"What is Bolo?"
Bolo was created by Stuart Cheshire of Stanford University. It has evolved from a little-known tank game on the BBC Micro to an explosively successful Macintosh game that is played constantly on the Internet, as well as many smaller networks. The author summarizes his work:
"Bolo is a 16 player graphical networked real-time multi-player tank battle game. It has elements of arcade-style shoot-em-up action, but for the serious players who play 12 hour games with 16 players working in teams in different networked computer clusters around an office or university campus, it becomes more of a strategy game. You have to play it to understand."
The graphics and controls are pretty simple, as is the objective... conquer all the bases and pills.
"What do I need to play?"
To get started, I recommend you get the Bolo Starter Pack, which contains the latest version of the game (including all the author's original documentation), Internet Bolo Buddy to locate Internet games in progress, up-to-date help files, and some representative maps.
This document provides pointers to information and materials necessary to play the game locally or on the Internet. If you are reading this document with a World Wide Web browser on a Macintosh, chances are that you have the necessary hardware to play Internet Bolo. This document will guide you in obtaining the software and the rudimentary knowledge needed to get on the Internet and start playing.
The first task is to determine the network connection types that are available on your Macintosh. This document will assume that the Macintosh has a TCP/IP connection and the MacTCP or TCP/IP control panel correctly installed.
"How do I play?"
As with any other software package, you should read all of the documentation (ReadMe's, FAQ's, manuals, etc.) prior to using the program. The author's Bolo Instructions and FAQ List are both available on-line. We also maintain a short FAQ that is more up to date. Please take a look at these files before you continue.
Start up the Bolo application. You will be greeted with a Network Selection dialog box. Select the first item in the menu, Tutorial (Instructions for the first-time player). Completing this built-in tutorial will give you a basic understanding of the game's elements.Upon completion of the tutorial, it might be a good idea to try a couple of games on your own. Start up the Bolo application again and this time select the second item in the menu, Practice (Single player; no network). Practice on the default map, Everard Island. For more of a challenge, try running a couple of Bolo Brains to play against you. There are many good maps in the Bolo Starter Pack, or you can check out over 3,000 other maps which are available at the Official Bolo Archive in the Maps directory.
If you feel that you are ready to play Internet Bolo, make sure that you have read the pertinent section in the short FAQ. This guide gives you step by step instructions on how to join or start a game on the Internet.
"How do I find more information?"
There are a variety of self-help guides available. If you need help with fundamentals, take a look at Tigger's Bolo in a Nutshell. For help on strategy and tactics, try Deadsy's Multimedia Pillbox Guide and Puppy Love's Unofficial Tactics & Strategy Guide. Check the Guides section for a complete listing.
"How can I get someone to help me?"
The Internet Relay Chat (IRC) can be a good place to find other Bolo players. The EFnet IRC network is a collection of computers which allow you to have live conversations with other IRC users from all over the world. The #bolo channel is the place to go for discussions about Bolo or setting up games. To get started, see the Beginner's Guide to IRC and download a user-friendly Mac IRC client such as Ircle.