Getting Started

This page will help you create an account and start your first game.  When combined with the "Mechanics of the Game" section that follows, it should provide you with enough basic info to be effective early on in your LandGrab career. 

As you begin your LandGrab quest, you need to do a few basic things...

- Create an Account.  Chances are you have already done this, but instructions on how to do so are included.
Set up notifications.  This is an important step as it will help you keep current with your game progress.  Notifications are sent to you whenever a game reaches a certain state (such as your turn, a player being defeated, etc.)
Choose the game you want to play.  Public, Private, live opponents, bots?  Many combinations exist for you to take your first plunge into LandGrab. 
Have fun!  There are thousands of people registered to play LandGrab.  It is easy to find games at skill levels that match your own.  Find the combination of game play speeds and skill levels that are right for you and enjoy yourself!!!  You might consider walking through the "Quick Start" page to get familiar with the game.



Creating an Account


Before you can begin to play LandGrab, you must set up a LandGrab account.  Go to LandGrab.net and you will be directed to the login page.  


To create a new account, click the create new account link and fill in the details. Here are some step by step directions:

1.
In your web browser, go to http://landgrab.net/.
Note: LandGrab supports most web browsers. However, for optimal game performance, use Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or later. For the comprehensive list of tested browsers, see Tested Browsers .
2.
In the LandGrab Login box, click the Create a New Account link.
3.
Type your Login Name.
This name is used to display your game statistics and enables other players to identify you. In each game you join, you can also choose a nickname that is independent of your login name.
4.
Set your password.
5.
Type your email address.
6.
(Optional) Provide your instant messenger account name. 
This account information is used for game notifications. See Setting Up Notifications for more informa­tion.
7.
Click Create.
A verification email is sent to your email account. You must verify your email address before you can create or join any games.


By providing some basic information, you gain access to your games, the LandGrab forums, and an alias that will gain notoriety as your infamy increases.  To prevent the temptation of cloning oneself and ganging up on other players, each player is limited to one LandGrab account.

After you create a LandGrab account, you will receive an email that enables you to verify that your email address is active and accurate. Click the link provided in the email and take a tour of the interface as a full-fledged LandGrab Commander. 

Setting Up Notifications

You can be notified by email and instant message of just about any event that occurs in your games. By default, you receive email notification when it is time to place your initial armies, when it is your turn, as a reminder that it is still your turn, when you’ve been eliminated from a game, and when the game has ended.
The best part is that it is easy to change and in the end, you can always change it back.
To set up notifications, click the settings button on the LandGrab Game Console/Home Page


The settings screen has 4 buttons.  Click on the "notifications" button



... and choose the notifications you want to receive from the menu presented.


Choosing a Game


These are the 3 options you have for playing a game:

Joining a Public Game

A public game may include slots for specific players invited by the game creator, but it also has open player slots that may be filled by anyone who wishes to join.  There are two big differences between public games and private games: potential anonymity and the mechanics of joining.

Anonymity.  Anyone can look at the public games currently open and join. In many cases, the players do not have much experience with one another.  This anonymity may free you to explore other strategies (and be surprised by the strategies employed by others).  For example, you might choose to play more aggressively than you would when playing with friends. You may think twice before delivering a killing blow to your best friend—and thus, compromise your strategic advantage.  With a public game such sentimentality is eliminated; all is up for grabs.

This procedure addresses the mechanics of joining a game and lightly covers what you might look for in a game. The Subtleties of Game Play section provides a more detailed look into each element of game creation. 

1.
Go to your home page (game console).
2.
Select a game from the Open Public Games column by clicking the Join Game link in the bottom left corner of the game box.
If there are several games available, you can select a game based on various criteria displayed.
Map Name.
Number of players and number of slots available.
Rating of the players who have already joined. 
The number and color of stars next to a players name shows how much experience they have play­ing LandGrab.
Timing for turn skipping and borgification. 
Each game specifies how long a player has to complete their turn before being skipped. The most common settings give each player 12-24 hours to take a turn, but settings range from 2 minutes (in the case of a RealTime game) up to a whole week.  If you have not finished taking your turn when your time expires your turn will be skipped.  If you are skipped a certain number of times (also determined by the game creator) you will be eliminated from the game (called 'borgification') and a computer player takes control of your armies to finish the game.
3.
Review the game rules.  These are important!  Be sure to read them carefully, as they can greatly affect the course of the game.  Doing well will depend on matching your strategy to the type of game being played.
4.
Type your alias (aka nickname) for this game.
5.
Choose a color to represent the territories that you own.
Select a specified color name from the drop-down menu.
Click the palette and select a custom color.
6.
Click Join Game.

Joining a Private Game

A private game includes only players specifically invited by the game creator.  When you’re invited to a private game, you receive an email stating the name of the game and who invited you. The email also contains a link that you must use to join the private game. The game will not display in your console until you have opted to join the game.

If you lose the invitation email, you can either wait until the LandGrab system sends a reminder notification or you can ask the game creator to send another invitation.

Creating a New Game

Creating a game is a simple process that should take less than 2 minutes once you know the game’s basic terminology and the game experience that you’re looking for.

Before you Start:
Know what type of game you want to play. 
For example, do you want to make card collecting important by assigning high values to card trade-ins or do you want to make holding a continent everyone’s priority?
Determine how many players you want in the game.
Eliminating players will score you more LandGrab points, but it will make grabbing your first continent more difficult. 
Decide if you want to play with your friends or open the game up to anyone.
There’s nothing like playing an exclusive game with people that you know and like. But once you know everyone’s core strategies, you might decide it’s time to mix things up.  You are free to include both invites to specific players and public slots in the same game if you wish.

To create a new game, do the following:

1.
In the Navigation Bar, click the New Game icon.
2.
Type the name of your new game in the Game Name field.
  • The Game Name must be a maximum of 64 characters and can not contain periods, dollar signs, or slashes.
  • The Game Name must comply with the Landbrab Code of Conduct
3.
Choose the map you wish to play.
Select a map from the Map drop down list.
  • The default map selected is Earth. The numbers to the right of the map name indicate how players rate the map. By default, you will only see maps that have been rated higher than 5. If you want to broaden or narrow the selection of maps available, click on Map Filter Options to adjust the map selection filters.
Create a new map by clicking the link.
Creating a map involves two parts: creating the map image itself, and specifying all the territories, continents, borders, etc in the Map Editor.

For more information on creating maps, see Creating New Maps .

4.
Specify the game rules.
Game flavors allow you to quickly select type of LandGrab game that you want to play. There are five popular variations to the game. With each variation the way armies are accumulated and the use of lead­ers, capitols, fortresses change. With Game flavors, you can choose a game flavor and move on or you can personalize the game more by selecting Show Advanced Options.
5.
Add the players. 
Here you have the option to invite specific people or open the game to the public. You can make the game a team game by selecting the option, and you can include computer players.  Advanced Player Options allow you to choose the experience level of the players joining your game. You can also discourage alliances by disabling the private messaging system. Be sure to specify your game nickname, which does not need to be the same as your LandGrab user­name; your color; and if you’ve created a team game, the team you’re playing on.
6.
Configure the game timer.
Here you set the amount of time each player is given to complete a turn, and how many turns may be skipped before a player is taken over by the computer.
7.
Click Create Game.

Taking Your Turn

When you view the board during your turn, the control panel on the left will give you instructions on how to proceed. When the game starts, all territories on the board are randomly distributed to the players. After that, the game is in Initial Army Placement mode, meaning that each player has a number of armies that they need to place on the board, onto the territories that they own.  Where you place your armies will be hidden from your opponents until the game starts.

Here is the general sequence for setting up your initial armies:

1.
From the LandGrab home screen, select the game you want to play by clicking the game.
When it is your turn, you will receive an email and the game box will be highlighted.
2.
During initial army placement, distribute your armies by clicking on the territories you want them to protect.  Depending on the game options, you may be limited in the maximum number of armies you can place on a single territory.  Note: some games are set up by their creator with "even distribution" (aka Flat Rate).  Games of this type put a fixed number of armies on every territory you own.  Look at the game rules to see if this option is being used in your game.
3.
(Optional) If your game uses capitals, you will be asked if you wish to place your capital.  You also have the option of delaying your capital placement until as late as the third round.  You can place a leader on a capital, but if you place your capital on a fortress, the fortress disappears until the capital is conquered. 
4.
(Optional) If your game uses leaders, you will be told to place your leader (if the game includes more than one leader, subsequent leaders will be placed at a later time).
5.
Wait until it is your turn.  Sometimes this can be the hardest part, and is often the cause for jumping into several games at a time.

For more information on capitals, leaders, and fortresses, see the Player Rules and Guidelines Section of this guide.

Once all players have placed their armies, Normal Game Play Mode begins.

Choosing Your Opponents

Buddies

The Buddies section is a place to keep the names and email addresses of the people you like to invite to your games. Rather than typing in your friends email addresses each time you want to start a game, use the Buddies section to store the information. When it’s time to invite them, their names show up in the Create New Game screen.

Foes

If there are players that you are tired of playing against for one reason or another, you can block them from joining the public games you have created by adding them to your Foes list. It’s an easy, non-confrontational way to keep your games open to the public without inviting the rif-raff in.

Using the Quick Reference Bar


The quick reference bar is found above the map in the Current Game view. It summarizes the Game Rules as defined for this particular game.  The game rules are also easily viewed by doing the following:
1.
From your game home page, select the desired game.
2.
Click Show Details.
3.
Click Game rules. 

All of the game’s settings and players are described the Game Rules display.