Bushtarion Manual
Combat & Units
* Essentials
* Who Can You Attack?
* Travel
* Battle Ticks
* Armour Vs Health
* Targeting
* Order of Battle
* Flakking
* Experience
* Attack Types
* Defending
* Defensive Strategies
  
Essentials:
  Combat is the essence of Bushtarion. It is how you will gain land, defend your own land, protect your friends and punish your enemies. The combat system in Bushtarion is complex but with experience will become second nature. Each battle lasts for 3 ticks with some units shooting the first two (ranged) ticks, some shooting only the last (close) tick, and still others shooting all three (all) ticks. Each unit has a class (INN, NLD, NLT, or LET) and also targets only certain classes. Finally each unit has both armour and health points. The armour must be destroyed before the health of the unit can be affected.

Who Can You Attack?:
  You can attack most people in the game. However, there are generally five (5, not 6) reasons you might not be able to attack:
* Company is in sleep mode. This is indicated as {owner of company}.
* Locked company: This is indicated as [owner of company].
* Companies less than 30% of your government valuation. This limit is overruled if the company is attacking you, in which case you can "retaliate" down to 5% of your government valuation.
* Companies in your own alliance.
* You already have 5 total mobs out.

Travel:
  When you send an attack, the mob must travel to the target. The amount of time it takes to travel from your company to the target varies depending on a number of factors:
* The type of units sent. Each unit has a typical ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). For instance, geo-phys thieves have ETA 5, so it takes them 5 ticks to arrive at the target. Our mob travels at the speed of the SLOWEST unit. So, a mob with geo-phys thieves and gardeners will take 5 ticks to travel, even though the gardeners have an ETA 2 if traveling by themselves.
* The size of your target. In order to allow smaller targets some chance to get online, run their troops to safety and/or arrange defense:
   When attacking a company 30-35% of your government valuation, there is a +2 ETA modification to travel time (ie, geo-phys thieves now require 7 ticks to reach the target).
   A smaller, +1 ETA, modification comes into effect when attacking a company 35-40% of your government valuation.
* Adrenaline rush. If you chose to attack a company MUCH larger than your own, you can use the adrenaline rush option. This option is especially useful when many companies attack a larger company, for instance, in an effort to take out the top alliances of the round. You can gain a -1 or a -2 ETA modifier on these mobs depending on the size of the hostile company to that of your own. If the hostile company is 3 times the size of your own, you will be able to gain a -1 ETA modifier on your mob. If the hostile company is 7 times the size of your own, you will be able to gain a -2 ETA modifier on your mob.

  Assuming the mob has geo-phys thieves (and no other modifications to travel time are in effect), it usually takes 5 ticks to reach the target company. You can see the progress of your troops either at the bottom of the military page or on the overview page. During these five ticks, you will see a count down from ETA 5 (estimated time of arrival, 5 ticks) to ETA 1 (estimated time of arrival, 1 tick). Then the counter changes to Attacking for 3. This counter indicates that you are ABOUT to attack. This is the 10 minute period when a spy report will show if government troops have arrived due to Anti-Rape.

Battle Ticks:
  Once you reach the target company, there are three ticks of combat. The first tick is "ranged" ("r"), the second tick is "middle" ("m") and the third tick is "close" ("c"). One way to envision this is as follows: Imagine you are attacking a city (the defenders company).
* First battle tick: Your mob comes over the hill far away from the enemy company and fires long RANGE.
* Second battle tick: Your mob then charges the company, firing from the MIDDLE of the field of combat.
* Third battle tick: Finally, your mob engages in CLOSE combat inside the city/company.
  This example explains the basic level of targeting. This level of close/middle/range targeting is due to the ATTACKERS position. The defender never moves. So, if there is a second attacker two ticks later, the defender's close units fire at the original attacker (who is now attacking for 1) while the ranged units fire at the new attacker (who is attacking for 3). See targeting for full targeting information.

Armour Vs Health:
  All units have 2 physical characteristics to their defense: Armour and health. These must be destroyed in specific order to affect the unit. Armour must be stripped off first followed by destroying the health of the unit. The amount of armour and health each unit has, as well as the damage they do, are shown by *'s on the Hiring page of the manual. Please note, these stars are not exact. So, 1 * does not always equal another single * for another unit type (ie, gardeners are probably easier to kill than privates) although all of your units of a single type (ie, all privates) have the same value for their stars. The exact values of the stars are not given out. Since there is also a small random factor to each battle, and units from different companies may have different Experience values affecting their overall strengths in the battle, determining the exact values is next to impossible.

Targeting:
  Each unit fires at specific classes of enemy. They can target: 1) NLD; 2) NLT; 3) LET; 4) INN; 5) ALL. If the target class is destroyed or none are sent (ie, all INN are killed in first tick of battle), any unit that targets that type will NOT FIRE. They do not move on to target classes except their assigned classes. Units can target up to 3 classes, termed primary, secondary and tertiary target classes. The amount of firepower directed at a class depends on how many target classes a unit has.
* If a unit only targets ONE class, then 100% of the firepower is directed at that class (ie, Crazed Droids ONLY target INN).
* If a unit has 2 target classes, then 70% of the firepower is directed at the first target class, while the remaining 30% is directed at the other. For instance, 70% of automatons fire is directed at INN, while 30% is directed at NLD.
* If a unit targets 3 class, then 50% is directed at their primary target, 35% at the secondary target, and 15% at the tertiary target class.
Targeting classes are shown in the hiring table.

Order of Battle:
  Each unit in the battle fires in order based upon their initiative (Init) which can be found on the hiring page, from lowest initiative to highest initiative. So, if 100,000 officers are fighting 100,000 paratroopers, the paratroopers will attack first. The one exception is that defending units fire first if the initiatives conflict. So, if 100,000 officers are fighting 100,000 officers, the defending officers will fire before the attacking officers.

Flakking:
  You will notice that geo-phys thieves and wheelbarrowers "fire" essentially last. This means that in order to steal land, it is necessary for them to survive the entire enemy fire for all 3 ticks of combat. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to "flak" your geo-phys thieves. Flakking means putting lots of other units of the same target class into the mob so that the enemy fire is mainly directed at the "flak". So, if you have 1 million gardeners (these are the usual flak for geo-phys thieves), and 10,000 geo-phys thieves, then only 1% of the enemy fire that is directed at the INN class will hit the geo-phys thieves. Generally, this means that the geo-phys thieves will survive even if many of the gardeners die. Since gardeners cost much less than geo-phys thieves, this trade-off is often necessary to steal land. To learn more about flakking please check out the page on flakking here.

Experience:
  All units in the game have an "Experience" value. This experience can increase, a units performance in battle. It can increase health or armour values and even modify the amount of damage a unit can do. There are a couple of things that can affect the experience of your units. Firstly, losing a large amount of a single type of unit in 1 tick can increase the experience of the remaining units (by way of "teaching" them what not to do in future). Secondly, positive "Law & Fame" ratings can give you extra experience on any new troops you hire (more information on Law & Fame can be found here). Finally, pure solo players also get an additional experience bonus on all units they hire.
  There is no way of seeing the experience of another players units (without them actually telling you), so you must bear possible positive effects of experience in mind when looking through any battle reports which look "suprising", as it could be that you just sent your army against a pile of Cybernetic T-Rex's with 80% experience - and that's never a pretty sight!
  Finally, when there are multiple defenders or attackers, the average experience is used - eg if you send 100,000 Officers to attack somebody and they have 5% experience, and another attacker also sends 100,000 officers with 10% experience, then in combat your 200,000 combined officers will be treated as having an overall experience of 7.5%.

Attack Types:
  There are a number of different ways in which units can attack, and they can all affect the outcome of combat slightly differently.
* Kill: This literally "kills" enemy units. The enemy unit is removed from the game permanently.
* EMP: Similar to Kill, units are taken out from the game once hit by EMP. The difference is that any units still alive after the EMP fires will still be on full armour (EMP cannot be used to "armour strip" for other units).
* Convert: These units effectively "kill" their targets, and so targets are removed from the game as normal. However, they have the ability to "convert" a number of the hit units in to another unit (eg Zombies can eat the brains of your gardeners, turning some of the corpses in to more zombies in the process). The "success rate" of conversion is random each time the unit fires, with a (hidden) minimum and maximum range for each convert unit. Units "raised" in this way will appear at your home/HQ instantly - they will not appear in the mob if you were out attacking/defending elsewhere.
* Bribe: Bribers basically convert enemy troops to be your own - taking the staff away from the enemy, and giving them to you. So enemy gardeners bribed become your gardeners, enemy RPG Soldiers become your RPG Soldiers, etc. Admin and Alliance HQ units cannot be bribed. Also, like with conversion, bribed units will appear at your home/HQ instantly, not in any mob if you were out attacking/defending elsewhere.
* Distract: Distracting an enemy unit will prevent it firing for the rest of that tick, and distracted units cannot be fired at by any other units that tick. Distracted units will be back to normal (including full health/armour again) the following tick.
* Disable: Disabling an enemy unit will prevent it firing for the rest of that tick, and disabled units cannot be fired at by any other units that tick. Disabled units will be back to normal (including full health/armour again) the following tick.
* Stun: This has the same effect as disabling an enemy unit, however units that are stunned can still be hit the same tick by other units. So, a stunned unit still be killed, distracted, disabled, bribed (and even re-stunned!) on the same tick after being stunned. Like with EMP, armour damage is only temporary for stunned units - stunned units will retain their full armour after the stun unit has fired.
  Note that all units not killed or bribed regain their full health and armour the following tick - a unit does not remain "injured", disabled, distracted or stunned beyond an individual battle report.

Defending:
  You are able to defend only certain other players:
* Players in your alliance. This sort of defense can use the alliance defense boost which provides a -1 ETA. It is ONLY available for defense to the (up to) 19 other members of your alliance.
* Solo Partners. Solo players are allowed to have two partners who they can defend and receive defence from. Solo partners can be set on the Alliances page.
* While not so much about defending, and more about running away, you can always send your troops to defend ID 1 throughout the round. Your troops will be safe until they return home.
  As stated previously, when your troops arrive to defend another company, they appear inside the encampment. Like the original defender's troops, yours show up and do not move. The range of combat is entirely based on the location of the attacking units, regardless of which tick the defenders arrived.

Defensive Strategies:
* Mass defense: Get as many of your friends and alliance mates to send defense to you as you can find online.
* Bluff: A modification of mass defense. Get friends to send lots of flak (usually gardeners) to you with 1 real unit to alter the mob ETA. This will make it look like they sent their lethal units and confuse the attackers while still allowing your friends to keep defense at home. This is especially useful when there are multiple incomings on your alliance. Send 1 real defense and 2 fakes (if you are trying to defend 3 friends). The enemies will not know which one is real and may recall all 3 attacks.
* Last tick defense: Only fight the attacking for 1 tick (last tick). Many units don't fire this tick, and even if you lose, you will lose less since you only fight for 1 tick (this requires your sending your troops away for the first two ticks of battle and timing it correctly).
* Buy at last moment: Wait until it is almost too late for the enemy to recall, then buy extra troops. You may be able to buy enough to fight off the enemy and cause massive damage by the "surprise" troops (you could risk trying this just 5 seconds before a tick for example, if you prepared the hiring page ready to just need to click "Hire", but it can be risky this late).
* You will discover many more tactics as you play Bushtarion. Share them with friends or save them to give yourself an advantage!