Command HQ
Rules of Play

Version 2 Change Log


These are all of the changes made to Command HQ since the original Version 1.97 release.



Feature Enhancements

Software Enforced Copy Protection

The original Version 1 code required you to look up a word in the manual to ensure you had a copy of the manual before you could play. The original Version 2 upgrade was sold individually to players, and each copy was registered in that person’s name with a unique serial number, that would not allow it to play against itself.

As of Version 2.20, the software is now registered to Safe Harbor Games, and the restriction of that version of the software from playing against itself has been removed. This version is only licensed for use for play at the Safe Harbor Games website, at .


Version Detection

When you play at Safe Harbor Games, the latest version of code is downloaded automatically, so it is ensured that both players have the same code, so this is no longer an issue.

However, Version Detection has been added to determine what version of code your opponent has (in a 2-player game), and will adjust accordingly.  If you have V2 and connect to someone with V1, then most strategically significant enhancements are disabled (Doc Scan and Lake Builds allowed).  This allows you to play a fair game against any other CHQ player.  Note, however, that the Capitol Scan bug could give the V1 player an advantage, if they know about it and use it during play.  Therefore we recommend all players upgrade to Version 2.12, to ensure a fair game.  You can determine the game version level your opponent, or an old film being viewed, by pressing the '?' key. In addition to the other status info, the version level of your opponent will be shown, so you can determine if your opponent's code is downlevel, or what version was in use when a film was recorded.  (Note: Version info is not recorded by version 1.97 in the 1986 and 2023 scenarios, although it is for the others.  So no specific subversion number is given in that case.)

Nicknames  added

Version 2 of Command HQ now supports Nicknames, which are added to the film. When playing at the Safe Harbor Games website, your nickname is ‘inherited’ from your website nickname. If playing outside of Safe Harbor Games, before beginning a game, you can provide yourself a nickname.

When a game or film is begun, the players' nicknames will be displayed at the top of the screen, or during a game instead of the words "War Room".  This is simply to help you remember who played the game.  Your default nickname is saved in a file called CHQV2.DAT, and that file is updated every time you change your nickname.  So, when you change your nickname for a game, that will automatically become the default nickname for future games.  If you view a film created by V1 code, the default nicknames "A HUMAN" and "ANOTHER HUMAN" are displayed.  If you have V2 code and are playing someone else with V1 code, then you are given a chance to change your opponent's nickname before the game begins.  If your opponent has V1.97 level code or higher, then the nicknames will be saved in his films.  Of course, as long as he has V1 code, he will be unable to see the nickname, but if he later upgrades to V2 code, then he will see the nicknames you provided in the films of the games you two played.  Nicknames will not be recorded in your opponent's film if he has V1.00, since V1.00 does not support the recording of version-specific information, even though that info is sent to it.  (Another reason to encourage V1.00 players to get the free upgrade to V1.97!) Note that nicknames are resolved just prior to the displaying of the 'Money Menu' screen, so if you have V1 code and notice a long pause before the Money Menu comes up, it's probably because your opponent is busy typing in your nickname.

Note to competition-level players:  When you are playing your Version 2 code against a V1 machine, you may notice a slight extra pause from the time you buy a unit until it appears on the screen at the very beginning of the game, or when hostilities are first opened.  This is because the nicknames are being sent to the V1 machine for his film at that time, intermixed with your orders, so your orders may take slightly longer to be recognized while the nickname is being sent.  I don't think it makes any strategic difference, but it is a little disconcerting to see your cursor re-appear after buying a unit, but not the man you just bought.  You have to wait another cycle before the man appears so you can click on him to order him to move out.  If this is a concern for you, you can simply put the game on pause until the nicknames are sent, or turn the speed down to 0 to place your initial orders.  It only takes a few moments to send those nicknames, and they should be sent before round 10 or so, probably less if you 'chat' before you start.  The message "Nicknames Sent" will be displayed when it's done.  This happens at the start of the game, or when hostilities are first opened in the 1986 or 2023 scenarios, and only when a V2 machine is connected to a V1 machine, but it does allow the V1.97 machine to record the nicknames, in the event that he later upgrades his code, and helps prevent resyncs by keeping both films the same size at all times.  Since Version 2 machines resolve the nicknames early on, there is no effect on gameplay when two V2 machines play each other.


Statistics are now kept, and displayed at game's end.  These statistics are displayed at the end of the game, and can also be viewed by clicking on 'War' after the game or during a replay.  These stats include the number of each unit type bought and killed for each player.  Statistics will even be shown after viewing old V1 films you may already have saved.  The statistics screen can be displayed after a game is over or while watching a film by clicking on 'War', or by pressing F2.  If you are in the middle of a film, this action will also pause it.  Click on 'War' again to resume the film.  Note, however, that if a saved game is resumed, the statistics shown at the end of the game are partial results, and include only those units bought and killed since the time the game was resumed.  A complete set of statistics for the entire game can be obtained by watching the entire film again.

Statistics are also saved to a text file (as of V2.10).  After you play a game or watch a film, the file CHQSTATS.TXT is created.  That is a text file that contains the game statistics.  This file can be imported into a note to report game victories and report game statistics.  This file is deleted when a game or film is begun, and is created or appended whenever the statistics window is displayed.  So, by just playing a game or watching a film through to the end, you will have the endgame stats saved in that file.  If you want some interim stats, you can watch the film and click on 'War' at the spot you want stats recorded, and stats will be recorded up through that spot in the game.

Early Notice of Capitol Location

In the ???? scenario, you can now determine your Capitol Location as soon as the computer picks it, even before you are prompted to enter the Opponent's Money.  Notice that Monitor 3 is centered on your Capitol at that point in time, and the name of your Capitol is shown in Monitor 4.  You can now use that information to help determine the handicap you may want to give your opponent.  Also notice that after you enter your Opponent's starting money amount, the 'z' cursor will be directly over your Capitol while the computer initializes.

New Serial Overlay

A new Serial Overlay provides even more connection options, including a built-in phone book to store your favorite opponent's phone numbers, the ability to select an appropriate baud rate for your modem (not always 1200bps), a built-in terminal communication package for easy access to BBS systems like CRIS, and the ability to upload or download files using XMODEM protocol. (This new serial overlay code courtesy of Francis Russo.  Thanks Francis! See below for a complete description of his new Serial overlay.)

Safe Harbor Games Compatibility

Enhancements were added to allow Command HQ to run under the Safe Harbor Games website. This includes a special build of the DOSBox program to allow communications between players to go through the SHG servers, the ability to inherit the CHQ nickname from the SHG logon name, and the ability to report game status and results back to the Safe Harbor Games servers.

Colorblind Option

By changing your HQ.BAT file, and adding the parameter "/CO" (no quotes) to the command line that invokes the main program, you can play the game in 'colorblind mode'.  In this mode, city recharge time is graphically depicted with the colors GREEN, WHITE, and RED, instead of the normal GREEN, YELLOW, and RED.  This is for users who have a hard time distinguishing Green and Yellow on their monitor

City Names Displayed in the ???? scenario.

City names for ALL cities will be displayed in monitor 4, even in the ???? scenario. (In many cases, country or region names are used instead of city names, in places where there wasn't an appropriate city.) So now you will finally know what to call your capitol!

Version Registration

For Versions 2.00 through 2.19, Version Registration was added. This was removed in Version 2.20 thanks to Safe Harbor Games.

For Version 2.00 through 2.19, the version of code you receive will be unique, and registered in your name.  That version can ONLY be played at the V2 level by playing someone else's copy of V2 code.  So, if you give your registered upgrade away to a friend, and try to play each other, then you'll find you'll be unable to do so. So, please don't even try!  If you do, you'll get a 'Version Detection Error - Set to Ver 1." and will wind up playing at Version 1.97-level anyway.  The solution to this problem is to purchase a second copy of the Version 2 upgrade for your opponent, registered in their own name.  The name of the registered owner is displayed in the closing screen, before returning to DOS.

Closing screen added

When you leave the program, a new screen has been added. For Version 2.20 and later, this screen tells you about Safe Harbor Games. For Versions 2.00 through 2.19, this screeno let you know about The CHQ Player's Club. It will also show the name of the registered owner, so you'll be able to see your own name up in lights, on this closing screen.

Show both side's city recharge times in 'Show Both' mode

While looking at a film in 'Show Both' mode and selecting to 'Buy' a unit, the city recharge times for both sides will be shown.  As of version 2.10, this feature also works in the 'Zoom' window.

Mouse Buttons during Input

The mouse button can now be used like the Enter key, in places during initialization where you were prompted to type in a string, such as when you are prompted for your nickname or a phone number.  Button 1 acts like the Enter key, Button 2 acts like the Esc key, during string input.

Sallows and Oceans

As of Version 2.10, you can now distinguish 'Shallows' from 'Ocean' in Monitor 4.  There really are two types of water, but as far as the user is concerned, they are the same.  The only difference is that when traveling along a 'Sea Route' calculated by the program, the unit will not cross shallows unless it is heading for the final destination.  You'll often find shallows located at the tips of peninsulas, such as just below the Southern tip of Africa and India.  The shallows have always been there, but in the past you had no way to ever distinguish it from regular ocean.  Now you can, but there is still no reason for you to need to know the difference.  I added this by request of players curious to know where the shallows are, even though it may cause confusion to some.  As far as you as a player need to know though, shallows and oceans are identical.  If you're looking for shallows, look at the southern most tip of India and Africa, or most other peninsulas.

Default Funds for the ???? scenario

As of Version 2.10, the default funds for the ???? scenario is now $100 bil instead of 50.  You can still reduce the opponent's funds to $50 bil, but the default is now $100.  This was done in recognition of the fact that most users now play the ???? scenario at $100 bil and not at $50. If you connect to someone using a version below 2.10, the default will be $50 bil for you, just like it is for him.  Only when both players are using Version 2.10 or higher is the default value increased to $100 bil.






Game Play Changes

Carrier range increased

The firing range for carriers has been increased from 4 to 6 squares, and the spotting range has been increased from 6 to 8 squares.  This helps greatly justify the carrier's higher price (still $20bil).

Air Ranges

Air Ranges are increased for 1942 and ???? scenarios from 10 to 12 squares. This increase keeps the air range at 4 more than the carrier's spotting range. The Air Ranges for the 1983 and 2023 scenarios stays the same at 15 squares.

Hidden Subs cannot catch transports, and unseen carriers cannot retreat from


Sea vessels in Version 1 only slow down when they spot an enemy.  This has been changed to only slow down when they spot an enemy *AND* they have, in turn, been spotted by the enemy.  This is a major change to the way sea units work, and should generally make unseen units much more maneuverable right before a sea battle begins.  It will allow unseen subs to catch up to and kill transports, as well as allowing unseen carriers to retreat from battle before they are spotted.  Make good use of this new strategy!

Army defending city attacks subs in docs over other land units

Actually, you attack whoever is closest, and a sub in the doc is closer than a land unit (1 space vs. 2).  This has been fixed so that land units will prefer to attack other land units over sea units, if given a choice.  No longer can you sneak a sub into an enemy city, to force the defending army to take a shot at the sub, and allowing your attacker to get a hit in from behind to win.

Nuclear Winter causes program crash

Actually, the game didn't crash but exited to DOS with the message "SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI", which means (roughly translated) "Thus Ends the Glory of the World."  While not a bug, many users thought it was, exiting to DOS so abruptly.  (Does software still have to run after the world has been destroyed?)   Anyway, that has been fixed in V2, and now there is a short 'Nuclear Winter' animation.  That animation is very similar to the 'End Game' animation, except instead of turning the world to Red or Blue (the color of the victor), the world is turned White.  Then, all units (except Satellites) are removed from the board, and all land masses on the map are changed to 'Polar' regions, leaving behind only the ghostly shadows of once great cities intermixed with wastelands.  After the now-famous Latin message is displayed, you may then inspect the map, chat with your opponent, or look at the statistics (see below), before you restart the game normally.

Air Attacks on Hidden Subs

In order to perform an air attack on an enemy unit, that unit must first be spotted by you.  That means that you can no longer attack a hidden sub from the air, nor can you use air power to determine if there is a hidden sub in the area.  Once the sub has been spotted, it can be bombed like any other unit.

Faster Speed

Speed 7 added. You can now increase the speed up to speed 7, instead of speed 6. When nothing is happening, Speed 7 will play about as fast as Speed 6. However, when a city is captured or other significant event happens, Speed 7 will no longer slow down, like speed 6 will. This is particularly useful for fast forwarding through film replays.








Capitol Scan

This is an obscure bug, that will reveal the location of the enemy capitol!  At the start of a game, before anything shows up on the 'Show Common' map, if you are looking at the terrain map (as opposed to the ownership map) and select 'Show Common' and move the cursor around, then monitor 4 will betray the enemy capitol location. All these conditions must be true at once for this bug to manifest itself, (1) you are using Version 2.07 or less, (2) you are looking at the terrain map, (3) you are in 'Show common' mode, and (4) no one city/base/oil has yet been spotted by both players, so that the show common map is still blank. This bug is fixed permanently in Version 2.08 and later.


Doc Scan

Fixed.  Monitor 4 will show 'docs' when the cursor is on the docsof a base, or capitol, as well as in the docs of cities.


Lake Builds

In the advanced scenarios, during peacetime, lakes will be flagged and owned by the owner of the nearest city.

Large Film Files

Large film files should now save and restore properly.  V1 code could fail if the C_HQ.REP file became larger than 22K. (That file contains a copy of the last game played or film loaded in an uncompressed form.  Actual film files are generally somewhat smaller.) Version 2 will also replay some films that were interrupted by a resync, which will not replay correctly under Version 1.


Ships Moving Inland

There were actually several fixes implemented here.  The first would ignore all orders to ships with a destination on land.  These orders should have gotten the 'Ships must stay at Sea' error, but sometimes may not.  The second fix was first implemented in Version 2.06, and involves some orders that may cause it to create intermediate paths over land.  A third fix was implemented in Version 2.09, which should prevent ships from 'teleporting' to random locations on the map when a convoy of 2 or more ships are navigating narrow  passageways.  A final fix was implemented in Version 2.10, to prevent units getting stuck or stacked up around the southernmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula.  So, as of Version 2.10, it should no longer be possible to cause ships to go inland for any reason.

Ships stop at shore

It is still possible to order ships to move inland by ordering ships to North-Central Canada.  The fix is to stop ships at the shore, if they ever are ordered to move inland.

Show Common Chat

Going to 'Show Common' and then into 'Chat' mode will not crash, and cause '=' signs to be sent over chat.  But, note that you will not get out of 'Show Common' mode until you finish your chat.

Disappearing Satellites

In the 1986 or 2023 scenarios, it's possible to cause satellites to 'disappear' by moving them, during peacetime, from the Pacific Rim of Asia to North America.  By making a satellite move across the International Date Line from Asia to America, it could get 'lost'. This bug has been fixed in V2, and you can safely place a satellite anywhere, during peacetime.

Keyboard Input of Enemy Money over 150 bil

You can now use the keyboard to input enemy money amounts greater than 150 billion.  With the original version of code, this could only be done with the mouse.  The maximum amount of money you can give your opponent is 990 bil, with any input device.

Films don't show city recharge time after a build

When viewing a film, you can click on 'Buy' to see what cities are green (available to build), or yellow (ready to build soon) or red (can't build for a while, yet).  Often, recharge times play a key role in the history of a game, which was not reflected in the films.  ("Why didn't you buy reinforcements there?" "Because I couldn't!")  Now, you can look at the film and see what cities were available to build at the time.  (You can also use this to see how 'Mars, God of War' 'cheats', by *always* having his cities green, and available to build.)

Save Menu cleared after Restart Prompt

This is an obscure bug, that I doubt any of you ever ran into.  After playing a game, click on the up arrow, then on 'Save' to save a film.  Up comes the save film window.  Then, while looking at that window, move the mouse to the extreme upper left corner of the screen, and click on 'Restart'.  Up comes the 'Do you want to Restart?  Y/N' menu, and type 'N'.  The 'Save a film' window is blanked out.  This is now fixed.

No Scan Code delivered for shift/alt/ctrl keys

Although this problem is not really noticable in the game itself, it became apparent in the terminal.  In the terminal, if you pressed the a letter and then pressed shift before letting up on the letter, you got a second copy of that letter. In the game menus, if you're at the top menu, then press down-arrow, then Ctrl, then Shift, then Alt, without letting up on any key, then you end up going down 4 times.  If you let up on any key, you will not get any more scan codes.  Anyway, now Shift, Ctrl, and Alt will not generate any scan codes.