Introduction/What Is Barren Realms Elite
Barren Realms Elite is a 25-player strategic war-game. The setting is
in the future - nuclear destruction has spread throughout the planet,
and now only a vast barren void exists. You, as a baron under a great
king, must expand your barony throughout the planet, taking advantage of
natural resources such as rivers and mountains to become the ultimate
baron. This task is not easy though -- you must keep your population
content, while maintaining a military large enough to defend your empire
against other barons. You must balance size and strength, attack, trade
with, and make alliances with other barons. Pirates throughout the
planet will constantly plunder the great leaders -- making your job even
But there's one more enemy you may face. Barren Realms Elite's
Inter-BBS capabilities allow you to hook up with up to 254 other BBS's
for head-to-head competition. Expand alliances throughout the world -
the real world - and work as a team fighting for your king and planet.
Barren Realms Elite is a simple to play and learn game, and is very
configurable so the sysop can make his/her game unique. We have tried
to make Barren Realms Elite as simple to install and maintain as
possible, and neither the Inter?BBS or Local play really requires much
maintainence by the sysop.
Starting The Game
When you begin the Barren Realms Elite game for the first time after a
reset, you are presented with a welcome screen, a few playing tips, and
prompted for a name of your realm. This is essentially your player name
throughout game play. Once you've entered a name that is valid, the BRE
splash screen is displayed and you are presented with the main game
menu. This menu consists of:
The current version of Barren Realms Elite that is running.
The date that the game began on (last reset).
This option allows a player to begin playing their turns for the
day. If they've already played some, the software picks up at the
turn they left off on.
Displays basic information about the current player. This is
basically the same information displayed from within the game from
the status menu.
This menu selection shows the scores for the BBS only.
Interplanetary scores are shown from within the game.
See Today's News
Displays the news for the current day. Note that unlike the main
menu scoring option, the news can also contain interplanetary news
in IBBS leagues.
See Yesterday's News
Shows the news for the previous day.
Allows the player to read their private e-mail within the game
without entering the game and wasting turns.
In addition to reading messages, a player may use this option to
send a message to any local nation that lies on the same BBS.
Bulletins that the sysop has created, or the ones included with the
distribution archive, can be read by selecting this option.
Although the game is a vast and intricate strategy game, a brief
overview of the game and simple instructions for getting started is
included here for new players.
Barren Realms Elite contains a sophisticated help system that can be
viewed at any time simply by visiting this option. Help topics on
nearly all functions of the game is included here and players may
peruse them simply by selecting them from the menu.
The preferences menu option contains some user-defined settings to
make game play proceed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The quit option exits the software and returns the player to the
Playing Barren Realms
BRE is a game based on strategy and thought. As a baron in a vast
kingdom, your goal is to, ultimately, become supreme to all others.
Using everything from diplomacy to war, you must build an empire both
economically and militarily, all while facing stiff competition from
The best way of learning Barren Realms Elite is to experiment - visit
different menus, try different options. Below, you will find basic
information on how to get a good start and not crumble right away as
well as information on some different topics not covered in any specific
help section. We recommend after learning a little bit about the basics
of this game, you come back and read the latter part of these
instructions again, as they will make more sense once you understand the
The premier feature of the game is the ability to link over 200 systems
throughout the world and bring anywhere up to more than 6,000 players
together in a single game. No longer is your goal to become the
strongest barony, but instead, the strongest world. Your BBS must come
together, facing competition from other planets instead of local barons.
Teamwork is the only way to win this type of war.
The Game Itself
Barren Realms Elite is divided into a series of menus which appear
during each turn of play. The following are the major sections:
Diplomacy (appears only on first turn of the day)
Payment / Food Market
Interplanetary Operations (For InterBBS Games)
The art of diplomacy is a major factor in a successful empire. Defense
pacts for local attacks (non-InterBBS) are vital for challenging and
defeating larger enemies. Intelligence alliances can multiply the total
power of Intelligence agencies. Trade agreements provide tanglible
benefits in the form of extra cash - if you have a large population.
Tariff Trade Agreement
This is an agreement allowing trade between two realms with
government taxation of all goods passing boundaries. It brings an
extra income to each empire involved based on population. This
agreement is promising for those empires with large numbers of
This agreement installs guards along trade routes between the two
realms, preventing bombing of trade deals and making trade deals
cheaper to send and maintain.
Free Trade Agreement
This pact declares that people are free to travel between boundaries
and trade goods without taxation. Large amounts of income are
gained through income taxes, but due to the contact of peasants
between empires, bad morale and support will spread throughout other
realms if not controlled quickly.
The terrorist prevention plan is an alliance between two powers'
intelligence agencies to aid each other in finding and preventing
terrorist and covert actions against the two realms.
This is an agreement between Realms giving covert aid in terrorist
and covert operations to other empires on the planet and in
An agreement to cooperate in the sciences, this treaty allows an
empire to gain some of the technological advances of its partner.
Full Defense Alliance
This plan, the most balanced and powerful alliance, puts forth a
large amount of all of your forces in defending an ally in need.
NOTE: This is effective only in Local Games
Declaration Of War
This is used to break an agreement with another empire without
causing internal troubles in your realm. The treaty is not
officially broken until the other realm is notified.
This option allows you to view relations with the other empires in
At the beginning of each turn, you will be shown your production for the
year, including gold, food, and industrial output. After this, you will
see the current status of your barony, including military, regions, your
support throughout the realm, etc.
Paying to maintain your empire is a critical expenditure for any
government. You must support your military, maintain your land, and pay
taxes. Often, you will also need to use money to increase your popular
support or military morale, lest you risk civil disorder.
Feeding your empire is also critical. In order to ensure the health of
your entire populace, the government controls all food supplies,
providing to the people as necessary. To aid your empire, there is also
a food market managed by the entire planet from which you can buy and
sell food. However, the supply is limited, and dependence upon the
market is dangerous. Coordinated attacks can destroy your reserves and
the general market, leaving you in a dangerous situation. Without food,
morale and public support will quickly fall and may lead to internal
Covert Operations are the heart of any successful campaign. Attacking
an empire requires only military supremacy. However, to successfully
wage war and minimize damage, one must be able to strike at the heart of
the enemy and remove the opponent's ability to fight back. Well timed
and coordinated covert operations can immensely help in this task. By
weakening an enemy internally, one takes less losses fighting
Allows you to attempt to get military information on another realm.
This operation takes place immediately.
Through propaganda, your intelligence agency can create doubts in
your opponent's populace, causing rioting and revolting, reducing
popular support and placing the enemy government in jeopardy.
This will work to make two empires believe they have declared war on
each other, possibly leading to combat. If successful, any treaty
between the two empires is void. Used against empires with defense
pacts could make attacking one notably easier.
Using extremely strong propaganda, your agents may be capable of
internally sabotaging an opponent's military, causing a portion of
Troopers to flee.
This covert operation infiltrates an enemy's military camps with
agents set out to reduce the effectiveness of his or her forces.
Spy On Relations
Your agents will work to learn of all treaties of a particular
empire. This is useful pre-war intelligence, in that you can learn
of vast alliance networks and/or trade partners.
Bomb Enemy Targets
Using terrorist methods, your intelligence agency will randomly bomb
targets, causing widespread destruction in your opponent's barony.
Bribing an enemy agent gives you the benefit of learning information
on the tactics of an opposing intelligence center, allowing your
forces to more effectively prevent incoming covert operations.
Expose Enemy Ops
This operation takes full advantage of your bribed agent. By
relaying all known information, your bribed agent effectively gives
you almost 100% immunity from incoming covert operations from his
home empire. However, because of the level of risk to your agent,
this operation is only effective for 24 hours.
The bank provides both a safe storage of money and an interest-gaining
environment. In addition, you can get cash relief loans from the
planetary leadership as well as make investments for the future.
Investments provide their own interest rates, which often fluctuate
depending on the amount of investing at any particular time.
NOTE: Interest, Loans, and Investments are only accessible in the
registered version of this game.
The heart of your empire is centered upon having a strong defense and
large amount of land. At this menu, you can buy and sell both,
depending on the setup of the game. In many setups, the amount of
military you can purchase is limited or even non-existant, in which case
Industrial production is your primary or sole option (Industrial
production is explained below).
This lets to switch between selling and buying. Depending on your
immediate goals, it may be in your best interests to sell off excess
equipment, although it can only be sold at a fraction of the buying
Troopers serve as both offensive and defensive battle units. While
not very strong on either end, they are fairly cheap both to buy and
maintain. One drawback is the added need for food, as compared to
These units serve as offensive-only military units. About twice as
powerful as a soldier on offense, they make a formidable attack
weapon. However, they cannot defend and, while cheap to buy, can be
relatively expensive to maintain.
The counterpart to Jets, Turrets are defensive-only weapons about
twice as powerful as the Trooper. Like Jets, however, they are
relatively expensive to maintain. Nevertheless, Turrets can make a
strong, full-time defense and are impossible to destroy through
Bombers are special attack forces. They have no offensive or
defensive strength, but can be used in special missions.
Interplanetary bombings require bombers to drop the payload, and in
attacks, they can be used to target and destroy grounded enemy jets.
Your command headquarters is essential in coordinating your military
attacks. A strong HQ gives tanks better coordination and can
improve the effectiveness of tanks drastically.
You can buy the following types of regions:
Coastal lands are excellent for the tourism and resort
industry. In good conditions, they are an extremely effective
money generator. However, with low public support, your
populace loses interest and Coastal territory production slumps
The mountains are an excellent source for mining natural
resources. Because there are few factors affecting production,
mountains provide the most stable source of income, but at the
same time, they do not average as much as other regions.
Because mountains are a source of good raw materials, a large
number of mountains also tends to boost productivity of your
Dry desert land supports the development of solar power
generation extremely well. Profiting from these generates
fluctuates greatly due to climate conditions, but, on the
average, produce more gold than do mountains, but less than
Coastals in good conditions.
Industry is the basis of a strong economy. While in some
setups you can buy any and all military goods you will need
during war, others do not allow purchasing at all. In those
cases, Industry is your only source of military power.
Industry, forced into free-market competition, is also more
efficient at producing military than you buying from the
market. With a good base of Mountain regions, industrials can
produce even more goods.
Rivers are both an excellent source of revenue through
hydroelectric power and a source of food through fishing.
While most years the rivers produce vast supplies of gold, more
so than any other region, they are often wrought with problems
and used instead for fishing to bring extra food into the
empire. The people of the land determine what will be produced
yearly, without your input.
Self-sufficiency in terms of food production is almost a
necessity in a world wracked by constant conflict. Without a
stable global market to buy and sell food, you may often find
yourself with no source of food outside of your barony.
Agricultural regions provide you with a solution to that
problem, and in times of global food shortages, could give you
bargaining power in selling off surpluses.
By building strong urban centers, you vastly increase the
number of people able to live in your empire. These people
bring in more tax revenue, and with strong trade agreements,
provide empires with vast new markets from which to produce
even more cash.
Technology regions are a powerful source of longterm
enhancements. Maintaining these research centers early may
prove costly, but with time, they allow you to vastly increase
the productivity of your empire economically and militarily.
Technology regions lead to the following improvements:
- Increased military efficiency
- Increased region output
- Decreased maintenance costs on regions, military, and SDI
- Decreased Food spoilage
- Increased Tax income
As the game progresses, your costs will slowly decrease and
efficiency will increase (there will not be specific
Enemies can use various technological weapons (such as Nuclear
Missiles) to reduce your once productive regions to waste.
These regions, while still requiring maintenance, produce
nothing for your empire. They can, however, be decontaminated
at a much lower cost than buying new regions.
A strong Intelligence Agency is based upon having a large
supply of agents. In general, the larger number of agents you
are armed with relative to an opponent, the more successful
your covert operations will be and the less successful enemies
will be against you.
The tank is the most advanced general purpose military weapon
of your army. About the equivalent of four Troopers, tanks be
used both on offense and defense. Their low yearly maintenance
costs make them a strong long term investment.
Carriers are a necessity only in the support role. In order to
trade with other realms, often carriers must be sent for
transport. In combat, Jets have to be transported to the
battle field as well, and one carrier serves to transport 100
The strength of an empire is often determined by its ability to wage
war. The final blow in waging war is the actual combat between two
militaries, and here is where you get that opportunity. All of the
building and developing to create the most powerful empire is tested in
This is the only true military battle between two realms. A
successful assault an opposing empire brings you extra regions which
you can then recolonize to build as you wish.
Nuclear weapons are a good source of crippling an opponent. While
costly, the nuclear missile transforms a percentage of an enemy's
regions into waste, which then must either be dropped or slowly
Similar to nuclear strikes, these missiles affect less actual land,
but also infect millions of people with deadly chemical gases,
significantly reducing an opponent's population.
Biological attacks are similar to the other special attacks, except
that they do not damage the land itself. Instead, they are
effective against both the general populace and military Troopers.
Pirates often steal military equipment from your empire. Pirate
Raids provide you the opportunity to strike back,stealing away
military equipment as well as land from them.
This option allows you to see the amount of aid military alliances
will provide you if attacked.
Trade between nations is a centerpiece of growth. In addition to
helping those in need, many realms with specialized industries coming
together and trading their goods can build a network of power
unattainable individually. Besides normal trade between empires, you
also can put items for sale on a general market at any price you choose.
In Interplanetary Games (Games setup to run between several BBSes) you
experience the most exciting and challenging aspects of BRE. Instead of
playing against up to 25 local players, you are now immersed into a
universe filled with anywhere up to more than 6000 players scattered
throughout the world. Instead of being a single entity, you are now
part of your BBS, your team, working with them to become the most
powerful BBS in the league.
This option allows you to view the top players and BBSes throughout
the league ranked by various statistics.
These can be highly beneficial in any assault. Combining the forces
of espionage and terrorism, you can do heavy damages to your enemy
right before sending the final devastating attack. As in local
covert operations, these operations are vital in destroying an
enemy's ability to wage war.
Send Trade Deal
As in local play, you may send trade deals to other empires on other
planets. However, unlike local trade deals, you may not make any
demands in return for the goods you provide, and the target always
has to accept that which is sent.
Create Group Attack
This will set up a new attack force to be sent to either an entire
planet or a single Barony. You can set when the attack leaves and
before that time, anybody on your planet can join in the attack.
Returns will be divided according to the amount of forces you each
Join Group Attack
This lets to join any of the attack parties waiting to leave.
Indiv. Attack Force
This allows you to send your own strike force to a single player on
another planet. You get twice as many returns if you send the
attack yourself, but you can't attack an entire planet.
As in the local messages (mentioned below), this option allows you
to send messages to other systems involved in the game.
The special operations menu allows you access blah blah blah...
Bomb Enemy Food Market
This operation gives you a chance to bomb the central food market of
another planet. Many of these, combined with other effective
operations, have the potential to put enemies through civil war.
This option allows your forces to covertly weaken an enemy planet's
basic economy, reducing returns on investments due back in the next
few days. Note that only registered systems offer investments.
Bomb Enemy Trade Market
If successful, this operation destroys a portion of all goods stored
in an opposing planet's trading market.
Bomb Enemy Trade Routes
This operation attempts to destroy portions of all trade deals in
transmit throughout an opposing planet.
These attacks launch powerful missiles against their targets
damaging a variety of areas of the realm.
This option will send a spy to another BBS. He(she) will report
information on all incoming group attacks and Gooie Kablooies
allowing realms to prepare for the incoming onslaughts.
Gooie Kablooie Ops
The Gooie Kablooie is the ultimate weapon of destruction. Only one
can be created at a time, and it takes a great deal of funding by
all members of the BBS.
Once funded (funding depends on the size of the target), the Gooie
Kablooie will begin construction. Once construction is complete (a
few days), it will be launched to meet it's target. Immediately
upon arrival, 10% of the regions on the planet will be destroyed
instantaneously. Every day of it's existance after the first day,
another 5% will be destroyed, up to a max of 5 days at which time it
The only way to destroy this "thing", is to keep battling it with
Jets until destroyed. The destruction of this weapon requires the
cooperation of the entire planet, as the amount of jets required is
enormous, and the damage irreversible.
Technology has developed space-based protection against a great deal
of enemy forces in the form of a Strategic Defense Initiative
program. Building an SDI, however, is fairly expensive and
maintaining it will only cost more. The more territory you control,
the larger your program will need to be as well.
The potential benefits of an SDI including destroying up to 50% of
incoming enemy missiles as well as reducing the effectiveness of
enemy jets and bombers attacking your realm by up to 30% and 20%
Because your planet is working as a team, any spy reports obtained
about an empire on another planet is stored in a global database,
which can be accessed by this option.
This option lists the approximated time for data to travel to
another BBS and back. Generally, most operations you do will take
about this long.
Communication is often a centerpiece of cooperation, whether between
individual empires or between planets. Use the messages to coordinate,
plan, and organize your offenses, alliances, and general plans.
The system menu is a special menu accessible from the Spending menu. It
supports a variety of options that aren't accessed frequently, such as
controlling the tax rate in your empire and setting industrial
production levels. In addition, it allows you to access a variety of
other menus such as the Covert Ops and Trading out of sequence. The
Preferences submenu also allows you to normally skip a variety of menus
that aren't used often. The option to abdicate will immediately delete
your empire from the game so you may start over the next day. This menu
is constantly changing in each version, so various options may appear as
time goes by.
Barren Realms Elite is a game which has been designed to be simple to
learn initially, but success is based a great deal on experience and
cooperation. Much information has been left out of the documentation so
that you can learn by experience rather than reading instructions. Used
in InterBBS mode, BRE is a much more competitive and enjoyable game,
requiring a great deal of cooperation and organization between players.
We hope you enjoy the game, and good luck!