Elmaethor, god of the starsto Everyone

After MUCH rigorous testing, I am pleased to announce that warfare has returned to Avalon and you are all free to wage it as you please.

Engage and legion combat in particular has been put through a significant update / upgrade to virtually all areas. A majority of this will go largely unnoticed in the end results of a conflict but nonetheless the subtleties and factors affecting and impacting a legion's ability to fight will ALL contibute to its overall performance in any given combat situation.

HELP 22 has been updated (in many cases streamlined) throughout to provide accurate information / explanation and of particular note are HELP ENGAGE detailing the specifics of combat and HELP FORMATION covering the dozen or so new formations introduced to more intricately manage your armies.

Everyone with an interest in warfare should read these help files carefully but for those wanting a summary, the most salient points are:

1. MELEE and ACTIONS commands have been removed and superceded by the DEPLOY command - MELEE combat is now designated by DEPLOY WEAPONS, all other deployments are unchanged.

2. Legions will now retaliate effectively when attacked even without a commander providing they are deployed and equipped appropriately. This will act as if the attacked legion was given an ENGAGE order for its opponent and will fight to the best of its ability - no more one sided battles with no retaliation.

3. Legions now follow the 'frontline' philosophy as described in HELP ENGAGE - that being, there is a limit to the number of men who can attack in one go and this should be noted when engaging in combat for a legion of 5K will no longer be massively advantaged against one of just 4K, likewise 2K vs 1K etc etc.

4. All forms of attacking (melee, projectiles, archers) operate on their own individual timers and on their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Damage is evaluated based on the type of attack and the battlefield conditions.

5. Archers will now fire the maximum number of arrows as their maximum frontline and their damage will be evaluated accordingly.

6. A dozen new formations have been introduced for all manner of battlefield scenarios - none is strong in all situations and some are defensive, offensive, some designed for archery, cavalry, bombing and so on - experimentation is advised.

7. Arrows and bombs will now be consumed properly and in the right quantities.

The intent behind any legion combat situation is for strategy to win the day over any pure numbers advantage while ensuring that combat is fast paced enough to be exciting yet cerebral enough to ensure battles last an appropriately long time without any 'flash in the pan' surprise attacks overwhelming before a player is able to react. The latest updates will ensure that this is the case and I would strongly advise anyone with an interest in warfare to consider their ability to command multiple legions and anyone relying on pure numbers to win out rethink their battlefield plans.

Any questions, issues, queries, concerns or especially problems / bugs should be reported to myself or Genesis immediately.

Elmaethor, god of the stars

Written and shown unedited exactly as rendered by text based game bulletin board on Avalon Online RPG and by my hand on the 12th of Midwinter, in the year 1388.