This page is made for people not only new to Spring:1944, but to the Spring games in general.
Spring is an engine that runs the games you will find next to S44. Some querks of this engine will be explained here, but for detailed information, look for the Spring website.
In most rts games, selecting a group and right-clicking to move is a common theme. Spring retains this mechenic but builds on it in it's own way. The first difference is that units will not form into a box formation to move, like in a proper RTS, but instead will all try to move to that point on the map, old school style. To prevent this, instead of just clicking where you want to go, click and drag to draw a line - your units will space out evenly to fill that line. This is used to form custom formations on the fly.
Using a shift modifier will allow you to stack several move orders one after another - as soon as one gets compleated, the next one will be issued. Just hold shift to add an order to the list.
Moving a single unit through a series of obsticals can be tricky and is usually fought with queueing move orders via the shift key to make them follow a certain path. When you only have a single unit selected, however, you can draw the path for it just like a formation for several units. The unit will then proceed to follow the path drawn as close as possible. This can be useful when encountering very nasty terrain obsticals and the AI gets very upset.
If you have units with different speeds, hold ctrl while issuing a move order to force them to move at the speed of the slowest unit. This is sometimes undesierable, as pinned infantry cannot move at all, but at other times this will prevent your speedy units to break off from a charge only to die alone. Units will do their best (AI still has a lot to improve on) to hold formation and restore formation after crossing terrain features.
Some units have directional armor. It is in your interest to have them facing the enemy with the side with most armor on it. To do this, use the turn command that appears when these units are selected. This order can be queued: move to a location, then turn to face a certain direction. This order can be drawn when more then one unit is selected - then the units will get turn orders to face points along the line drawn.
Sooner or later, you'll have to. Units in S44 get much less accurate if they move around. The solution to this is to stop and fire. The classic way of doing this is issueing an area attack command, but this will work only if the right target enters range first. The Spring way of doing this is via fight command. Press F and issue the command via left click (or the boring long way of clicking the fight button then clicking the ground).
Units will automatically stop and fire anything that they can theoretically target. So TD will ignore infantry, rifles will ignore armor and so on. This is about 80% of the orders you will be giving around, so get used to it as much as you can. This order can be drawn to make your units form a line after they finish fighting and for single units to fight along a path.
This command can be queued as well.
Very useful as high-value targets become prevelant on the field. You can issue an attack order by right clicking an enemy to give a direct attack - press A then click on a point on the ground and drag a circle. The attack command will be issued on every enemy unit available for attack caught in the circle, sorted by distance (closest to selected unit first). To attack ground at a point just do the same without dragging. To attack the ground at multiple points hold alt while dragging a line - the attack ground orders will be spread among your units like a line order.
No order can be queued after the attack ground order, as you cannot kill the very earth itself (although it would be hella cool). The attack ground order will never be compleated and following orders will not be reached.
Depending on what your intentions are, you will need to know these basics:
- Shift - will add to your selection if you are holding it while selecting something else
- Ctrl - almost the same, but will remove selected units if you try to add them to the selection again
- Ctrl+Z - Select all units of the same type as already selected on the map
- Ctrl+X - Select all units of the same type as already selected on the screen
- Ctrl + # - set selected units to a group (a unit cannot be in two groups, though)
- Shift+# - Add group # to current selection
- Alt + # - Add selected unit types to auto group (new units of this type will be automatically appointed to this group number, old units will retain their group and can be removed from the group by assinging a different group number
- Enter - Open chat, send message
- Alt+Enter - Open team chat, chat will open in team chat next time you press enter as well
- Shift + Enter - Open spectator chat (messages only to spectators), chat will open in spectator chat will be sent only to spectators as well
- Ctrl+ Enter - Open global chat, chat will open in global chat next time you press enter as well
- H - open share menu, used to share command, ammo and units