MinuteWar Commander is a tool that performs a number of functions to assist the MinuteWar player in battle. These functions include:
1. Download the application from http://www.automata.co.nz/MWC
2. Decompress, place the exe file in an appropriate location and run it
Before you can use MWC, you must do a couple of housekeeping chores:
3. Select Preferences... from the View menu (or Ctrl+F)
4. In the resulting dialog box, select the URLs tab and enter http://minutewar.gpsgames.org/games.txt in the top box. Then "x" out this window.
5. In the pull-down menu at the upper left, just under the File menu, choose Download list. It will take a moment to download the list and then you can select the Game of interest from the now longer list. Note, you will need to repeat this step each time you use MWC for a new game.
MWC is now ready for your use.
The main MWC screen is divided into two parts, the Control Area on the left and the Board Display Area on the right. The Board Display area is used for displaying the game board, optionally with a background map.
The Control Area hold the various menus and buttons that comprise the majority of the functions of MWC.
game selector - use this to determine which game's board will be displayed in the Board Display area.
Download Board - click this button to download the latest copy of the game board from the MinuteWar server.
scoreboard - This will display the the score for each team and the number of moves each team has in the bank.
predefined view selector - pull down menu to switch to a previously defined view or to create a named view or to download a background maps. See tutorial section on "Using background maps"
quadrant selector - clicking 60 will switch to a 60x60 view of the board, showing an entire degree square. Clicking one of the 30s will show a quarter of the 60x60 board. Which quarter is shown is determined by which 30 is clicked. Currently the lower right quadrant (0x0-29x29 in the Northern and Western Hemispheres is selected).
map/board display toggle - normally the game board is displayed on top of the background map. Click this button to show only the background map. Click again to show the board over the map.
degree selector - determines the physical location represented by the game board. Clicking one of the blank squares around the H will change the latitude and or longitude by one degree. This can be used to quickly switch from one side to the other side of a degree boundary.
offset selector - this displays the offset currently used to adjust the game board to the physical map. Normally this will be the offset you have selected to use in the MinuteWar game. Note, this must be set manually.
Below this point, all buttons are mode buttons which determine what will happen when you click (or click and drag) on the game board. When no button is depressed, the default action is taken which is to display a dialog box with information on the selected square. Each button is a toggle, so clicking once will select it and clicking it again will deselect it. Only one mode button can be selected at a given time.
Mapquest - When this button is selected, clicking on a square on the game board will open a browser window with a Mapquest map of the flag's physical location (based on data in View box above).
Lost Outdoors - When this button is selected, clicking on a square on the game board will open a browser window with a Lost Outdoors aerial photo of the flag's physical location (based on data in View box above).
Yahoo - Currently broken.
Topozone - When this button is selected, clicking on a square on the game board will open a browser window with a Topozone map of the flag's physical location (based on data in View box above).
Display Capture History - When this button is selected, clicking on a square on the game board will open a browser window with the capture history of this square (only applies to squares with team flags).
Report a Capture - When this button is selected, clicking on a square on the game board will open a browser window with a partially filled in Capture Report for reporting the capture of a flag to the MinuteWar website.
Download a LOC file - When this button is selected, clicking on a square on the game board (or clicking and dragging) will open a Save As window requesting a filename to which to save a LOC file of the selected flag location(s). A LOC file can be read by EasyGPS or ExpertGPS among other programs and then the waypoints can be downloaded to your GPS.
Edit Board - When this button is selected, clicking on a square on the game board will simulate capturing the flag at that location. The flag will be captured on behalf of the team selected in the pulldown just below labelled Team:. If the move is not legal, MWC will beep and not process the move. If the move is legal, MWC will update the board, changing buffer colors as appropriate and adjusting the teams' scores in the scoreboard. This is a very powerful feature for understanding the implications of various moves and for exploring counterattacks.
Team for "Edit Board" - see Edit Board just above. This pull down menu is only enabled when the Edit Board button is selected.
Mark locations on the board - When the Mark button is depressed, clicking on a square on the game board will cause it to be outlined with a heavy frame and, optionally, have one or two letters written in it. If the selected square is already marked, the mark will be removed. The mark is actually on the physical location, so if you change your offset, the mark will move to a different location on the board, but stay in the same physical location. It can be used, for example, to mark your home and office on the game board to give an instant reference to how the game board maps to physical locations. If the check box to the left of the Mark button is deselected, then the marks will be hidden (not erased). When the box is checked again, the marks will reappear. If the Mark flags box is checked then team flags will be denoted with the team name in addition to the team color. This can be very useful in "no team" games where many teams may be sharing one color.
Clicking with the left mouse button on the game board will either bring up an informational dialog box about the square or perform some other action depending on which mode button is selected/depressed. See above for details on the various buttons.
Dragging the Board - When the "Download a LOC File" button is not selected, clicking and dragging with the left mouse button will change which part of the game board is displayed in the window. This can be useful for focusing on a different area of the board without having to worry about wrapping around the edges to display the portion of the game board corresponding to a particular physical area.
There are several other functions that can be accessed directly from the game board with a right click.
Center Board (adjusting game offsets) - the square which is right-clicked will be moved to the center of the window by adjusting the offset. Thus, the physical locations underlying the board will remain fixed but the game board will slide over the top of the physical world. This can be used for quickly choosing an approximate offset to bring a certain part of the board in alignment with a certain part of the physical world.
Center Map and Board (retaining game offsets) - this is equivalent to dragging the board which simply displays a different part of the board in the window. Note the numbers along the edges of the game board to see what portion of the board is being displayed.
Show where this flag was last captured - (applies only to team flags) This will bring up a browser window with a Lost Outdoors aerial photo of the spot that was visited by the most recent player to capture this flag. This is useful for correlating capture descriptions with aerial photos or as a starting point for examining an opponent's landscape.
Set View to this player's coordinates - (applies only to team flags) This will change the information in the "View" box of the Control Area to match the information for the player that has most recently captured this flag. You can then make an assessment, for example, of how easily the player could capture another nearby flag by then loading the Mapquest map for the nearby flag.
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Once you have the current game board loaded,
MWC will beep if the selected team is not allowed to capture the flag at the selected square. Steps 2 & 3 may be repeated as often as desired in order simulate multiple moves, either by the same team or by different teams. The scoreboard is updated after each simulated move to show the new score after the move.One thing to keep in mind is that MWC does not include timing or the move bank when determining if a move is valid, so it will show you the result of moves that might not be valid until some hours or days into the future. However, the scoreboard does decrement the move bank value for each simulated move that is made.
When you are done simulating moves, you can restore the board to the real game state in a number of ways:
Suppose you are looking for the largest possible score increase you can get with a single move. You can quickly discover this with the following technique:
Here's another way to use this feature. Suppose you're not sure if you are allowed to capture a particular flag on the current game board. Simply follow steps 1-3 above - if MWC beeps, the move is not allowed. If MWC changes the (hopefully) captured flag to your color then the move is allowed.
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Jan 11, 2005 - new page
Jan 21, 2005 - added "Try Various Move Alternatives" tutorial section