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Advanced Tactics Gold Edition is an operational-level turn-based strategy game made by developer VR Design (who also made the Decisive Campaigns series as well as Shadow Empire) and published by Slitherine.
ATGE features interesting game mechanics with formations consisting of several unit types (infantry, tanks, artillery, etc) as opposed to single-type units.
First select "A New Dawn Random Game", or else the Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE) won't be available. The TOE is a vital accessory without which playing Advanced Tactics Gold Edition would be unfathomably tedious.
Formations are moved around on the maps and must be used to fight enemy armies, that also use formations of their own.
Formations consist of several units (infantrymen, tanks, planes, etc). Formation can consist of several unit types or just one. Mixing units together and experimenting to get the best results possible is a large part of the game.
Each formation has an HQ. HQs can also have HQ, and the command structure goes this way all the way up to the Supreme HQ, a special formation given to the player at the start of any new Random Game.
Select a formation then press 'M', then press the place where you want it to move.
Press 'A', then click on the enemy formation you want to attack. Then you'll have to select the formations of your own which you want to participate in the attack. You can just click the 'ALL' button on the right of the button bar to order all available formations to attack.
Click on a City (in order to place the cursor on it) then press "P", or alternatively click the Production button (the small factory icon on the bottom button bar, but not the one which says "HQ"). From there you can set what the city will build and in what proportion. The city will then produce the indicated units, and any unit produced will appear in the HQ formation under which the city operates. To select a new HQ, press the Set HQ button (the small factory icon on the bottom button bar with the yellow letters "HQ"), then place the cursor on the desired HQ, and press the Spacebar.
Create a new formation (HQ or fighting formation)
To create a new formation (which will consist of several units produced like shown above), place the cursor where you want the new formation to be created, and press N, or alternatevily click the New Formation button (the green square with a green + sign).
Then you have to select wether the formation is a unit or an HQ, or an HQ + Leader (I don't know what that means at the moment). It takes a small amount of Political Power (PP).
Then the unit is created by there's nothing in it. First it must be assigned an HQ from which it will receive its units. Place the cursor on an available HQ by clicking on it, then press Space or click the red tick icon on the right of the button bar.
Then you can manually transfer units from the HQ to the newly created formation (place the cursor on the HQ and press 'T').
But now let's get real and let's talk about the TOE.
The TOE allows the player to organize formations as they see fit and automatize unit transfer from HQs to children formations, greatly reducing the amount of busywork.
In practice, it works as follows: units will be produced and appear in the parent HQ Formation of the city they've been produced in; then the HQ will automatically try to redispatch these units to formations that follow templates created by the player in the TOE.
Example: say a template formation is set to consist of 20 light tanks. At the beginning of each turn, HQs will send any available light tanks to any formations following this template, until they've reached the indicated amount.
If 20 light tanks were produced that turn, HQ would transfer all of them to one such formation.
If 40 light tanks were produced, HQ would be able to fill up two such formations.
If only 10 light tanks were produced, HQ would only be able to transfer 10 light tanks to one such formation. The next turn, it would transfer the rest.
To open the TOE editor, click the "Model Designer" button on the right of the button bar. It looks like a family tree made of gray squares upon a brown background.
A new window will appear: it's the TOE.
Let's go through a quick tutorial to create a simple infantry unit.
Click the "Add Unit" button.
Click "Change name" and name change the name to "My Infantry Division Template".
Click Nato 1 and select the simple cross icon, which is the standard Nato counter for "Infantry". Any formation following this TOE template will be displayed with this counter.
By default, a single rifle unit should have been placed in the "TABLE OF ORGANIZATION AND EQUIPMENT" pannel ("1x Rifle").
If left as is, any formation following this TOE template would be automatically "fed" with one rifle unit, if any were available. Needless to say, one rifle unit is not much.
Click the "Set quantity" button and set the quantity to 100.
Now, HQs above any formation following this TOE template would automatically try to feed 100 rifle units to this formation.
Just a quick reminder: remember that this is just a theoretical, ideal template. You could set 1000 rifles, 5000 light tanks, 100000 bombers, but these units need to be produced first before they are actually added to a formation following this template. It's best to go with reasonably sized templates that can reasonably be fed and resupplied by their parent HQ.
Now, leave the TOE by clicking the red cross in the top right corner, and create a formation somewhere on the map (press N then select an HQ).
Once done, click the formation, and click the "Click to change model of this unit" button (long name for a button, I know). It looks like the TOE editor but with a dark gray background, and one of the squares highlighted.
Now, under the "Possible TOE Models to change too (sic)", click on "My Infantry Division Template".
Then click on the big "=> Change to this model" button.
Now the formation features the simple cross Nato counter, as set earlier, and displays a "1st" label above the counter. When selected, its name is "1st My Infantry Division Template".