Conquest of Elysium 2
So I picked this one up from Tuxgames and have been taking it for a spin. It's a lot of fun! The different commanders and their recruitable troops make for really different strategies, and I can see how a lot of ideas from this found their way into Dominions. My last game saw a mighty battle between my Shaman and a Cardinal of El. Our forces were widely assymetrical- he vastly outnumbered me in conventional troops, but my ability to capture forests gave me great scouting, and I could summon spirits to harass or, in some cases, destroy entire armies. A couple of times I summoned a spirit which ended up possessing/charming entire unit stacks, which I then used to hold valuable points. At one point, my stronghold fell, only to be reconverted back by me charming the forces that stood guard over it!
Some people will be put off by the combat, over which you have no control. I have no problem with that, as I see the game as being a chiefly strategic exercise, not a tactical one. YMMV, though, so if you want tactical combat be warned that you will find none here.
The graphics are old school, but I don't have a problem with that at all. I love Dominions, but I hope Illwinter hasn't completely abandoned the idea of continuing with the Conquest of Elysium games.
Has anyone else given in and bought this one? It's only 17 bucks or so at this point, and I am having a lot of fun with it.
I remember playing it before the first Dominions came out -- I think someone here on Qt3 had pointed it out. I had a lot of fun with it as well, despite the (iirc) difficult interface. Illwinter makes really theme-rich games crammed full of cool stuff, and discovering all of that stuff is a big part of their appeal for me. I would love to see them produce Conquest of Elysium III, or to build some sort of SRPG off of the Dominions material.