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=                               THEATRE EUROPE                                =
*                                COMMODORE 64                                 *
=                            FAQ / STRATEGY GUIDE                             =
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Author: Sashanan
Date: 22 September 2005
Version: 1.2

DISCLAIMER
This document is a copyright of Peter "Sashanan" Butter, 2005. All
rights reserved.

You are granted permission to make copies of this FAQ (electronical or
physical) for your own, personal use. Furthermore, non-commercial, freely
accessible websites are allowed to upload a copy of this FAQ as long as it is
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to Sashanan.

You are not authorized to upload this FAQ on a commercial website and/or
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without my explicit written permission. Furthermore, you are not allowed to
edit this guide in any way, use it as a basis for your own guide, or post it
without giving proper credit. This is considered plagiarism.

This FAQ is protected by international copyright laws and failure to
comply with the terms in this disclaimer will result in legal prosecution.


===============================================================================
TABLE OF CONTENTS
===============================================================================

[1] Introduction
[2] Overview
[3] Warsaw Pact land strategy
[4] NATO land strategy
[5] The air war
[6] Weapons of mass destruction
[7] Questions & answers
[8] Revision history
[9] Final words


===============================================================================
[1] INTRODUCTION
===============================================================================

Theatre Europe is a war simulation. These days, such games tend to be very
complicated, but being from the Commodore age, this is a relatively simple
game. Nonetheless, it's definitely a step up from shooting down aliens or
gobbling up little white dots, and winning Theatre Europe (especially if you
play as the overwhelmed NATO) requires some planning and thinking. This
strategy guide is meant to help you make the most of your war effort.

This document is not intended to replace the manual and touches only briefly
on the controls and the basics of the game. The focus is not on the mechanics
of playing the game, but on what to do to play it well. I've divided the guide
up in separate chapters for the land strategies for either side in the war,
and I have specific chapters on the air phase and the use of WMDs.

If after reading this guide you are left with additional questions, or (even
better) if you have strategies of your own to add, please drop me a mail.
Good luck!


===============================================================================
[2] OVERVIEW
===============================================================================

Theatre Europe explores a not-so-peaceful ending to the Cold War; a Warsaw
Pact invasion of NATO territories. You take control of either side's armies.
As the Pact, you'll attempt to take control of enough NATO cities to guarantee
your victory; as NATO, you'll attempt to keep the Pact out of your territory
for as long as possible, counting on the Pact's internal instability to
disintegrate it before you lose too much ground.

After choosing a difficulty level and a side at the start of the game, you
get the first turn. You move your armies by selecting them with the joystick.
clicking the button and choosing a destination. When you've moved all the
armies you want, pressing the space bar will advance you to the attack phase,
where your armies can attack adjacent enemy (or neutral) armies. You can and
often should have multiple armies attack the same target together. In the
next phase, you get a number of army, air and supply reinforcements to bolster
your armies with. After that comes the air phase where you assign your air
force to a number of missions, then the special missions phase where you can
launch strategic chemical or nuclear strikes if you feel so inclined. The turn
then goes to your enemy.

Every turn lasts a day, so every pair of turns (one NATO and one Pact) is two
days. The game ends after day 31 in a NATO victory, unless the Warsaw Pact wins
the war before then, which they do by capturing three NATO cities or getting
into a position where such capture can no longer be prevented.

Higher difficulty levels tilt battles slightly into the AI's favour, and also
introduces additional options such as Assault Breaker air missions and the
use of tactical chemical weapons during battle. Furthermore, the enemy tends
to be a little more triggerhappy with its Weapons of Mass Destruction on
higher levels. In addition, you can choose to play out battles as 'action
scenes', which is basically a short (but not very good) arcade game where you
destroy enemy units. These action scenes have to be turned on prior to starting
the game, and can help you swing battles in your favour.


===============================================================================
[3] WARSAW PACT LAND STRATEGY
===============================================================================

--------------
BASIC STRATEGY
--------------
As the Warsaw Pact, your objective is to invade NATO's territory and secure
several of its cities within a time limit of one month. That's about how long
the Pact can be kept together before it collapses into internal bickering.
Your army is considerably stronger than NATO's, but you'll have to work fast.

Advance your armies quickly, and beat up on NATO's weak points. Don't challenge
the powerful US and West German units if you don't have to; much easier to
punch holes around them and encircle. Keep in mind that you don't *have* to
destroy any armies to win or even to get a high score. Territory is what you
need, and it's better to slip past enemy troop concentrations than to try and
go through them.

Gang up your armies against weak targets to destroy them quickly, so that on
the next turn you can advance further west. To win, you'll have to at least
take Bonn, and get armies through over the borders of Germany to either the
Netherlands, Belgium or France. Since all the powerful armies (excepting one
of the West German ones) are in the south, Netherlands and Belgium are the
better bet.

Your Airborne army can make one paradrop deep into NATO territory, but it's
hard to find a good place for it. If you put it in France, it will almost
certainly be destroyed by the US armies there. Further north and you can't
really put it anywhere where your main forces won't get. You can take
Copenhagen with it on the first turn, but your Amphibious army can do the same
in a few more turns. The biggest problem is that the Airborne army cannot be
strengthened, only resupplied. I prefer to hold it in reserve, dropping it in
France only if the US armies there move away from their original positions.

The Amphibious army really has only one objective: Copenhagen. Advance it west
from the first turn on, then drop it into Denmark's capital and keep it there.
Engaging the Danish army is not necessary. Going past Denmark to try for a
London invasion is useless; if you take the Amphibious army into the North
Sea, English navy patrols will sink it.

The bulk of your forces will likely advance through the northern part of
Germany. Optionally, you can send one of them into Denmark to destroy the
Danish army together with the Amphibious army. However, as best as I can tell,
this doesn't increase your score. Copenhagen can be yours without ever fighting
the Danes.

Concentrate your main effort on securing Bonn (attack whichever army guards it
from all sides, from the rear too if you can get armies there) and on getting
one or two armies over the Dutch border. By the time you do both, and usually
before you actually occupy Amsterdam, you'll win the game. The exact conditions
for winning, to be honest, still elude me, however it appears to be a
combination of crossing Germany's west borders and securing Bonn (though you
don't seem to actually have to put an army inside).

Use your reinforcements to strengthen strong points, not weak points. This is
consistent with the real life military ideology the Soviets followed. Your
objective here is Blitzkrieg, not a large defensive front, so keep a few armies
hideously strong and let them do the bulk of the fighting for you.


---------------------------
HIGHER LEVEL CONSIDERATIONS
---------------------------
Since you have the air advantage, you can afford to sink some extra air units
into Assault Breaker missions on higher levels. Assault Breaker is particularly
useful to weaken whichever army is defending Bonn, as this tends to be one of
the tougher ones. You shouldn't need the Assault Breaker for northern Germany
and the Netherlands, and you shouldn't waste it on the big elite US units that
you don't even need to engage.

Use your tactical chemical weapons as soon as you plan a major offense. They
add to all your attacks on that turn, so make it count. Best to save them for
the Bonn assault too.


===============================================================================
[4] NATO LAND STRATEGY
===============================================================================

--------------
BASIC STRATEGY
--------------
The Pact's knocking at the door, and you've got only limited resources to stop
them. You have fewer armies and only a couple of them are truly powerful. You
won't be able to defeat the Warsaw Pact army; at best, you can halt it.
Fortunately that's your only objective. If you hold out for a month (15 turns
for each of you), victory is yours. You must keep from losing either too many
cities or all your armies in that time.

First thing to do is to move the Danish army east and have it guard Copenhagen.
If you do not, the Amphibious army will take it. Apart from that, none of your
armies should advance. You can shuffle them around a bit, making sure you
present as broad a front as you can, but absolutely do not advance into Pact
territory. If you panic the Russians, they will launch a major nuclear
assault and everybody loses.

If Theatre Europe were a 2 player game, you'd lose. Simple as that. The Pact
army, if used well, is too powerful to be halted. Fortunately, the AI doesn't
play as well, and by making use of its particular quirks you can buy yourself
enough time to win, if barely.

First off, Pact armies never advance if they are already in contact with your
troops. Furthermore, the Pact *tends* to keep an even front, not advancing too
far west on the north front if they're tied up at the south. Use this to your
advantage by using a few armies to keep the enemy in place. Use your strongest
armies for this, the ones that can withstand a few battles even against
superior odds. Meanwhile, pull the weakened ones back a bit, just behind your
frontlines. The Pact won't advance into the gaps to finish these armies off,
and that allows you to restrengthen them and rotate them back in when ready.
During the first half of the war, this will be plenty to keep the Pact from
advancing too much. Somewhere around the halfway point, your losses will
start to catch up and your reinforcements trickle down, and that's where you
will need to start steadily giving up ground.

Keep your own offenses to a minimum. If you can overwhelm and weaken a Pact
army, do so, but you don't need to finish any off. The very small ones are no
threat anyway. It's better to try and weaken the stronger Pact armies (say,
ARM 7 and above), but only if you have the resources to do so. If you attack
superior enemies you will only weaken yourself, and do the Pact's job for
them during your own turn. Many NATO turns should be spent not attacking at
all, and even if you do attack you will rarely want to strike more than one
target at a time. Do make sure you annihilate the Airborne army which will
usually drop somewhere near France in the first turn. You have the resources
to do so on that front.

The northern front is your weak point, and that's where the Pact will break
through first. Be prepared to spread the armies of your south front out, using
some of them to fill the gaps as necessary.

Focus your reinforcements on weaker armies to make sure they don't get wiped
out. If the Pact destroys too many of your armies it will be harder and
harder to stop them from advancing and your own remaining armies will get
circled and pounded mercilessly. You have more use for a handful of ARM 4/5
armies than one ARM 9 one, for the most part. Late in the game, you will start
running out of armies anyway, but look on the bright side: at least you won't
have a problem keeping them supplied.

If you lose Bonn, be prepared to use all your remaining resources to recapture
it. If you do not, you're on the verge of losing the game. Ideally, the Pact
shoud still be busy fighting over Bonn by day 30, and never get a chance to
advance beyond it. If you can manage that, you'll win the game.

---------------------------
HIGHER LEVEL CONSIDERATIONS
---------------------------
You will lose the air war. Much like on the ground, you are simply too badly
outnumbered. The only question is how you "lose" it, and there are several ways
to handle your air resources:

- Try to hold out as long as possible by keeping enough units in Air
Superiority to outnumber the Pact, and having the rest in Counter Air to
reduce the effectiveness of the Pact's air missions.

- Go entirely with Interdiction and a decent (but somewhat lacking) Air
Superiority. You will lose the air war earlier for your troubles, but you'll
keep the Pact from reinforcing its armies and make it easier to hold your
position where it really matters.

- Go for Assault Breaker and try to keep it up for as many turns as possible.
Same idea as Interdiction, except you can concentrate the effort where it is
needed. The downside is that you'll need some points in Reconnaisance as well
to be able to know where to strike.

The latter two strategies offer more immediate benefits, but will result in
running out of air resources entirely before the end of the war. The last few
turns will be all the more deadly because of it, as the Pact can afford to
take more and more units out of Air Superiority and put them in other areas
instead. You'll be hit with Assault Breakers yourself soon enough. The first
strategy offers no immediate benefit, but the fact that the Pact never gets
around to doing much else than wear down your air force makes a significant
difference, too. You'll have to try out for yourself what works best for you.

Hold your tactical chemical weapons in reserve until you've got a desperate
attack planned. As soon as you're doubtful that a certain critical attack is
going to work in your favour - usually it'll be something in or around Bonn,
in my experience - it's time to use them. When in doubt, hold them back. I've
never gone through the NATO effort on level 2 or 3 without needing them at
some point, so you're more likely to waste it than to forget to use it.


===============================================================================
[5] THE AIR WAR
===============================================================================

--------
OVERVIEW
--------
At the end of every turn you'll enter the 'air phase', where you can assign
your available air units to a variety of missions. You can also pull units
off missions, but not immediately reassign them. Anything you pull back to your
reserve stays there for a turn before you can give them a different mission.

The colour of the each figure indicates whether or not you have more units
assigned than your enemy. A green figure indicates you have more units, a red
figure indicates more enemy units, and a yellow figure means you both have
the same number of units assigned to that mission.

The effect of each air mission is as follows:

AIR SUPERIORITY: permanently destroys enemy air units. How many units each
side loses is strongly affected by the balance; if one side has much more
assigned to this than the other there will be significant losses every turn.

COUNTER AIR: reduces the effectiveness of your enemies' air missions without
actually destroying the units like Air Superiority does.

INTERDICTION: attacks enemy supply lines, reducing the number of reinforcements
of all three kinds (ARM, AIR, SUP) the enemy gets on his turn.

RECONNAISSANCE: gives you information on enemy units. If you have a handful
of units in this, you will be able to see the ARM rating of your enemies.
Additional units in reconnaissance will make their AIR and subsequently their
SUP ratings visible as well. Without reconnaissance, you are completely in the
dark about the strength of your enemies.

ASSAULT BREAKER: only available on level 2 and 3, you need at least 10 units
in this for it to do anything. If you have those units, every turn before you
choose your targets for land battles, you can launch a special air attack
against a single enemy unit which will weaken it considerably.

DEEP STRIKE: I haven't been able to figure out what this does. Even if you
sink in the minimum number of units it doesn't seem to give you any special
attacks, but perhaps the effect is automatic and passive.

IRON SNAKE: similarly, I have no idea what this does.

--------
STRATEGY
--------
If you are the Warsaw Pact, you have numerical superiority and you can "win"
the air war by putting a lot of effort into Air Superiority. What happens in
the air, however, doesn't decide the victor. You're better off putting
sufficient units in Interdiction to keep the enemy from strenghtening itself
too much, and in Counter Air to make their Interdiction missions less
effective. In addition, you can consider Assault Breaker on higher levels
(remember that it doesn't work on level 1, so don't waste units on it if you
play that). Reconnaissance isn't very important to the Soviets. You will seek
to end the war quickly, so you can just work from memory to know which NATO
units started out strong, and this won't change much over time.

As NATO, you are outnumbered and will not be able to win the air war. You can
stall the Pact's air victory by assigning (nearly) everything you have to Air
Superiority, thereby ensuring that they can never overwhelm you with
Interdiction and Assault Breaker. Or you can go on the offensive yourself with
either of those and accept that during the last few turns, your air force will
be all but beaten. Whether you should play it aggressively or conservatively
is largely personal preference.

You do need Reconnaissance as NATO, though. The war will drag for 15 full
turns assuming you don't lose before then, and which Soviet units are the
greatest threat may change over time depending on where the AI sinks its
reinforcements. Try to keep at least enough units in Reconnaissance so you can
see the ARM rating of the Pact's units at all times. That should be sufficient.


===============================================================================
[6] WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
===============================================================================

After the air phase, you have the option of using or changing the settings on
your weapons of mass destruction. For the most part, this is a novelty option
that will almost always do more harm than good. Nonetheless, for the sake of
completeness - or if you just like to send the world into man-made inferno -
here's what you can dO:

---------------
CHEMICAL STRIKE
---------------
You have the option to launch a strategic chemical strike against an enemy
supply city. That's a fancy military way of saying "gas innocents". A random
city belonging to the other side is chosen and rendered uninhabitable with
a series of deadly chemical weapons. This will deduct from your command rating,
and almost always prompt a nuclear retaliation from the enemy on the next turn,
destroying one of your cities. Presumably the loss of cities will put a serious
damper on both sides' reinforcements, though I haven't been able to determine
exactly how much.

You only have one chemical strike available per game, but you can use it
whenever you like. No special access codes required.

--------------
NUCLEAR STRIKE
--------------
Your nuclear options are locked under an access code, which must be entered
the first time you attempt to access them. Originally you were supposed to
obtain this code from a hint line, which of course hasn't existed for ages now;
but the code remains the same, 'MIDNIGHT SUN'.

Once in the nuclear menu, you have the option of launching a nuclear missile,
and you can even choose where to send it. Valid targets are any enemy city,
destroying it as effectively as a chemical strike does, or an enemy army,
wiping it off the map instantly. Either will likely trigger a nuclear response
from the enemy on your next turn, and that will be aimed at one of your cities
even if you chose a military target.

Nuclear strikes can be effective to take an enemy army out of the picture, but
the penalty on your command rating is serious, and you will have to make sure
your reflex system is off to prevent it from escalating into a global nuclear
war. I recommend against doing it at all.

-------------
REFLEX SYSTEM
-------------
Your reflex system is an automated defense system that will retaliate instantly
for every chemical or nuclear weapon the enemy uses against you. While this
may sound good in theory, the enemy will consider your retaliation strike an
attack on its own, and will most likely retaliate in turn. At which point your
reflex system destroys another of their cities, and after a few nukes back and
forth, the enemy will almost certainly start a global nuclear war, ending the
game in a loss for everybody.

I've found the reflex system either on or off by default depending on the
version of the game. At any rate, you can change it in the nuclear access menu
after you've entered the release code. I recommend turning it off and keeping
it there.

------------------
GLOBAL NUCLEAR WAR
------------------
A global nuclear war can be triggered in four ways:

- A few nukes go back and forth until the enemy is tired of it;
- You willingly start one from the nuclear access menu;
- As NATO, you invade the Warsaw Pact by crossing their borders;
- As Warsaw Pact, you are about to win the war on level 3. If this happens,
NATO will trigger a global nuclear war. This is consistent with NATO's stated
defense policy of the time.

All of these will result in a massive number of nukes launched by one side,
and if the reflex system is on, the other side as well. Regardless of whether
such a response takes place, dozens of nukes rain all over Europe, and the
world collapses into nuclear war. The game ends immediately and gleefully
announces the "total collapse of civilisation" as well as "survival of human
race uncertain". Needless to say, this ending gets you a well deserved command
rating of 0%.


===============================================================================
[7] QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
===============================================================================

This section lists questions that don't really fit in the sections above, and
the answers to them.

Q: What is the nuclear access code?
A: "MIDNIGHT SUN". It appears the original purpose was to call a hint line to
obtain this password, but that was obviously discontinued many years ago. But
no worries, that's what you have me for.


Q: Is it a good idea to use the nuclear access code?
A: No, not at all. Regardless of whether you use a nuke to destroy a city or an
army, the enemy will counter with a nuke on one of your cities on their next
turn. And if your reflex system is on you will counter their attack
automatically, resulting in another retaliation, etc. etc. Bottom line, global
nuclear war mere turns after, unless you keep your reflex system off, in which
case it's a one time exchange of nukes. Even if you decide to destroy a
powerful enemy army with this move, you will typically do your final score more
harm than good.


Q: What about chemical weapons?
A: The ones you get to use in tactical strikes on level 2 and 3 are okay. They
will boost your attack strength that turn. Strategic chemical strikes (i.e.
gassing a city) will only result in nuclear retaliation, and often escalate
into global nuclear war.


Q: How do I change the status of my reflex system?
A: You must log into your nuclear options screen (using the MIDNIGHT SUN
password) to change this.


Q: What if the enemy triggers a global nuclear war but my reflex system is off?
A: Then your side of Europe is completely covered in nuclear winter but theirs
is not. The game still declares it an all around loss, however.


Q: And what if I choose to start a global nuclear war while their reflex
system is off?
A: It never is. The AI always has their reflex system active.


Q: Is it better to have your reflex system on or off?
A: Off works better. If the enemy suddenly decides to nuke or gas one of your
cities (rare, and happens only on higher levels), retaliating in kind will
almost always result in escalation, whereas refusing to do the same in return
does not appear to encourage repetition.


Q: Is Theatre Europe trying to teach us that using WMDs is a bad idea from a
military as well as a social point of view?
A: You're getting that impression too, eh?


Q: The enemy spontaneously triggered a global nuclear war on me. What happened?
A: Both sides will start a global nuclear war in retaliation to repeated
nuclear or chemical strikes. This can include counterstrikes done by your
reflex system if they started. Additionally, Warsaw Pact will also start a
global nuclear war if your troops cross the Iron Curtain, as a desperation
move. If you're NATO, defend your territory, but do not invade the Pact.
Finally, if you are the Warsaw Pact and playing on level 3, NATO will start a
global nuclear war if you are about to win the game.


Q: Err, hold on. If I win the game on level 3 as the Pact, NATO starts a global
nuclear war and everybody loses?
A: Yep. You can't actually win level 3 as the Pact. Either your invasion fails,
or it's nuclear winter for all.


Q: Isn't that kind of...lame?
A: From a gameplay perspective, certainly. However, Theatre Europe is not
exclusively meant to be a game; it also seeks to simulate. NATO's stated
defense policy in the Cold War was that they'd employ nuclear weapons if they
were on the brink of losing a conventional war. This, they hoped, served as a
deterrent to the Warsaw Pact to invade, as in a nuclear war everybody would
lose. How much this has contributed to the Third World War never taking place,
and if NATO would have followed through if the Pact *had* invaded, is open to
debate, and you can find a great many books on the subject if it interests you.


Q: What do ARM/AIR/SUP ratings on my armies actually *do*?
A: ARM is army strength. If this falls to 0 your army is routed and disappears
from the map. To damage an enemy army you'll want to overwhelm its ARM rating
with yours, which normally involves using multiple armies at once to fight.

AIR is air strength, which works as a supporting factor. Superior AIR ratings
will help you overcome higher ARM odds, but vice versa, inferior ratings
(especially 0) will weaken you a lot. It's not as important as ARM, however.

SUP is your supplies, and every time your army fights you lose 1 unit of this.
If an army runs out of supplies, its vehicles are without fuel and its troops
are out of ammo, and its strength is very strongly reduced. An unsupplied army
is nearly useless on the attack and easily damaged and wiped out when
assaulted. You must make sure your front line armies do not ever run out of
supplies. Should you discover an enemy army has run out of supplies (you'll
need quite a lot of aircraft assigned to Reconnaisance to find out though),
they will make an excellent target.


Q: If I turn Action scenes on, does it actually matter how well I play them?
A: Yes, your performance adds a bonus or a penalty to the army's strength for
that turn. I've seen it suggested that it actually adds to all your battles for
that turn, but I suspect it's just the one you select.


Q: *Should* I turn on action scenes?
A: Up to you. I didn't find them particularly fun and they take quite a long
time. Still, if you're good at them, they may be exactly what you need to turn
a difficult war in your favour, especially if you're NATO.


Q: Any advice on playing action scenes?
A: The tanks driving at the bottom of the screen are yours; destroying them
works against you. Rather, fire at the jets, helicopters, and tanks approaching
from the fields, while making sure you don't hit your own men.

Fire first, then drag your shot over the intended target to destroy it. This is
the only viable approach to take out especially the quicker targets like the
jets. Some of the tanks approaching your position appear immune to your shots;
if you see this happen target something else. Not sure what the problem here is
but it doesn't appear like it can be fixed, so better to use your time
destroying things that do blow up.

Your only concern is destroying as many enemies as possible in a short time
frame, so make the shots count.


Q: What exactly determines my command ability rating at the end?
A: Whether or not you won, the speed at which you won, and the amount of
losses you took in doing so. Damage inflicted on enemy armies doesn't get you
any points, so if you can win with as little conflict as possible, so much the
better. Points are subtracted for any chemical/nuclear exchanges. A global
nuclear war results in a flat out 0% command rating, and rightly so.


Q: What exactly causes me to win the game?
A: The war lasts one month maximum. Warsaw Pact wins by "conquering Germany"
before then; NATO wins by holding out for a month (presumably the Pact
breaks up under internal disagreements after this). However, it's iffy, and
I'm not entirely sure what conquering Germany comes down to. To capture cities,
the Pact doesn't strictly need to occupy them; it appears that having a clear
run to them that the NATO can no longer prevent is good enough. Warsaw Pact
victory often triggers by the time your troops are in Bonn and are beginning to
cross the Dutch border, but before you've actually taken Amsterdam. I've won
without taking Bonn too, but then it appears I need to take something else
instead, like Amsterdam or Brussels. The function of Copenhagen is also iffy.
I'm still not sure if you actually need to destroy the Danish army to be 
considered to have taken it, or if cutting Denmark off from Germany is enough.
Heck, I'm not even sure if Copenhagen factors into your victory at all.
Sometimes I've even apparently gotten credit for it without engaging the Danes
*and* without putting either the Amphibious or the Airborne army in Copenhagen.
But other times when I skipped Copenhagen, taking Bonn and Amsterdam was not
enough to win and I had to march on Brussels or Paris as well (but then I won
just before I actually reached the city).

Regardless of how it works precisely, pushing far enough west across NATO's
borders ensures Warsaw Pact victory, and I'm positive it is not affected at
all by how many NATO armies you destroy. Territory gain is all that matters,
so for the Pact to win, you need to keep moving west.


Q: Warsaw Pact's armies are far stronger than NATO's. While this is realistic,
doesn't this sacrifice gameplay?
A: Shortly after writing the first version of this FAQ I tracked down an
article on the game; an old interview with Theatre Europe's developer. In it,
he claims that the first version of Theatre Europe had the armies of both sides
modelled as realistically as he could. Then, when he started playtesting it,
he came to the chilling conclusion that NATO could not win. At all. The Pact
armies as they appear in Theatre Europe now have actually been toned down, to
the point where the Pact is merely likely to win.

From a gameplay perspective, this is questionable, but Theatre Europe was only
partially meant to be a balanced and fun wargame. The developer definitely
wanted to make a statement, as well, namely this:

- NATO had no realistic chance of halting a conventional Warsaw Pact invasion;
- NATO's stated policy was to bring out the nukes if they could not win the
war;
- Either side employing their nuclear weapons would certainly result in the
other side doing the same; the whole point of the nuclear balance was to
prevent the other side from using theirs because they knew they'd be paid back
in kind.

So, the pessimistic conclusion would be that if the Pact decided to invade, it
would mean the end of the world as we know it. And suddenly the choice of
Lennon's "Give peace a chance" as Theatre Europe's theme song makes a lot more
sense.


Q: Does invading neutral territory and destroying yellow armies do anything for
Warsaw Pact?
A: Not in terms of victory or command rating. I haven't yet found out if
taking neutral cities has any other benefits (extra supplies, perhaps?).


Q: So why does the AI Warsaw Pact player gleefully attack the neutrals?
A: Good question. For that matter, why does it not advance beyond and encircle
NATO armies, and why does the NATO AI often pass up the chance to attack a
vulnerable Pact army? For the most part, Theatre Europe's AI does not play
well.


Q: I don't seem to be getting a decent number of reinforcements anymore.
A: Two possible causes. First, the number of reinforcements you get is set for
each turn, and naturally declines over time as both sides exhaust their
resources. Second, the enemy's Interdiction air missions will reduce your
supplies. If you're losing the air war, chances are you'll feel the difference
in your reinforcements. Try assigning more units to Counter Air for a short
term solution (reducing the effect of their Interdiction) and more to Air
Superiority to destroy their air units outright.


Q: What's the maximum command ability rating?
A: In my experience, 96%. This is the score I achieve with Warsaw Pact if I
storm NATO as quickly as possible, capturing Bonn and reaching Amsterdam by
day 9, without losing any armies. I take Copenhagen with either the Amphibious
army or the Airborne army.


Q: Is Theatre Europe's music original?
A: Doubtful; most Commodore 64 soundtracks aren't. It's a medley, at any rate,
and at least part of it is John Lennon's "Give peace a chance". The rest I
don't recognize.


===============================================================================
[8] REVISION HISTORY
===============================================================================

v1.0: (24 Feb '05) First version of the FAQ.

v1.1: (19 Apr '05) A couple of updates, most notably corrections to what I
stated about action sequences, and some additions to the Questions & Answers
section after tracking down an old interview with the developer.

v1.2: (22 Sep '05) Updated contact info.

Barring any corrections, I have no updates planned for this FAQ. It already
reflects the entirety of my knowledge on the game. Nonetheless, if there's
something else you'd like to see in here, please mail me your suggestion.


===============================================================================
[9] FINAL WORDS
===============================================================================

ABOUT THIS FAQ
As a game, it has to be said that Theatre Europe is not brilliant. It shows its
age in more ways than just graphically; the gameplay mechanics are for the most
part primitive, the options are fairly limited, the action scenes that are
meant to spice things up aren't particularly well done, and the balance is
strongly against NATO, making the Warsaw Pact game decidedly easier (but also
less interesting) to play. A big reason is that Theatre Europe was as much
meant to realistically model a possible WW3 scenario (and to make a political
statement at the same time) as it was meant to be a wargame.

That aside, this has been an important game for me, as it was the first
wargame I ever played. It's been the start of a hobby involving both computer
and board games, and though my brother's the real expert on the latter, I still
have Theatre Europe to thank for setting me on that path. It feels appropriate,
after all these years, to return to it and grace it with what I believe is the
only true strategy guide for it on the internet. At the same time, this is
part of my ongoing effort to keep the memory of the Commodore 64 alive even in
an age where gaming has evolved far beyond what the system of my youth was
capable of.

For questions, comments, suggestions, praise and criticism, please contact
the author, Sashanan, at sashanan.faqs@gmail.com. This e-mail address is for
FAQ feedback only. Whatever you wish to share about this document or Theatre
Europe, chances are I'll want to hear it. Any serious mail will be answered.

If you wish to do anything with this FAQ except for just reading it, check
the Disclaimer section at the top of the FAQ to find out what you can and
can't do. When in doubt, you can always mail me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Harderwijk as the son of a now retired Dutch Army officer, Sashanan has
always had an above average interest in military matters, both real and
simulated. He has discovered gaming as a viable way to experience the
adventurous aspect of warfare on both the strategic and tactical level without
all the bloodshed and destruction that makes real life war so undesirable. Part
of him still naively hopes that one day all of humanity will decide that
international conflicts are best resolved with a video game. When not gaming or
writing about it, Sashanan develops boring business software.

THANKS
The author would like to thank the following people for their help in bringing
about this document:

- siara79, for keeping his sanity levels within socially acceptable parameters;

- CJayC and Sailor Bacon, for their tireless efforts to keep up GameFAQs as the
best place for any gamer to hang out and find all the information he could
possibly want;

- The former leaders of the Warsaw Pact, for not testing out if Theatre
Europe's take on the Soviet chances to conquer Europe was accurate.


This document is a copyright of Peter "Sashanan" Butter, 2005. All
rights reserved. Disclaimer at top of document.