Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 3, NO. 12 / APRIL 1985

game of the month



Maneuver is a strategy game for two players.  It is written in BASIC and will run on all Atari computers of any configuration.

Chess was the first and best-known strategy game to be programmed into a computer. But today computerized war games rival chess for popularity, as evidenced by the continuing success of games from Strategic Simulations Inc. and Avalon Hill.
  In the basic war game format, solo or multiple players design strategies by giving orders to units of varying strengths before releasing them into a computer-controlled battlefield. A classic Atari example would be "Eastern Front" by Chris Crawford.
  Maneuver distills the essence of these war strategy games into - an elegant two-player battle of symbols.  No huge scrolling map, no tanks and no trees. Just pure strategy!
  Type in the program, check it with TYPO II and SAVE a copy before you RUN it. After the title, an 8 x 8 playing grid will appear with 3 green symbols on the left and 3 red symbols on the right. The green circle will blink and you will be prompted for the first move.

The object of the game is to destroy your opponent's spade before he destroys yours. Each piece must be given five of the possible orders each turn. Orders are entered by pressing the following keys:

N      move one point north
S      Move one point south
E      Move one point east
W      Move one point west
1      Fire north
2      Fire east
3      Fire south
4      Fire west
-      Skip a move

  When one of your pieces flashes, type in 5 of the above orders to control how you want that piece to move and fire. Type in the orders without spaces and without pressing [RETURN]. For example: EESE3 would move your piece east, east, south, east, and then fire in a southernly direction.
  After both players type in 5 orders for each of their 3 pieces, the computer takes over, alternately executing each piece's orders one at a time until all 6 have gone through their 5 orders. They will move and fire in this order: circle, spade, heart. On odd turns the red piece will move first, on even the green starts. Turns continue in this manner until one spade is destroyed and a winner is declared.


Each piece has different characteristics in 3 areas: armor strength, missile strength, and missile range. Armor strength determines how much damage a piece can take. Missile strength refers to how much damage a missile will do. Missile range is the distance a missile will travel. When armor strength reaches zero, the piece is destroyed. This is shown in the following table:
CIRCLE    13       5          3
SPADE     20       3          5
HEART     17       4          5

The closer you are to a piece the more damage you will do. Damage is calculated as:

missile strength x 1 /  distance to target.

There is a random element thrown in to make the outcome less certain.
  Now that you know the fighting rules and the strengths of your army, we'll leave the battle strategy to you. Happy maneuvering!

Will Woodard of Dallas is currently working on a master's degree in computer science at North Texas State University, with emphasis on artificial intelligence. On the Atari, he specializes in war and strategy gaming.

Listing 1....MANEUVER.BAS Download