When I say that I 'placed myself as leader', all that means is that I gave one of the jocks my name and filled the leader position with him (my wife, it turns out, is the mechanic of the squad). But you control every member of your squad. I just did it this way for immersion.
You can have up to four teams saved, and at your disposal for missions/campaigns/random battles. I created one for initial learning purposes, but after that I tried to bring a single team up through the ranks. I would start with three or four jocks, buy them titans, and throw them into some random battles. Once I earned more money, I would recruit more jocks, buy more titans, etc. At some point, I put the team through the first campaign (series of connected missions), and interspersed some random battles in there to bring an influx of money. As my team got larger, I attempted the harder campaigns, occassionaly waiting quite some time before moving to the next campaign mission.
The background story that came with ToS never really impressed me, so I just ignored it. It did have something to do with the costs of interstallar war being too expensive, so arenas were created for competitions. Like I said, I didn't like it, and anyway, the campaigns don't really have much to do with that background.
I don't remember whether the program allowed for conditions such as 'hold location until time x.' There is an editor, and if you look around the forum you'll see a handful of user-made campaigns. Although I've never even run the program, I know that you can create stand-alone battles or linked missions.
I guess you could consider the RPG element as mercenary-like. If I remember correctly, there are three positions that can be held in a team: leader (the right attributes allows recruitment of jocks with higher baseline attributes), mechanic (certain attributes allow cheaper repairs), and manager (the right attributes will allow titan purchases at cheaper prices). For some reason, I can't remember how big a squad can be ... but I'll say 8 jocks (until someone corrects me!). At the end of a successful battle, each jock will be given experience points (and you can invest this as you like), possibly money, and possibly an enemy's titan that you disabled on the field.
I'll echo Hertston by saying that, once understood (!), the tactical (move/attack) system is inspired.
< Message edited by Rainbow -- 1/25/2007 5:07:40 PM >
Troubles overcome are good to tell. -Yiddish saying