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View Document: Introductory Manual

Skulrin Bait, (a.k.a David J West) has written this introductary tutorial for newcomers.
The fuller manual is still being updated and revised, and in the interim prior to its release
please ask any further questions within the Midnight/MU forum.

Note: I have taken the liberty of amending a few inaccuracies in this text and of adding a few
extra paragraphs, but it remains 95% David's work, for which he has my deepest thanks.



Midnight Multi-User (M/MU) - Introductory Guide v0.3

Background:

You may never have heard of "The Lords of Midnight", but suffice to say
it was and still is an epic game in every way. First released in 1984
by Mike Singleton, for the ZX Spectrum, the game soon claimed a cult
following, which endures to this day.

Midnight MU takes that game and improves on near perfection, with the
ability to play against real-life people from around the world, thanks
to the magic of the internet. The only criticism you could level at the
original Lord of Midnight (LOM) is that the artificial intelligence
wasn't too clever, but what do you expect from an 8 bit processor with 48k
RAM!

To sum up Midnight MU, it is in essence an adventure/wargame with
elements of RPG and strategy thrown in for good measure. You'll have to
learn the landscape in order to recruit an army to your banner before
unleashing it on your foes. You'll need to employ spies to hunt down the
enemy, think up cunning plans and strategies and even get involved in
diplomacy if the mood takes you.

The game employs a unique style of graphics, called "landscaping" which
means you are totally immersed in a 3d landscape which holds many
secrets and surprises for the new traveller. You'll see forests, mountains,
hills, valleys, lakes as well as keeps and citadels as you travel
around. But if you want to know what lies beyond the next mountain range,
then you'll have to walk/ride there and have a look for yourself! Or
you could send one of your vassals if you're too scared and have someone
nearby to do your dirty work.

Gameplay:

There are two types of game in MMU, with two very different aims.

Most popular is the "regicide" style of game, where you simply need to
kill off all the enemy leaders. It sounds easy but of course the enemy
are trying to do the same to you!

Alternatively there is the "citadel grab" type of game, where you have
to capture a set number of citadels to win. Again the opposition has
the same objective as you so you can guarantee that the citadels you are
trying to capture will be defended well and you may find your own
citadels under attack too! Even in this kind of game, losing your king
means game over for you.

You start off with your character at a random point on the map - it's a
pretty big map too, taking about 15 days (game time) to travel from
north to south or east to west. Your first job should be orientating
yourself to get an idea where you are before heading off in search of
action. You can learn the map as you go along or if you look on the forums
you'll probably find a link to a map you can download.

The top-left hand window (once you've logged in and started a game)
shows you a view of the area you are in, you can change the view by
clicking the direction buttons.

Once you are happy with your surroundings you can move by pressing the
move button. Each time you do this you'll be propelled forward one
league (a league is about 4 miles or 6 kilometres) and the view will
update for you. By doing this repeatedly you can see what's over the
horizon and move closer to distant keeps etc. Certain types of landscape,
noteably mountains and especially forests will totally block the view,
you can't see through them. So you'll need to move into this type of
terrain to see what resides within!

Some type of terrain are impassible and the "Move" button is greyed out
if you are unable to occupy these types of terrain. Most notable, the
icy wastes can never be traversed and you'll find enemy held garrisons
are also impassable. You could always use the "to battle" option if
you want to try to capture this type of terrain, but be aware the
defenders will be at an advantage as they make use of the defences at their
disposal. The prudent warrior only attacks if he feels he has the
manpower to win!

You also need to keep a close eye on the two status bars near the top
right of the screen. One of them shows how much energy your character
has and if this is getting low you need to be worried. Once you run out
of energy (utterly exhausted) then you can't move and must rest. It's
a good idea for this reason not to march across moutain ranges with
impunity, but choose the gentler route so as not to wear your armies down
too much. As well as not being able to move when exhausted, you'll
find your men fight less effectively the more tired they get. This is
where the other status bar comes in, as the more cowardly a leader is, the
weaker his men are when it comes to battle.

Of course you can increase your leaders bravery, but I'm not going to
tell you how, that's part of the fun of a learning about M/MU! As a
hint though, use the "seek" option!

You'll notice that time isn't infinite in M/MU, once you've moved a
certain distance, used "seek" too often or just generally dawdled around a
bit, you'll see it get's dark as night falls. You can then choose a
different character to control, but once everyone of your roster of
people has reached nightfall, it's turn over and you need to click the "end
turn" button near the top-right. This will allow the other leaders
their turns and also this is when the battles are worked out. You'll find
next time you play the first screen gives you rumour of battle, so you
know where the fighting is.

Apart from the "move" button, there are also several other useful
buttons to get used to.

The "think" button, which will bring up details of battles fought and
other personal information.

The "Seek" button will get your character to seek for items, for example
refreshment if at a suitable location such as a lake. You can seek at any
location but only some of them are likely to yield a reward, these being lakes,
liths, villages, snow-halls, ruins and caverns. The types of reward will need to
be discovered but not all things you seek are good! Towers offer guidance,
and the Wise who inhabit these favour the brave...

"Here" will tell you of anything of note in the same location, such as other lords,
wild animals, etc. "Ahead" does the same, but for the location directly aheaf of you.

If your men are too tired and there is nothing to be sought, you can
choose to "rest" for one hour each time you click it, this in turn
returns some life to your men.

The "vassals" button brings up a pop-up window listing all your allies
and some useful information about them such as location and what armies
they lead etc.

"Strongholds" does likewise for any citadels and keeps which are
garrisoned by your men. It's a good idea to leave garrisons in some
locations, especially citadels to provide reinforcements and refreshment at
times of need. This is done by clicking the "garrison" button on the
right hand window. Citadels are especially useful as they generate more
forces when garrisoned and all garrisons will produce supplies to feed
your tiring armies. If you withdraw forces from keeps/citadels you have
to leave at least 50 men to form the garrison, if you withdraw everyone
you lose any stores which may have been there. The "consume" button on
the right hand window is used to eat any stores which may be there, 10
units are needed to get an army from "utterly exhausted" to "utterly
invigorated". All citadels have Power Of Vision, so that you can see from
the eyes of the garrison commander. Keeps with a garrison of at least 150 men
also have this ability. These make good lookout points for your domain's
outer boundaries.

Clicking the "victories" button will let you know if you managed to
kill and enemy lords, and if you can see a "shades" drop-down menu then it
means some of your lords have been slain. "Defeats" does the same but
in reverse, ie shows who has been killed from your vassals.

You may find the "journals" button useful for making notes as you
wander around, even writing epic tales as your campaing unfolds. This area
is secret so don't worry about the opposition reading your journal but
once the game is over any journals written by either player are there
for all to see.


You'll soon find other armies in the game as their banners tend to make
them quite consipicuous. If you are lucky they will be neutral lords
who you can recruit, by simply moving onto the same location they occupy
and clicking their name and then the "recruit" button. Your lords can
recruit any neutral lord with total success assured, apart from dragons
who are never able to recruit others, due to their bad
breath and general poor hygiene, no-one wants to talk to them much less be
convinced to joining their cause!

It takes one hour to recruit a lord of the same race, two hours to recruit
a lord of another race. So if there is less than the required hours
remaining in a day you'll have to wait until the morrow! Also you
can't recruit a lord if the enemy has a unit on the same location, annoying
that! Lords who are "Terrified" cannot recruit - they are too
scared to speak to anyone let alone fight...

Skulrin can recruit, but it takes them most of the day to convince anyone
to take them seriously!

Anyone you manage to recruit will appear on the drop-down list of lords
under your control and you can move them around etc in exactly the same
way as your main character. The only difference is that if they die,
you don't lose the game!

Generally speaking when you recruit someone they will have an army
which you can put to good use. There are a few lords without armies, some
can find armies from friendly keeps and citadels etc but others such as
dragons never can lead men into battle. These unit types are probably
best employed as spies to see what the enemy is up to and as they have
no armies are quite tough to spot, you can only see this type of force
from adjacent locations on the map.

It's worth pointing out that there are also numerous different "races"
within the lands of Midnight, the Free and the Foul being the most
numerous. These are humanoids who have no particular features other than
being historical enemies, the Free the good guys if you like and the Foul
the baddies - the names give this away I suppose!

The Fey are next most populous and they are basically woodland peoples
who gain advantages when in their native location type, being quicker
at negotiating wooded areas and better fighters amongst the trees.

There are also a small number of Dwarves and Targ in the game,
the Dwarves being very good at traversing mountains and the Targ cavalry
is very fast across the open plains.

Whilst it can be a good idea to have a mixed race army, it is important
to remember that troops of one racial type cannot be given to another
leader of a different race. So those Dwarven warriors are not going to
be able to be transferred to the control of a Barbarian warlord for
example. Also note that all but Dwarve armies can be either riders or
warriors. Rider only armies move quicker than those on foot and gain some
combat advantages too. You may be lucky enough to find some horses
wandering around which you can order your men to mount up if you have some
spare warriors in your force.

Once you have moved everyone then you can click "end turn" and your
opponent(s) get their turns and then it's time for you to have your next
move. The process repeats until you or your opponent(s) are dead or
someone captures the number of citadels in the game briefing.

If you wish to continue your turn at a later time, you may click on "Save" instead.

Click on "Resign" if you wish to resign from a hopeless cause, or on "Abandon" if
you would like all players to agree to call the game a draw - ALL other players
must agree to this.

Caravans
Supply routes are crucial to an army on the march. Create a caravan at citadels, and
it will be able to "get" stores from the granary. The granary replenishes slowly every night,
and the smaller keeps also can provide additional stores which the caravans may fetch. Stores
may also be offloaded at destination citadels for safe-keeping.

"Consuming" stores will prvide a tired lord and army with much needed sustenance.

Beware though - caravans are weak units that cannot defend themselves. Send them out without
an escort and they become easy prey for all but the most craven of enemies



Good luck!


General Tips:

Here are few very basic tips for the beginner.

1. Learn the map inside out and the location of all recruitable lords.
If needs be get one of the programs out there to help you remember
what's going on!

2. Recruit as many lords as possible to your cause.

3. Only engage in battle if you think you can win.

4. Use towers and lone lords to spy on the enemy.

5. Hold onto citadels as they are the only locations which generate
new armies.

6. Guard your leader well enough to avoid being killed by surprise
attacks.

7. Look after your troops morale and general well being.

 

 
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