Colossus - Options on client side (MasterBoard window)

This document is a start to describe the meaning/purpose of the different available options on client side, i.e. what you (every individual player/client) can select/modify from the Menu bar in the "MasterBoard" window during the game, and which are more like activities, as in "do THIS now".

For the various settings which are more like "Preferences", as in "I like this and that to be displayed like THIS", see the Preferences Window Settings page.

For the game-global option that can only be set during game setup see the Get Players startup dialog page.

The menubar provides the following menus:

The different menus are described in detail in the sections below.

File menu

These are the usual options you would expect from most applications: Save game and Save game as will save the current state of the game to a xml file in a subdirectory "saves" in "the colossus directory"; this colossus directory is generally speaking, a directory called ".colossus" in your "home directory". Whatever this home directory is, depends on your operating system. For Unix and Linux users this should be clear; under Windows XP this is something like "C:\Documents and Settings\<your login name>"; other versions of Microsoft Windows use different directories...

Colossus tells you the directory it considers to be your home directory under Help - About (it shows it in the line with "users.home").

Save game will automatically generate some numeric, for human not meaningful filename (same as the Autosave option in Settings in Get Players startup dialog); with Save game as you are prompted with a file selection box to provide a name for the file (with XML ending).

Games saved this way can be loaded later using the Load game menu option or with the Load game button in the Player Selection menu (on game start).

NOTE: Right now loading games that were saved during the middle of a phase (in particular when a battle is ongoing), might cause trouble or not work at all. Thus you should try to save always at the beginning of a user's turn or at least at the beginning of a phase.

NOTE: Once you select New Game and click "Yes" in the following confirmation dialog, your currently running game is aborted. I.e. even if you then in the upcoming player selection dialog click "Quit": this does not bring you back to the game (even though it is still visible in the background!!) - rather it will terminate the whole Java application. This might be changed in (far ;-) future to allow a "Cancel" to return back to the ongoing game.

Loading a game that involves network (=remote) players is possible, but one has to do it "exactly the right way" - see the FAQ in Networked Colossus (at the bottom of page).

Phase menu

This menu provides some actions affecting your current game phase: Which of those are at a certain moment available and what they do might depend on the situation, in which current game phase you are (Split, Move, Resolve Engagements, Muster Recruits).

This means also, when it is currently not your turn, this menu is disabled.

Phase - Clear recruit Chits

During the muster phase of the individual players, small chits will appear on the different legions stacks (on top of the legion marker), indicating which creature that legion did recruit recently. They will automatically cleared up in the moment when your own mustering phase starts. Before that, they are all there and might hinder your sight - for example, you don't see the number indicating the height of your own or the other player's legions; sometimes this information would be useful to see when deciding about whether to split. With this menu item (or just pressing "C") you can make the recruit chits disappear at nearly any time you want.

There is no way to call them back (right now).

NOTE: above it says "at nearly any time" - because, if you press "C" while a "do you want to concede?"-dialog is open, this "C" would be taken as answer to the dialog. There's room for improvement here...

Phase - Undo

This will undo the last action you did (split, recruit, or moving a legion).

Phase - Undo All

This undoes all of the done actions of this phase, i.e. it resets you to the beginning of this phase. There is no way to go back to previous phases.

Phase - Done

This will end the current phase, and being done with the "Muster Recruits" phase will end your turn; thus the next player can start his turn then.

Phase - Take Mulligan

This allows to take a Mulligan, i.e. re-rolling the movement dice. This is only available during the movement phase, and according to normal Titan rules only once and only in first turn.

(In the Player Selection during the Game startup, the tab Options, exists an option Unlimited Mulligans - with this selected the Take Mulligan action will be allowed during any turn, as many times as one wants. Good for practicing purposes :)

Phase - Withdraw from game

Will remove you cleanly from the game.

As said, the Phase menu is disabled when it's not your turn. Arguably the Withdraw from Game might be useful to be available at any time, but current implementation does not allow it... one would need to check first if withdrawing at whatever other point might cause problems in the client/server synchronization (to the other, remaining clients); as long as this is not checked it stays as it is. If you just close your window in a very unlucky moment the game *might* hang for the remaining players :-(

Window menu

There are two types/groups of settings here. The first group are all some additional, smaller ("satellite") windows, showing certain types of information. Changing the checkboxes make those windows be displayed or hidden; closing the window with the small cross in right corner will unmark the checkbox in the menu as well. The last two, View Full Recruit Tree and View Web Client, are (technically speaking) not checkbox items, but "actions" and can be activated also by just pressing a key ("F" for "Full Recruit Tree" and "W" for "Web Client).

Additionally in this menu are (only sometimes available) "Choose Screen For Info Windows", and as last item the "Preferences..." which brings up the Preferences Window.

Show Caretaker's stacks

Show or hide the Caretaker's stacks - how many of each creature are available, dead, in use, etc.

Show game status

Show or hide the game status window. This displays how many legions, free markers, points, etc. every player has.

This game status window also displays also the current game turn number, and, often overlooked, in a battle you can see here also the current battle round and phase!

Show engagement results

As name says: the results from every engagement. Which legions did fight, their contents, who won, how (fled, conceded, battle), how many points earned. There are prev and next buttons to look through all of them.

There is some special magic builtin to this window - if you press "Hide" it will disappear and reappear once the next battle finished you are involved in. (I think this was meant to be like that, so that it jumps to the "latest" entry in that window only if you are involved, and does NOT automatically go to the next one e.g. if the AI's make quickly several battles. That this has also the effect of only reappearing in some situations ... well. Someone should take a look at it...)

Note that this window only shows the legions as they "were at engagement start" and the final state of the winner (just the surviving creatures). I.e. you can't see here what was killed, summoned, or acquired. Information in that form (what was added or removed) can be seen from Event Viewer.

Show inspector

A small satellite window always displaying content based on the current mouse position. Mostly the content of legions, or on empty land it shows the recruiting tree of that land.

You can always look at your own legions. Whether or what you are entitled to see of other player's legions content depends on the setting Viewable legion content in Get Players selection dialog.

Show event window

Event Viewer shows all (most of) the events that reveal some information or are otherwise interesting or relevant. Mostly this is needed to follow information which was revealed by recruiting (what was mustered and and which creatures were "revealed" to proof one is eligible to do so), teleport, summon, acquire or what survived a battle.

Also things like splitting, taking a mulligan, movement roll are shown there eventhough one would not classify them as "reveal"ing anything.

A great place to follow what's going on in the game, especially with many AI players. This Event Viewer is in particularly needed if you play with "Own legions only" for the setting Viewable legion content.

Behavior of the Event Viewer (how long back events can be shown) depends on the setting Events expire after before game start in the Get Players selection dialog.

Show log window

A text log window showing lot of details what's going on in the game. Most of it not relevant for actual playing, but for trouble shooting. The unfortunate situation is, that text is only added there when log window is open. Thus if a problem occurs and you display this window afterwards there is nothing shown. Room for improvement here...

View Full Recruit Tree

Show a window with all recruit trees (what can be mustered where).

Here the remaining two:

Choose Screen For Info Windows

This option is only available if you use a dual screen setup, i.e. two displays connected to your computer. [is that correct??]

Then you can use this setting to choose a different screen for the satellite windows.


This brings up the "Preferences" window.

Help menu

Help - About

Tells some basic information about your running Colossus application. Shown are:

Help - Show Variant Readme

This shows the same Variant Readme file that is also displayed in the Variant Readme pane during the Get Players startup selection.

This Readme describes the variant you are currently playing; like, in which aspects it differs from the "Default" variant ( = standard Titan as the original Avalon Hill game); often, it lists up information like when/how angels (or other summonables in some variants) can be acquired, and which creatures can be recruited where in an easier to read form than clicking the recruit trees of the individual lands; often some credits, who invented that variant, and so on.

Help - Documentation

The purpose of this is to provide help/documentation for various aspects of Colossus: the server side options (Get Players dialog), the client side options (in MasterBoard menu) and Preferences settings (own window, displayable with Window-menu => Preferences..."), and some features of the Battle Map Window (what the various elements of the displayed map mean).

Right now this "Documentation" dialog simply displays in a text area links (URLs) to the relevant web pages on the Colossus home page. This might or should eventually be developed further to become a proper help page browsing system...

Created July 2007, reflecting the state of Colossus at this time (directly after rearrangement of the MasterBoard menus).
Last updated thursday, August 27, 2009 by Clemens Katzer