Conquest happens after Shipment. It is not a skippable phase, so conquest will happen every year. In conquest, every player in the game has an opportunity to try to take over another player's territory. If a player is successful in attacking another territory, that player gets a second attack. A player may only attack twice per turn. It's like the "one and one" free throw system in college basketball. If you choose not to attack, click the "End Conquest" button to end your turn. If it is a computer's turn, it will take its turn automatically.
Plan An Attack
To plan an attack on an opponent's territory, click on that territory. The territory will be highlighted, and a summary of forces is presented. The attacking force count, represented with your color, displays how much force you have present on the territory. Likewise, there is a defense force count represented in the defender's color. If there are third-party forces present, that belong to neither the attacker nor defender, then they will show up the the "Others" force count, in the black box. Force counts are calculated based on the territory being attacked, and all other territories that touch it. Here is breakdown of how much each force is worth:
Note that boats only count for protection to the territory it is docked at, and not at any adjacent territories.
If there are "Others" forces present, you must have those third-party forces decide on how they will participate in the attack before you make the attack. The "Allies" button will be enabled, and the "Attack" button will be disabled temporarily. Click the "Allies" button. Everybody who has a force count presence at the attacked territory has a chance to decide on being the Attacker, Defender, or be Neutral.
If you are one of the Allies, make your choice and click "Ok". If it is the computer's turn to attack, it will ask for all Allies decisions on all possible territories it can attack before making a decision on what to attack. If the computer is one of the Allies, it will decide automatically.
As of version 2001, the attacker and defender force counts are listed during Allies, to aid in the Ally's decision.
If you wish to increase your amount of forces present at the attacked territory, you may click "Bring Forces" at any time prior to clicking "Attack". This allows you to ship your forces to the attacked territory for a possibly advantageous offensive position. This "attacking" shipment follows the same rules as the phase Shipment. A horse can only come from up to two territories away from the attacked territory. A weapon can only come from one territory away from the attacked territory, unless it was loaded on a horse. A boat can come from any territory that can reach the attacked territory by sea. A boat can load a horse and a weapon. A boat cannot reach a territory that has every coastline square filled with a boat. Attempting to ship a boat to such a territory will result in a message saying "All ports full".
If you have brought forces, they will increase your attacking Force Count, if the forces weren't already within one territory of the attacked territory. If you have forces present on the territory, then it is possible to make an attack. You cannot make an attack if you have no forces present, even if Allies are helping you. Allies cannot attack on your behalf.
The Element of Chance
The success of your attack depends on both the Force Count listings and the Element of Chance that was selected at the start of the game. Here is a breakdown of how these parameters affect the chances of your attack succeeding (after Allies):
The maximum amount of forces you can bring into a battle is 6 -- 2 for a boat, 1 for the horse loaded on it, and 3 for the weapon loaded on it. If you are playing with Low or Medium chance, and after Allies (if any), you are still over 6 away from matching the defender's Force Count, then the screen will show "Lose!" indicating that it is impossible to win the battle.
Make Your Attack
Once you have satisfactory forces present, and all Allies (if any) have decided on their role in the attack, click the "Attack" button to make your attack. The territory will flash different colors while the attack is taking place. Then the results will be displayed: "Succeeded" or "Failed". If you decide that you do not wish to attack this territory, you may change your mind. While you are on the screen which lists the attacker's and the defender's force counts, you may either click the sea or click the "Replan" button to start your attack over. You may cancel an entire attack at any time prior to clicking the "Attack" button.
If the attack was successful, then the territory's color will change to your color. Anything on the territory is now yours. If your opponent had a stockpile on that territory, you loot the stockpile! All your opponent's iron, coal, trees, and gold are now yours! If you brought forces, these forces will now show up on the territory. However, if your brought a horse and there was already a horse on that territory, only one horse will survive. Same with a weapon.
Move the Stockpile
If your are successful on your first attack, you have the option of attacking again, or moving your stockpile, by clicking "Move the Stockpile". That screen works just like the corresponding screen in Shipment. Moving your stockpile here counts as your second attack.
Winning the Game
There are two ways of winning Lords of Conquest: by cities, and by total conquest. At the end of the Conquest phase, if one player has enough cities to win, and no one else has tied him, that player wins. A player can also win by controlling every single territory on the map, but that is a rare case.
Questions? E-mail me at gettmanr.AT.yahoo.DOT.com.