Standard WoK


WoK IV was the first WoK game to be available online, standard WoK is the evolution of that game engine.
Two to Ten players battle it out for control of a map with 20 to 60 provinces with turns running every 2-3 days.
The idea is to out-think your opponents, while at the same time engaging in email diplomacy with them.
Each turn, you get to attack with missiles and armies, use spies for various types of sabotage, and manage population and workers.
The last player standing wins, or the 2 remaining players can agree to have a joint victory.

The Beginning

You start the game with a tech level of 0, no gold, an effectivenss (EFF) level of 99 and with a single, randomly selected province.
The province you are given will not be adjacent to a province of another player, so everyone gets a chance to build up in the first round.
The provinces have the following attributes:

Each players' starting province (their home) contains:

Neutral provinces (everything that is not a home province) start with:

Neutral provinces gain 2 armies each turn (including turn 0) also their workers will increase the defence level.


Once turn 0 has run, you can see on the map where everyone is starting. It's now time to contact players near you to do deals. It's never good to be outnumbered in a fight, so if you can convince some players to work with you you have a better chance of making it to the end game.
The most common form af deal is a None Aggression Pact, or NAP. This is an agreement between two or more players that none of them will missile, attack or spy on the others for the duration of the pact. Often the NAP will also specify which provinces each player will take, to reduce accidental collisions. NAPs usually run for a fixed number of turns, or continuously with a 2-turn notification clause for a player to cancel, but you can agree any sort of deal you like.
It is also possible to ally with another player. While you can have as many NAPs as you like, you can only be allied with one player at a time. It is an agreement to work together to share the victory. Allied players will count as winning the game jointly, even if one player is significantly stronger than the other.
Note that players can only share victory if the game started with more than 5 players. Also NAPs tend not to happen in 2 or 3 player games!


Once your diplomacy is sorted out, it's time to enter orders. Each turn is split up into phases, you can see them on your turn 0 report and the order form is broken up in the same way.

  1. Bombing
  2. Attacking
  3. Entropy
  4. Working
  5. Transformations
  6. Growth
  7. Movement
  8. Workers' Aim
  9. Upgrades
  10. Spying


If you have missiles (usually you do not start with any, but can build them during the game) you can put in up to 5 rounds of bombing instructions (with a maximum of 99 missiles fired per round). You can bomb a neighbouring province (known as "short-range" bombing), and your chance of successfully hitting something per missile fired is equal to your EFF percentage. So, if you have an 80% EFF, each missile has an 80% chance of hitting something.

You can also bomb any province which a neighbour of a neighbouring province. In this case you are doing "long-range" bombing, and your chance of successfully hitting something per missile fired is ¾ of your EFF percentage.

Each successful missile will randomly destroy 1 ARM, 1 SPY or 0.1 DEF. If none of the appropriate unit are present in the target province then the missile will not destroy anything.


You can only attack a neighbouring province. At the start of the game, you have three attacks. Increasing your tech level will unlock additional attacks, up to a maximum of seven.

Whether an attack is successful depends upon a number of factors. The formulae used are as follows:
Power of Attacker ("PATT") = EFF X (10 X army level)
Power of Defender ("PDEF") = EFF X ((10 X army level) + (4 * defense))

The game engine compares a random number for the attacker from the range of 0 to PATT, with a random number for the defender from the range of 0 to PDEF, and the player with the lower number loses one army (if the rolls tie neither side loses an army). This is repeated until one side has no armies left. If the attacker loses all of his armies, nothing else happens. If the defender loses all of his armies, then all of the attacker's remaining armies move into the defending province. The attacker also gets 80% of the population and workers that were in the province, and 60% of the missiles and spies. These fractions are rounded down.

In addition, the Level of the remaining armies increases as follows:
+0.006 per attack round if the attacker wins
+0.003 per attack round if the defender wins
If the attacker attacked a province with no armies in it, the attacking armies gain level equal to 0.2 divided by their current level instead.
At the end of the fight, injured troops in the victorious army will recover. Injured troops are those which lost the combat roll, but the difference was less than half the higher roll.

Once a battle is decided, the game engine will then process your next attack instruction, up to the number of attacks which you are allowed. If you do not own a province for which you entered an instruction to attack from, or if you already own a province which you put in an instruction to attack, or if you put in an instruction to attack a non-neighbouring province, then that instruction is ignored. Only valid orders count towards your attack limit, but you can only ever enter seven orders.
TIP: Players can enter attack instructions based upon which provinces they believe they will conquer during the turn, and will attack from those newly-conquered provinces. For example, assuming they are neighbouring provinces, a player can input instructions to attack #4 to #5, #5 to #7, and #7 to #12, hopefully resulting in three conquered provinces.


In the entropy phase you lose one point of effectiveness for every province in your empire. No orders are required.


During the working phase of a turn a player's workers produce things, based upon the "Aim" that a player sets for the workers in each province the player owns. No orders are required.
All workers start on the Aim of Defense. The "Aim" of a player's workers can be changed in the transformations phase. The Aims, and the number of workers required to make things, are as follows:

Defense (DEF)0.1 DEF for every 8 WOK
Level (LEV)LEV increases by WOK / (ARM X LEV) (maximum of 1)
Missiles (MIS)1 MIS for every 3 WOK
Spies (SPY)1 SPY for every 4 WOK
Mining (MIN)Each worker produces one gold coin.
Effectiveness (EFF)1 EFF for every 4 WOK


A player can input up to 7 different instructions for transforming population into workers or armies. However, a player can only use a maximum of 3 instructions for transforming population into armies. It takes 2 population to make 1 worker, and 4 population to make 1 army. The maximum number of population that can be transformed per instruction is 50. There is also a "backwards transformation" instruction which can be done, to change 2 workers into 1 population. Newly-made armies have a Level of 1.000; if you have existing armies in the same province in which you are making new armies, the levels will "mix" proportionately, resulting in a new overall Level for all of the armies in the province.

POP->WOKConvert POP to WOK in a ratio of 2:1
POP->ARMConvert POP to ARM in a ratio of 4:1 (max 3 times per turn)
WOK->POPConvert WOK to POP in a ratio of 2:1

If there are not enough of the unit you are converting from in the province, all that are available will be used.
If the number converted is not a multiple of the ratio, the extra will be lost.

Example: An order to convert 16 POP->ARM in a province with only 15 POP will remove all the POP and add three new armies to the province.


Population in a province will grow. No orders are required for this phase.
The amount of growth depends upon how much POP is in each province, as follows:

0 - 99+20% growth
100 - 199+15% growth
200 - 299+10% growth
300 - 399+ 6% growth
400 - 999+ 3% growth


A player can input up to 7 sets of instructions to move things around. A player can move population, workers, armies, missiles, or spies, but can only move a maximum of 50 for each set of instructions. You can only move things from a province into a neighbouring province.

Workers' Aim.

Each turn, a player can change the workers' aim in up to 4 provinces.

Defense (DEF)0.1 DEF for every 8 WOK
Level (LEV)LEV increases by WOK / (ARM X LEV) (maximum of 1)
Missiles (MIS)1 MIS for every 4 WOK
Spies (SPY)1 SPY for every 4 WOK
Mining (MIN)Each worker produces one gold coin.
Effectiveness (EFF)1 EFF for every 4 WOK


A player has the option each turn to spend gold to get certain bonuses.
The first upgrade of a turn costs 100 gold, the second 200 and the third 300 gold.

Possible upgrades are:

Tech LevelPermanently increase tech level by 1.
EFFGain 30 EFF
DEFAll provinces gain 0.5 DEF
LEVAll armies gain 0.3 LEV
MISAll provinces gain 5 MIS
SPYAll provinces gain 2 SPY


Spying only works on other players, not neutral provinces. You can input a maximum of 5 spying instructions; there are a number of options, the success of which always depends upon your EFF, the number of spies you send and the distance between the source and target province as follows:

  • If the target neighbours your empire (or the part of your empire the spies are in if it's been broken up) then this is a short range operation, the spies will automatically reach the target province.
  • If there is no path through your empire to the target, then each spy individually has an EFF% chance of reaching the target.
  • If any spies make it to the target, they have to avoid defensive spies in the province. - They roll EFF against the enemy spies until one group is exhausted, much like in combat.
  • Any spies that make it into the target and evade the enemy spies will then perform their mission.
  • Successful spies return to their source province and can be used in subsequent orders
  • Note: Defensive spies are not removed by counter espionage but attacking spies are.

The possible spy operations are:

1Spy Province.See the full contents of the target province.
2Spy Player.See the total POP, WOK, ARM, MIS and SPY, along with the average LEV and DEF for the player's empire, but not any province specific breakdown. Also see the player's EFF, GOLD and Tech Level.
3Spread Propaganda.Reduce the province owner's EFF by 2 points.
4False Orders.Stop the workers in the province from doing anything until their AIM is changed.
5Steal Gold.Every spy used will steal 10 gold. - You will only gain gold that is there to steal!

Each spy has an EFF% chance of succeeding in the mission. For the first four operations, all surviving spies will return as soon as one succeeds. For Steal Gold, each spy will attempt to steal in turn.

End Game

The game ends when one player (or an alliance of two players) dominates the map, either by removing the other players, by unanimous vote of the remaining players, or by meeting a win condition for the particular game.
Once the game ends, the players are ranked based on how long they survived, what their final score was and whether they won and the player ratings are updated accordingly.

Other Stuff


Home provinces enjoy special protection at the beginning of the game. - They cannot be the target of missiles, armies or spies while "headhunting protection" is in place. In most games, headhunting is not allowed on turn 1, but some variants protect the home province until turn 3, and in an X-game it could be even longer!

Marking as ready, poking, and running the turn.

Turns notionally have a 3 day turn around, however they can run faster than that if everyone wants, or slower if a player can't submit orders.
When you are happy with your orders, you can mark yourself as ready with the checkbox underneath the map on the game page. If all remaining players are marked as ready then the turn will run within a few minutes. If the deadline has passed and a player has not marked themselves as ready then you can give them a reminder by pressing the poke button. 24 hours after players have been poked, the "run the turn now" button will be enabled, allowing the game to continue without the missing player.
If you know you will be away, you can add a message to the game commentary asking players not to run the turn. - But if you do it too often they may choose to continue without you!


WoK: Skirmish

Skirmishes are the closest variant to the original game. A 10 player skirmish on a 60 province map was initially all that was available, but now skirmishes can be played with as few as 2 players on maps as small as 20 provinces. The number of players is determined by the map. For example the "Trial" map has 20 provinces and is for 2 players and the "Star Islands" map has 30 provinces and fits 5 players. With 2 players skirmishes tend to be over in 6 or 7 turns, with more players they can go on to turn 20 or even 30!

Two player skirmishes are an ideal way to get to know the game engine, before taking on bigger games. They're also a great way for experienced players to pass the time!


There are no NAPs or alliances in a skirmish game. What would be the point?


One player wins when the other has no provinces left, alternatively the game can end at any point if both players agree in a vote.


In Skirmish games, headhunting is not allowed on turn one.

WoK: Duel

Duels are a 2-player variant of Standard WoK, with plenty of strategy and tactics but no diplomacy at all. A huge factor in it is judging what your opponent will do, and putting in co-ordinated orders accordingly to thwart him/her or otherwise exploit the map. A typical Duel lasts 6-11 turns.

Duels involve playing three player spots simultaneously. They take an immense amount of effort, and are not recommended for players who are not familiar with the basic game.

Victory Conditions

The two human players play three colours each, on a map of 60 provinces. Another four colours are taken by robot players, who are strong but play by predicatable automatic rules.

The first player to get three RIPs (excluding his own colours) wins. The RIPs can be the other player's slots, robots, or a mixture of both.
RIPs made by a colour which has since been RIPed itself still count to a player's total, but if all three of your spots have been RIPed then you have lost regardless of how many RIPs you and your opponent have.
Additionally, a player can quit at any time. Duels take a lot of effort, and there is no point in continuing to play if you are certain you cannot win.

NAPs between Opposing Players

Naturally your three colours are working together under your control; you put in the orders for all three of them, co-ordinating their efforts.

But there is a huge twist for tactics: the three player-colours that you start with are labelled A, B and C, eg HanA, HanB and HanC. So are your opponent's eg KorA, KorB, KorC. HanA and KorA start out napped till the start of turn 6: no attacking, bombing or spying-ops on any province that is the other's AT THE START OF THE TURN. Similarly, HanB and KorB are napped till start of turn 8. And HanC and KorC are napped till start of turn 10. These naps are automatic and not extendable (no need for diplomacy or NAP-cancellations). The game engine is programmed to police these and simply cancels any violating orders that turn, pointing out that you are napped. This makes for interesting tactics and options, such as shielding, or grabbing intervening provinces that a napped opponent cannot then legally retake. It adds depth and skill, making it more complex than just all-against-all.

However, HanA and KorA (likewise B & B, and C & C) are only NAPped, not really working together. Think of them as bitter enemies only held in check, for a few turns, by the terms of a treaty which is unbreakable but will soon expire. So, they ARE allowed to bump into each other going for the same neutral; or spy on a neutral that they fully expect that the other will take during the turn; and they ARE allowed to let one of their partner-colours attack through them. The key point to remember is that opposing NAPped colours cannot bomb, attack or do spy-ops on, any country that is the other's - at the START of the turn.


No player, human or robot, is allowed to attack any of the other 10 players' STARTING provinces for the first THREE turns - no attacking, bombing or spying-ops on any of the 10 start provinces during Turns 1, 2 and 3. Robot players are also bound by this. They will not attack any human's or Robo's start-prov during the first three turns.

This rule applies FIRST, before any of the following rules about how and where the Robos attack.

How the Robots behave

Robot players fill in spaces in Duel and Trinity games. They start with the usual stuff in their home province, just like human players; but follow predictable automatic rules every turn:

WoK: Trinity

Trinity takes place on a 60 province map. There are three players each taking control of two colours, with another four colours being controlled by robot players. Trinity games are very similar in principle to Duels.

Trinity uses all the rules of WoK: Duel, except that the automatic NAPs are not applied