Start by selecting a battle to play:
You have many choices for what kind of
battles to play in LAR. Be sure to play the four
tutorials first, as these will boost your rank and let you
earn rewards more quickly for other battles.
Choose a battle by selecting the "B"attles
button on the first menu of the game. Then either select
on of the nine classic maps to fight on, or use the Random Map
button. Classic maps have predetermined starting
positions that give a specific amount of forces to both sides,
and specific start cities. For random maps, you can
toggle all aspects of the map, such as it's size, the length
of the battle, number of cities and forces for both sides, and
You can also select your next battle by
entering your current "Save the Admiral" Campaign and
selecting a State to attempt to sway. The state will
then assign a specific battle map and special mission for you
to fight with next.
See the STA Campaign chapter
for more information on this.
Your battle will start once you have
finished selecting options for the battle (including which
side - Red or Yellow - that you will play). You are
encouraged to select the Red side to play for several of your
battles, as Red usually has a small advantage over Yellow in
terms of movement order, etc.
Design your starting war fleet next:
At the start of the battle, you will choose
the ships you start with, and what home cities they are
located in using the Unit Selection Menu. There are
several "viewing" styles, and all of these styles will display
various "Ship Task Force Boxes" for your home cities and
nearby cities that you will want to conquer, or nearby enemy
cities you will want to attack or raid.
You can buy units several ways. The
simplest is to use the "Auto-buy" button to have the computer
choose your forces for you. Use this option during your
first few battles until you have mastered how the different
ships in LAR move and fight.
To design your war fleet yourself, simply
left click on the kind of unit you want in the lower left area
of the screen, and then left click inside the "Task Force Box"
for a city you would like that unit to travel towards and
eventually attack or conquer. The newly purchased unit
will start in your "current" home city, and, during movement
turns, will have a dotted green trail showing the shortest
route to it's intended destination city.
If you change your mind, right click on the
unit you just purchased to "sell" it back and get your money
back for use on a new ship. Use the Help and Advice
screens on this menu for more information on this menu, how to
change your current "home" city to purchase units for, and
Be sure to buy "balanced" war fleets for
your home cities that are near enemy start cities. For
instance, on Map #1 as the Red player, be sure to buy a strike
force in Akron to attack the nearby yellow start city of St.
Louis. You will probably want to buy a mix of one or two
Carriers to scout out enemy locations, a few Battleships or
Cruisers to fight large enemy ships with, a few submarines to
again attack enemy capitol ships with, and a few Destroyers or
PT Boats for sub hunting or city raiding with. You might
even want to buy a transport to conquer the enemy city with if
you are fortunate enough to defeat his defending warships.
You will also want to purchase enough
transports, or even armed-transports, for nearby neutral
cities that you think you can conquer and keep the enemy away
from. Perhaps send a Destroyer or PT boat with the
transports to help fight any enemy ships encountered.
Once you have finished purchasing your start
fleets, and have spent all the "money" allocated to your side
for that battle, you will be ready to start the first movement
Move your ships for their first movement phase:
When your first movement turn starts, you
will be able to move all your ships up to their maximum
movement points each turn. First move your carriers
carefully towards the enemy locations, to see if you can spot
the enemy before you stumble into the hexes occupied by the
enemy. Once you know where key enemy ships are located,
maneuver your own warships to intercept or attack as best you
can. Move your Battleships to crush enemy Destroyers.
Move your submerged subs to attack enemy Battleships or
Carriers where possible. Move your Destroyers and PT
boats to attack submerged submarines, or to flank the enemy,
rushing around his forces to strike at cities beyond.
After moving your warships, move any
transports you purchased towards nearby un-owned cities.
When a transport reaches a city harbor (which usually takes
several turns of movement), anchor one transport in the hex to
keep ownership of the city. You will receive Victory
Points (VP) for every turn you keep that transport there.
The more VP you earn, the more likely you are to win the whole
Note that you can not have more than two
units in an ocean hex at the end of your movement turn.
The only exception are city harbors where you have a
transport. You can "stack" any number of units in city
harbors as long as you have that transport there.
The computer will prompt you to move ships
one after another. If you want to move a different ship
before the current one, simply right click on another of your
ships. This will make LAR switch to having you give
movement orders to this new ship. To move to a new hex,
simply left click on the hex. This hex can be near your
ship, or halfway across the map. Either way, your ship
will do it's best to move as far as it can towards (or into)
the hex you clicked on.
If for some reason you do not want to move
the current ship at all this turn, click on the "S"top button
in the grid of buttons at the bottom of the menu. You
can also use this grid to Anchor("D") the current unit, so
that LAR will not prompt you to move this ship until you
reselect it again by right clicking on the ship.
Anchoring is a good way to avoid accidentally moving
transports or defending warships out of a city harbor.
Select any new ships to construct at the end of your
Once you are done moving all of your ships,
the "Fin" button at the bottom of the screen will be blinking
between green and grey to indicate you should end your turn
now. The first time you click the "Fin" button, a ship
building menu will appear to allow you to choose what ships
(if any) to start constructing. If you have enough
resources, go ahead and click on a ship you want to build.
Otherwise save your resources for future turns, and claim more
cities to earn resources more quickly. Click on the
"Fin" button a second time while the build menu is open, and
you will officially end your movement turn.
Combat comes after Movement:
After you end your movement phase, combat
will occur in all hexes where both sides have ships present.
The combat menu will come up and cycle through each combat
site one after another. In each hex, you will be
prompted to either click to let the computer take it's shots,
or to choose a target for your own ships to fire at.
The lower left corner of the combat menu
will show what ships are fighting in the current hex, along
with numbers indicating how many damage points each ship has
left, and what kind of damage can be inflicted on them by the
opposite side's ships. The center part of the screen
will usually show an animated version of the combat taking
You can choose targets to fire at by left
clicking either on the small enemy ships in the lower left, or
on the larger versions of those same enemy ships in the
central part of the screen. Try to choose targets that
are particularly juicy for your current ship. For
instance, have Destroyers shoot at submerged subs when
possible, as you will blow up the sub with just one shot from
the Destroyer. In contrast, a PT boat would need two
shots at a submerged sub to sink it.
The best way to get the upper hand in combat
is to "double team" enemy units where ever possible. For
instance, during movement, move two submerged submarines into
the same hex as an enemy battleship. Then, during
combat, have both subs fire at the Battleship to inflict
grievous harm to it (and probably without taking damage back
from the Battleship, as BBs can not damage submerged
Combat ends once all combat sites have been
resolved by each side choosing targets for their ships.
Units that were sunk are removed from the map, and movement
will begin for the next side. I.E. if Red just moved,
then Yellow gets to move next, followed by another combat
A full game turn ends after Yellow moves, and combat for
those moves is resolved:
Players receives points for each city they
own at the end of the turn. Red will receive Victory
Points and Resource points from every city who's harbor they
have a transport in. Similarly, yellow will receive VPs
and Resources for all cities they own. If both sides
have a live transport in the same harbor at the end of the
turn, neither side gets to own the city, and the VPs and
Resources for that city will go un-awarded.
This is also the time when ships in friendly
city harbors are repaired, and when newly constructed ships
appear in their appropriate cities. Also, certain
mission events will occur at the end of turns, depending on
any special mission you may be participating in for the
You will need to score more Victory Points
than your opponent to win the battle, so regardless of how
well (or bad) your war fleets are doing against the enemy, be
sure to claim as many cities as possible. At the end of
the game (usually 12 to 30 total turns), VP totals will be
compared for both sides, and the side with enough VPs wins.
When the Battle is done you receive rewards:
After the last turn of a battle, a cease
fire is declared, and a winner for the battle is determined.
To win, you usually need to have more VPs than the enemy by a
certain ratio. For instance, on Map #1, Red is expected
to have at least 28% more VPs than Yellow in order to win.
If Red happens to have 48% more VPs than Yellow, Red
"over-wins" by 20%. The more you can over-win, the
better your rewards will be over time.
The battle ends with a Victory screen that
shows which side won, the VPs earned, and other aspects of the
battle. You will earn various reward points that you can
use later to build customized flagships with. These
points are shown for both sides about half way down the list
of details for the battle.
more about rewards on the rewards chapter.
You will also receive a "patch" for that
particular battle map, based on how you did. If you
lost, you earn a black colored patch. Barely winning
usually earns a white patch. The quality color of the
patch depends on the AI level you played against.
Defeating higher levels of AI gives you a better colored
patch. Winning by a huge amount earns an even better
patch than you would otherwise receive.
You can view your different patches, and the
rank you have been assigned on the Officer Menu, accessed from
the first menu of the game. The Office Screen will show
a summary of all the different types of maps you have fought
on, and the different colored patches you have earned for each
map. Your "rank" is actually based on how many different
maps you have fought and won on. You also receive an
average "coloring" to your current rank based on how good a
color patch you have for every map. Generally the more
maps you have played on, the better your rank. The
higher AI levels you have defeated on each map, the better the
coloring of your rank.
Note that your officer rank, and it's
coloring affect the kind of flagship modules you earn over
time. So improve your rank and coloring to earn better
modules. And again note that the tutorials actually make
up about 20% of your rank, so complete the tutorials first!
After viewing the end of the battle, you can post your
score on the Internet:
After viewing the rewards screen for the
battle, you will see another screen that surmises the VPs
earned, Ships lost, and other details of the battle on a turn
by turn basis. When you are done with this screen, the
"Internet High Scores" screen will come up next.
At this point, you will have the option to
post your new score online to earn some bonus points towards
future flagships. By posting your score, you will be
able to see your score alongside other player's scores for the
same map and AI level, along with all recently posted scores
on a variety of different charts.
You can move your mouse over different
scores and officer names on the screen to learn more about the
battle that earned them that score. Perhaps take a
moment to study what different players have been playing and
what kind of flagships they used.
After you choose to post (or not post) your
score for the bonus points, you will be shown a couple more
statistics screens that track how well you have done for
battles on the current kind of map, and eventually arrive back
on the Officer Menu, or the First Menu of the game, ready for
Other things to try after finishing a regular battle:
Once you have gotten comfortable with
battles in LAR, you can kick things up a notch or two by
undertaking special missions, or the "Save
the Admiral" Campaign that usually involves special
missions along with other unique twists in battles.
These special missions will challenge you with all sorts of
knife edge decisions as you try to complete the mission while
still winning the normal background fight for VPs. You
will only have so many turns to complete missions in, and will
have to delicately balance how you fight the enemy, and what
cities you conquer, while engaged in the mission's needs.
For instance, the "Secrets"
mission will put you in charge of several ships carrying vital
secrets that must be protected from the enemy, and safely
delivered to their destinations. These ships might be
simple transports starting in your home cities, fast PT boats
scattered across the map, or tougher ships making break out
attempts right from enemy home cities.
Another mission is "Rescue".
This mission will have you searching various areas of the map
for crewmembers who were previously presumed lost at sea
forever. Find these crewmembers, pick them up, and bring
them safely to your home cities.
Even tougher is "Trouble
Next Door" where you will have to divert substantial
portions of your fleet to nearby exit zones on the map, where
they will permanently leave to help other warfronts that are
in dire straights. You will be hard pressed to both
defeat the enemy on your own map, while providing those needed
reinforcements in time.
Learn more about
Save the Admiral Campaign
by clicking on those keywords.
Congratulations on reading this walkthrough, welcome
aboard, and go fight those tutorials or battles now!
For other parts of the manual, use the menu bar on the left:
The manual has various chapters dedicated to all parts
of the game, and new sections will be added periodically as new material
and updates are made to Lost Admiral Returns.
Please use the menu bar on the left to navigate the
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