Date: 1996-02-03
From: John
Subject: Rumors Confirmed! 4.0 Rules!

My Dear Mr. Duk:

I have just spent a few minutes with Strategic Conquest 4.0. The verdict? YEE HAW! A major advance! You'd better be nice to Suzanne so that she'll let you use her Mac!

Here is a quick summary of the improvements:

  • 256 Color support with "Fractal Worlds". The graphics are downright dazzling. There are now 3 map sizes to choose from and 3 terrain types: "Waterworld" (ocean dotted with small islands), Normal, and "Road Warror" (giant desert dotted with small lakes). There is also some excellent artwork scattered throughout the interface.
  • Two new pieces: Artillery and Helicopters. Artillery can fire on pieces up to three squares away. Helicopters have a great sound, fuel for 20 squares, can move 10/day, attack land and sea pieces (especially subs), vulnerable to fighters.
  • Tanks now move 2 squares per turn (Artillery move 1).
  • Carriers can carry Helicopters as well as fighters.
  • Battleships can shell enemy pieces up to three squares away.
  • The Cities have names (e.g. Seattle, Honolulu, MidWay, etc.). The dates are also named (e.g. "March 18, 1995").
  • A Statistics window shows, for each type of piece, number currently in stock, number currently in production, number destroyed, and number of enemy destroyed.
  • New "Automatic" menu lets you set individual pieces, specific piece types, and production to automatic. A new Production Quotas dialog lets you adjust piece type priorities when in automatic production. A special Attack Island option lets you automatically focus efforts on capturing a specific island.
And many other minor changes...

I have taken the liberty of attaching a BMP screenshot (about 300K) so that you see how nice the terrain looks. Although the terrain varies through a range of color that suggests swamps, forests, deserts, and even rocky mountains, there are no terrain-based restrictions on piece movements - land pieces can move across all terrain. The battles are rather colorful with shells bursting and red flashes of smoke. The automatic mode is *very* fast and rather entertaining.

Several of the ideas we came up with are already implemented in this new version, along with a few we hadn't thought of. I think the biggest news is that the graphics bar has now been raised. I'm not sure our trusty sparks algorithm can compete with "Fractal Worlds."

If you want more screenshots or have any questions, fire away!

Yours in haste,