Been a long time since I played this game... a few years back as an alpha tester when it was called "Trench."
But anyway, seems folks might be having some problems working out how to get started... so here is a "Lava tutorial."
Note: I just downloaded the game and actually haven't even played it through, so some stuff my not be perfectly correct. Would appreciate additional comments from testers or players if anything is incorrect or needs amplification.
Here we go:
Start up screen. Set up game and click continue.
When the game opens you have a blank map. Click on "show forces" to see where you troops are located. HQ's will appear. Click continue arrow.
Mobilization phase. This is a one time phase where you have the chance to change the positions of your troops. Left click on the counter then left click on the new position. The folks behind the line (see where the cavalry are) were moved by me during this phase. After moving your troops click continue arrow.
Strategic Phase. Click on flag to pick which country you want to work with. I will go first to Germany.
R&D page. Note you have two points of R&D to spend.
I spend my points on artillery and gas.
Diplomacy page. I decide to declare war against Belgium and Luxembourg.
Naval Orders page. I didn't do anything here.
Refit page. Nothing to do here at the start. After your first turn you can reinforce your different units using this page.
Airpower page. Note you have 6 points of airpower only available on the western front. Click "western" 6 times to put your airforce there.
Did someone say this interface is difficult... never mind.
Build forces page. I decide to build two artillery units.
Note how arms and manpower drops when you buy stuff. You're finished with the strategic phase... click continue arrow.
Activation phase... Doh.. Now we get to the fighting...
In this phase you determine who is going to go on the offensive. You need activation points bought and then refitted onto your HQ's to keep your offensive moving. The number of activations your HQ's have is in the round circle.. in this case 3. Once you have activated all the HQ's you want to move (and thus the troops with and around him), click the continue arrow.
Orders Phase. I'm getting ready to launch my attach through Belgium and Luxemburg. Left click on the stack, then click on move stack.
Once you click on move stack arrows appear. I've clicked on one of the armies I have activated. The arrows tell you in what direction you can move. This screen shows what happens if you don't declare war on Luxemburg first... you can't go there. Left click on the hex you want to move to. The units will then move off smartly to that ordered position.
Here's my attack going in. All three armies in the North are on the march. Notice the artillery is left behind.
I select an artillery unit to barrage in support of my attack. Select barrage, arrows appear, select hex you want to barrage. That finishes my PLAN. Remember this is WEGO, so the moves of both sides will be executed simultaneously. Click the continuation arrow.
Replay phase. The computer executes the two plans and battles are fought automatically. This screen shows the result of one of them. When finished you will either next go to the activation phase or the strategic phase.
BTW... while you can't move the screen with the mouse, you can 1) use the arrows on the keyboard, 2) click on the jump map on the left of the screen or 3) and the best.. click on the map icon at the top of the screen for an expanded jump map of the game which shows where your forces are located. Looks like this:
Click anywhere on the enlarged jump map will take you to that point on the normal map. Click a bit to the left of where you want to center the screen.
And that wraps it up. Is not really difficult stuff actually.
Hopefully this loooooong post will give folks a jump on how to get rolling.
Ray (alias Lava)