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You’ve signed up, gotten your first turn, and the question looms... now what? If you’ve glanced at the rules, you may be thinking “there sure are a lot of them, this game is more complicated than I thought.” Don’t give up hope! It’s not that bad if you break it down.
First things first… you’re going to want to use a GUI client. You can do text-only, if you’re hardcore, but I don’t recommend it.
There are several available, but the most popular is Atlantis Little Helper:
Using the GUI is not covered in this guide, yet, but all the text commands apply.
Next, let’s start with the very first turn report:
Atlantis Report For: Nameless Faction (3) (War 1, Trade 1, Magic 1) January, Year 1 Atlantis Engine Version: 5.2.0 NewOrigins, Version: 1.0.1 Faction Status: Tax Regions: 0 (15) Trade Regions: 0 (15) Mages: 1 (2) Apprentices: 0 (3) Events during turn: Unit (43): Claims 50 silver for maintenance. Declared Attitudes (default Neutral): Hostile : none. Unfriendly : none. Neutral : none. Friendly : none. Ally : none. Unclaimed silver: 10000. nexus (0,0,0
) in The Void. ------------------------------------------------------------ Atlantis Nexus is a magical place: the entryway to the world of Atlantis. Enjoy your stay; the city guards should keep you safe as long as you should choose to stay. However, rumor has it that once you have left the Nexus, you can never return. Wages: $0. Wanted: none. For Sale: none. Products: none. Exits: none - City Guard (1), on guard, The Guardsmen (1), 500 leaders [LEAD], 500 swords [SWOR], 500 plate armor [PARM]. - City Mage (2), The Guardsmen (1), behind, leader [LEAD]. * Unit (43), Nameless Faction (3), revealing faction, leader [LEAD]. Weight: 10. Capacity: 0/0/15/0. Skills: none. + Gateway to plain  : Gateway, contains an inner location. + Gateway to forest  : Gateway, contains an inner location. + Gateway to mountain  : Gateway, contains an inner location. + Gateway to swamp  : Gateway, contains an inner location. + Gateway to jungle  : Gateway, contains an inner location. + Gateway to desert  : Gateway, contains an inner location. + Gateway to tundra  : Gateway, contains an inner location.
There is an awful lot of information in there to digest, and the standard rules cover each section, so I’ll only highly the ones that are important for now. You start in a place called the Nexus, which is a magical safe location. Players can join any time, so this is the game’s way of keeping you out of dangerous situations. You can plan and study in the Nexus as long as you like before dipping your toes into the real world.
If you’re ready to get out into the real world, you’ll need to check the Gateways section. There are 7 ways to leave, and don’t worry that you don’t have any idea which one is best. Each leads to a random location of this type where you can buy things and start building your empire. Best advice is pick a terrain that you fancy and head in that direction. If you’re thinking an nature-loving elf faction, perhaps the forest would be a good plan, whereas a dwarf might prefer the mountains.
There are more advanced ways to leave the Nexus that involve using GATE_LORE magic, but I leave those to the player to research.
So you’ve decided where you want to go, but how? At the bottom of every turn email, there is an Orders Template:
Orders Template (Long Format): #atlantis 3 ;*** nexus (0,0,nexus) in Unnamed *** unit 43 ;Unit (43), revealing faction, leader [LEAD]. Weight: 10. Capacity: ; 0/0/15/0. Skills: none. #end
It is a good idea to use this as a basis for your turns. It includes all your units and some data about them in the form of comments (lines beginning with a semicolon ; ). One important point when giving orders is every order has to be under a unit. This even includes things that seem like they shouldn’t (such as renaming your entire faction).
Speaking of names, “Nameless Faction” could be improved, and our only unit (#43) could use something more catchy.
Also, some orders take a whole turn, while others don’t. The main ones that take the whole turn are MOVE, STUDY, WORK, BUILD, ENTERTAIN and PRODUCE.
Let’s try that now. First, to move, you’d add “MOVE 1 IN” to unit 43’s orders. Instead of <1> it can be any number 1 - 7. Depends on what type of terrain you want to be teleported to. Then we can issue the NAME FACTION and NAME UNIT orders.
Orders Template (Long Format): #atlantis 3 ;*** nexus (0,0,nexus) in Unnamed *** unit 43 ;Unit (43), revealing faction, leader [LEAD]. Weight: 10. Capacity: ; 0/0/15/0. Skills: none. MOVE 1 IN NAME FACTION "Ye Olde Kingdom" NAME UNIT "The King" #end
That’s really all you need to do your first turn.
The turn has generated, so let’s see what we’ve got:
Atlantis Report For: Ye Olde Kingdom (3) (War 1, Trade 1, Magic 1) February, Year 1 Atlantis Engine Version: 4.1.0 Standard Atlantis, Version: 4.1.0 Faction Status: Tax Regions: 0 (15) Trade Regions: 0 (15) Mages: 1 (2) Apprentices: 0 (3) Events during turn: The King (43): Walks from nexus (0,0,nexus) in Unnamed to swamp (19,3) in Helvete. The King (43): Claims 50 silver for maintenance. Declared Attitudes (default Neutral): Hostile : none. Unfriendly : none. Neutral : none. Friendly : none. Ally : none. Unclaimed silver: 10000. swamp (19,3) in Helvete, contains Altenmar [city], 5180 peasants (vikings), $31080. ------------------------------------------------------------ It was winter last month; it will be clear next month. Wages: $16 (Max: $82880). Wanted: none. For Sale: unlimited iron [IRON] at $75, unlimited wood [WOOD] at $75, unlimited stone [STON] at $75, unlimited furs [FUR] at $75, unlimited herbs [HERB] at $75, unlimited horses [HORS] at $75, unlimited swords [SWOR] at $150, unlimited crossbows [XBOW] at $150, unlimited longbows [LBOW] at $150, unlimited chain armor [CARM] at $150, unlimited plate armor [PARM] at $625, unlimited wagons [WAGO] at $250, unlimited vikings [VIKI] at $64, unlimited leaders [LEAD] at $128. Entertainment available: $1554. Products: 18 grain [GRAI], 17 wood [WOOD], 15 herbs [HERB]. Exits: North : tundra (19,1) in Crerakroth. Northeast : swamp (20,2) in Helvete. Southeast : swamp (20,4) in Helvete. South : swamp (19,5) in Helvete. Southwest : ocean (18,4) in Atlantis Ocean. Northwest : tundra (18,2) in Crerakroth. - City Guard (3), on guard, 120 leaders [LEAD], 120 swords [SWOR]. * The King (43), Ye Olde Kingdom (3), revealing faction, leader [LEAD]. Weight: 10. Capacity: 0/0/15/0. Skills: none. + Shaft  : Shaft, contains an inner location.
Everything seems to have gone well according to the events section of the report:
Events during turn: The King (43): Walks from nexus (0,0,nexus) in Unnamed to swamp (19,3) in Helvete. The King (43): Claims 50 silver for maintenance.
This tells us that our naming worked and The King has moved as we asked. If you get an error back here instead, don’t fret. Everyone gets errors, and it is easy to try again the next turn.
The second part of the event log is an important one, though, and bears explaining in detail. In Atlantis, every single person requires upkeep. A standard “peasant” costs 10 silver, while the leader costs 20 silver. They need this each turn, or they have a chance of starving (which is bad). You may have noticed that The King “claimed” this silver that he used to maintain himself. What does that mean?
Did you notice the follwing line in the report?
The unclaimed silver pool is a magical pot of money for you to draw from at the beginning of the game. Each unit can carry unlimited amounts of cash, but then they can be robbed. The magic of the unclaimed pool means new players will not be robbed. Only you can ever access it. However, you can never put money back into it. So once it is used up it is gone. Use it wisely.
The reason your leader claimed the silver was that he needed to eat, and was totally broke. Units that have no money will ask other faction units in the hex to share any any extra they have, but right now we have just The King. The fall back is to check the unclaimed silver and automatically claim it. This is the only time a unit will automatically claim money. Otherwise you have to do it for them via the CLAIM command.
Another question is why leaders take 20 silver to maintain while all the races take 10 silver. Good question! The answer is that leaders can learn any number of skills to the maximum level of 5, while “peasants” are restricted to only 1 skill with a typical maximum level of 2 or 3 depending on whether they are good at it or not. That makes the leaders powerful, but expensive to maintain. You’re usually better off with the normal races unless you have a good reason to buy a leader. You can find the breakdown of each races’ strengths in the rules.
This brings us to The King and what he should be doing with his time. Depending on when you started, your first unit may already have a few skills. In our case, he’s a clean slate. One thing that will be helpful is a mage. They are a limited resource, and can be very powerful when trained. Maybe it is time that The King became... The Mage-King?
Magic is an advanced topic, but the basics are easy. There are 3 foundation skills: pattern, spirit and force. Each one opens up certain magical spells, and combinations do too. If a unit learns any magical skills they are considered a mage by the game.
Faction Status: Tax Regions: 0 (15) Trade Regions: 0 (15) Mages: 1 (2)
It may be useful to point out that each faction is limited to 1 mage by default. You can tweak that (and the number of tax and trade regions) via the FACTION command, but that’s for another day. The main takeaway here is that we have 0 of a maximum 1 mage, so The King is clear to begin study of the magical arts.
To learn a skill, use the STUDY command and be sure the unit has the money to do it. They will not use the unclaimed silver with out you telling them to. Skills usually cost 10 silver per person per month, but magic is a lot more difficult and costs 100 silver. Let’s try out the orders:
Orders Template (Long Format): #atlantis 3 ;*** swamp (19,3) in Helvete, contains Altenmar [city] *** unit 43 ;The King (43), revealing faction, leader [LEAD]. Weight: 10. Capacity: ; 0/0/15/0. Skills: none. STUDY force NAME UNIT “The Mage-King” CLAIM 100 #end
Notice that the order seems a bit off. Study first then claim the silver to pay? The game does events in a specific sequence regardless of the order you type them. The details are in the rules, but in general it works pretty well and the way you’d expect it too.
So now that the Mage-King is set up, what about his followers? Not much of a king just yet.
You’re ready to make one? Well, not so fast! What will the unit do? That brings us to what one might call the “grand strategy”. It might be a little early to start planning your conquest of the world, but this is a first step.
That’s right, you’re going to need to earn money. Lots of it. Starting out, the main three ways are taxing, entertaining, and selling.
Taxing is exactly what it sounds like. You find a hex that no one else has claimed, and you oppress the peasants into turning over some of their hard earned cash to you. Like a protection racket but without the police to worry about.
swamp (19,3) in Helvete, contains Altenmar [city], 5180 peasants (vikings), $31080.
Each province has a certain tax base that represents the maximum amount of silver you can get. In the case of our current location, we can make $31,080 silver per month taxing. That’s quite a nice sum! The problem is:
- City Guard (3), on guard, 120 leaders [LEAD], 120 swords [SWOR].
You’ll notice they are “on guard” which means they will stop anyone else (that’s us!) from taxing. Bummer. One day we might have an army mighty enough to take over the city, but not today. Let us, for the sake of learning, assume we moved out of the city and into the wild countryside nearby.
Here’s an adjacent province’s report:
swamp (20,4) in Helvete, 177 peasants (tribesmen), $531. ------------------------------------------------------------ The weather was clear last month; it will be clear next month. Wages: $13 (Max: $460). Wanted: none. For Sale: 35 tribesmen [TMAN] at $52, 7 leaders [LEAD] at $104. Entertainment available: $26. Products: 19 grain [GRAI], 10 wood [WOOD], 12 herbs [HERB]. Exits: North : swamp (20,2) in Helvete. Northeast : swamp (21,3) in Helvete. Southeast : swamp (21,5) in Helvete. South : swamp (20,6) in Helvete. Southwest : swamp (19,5) in Helvete. Northwest : swamp (19,3) in Helvete, contains Altenmar [city].
You’ll notice that there is a lot less to tax here ($531), and a lot less for sale. Such is the wilderness! But since no one else is around, we can set up shop here and tax away.
The first thing to know is that each taxer can only collect $50 a month. That means that we’ll need 10 men to collect the bulk of the province’s taxes, with a bit left over if we really wanted that 11th man. 10 is a nice round number, though, so let’s go with that. You’ll notice that the hex we are in has a For Sale section:
Since we need 10 men, and there 35 for hire (per month), we’ve got plenty no problem. Notice that the units outside of the city are limited, but somewhat cheaper than in the cities. You can save some money if you don’t mine hiring out in the wild.
The second thing is that since we are indeed oppressing peasants, we’ll need a way to force them to pay. That will take the COMBAT skill (or weapons, but we have none of those right now).
So we need to recruit 10 people, teach them to fight, and then make them tax for us. This will be the most complicated part of the orders so far, but it is not too bad. Even though we are making a new unit, the orders have to be issued by a current unit, and that means the Mage-King (though technically he is not yet named that).
Let’s just skip to the chase and show how it is done, then we’ll go over what we did.
Orders Template (Long Format): #atlantis 3 ;*** swamp (19,3) in Helvete, contains Altenmar [city] *** unit 43 ;The King (43), revealing faction, leader [LEAD]. Weight: 10. Capacity: ; 0/0/15/0. Skills: none. STUDY force NAME UNIT “The Mage-King” CLAIM 720 GIVE NEW 1 620 silver FORM 1 NAME UNIT “Tax Collectors”\ BUY 10 TMAN STUDY combat END #end
The syntax is FORM # …. END and that tells the game that anything inside that block is being issued by the new unit, not the current one. The # itself is a alias, and you can increment that as high as you need if you’re creating a lot in one turn. The other orders should be obvious: we’re naming it, buying the 10 tribesmen we need, and having them study combat.
You should also notice that The King is now claiming 720 silver, which for you math wizards is enough to cover both his expenses and those of the new unit. If he had other money on hand, he could skip the claiming and give it directly.
You also see that when he uses the GIVE command, he is giving it to “NEW 1”. This is because we do not yet know what unit ID the tax Collectors will get, and using “NEW 1” tells the game to check new units and find the one we called “1”. That could be “NEW 2” if we were forming a 2nd unit, too.
The last point is that because STUDY takes the whole month, they won’t be able to tax until next turn. Until then, they won’t have the combat skill and so will be ineligible.
Let’s fast-forward to the next turn:
* Tax Collectors (83), Ye Olde Kingdom (6), revealing faction, 10 tribesmen [TMAN]. Weight: 100. Capacity: 0/0/150/0. Skills: combat [COMB] 1 (30).
Now they are ready:
unit 83 ;Tax Collectors (83), revealing faction, 10 tribesmen [TMAN]. ; Weight: 100. Capacity: 0/0/150/0. Skills: combat [COMB] 1 ; (30). AUTOTAX 1 @ WORK
There are several new idea at work here. The AUTOTAX 1 is a command that tells the unit to tax forever if it can until you tell it not to (with AUTOTAX 0). You can always issue the command TAX, but you’d need to do that every turn.
You’ll also see that the unit is issuing “@ WORK”. That is a two-part order. Anytime an order is prefaced with @, it tells the game to put the order on your next Orders Template. More simply, it becomes a repeating order. This comes in very handy. The WORK command tells the unit to do odd jobs around the province to earn whatever the local wages are. You can tell that by looking at the turn report:
That means each man in a unit earns $13 per turn, and the total that can be earned in the province is $460. That is to say, there is only $460 worth of jobs for anyone. $13 is not a lot, but it is enough to cover the maintenance and even make a little money on the side (notice though that a LEADER can’t make a profit as their maintenance is 50 silver).
For the record, that does indeed mean that oppressing the peasantry is a full-time job. A unit can not tax and work in the same turn. So each member of the unit will earn $50 taxes or $13 wages per turn per person. That’s $500 a month total for taxing!
Entertaining is very similar to taxing. Let’s go back to the big city where there are idle people looking for a good time.
If a unit studies ENTERTAINMENT they can then use the ENTERTAIN command to make $20. That means that the city can support 77 entertainers (77 * $20 = $1540)). That’s a lot of jesters! There is a catch, though. Not all entertainment is as good as others. So a unit actually earns $20 per level of entertainment skill. At level 2, they make $40 per person, and it goes up from there as you’d expect. Unlike taxing, though, entertaining does take the while turn, so they cannot work. It also costs money and time to study. Going from level 1 to level 2 takes 2 full turns of study.
Production is outside the scope of this quick start guide, but another way to earn money is to make things and sell them. Notice each province has their own wants and needs.
Wanted: none. Products: 19 grain [GRAI], 10 wood [WOOD], 12 herbs [HERB].
You can use the “PRODUCE grain” command if you’re a farmer, and have grain. If a nearby city wanted grain, you could sell it there. You could also eat it in lieu of the maintenance silver (using the CONSUME command)
Wanted: 126 grain [GRAI] at $18, 134 livestock [LIVE] at $26, 78 herbs [HERB] at $59, 54 longbows [LBOW] at $108, 51 chain armor [CARM] at $129, 72 plate armor [PARM] at $419, 63 chocolate [CHOC] at $137, 89 silk [SILK] at $153.
That lets you know the province will buy up to 126 grain per turn at $18 each. An entrepreneurial player may notice that there are a number of wanted items that could be made for a profit.
This guide demonstrates how to play with text files only, but many players prefer to use gui tools to make life easier. At very least, they will keep track of all provinces you’ve been to, not just the ones you are currently standing in (as the turn reports). Having a detailed map of the world is very helpful.
Atlantis: New Origins team is working on Web Client as this moment.
A final meta-game (articles and rumors) is the Atlantis Times.