Here lies the empire of Magnar, latest casualty of Fallen Enchantress’ AI

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Magnar is a slaver race. When they raze enemy cities or defeat human armies, they boost the population in their nearest city. The idea is that they take slaves. Furthermore, they can train slave armies who they don’t have to pay. The emperor Magnar (some relation) can basically eat these slaves for health. Or he can boost these slaves in battle with a spell called death lash. Because it’s a death lash, the slaves die after the battle. But who cares? They’re slaves.

In case you can’t tell, Magnar is bad guys.

After the jump, sometimes bad guys finish last

I had a good run as Magnar in my first full game with the release version of Fallen Enchantress. Even though I fell pretty far behind in the power curve, I managed to assimilate some nearby Gilden (i.e. dwarf) cities because they were so poorly defended. Bad AI? Not in this case. In this case, the Gilden army had its hands full. I watched it get beat down by a huge demon called Delin, the Pyre of Man. I think that’s his full name. You can call him Mr. Pyre of Man.

Delin came from something called “wildlands”, a term Fallen Enchantress uses to describe modules that might be included in a randomly generated map. In this case, the module was a swathe of burned land spawning lava demons, ruled over by this main lava demon, Delin, Pyre of Man. I stumbled across his territory early in the game with my scout. The scout didn’t survive beyond the first encounter. But before he died, because I’d discovered this particular wildland, I had a quest to kill Delin. This would have presumably rewarded me with great treasure, and I could then set up cities in the area. I’ll never know what the treasure was, but I consider lightly defended Gilden cities treasure enough.

Unfortunately, while my main army was harrying Gilden, I had visitors. The lead player in the game was a faction called Ythril. They’re basically nordic badasses. They declared war on me and quickly followed up on the declaration by attacking me with three units. Not three armies. Three units. Units called juggernauts, which are unique to Ythril. You don’t really need an army when you have a juggernaut. Above is my last stand, with my main city’s milita trying to hold off three juggernauts long enough for me to untangle myself from Gilden’s scrappy defenses. Here’s a closer look at the juggernauts:

Juggernauts have a million hit points, of course. They also hit really hard. And they hit everything around them when they attack. But to the credit of my developed fortress city and its militia, we take out two of the juggernauts before losing the city. Well done, boys. If I ever write fan fiction, I’ll give you posthumous medals.

I was delighted that the AI was not only fighting with itself (Delin vs. the Gilden), but that it was aggressive enough to actually beat me when it declared war. However, the AI was doing some questionable things. For instance, there were plenty of times when it could have captured my outposts to cut off distant cities and resources. But it didn’t. It literally walked around the outpost. Distracted by something shiny? Giving me a break since it was one of my first games? Not programmed to care about outposts? Who knows. But when the game was all over, I could see by the graphs that the AI was definitely up to the economic game. Furthermore, during battles, the AI was using spells and trying its best not to fall prey to the usual tricks, like me keeping my units one square outside its movement range so I could get the first hit. It even pulled back injured units.

Up next, it’s my turn to use juggernauts. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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