Playing Help

Playing a game consists of sending press to other players and submitting orders. At the deadlines, the orders are gathered automatically and the system computes the result of the turn at which point the game is advanced to the next turn and the new deadline is computed. It is up to you to keep on top of the game and submit your orders in a timely fashion.

When you have started a game, the game will be listed in your main center page. Following the game link will take you to the game interface. There are a number of different ways of viewing the game, but any view will allow you to look at all of the different information available. Please Note: You must explicitly request an update (usually refresh or reload on your browser) to see any changes in information (say due to someone sending you press or because a turn has passed).


Next to the game's listing in the main center will be a status indicator. This indicator has a "light" and an orders status. The light has four colors: The orders status has a black box if your power is required to have orders for this phase and a white "X" if you have submitted orders for the phase. If you have a black box without a white "X" you are in danger of losing commitment points (and holding up the game for the other players) if the deadline passes.


Across the top there is a title showing the game's name and your power's name. Below that there is the deadline for the current turn (along with the time the title was last updated). Note that all deadlines and times are given for US, Eastern Time zone (where the system currently resides).


This is a map (available in a number of sizes) showing the results from the turn listed at the top. You can advance forward and backward through the history of the game. For build and retreat phases, the positions of the units are shown. For movement phases, the positions of the units before the move are shown and lines indicate the orders and their success or failure. An arrow from a unit to another location indicates a move. A line from a unit to another unit (with a circle around the other unit) indicates a support of a hold. A line from a unit to the center of an arrow (with a small circle) indicates a support of the move or a convoy of the move. Lines which are dashed or gray are orders that failed for some reason.


This is the text output of the judging software for the turn listed at the top. Like the maps, the history of the game can be paged through. Note that all orders are listed an a canonical form so that differences in their specification by the powers is not revealed.

In some interfaces, this and the map are available side-by-side.


This is the window in which you specify your orders. On the top is the current set of orders. These are replaced by the ones in the lower text box if you press "Submit." The orders in the upper box may be checked for syntax by following the "check order syntax" link.

The output of the "check order syntax" link has two parts. The upper is the orders as parsed by the judge. The lower part is the parsing log (which is hidden from players). Errors in syntax resulting in orders which are indecipherable will appear in the lower box. The parse in the upper box shows how the judge interpreted the orders. Orders which were indecipherable will result in "NMR" appearing next to the corresponding unit.

The syntax for orders is (capitalization is not important):

[TYPE] is either army, a, fleet, or f
[PRV] is a three-letter designation for a province as shown on the map (no other designations will be accepted!). A coast is optional (although if the lack of one makes the order ambiguous, the order will be invalid and not processed). All coasts are two letters ("nc" "ec" "sc" for example). To specify a coast, list the three-letter designation followed by a slash and then by the coast. For example: stp/nc.
[LUNIT] is a long specification of a unit: [TYPE] [PRV]
[UNIT] is a specification of a unit either as [PRV] or as in [LUNIT]
[CUNIT] is a specification of a unit either as in [UNIT] or as [POWER] [LUNIT]
[POWER] is a specification of a power (the first letter must match the first letter of a power and cannot correspond with any province label or abbreviation).

Some examples of moves (for Germany in 1901):

More complex orders are clearly possible.

Order Consent Options

If your game has the option of early move processing, the orders window will be slightly more complex. At the bottom the upper box with your current orders will be a single line stating your current consent. The valid consent options are:

When a turn passes or new moves are submitted, the consent is changed back to "deadline" if it was previously "now." Below the current orders box there are two submission areas. The first changes the consent on the current set of orders. The second changes the orders.

The basic way to use this interface is to submit orders as normal; if at any time you are willing to have the game advance more quickly, set your consent to "now."

Draw Bits

This information is an extension of the orders (and can be reached from the orders). Draw bits indicate your "vote" for who should share in a win. They are NOT cleared after each phase (unlike the orders). Setting your own draw bit indicates that you will only accept draws that include yourself. Clearing another power's draw bit indicates that you will only accept draws that do not include that power. Thus clearing your own draw bit represents ambivalence towards your own inclusion and setting another power's bit represents ambivalence towards their inclusion.

Before orders are processed, the system computes the largest set of non-eliminated powers that all non-eliminated powers agree to. If that set is not empty, the game ends with those powers sharing in a draw.

A couple of interesting points: The setting of all cleared is equivalent to the setting of all opponents cleared and your own bit set. There exists only one largest set agreeing with any given draw bit settings.

Some examples might help. Let's say that England, France, Germany and Russia are the only powers left (the other powers have been eliminated). If then the draw bits are set as follows (on the left is the power, on the right are the bits set for that power):
England: EFG R 
France:  EFG R 
Germany: EFG R 
Russia:  EFG R 
Turkey:    G RT
Then the game ends in a four-way draw among EFGR. Austria, Italy, and Turkey have no units left so their bits do not matter (so I will remove them from the discussion; their bits do not matter and they cannot be included in the draw). The supply centers distribution doesn't matter (it only matters whether they are still in the game).

As another example:
England:E GR
France: E GR
Russia: EFGR
This game ends in a EGR draw. England has France's bit cleared so France cannot be in the draw. France has it's own bit cleared, so it is okay with not being in the draw.

England:E GR
France: EFGR
Russia: EFGR
This game continues. England says it will not allow a draw with France and France says it must be included in a draw, so no draw happens.

France: E  R
Germany:EF R
Russia: E   
This game ends in an ER draw. England must be included (because it set its own bit) and everyone agrees this is okay so England is included. Russia has stated that France must not be included (Russia cleared its France-bit) and France says that's okay (France has cleared it own bit) so France is not included. Russia and France both won't allow Germany in the draw, but Germany's okay with that. Russia could or could not be included in the draw (note that E,F,G all say it is okay if Russia is in the draw and Russia says it is okay if Russia isn't in the draw). However, we pick the largest group satisfying the constraints and thus Russia is in the draw.

France: E   
Germany:EF R
Russia: E   
As a variation of the above, this ends in England as solo winner (same as above but we don't take Russia because France says so). And finally,

England: FGR
France: E   
Germany: F R
Russia: E   
This game continues without a draw. While no power is demanding that it be included in the draw, the powers do not agree on who should be part of the final draw: an amusing situtation in which no one thinks they deserve the win, but the powers cannot agree on who should have the win.

Read Press

Here you see a listing of your press messages sorted by date (most recent at the top). You may cull the list by specifying how may days into the past to list, whether to include sent, received, or all messages, and which powers/observers/gm to include or exclude. Pressing "Refilter" will redisplay the list (and query for new press since the last time). Press messages you send are shown in a slightly darker background color. Along the left is the phase in which the press message was sent. If the subjects checkbox is selected, the first line (or 40 characters, whichever is smaller) of the message will be shown. Gray press senders are shown with the power in parentheses. If the power is unknown (you didn't send it and you are not the game master), unknown will appear as the sender. Following the link of the press message number will let you read that message.

If you wish to keep a constant "eye" on your press inbox(es), a program is available for Microsoft Windows and Unix operating systems. It requires a constant internet connect and will monitor your press box for new messages. They are available for download at:

Send Press

This interface allows you to send press to other players. The top gives the type of press you are to send (if there are multiple colors allowed in your game, you will have to pick). The next section has a listing of all possible recipients. Select those you would like to receive the message (or broadcast so that everyone can see the message). Note that the receiving players will know the receiving list (even in gray press). The text box at the bottom is where you enter in the message. Word-wrap is performed automatically. Pressing "Send" will send the message immediately. "Clear" will clear all selections and text.

If the game is paused you will only be allowed press to the GM. This is to help insure a fair game. A game can be paused for a number of reasons (usually listed in the title window pane) including: the start of a game (some games begin paused to allow the GM to check to see that everyone has checked in), a scheduled recess, the grace period has passed without all orders being submitted, the game is waiting for a replacement player, or the GM paused the game. If the game has finished, you will only be allowed white broadcast press regardless of game press settings.

What If

This box allows you to type in orders for the current phase just as in the orders box. However, each line must be prefaced by the power (and a colon). You may enter in orders for all players. These orders are not saved but the results of those orders (both the judging output and the error log) are displayed. This does not change your submitted orders (or anyone else's submitted orders).

SC Summary

This page shows you the number of supply centers controlled by each power at the beginning of the year and a summary of which powers owned each supply center.


This lists all future scheduled recesses. During a recess, the game is paused and press may only be sent to and from the game master. No deadlines may be scheduled during recesses. The game master is responsible for setting recesses.


The following variants are available on BOUNCED:
  1. 1898 (by Randy Davis):
    Same as standard, but game starts two years prior, each power with one unit.
  2. Ancient Mediterranean (by Don Hessong):
    Five-player variant set around the Mediterranean.
    Ancient Mediterranean homepage
  3. Chaos:
    Played on the standard board with one power per supply center. Powers may build on any supply center they own. Chaos power listing.
  4. Crowded:
    Same as standard, but with four extra powers taking up the neutral supply centers (one extra SC added in Ruhr).
  5. Fleet Rome (by Richard Sharp):
    Same as standard, but Italy starts with a fleet in Rome.
  6. Hundred (by Andy Schwarz):
    Three-player variant set in France/England during the Hundred-Years War.
    Hundred homepage
  7. Modern (by Vincent Mous):
    Ten-player variant set in Europe and Asia in 1995.
    Modern homepage
  8. Sail Ho (by "Tarzan"):
    Four-player variant set on a fictious map.
    Sail Ho homepage
  9. Shift-Left, Shift-Right, Shift-Around (by Josh Smith):
    Standard map variants where each power starts in the home of another.
  10. Standard (by Allan Calhamer):
    The original version of the game (well, except that it is not played face-to-face)

(c)1999-2020. Christian R. Shelton. All rights reserved.