Apparently the board game of which this is the computer version, was in existence long before Stanley Kubrick made the film with the 'Full Metal' prefix. It's a one to four player strategy game set in the future, where up to four spaceships have landed on a planet containing a plentiful supply of a precious metal ore. Every player wants the ore, so it's time to fight. The overall objective in the game is to blast off at the end of 25 turns with as much ore on board as possible.
The game is played in turns, and the first couple of turns are dedicated to deciding first where to land your spaceship and then where to deploy your forces, which include five tanks, two ships and two curious pieces of hardware. The first of these curios is called The Crab and this is the machine that collects the lumps of ore that are found on the surface of the planet and returns them to the mother ship. The second piece is known as The Hen and this can not only collect and transport ore, but it can also build new pieces of equipment, so it can wander about picking up ore and turning it into pieces of hardware.
Movement of pieces during the game is restricted by two factors, the first and most important being the number of action points available at the start of the turn. Initially, each player only has five points so little can be done. From turn five until turn 21 (at which point the player can opt to blast off if he wishes) the points increase up to 25. so a lot more things can be accomplished - like blasting your adversaries or capturing their pieces of hardware -especially if you save some of your points and have a bumper lot for the next turn. Attacking your enemies is a curious matter: for starters, you must get at least two of your pieces in range - two hexes - and each piece can only fire twice per turn.
The second major movement factor is the tide. Each turn portions of the planet become either submerged or exposed as the tide rises and falls which can leave your pieces stranded and unable to move for at least a turn. The winner of the game is the person (or computer player, of which there are six with varying levels of aggressiveness) who manages to survive to the end and also has the most ore collected and pieces remaining.
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