Visual: Free-roaming camera
Gameplay: RPG elements, Wargame
Published by: Strategic Studies Group Pty Ltd.
Developed by: Strategic Studies Group Pty Ltd.
Long ago, shortly after the end of the Ice Age on Earth - not to be confused with the cartoon of the same name - board strategy games were widely popular in which players controlled soldiers (or military units) on a paper map. Each soldier had a certain combat power and other properties, but the outcome of the battle was decided by rolling one or more six-sided dice. It's simple: the infantryman has the power of "one", the horseman - "two", the knight - "three", which means that in order to defeat the rider, the player controlling the infantryman must roll at least "three" on the die, and to defeat the knight - " four". It is clear that the outcome of the entire war was influenced by many factors (first of all, the skills of the players), but in all battles the decisive word was for the die, so to speak. With the advent of computers, board games were transferred to them, and the main (and often the only) change was the display of the card not on paper, but on the display, and the change of the die to a random number generator. More than one year passed before computer games became fundamentally different and various ways of processing the results of battles were created.
Warlords is one of those games. Of course, it would not become a classic of the genre if it were just an electronic copy of the board game. Compared to the original, it has a lot of innovations and improvements, but the general essence is the same: to win, you have to fight a lot, and the outcome of the battles is still determined randomly. However, this is perhaps not worth considering as a drawback of the game - rather, it is its feature, which played an important role in the fact that Warlords became a hit. After all, in the end, the element of chance in battles is within certain limits: far from any army can succeed, and there are situations when victory is simply IMPOSSIBLE. This is where the player's skill comes in: you need to increase the strength of your heroes, find important artifacts, form armies and maneuver them so that they are at the right time in the right place to strike at the enemy. This is where strategic thinking and thinking through your actions “several moves ahead”, as chess players say, are required, and it must be borne in mind that in Warlords, as in many games of that era, computer opponents have a special advantage (read: they play dishonestly), which is greater the higher the difficulty level. But you can always defeat them - in the end, after all, a person is of decisive importance, because in intelligence, cunning and resourcefulness he constantly surpasses AI. Well, scientists simply have not yet created an artificial intelligence that is equal to human and even more superior to it, and it is unlikely that they will ever create it ...
The game has one, alas, the only map - at one time the fans of the game remembered it by heart - on which there is a confrontation between eight generals, each of which can be controlled by a person or a computer (in this case, you can choose the level of his skill). The goal is simple - to destroy all enemies. As such, there are no nations or races: troops of different types are not united in any way. At first, each side has only one city and one hero at its disposal, but then the number of the first grows as a result of conquests (everything is simple here: more cities - more income), the number of the second - due to your money that you pay for hiring them, and he becomes possible when you have the appropriate amount; in addition, in cities you can train troops, the maintenance of which will require money in the future. In essence, the hero is an ordinary warrior, unlike, for example, the Heroes of Might and Magic series, however, unlike other warriors, he can improve his data, use items that increase the strength of his and (or) his army, as well as explore ruins where you can equally likely die or find someone or something useful - when examining the ruins, everything is decided ONLY randomly. But in battles, randomness is much less important (more on that below). Each army can have from one to eight fighters, but here the concept of "army" is basically arbitrary and refers to warriors moving and fighting together - they can unite and separate at any time. A city can be garrisoned with up to thirty-two soldiers, so assaulting it will be a difficult task, and besides, the cities still provide additional protection for their troops.
In the event of a clash between two armies or an assault on a city, the outcome of the battle is decided as follows: first, the extreme (in the literal sense of the word, those listed at the end of the list of each army; what can you do, the extreme always have a hard time) the soldiers of both units fight one on one - this is an analogue of throwing cube in board games - then the winner fights with the next enemy warrior, and so on, until one of the parties is completely destroyed. In addition to randomness, the course of the battle is influenced by the strength of each creature, certain items of the hero leading the troops, fortifications, and, finally, a kind of fatigue - for example, a giant in a collision with eight light infantrymen will almost certainly kill two or three of them, but he will have to destroy the fourth much more difficult, and defeating everyone is almost impossible. So, as mentioned above, the amount of randomness in the game is limited, but basically everything will be determined by the level of your skill, experience and knowledge. The graphics in the game for its time are quite beautiful, but one of the drawbacks is the lack of images of artifacts (each of them is represented only by the name) - this, however, is nothing more than an annoying trifle.
Warlords can be recommended to fans of turn-based strategies, and everyone should at least get acquainted with this game. Those who like it should pay attention to Warlords II, where everything is made even better and more diverse, with a lot of great innovations.