Well, I'm pretty much convinced that this game is going to hang around my machine for a long time. Last night I played a 3v3 multiplayer co-op game with 3 humans against 3 AIs. While the recording of the game showed we weren't terribly challenged (it was played on Easy), at this early stage of my Kohan career it was still a thrilling victory.
The game has a great "onion" feel to it. I keep peeling back layers and finding something new to tinker with. First I was focused on economy and the permutations of components (quarries, sawmills, etc.) for each. Then as I grasped that I noticed how the companies can be so much more than just infantry supported by archers. While your main unit will often be four standard units, the supporting units take on a life of their own.
Last night's game ended with me having a killer stack of a Kohan with some 160XP, something like 54 morale and 560HP. That single guy was leading a company of infantry with a Wizard and a Magician backing them up. They got so powerful they were breaking the morale and routing more standard companies almost as soon as they rolled into town.
I've read all the comments on the AI on USENET and I'm anxious to ramp up the difficulty and find out what it can throw at me. As a multiplayer game though, Kohan looks like it has real staying power and it has some great play dynamics to boot. It follows my favorite formula for design too. It's simple to learn with very understandable concepts and a rather small amount of units, but it takes those things and allows you to combine them in a ton of different ways to adjust not only your play style, but also forces different strategies on you. It keeps showing you more of its depth with each play. This is good stuff.
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 01:43 am:
Kohan has some nice concepts, I like the less micromanage aspect of it and the feel of the game is like HoMM/Warlords mixed with an RTS.
My only real beef with the game is the lack of units...infantry cavalry and support is all there is. Though the more I've played it, there is a deeper strategy to the type of companies you can make, even with the low amount of units in the game.
I hope they release an expansion or something to add more factions...theres basically only two factions in game the undead and the rest...a troll or goblin or humanoid type faction would be cool. Plus i think some of the already available NPC factions could be fleshed out as full facrtions.
Also, the AI in Kohan reminds me alot of KKND...it doesn't always attack in the same place and it retreats if its losing...which is rare in most RTS. BTW KKND was a cool RTS!
By Dave Long on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 11:51 am:
It's good to see someone reply. I was beginning to think I was the only guy playing this great game. Last night I blew through about five campaign missions and enjoyed each one. The mechanics of the game are great and don't get tiresome. It's always an ordeal trying to figure out what type of company is most important at any given time. You might need to cover a resource with a mine, but then building engineers is a severe drain on stone and you might also need an outpost to go with it. There's a lot of neat tradeoffs there. Having to actually support the troops you build is a great way to make the player care about whether they live or die.
I found myself in one mission commanding about four companies, each with very different characteristics. One was all cavalry, one archers with mages in support, another of infantry with magical support and a final one of Grenadiers with one of the Holy guys that nails shadows along with a Ranger for longer visible range. When those four went up against a huge group of shadows (skels, mages, etc.) it was a hellish conflagration that was fun to watch. My balanced side in custom formation won the day handily though thanks to good company planning, positioning and support.
Fighting a dragon in one scenario was way cool too. They really hammer some troop types with their flaming breath.
I've played a lot since I got it on Sunday in both single and multiplayer and I'm still not tired of the units and don't really feel like there's a big lack of them. I suppose more is always better (or at least we're meant to think so) but in this case, the chess-like nature of smaller piece counts makes the game more interesting and focused.
Unfortunately the lack of replies to this post pretty much confirmed what I suspected. No one's really paying it any attention since Black and White is now out. No surprise there. Hype sells games, not great gameplay. (...and no, I'm not saying B&W doesn't have great gameplay, just that the hype machine was running redlined for the game for the past three months) I had been looking forward to Kohan since I read about it early last year. The concept was intriguing then and the follow through is quite good for a first time developer. In fact, I have yet to encounter anything "buggy" in the game on my end. It's a solid product from top to bottom. Strategy First should be commended for bringing this game to the market. They have a very strong lineup of titles out and coming soon IMO.
By Felderin (Felderin) on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 12:12 pm:
I've not even fired up Black & White yet. I'm too busy playing Kohan. So there.
By Dave Long on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 01:49 pm:
I was hoping I could coax you out, Ben. ;)
By Felderin (Felderin) on Thursday, March 29, 2001 - 03:25 pm:
Well, what can I say? The game's addictive. It doesn't leave much time for posting. Or sleeping.
By BobM on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 01:03 pm:
I'm really enjoying this one, too. The "simplified" gameplay is great. The micromanagemnt of individual units in most RTS games had been driving me nuts.
The "flow" economics are really cool. They allow you to rearrange your econonmy very quickly to support whatever type of companies you need. And if you have a nice big gold reserve, you can field a huge and expensive army, cost be damned and really hurt your opponent.
I also like the "siege" idea, where if you are attacking a city or outpost, it knocks out the supply zone and prevents your opponent from collecting those resources during the siege.
The lack of varied units really doesn't bother me. Most RTS games have too many useless unbalanced units to choose from and you end up picking a favorite 2 or 3 anyway.
Also, there are alot more units than are listed in the manual, though they tend to just serve as improved/cheaper versions of the base units.
The only thing I would have liked is a persistent Hero concept ala Warlords Battlecry.
By Geo on Sunday, April 1, 2001 - 04:44 am:
I'm playing Kohan and B&W's too burdensome for my pokey Pentium II. :)
I'm looking for some folks to do some co-op vs. AI if anyone's interested. ICQ's 330550 for those who haven't become convinced ICQ is Satan's evil device.
This is the same infamous Geo from Jaded's Pub, I just can't find anyone to play Kohan with there because, yes, they're all playing Black and White. :)
By Dave Long on Sunday, April 1, 2001 - 11:48 am:
Kohan is on sale at Best Buy this week for just $29.99 for those interested. It's a steal at that price.
By Geo on Sunday, April 1, 2001 - 12:50 pm:
Unless you just bought it at BB last week for $39.99. Then, of course, you're kind of ticked off. Like me! :)
By Supertanker on Sunday, April 1, 2001 - 03:25 pm:
If you kept your receipt, go get a price adjustment. I got a hard drive at BB once, and the next week they put it on sale and threw in a $50 gift card. I went back for the adjustment, and they gave me the price difference, plus the gift card. The only pain is that they make you stand in the dreadfully slow "Customer Service" line and you can't go directly to a register.
By Geo on Sunday, April 1, 2001 - 03:39 pm:
That's an idear, thanks. I'll try to swing by today.
By Lando on Monday, April 2, 2001 - 08:35 am:
Doh! Geo, forsooth (or something like that)
I returned my B&W so I'm up for some Kohan...
Lando (also from Jadeds)
By Dave Long on Monday, April 2, 2001 - 10:41 am:
I have my receipt and will be heading to BB this week. I always do. While many will give Best Buy bad marks for customer service, this is one of their strengths. You have 30 days to go back there and get a price match!
My wife bought me a Voodoo1 for Christmas a number of years ago. She paid $199 for it the first week of December. Well, the day after Christmas it's on sale for $169 or something lower, I can't remember now. Anyway, she had the receipt and I got another game for Christmas out of the match. Woohoo!
Anyway, if you know you'll be keeping a game come hell or high water and not be demanding a return (don't buy something there you might not like), you should always go to Best Buy to insure you have 30 days to get the match. If the game is even a marginally big title (even Moon Project was on sale for $10 less one week after release), you should be able to go in and match it a week or two later. Just keep you receipt. You don't even need to take the game in with you, just the receipt and a copy of the flier or even pick up a flier inside the door.
I wrote a huge article on saving money at game stores a couple years ago. You can still find it here... Not much has changed since then so it's still reasonably valid.
By Xaroc on Monday, April 2, 2001 - 04:22 pm:
The hype machine may have been running great guns for B&W but that doesn't keep it from being a GREAT game worth of every bit of it. I have spent 10 hours plus on the first level and I just keep finding new and cool stuff to do. The creatures are amazing.
I will probably pick up Kohan this week because $29.99 is a great price for a game, it sounds interesting, and I liked the demo.
By Ben Sones (Felderin) on Monday, April 2, 2001 - 05:07 pm:
Definitely do--you won't regret it.
Even if Black & White is deserving of all the hype that it's received, it's a bit sad that it had to come out so close to Kohan, because Kohan deserves a lot more hype than it's been given. It's at least as good a game as Black & White, if not better (I haven't played enough of B&W yet to make that call). It's definitely the best fantasy strategy game that I've played in years. I can see Kohan living on my hard drive for a good long while...
By DanC on Monday, April 2, 2001 - 08:24 pm:
Thank you all for the heads up. I usually hate RTS's, that include SC, AOK etc. The only one I have played thru completely was Majesty. I am on the 7th mission of Kohan and keep liking it more and more. Hope StrategyFirst keeps pushing quality games by smaller developers and avoids being corrupted by the Borg that is Infogrames.
By geo on Tuesday, April 3, 2001 - 04:49 am:
Lando, I'll flag you down back at the pub. :) I guess if the pub server blows up in Jaded's absence we can make everyone sick of us here. :)
Dave, thanks for the BB insight. I Did Not Know That, even though a friend of mine used to work at BB. Guess I shoulda interrogated him more. When you Price Adjust, do they put credit back on your credit card if you charged it? Or is it a cash thing?
Ideally I buy Not Quite Sures at EB (for the return policy). Although EB has a price matching policy I find the people at my local stores very picky picky about it. It feels like the Spanish Inquisition so I usually end up blowing it off.
By Lando on Tuesday, April 3, 2001 - 08:42 am:
Funny, the guys at my EB gave me the evil eye when I
A) Returned Black & White
B) Price Adjusted Kohan to Best Buy
C) Price Adjusted Europa Univeralis to Target!
They just love me!
By Ben Sones (Felderin) on Tuesday, April 3, 2001 - 09:49 am:
Ha! That's really funny. I'm sure you were a real popular fellow, there.
But hey--they are the ones that made those offers. Can't blame you for taking advantage of them...
By Dave Long on Tuesday, April 3, 2001 - 03:10 pm:
No, they can't, and if they ever hassle you to the point you think they won't match or take a return, run it up their flagpole to the District manager or call that 800 number you'll see hanging on the "Code of Honor" or something like that which is hanging behind the counter at all EBs. One phone call about a store sends immediate red flags to corporate. The policy is there for you to use and the employees simply get it in their heads after awhile that they're being robbed or something. When I managed an EB, we always had one guy that would take it personally when someone returned something. Hell, I took it that way in one nasty instance.
But hey--they are the ones that made those offers. Can't blame you for taking advantage of them...
That's good information, I didn't realize EB would take back games purchased elsewhere. That could have helped me out in the past, so I'll keep it in mind for the future.
By Geo on Tuesday, April 3, 2001 - 04:47 pm:
This all sounds like a page that would fit in well at the Gone Gold site. Maybe I'll suggest that to Rich LaPorte. Something like a "exchange, return and matching policies at stores selling computer games" page, albeit a catchier title. :)