LGeneral is a free software game engine and a turn-based strategy game in the tradition of Panzer General and a rather old free software project which dates back to the year 2000. You can either convert the original game data of Panzer General and play the complete campaign or install the free data package, lgeneral-data, which includes several single World War I scenarios. Unfortunately the original Panzer General game data is non-free and not suitable for distribution.
LGeneral is available in Debian's main repositories and you can install it the usual way.
aptitude install lgeneral
apt install lgeneral
In 2012 it was discovered that LGeneral had been abandoned for a long time in Debian despite the fact that upstream still seemed to release small updates from time to time. A long journey followed to identify free content for LGeneral so that the engine could be moved to Debian's main archive. Fortunately the Panzer General franchise spawned an active modding community and thus k.u.k General was discovered which takes place in a World War I setting and was originally based on Kaiser General, another mod by Philipp Champarou.
The original creator of k.u.k. General released his work under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license which is the reason why this free data package for LGeneral exists nowadays.
There is still a lot of work todo especially creating a fully functional campaign. Feedback and playtesting are most welcome.
To play the old Panzer General campaign you have to install lgc-pg. This tool converts the original game data to LGeneral's native file format. The tool is already a dependency of the lgeneral package.
Create a data package with game-data-packager
If you own a copy of Panzer General yourself, you can simply use game-data-packager to download the original files and convert them to LGeneral's native file format.
game-data-packager lgeneral -w
This will create a Debian package in your current working directory. You can install it like that:
dpkg -i lgeneral-data-nonfree_37_all.deb
Converts all data from the original CD-ROM
lgc-pg -s /mnt/windows/DAT /usr/share/games/lgeneral
pg-data.tar.gz from lgeneral.sourceforge.net
Download the pg-data.tar.gz and extract it. Then use lgc-pg to convert the data.
lgc-pg -s pg-data /usr/share/games/lgeneral
Start the game. The ingame menu is visible when you make a right-click with your mouse. The following options are available.
- Load Game
- Load Campaign
- Load Scenario
- Quit game
If you experience problems with your screen resolution it is possible to change it under options. 1024x768 in fullscreen is sufficient to enjoy the game. Finally you can choose to start the campaign or to load a single scenario.
The first step is to deploy your forces and to change the starting position. As the game is turn-based you have to move your units first by left-clicking on them and sending them to a hexagon field in reach. If this field adjoins with an enemy unit you can optionally attack it. A red crosshair will show up and signal that your unit is prepared to attack.
Most of the time LGeneral is a race against your turn limit. The more skilled you are in prevailing against your enemy the more units will join you in the ongoing campaign and new opportunities will arise to change the course of further battles.
Tips & Tricks
The original source tarball at http://lgames.sourceforge.net has to be repacked because it contains non-free files.
Included are the sources for:
The developer of LGeneral has confirmed that lgeneral-redit is obsolete nowadays. The same goes for lged, shptool and ltrextract. These are command line tools which can manipulate the conversion of the original Panzer General files into LGeneral's native file format. The command line tools build from source, lgeneral-redit does not. It is neither compatible with GTK-2 nor GTK-3.