the field that you click.
On its detail view, the harvester unit has a small progress bar indicating how full it is. One field of CrysTime is worth credits.
If you want to cash in, bring the harvester back to your base, place it right next to the reffinery, click the "unload" button in the status frame of the harvester and then click the reffinery with the blinking unload cursor.
Sooner or later you will want to shoot at something with your units, at a compacted heap of CrysTime or an enemy unit.
Having selected a unit that can actually shoot (most can), just click on the target. If the target is within reach the attack will be carried out, check the units detail view for the exact range of your selected unit. Normal weapons like machinegun or tank canon can not shoot through mountains, also they can't attack airborne units, only rockets and other sophisticated weapons can.
Make sure your unit is placed where you want it, it can NOT move after the attack.
Learn the advantage and disadvantage of each unit and its weapon and use them for optimum performance. For example, a rocket launcher needs to be protected by other units because it can't defend itself very well, its rockets can't attack an enemy that is nearer than 6 fields.
When you're done making your move, always click the "CLOSE TURN" button (circling arrows) in the top-left function group and answer with "Yes"/"OK".
If you don't do this, the next general can't take his turn immediately and the battle will be slowed down.