All games support forecasting the results of the next few turns based on all information available to you (in-game) and given your latest submitted orders. The intention is that this can be used as an extra check of your orders beyond the syntax check performed when you submit them (see however the CAVEATS below). Forecasting should be able to catch most timing problems and will almost certainly catch such things as missing or wrong hex numbers in movement orders, wrong positions of units in form/force/include orders et cetera, as well as many other mistakes. It will also give you a forecast of your economy (use and production of resources) and should catch if you try to spend resources you do not have.

How to get a forecast report

There is a [See forecast] link just below the order entry area on the order entry page. Clicking this will bring up a basic forecast report for the next turn in a separate window (or refresh the forecast report if the window is already open) CAVEAT: See "Browser caching issues" below. It is also possible to get forecast reports from the "reports online" page for the game. This page gives you more control of what information to use and also allows you to get maps and even to get forecasts for turns further into the future (up to three turns ahead).

Browser caching issues

If you browser caches web pages too aggressively it will not fetch an updated forecast report when you ask to see a new forecast after you have changed your orders. In that case you must explicitly tell the browser to reload the report to get the new forecast. I have done everything in my power to disable caching of the forecast reports by proxies and browsers but some browsers (especially Firefox) simply do not respect the no-cache directives sent by the server.

What information forecasting is based on

Forecast turns are generated by the main game engine itself but using only a limited "view" of the game world. All information that you have in your map and map notes will be used, but hexes, locations and units you do not have information about will simply not be in the "forecast world". Also even locations and units you do know about will only correspond to their counterparts in the "real" game world with respect to "public" information - so e.g. chosen tactics and non-visible spell effects and resources as well as any pending orders will not be present in the "forecast world". The intention is that no matter what, a forecast report should never reveal any new information about the actual game world.

Shared information in forecasting

In games that support sharing of map information, forecasting may additionally be based on all the information your allies are sharing with you (correspondiing to the most current shared information map and map notes).

You can also enable sharing of latest submitted orders with your allies (on the usual information sharing page). Including the orders of your allies in your forecasts will help solve timing issues (such as arriving in the same spot at the same time) and will also take into account e.g. resource transfers from your allies.

Using all available information is the default for the forecast reports you get from the order entry page. On the "reports online" page you can select exactly what information to include.

General forecast CAVEATS

Even though the game engine tries to produce a forecast that will be as close as possible to your actual future turn results (barring the activities of other players) there are many cases where this is simply not feasible.
  • If you move into unknown hexes the forecast will let you, but the time the movement takes will most likely be off. Also the selection of routes for farmove may be affected by the unknown hexes for units near the edges of your known map.
  • Orders involving unknown units and locations (that you do not "know" about in game but perhaps guess the ID number of) will usually fail and thus use no time in the forecast while in the actual turn they may use some time.
  • Random choices may be different when the actual turn is run. This affects e.g. routes chosen by farmove and also initiative order (for equally fast units).
  • Battles are resolved so that your (and your allies') units always inflict maximum damage and receive minimum damage. This "best case scenario" is also used for other effects involving damage, e.g. healing and strike spells or invasions of planets.

CAVEATS specific to fantasy games

  • Tactics of units you only have limited information about will be "defend" for mass units and "flee" for individuals (except questing individuals which will have "defend").
  • Resource transfer costs will only be computed correctly for nations for which you have information about their closest hex. For nations you do not have on your map at all, the transfer cost will be based on a distance of 5 hexes.
  • Movement by embarked units is allowed even outside sea lanes in forecasts. This is to allow movement to hexes where sea lanes is assumed. Similarly, (dis)embarkation across hex sides which may contain a bay or have an adjoining river is allowed. So checking of sea movement is not so strict that it will catch all errors.
  • Special scrying and sensing powers (such as vampires' ability to sense death mana) will of course not yield any information but they will use the correct mana amounts, reveal already "known" information and give a dummy message for hexes scanned (for hexes known).
  • Travel via travel routes in quest mode is only possible for already known routes (i.e. those in your (shared) map notes).
  • Special questing-related orders (special, advisors et cetera) will mostly not work.

CAVEATS specific to Stellar Conflict

  • Tech of enemy units will always be the game start tech level in forecasts - except for units of the non-player "primitive" units, which have their technology progression specified in the rules.
  • Unexplored systems will always contain "nothing of interest".
  • Colonies of other races will always have 5 population and no installations of any kind. This is so even if you have previously invaded or scanned the colony and therefore "seen" the actual installations and/or population in the previous turn. If you want a better idea of how a given invasion will work out, use the bomb/enslave simulator found under "Stellar Conflict resources" on the Stellar Conflict sub-site.