Hi David.

well it is certainly possible to use xl, though I must confess mapping is not a personal strong point, and indeed I myself find games like chess quite difficult to play without a tactile board physically in front of me.

the one exception to this rule which i have found is time of conflict, which uses imho some of the most advanced mapping overview techniques by essentially doing exactly what you said, ---- using the computer to put in the effort on behalf of the player.

In time of conflict for instance, it's not necessary to sit and work out how close your military units are to one city, you can simply use arrows to move your audio curser around the map, and get a context sensative menue on each area which shows distance to nearest objects.

So for instance, if you are playing the battle of britain map and the enemy attacks portsmouth, and you want to know where your nearest fighter squadren is, just arrow over to portsmouth and press alt F, and the nearest fighter will be at the top of your menue ready to command.

While self voicing and audio cursers might be going slightly far, even with a standard html interface you could use tools such as drop down menues and list boxes which could change their context according to other pieces of information.

For instance, selecting a world in a drop down menue could then show you what worlds were connected to it, distance to nearest fleets, your opponents' nearest fleets etc.

Indeed one brouser based space game (where you only play as one ship and fly about the six galaxies), uses a very similar tool involving drop downs to calculate routes to different star systems, which totally makes up for the inaccessible galaxy map.

the game is core exiles at www.core-exiles.com and the plotter tool can be found at


you don't need to sign up for the game, just use the galaxy map link on the main page to see the graphical version of what the plotter represents, (though you might sign up anyway, it's a fun game ;D)..

Looking forward to the practice game, though odds are sinse I'm in the uk and may or may not be awake at midnight, I won't be able to get back until tomorrow.

all the best,


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