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Screenshots - Alterra

Alterra atari screenshot
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Alterra atari screenshot
Alterra atari screenshot

Information - Alterra

GenreStrategy - WargameYear1997
Language[unknown]Publisher[no publisher]
Players2 (alt.), 4DeveloperSpectacle Software
ResolutionLowLicensed from

Roest, Niels

Graphic Artist(s)

Scherer, Erich

Game design


Box / InstructionsEnglish


LicensePD / Freeware / Shareware
Sound FX


Cover Artist(s)ST TypeST, STe / 1MB
Dumpdownload atari Alterra Download / MSANumber of Disks1 / Double-Sided

Additional Comments - Alterra

Other version with the same title:

[no publisher] (version 0.93) ().

Instructions - Alterra

Created 1994-1997 by:
 Spectacle Software

Niels Roest (program)
Erich Scherer (graphics & manual)
19.9.1997 Version 1.01


(These can also be accessed in-game through the menu-entry 'About 
Alterra', or better, read the README.1ST as you should :-)
('Lmb' and 'rmb' are abbreviations for left and right mouse buttons.)

* Goal
     Conquer all cities with your armies.

* Screenlayout
     OVERVIEW MAP (left), DETAIL VIEW (right)
     INFO AREA (down-left), BUTTONS (down-right).

* How to scroll the DETAIL VIEW
     1) Click the rmb on the DETAIL VIEW (to center around the mouse);
     2) Use the arrow buttons at the center of the screen;
     3) Use the arrow keys on the keyboard;
     4) Click on the OVERVIEW MAP.

* The BUTTONS, from left to right
  1) 'center around army'
  2) 'move army along path'
  3) 'no (further) orders for army'
  4) 'defend army'
  5) 'create path for army'
  6) 'delete path'
  7) 'deselect army'
  8) 'next army'

* Armies
     An army consists of up to eight units on the same square. The 
     contents of the selected army are shown in the INFO AREA. By 
     clicking on a unit in the INFO AREA, you can switch it between 
     'active' and 'inactive'. During movement, only the active units 
     move, the inactive units are left behind.

* How to select an army
     1) Click on any of your armies with the rmb to select it;
     2) Use the 'next army'-button (the right-most BUTTON);
     3) If currently no army is selected: click on an army with the lmb 
     to select it.

* Movement and battles
     Click on the destination square, or use the numeric keypad to move 
     the selected army. Armies can move until one or more units run out 
     of movement points.

* How to deselect an army
     Click on the selected army with the lmb, or use the 'deselect 

* The city sheet
     Access this sheet by selecting the 'Cities'-entry in the 'View'-
     menu, or by clicking on a city with shift + lmb. On this sheet, you 
     can manage your city's production.

C O M P L E T E   M A N U A L


1. Introduction
2. Installation
3. Shareware
4. Starting the game
     4.1. Player selection
     4.2. Map selection
     4.3. Game options
5. Controls
     5.1. The mouse
     5.2. Buttons
     5.3. Other parts of the screen
     5.4. Keyboard commands
6. Movement
     6.1. Selecting/ deselecting
     6.2. Armies, groups and units
     6.3. Movement: general
     6.4. Mouse movement
     6.5. Keyboard movement
     6.6. Movement bonuses
     6.7. Roads
     6.8. Boats
     6.9. Flying
7. Cities
     7.1. The citysheet
     7.2. The designsheet
8. Battles
     8.1. Combat mechanics
     8.2. Strength bonuses
     8.3. Sieges
     8.4. Sea battles
9. Armies
     9.1. The armyinfosheet
     9.2. Special units
10. Money
     10.1. Income
     10.2. Expences
     10.3. Deficit
11. Buildings
     11.1. Tempels
     11.2. Ruins
12. Heroes
     12.1. Hiring heroes
     12.2. Characteristics
13. Menubar
     13.1. The 'game'-menu
     13.2. The 'order'-menu
14. Map editor
15. Appendix: army units


Alterra is a strategic wargame in a medieval setting. The goal is to 
conquer all cities. This classic game concept has been modified by 
adding several elements from fantasy-/ roleplayinggames: for instance 
the presence of fantastic army units like dragons and demons. 

Contrary to many strategy games, much effort has been spent to keep the 
game as easy as possible to play. It will therefore be sufficient for 
most players to read the short instructions (see above). If these leave 
too many questions unanswered for you, it is advisable to read chapter 5 
(the game controls) as well. The rest of the manual provides very 
detailed and specific information, and may be consulted as problems 


Hardware requirements: an Atari ST/ STE with colour display and at least 
1 MB of RAM. Alterra can be played from floppydisk or harddisk.

Alterra consists of the following files:
ALTERRA.PRG    The actual game
ALTERRA.DAT    The accompanying data file
EDITOR.PRG     The map editor
MAPS folder    This folder contains the available maps (extension .MAP)
PICS folder    Three picture files
SAVEGAME folder   Containing savegames named SAVEGAME.1 through .8
MANUAL.TXT     This manual
README.1ST     Some practical information

Simply copy the entire Alterra-folder to your harddrive to play from 


Alterra is shareware!

It may be freely distributed, as long as all accompanying files, such 
the manual files and editors (see below), are copied along with the 
program; it may not be sold or otherwise used for commercial purposes 
without our consent.

If you like and use Alterra, you are kindly requested (nay: summoned!) 
to make a small payment to us as a token of your appreciation for the 
endless effort we put into this project. This will stimulate us to 
continue development on the game.

Send 5 Pounds Sterling, 10 US Dollars, 20 Deutsche Mark (or more!), or 
anything comparable to:

Niels Roest
Van de Sande-Bakhuyzenstraat 164
1223 EA Hilversum

If you live in the Netherlands, you can transfer Hfl. 20,- to bank 
account, payable to Erich Scherer, Bussum, noting 

If you wish to be kept informed on future versions and developments, 
supply an Email-adress, or make a higher payment to cover for postage 


Your first choice is between loading a saved game and beginning a new 

If you wish to commence a new game, the following screen will allow you 
to select the players. From this screen you can access a screen where 
you are able to change the game options. If you leave this screen 
unchanged, the game will be played with default options.

Also you can choose between two maps to play: FANTASY.MAP and MASU-
REN.MAP. The default map is FANTASY.MAP. Currently, there is no option 
to select other (self-made) maps - if you wish to play other maps, 
you'll have to rename them to one of the afore-mentioned names...


Alterra can be played by up to four players. At this point, computer 
intelligence is not implemented yet, so the players can only be human. A 
player is selected when the human face is shown on the button in 
question. Setting the button to an icon of a computer face or an icon of 
a broken computer will switch the player off.

By clicking on the appropriate spots, you can select a name for yourself 
and your empire, as well as a flag.

Finally it is possible to allocate a number of extra cities to each 
player at the beginning of the game. This makes it possible to give 
inexperienced players an advantage over battlehardened players.


At the moment, you only have a choice of two maps. To play any other 
maps, rename the map in question to 'FANTASY.MAP' or 'MASUREN.MAP' 
(making sure that you keep the original fantasy/masuren-map save).


On this sheet you can adapt the following aspects of the game to your 

  a) 'Preset empires'

     When this option is on, the cities will be distributed among the 
     players exactly as they are on the original map.

  b) 'Set empires'

     If you do not wish to use the preset city distribution, you can 
     choose alternative distributions by setting the following options:

     - either each player's first city is selected randomly, or the 
     preset first cities, as they are on the map, are used;

     - each player receives one city, or half of all cities are 
     distributed among the players, or even all cities. In these cases, 
     each player will receive the same number of cities, unless you have 
     set on the playerselection-sheet that certain players receive 
     additional cities (see section 4.1);

     - if players receive more than one city, you can set whether these 
     should be near eachother ('dense'), or distributed randomly across 
     the map ('scattered'), or a combination of this.

  c) 'Neutral cities'

     All cities that are not given to the players will be neutral 
     cities. They play no active role in the game, but will only defend 
     themselves. The strength of the defence is set here.

     Weak neutral cities are occupied by one unit of a random humanoid 
     type; strong neutral cities have two units.

     This option of course only has a function if not all cities have 
     been allocated to the players.

  d) 'Production of specials'

     Normally, special units like dragons cannot be produced. This 
     option though will give a few cities the possibility to produce 
     special units (see also section 9.2).



The game is almost entirely mouse-operated. The form of your mouse 
cursor indicates the function of the left mouse button (lmb):

  a) Pointing hand

     The standard mouse cursor. It appears over menus, sheets, buttons, 

  b) Aiming sight (the selection cursor)

     Can be used to select/ deselect armies. This cursor appears in the 
     detail view over your own armies, to indicate that you can now 
     select the army, or (if the army in question is already selected) 
     deselect it.

  c) Walking legs/ ship/ wings (the movement cursors)

     If an army is currently selected, these cursors indicate possible 
     destinations for movement: the legs appear over land, the ship over 
     water, and the wings if the army is a flying army. A click with the 
     lmb will let the computer calculate a path to the destination in 
     question; the army will immediately start to move along this path. 
     See chapter 6 on movement.

  d) Sword (the battlecursor)

     Same as the movement cursors, only will the sword only appear over 
     enemy armies and cities. The sword indicates that movement will 
     result in a battle: your army will fight the enemy army or city as 
     soon as it reaches it.

  e) Arrow with dotted line (the 'create path'-cursor)

     If you click with this cursor, the computer will calculate a path 
     to the given destination, but the army will not immediately move 
     along this path. You will get this cursor by holding down the 

  f) Castle

     This cursor appears over your own cities. A click will access the 
     citysheet. If an army is currently selected, you will have to press 
     the shift-key to get this cursor (see also section 7.1).

The functions of the lmb in the detailview have now roughly been 
outlined. Outside the detailview, the mousecontrols are self-explana-
tory. It may only be necessary to point out that the detailview can be 
scrolled by moving the mouse over the overview map with lmb pressed.

The right mouse button (rmb) can only be used in the detail view. It 
centers the detailview around the mouse position.

There is one exception to this rule: over a NOT-SELECTED army of your 
own, the rmb doesn't center, but SELECTS this army; at the same time any 
other army that might have been selected will be deselected. This 
function allows it to switch very easily and quickly from one army to 
another. Note: over a selected army, the rmb will have its old function 
of centering the detail view.

Holding the SHIFT-key while clicking the lmb will allow you to access 
several functions that can't (always) be reached by clicking just the 
lmb. The following functions are concerned:

  a) Accessing the citysheet

     If no army is selected, the citysheet may be called upon by simply 
     clicking the lmb on the city; as soon as any army is selected, it 
     is necessary to hold the shift+lmb to execute this action.

  b) Creating a path without letting the army execute it

     Shift+lmb on any possible destination except cities and buildings 
     will create a path to that destination for the current army. Like 
     this, you can see whether you like the path before you allow the 
     army to execute it.

SUMMARY of the mousecontrols: rmb to center and select; lmb to move; 
shift+lmb to create paths and to access sheets.


Functions of the buttons at the bottom-right corner of the screen, from 
left to right:

  a) 'Center'

     Click here to center the detailview around the currently selected 

  b) 'Move army along path'

     If the army has a path, you can instruct it to move along this path 
     as far as it can.

     This button acts as counterpart of the 'create path'-function: 
     firstly you create a path using shift+lmb or the 'create path'-
     button (see below), then you let the army execute the path with 
     this button.

     The other possibility is that the army had a path left from the 
     previous turn which it was unable to complete then due to lack of 
     movement points. Then too this button is used to instruct the army 
     to move on.

  c) 'No (further) orders'

     If the army has movement points left (movement points are discussed 
     in the next chapter), but it is already where you want it to be, or 
     if you do not wish to give the army any further order for whichever 
     other reason, use this button. It will set the movement points of 
     the active group of the army to zero. As will be discussed in 
     section 6.2, armies can have active and inactive units. Most 
     orders, including this one, only apply to active units. The 
     inactive units of the army keep their movement points when you use 
     this function.

  d) 'Defend'

     If the selected army is on land, and not in a city, this button wil 
     instruct the army to build a defensive encampment. This order uses 
     up all remaining movement points from the army for that turn. The 
     encampment will be ready at the beginning of the next turn; this 
     will be shown by a small tower on the position of the army. This 
     tower also means that any units on this position will receive a 
     battlebonus (see also section 8.2).

     The encampment will remain upheld as long as there is at least one 
     unit present in it. Units may freely move to and from the 
     encampment, but if all units leave it, the tower dissappears.

     If the selected army is not on land, but in a city or on the water, 
     the situation is somewhat different. No defencebonus is applicable 
     then. After all, an army on water can't build a tower, and an army 
     in a city already receives a defencebonus from the city.

          As said before, an encampment is visible as a little tower; 
          for a boat, the defensive status is shown by hoisted sails. 
          For armies in castles there is no visible representation of 
          the defensive status.

          For armies on land as well as armies on water or in castles, 
          the 'defend'-order will result in the army not reporting back 
          to you for new orders in forthcoming turns. As will be 
          explained with the 'next army'-button, normally every army 
          asks for new orders every turn. You can use the 'defend'-order 
          to put an army offside. This way you can for instance prevent 
          city garrisons from bothering you every turn. Should you at a 
          given time want to give new orders to a defended army, you 
          will have to select it 'manually'.

          As said, an army will become undefended again as soon as it is 
          moved. Defending army in cities will become undefended as well 
          as soon as any unit is ADDED to the defended army. This will 
          come in handy if the city produces a new army: even if it is 
          placed in the defending city garrison, it will report to you 
          because the city garrison becomes undefended as the unit is 
          placed in it. This way you can always keep track of your 
          city's production.

          There is one categorie of armies the 'defend'-order does not 
          apply to: flying armies over water. It is not desirable that 
          flying armies should be put on guard over water for long 
          times. A flying army will therefore report back to you each 
          turn even if it has been given the 'defend'-order. A defence-
          bonus is not applicable either; in this situation the 
          'defend'-button has only and exclusively the function of 
          setting all movement points of the army to zero.

          A flying army over land can of course normally defend as any 
          other army.

  e) 'Create path'

     This button has the same function as pressing shift+lmb in the 
     detailview. Clicking on the detailview after clicking on this 
     button will create a path. To execute this path press the 'move 

  f) 'Delete path'

     Deletes the path of the currently selected army.

  g) 'Deselect army'

     Deselects the currently selected army. Result: no army will be 
     selected. The info area (bottom-left of the screen) will now show 
     some general status information instead of the contents of the 

  h) 'Next army'

     With this button you may cycle through all of your armies. This is 
     useful for instance if you do not wish to give orders to the 
     currently selected army just now. This button will take you to 
     other armies you can give orders to. The army you skipped will come 
     by again sooner or later if you use the 'next army'-button.

     Optionally, the program will automatically go on from the current 
     army and select the next army as soon as no unit of the currently 
     selected army has any movement points (mp) left. You can turn this 
     option on and off through the menu-entry 'Settings'.

     Neither with the 'next army'-button nor with the optional automatic 
     selection you can reach armies that are defended or that do not 
     have any mp left. After all, you don't really want to give defended 
     armies new orders (that's why you defended them); and it would't be 
     any use to give armies orders they can't execute for lack of mp. 
     Should you want to give such armies orders, you will have to select 
     them manually (by clicking on them).

Apart from the 'next army'-button, all of these buttons only work if an 
army is selected. The 'next army'-button stops working if there are no 
more undefended armies with mp.


  a) The overview map

     It is located on the left of the screen, and shows the entire map. 
     The white square indicates the part of the map visible in the 
     detail view. It can be moved holding the lmb on the map. Small 
     shields filled in with the player's colours represent the cities.

     The colours on the map:

     light green: plains
     green: hills
     dark green: woods
     brown: swamps
     grey: mountains
     blue: sea and rivers
     red/ brown: roads
     black dot: ruin
     white dot: temple

  b) The scrollbuttons

     Positioned next to the map, they scroll the detail view.

  c) The info area

     Located on the bottom-left part of the screen. While no army is 
     selected, the following infomation is provided: number of cities 
     you currently own, your cash, your income and expenditure per turn.

     If an army is selected, the display changes to show you the 
     contents of the army. The units are arranged from left to right 
     from strong to weak. Exception: since heroes are very important 
     units, they are always positioned completely to the left, regard-
     less of their strength.

     By clicking on a unit here it is switched between active and 
     inactive. See section 6.2 for more information on active and 
     inactive units.

     Click on the question mark to access the armyinfosheet (see 
     section 9.1).

     The mp of each unit, as well as the netto number of mp the army as 
     a whole has, are visible below the units. Icons show any movement 
     bonuses the active group might have, or whether it can fly. See on 
     movement bonuses: section 6.6; on flying: section 6.9.

  d) The menubar

     The menu entries will be explained in chapter 13.

     On the right, the menubar displays the turn number and the player 


     So far, only a few of the menu functions can be accessed through 
     the keyboard. The appropriate keys are listed in the menus next to 
     the corresponding functions.

     The arrow keys can be used to scroll the map; the numeric keypad 
     can be used to move a selected army.


Many aspects of army movement have already been discussed above. This 
chapter will concern itself with army selection and the definition of 
the terms army, group and unit to begin with; a detailed description of 
army movement will then follow.


Before an army can be moved or given any other command, it must be 

The first method for selection is clicking on an army with the lmb.

Let's assume that an army (A) is selected. You wish to select another 
army (B). Now, you CANNOT do this by clicking on army B with the lmb, 
because this way you would only instruct army A to walk to the position 
of army B.

Solution: EITHER you deselect army A first (by clicking on it with the 
lmb or using the 'deselect'-button) and then select army B with the lmb; 
OR, easier, you click immediately with the rmb on army B. As said 
before, you can always select an army with the rmb.

The most common way for army selection is using the 'next army'-button 
(rightmost button).

Deselection is achieved by pressing the 'deselect'-button or clicking on 
the army.


The characteristics of the different types of units are listed in 
chapter 15.

A maximum of eight units can be present in the same square. All UNITS on 
the same square are called an ARMY. The info area (bottom-left) shows 
which units make up the selected army.

Each unit can be active or inactive; inactive units are grey in the info 
area. Like this, the army is split into an active and an inactive 

The detail view displays only the strongest unit of the active group of 
each army. If there is a hero in the active group, the hero is shown 
regardless of strength. A bar to the left and above the army indicates 
the number of units the army contains.

Most orders you can give only apply to the active group. If you give a 
movement order, only the active units move; if you order an attack, only 
the active units attack. Practically the only order that applies to the 
entire army is the 'defend'-order.

     Example: you wish to split up an army consisting of several units. 
     Do this by making some units active and others inactive, then click 
     somewhere next to the army in the detail view. The active group 
     will now move, leaving the inactive group behind.

The next question is how to make units active/ inactive. This is done by 
clicking on the units in question in the info area. Use the round button 
with the bracket to make all units active ('group all'). The button 
right next to it makes the active group inactive and vice versa 
('swap groups').

     At least one unit must always be active. If all units could be 
     inactive, you could give orders that apply to no-one.

One army can be split into two; two armies can be merged into one as 
well. This happens when you order one army to move to a square already 
occupied by another army. Merging two armies is only possible if the 
combined army contains no more than eight units. The army already 
present on the square becomes the inactive group of the new combined 
army, and the army that merges with it by moving on to it becomes the 
active group of the new army.


There are two methods to move your army: with the numeric keypad, or 
with the mouse. Before these methods will be discussed seperately, first 
some general rules on movement.

Every unit has a number of movement points (mp) per turn. Each step 
costs a number of these mp. As soon as there are not enough mp left for 
the next step, the unit can't move anymore. The mp are refreshed at the 
beginning of the next turn.

If several units move together as one army, the units with the fewest 
mp determines how far the army can move: if one unit runs out of mp, the 
entire army stops. If you wish the other units to move on, you will have 
to leave the slower unit behind.

     Note: if a hero is flying on the back of a flying unit over sea, it 
     would be unwise to leave it behind for any reason, as the hero 
     would drown as a consequence of such an action (unless there is a 
     ship present under the hero).

     If a unit has any mp left at the end of a turn, it can 'carry' up 
     to two mp with it to the next turn.

Different types of landscape cost different amounts of mp to move over. 
Each unit must pay the number of mp of the landscape square it is MOVING 
TO (as opposed to paying the mp of landscape square it is COMING FROM). 
It also makes a difference whether the movement is straight or diagonal. 
The following lists landscape versus movement cost. For the number of mp 
each unit has, see chapter 15.

mp-cost:       straight  diagonal

Plains         2         3
Hills          4         6
Woods          4         6
Swamp          4         6
Roads          1         2
City           1         1
Building       2         3
Water          2         3
Harbor         2         3

Flying units do not use this figure; flying armies pay 1 mp for each 
square (straight and diagonal). On flying see section 6.9.

Certain movement is not possible:

  a) Armies may not move over mountains, with the exception of flying 

  b) There are only limited possibilities for movement from land to 
     water and vice versa. Embarking and disembarking is only allowed in 
     harbors (represented by a boathouse) and cities. Refer to section 
     6.8. Rivers may be crossed at bridges as well.

  c) Bridges are the only squares that may be occupied by sailing as 
     well as walking armies. Sailing and walking armies are not allowed 
     on bridges SIMULTANEOUSLY though. Consequently you may not move a 
     sailing army on to a bridge that is already occupied by a walking 
     army of your own (and vice versa).

  d) You cannot merge armies if this results in the total number of 
     units being higher than eight. This limitation is not effective 
     though if an army MOVES THROUGH another army. Example: An army of 
     three units moves along a path of six squares. An army of eight 
     units is standing on the third square. Nevertheless the army of 
     three units can move on. Would the army of eight units have been 
     standing on the sixth square, the army of three units would have 
     stopped upon reaching the fifth square.


You can move the selected army by clicking the lmb on the destination 
square. The computer will then calculate a path to reach this destina-
tion. Nearly always this will be the ideal path. The following factors 
determine the calculation:

  a) The landscape. For instance the path will try to avoid obstructions 
     like hills or swamps.

  b) Time lost by (dis)embarking. Often movement by sea is faster than 
     by land; not for short distances though, as comparatively much time 
     is lost embarking and disembarking.

  c) Enemy armies and cities. These will be avoided. This means that a 
     short cut blocked by an enemy army will not be taken.

  d) Movement bonuses. Some units (for instance scouts) make the army 
     they are stacked with move quicker through hills and/or woods. The 
     path routine accounts for this.

  e) Flying. If the entire group of units is able to fly, the path will 
     take it linea recta to its destination, as obstructions other than 
     enemy cities and armies don't matter anymore.

The path will be shown as a line of circles and crosses. The circles 
mark the squares that can be reached by the army the very same turn. 
Crosses mean that insuffincient mp are available to reach those squares 
this turn.

     As has already been pointed out in the previous section, if you 
     merge two armies, only the army you add keeps its path (if any).

     A path can be up to 126 squares long. If you try to make longer 
     path, an error message will appear.

The mechanics of this movement method have already been detailed in the 
previous chapter. Just for reminders: after clicking on the detination 
the computer calculates a path, and immediately moves the army along 
this path; clicking with the shift-button pressed will make the computer 
calculate the path WITHOUT moving the army. You can then move the army 
by pressing the 'move army'-button.

     Although the path routine works very reliably, occasionally errors 
     may occur, resulting in constant error messages when you try to 
     create a path. This is usually augmented by moving the stack 
     through the keyboard, as explained hereafter.


The second way to move armies: with the numeric keypad you can move the 
active group one square at the time.

This method works without paths. This method only works for movement 
that can be executed immediately. Thus a step for which unsufficient mp 
are available is not possible. Embarking and disembarking is not 
possible either, as this requires one turn.


Certain army units have a 'natural familiarity' with certain types of 
landscape. The presence of such units in an army therefore gives the 
army in question a movement bonus for woods or hills. This bonus is 
indicated in the info area by a tree or hill icon. The bonus enables the 
army to move through woods or hills as fast as through plains.

The following units grant movement bonuses:

Scout               woods and hills
Orcs                woods and hills
Elves               woods
Dwarves             hills
Giants              hills

6.7. ROADS

Apart from flying, walking along roads is the fastest way to move your 

6.8. BOATS

Armies can easily move from land to sea. Simply click on a sea square as 
the destination for the selected army, and the army will move to a 
suitable harbor. As soon as the army has arrived at the harbor, it will 
automatically build ships: the army will be displayed as a ship on dock. 
This will use up all remaining mp for that army. At the beginning of the 
next turn all active units of the army have embarked: they have been 
moved to the adjacent seasquare, and are now shown as a ship in the 
detail view.

The same goes for disembarkment: the units lose their remaining mp when 
they arrive on the last seasquare before the harbor; at the beginning of 
the next turn the group is placed on the harbor.

Your own cities count as harbors, and may thus be used for embarking and 

     As has been noted before, flying units use 1 mp per step. The only 
     exception to this rule is (dis)embarking. If an army that contains 
     walking as well as flying units receives an embarkment order, ALL 
     units, non-flying and flying, use up their mp in the process, not 
     only the walking ones. The flying units actually do NOT embark 
     though, they remain flying. The same goes for disembarking. On 
     flying see the next section.

Sailing armies are represented as ships on the detail view. Each unit in 
a sailing army has a boat of its own, so you may freely split up or 
merge a sailing army just as an ordinary landarmy. Note that flying 
units always fly, also when they are with sailing units.


Every square of flying costs 1 mp, straight or diagonal.

If all active units of the selected army can fly, a wing symbol appears 
in the info area. The army can now, firstly, fly freely across 
mountains, and, secondly, move from land to sea and vice versa anywhere 
without delay. In short, flying armies are not bothered by obstacles in 
the landscape.

The only non-flying unit that can fly along with a flying army is the 
hero. Such a 'flying' hero uses only one mp per square as well.

     Note: a hero can only fly if the entire army he is stacked with can 
     fly, it is not sufficient that together with the hero there are one 
     or more flying units in an otherwise walking or sailing army.

     As has already been said, a hero cannot swim. So if a hero flies 
     along with a flying army, and is left behind above water, you will 
     lose him! This also occurs in the following situation: a hero is 
     sailing; a bat reaches him. At the moment the bat arrives at the 
     boat, the hero will mount the bat and abandon the boat. The boat 
     DISSAPPEARS. If you let the bat fly on without the hero now, he is 


Conquering all cities is your goal, and at the same this is the only way 
to achieve this goal, as the army units necessary to achieve this goal 
can only be produced in cities. The cities are represented on the detail 
view as castles of two times two squares in the colour of the respective 


On the citysheet you manage the army production of a city. Furthermore 
it shows you all relevant information on the city in question.

You open the citysheet by clicking on one of your own cities with the 
castle-mousecursor. Alternatively you can select the opties 'cities' 
from the 'view'-menu. You can only access citysheets of your own cities.

The citysheet contains an overview map on the left. Cities are shown as 
small shields on this map. The city you are currently inspecting is 
flickering. By clicking on the shield of one of your own cities you can 
directly switch to the citysheet of this city.

The buttons 'previous' and 'next city' enable you to switch to other 
citysheets as well. By clicking on these buttons you can circle through 
all of your cities (similar to the 'next army'-button).

Information on the city itself is visible above the overview map, namely 
the amount of gold pieces (gp) the city produces per turn, and the 
defence bonus the city gives to its defenders. This bonus is +1 for a 
city that has room for up to two army designs, and +2 for a city that 
can hold up to three or four designs.

The other parts of the sheet have to do with army production.

To begin with, near the top of the sheet there are a few circles. These 
circles should be seen as slots for different army designs. You know 
already that a lot of different units exist in Alterra. To be able to 
produce a unit, a city must have the appropriate design first. The 
number of circles indicates how many different designs the city can 
hold; circles filled with unit icons indicate that the designs for these 
units are available in the city, and therefore that these units may be 
produced in this city. Each city contains one randomly selected design 
at the beginning of the game. Other designs may be bought on the 
Designsheet (see next section).

     It may be important to note that the presence of several designs in 
     a city does not mean that more than one unit can be produced 
     simultaneously. Each city can produce just one unit at a time. You 
     can set the production by clicking on the circle with the design of 
     your choice. This design will then appear in the circle on the 
     right of the 'design circles'.

Below the unit currently being produced a list of its characteristics is 
given. Herein is contained: name, strength, amount of mp per turn, turns 
to go till production is complete, and total time and money required to 
build a unit of this type.

Finally, the sheet contains some buttons.

     With the 'rename'-button you can rename the city (obviously). The 
     city name on the top of the sheet will change into a cursor. Type a 
     name and press return.

     The 'raze'-button enables you to destroy your own city. Like this 
     you can prevent the city from falling into enemy hands if you are 
     certain that you cannot hold it.

With the 'buy design'-button you access the designsheet.


Here you can buy new designs for the city. The circles at the bottom of 
the sheet hold the designs the city already has. A large square marks 
the circle a newly bought design will be placed in. Check whether the 
square is on the correct circle (preferably an empty circle), then click 
on the design you wish to buy. Naturally you can only buy designs you 
can afford.

Holding the rmb on a unit design will display all characteristics 
including special bonuses of that unit type.

     Certain special units like wizards, devils, dragons etcetera do not 
     appear on this sheet. Designs for these units cannot be bought. In 
     principle, the only way to find such units is to search ruins (see 
     section 11.2). Furthermore at beginning of the game you can set 
     that some randomly selected cities can produce specials. On 
     specials, also refer to section 9.2.


If an army moves onto a square occupied by an enemy army or city, a 
battle starts. The battlesheet appears for this purpose. Here, both army 
are lined up opposite eachother. Only now you can see exactly of which 
units the enemy army is composed. Tip: it may be useful to attack a 
large enemy army with a scout or a similarly weak army, just to know how 
strong this army is.


Each unit has a base strength. As will be discussed in the next section, 
this base strength can be increased by numerous bonuses. BONUSES added 
to BASE strength give the TOTAL strength of a unit.

     During battles, the units are lined up according to increasing 
     TOTAL strength. Note that, contrary to this, in the info area units 
     are lined up according to decreasing BASE strength.

     Exceptions to the fight order exist, again, because of heroes. As 
     these should be regarded as the most important units, they are 
     always positioned last in the battle order. An exception to this 
     exception is the case that the hero is flying with a flying army 
     above water. In this case a flying unit will be placed behind the 
     hero to prevent the hero from drowning by the death of his mount. 
     Should the hero however have a magic item that enables him to fly, 
     the flying unit will not be placed behind, since the hero doesn't 
     need that unit to fly then.

     Because the presence of a catapult in your army negates the defence 
     bonus of enemy cities, catapults are also placed at the end of the 
     army during combat. 

The battle is resolved by letting the leftmost units of each army fight 
eachother. The procedure is as follows:

     Both units roll a 24-sided die.

     If the attacker's roll is higher than the defender's total strength 
     AND if furthermore the defender's roll is equal to or lower than 
     the attacker's total strength, the defender incurs one damage 

     If the defender's roll is higher than the attacker's total strength 
     AND if furthermore the attacker's roll is equal to or lower than 
     the defender's total strength, the attacker is damaged for one 

     If both rolls are higher than the opponent's total strength, or if 
     both rolls are lower than the opponent's total strength, nothing 

     This procedure is repeated until one of the two units has two 
     damage points; this unit is then beaten.

     If the surviving unit received a damage point, it will still have 
     this damage point fighting the following enemy units, and can thus 
     be beaten more easily by these. If a damaged unit survives the 
     entire battle, it is then completely healed. Damage points count 
     only for one and the same confrontation between armies.

The battle continues until all units of one side have been eliminated.

A battle uses up all remaining mp of the attacking units involved.


The following types of combat bonuses exist:

  a) Individual land bonus

     Some units fight better when they are in certain terrain. For 
     example dwarves receive a +1 bonus when fighting in hills. Chapter 
     15 lists these bonuses. Note: battles always take place on the 
     defenders square, so only the landbonuses of the defender's terrain 
     are applicable.

  b) Army bonus

     Some units are so impressive that other units within the same 
     armies fight better because of the presence of such units. An 
     elephant for example gives a +1 bonus to all other units he is 
     stacked with. The bonus is not applied to the type of unit it comes 
     from however. Furthermore each type of unit can give only one 

          Example: two elephants in an army don't grant a +2 bonus, just 
          a +1 bonus, and only to all other units, not to themselves.

  d) Blessing bonus

     All units can receive blessings at temples. Each blessing counts 
     for +1. Each unit can be blessed up to three times, but not twice 
     at the same temple. See also section 11.1.

  d) Defence bonus

     Armies in defensive positions (marked by a small tower) have a +1 
     bonus. Defensive positions may be built on land, except in cities. 
     Armies in cities receive a +1 bonus (if the city can hold up to two 
     designs) or a +2 bonus (if the city can hold up to three or four 

  e) Hero bonus

     Like the army bonus (see above), the hero bonus counts towards all 
     other units that are in the same army as the hero. A hero with a 
     base strength of 5 or 6 will give a +1 bonus, a base strength of 7 
     or 8 will produce a +2 bonus, and a base strength of 9 grants a +3 
     bonus. As with the army bonus, the herobonus of one hero does not 
     count towards other heroes in the same army. A difference though is 
     that the hero bonuses of several heroes are added up towards other 

          Example: if an army contains a hero of strength 5 and a hero 
          of strength 7, all other units receive a +3 bonus (1+2), the 
          heroes themselves get no bonus though.

     On heroes see chapter 12.

Information on an army's bonuses is available on the armyinfosheet 
(section 9.1).

The MAXIMUM bonus allowed per unit is +5.

Certain bonuses can be cancelled by certain enemy units:

     An attacking army containing a catapult negates the defence bonus 
     of enemy cities.

     A devil cancels all individual land bonuses and army bonuses of the 
     enemy army. Exception: army bonuses donated by special units 
     (wizard, worm, undead, demon, element, devil, archon, dragon) 
     cannot be cancelled.

     An archon cancels all hero bonuses and magic item bonuses of the 
     enemy army.

Of course the cancelled bonuses are directly applicable again, should 
the cancelling catapult, devil or archon in question be killed during 
the battle.

Concluding: there are no units that can negate the bonuses of blessings, 
special units or defensive positions.


Besieging an enemy city works the same as other battles. You should only 
bear in mind that in a battle for a city ALL defending units will fight. 
A city consists of four squares, it can therefore contain up to 32 
defending units.

If you succeed in conquering a city, you can then decide whether you 
want to pillage the city. This means that all designs in the city will 
be lost. For this you receive half of the amount it costs to buy the 
designs in question. For designs of special units you receive 1000 gp 
(for a devil, an archon or a dragon) or 750 gp (for other specials).

     In view of the fact that in most cases at this moment you will not 
     know which designs are present in the city, this is a risky option. 
     You might lose very strong designs! It is therefore only advisable 
     to use this option if you are in need of money or if you are 
     convinced you will not be able to hold the city for very long.

     An undefended city can naturally be occupied without battle.


Units in ships have a base strength of 3, regardless of their actual 
base strength. This works to the advantage of weak units, and to the 
disadvantage of strong units.

Flying units are never in boats, so they always keep their own base 

     A hero within a sailing army always counts as a sailing unit, even 
     if there are flying units present in the army, so he will pay the 
     movement cost for sailing, not for flying. What's more, the hero 
     uses the ship's base strength of 3 as well, regardless of his 
     actual strength. The rule is that a hero can only fly if the entire 
     army (the active group, that is) he is stacked with can fly.

The base strength of 3 will be modified by bonuses.

     If a ship attacks a city, or if a ship attacks an army on a harbor, 
     or if an army in a city or harbor attacks a ship, the attack cannot 
     be executed immediately, because embarking/ disembarking must be 
     resolved first. The battle will take place at the beginning of the 
     attacker's  next turn; that is, if the army being attacked is still 
     on the same square then. Following this line of thought, it is 
     possible as well that a 'peaceful' (dis)embarking action will 
     result in a battle. This is the case when an enemy army occupies 
     the square, to which the (dis)embarking action is directed, before 
     the beginning of the next turn.

     A boat attacking a city or harbor will act as an ordinary land army 
     in this battle, as disembarkment is complete then. Similarly, a 
     land army attacking a boat will act as a boat in the fight.


The most important points with regard to armies and units have already 
been explained before: army movement in chapter 6, army production in 
chapter 7, combat in chapter 8. This chapter can therefore be limited to 
a few remarks.


The info area contains a round button with a question mark. With this 
you access an infosheet on the selected army.

The armyinfosheet gives information about composition and strength of 
the army.

Vertically the units of which the army is composed are listed; 
horizontally relevant information is given for each unit. From left to 
right this concerns:

  a) Name

     Unit names. Heroes have personal names.

  b) Strength

     This is the base strength.  Sailing units have a boat icon in this 
     column, meaning they use the ship's base strength of 3. Remember 
     that a sailing army will fight as a normal land army when attacking 
     a city. the normal base strength of the units will then be in 
     effect again.

  c) Bonus

     The next three columns list all bonuses except defence bonuses (+1 
     or +2 in cities, +1 in defensive positions) and individual land 

     - Blessing: the blessing bonus is +1, +2 or +3. This bonus cannot 
     be cancelled.

     - Army: for each active unit is noted which army bonus the unit 
     receives from the other active units. Except for the army bonus 
     given by special units, these bonuses can be negated by a devil.

     - Hero: this column contains bonuses awarded by heroes present in 
     the army. These can be cancelled by an archon.

  d) Total

     This is the sum of base strength and bonuses. The bonus columns are 
     not affected by the bonus maximum of +5, the total column does 
     account for this maximum. So the total figure is never more than 5 
     higher than the base strength, even if the bonus columns list 
     higher figures.

     The total count does not contain defense bonuses and individual 
     land bonuses. Remember that these can only be added towards this 
     total figure as long as the total bonus doesn't exceed +5.

     The results of negating units being present in the enemy army are 
     not presented either. Nevertheless the bonus columns have been 
     split up to allow you to see at a glance just which bonuses would 
     be cancelled by the presence of a devil or an archon in the enemy 

  e) Other bonus

     This column shows which individual land bonuses units have. This is 
     displayed regardless of the type of landscape the army occupies 
     currently. To use this information you must therefore ask yourself 
     which type of terrain will be used for battle.

     For heroes, this column shows their experience points (XP).

The bonuses are only shown within the ACTIVE group of the army. You can 
survey how the strength of the units changes as you alter the  
composition of the army, by clicking on units to make them active/ 
inactive. You can also use the 'swap' and 'group'-buttons at the bottom 
of the sheet.


Much has been said about specials already.

The units concerned are wizard, worm, undead, demon, elemental, devil, 
archon and dragon. The characteristics are summed up in chapter 15.

All of these units give a +1 bonus to the other units in the army, 
except for the dragon which grants a +2 bonus. These bonuses can't be 
cancelled. A devil cancels individual land bonuses and army bonuses 
(except those of specials) in the enemy army. An archon cancels hero 
bonuses and magic item bonuses.

Special units can only be produced in some randomly selected cities. 
Designs for special units can never be bought.


10.1. INCOME

Each city generates a certain amount of gp per turn as income. Searching 
ruins occasionally gets you some money.

The figure in the info area only indicates how much income your cities 
produce per turn. Extraordinary income is not shown.


Each unit costs a certain amount of money to produce (see chapter 15). 
This amount must be paid on the moment the production of the unit is 

Each unit costs you maintenance. Maintenance costs per turn are half 
of the amount it cost to produce the unit (rounded down).

Extraordinary expenditure consists of buying new designs on the design 
sheet (apart from production costs); furthermore each hero you employ, 
except the first hero, is hired for a comparatively large one-time 

As with income the expences figure in the info area only shows regular 
costs, that is maintenance costs.


Should your maintenance and production costs exceed your income, and 
your treasure not be sufficient to compensate the deficit, your treasure 
will go below zero. While you have debts, you will not be able to 
produce new units.



Units can be blessed in temples. An army on a temple will be blessed if 
you select the option 'search' from the 'order'-menu. A blessing counts 
as a +1 combat bonus. Each unit can only be blessed once at the same 
temple. Three blessings per unit is maximum.

11.2. RUINS

Displayed as a circle of broken pillars or as a tower, ruins can be 
searched only by heroes. Treasure or allies can be found here.

As treasures are guarded, there is a possibility that the hero will die 
attempting to obtain the treasure. The possibility of this is reduced as 
more units accompany the hero. Note though that if you search a ruin 
with a full army of eight units, and you discover allies, these cannot 
be added to the army - as a result, you will find nothing in the ruin!



You receive your first hero at the beginning of the game. Each 
subsequent turn there is a chance that another hero will offer to join 
you. This costs quite a lot of money though, and you will only receive 
the offer if you have sufficient funds.

Apart from the first hero, new heroes always bring with them at least 
one special unit.


Heroes start of with a base strength of 5 and a movement rate of 14. 
They become stronger and faster though as they gain experience levels. 
Levels are gained through the accumulation of experience points (XP): 
for each 10 XP, the hero gains a level.

Heroes gain experience through beating enemy armies, conquering enemy 
cities, searching ruins and receiving blessings.

For each level gained, the base strength will increase by 1, and the 
movement rate will go up 2 mp. The hero bonus for other armies stacked 
with the hero will also go up as the hero rises through levels: once the 
hero reaches a base strength of 7, the hero bonus will be +2 rather than 
+1; a hero with base strength 9 (the maximum) will even supply a +3 

The hero's experience level is shown in the armyinfosheet, as well as 
information on strength and hero bonus.



  a) 'About Alterra'

     Some general information (version number etcetera), as well as the 
     short manual.

  b) 'Settings'

     Currently, there's just one setting to change here: you can set 
     whether you want the game to move automatically to the next army 
     when the current army is done, or not (in the latter case, you 
     would have to use the 'next army'-button for this).

  c) 'Load game'

     By loading a saved game you abandon the current game. You will be 
     presented a fileselect box. This box shows the savegames currently 
     present in the 'SAVEGAME'-folder in the directory you started the 
     game from. In the desktop these savegames are called SAVEGAME.1 to 
     8 (so there can be eight savegames in the folder). In this 
     fileselect box the savegames can bear any name, they are only 
     called SAVEGAME.1 to 8 in the desktop. The savegames are listed in 
     the order of their number in the fileselect box. Slots without a 
     savegame are marked '-empty-'.

     To load a game, click on the appropriate slot, then click on 

     Other drives can be selected at the top of the box.

  d) 'Save game'

     Saving takes place at the end of the turn, so after every player 
     has finished his turn. You will be presented the same fileselect 
     box as with 'Load game'. After clicking on the slot you wish the 
     game to be saved in, you can enter any name. Then click on 'Save'.

     The complete game situation will be saved, including the map. So to 
     play the game at a later time, it will not be necessary to have the 
     original map available.

  e) 'New game'

     This option ends the current game and brings you back to the player 
     selection screen for a new game.

  f) 'Surrender'

     Retire from the game. All your cities including armies in your 
     cities become neutral; armies outside cities are disbanded.

  g) 'Quit'

     End the game and return to the desktop.


  a) 'View cities'

     See chapter 7.

  b) 'Search'

     With this, units can get blessings in temples, and heroes can 
     search ruins.

  c) 'Disband'

     After a safety check you can disband the selected army with this 

  d) 'End turn'

     Ends your turn and proceeds to the next player.


The map editing program (EDITOR.PRG) allows you to create your own maps.


     Select landscape elements from the bottom of the screen with the 
     lmb, then click in the detail view to place them.

     Clicking the rmb in the detail view on a square selects the 
     landscape type of that square. This allows you to switch quickly 
     between landscape types already present in the detail view.
     Scroll the detail view by clicking in the overview map, or by 
     clicking shift+lmb in the detail view.

With regard to the routines that place the landscape squares in the 
detail view:

     For most landscape types, the program automatically places the 
     correct piece, for instance roads are drawn so that they automati-
     cally connect, between water and sea the coastal pieces are placed 

     For some types this is not the case. For instance mountains have to 
     be created 'by hand': there are sixteen different mountain pieces, 
     and you must select and place the individual mountain pieces to 
     create graphically correct mountain ranges.

     In all situations where there are different possible pieces for one 
     type of landscape, these different pieces will be shown on the 
     bottom-left side of the screen. Click on these to select them.

Distribution of cities:

     In default play, the distribution of cities is as they are 
     distributed on the map. Be sure therefore to make a distribution of 
     neutral cities and player cities that you like. Note that for each 
     player you must allocate a capital city (through the appropriate 
     menu entry). This city is then used as the 'preset center' in the 
     game options sheet when customising the city distribution at the 
     beginning of the game.


Abbreviations: P = plains; R = roads; H = hills; W = woods; C = city.
               i = individual bonus; a = army bonus.

               STRENGTH     COSTS  TIME   COSTS

Scout               1    16   2    1     10       Move H and W
Giant bat           1    12   7    1     150      Fly
Light infantry      2    12   3    1     50       -
Orc                 2    12   5    1     100      Move H and W
Light cavalry       2    24   5    2     200      Combat +1(i) P and R
Catapult            2    16   10   3     400      (Note 1)
Heavy infantry      3    8    4    2     200      -
Elf                 3    12   7    2     300      Move W; comb. +1(i) W 
Dwarf               3    8    7    2     300      Move H; comb. +1(i) H
Pikeman             4    8    5    2     300      Combat +1(i) P and R
Haevy cavalry       4    20   8    3     400      Combat +2(i) P and R
Wolfrider           4    16   8    2     400      Combat +2(i) H
Giant               5    16   10   2     600      Move H
Minotaur            5    12   10   2     800      Combat +1(i) C
Giant spider        5    12   12   2     1100     Combat +2(i) C
Pegasus             5    16   12   3     1300     Fly; combat +1(a)
Griffin             6    16   15   3     1500     Fly; combat +2(i) C
Unicorn             7    16   15   4     1500     Combat +1(a)
Elephant            8    16   15   4     1500     Combat +1(a)
Ship                3    20   -    1     -        -
Wizard              6    50   12   4     -        Combat +1(a)
Worm                7    12   12   4     -        Combat +1(a)
Undead              7    16   12   4     -        Combat +1(a)
Demon               7    16   15   4     -        Fly; combat +1(a)
Elemental           8    12   15   4     -        Combat +1(a)
Devil               8    12   15   4     -        Comb. +1(a); (note 2)
Archon              8    12   20   4     -        Fly; comb.+1(a); (n.3)
Dragon              9    16   20   4     -        Fly; comb. +2(l)
Hero                5-9  14-22     -     -        (note 4)

Note 1:   a catapult negates enemy city defence bonuses.
Note 2:   a devil negates enemy army bonuses and individual land 
          bonuses, except bonuses from special units.
Note 3:   an archon negates enemy hero bonuses.
Note 4:   a hero gives an army bonus of +1, +2 or +3, depending on his 
          experience level.

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