Getting Started

Welcome to Chron X, the Original Online Collectible Card Game! Chron X is a two-player battle game set in a future in which each player controls a disparate group of operatives. The objective is to find and destroy your opponent's headquarters before they do the same to you. With hundreds of unique virtual cards representing everything from corporate assassins to United Nations interventions, Chron X strives to create a game-world rich in detail and strategic depth.

Chron X Manual

What follows is a quick start guide to playing Chron X. A more complete manual is available in PDF format. To read the manual you will need Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer. The Acrobat reader can be downloaded from Adobe's website.

Contents

System Requirements

  • Windows 95 or higher or Windows NT 4.x or higher
  • 800x600 resolution (1024x768 recommended) and at least 8-bit color depth (16 or 24-bit color depth recommended).
  • A 100-MHz 486 or faster CPU (Pentium recommended) with at least 16M of memory.
  • An Internet connection, either through a dial-up line to an ISP or a direct network connection. Speed is not generally a factor.
  • Chron X can generally deal with firewalls as long as they permit outbound connections. Two players behind such a firewall will be able to play, but two players behind two different firewalls may not be able to play (somebody needs to support an incoming connection).

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Creating a Character

When you first start the game you will see the login screen. From this screen you can choose a character to use or create a new character. When you create a new character you must choose the character's name and an optional password. Do not enter a password unless other people have access to your computer. If you decide to enter a password, please write it down! Currently there is no way for Blue Sky Red Design to recover lost passwords.

Your character contains all the information about you that is relevant from game to game, the most important of which is the collection of cards that you own. This information is stored in a file in your Chron X program directory with the name you chose for your character and the extension '.CXC'. Be very careful when creating new characters--if a new character is created with the same name as an existing character, the old character with the same name will be erased permanently.

When you create a new character the computer will randomly generate a starter deck consisting of sixty cards. These cards are randomly chosen from a larger set according to their frequency. Some cards are common and others are rare. While not necessarily more powerful, rare cards often possess unique or exotic abilities.

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Your Card Collection

Virtual Collectible Cards

Cards are the game pieces of Chron X. You use them in each game, and you can collect and trade them online.

After you have created a character, you are brought to the main screen. At this time, the game will attempt to connect to the Chron X server through the Internet to display the latest news and rankings. If you are not connected to the Internet you will receive a warning message when you exit the main screen.

Click the button labeled 'Manage Decks' to look at the cards in your collection. Clicking on one of the cards selects it. The left part of the screen shows a picture of the card and some statistics about it. Click on the large card to flip it to the other side and see more information.

The Manage Decks screen allows you to create different configurations of your cards and save those configurations as decks. When you start a game, you will be able to choose which of your decks to use. Each new character starts with a default deck which includes all the cards in your collection. The first time you enter the Manage Decks screen you will notice several rows, the top row is the "Default Deck" and the rows below are "Scrap Piles".

You can drag and drop cards around and arrange them so that you can see what you've got in your collection. Click on the Scrap Pile label to sort that pile of cards. Use the arrows to the right and left of the pile to scroll through the cards in that pile. The top row represents your deck. Any cards in the top row will be saved in the deck and used in a game. Cards in any other row will not be used.

You may also access your "Storage Box" from this menu. The "Storage Box" is a feature that allows you to make deck management easier by putting cards you do not want to use or trade into the box and out of your way. To get there select "Storage Box" from the menu on the upper left of the "Manage Decks" screen. To place a card in the box, simply select it from one of the two lower rows (which represent your active cards) and move it to the top row, your stored cards. To remove a card from the box, simply select it from the top row and move it into one of your active rows. That card is again available for deck building and trading.

When you want to create new decks, you can click on leftmost part of the status bar at the top of the screen (where you see the words "Default Deck"). Decks are subject to certain restrictions; no deck can have fewer than 40 cards or more than four of any one type of asset. Also, you may not include more than four of any particular special base (special bases are those that have a special ability, check the back of the card to see if it has such an ability).

If you're just getting started, place all your cards in the top row (that is, in your deck) until you learn which cards are useful and why. Click Done to exit.

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Headquarters Cards

There is a special type of base card in Chron X, the Headquarters card. If this is destroyed, you lose the game. You do not need one in your deck. If you don't include one, the standard HQ is put in for you.

Standard HQ: This is the default Headquarters and is included in every deck without an HQ. It has 25 Hit Points and produces all three resource types indefinitely.

There are many new HQ's that are available when purchasing Booster Packs. Each of these new HQ's has it's own special attributes or abilities. If you have one of the new HQ's, you can play with them by using the 'Manage Decks' screen to place one in your deck. At the start of a game using that deck, the new HQ will be used in place of the standard HQ. (The HQ card does not count towards the minimum limit of 40 cards.) If you include more than one new HQ in your deck, a random one will be chosen and the rest will be discarded.

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Playing the Computer Trainer

The computer trainer is intended to teach new players the basics before they go up against live opponents. Although it does not provide a challenging game to experienced players, it will usually win the first few games while you are learning to play.

From the main screen, click on the Play Trainer button. This will bring you to the Game Settings screen. Here you can decide the battleground on which you will play. Games on one third of the world will generally be shorter than games on the entire globe (go figure!). Each third of the planet presents different logistical challenges.

Once the battleground is chosen, choose the deck you would like to play with by clicking the deck label. If you have not created any decks there will be only one entry in the list. Once you have selected the battleground and the deck you wish to use, click the checkmark button. The game will then begin.

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Playing the Game

  • The object of the game is to find and destroy your opponent's headquarters. At your disposal are dozens of cards representing operatives (called assets), bases, equipment, computer programs, and interventions.

  • When you first start a game, you will be in a random city of the world looking at your headquarters. If it is your turn the line above the cards in your hand will appear bright blue. The cards at the bottom of the screen are the cards that you have in your hand. In the upper right you will see a globe. This takes you to a satellite view of the world from which you can select any a city to view.

  • When you click on a card, you can see a description of the card on the left part of the screen. Below the card you will see a set of buttons that represent the actions that the selected card can perform at this moment. Note: you will not see these buttons if it is not your turn.

  • Most cards require a certain number of resource points to deploy. The icons on the top-left corner of the large card indicates the number of resource points required to deploy the card. There are three icons that represent resources: a gun represents Military resources; a poison vial represents Covert resources; and a computer terminal represents CyberOps resources.

  • The top part of the screen has a status bar with the three resource icons and numbers next to them. This display shows the number of resource points currently available to you.

  • To get more resource points, you need to deploy a base card. When a base card is played, it provides you with resource points at the beginning of each turn. Base cards can be deployed for free, but only one base can be deployed each turn. Base cards are green.

  • Assets are used both to attack your opponent and to defend your headquarters. Assets can move around the world, search a city for enemy assets and bases, and (of course) attack enemy forces. Asset cards are blue.

  • Equipment cards can be used to enhance the abilities of your assets. Equipment cards are dark gray.

  • Programs have various uses, some offensive and some defensive. A program has a CyberAffinity (C) rating which reflects the level of knowledge required by the asset running the program. An asset can only use a program if his or her CyberAffinity is high enough. Program cards are red.

  • Interventions are invocations of assistance from entities more powerful than yourself. They cost resources to invoke, but otherwise have few restrictions. Intervention cards are gold.

  • Your opponent's cards are not normally visible to you. Assets have ratings for Stealth and Perception. When an asset searches in a city, he or she finds any enemy assets whose Stealth is equal to or lower than the asset's Perception. Once an enemy asset has been detected, he or she will generally remain visible for the remainder of the game (as you will discover over time, there are some cards which allow assets to go back under cover).

  • Enemy bases are detected automatically when you move assets into a city. Conversely, assets of Stealth 1 are detected automatically when they move into a city containing one of your bases.

  • Assets can be used to attack bases and other assets. If one or more assets are in the same city as an enemy base, they can attack the base. The defending player can then assign his or her assets to block some of the attackers. Those attackers that are not blocked, do damage to the base. Those that are, fight with the defenders. If an there is an enemy base in a city, enemy assets cannot be individually targeted (they are hiding in the base). If there is no enemy base, however, enemy assets can be attacked directly.

  • Assets have three ratings that determine their ability to fight: Hit Points (HP), Firepower (F), and Armor (A). Firepower is a measure of how much damage an asset can do. Armor reflects the asset's ability to deflect or avoid damage. Hit Points are a measure of how tough an asset is and how hard he or she (or it) is to kill.

  • When an asset attacks, it does damage equal to its Firepower less half the enemy's Armor (F - A/2), rounded up. In other words, an asset of Firepower 5 attacking an asset of Armor 5 will do (5 - (5/2)) = 2 points of damage rounded up to 3.

  • You can continue to deploy cards in your hand until you run out of resource points. When you are done with your turn, press the Next action button to proceed to the next turn.

  • To exit Chron X or change options settings press the Esc key. A menu of choices will appear. Clicking on Quit Game will exit Chron X completely. Clicking on Done returns to the previous screen.

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Connecting with Another Player

From the main screen, click on the Enter Core button. This will connect to our server and allow you to chat with other players who are ready to play. If you should fail to connect, please verify that you can reach www.chronx.com. If you can ping that address and still fail to connect, please email us at support@chronx.com for assistance.

The right part of the screen shows the players currently connected. The left part is a chat screen where you can talk to other players.

To play with another person, click on the person that you want to play with and then click the gold Challenge button. The other player should then click his or her Accept button to accept the challenge. Note that if you challenge each other simultaneously, the challenge will be refused automatically. If someone challenges you, you will see two gold buttons appear: Accept and Decline. Click on Decline if you are not ready to play.

When the challenge has been accepted, the Game Settings screen will appear. This can sometimes take up to a minute if one player is on a very slow Internet connection. The players should chat to decide what battleground they want to play on and which deck they want to use. Once you have selected the battleground and deck, click the checkmark button to begin. If your opponent selected a different battleground than you, you will receive a warning message and will be returned to this screen. If the game settings agree, the game will begin.

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Trading

When you enter "The Core" chat area you will see a new button labeled "Trade" next to the "Challenge" button. Initiating a trade with someone is the same as challenging for a game. Highlight the person you want to trade with and click the "Trade" button. The person can then either accept or decline to trade with you. If your partner accepts, you will both be taken to the trading screen.

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The Trading Screen

In the trading screen there are three rows of cards. The bottom row shows the cards in a particular deck of yours. You can switch the deck by pressing on the down arrow on the status bar at the top (just like the Manage Decks screen). In this screen there is also an option to show only the cards in your collection that are not part of any deck.

The middle row on the screen contains the cards that you want to offer to trade. You can drag cards from the bottom row to the middle row. Any cards in that row are visible to your trading partner.

The top row of the screen contains the cards that your partner is offering to trade.

Trading Screen

Trading Basics

To offer cards for trade, drag them from the bottom row to the middle (trading) row. You can drag as many cards as you like. Once all of the cards you are offering are in the trading row, you can "Unlock" your row. This will allow your trading partner to rearrange the cards in your trading row. Your partner can also unlock their trading row (the top row) so that you can rearrange the cards they are offering. Once you have both decided which cards you want to trade, lock your trading row and drag all of the extra cards back to the bottom.

To execute the trade, click the "trade" button to the left side of the trading rows. If the other player agrees to the trade, you will then both get a "confirm" button. If both players confirm, then the trade will be completed and the cards in the two rows will switch places. It is possible to trade cards for nothing, if you want.

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Registration

Once you have played a few games and are comfortable with the cards in your character's collection, you can register your character.

Why register? Here are the top ten reasons:

  1. Receive 60 additional cards as a bonus for registering
  2. See where you stand in the world-wide rankings
  3. Purchase card booster packs to improve your deck
  4. Trade cards with other players
  5. Take advantage of new cards when expansion sets are released
  6. Become eligible to win free cards and other prizes in random drawings
  7. Compete in on-line tournaments
  8. Our virtual card technology eliminates the problem of counterfeit cards
  9. Influence the design of future game maps and cards -- put your mark on the game!

To find out more, visit our Registration page.

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Playing a Game without the Chron X Server

If for some reason you cannot reach the Blue Sky Red Design server (perhaps because you are behind a particularly nasty firewall), you can connect to another player directly using command line switches. Follow these instructions:

  • Each player should make a shortcut to start ChronX.EXE. This can be accomplished by dragging ChronX.EXE to your desktop while pressing the 'Ctrl' and 'Shift' keys.

  • With the right mouse button, click on the shortcut and select Properties from the menu.

  • In the Shortcut tab, one player should add /M to the end of the text in the Target field (e.g., C:\GAMES\CHRONX\CHRONX.EXE /M). The other player should add /S and the IP address or host name of the other player's machine (e.g., C:\CHRONX\CHRONX.EXE /S 255.255.255.255). Click on the Okay button to save these changes.

  • The /M player should start the game and press the Manage Character button while holding down the Shift key (this will start a new game).

  • The /S player should start a second game on another machine, also by pressing the Manage Character button while holding down the shift key.

  • The /S player's application should connect directly to the /M player and a game should start.

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The Chron X Rules of Conduct

The world of Chron X is meant to be a fun and competitive environment. However, since it is a multiplayer game, by definition it requires multiple people to play together by a set of community standards. People who choose to ignore these standards negatively impact the experience for others, and such behavior will not be tolerated. You should be completely familiar with the rules before you go online and play Chron X. Click here to see the Chron X Rules of Conduct.

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Known Problems/Bugs/Issues

  • Network Anomalies. Occasionally while playing Chron X you will see a dialog box that indicates a Network Anomaly has occurred. When this happens Chron X will immediately attempt to reconnect to the other player (they're seeing the same message). Do not quit Chron X! Instead, verify that you are still connected to the Internet. Due to Internet traffic, such a reconnection may take up to one to two minutes, though often they are resolved within a few seconds. Sometimes, due to Internet problems, Chron X will not be able to reconnect at all. If the connection cannot be reestablished after three minutes Chron X will stop trying and will not record the game on your record.

  • If the application hangs when you start it and you know you've got an odd sound card, run the app with the /Q option which will bypass the sound and often fix the problem.

  • There are a number of palette problems when running in 8-bit color mode. The game works, but might not look its best. Alt-Tab'ing in and out of other apps sometimes fixes the palette.

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Rules, Legal Notices, Other Fun Stuff

Please read the Chron X license agreement. By installing and using the game you are agreeing to the license terms and you should understand those terms.

A large part of the Chron X experience is the online chat space. Please observe the same rules of conduct you would observe in any public place. Abusive or offensive behavior including excessive use of bad language will not be tolerated. Use good judgement.

Cheating, specifically by pulling the plug on your modem when you are about to lose, is not cool. Since we can't tell the difference between that and an accidental disconnection we just count how many times it has happened and trust you not to disconnect intentionally. Don't break our trust and we won't have to revoke your registration.

Note that we may need to change the capabilities of some cards in the future if they are found to be too powerful, not powerful enough, or otherwise imbalanced. BSRD reserves the right to change any card at any time, but we will try really hard to use this as a last resort.

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Contacting Blue Sky Red Design

We want to hear from you! If you have feedback, criticism, suggestions, (or even praise), please send it to us at feedback@blueskyred.com. Please do not send problem reports to that address! If you require technical support with Chron X, please see the Technical Support webpage.