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Introduction to the World of Lost Admiral Returns

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Lost Admiral Returns

Player's Manual - Walkthrough of a Battle



Battleships are lots of fun in Lost Admiral Returns.  Unlike most Battleship Games, you can maneuver these massive killing machines to dominate the battle ocean.  You can also enjoy the flavor of famous wwii battleship combat with your choice of famous ships such as the Yamato battleship, Battleship New Jersey, Battleship Texas, Battleship Missouri, or any other battleship that comes to mind.

Walkthrough of a Battle

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 more.

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 more.

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 phase.


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 battle.

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 movement:

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 place.

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 submarines).

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 round.


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 battle.

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.  Read 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 another battle!


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 special missions or the 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 manual.

If you have questions, please visit our forum and look for help there.

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