In Conquest of Elysium 3, players take the role of a warlord or wizard and usher vast unique armies around a randomly-generated game map. The overworld action is turn-based, where players can move their heroes and recruit new units.
When an army moves into a square occupied by an enemy army or roaming monster, a battle takes place at the end of the turn. Battles are randomized, hands-off affairs where units roll for initiative and take turns doing damage to each other. Heroes will have special abilities like spells they can cast, but the player cannot directly influence what they cast and when. Units can be injured and receive permanent physical debilitations that will dramatically impact how they'll function.
Conquest of Elysium 3 features a wide range of idiosyncratic and strange fantasy races that often have specific overworld abilities and even their own resources.
Baron - The default "human" race. Barons can raise levies from villages and larger settlements for free to defend captured settlements. They also receive bonuses to gold so that they can recruit more troops.
Necromancer - The special resource for Necromancers is "Hands of Glory" - the severed left hands of executed murderers. These can be harvested from larger towns and cities, as well as gallows scattered across the land. The Necromancer hero can raise skeletons for free from any battlefield, at the risk of becoming insane and being unable to move for their turn. At high levels, Necromancers can become Liches to become permanently immune to insanity, or vampires, which can cure insanity by eating villages.
Demonologist - Demonologists collect sacrifices from villages and towns. They can then bolster their army with demon summoned from the abyss. However, there is a risk involved with this, as demons must first be "controlled." If the hero cannot control the demon they have summoned, they must then fight the monster to the death.
Witch - Witches can collect fungi from forest tiles and use that fungi to summon and control monsters. Like the Demonologist, they must pass a "control check" to recruit the monster into their army.
High Priestess of Baal - Similar to the Witch and Demonologist, the High Priestess of Baal uses human sacrifices to summon demonic assistance. At high levels, she can sacrifice her own body to summon Baal into the world. She also receives recruitment offers from powerful warriors called Gibborim.
Bakemono - Bakemono Sorcerors can use blood sacrifices to summon Oni demons to assist them in battle. They also receive recruitment offers from Bakemono Shamans.
Barbarian - Barbarians can recruit cheap and powerful troops. They harvest herbs to summon spirits from deceased Barbarian tribes.
Senator - Senators are akin to the "Rome" faction. Their heroes are statesmen, while revelers can summon satyrs to help in battle.
Pale One - Pale Ones are one-eyed underground dwellers. Their starting hero is extremely tough, but if they receive damage to their eye, they become little more than meat shields and unable to hit anything. Their resource is gems, which can be used for scrying or summoning powerful allies.
Druid - Druids collect herbs from forest tiles and can use them to summon powerful animals to help them in battle. Boar Warriors often offer to join their cause.
Burgmeister - The denizens of Hoburg are plentiful halflings. Horticulturalists collect enchanted weed, which can be used to summon large armies, and Horologists, which can gather gems to create constructs. They tend to proliferate quickly and have massive armies of weak troops.
Warlock - These elemental wizards use gems to summon beings composed of pure fire, ice, etc. These elementals also have their own ability to summon other, lesser beings.
Priest King - Priest Kings are the slave drivers of Elysium. They can cull slaves from towns and villages, slaughter entire villages for favour from their gods and commit blood sacrifices to summon sacred beings.
Troll King - Like the Pale One starting hero, the Troll King is extremely tough. Trolls collect fungi to scry and create troll forests, which fight interlopers and spawn wandering carrion creatures.
Enchanter - These are the artificers of Elysium. Their Crystal Tower is extremely well-fortified and use gold and iron to create massive, powerful constructs.
High Cultist - The Lovecraftian race, cultists worship inscrutible gods called the Great Old Ones. Coastal towns controlled by the High Cultist will spawn "hybrid" units that are automatically drafted to defend the settlements. High Cultists use sacrifices to summon deep ones and send horrors into the world.
Dwarf Queen - Perhaps one of the more complex and varied races, the dwarves' primary "hero" is Dvala, the Dwarf Queen. She is immobile and gives birth to one new dwarf worker per turn. These workers can be upgraded with iron armour or through Rune Smiths, which use gems to create elite guards and warriors. Dvala can use diamonds to scry mines and create more Rune Smiths.
Voice of El - The Voice of El was added post-release for free. They are an apocalyptic religious sect that can convert settlements to provide extra gold to the Church. Their hero units can break the seven seals to receive help from their god, El. Once all seven seals are broken, the world ends and various powerful "horsemen" units rove the land, destroying everything, including the Voice of El.