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Posted by Mento

In this part, we finally deal with those pesky rival wizards of ours. There's no namby-pamby cultural victory in this game; we either kill all our enemies directly or we banish them all to the void with the Spell of Mastery. The Spell of Mastery's a long way off for the Tyrant of Honeypool right now, so it looks like it's time to gear up for a war...

Part 3: Sorting The Victors From The Losers. With Some Sort of Hat.

That Hellhound battle earned us the Disenchant Area spell. If Honeypool gets Cursed or Corrupted, we have a means of undoing it.
So we head straight for Tlaloc's home city of Hannover. The guy puts up a respectable fight, with a magic-user Hero and two Shaman units to counter our own in ranged ability. They, uh, left after the first round however. The various remaining swordsmen, spearmen and summoned War Bears (which appear two at a time: good things come in bears, after all) might've kicked our asses, had we let them get anywhere close.
Taking over a city is much like taking out a dungeon: We receive fame if the battle was interesting enough, plus we earn some gold too.
And, oh yeah, we annihilate Mr Unfortunate Racial Stereotype in the process.
Our new city. Yaaay! If I ensure that this one makes us a lot of money and harvest, I can really ramp up Slinger production.
Apparently you can't make links in captions. Let's just say Horus has a few things coming to him for his mean words. Eventually. Once we figure out how to cross the sea to where he's set up.
Flensburg was an outpost: The proto-towns created by Settlers. They are unfortunately auto-razed if you take them over, because of their small size. Still, computer players tend to settle towns that are too close to their other cities, and this one was close enough to take precious resources away.
Since I'm on a roll, I decide to take out Ariel as well. In this battle, she has somehow recruited four (!) different Heroes to protect her capital. They are the Beastmaster (good with creatures), the Bard (has some magic), the Orc Warrior (tough in close-range) and the Thief (fast and deadly). They're also backed with three Swordsmen units and two Spearmen units.
I'm not quite sure if I've hammered home how effective Slingers are. Especially those that have been around long enough to become Elite units. It's all to do with how every single bullet finds its mark. Like the ones that found those four aforementioned Heroes. Unfortunately, it seems there was a little collateral damage too.
The Thief was a bit tougher to kill than her peers and this piece of equipment is the reason why. Spoils of war go to our Huntress. You can also create your own armor and weapons if you're so inclined - it tends to be cheaper than buying them and more reliable than finding them in combat.
Ariel gets something too: A quick trip to the beyond, one-way.

Honeypool's current situation: We have conquered our home continent. However, there's an aggressive rival wizard on the next island over (Horus) and an as yet undiscovered fourth rival somewhere out there, who is probably the sole wizard on the alternate plane of Myrror. Were this to continue, I'd find a way to bring my Slinger army across the seas to conquer what towns are left as well as spelunk a lot of powerful dungeons to emancipate them of their many treasures. That I have the latter option is a big part of why I find this game so awesome, though I've clearly made things a little too easy for myself with these overpowered hobbitses.

Next time, I think I'll monitor what items are up next on GOG's popularity contest and pick something else to champion. For now, I think I've think I've shown off this game sufficiently. I'll leave you with a few other options besides mercilessly raining down stoney oblivion on your enemies: A Death wizard that conquers the world with an unstoppable army of darkness, its numbers boosted incrementally by your fallen foes; a Nature wizard that summons a force of Sprites, Earth Elementals, Behemoths and Great Wyrms while turning their cities into gardens of paradise; a Chaos wizard that summons Armageddon itself, creating a world full of erupting volcanoes and meteor showers as their Great Drakes and Efreeti incinerate anyone still standing; or a Sorcery wizard that uses their various enchantment spells to create a pitiless legion of invisible, flying warriors. It's fun stuff.

I owe it to and to check out a couple of this game's rivals/successors too, specifically Age of Wonders and Warlock: Master of the Arcane, so I might be writing about those at some point in the future. Thanks for sticking with this! Look out for more DOSsing around goodness to come.

Other Brief Jaunts
Master of Magic - Parts 1 - 2 - 3
Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos - Parts 1 - 2
Dungeon Master - Parts 1 - 2
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento said:

Yes. All the yeses possible. Oh, and I guess you should go with the Death wizard, since that's the coolest sounding option. (If you haven't noticed by now, this is how I play PC-ass PC games: do something solely because it sounds awesome, even if that is the stupidest goddamn thing to do.)

Posted by eroticfishcake

As a general rule I don't hire heroes unless they generate gold rather then take it given the rather pricey cost of them early in the game. It's cheap of me but god damn the extra gold can really help me in the early stages. It's certainly better then the A.I.'s plan of plopping new cities right next to each other...then again they often have a lot of heroes too but whatever, I'M COVERED IN GOLD, BITCHES AND MAGIC CRYSTALS.

And screw Horus. It's like he enjoys sending out flying islands to prod and poke fun at me.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Well, this series has, if nothing else, made me want to play some Master of Magic, so you have succeeded in that regard, I would think.

Edited by Mento

@eroticfishcake: Floating Islands are the most ridiculous things. It has the same job as a trireme, but it costs like five mana per turn and will be instantly destroyed if someone bumps into it. Wind Walker isn't that much more powerful and is way more convenient.

@Video_Game_King: Death route is fun. It is, after all, the only way to hire Mortu the Black Knight, that familiar-looking scamp. Life wizards have a lot of benefits, though, which makes it hard to counter them as a Death wizard.

As for this particular campaign... I dunno if anyone wanted a long-winded epilogue, but here it is:

I hired a new hero, the Wind Mage, who automatically has the Wind Walker trait - this means he and everyone in his stack can fly three spaces per turn. I used the advantage to annihilate blondie and systematically take over both worlds. It got a little easier after summoning an Archangel, the Chosen One (the greatest Hero in the game) and casting the Crusade (all units automatically go up a level) and Holy Arms (all units have magical +1 weapons) global enchantments. After which I was trouncing dragons, colossi and behemoths with relative ease. Sss'ra - the final wizard - didn't even see me coming. But then I did say the Slinger route makes things a tad easy, even on the harder difficulties. Good route for beginners though.

I ought to pick a new game. Lands of Lore?

Posted by eroticfishcake

@ArbitraryWater: If you haven't played it before it's worth a shot considering that it's fairly easy to play and get into. Not to mention that it's arguably the best fantasy turn-based strategy games. Okay that's pretty specific but it's still a damn good game that I like to pop into every now and again. If not, then Master of Orion II is more or less the same but with a sci-fi bent if that's your cup of tea. Either way, they're both fun and easily available. This goes to anyone else reading this. PLAY THEM OR I'll HEADBUTT YOU IN NETHER REGIONS.

Posted by Hailinel

This series is a great trip down memory lane, Mento. I spent more hours in Master of Magic than any other PC game back in the '90s. The vast majority of my victories came down to the Spell of Mastery, but it was always fun watching my foes get sucked into Limbo.

Oh, and Horus? I remember one game in particular where his starting city was generated so close to mine that I wiped him off the map within the first five turns of the game. Seriously, what was he thinking, founding his empire so close to my own capital?

Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento said:

@Video_Game_King: Death route is fun. It is, after all, the only way to hire Mortu the Black Knight, that familiar-looking scamp.

Then it is the only option you have. (Yes, I know what you're talking about.)

Posted by ArbitraryWater

@eroticfishcake: Oh, I already own and have played a good amount of it, so I am good in that regard. Also I have played hella MOO2 and even wrote something about it like... 2 years ago? And yes. While I have a few issues here and there with both of them, they are also easily some of the best that the genre has to offer.

@Mento: Lands of Lore was pretty good from what I played of it. Of course, then it got crazy hard and my attention wandered elsewhere.

Posted by eroticfishcake

@Mento said:

I ought to pick a new game. Lands of Lore?

Lands of Lore, Wasteland, Dominus, Centurion: Defender of Rome, Lords of Magic and Darklands to name few old games that are worth looking at. Just suggestions of course so feel free to ignore them...I should really get around to actually playing Darklands now that I mention it.