Lords of the Realm - anyone?
Yet another highly underrated game, created by Impressions Games. Yes, makers of the Pharoah series, Caesar series, Lords of the Realm is a medieval strategy game, now entering it's 3rd installment:
Boy, I spent many nights enjoying the 1st one. It had just enough depth to keep you interested and the setting (old medieval england, separated by the Counties) was superb. They improved it a bit in Lords of the Realm 2, but something was missing there.
To sum up the 1st and 2nd installments of the series, you play a noble, and your basic objective is to take over all of England. England is separated by 'areas', i.e., Cornwall, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, etc.. so your job is to one by one take control of all these. Within each area, you have a population of people, as well as resources such as dairy, grain, and ... damn..i forgot the 3rd resource. But yeah, basically you have to keep your people happy by not having the taxes too high, and at the same time keep them all healthy too (starvation, plague, etc can all affect your town). At the same time, you have the option to build weapons and take some of your peasants and create an army, or you can simply purchase mercenaries who every so often travel to your town. With these armies you go and attack neighboring areas. Or. You could set up secret alliances with the other nobles in the game, or vice versa -- destined enemies.
The battle part of the game was a bit underachieving, but it sufficed nonetheless. You could build castles, siege them (although you can't really control the sieges like you can in Stronghold), and do other sorts of neat things.
Multiplayer was included in this 1995 game, but only via hot-seat and a serial connection (which for some reason liked to pop up "Out of Sync!!!" messages every now and then in the middle of the game).
Part 2 was basically a re-hash of the 1st one, improved graphics (SVGA) and the ability to play in different countries, plus multiplayer support via DirectPlay. Oh, and the battle scenes were somewhat better, as this time you could control the sieges (by pouring cauldrons of boiling oil on your enemies among other things!) moreso than the first game.
And now, several years later they set up the quest to revitalize the medieval strategy genre. Well, although Stronghold is a pretty damn fine game and I'd bet you anything that Stronghold's developers got a lot of their inspiration from the Lords of the Realm series.
Anyone share my experiences on playing these games? Lords3 sounds mighty nice, and I am definitely looking forward to it.
I seem to recall that all my people were fed by dairy.
As were mine, usually. In Lords 1.
In Lords2, I completely forget if they changed the food resources, but I do remember that sheep were removed, unfortunately. Sheep provided a good source of income.
In 2 I rememeber doing grain(wheat or whatever it was) was much better than cows. You just needed to get the pattern of planting/harvesting in the seasons right. The RT fighting was fun(castles sieges) but clunky.
Great game. Picked LordsII up from a bargain bin in 1998 and still have it. For those of you who have not played it, it's a turn-based game with battles in real-time. Never played much multiplayer, but the single-player game is a lot of fun if you don't have much experience with strategy.
Things that need to be fixed:
Using advanced farming makes the game too easy. Wheat becomes abundant.
Enemy AI in an open field consists of the computer's forces massing and forcing you to attack.
I think 3 has been in development for quite some time already. I know it was announced long ago. StrategyPlanet's Lords of the Realm site has been pretty inactive, but I have not checked it lately.
Hopefully, Impressions can bring the success of it's other city-building games to this resurrected series.
I think I had the most fun with the Siege pack, BTW.
The song that plays over the credits when you beat Lords II was keen.