Author Topic: Wizards and Warlords  (Read 5241 times)

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Offline Myrmidon

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Wizards and Warlords
« on: November 19, 2020, 06:09:20 PM »
https://store.steampowered.com/app/567080/Wizards_and_Warlords/

Anyone playing this yet?  I just picked it up, somewhat recklessly, but based on the reviews and what I've seen, I think there's a gem here, but I'm still diving in.  The documentation is virtually non-existent, but there are some guides out there. 

The intended audience appears to be those looking for the vaunted successor to Master of Magic, and who enjoy deeper strategic classics ala Dominions or Conquest of Elysium.  The worlds are proceduraly generated, and there seems to be a variety of different "Wizards" or "Warlords" one can play. 

Anyways, I'm in the middle of staring and clicking around right now.  Wanted to share, and see if there was any recommendations from anyone one how to go about learning this beast.

Offline CJReich46

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 07:24:30 PM »
I know Nookrium on his You Tube channel played a bit of it, and so did Das Tactic. Try there.

" He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small,
Who dares not put it to the touch
To win or lose it all.  - James Graham 1st Marquess of Montrose

Offline al_infierno

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2020, 07:44:33 PM »
Looks very interesting, thanks for sharing
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
- Silent Disapproval Robot


I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
- MengJiao

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 11:33:42 AM »
This one's been on my Wishlist for a little while.  It looks intriguing.  I'd love some first impressions after you've played it for a little while.  I'd love it if you could give me your impressions on two questions:

1) Am I the only one who finds the map textures not-so-appealing?  If not, did you get over it after a little while?  I hate to be so superficial, but it feels awfully... pastel to me.

2) What does this do differently than other Fantasy 4x games that we've seen in the last 20 years?  (the "Cultures" piece looks very intriguing)

Offline Myrmidon

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 06:23:56 PM »
Just had a fairly long review that I had typed out... and after accidentally hitting <TAB> and <Backspace>, lost it all.  Pretty pissed.  When I cool down,  I'll re-type it later. 

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 07:46:21 PM »
Thanks, man.  Been there, done that.  Take your time.  We'll still be here!   :hug:

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 01:39:30 PM »
Myrmidon, I hate to cyber-stalk you, but what's the verdict on this one?  I'd love a Fantasy 4x that packs a little more complexity than the standard fare.  Do the different cultures and widespread customization options let you do that?  Is anything else new about this one?

Offline W8taminute

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2020, 02:23:58 PM »
I picked up the game a while ago.  I have spent some time with it after losing the first three times I tried.  It's a good game and very deep.  Wish there was more documentation on what the meaning is with the economy, battle, etc. but Wizards and Warlords definitely has something there. 

When more instructional videos come out I'll probably dive back in again.  I don't mind empirical experimentation to learn a game but I also don't have the patience I used to have when I was younger. 
We battle not against flesh and blood...

Offline Myrmidon

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2020, 08:00:48 PM »
Myrmidon, I hate to cyber-stalk you, but what's the verdict on this one?  I'd love a Fantasy 4x that packs a little more complexity than the standard fare.  Do the different cultures and widespread customization options let you do that?  Is anything else new about this one?

Dude!  Sorry man!  I had some fam in town and haven't had the time to type anything out.

So, that being said, yes, definitely recommend the game.  It's got the one more turn addiction to it. 

The graphics definitely have that Unity engine feel to it, and probably aren't the most easy on the eyes.  But as a guy that spends most of his time playing Dwarf Fortress and Dominions 5, that doesn't bother me at all. 

The depth is certainly there, but as W8taminute mentioned, the documentation is lacking. The UI does do a lot to try and help out, with a nice list of items needing attention before ending a turn that you can scroll through.  The developer is an Indy developer, and seems pretty sharp and responsive to feedback and questions on the steam forum for the game.  There are some online guides to help get you going, and some playthrough vids, but to be honest, DasTactic seemed to be trying to figure out things just like I was.  His videos are engaging to watch, and helpful though.

The replay-ability is definitely there.  Your character can range from a certain preset Wizard or Warlord, with a huge variety of options available (Think Necromancer, Archmage, Summoner, Barbarian, but literally like dozens of each, and the ability to customize your character.)

On top of that, the world and it's civilizations are procedurally generated each game.  As you asked about, the cultures are really a nice new twist.    The traits, tech, and gods they worship have an effect on what units are available to them to be able to build.  For example, in my current game, in addition to all the other different cultures and races present in the game (trolls,gnolls, orcs, goblins, leonids, crystallids, elves, dwarves, undead, etc), I have 2 distinct human cultures, 1 semicultured tribal warlike society of lycanthropes,  with their own favorite deities and interactions with different races. The other is a Druidlike aristocracy society, with bonuses to foraging, riders of dire bears, and a pact with nature.  That's only half of the traits I could list, and each trait has a specific modifier to the game.  Every civ has the same amount of detail, and those details determine how they interact with you and your different followers, what equipment is available to their troops, which is important for how much and how long a particular units takes to train, and the types available. 

The recruiting is quite unique as well.  You have to slowly build a manpower base to utilize before you can recruit anything, which hinges on your proximity to those different cultures and your relations with them.  You can have follower of yours help augment that, but depending on the character race and vocation, along with their own traits, he/she will be more or less successful at building the available manpower pool.  Each unit utilizes 100 persons of that type, and that unit can only replace losses from the pool you have built up, which can limit your military ops quite a bit.  Of course, summoning or binding units, raising the undead. magically forming wisps, etc are all available depending on your wizard type you pick.  I haven't even tried playing as a Warlord yet, but evidently what they lack in the magic department they make up for in the war department. 

Important to your kingdom are Followers that you can recruit.  Think of them like characters or council members from the CK series, or the Knights you can recruit from Knights of Honor.  You are limited by their cost, but you need them for all sorts of important things, like heading up construction projects, serving as generals in your armies, exploring dungeons, serving as emmisaries, recruiting man(elf, dwarf, troll)power for your pool of troops, training new troops, etc etc.... tons of options, tons of character types, each with their own alignment,culture, traits, loyalty and desires. 

There is a long list of research items, a somewhat dynamic economy of ~30-40 different resources, different Deities to appeal to, different quests to accomplish.  The small map I generated, in addition to the other 3 primary opponents(Wizards or Warlords) that I am up against, also generated 7 other independent nations, again, each with their own cultural traits, races, units, owned settlements, and diplomatic options.  4 other tribal warbands were also spawned.  This is in addition to different organizations (I have discovered a chapter of Chaos Knights with 2 fortresses), and of course, there are random spawning monsters, undead hordes, bandits and pirates.  Oh yeah, Planar invasions too... which can vary depending on the map.  In my world, the Planar invaders are "Celestial invaders" consisting of elementals and angels.  Haven't had to fight them, yet....

Speaking of fighting, the battles are handled somewhat abstractly, but there is a TON of strategic depth to it that I am still attempting to grasp.  You can assign your units position on the battlefield, along with their orders, and use magic that you may have been able to research to assist. From there, the battle will proceed with turns in 5 round batches, with a very detailed description of what's going on (Think Dwarf Fortress battle logs), but the UI showing the units and their locations, along with their casualties sustained and inflicted are pretty easy to make out if your not looking for all the detail. I've gotten my butt handed to me several times.. there's a ton of factors to process with troop selection that have an effect, such as their training, skill level, equipment and tactics.  This doesn't include the modifiers that your assigned commanders can contribute.

I could go on and on, but this would end up being an article, and not a forum post.  There's a lot of detail I'm leaving out for the sake of brevity. 

The game has taken up the mantle of being the vaunted successor to MoM, and I think it has the potential to pull it off.  There's a need for a little more transparency with the mechanics ( I think a Dominions sized manual would be in order, but that's a tall order), but the Dev seems quite involved and appears to have plans to continue working with and improving the game(which is great as it stands).

TLDR: It's overwhelming when you first crack open this game, but man, it is totally worth it. 

Offline devoncop

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2020, 08:35:59 PM »
Myrmidon...

I have only been  lurking on this thread  but as a big fan of both Deity  Eempires and Dominions 4  (despite being pretty unsuccessful at both!) Can I just say that your post is one of the best written, most  enjoyable player submitted impression posts I have read ....thank you.

My wallet may not thank you however😉

Ian
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=534&t=92000

Link to Field of Glory Empires MP forum with Slitherine Games

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 10:45:12 PM »
Great post, Myrm!  Thanks for all the details.  Sounds like a game I'll definitely have to check out sooner or later.   

 :bd:

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2021, 02:20:18 PM »
I took the plunge on this one and have REALLY enjoyed exploring the game system.  The game isn't yet terribly accessible, but for a grognard fan of Fantasy 4X games who wants to see an innovative new take on the genre, it's definitely worth the limited money.

Pro's are mostly innovations I haven't seen in other Fantasy games:

  • Heroes do more than just move around the board fighting at the front of armies in battles.  They can be assigned tons of missions (running a province; running a resource site; filling offices like "Wizard's Bodyguard" or "Advisor" or "Emissary"; taking various roles in any Army (a "General" does different things than a "Scout Master" or a "Champion" or a "Quartermaster"; Training New Units or Gathering Recruits; etc.).  This makes for more varied Hero roles than the typical "They just kill people differently" trope from the original Master of Magic.
  • The schools of magic are VERY widespread--I think there about 20 different schools to research, with very different effects on gameplay style. It doesn't offer quite the complexity of Dominions, but it's certainly an enhancement over most 4x Magic systems.
  • The economy offers about 30 different resources.  In that sense, the construction queue plays a bit more like Distant Worlds: Universe, than a more typical 4x.
    • Not all factions of the same race play the same way.  Culture plays a different role than race, and the two together offer tantalizing possibilities.

    However, this game isn't for everybody.  I'd consider it an unpolished gem, similar to Deity Empires but perhaps less finished at this point in time:
    • There are a ton of useful tooltips, but the UI simply isn't on par with the complexity of the game mechanisms yet.  It's a lone developer effort and he's churning out content regularly, but he's not there. 
    • Game play isn't intuitive.  You have to figure out "What do I do next?" largely through trial and error.  No compendium of DasTactic videos for this one yet!
    • I think the dev is still play-balancing how different pieces of the game fit together.  Once you get enough Gold, all your other problems seem to fade away. 

    I've had great fun poking around the game.  I'm not sure it's really a finished product yet, but for $15, I'm willing to subsidize an Indie developer to finish what looks like a very intriguing game system.  Despite developer's best efforts, innovation in the Fantasy 4x space is underwhelming these days.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2021, 01:10:15 AM by FarAway Sooner »

Offline airboy

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2021, 02:36:01 PM »
Having spent a huge amount of time trying to understand the basics of Shadow Empire - I cannot get excited about a deep game without a manual.

I understand how hard it is to write manuals - I wrote two complete course packages largely from scratch because what I needed to teach for the kids success did not exist.  The packages took me years to write and ran hundreds of pages with scores of examples (many with cash flows).

But darn it, the developer should stop and write a manual.  Or cut someone in for a cut of the take to write a manual.

I wish I could get excited - but I spent two months deciphering several very complex games and I'm just not up to it.

On a final note - thanks to all of you who shared your detailed thoughts on the game.  They were exciting enough that I've wishlisted it - for whenever a manual appears or my patience for learning another complicated game arises.

Offline Myrmidon

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2021, 02:50:38 PM »
The developer is pretty awesome with the constant communication and regular updates.  The regular tweaking still taking place might make a manual a challenge at this point.  The good news is, the tool tips and in game feedback have come a really long way, so there's hope it will continue to improve.

I just downloaded his latest update, and I've wrapped up a couple games of MP Dominions, so I may have time to sink into this gem once more. 

Edit: Hey, I just noticed that the main menu has a Guide button, which takes you right to the online guide written by the dev on the Steam forums.  Not exactly a manual, but definitely enough to get one acquainted with the fundamentals.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2021, 04:28:42 PM by Myrmidon »

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Wizards and Warlords
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2021, 06:39:35 PM »
Yeah.  The author admits that he knew his scope was ambitious but he still underestimated the time it would take to get design right.  He's continuing to push out updates at a healthy clip.  I've only been playing SE for a month or two now, but my sense from reading the SE forums is that this game is probably where SE was six or nine months ago.

There is a basic manual out there that provides information on many (but not all) of the game mechanics.  It's very helpful.  But the game is deep--probably as deep as Deity Empires--and still in the process of being built out.  It's a full-fledged game, but not nearly as polished as many.

I actually described it in those terms, because it feels very similar to SE, but simpler (which isn't saying much, I'll admit) and I know a bunch of folks on here have burned a lot of candle power familiarizing themselves with that one.  Check it out again in 3 to 6 months, I'd say.

If I get other impressions, I'll post them.