Contents of the BOMB.DOC file
Copyright 1990, 1991, 1992 Kenneth Morse
All Rights Reserved
NOTE: This game requires a VGA or MCGA video system to
operate. Your computer must be capable of 320x200
resolution with 256 simultaneous colors.
If you do not wish to read the entire manual (and who
does) please at least read Quick Start section. While
in BombCFG you may at any time press F1 to obtain case
QUICK START: The problem with most program instructions is that
you can't truly envision what they're talking about until
you've played the game. I occasionally have to play the
game once or twice before I can understand the
documentation. So now I suggest that you play this game
once or twice before reading the rest of this document. To
do so, follow these simple instructions:
Load the Configuration program BOMBCFG. Click on the OK
button to remove the About Box. BOMBCFG will then
inform you that no valid configuration file was found.
Select OK to clear this box. Select Setup|Restore
Defaults to reset all settings to their defaults.
Then select Done|Save & Exit.
Now load Tank Wars by typing "BOMB /NEW". This will load
Tank Wars, bypassing the Main Menu and player
selection, and bring you right to the game. It will
also disable some of the more complicated options, set
the wind speed to Low, select the easiest opponent, and
set the number of games to five.
To play, use Cursor Right/Left to aim your turret, and
Cursor Up/Down to increase/decrease firing power. The
object is of course to eliminate your opponent. When
you do so (or when he eliminates you) you will see a
status screen. If you have accumulated enough points
you will then be brought to a weapons purchasing
screen. For now, just click on Done or press 'D' to
proceed to the next round.
MAIN MENU: Now that you have some idea of the basics, I will go
into more detail. The main menu has numerous options that
determine the play of the game. You can use the mouse or
keyboard to change the options. Pressing up or down moves
the cursor from option to option. Pressing cursor right or
left changes the setting for that option. When using a
mouse just click with the right or left button on the option
you wish to change.
Sound Effects: (Default Yes) Turns sound on or off. Sound
adds to the overall effect of the game, but there may
be times when you don't want it.
Fly Sound Effects: (Default No) In the very first version
of this program, each weapon would make a screeching
sound while flying through the air. However, after
playing two or three times this gets extremely
annoying, thus the creation of this option.
Crumbling Hills: (Default 50%) The major flaw in most games
like this is that you can blow the ground out from
under somebody and he'll hover there like Road-Runner
in a cartoon. This variable can be set between 0% and
100%, and controls how often loose ground will fall.
At 100% all loose ground will crumble after every shot.
At 0%, the ground never falls, as in most cartoons.
Walls: (Default Random) This allows you to change the
effect the border around the screen has on the current
shot. There are six settings for this option:
Non Existent - When this option is selected any
projectile or laser will leave the screen when it
reaches the border. If the wind level or gravity
deems it should return to the screen, it will. If
there is absolutely no chance of returning the
shot will abort then and there. [Previously NOT
BOUNCY in <2.5]
Sticky - When this option is selected any projectile or
laser will bounce off of the four border walls
back into the playing field. Any material weapon
(ie, not a laser) will loose 50% of its velocity
during the bounce.
Elastic - When this option is selected any projectile
or laser will bounce off of the four border walls
back into the playing field with no loss of
velocity. Computers tend to shoot more wildly
when this option is on. They know that no matter
what happens, they're going to hit something.
Accelerating - When this option is selected any
projectile or laser will bounce off of the four
border walls back into the playing field with an
increase in velocity. (Anybody out there remember
flubber? If so then you've got the idea.)
WARNING: If a projectile reaches too great a speed air
friction will become high enough to detonate it in
Warping - When this option is selected the top and
bottom walls will act exactly as if Non Existent,
but the projection will wrap around from left to
right (or right to left).
Random - When this option is selected the form of wall
will be randomly determined each round. The kind
of wall you are dealing with will be written down
the left side of the playing field.
Shot Visible: (Default Yes) When turned off, your shot is
invisible while in the air. This can speed up the
game, but not by much. Its main purpose is confusion
and it works quite well, especially with rebounding
walls because you never know just how many times the
shot bounced before it landed. Invisible shots just
make the game more interesting.
Trail Visible: (Default Yes) When on, your shot will leave
a trail while flying through the air. It can make it easier
to determine what adjustments are needed to hit your enemy.
It also helps you determine whether you are in danger of
being hit by your enemy.
Background: (Default Random) There are several backgrounds
in front of which the game can take place. These are
each labeled with their own name. There is also a RND
setting which will include all backgrounds, and a USER
setting which will include only preselected backgrounds
(See the online help in BOMBCFG). Backgrounds can hide
tanks and make CRI's look extremely impressive.
Games: (Default 10) This determines how many rounds will be
played before the game ends. In a short game your main
objective is just to destroy as fast as possible. In a
long game you want to rack up points so that you can
buy weapons that help you destroy.
Tanks Fall: (Default Yes) This determines whether tanks
fall when the ground is blown out from under them.
When set to No, tanks just hover there. When set to
Yes, they fall and sustain damage.
Number of Players: (Default 2) Here you select how many
tanks will play. This includes computer intelligences.
From two to ten tanks can participate. Remember, the
more tanks present, the closer they are together, and
the better the chances that you'll get blown away
before getting a shot off.
Computers Can Buy: (Default Yes) This allows the computer
intelligences to buy weapons to enhance their arsenals.
It is recommended that beginners set this to NO.
Palette Speed: (Default 0) This controls the speed at which
the background moves (0 is fastest). If the usage of
this effect slows down your game too much set this
number to a higher value.
Wind Force: (Default Normal) This controls the speed of the
wind during the game. There are 5 settings ranging
from None to Gale. Also available is a RND which will
cause Tank Wars to select a different wind setting each
Team Play: (Default Off) This enables Team Play mode, in
which multiple players are allowed to fight together.
Computers on the same team will not shoot at each
other, and you are penalized for killing a teammate.
Start: This starts the game, bringing you to the player
PLAYER SELECTION: Here is where you select who plays. For
each player playing you will be asked what will be
controlling him. Press 'K' for Keyboard, 'M' for Mouse
or 'C' for computer, or simply click on the appropriate
word. Pressing Space or clicking on the name window
will prompt you for the player's name. If you selected
'M' or 'K' you will then be asked to enter your name.
If you selected 'C' you will then be asked which of the
available computers you wish to play against. The
available computers are as follows.
Mr. Stupid - No Threat.
Lobber - A threat if rebound is off.
Rifleman - A threat if below you.
Windless Wit - A threat if there is little wind.
Lob & Shoot - Almost always a threat.
Twanger - Very dangerous if reflect is on, otherwise
identical to Rifleman.
Wind Master - Very dangerous if rebound is off.
TEAM PLAY: If Team Play has been turned on, you will be
presented with the Team Play setup screen. Each
player will be positioned on the left side of the
screen, and the teams will be listed across the top.
Press cursor Right/Left to move a player from one team
to another, or press the right/left mouse button on a
the player you wish to move. After this menu you will
be given an opportunity to name each team (Teams
consisting of all computers will name themselves).
PLAYING THE GAME: Now the game begins. First the terrain
is drawn. Then each of your tanks will fall from the
sky and land somewhere on the ground. The tanks are
placed in random order, so that no person gets the same
position every game. A random player is then selected
to go first. Each player takes his turn in order from
left to right, until only one player, the winner,
remains. Then the status screen is displayed, showing
who is currently winning, the rankings, and other
important information. After that, those who have
enough points stored up will be given the option of
buying extra weapons to supplement their arsenal.
CONTROLS: At the top of the screen is information critical
in planning your attack. Next to POWER, ANGLE, and
DIRECTION are the current values of how hard you will
shoot, at what elevation, and in what direction. Next
to MEN is the number of men you currently have in your
tank. Your power is limited to 100*MEN. WIND shows
the current direction and strength of the wind. A
number between 0 and 100 is typical. Occasionally
however there will be gusts up to 4000 mph, which can
have an enormous impact on your shot. Between this
panel and the playing field is your equipment list. It
consists of 20 boxes. If a box is black, fuzzy, and
hard to see, you don't have that item. If a box is
white you have that item but it is not loaded. If a
box is red it is loaded and armed. Mouse and Keyboard
commands are listed below.
Raising/Lowering Elevation: Pressing cursor left or right
tilts the gun left or right respectively. Clicking the
left/right mouse buttons on the yellow number next to
ANGLE has the same effect. The gun has a full 180
degree range, and if lowered below 0 will wrap around
and begin climbing the other side. Remember to look at
your cannon direction itself, just the ANGLE number can
Raising/Lowering Power: Pressing cursor up or down raises
or lowers the power respectively, by increments of 1.
Pressing PgUp and PgDn change power by increments of
100. Clicking the right or left mouse buttons on the
number next to POWER has the same effect as cursor up
or down. Clicking on POWER has the same effect as PgUp
Changing Direction: If you simply wish to reverse direction
without changing ANGLE you can simply press 'I', or
click on the yellow arrow next to DIRECTION with the
Firing: Pressing SPACE or RETURN will fire the gun. It can
be fired with the mouse by pressing both buttons at the
Status Information: To obtain information on any player
press the number key corresponding to their number.
Press '1' for player 1, '0' for player 10, etc.. With
the mouse simply click the left button on whomever you
wish to obtain information about. Press any key or
button to put away the information screen.
Changing Weapon: To change the active weapon, press TAB or
SHIFT-TAB. These keys will cycle through all the
weapons you currently have. Clicking right and left
mouse buttons on the strip of weapons above the playing
field has the same effect. What each weapon does is
Guidance Systems: Later in the game you may acquire
guidance systems. To toggle a system on or off simply
press 'H' or 'V', or click on the white 'H' or 'V',
depending on which system you bought. (The reason for
choosing H and V will become apparent later.) When
asked what target to aim for press cursor right/left to
rotate through the possible targets, or simply click on
the target with the mouse.
Keyboard Users: If these commands change angle and power
too fast for you, you may hold down ALT while pressing
the appropriate key. This will slow down the rate of
change to one unit per keypress.
CONTROL KEYS: The following is a list of keys that can be
pressed at any time during game play, (while the
playing field is up, not during the main menu or while
purchasing weapons). I realize some of the key
combinations are a tad esoteric, and I really do intend
to do something about it.
Sound Toggle: Pressing CTRL-S will toggle sound on or off.
Status: Pressing CTRL-P will pause the game and bring up a
status screen indicating the current game and other
Mass Kill: Pressing CTRL-M will kill all the players on the
screen. Use this when a group of computers are
involved in a fight that looks like it will go on
forever. All players will die after the current
player's turn is over. However, if the computer feels
a game is dragging on, it will start taking pot shots
at tanks with lightning bolts to end the game quicker.
Quit: Pressing CTRL-Q will abort the game.
Palette Speed: Pressing F3 and F4 will increase/decrease
the speed at which the background moves.
Change Colors: If the background colors are not to your
liking, press CTRL-R to get a new set.
Boss Key: This is the one exception to the statement made
above. This key, F10, will work AT ANY TIME while the
game is running. It will bring up a fake DOS prompt,
which does nothing. Pressing the space bar will return
you to your game. If the boss will not go away, press
ESC. You will be dropped into real DOS. Tank Wars
will remove itself from memory and attempt to save your
game under the title 'BOSS'.
STATUS SCREENS: Between rounds you will be presented with
two status screens (only one if you are not in Team
Play). These screens rank the players and teams
competing, display their scores, and number of wins.
On these screens are three buttons, OK, ADD, and SAVE.
Pressing OK will close the current screen and go to the
next one. Pressing ADD allows you to add more games to
the current battle. Pressing SAVE will bring you to
the save menu. You can also click on any player or
team name and get more in depth statistics such as
average accuracy and kill rate.
SAVE MENU: After clicking on SAVE from a status screen you
are brought to this menu. A default game name will be
selected for you (Such as GAME1), and you will be
presented with five options:
Cancel - Will exit the save menu without acting.
New Name - Will allow you to change the name of the
Save - Will save the game and exit the save menu.
Save & Quit - Will save the game and exit to DOS.
AutoSave - This is a toggle switch. When on, the game
will be saved after every round under the current
LOAD MENU: This menu can be accessed by clicking on the
LOAD button available on the main menu screen. Within
the grey box will be the name of a saved game. Click
on the right or left arrows to select a different game,
and select OK to load that game.
BUYING EQUIPMENT: After each round you may be brought to
the equipment screen. Here you are presented with a
list of what items you can buy with your current money
supply. (Money is directly related to score.) Press +
or - on an item to increment/decrement the number you
wish to buy. With the mouse simply click on the item
with the right button to select, left to deselect.
Press 'P' or click on 'Purchase' to buy those items
selected. Press 'D' or click on 'Done' to buy selected
items and exit the screen. The list of items is
vaguely described later.
COMPUTERS: There are currently 7 computers to challenge
you. I hope to add more, and if you have any ideas for
other algorithms please send them to me.
Mr. Stupid: A complete idiot. He just picks a random
power and angle, and shoots. There's no guarantee
that he'll even shoot in the right direction. A
good opponent for your first game.
Lobber: This computer uses fairly decent logic. He
shoots 2 random powered shots at 75 degrees. The
closest person to his second shot is then dubbed
his target. He calculates how much his power
needs to be altered to hit his target. His third
shot usually misses, but his fourth is usually
pretty accurate. Strong wind (150+) can throw his
shots off, lessening him as a threat. Rebound
completely confuses him. He just can't comprehend
why his shots aren't following nice parabolic
Rifleman: This computer uses one of the simplest, and
possibly most effective strategies. If he's below
you he simply points his turret at you, sets it at
full power and fires. If there are no targets
above him, he'll just shoot randomly.
Windless Wit: This computer uses physics to hit his
target. However, he has not yet figured out how
to compensate for wind. In low wind (0-20), you
could be in trouble. The higher the wind, the
longer you'll live.
Lob & Shoot: If there is no rebound, he fights as
lobber. If there is rebound he fights as
rifleman. This can be very effective when rebound
is set to Random.
Twanger: If rebound is not on, will fight just like
Rifleman. However, if reflect is on he will
attempt to bounce his shot off the ceiling and
nail you. This is surprisingly effective.
(Better than I expected.)
Wind Master: The newest of the computer intelligences.
He is a Windless Wit who can compensate for wind.
When rebound is on he gets confused. When the
walls are non reflective, you can see some
incredible shots. About 90% accurate in wind up
to 2000 mph.
WEAPONS: There are currently 18 weapons, 2 guidance
systems, and 3 defenses available for purchase.
The descriptions that follow are intentionally
vague, it is up to you to determine what each
group of weapons will do, and what their best use
The first three are available when the game begins.
Lead Ball: Useless, completely useless (almost). They
do only 5 men worth of damage. It is up to you to
figure out the best use for these.
Hand Grenade: This is a wimpy little bomb. It has a
very small blast range. It can only kill a tank
if it hits it directly.
Standard Incinerator: These are your normal weapons.
They have a reasonable blast radius, and can kill
Mark II Incinerator: Twice the size of Standard
Nukes: 20K and 5M Nukes explode the same as
Incinerators, but with MUCH bigger blast radii. 5
Meg's have been known to take out up to 7 tanks in
MIRVs: Fire one of these little beauties and it will
split into 5 Mark II's when its arc reaches its
Chain Reaction Inducers (CRI's): These start a chain
reaction in the ground. Depending on the strength
of the CRI it can do little damage, or can destroy
almost all the ground on the screen. CRI's are
identified with a number followed by a 'D' or
'ND'. The number determines how radioactive the
reaction is. 'D's are much more 'fluent' than
'ND's. It's quite hard to explain, but you should
be able to figure it out after using a few.
Sonic Blaster: These are only helpful in games when
Crumble is set to a low percentage. When these
hit the ground they emit a high pitched sonic
whine, causing all loose ground to collapse.
These are especially helpful after a CRI has been
released and there are tanks hanging in mid air on
only a few pixels of ground. This will take those
precious pixels out from under them and send them
careening to their death.
Balls 'o' Dirt: These are fairly self explanatory.
When they explode, instead of a big ball of fire,
a big ball of dirt is created. I'll leave it up
to you to determine the best use for these.
Explosive Dirt: When this hits, it spews dirt up into
the air. It may just stay there, or it may fall
back down depending on what you set crumble to.
Lasers: These work a little differently than the other
weapons. Purchasing one of these gives you 1000
units of laser energy. The power value you select
is how much of this energy you wish to use. If
you have less than 100 units the laser cannot
Guidance Systems: I'll leave it up to you to figure
out how to use these. They're very powerful,
effective, and easy to misuse.
Defense Systems: The three defense systems are fairly
self explanatory. One will protect you from
explosions, one will protect you from falling, and
one will repel enemy fire.
COMMAND LINE PARAMETERS: You can override all of the
defaults on the command line. The format is:
BOMB command1 command2 command3 ....etc.
The commands are as follows:
S+|- Sound - On or Off
F+|- Flysound - On or Off
Gnn Where nn=The Number of Games you Wish to Play
BKx Background Selection
BKN - None
BKR - Random
BKU - User Selected
BKn - Use only Background n
Wn Wind Control (0..5)
0 - None
1 - Low
2 - Normal
3 - High
4 - Gale
5 - Random
Rn Wall Reflectivity (0..5)
0 - None
1 - Sticky
2 - Elastic
3 - Accel
4 - Warp
5 - Random
Cnnn Crumble Percentage (0..100)
I+|- Invisible Ball - On or Off
T+|- Shot Trace - On or Off
D+|- Tanks Fall Down - On or Off
B+|- Computers Can Buy Weapons - On or Off
TEAM Activate Team Play Mode
M+|- Enable|Disable Mouse
DV+|- Direct Video Port Access - Active or Inactive
CV+|- Crude Video Manipulation - Active or Inactive
P+|- Palette Rotation - Active or Inactive
PV Palette Rotation uses Video Retrace Interrupt
PT Palette Rotation uses Timer Interrupt
SKIP Skip Title Screen
ESnn Explosion Speed
FSnn Fall Speed
PSnn Projectile Speed
SSnn Shot Speed
It is preferable to set these options in BOMBCFG, as
they will be saved and you will not need to re-enter them
every time you run Tank Wars. Keep in mind that any options
specified on the command line will override the options
stored in BOMB.CFG.
To play a 30 game set, with crumble set at 75%, random
walls, and shot trails you would enter the following.
BOMB G30 C75 R5 T+
There is no required order. If contradictory commands are
issued, all but the last one will be ignored.
Users from previous versions will note changes in some
commands. The old version of each command still exists, for
example 'RR' will select a random wall, and 'NOCRUDE' will
still disable the Crude Palette Interface.
The Speed Parameters require special explanation. Three of
the four, TS (Turret Speed), ES (Explosion Speed) and FS
(Fall Speed) are microsecond delays inserted into the proper
event. For example, setting FS to 10 will create a ten
microsecond delay every time a tank falls one pixel. Turret
Speed controls the rate at which a turret will turn. Change
this if the turret is moving too fast to aim accurately.
Explosion Speed is the speed at which Explosions occur.
Change this to fine tune the rate at which things explode,
in case they were happening too fast to see or too slow to
bear. Remember that smaller numbers are faster speeds.
Shot Speed operates uniquely. It is not a strict
delay, but a measure of accuracy. The number you set here
is used as the number of times the shot's position is
calculated for each movement. For example, setting this to
20 will divide each projectile movement into twenty finer
movements, improving the smoothness of the path. Setting
this to 1 will cause fewer calculations, and a jerky path,
but faster speed. Also with fewer calculations and higher
powers the ball will appear to jump from place to place,
possibly passing through tanks or past walls. If this
happens increase this setting to solve the problem. This
option is placed under speed because it has a direct effect
on the game's speed. The higher the number, the higher the
accuracy, the slower the game. It is a tradeoff between
speed and accuracy.
If the program is detecting a mouse, when there is not
one or is not detecting a mouse you have, use the M
parameter. M+ will force a mouse to be detected. M- will
prohibit use of the mouse.
BOMBCFG.EXE: New with Version 2.5 is the configuration
program BOMBCFG. This can be used to set the defaults
for most of the options available. It is a fairly
simple program with standard drop down menus, and cases
sensitive help. Just press F1 at any time to bring up
a help window for the set of options you are currently
INTENDED ADDITIONS: I've been working on this program for
quite a while, and it is by no means complete. I
intend to add more weapons, and to develop more
computer intelligences. Also, I hope to find even more
ways to speed up the program without sacrificing any
graphical effects. As noted I am working on MIDI
support, and possibly other external sound systems. I
am also looking into the possibilities of a modem or
network version of Tank Wars.
This program is distributed as Shareware. It is not
free software. You are free to try the game and make copies
for others. If you continue to use this game beyond a
reasonable trial period, you are required to register it
with the author. In return you will be notified of all
major releases, and will own a legal copy of the program.
Send Registrations to:
11800 SILENT VALLEY LANE
GAITHERSBURG, MD 20878
Please include your registration fee of $10, and if you
have one, a Compuserve or Prodigy ID at which I can contact
you. Also tell me what version you have, and where you got
it from. I don't require it, but I would also like to know
your age, and what kind of system you are running on. I will
currently answer questions from anyone via CIS or Prodigy.
I can be reached at TGTM35B on Prodigy, or 76427,3305 on
Compuserve. (Internet users can reach me at my Compuserve
Address.) I will currently answer written (non electronic)
questions to the above address only if the asker includes a
method of reply, such as a self addressed stamped envelope,
or Prodigy or Compuserve ID.
If you reside outside the United States please pay the
registration fee with a cashier's check or money order
payable IN US FUNDS. Canadian residents may send personal
checks but please adjust for the difference between US and
After registering you will become the legal owner of
your copy of Tank Wars, and will be placed on my mailing
list. Whenever a new version is released, you will be
notified of its release, its new features, and how to obtain
it. In addition to your $10 registration fee you may
include at the time of registration an extra $3 to obtain
the current version of Tank Wars at that time. (Please
specify disk size, 360KB, 720KB, or 1.44MB.) If you prefer
you can replace the $3 with a self addressed, stamped,
floppy disk mailer containing a blank disk and I will place
the current version of Tank Wars on it and drop it back in
the mail to you.
Once registered, you are to treat this software exactly
as a commercial package that you had purchased. The
software and the disks on which it is contained are licensed
to you, for your own use. This is copyrighted software.
You are not obtaining title to the software or any copyright
rights. You may not sublicense, rent, lease, convey,
modify, translate, convert to another programming language,
decompile, or disassemble the software for any purpose. Any
copy made of this program for any person other than the
registered user this copy is licensed to is to be treated as
a shareware copy, and should be evaluated and registered
I apologize for the capitalization, but the Uniform
Commercial Code [UCC] states that implied warranties cannot
be disclaimed unless the disclaimer conspicuously uses
specific words. All capital letters is commonly accepted as
conspicuous (and rude, but that's another matter).
This software is provided as-is.
There are no warranties, expressed or implied.
KENNETH MORSE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES RELATING TO THIS
SOFTWARE, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT
LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY
AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND ALL SUCH
WARRANTIES ARE EXPRESSLY AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMED.
NEITHER KENNETH MORSE NOR ANYONE ELSE WHO HAS BEEN
INVOLVED IN THE CREATION, PRODUCTION, OR DELIVERY OF
THIS SOFTWARE SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT,
CONSEQUENTIAL, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE
USE OR INABILITY TO USE SUCH SOFTWARE EVEN IF KENNETH
MORSE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
DAMAGES OR CLAIMS. IN NO EVENT SHALL KENNETH MORSE'S
LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGES EVER EXCEED THE PRICE PAID
FOR THE LICENSE TO USE THE SOFTWARE, REGARDLESS OF THE
FORM OF CLAIM. THE PERSON USING THE SOFTWARE BEARS ALL
RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE SOFTWARE.
Some states do not allow the exclusion of the
limit of liability for consequential or incidental
damages, so the above limitation may not apply to you.
This agreement shall be governed by the laws of
the State of Maryland and shall inure to the benefit of
Kenneth Morse and any successors, administrators, heirs
and assigns. Any action or proceeding brought by
either party against the other arising out of or
related to this agreement shall be brought only in a
STATE or FEDERAL COURT of the competent jurisdiction
located in Montgomery County, Maryland. The parties
hereby consent to in personam jurisdiction of said