Colossus - Settings in Preferences Window

This document describes the various available settings in the Preferences Window (displayable by "MasterBoard menu" => "Window" => "Preferences...")

This window has six tabbed panes:

Battle tab

The first two help to distinct on the Battle Map which chits belong to which player.

Use colored borders on Battle Chits

As name says.

Do not invert defender's Battle Chits

Normally defender's battle chits are shown upside down, so that one can distinct attacker and defender. With this setting they are not upside down.

Hit Roll and Dice indicators

From the Law of Titan rulebook: "The number of dice thrown in a rangestrike is determined by the character's Range-strength, which is equal to one half the character's Power-factor, rounded down."

In Colossus, when you click on a creature that is able to strike or rangestrike a red die indicating the roll needed for a successful hit will be displayed on each creature in range.

If the number of dice to be rolled for striking a certain creature is different than what it would be just based on the striker's power-factor (e.g. due to hazards or rangestrike) a green number (positive or negative) will be displayed over a second, blue/red die on that creature.

The following three options decide whether a certain indicator is displayed or not.

Show needed roll for hit

Will show some red dice indicating which roll you need to make a hit. E.g. for equal-skilled characters and no terrain influences that is a four; but if they have different skill or e.g. a non-native trying to strike a native creature in a bramble hex, there might be a different roll needed (less than four if the attackers skill is higher than the defenders, or e.g. 5 or 6 for the bramble example).

Show added/lost dice due to terrain

Some terrains, like dunes in the desert, cause a non-native attacker striking up to have less dice to roll, or the attacker (e.g. a lion) striking down to have 1 or 2 dice added.

Show lost dice due to rangestrike

Similar to the previous, but this one affects whether to show it if the difference is caused by rangestriking.

Autoplay tab

Here are several options that you can make the game automatically do certain tasks for you; they would then be done mostly the same way as the SimpleAI would do it.

Autoplay - Auto pick color

During begin of the game, you are asked to select a color. With this option set, the system will pick the first one which is still available from your list of preferred colors (when you have set them in Color tab); without any preferred colors set (or all already taken by human players before you), the system will simply pick one for you randomly.

Autoplay - Auto pick markers

If you don't care which marker will be taken for splitting a legion (or as initial marker at game start), then mark this option - the system will just pick one for you randomly.

Autoplay - Auto pick entry sides

When teleporting or when there is more than one path how you can reach a certain target land to attack an enemy legion there, you have to choose from which side you want to enter. For example, from Woods 30 with a movement roll of 5 or 6, you can get to the Desert 35 directly (entering from left), or going around (entering from bottom). This makes only a difference if the target land is occupied by another player's legion, i.e. there will be an engagement.

Normally you would be prompted to pick the entry side; this option automatically picks one side for you.

Autoplay - Auto forced strike

Creatures engaged in a battle with exactly one opponent creature, can naturally only strike that opponent creature, and this strike is mandatory - thus this option would automatically do all those strikes. It leaves the one where there is more than one possible strike target for you. (Those are still mandatory, but it's your choice where to strike).

Autoplay - Auto carry single

Similar to the above, if there is only one possible carry target for excess hits (more hits than needed to kill the primary target).

Autoplay - Auto rangestrike single

Similar to the above, if there is only one possible rangestrike target. One notable difference is, rangestrikes are not mandatory - there might be rare situations where you do not want to use all rangestrikes; if you play with such subtle strategy skills, in this case you should not use this option.

Autoplay - Auto summon angels

Will automatically decide whether to summon an angel, and if so, which one. It uses the AI functionality for the decision whether to summon. There might be situations when you want not to summon (especially the after battle summon), e.g. to muster something stronger instead. Usually the AI should decide "right" in this case but...

Autoplay - Auto done

With this enabled, you don't need to click "Done" in some situations where there is nothing else you can do. Right now, this covers the two cases: If there is something to recruit, then this will not automatically finish the recruit phase after the last recruiting was done, neither whether you did it or Auto-recruit did it.

Autoplay - Auto acquire angels

Will automatically acquire the angel(s) after a won battle. Uses also the AI functionality to decide whether to acquire (or not, e.g. to have still space for a possible stronger recruit).

If you want full control - don't use this. Then you will be prompted.

Autoplay - Auto recruit

This will, at the beginning of your Muster Recruits phase, already select one recruit for every legion that can do so. This speeds up the game enormously, since in the majority of cases it will pick for you the one you would pick anyway, and you can review already during your movement phase what you would get there (but see note below).

And you can then always override the choice this automatic mode had made for you - same as how you could undo and redo any other of the recruit choices you made yourself. Just click the legion once (then the chit disappears and nothing is mustered) and click again to get the "Pick recruit" dialog.

This auto recruit will usually pick the "best" possible recruit - which is in most (but not in all!) cases the "strongest" possible one; the best might instead be something that we call a "recruit hint". For example, if you have two Lions, no griffon yet, you are in a plains, and a Desert is in reach, then you could take a Lion or a Ranger: in this case the recruit hint is to take the Lion (not the Ranger), to enable you to get then in the Desert the griffon.

(Naturally someone might want to take the 3rd Lion even if no Desert is directly in reach [with one dice roll], but the situation above is how the hint is written and how thus the AIs play.)

See under Show recruit preview chits... in Graphics/View tab for some related details!

NOTE: There are some very rare cases, where the actual pick recruit will pick something different than what the recruit preview (during move phase) showed, even in "Recruit hint" mode. Details see also under the "Show recruit preview chits..." description. I hope to tackle this one day...

Autoplay - Auto pick recruiters

When you have several different creatures that allow you to muster a new recruit, you have to decide which creatures to reveal to the other players - what entitles you to muster a certain creature: for example, do you take the Cyclops with the two Gargoyles or the Cyclops you already have?

If you don't care what is revealed, for example if every player can peek into everyone's legions anyway (most people play like this, and that is the default mode), it's just convenient to let the game just pick whatever choice for you.

If, at the other hand, you play with the option setting "Only own legions" (see option "Viewable legion content" in Setting in Get Players startup dialog), i.e. as close to "real board game Titan possible", you might want to have control what is revealed and not use this option.

Autoplay - Auto reinforce

Will automatically decide whether and which reinforcement to take during a battle.

Autoplay - Auto play

This will automatically play for you - everything. It will play with the same logic as the SimpleAI plays. Note that this "play like an AI" also affects to certain other behavior aspects. For example, you will not get the "Game over, XXX wins" dialog.

After selecting this option (when it is currently already your turn), you still have to do one action (split or move one legion, or press the Done button) before the AI kicks in and continues. If you enable this while it is currently another player's turn the AI should start automatically play for you once your turn starts. (Enabling it during a battle does not work).

Unlike all other options, this one here is not saved in your user options!

If it would be saved, or you would put it manually there, when the game starts your player won't even get a MasterBoard (nor any other window... perhaps the AutoInspector window, but that's a bug ;-) - this is, because this player is treated like an AI client then, and AIs simply do not get a board.

One possible use case for this is, if you play with several remote/network players and you have to postpone the game to another date. At that new date some player might not have time, or not be interested to continue. In this case, one of the remaining players can start another network client (on his own machine!) in place of the missing one, and mostly immediatey set this client to Auto play. You will then get an additional window, but you can minimize that and it should not bother too much. Better than not be able to play at all.

Tip for "hacker-type" users: For the missing-player scenario, you can even modify the saved .xml file and replace there the player type "Human" with something else, like "SimpleAI" or "RationalAI". (Technical implementation of this file may change, or perhaps may never change, but right now, technically there is no problem to do this trick). Then you don't even get the superfluous window(s).

Graphics/View tab

The first four settings somehow effect the graphics - what or how something is shown. The first group are all kind of just optical differences - which colors, rounded corners and such. The other two affect more the "View", whether/how something is shown. Okay, here the detailed descriptions for both groups:


Slightly different showing of some corners of something ... *shrug*

Use Graphical Overlay

The different lands on the masterboard can just be a base color and a text printed in it, or show some fancy small graphical "overlay" picture, resembling the picture in original Titan masterboard.

Until recently changing this setting took only effect after a rescale, should be fixed now (2007 July).

Use black overlay on Chits

Print the name and values (skill and power) on creatures in black rather than in the creature's color.

After changing this only newly added chits will look different. The ones already visible on the board do not change immediately...

And now the two "content"-affecting ones:

Show recruit preview chits...

When you click on a legion to move somewhere, lands light up where this legion can move to. In those lands are then shown small chits denoting which creatures this legion could muster there. This is called the recruit preview.

This offers 4 different (multiple exlusive) settings to decide what is shown as recruit preview.

"Strongest" vs. "Recruit Hint"

Earlier there was only a setting "Show all recruit chits [or not]", and when not selected that recruit preview showed then only one, the best recruit ... but what is "the best", depends on the point of view.

Strongest is the one which is highest position in the recruit tree of that land (visible with right click in that land, or autoinspector), which is not in all cases the same as the one with the highest point value (skill * power). Most notifiably in Tower, Warlock has point value 20, Guardian has 24, still Warlock is the one highest in the tree, so with this setting "Strongest" you will (given you are eligible both for Guardian and Warlock) always be shown the Warlock (except in some exotic variants, perhaps).

This is also the setting which was in effect all the last years when there was only the option "Show all recruit chits" (or not) and that was not selected - it just showed the highest from the recruit tree. Which often was the same as what autorecruit would take, but not always (see Recruit preview vs. Auto recruit below).

Recruit hint shows, well, a recruit hint - a suggestion, what would be best to take now considering "long term strategy".

For the different variants, there are (or can be) recruit hints. They suggest to take, depending on (beside other things) land, creatures in the legion, lands in reach etc., to take something different than "simply the strongest". Only if there is no special hint, this hint defaults to the strongest.

Examples for such hints are, as under auto recruit already mentioned:

Other variants might have more, exotic combinations.

These hints are used also by the AI players to decide what to take.

Recruit preview vs. Auto recruit

Since the AIs behave mostly according to those hints, and Autoplay options (Auto Recruit, in this case) behave like an AI, this recruit hint preview mode basically (but see below) tells you which creature the auto recruit will take then in the recruit phase. Using this Auto recruit speeds up the game enormously: you can review already during your move phase what you would get there, and during the muster phase auto recruit picks that - in most cases this will be the one you would pick anyway. Thus you basically need only to do something special when you notice during move "ok, it suggests the Ranger but I want a Lion!"; and only in this case remember to change the recruitee in your recruit phase then for this one or two legions.

(Comment 1: Unfortunately it happens, that when there are engagements, after them, thus several minutes later, one has forgotten that one wanted to override the auto recruit decition. Make a node to your ear to remind yourself of it ;-)

(Comment 2: I have a plan to, one day, implement some real "recruit already during move" functionality, but this still needs to consider the "after engagement situation may have changed" situation - due to the "according to the rules muster happen after the engagements").

Above it says basically, because there are rare situations where this differs. Thus Auto recruit would then pick something else than what was shown as preview (with "recruit hint" setting) - but as said, it's very rare.

There are basically two possibilities causing this:

  1. Creatures running out (including defender reinforcements)
    If there is one Troll left, and you move 3 legions to a land where you can get (as "best according to the recruit hint" of course) a Troll, each of it will display the Troll. But only one of them can get it later (this case perhaps *could* be fixed).
    Also, according to rules, recruiting happens after all engagements. This means, if a defender reinforces a Troll in his 4th battle round, there will - when your recruit phase starts, after all engagements resolved - be one Troll less in the caretakers stack than it was during your move phase.
  2. Ongoing engagement blocks a path
    Some (not all) recruit hints depend on "which lands can you reach in next roll". If there is an engagement somewhere in the possible movement pathes of a legion, the evalutation "where can this legion move to?" cannot (will not) go beyond this land where is an engagement. Whether you could go there (in your next movement turn) will depend on the outcome of that engagement (and/or the legion moves away by itself); thus, as example, some Desert does not count as reachable and thus the recruit hint would not suggest the 3rd Lion, show the Ranger instead.
    If you then win the engagement, your own legion does not block the path to that Desert thus the Auto-recruit will now take the 3rd Lion.
On the long run, the recruit phase later should then at least notify about this differences, e.g.: "Note: recruit preview for legion ... showed you a Troll but now the autorecruit will take a Ranger" (= not enough Trolls left) - so that you can review and revise your recruit decisions, if needed.
Probably there is no way to make this 100% bulletproof already during move phase - one cannot predict what will happen during the engagements. (For the 1 Troll left but 3 legions go to a land and get Troll shown as preview there are some possibilities).

Uncertain as blank (Autoinspector etc.)

This option is only available if you play with the setting/mode "Ever revealed (or concludable) since start" (see option "Viewable legion content" in Setting in Get Players startup dialog). For the other two modes ("Only own legions" and "True content for all legions") this option is simply irrelevant/not meaningful, thus then it is inactive (greyed out).

In the "Ever revealed ..." mode, some creatures had been revealed, and some others might be safely concluded (= are "certain") to be in a particular legion you are looking at - e.g. with Autoinspector, or right-clicking a legion marker.

For the remaining ones, the game always calculates some "best guess" - what is most likely to be there; but this information is just a guess, not "certain". Depending on this setting, for the uncertain ones are then either shown the best guess (with a question mark over them), or if Uncertain as blank is selected, it just shows a "blank" (=no creature), only a question mark.

The rationale behind this is, if the best guess is shown, one might be influenced by it, unconciously trusting it, and be fooled by it. Also sometimes the question mark is easily overlooked on some creatures.

Windows tab

Here are some settings which effect the windows as a whole.

Steal focus

When a different window becomes relevant (as in "here is your action needed now"), like, summoning during a battle you should select the donor stack from master board, with this option enabled the "to-become-active" window might grab the focus by itself (i.e. raise on top of all other windows), instead of waiting for you to click on it (or something like that... not sure ;-)

Change Scale

Change the scale (zoom factor) of the masterboard and all other windows. This is very useful e.g. in Abyssal9, where the masterboard is much bigger. Depending on the screen resolution some icons or texts might then be too small to read them, but always scrolling is annoying too...

Look & Feel

This somewhat influences the Look & Feel, i.e. the borders and text styles of the single windows (e.g. menus). Which "Look & Feel" settings are available to you, might depend on your environment (OS, Java version, Window system); e.g. for me on Windows XP the following choices are offered:

Color tab

You can define an order of favorite colors here. See Auto pick color for details.

Confirmations tab

All three of them respect the "mark as skip" functionality.

Confirm when not all possible recruits taken

During the Muster Phase, if the Done button is selected while there are still legions that can recruit, but have not done so, then, if this option is enabled, a confirmation window will pop to confirm that some recruits are deliberately not being taken.

Confirm when not all possible moves made

During the Move Phase, if the Done button is selected while there are still legions that have not moved, then, if this option is enabled, a confirmation window will pop to confirm that some legions are deliberately not being moved.

Confirm when not all full legions split

During the Split Phase, if the Done button is selected while there are still legions that are full but have not split, then, if this option is enabled, a confirmation window will pop to confirm that some full legions are deliberately not being split.

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Created January 2008.
Last updated July 6, 2010 by CleKa