A Brief Jaunt Through: Simtex's Master of Magic (Part 2)

Well, I kind of left you all hanging just when the game was getting good last time. That's hardly going to convince anyone to purchase this fine strategy-sim when the GOG popularity contest finally gets around to it. So there's a little more going on in today's edition of A Brief Jaunt Through (which is now apparently my tentative name for these short screenshot LPs, for those following along at home). Why did I select Halflings? Where are the rival wizards? Will I find a town name as petrifying as "Honeypool"? Read on, dear internet perusers...

Part 2: Prelude to Global Domination

First things first: I need to build an Armory. Though I should explain this screen a little too - The list on the left are buildings, the one on the right are units. "Trade Goods" and "Housing" are basically settings that increase money and population respectively. All buildings cost a fixed amount of gold per turn to maintain (an Armory needs two gold, as you can see) and provide various benefits. Generally speaking, you'll always want to make sure you have the following: A Smithy/Building Hall (required for a lot of buildings), a Granary (boosts population and food) and a Marketplace (boosts gold and production). Others tend to be more valuable depending on what type of town you need (troops, money-earning, etc.) and the surrounding environment (Sawmills are great if you have a lot of nearby forest squares, for example). Phew, long description!
An Armory will take 12 turns with two dudes (the guys at the top left, which represent 1000 people apiece) working on production. The ones on the left are farmers, and if you notice there's a little gap between them and the production fellows; everything before the gap HAS to be a farmer so the city doesn't starve to death. You can see this in the resources too - The city costs 2 gold to upkeep, anything after the gap is profit. You'll need a lot of food and gold income to support units.
Here is the spell research screen. Like Civ's technology, you earn new spells after a certain amount of turns. In MoM's case, the research speed is dependent on a stat that increases as you build more libraries and other places of learning. You'll also increase that stat naturally as you grow more powerful. I chose to pursue the Planar Travel spell despite the ridiculous 227 turns it'll take, because I am eager to rock the Myrror realm ASAP.
When exploring the world map, you'll find a few dungeons that are empty of creatures, like this one. I received 50 mana from this ruins, which isn't amazing, but it's worth sweeping these freebies up before your opponents do.
So here's the reason I picked Halflings: Slingers. Like a little troupe of King Davids, these guys have a stone-based ranged attack. While they only have a rather pathetic stat of "2" for range, their true strength lies in their innate luckiness. Without getting too technical, ranged units have a huge dependence on their ability to hit enemies - normally you'll be lucky if half a unit of soldiers actually land a hit. Being lucky vastly increases their accuracy, which is paramount. We'll see this in action shortly.
So I've spent a few turns exploring the world map around the home base. I summoned a Magic Spirit (top right), the most basic summoned monster, to boost the scouting effort. Because Magic Spirits can fly, they move around the map a lot faster than my spearmen (on the left).
While scouting, I found the home towns of two of my four rival wizards. Ariel is a Life magic user, while Tlaloc is Nature/Death. Because I am Life and Sorcery, I get on well with Ariel but not at all with Tlaloc, which is why she's Calm (fairly positive) and he's Troubled (very negative). I'll have to be extra careful around that guy for the time being. More info about this, the Magic screen: The bottom left is where I can choose to focus my power into Mana (how much magic power I earn per turn), Research (how quickly I learn new spells) and Skill (how much magic I can cast in battles). It's worth boosting Mana if you're running at a deficit and dropping Mana for the other two if you already have plenty of mana stored away.
My roaming Magic Spirit finds a Magic Tower. This is the easiest way of entering Myrror. I make a mental note of it for now, since the creatures inside are likely to to rip apart the spirit like tissue paper.
This is the totally not over-the-top screen for gaining a new spell, which I did while exploring. What is that, like the power of creation flowing into my spellbook?
Hooray, my first Hero! Heroes are mercenaries you hire to lead your armies, like in Heroes of Might & Magic. Unlike that game, though, units don't actually need Hero units to lead them. However, Shuri has a useful skill in "Pathfinding", which'll make getting around the map a lot faster. She's also a ranged unit, which means she can sit at the back with my Slingers and not endanger herself. You know, because us male gamers are so protective of our female heroines and everything. Baaarf.
Of course, she immediately goes up a level because I'm awesome. Or rather, because I'm a Warlord.
So here we are, the first battle for our two (so far) Slinger units and our new Hero. They're fighting a rather overwhelming force of Phantom Warriors in the Node right next to our city.
However, because of their effectiveness as ranged units, we end up slaughtering many of them before they can reach us. It helps that Phantom Warriors don't actually have any natural Defense stat (units defending Nodes of the same magic type receive a +2 bonus for Attack and Defense, unfortunately).
We get a little battered (you can see Shuri's health bar is half full. Or half empty?) but we prevail. Winning any battle that is stacked against you earns you Fame, which'll be handy for diplomacy and hiring better Heroes.
Shuri nuff, our huntress jumps up another level. What you see here are here are some stat increases, her new rank (Captain) and some additional powers, including a nice +1 To Hit.
And here's what a Magic Spirit is most useful for: Melding with nodes. After he combines with the Sorcery Node we just cleared, I'll get some extra Mana per turn.
Battle 2: The Slinger Squad vs. Ghouls. Ghouls are annoying and tenacious and know how to play Risk, so we'll need to keep on our toes here. Ghouls are better served in Death armies for their ability to turn the units they kill into additional undead. Zombie apocalypses don't just start spontaneously, you know. It takes effort.
However, despite getting close enough to promise they'll see us on the next floor, we fight them off and earn this pretty effing powerful bow for Shuri.
We also find a new spell: Righteousness. At 200 casting cost, it's a little too expensive to be much use to us right now, though.
Random Events can be turned on and off at the Settings screen. They're fun little situations that can either get you in trouble or help you out. Since this one halves the power gained from all nodes that aren't green (like our Blue Sorcery Node), this doesn't work out too well for us. It is a 5% chance of vanishing each turn though, which it eventually does.
Battle 3: Slinger Squad (plus a new unit) vs. the red Volcano Node and its Fire Elementals.
Fire Elementals are quite powerful up close. However, they have two rather fatal flaws for this fight: They have no ranged attack and move reeeally slowly.
We pick them off and earn ourselves some goodies. Invisibility will be damn useful if we can get it on everyone, because it'll stop units without Illusion Immunity (which unfortunately excludes all undead) from advancing towards us. Slingers are good but Ninja Slingers, well...
Meanwhile, our diplomatic efforts are going swimmingly! It's fun to make friends.
Battle 4: The Slinger Squad vs. Hellhounds. Hellhounds, unlike Fire Elementals, actually move very quickly. However, they don't have much in the way of defense, so we still take down most of them before they reach us. I checked, none of the hot dogs were Tricky Klepek incognito.

That'll do for this part, since I've hit the picture upload limit. We have one of those, it seems. I've got one more of these blogs coming up and then I'll pose y'all some questions about where this feature is going. Until then, stay tuned for Part 3: The Revengeancing: Red World Edition.

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
3 Comments
3 Comments
Posted by Mento

Well, I kind of left you all hanging just when the game was getting good last time. That's hardly going to convince anyone to purchase this fine strategy-sim when the GOG popularity contest finally gets around to it. So there's a little more going on in today's edition of A Brief Jaunt Through (which is now apparently my tentative name for these short screenshot LPs, for those following along at home). Why did I select Halflings? Where are the rival wizards? Will I find a town name as petrifying as "Honeypool"? Read on, dear internet perusers...

Part 2: Prelude to Global Domination

First things first: I need to build an Armory. Though I should explain this screen a little too - The list on the left are buildings, the one on the right are units. "Trade Goods" and "Housing" are basically settings that increase money and population respectively. All buildings cost a fixed amount of gold per turn to maintain (an Armory needs two gold, as you can see) and provide various benefits. Generally speaking, you'll always want to make sure you have the following: A Smithy/Building Hall (required for a lot of buildings), a Granary (boosts population and food) and a Marketplace (boosts gold and production). Others tend to be more valuable depending on what type of town you need (troops, money-earning, etc.) and the surrounding environment (Sawmills are great if you have a lot of nearby forest squares, for example). Phew, long description!
An Armory will take 12 turns with two dudes (the guys at the top left, which represent 1000 people apiece) working on production. The ones on the left are farmers, and if you notice there's a little gap between them and the production fellows; everything before the gap HAS to be a farmer so the city doesn't starve to death. You can see this in the resources too - The city costs 2 gold to upkeep, anything after the gap is profit. You'll need a lot of food and gold income to support units.
Here is the spell research screen. Like Civ's technology, you earn new spells after a certain amount of turns. In MoM's case, the research speed is dependent on a stat that increases as you build more libraries and other places of learning. You'll also increase that stat naturally as you grow more powerful. I chose to pursue the Planar Travel spell despite the ridiculous 227 turns it'll take, because I am eager to rock the Myrror realm ASAP.
When exploring the world map, you'll find a few dungeons that are empty of creatures, like this one. I received 50 mana from this ruins, which isn't amazing, but it's worth sweeping these freebies up before your opponents do.
So here's the reason I picked Halflings: Slingers. Like a little troupe of King Davids, these guys have a stone-based ranged attack. While they only have a rather pathetic stat of "2" for range, their true strength lies in their innate luckiness. Without getting too technical, ranged units have a huge dependence on their ability to hit enemies - normally you'll be lucky if half a unit of soldiers actually land a hit. Being lucky vastly increases their accuracy, which is paramount. We'll see this in action shortly.
So I've spent a few turns exploring the world map around the home base. I summoned a Magic Spirit (top right), the most basic summoned monster, to boost the scouting effort. Because Magic Spirits can fly, they move around the map a lot faster than my spearmen (on the left).
While scouting, I found the home towns of two of my four rival wizards. Ariel is a Life magic user, while Tlaloc is Nature/Death. Because I am Life and Sorcery, I get on well with Ariel but not at all with Tlaloc, which is why she's Calm (fairly positive) and he's Troubled (very negative). I'll have to be extra careful around that guy for the time being. More info about this, the Magic screen: The bottom left is where I can choose to focus my power into Mana (how much magic power I earn per turn), Research (how quickly I learn new spells) and Skill (how much magic I can cast in battles). It's worth boosting Mana if you're running at a deficit and dropping Mana for the other two if you already have plenty of mana stored away.
My roaming Magic Spirit finds a Magic Tower. This is the easiest way of entering Myrror. I make a mental note of it for now, since the creatures inside are likely to to rip apart the spirit like tissue paper.
This is the totally not over-the-top screen for gaining a new spell, which I did while exploring. What is that, like the power of creation flowing into my spellbook?
Hooray, my first Hero! Heroes are mercenaries you hire to lead your armies, like in Heroes of Might & Magic. Unlike that game, though, units don't actually need Hero units to lead them. However, Shuri has a useful skill in "Pathfinding", which'll make getting around the map a lot faster. She's also a ranged unit, which means she can sit at the back with my Slingers and not endanger herself. You know, because us male gamers are so protective of our female heroines and everything. Baaarf.
Of course, she immediately goes up a level because I'm awesome. Or rather, because I'm a Warlord.
So here we are, the first battle for our two (so far) Slinger units and our new Hero. They're fighting a rather overwhelming force of Phantom Warriors in the Node right next to our city.
However, because of their effectiveness as ranged units, we end up slaughtering many of them before they can reach us. It helps that Phantom Warriors don't actually have any natural Defense stat (units defending Nodes of the same magic type receive a +2 bonus for Attack and Defense, unfortunately).
We get a little battered (you can see Shuri's health bar is half full. Or half empty?) but we prevail. Winning any battle that is stacked against you earns you Fame, which'll be handy for diplomacy and hiring better Heroes.
Shuri nuff, our huntress jumps up another level. What you see here are here are some stat increases, her new rank (Captain) and some additional powers, including a nice +1 To Hit.
And here's what a Magic Spirit is most useful for: Melding with nodes. After he combines with the Sorcery Node we just cleared, I'll get some extra Mana per turn.
Battle 2: The Slinger Squad vs. Ghouls. Ghouls are annoying and tenacious and know how to play Risk, so we'll need to keep on our toes here. Ghouls are better served in Death armies for their ability to turn the units they kill into additional undead. Zombie apocalypses don't just start spontaneously, you know. It takes effort.
However, despite getting close enough to promise they'll see us on the next floor, we fight them off and earn this pretty effing powerful bow for Shuri.
We also find a new spell: Righteousness. At 200 casting cost, it's a little too expensive to be much use to us right now, though.
Random Events can be turned on and off at the Settings screen. They're fun little situations that can either get you in trouble or help you out. Since this one halves the power gained from all nodes that aren't green (like our Blue Sorcery Node), this doesn't work out too well for us. It is a 5% chance of vanishing each turn though, which it eventually does.
Battle 3: Slinger Squad (plus a new unit) vs. the red Volcano Node and its Fire Elementals.
Fire Elementals are quite powerful up close. However, they have two rather fatal flaws for this fight: They have no ranged attack and move reeeally slowly.
We pick them off and earn ourselves some goodies. Invisibility will be damn useful if we can get it on everyone, because it'll stop units without Illusion Immunity (which unfortunately excludes all undead) from advancing towards us. Slingers are good but Ninja Slingers, well...
Meanwhile, our diplomatic efforts are going swimmingly! It's fun to make friends.
Battle 4: The Slinger Squad vs. Hellhounds. Hellhounds, unlike Fire Elementals, actually move very quickly. However, they don't have much in the way of defense, so we still take down most of them before they reach us. I checked, none of the hot dogs were Tricky Klepek incognito.

That'll do for this part, since I've hit the picture upload limit. We have one of those, it seems. I've got one more of these blogs coming up and then I'll pose y'all some questions about where this feature is going. Until then, stay tuned for Part 3: The Revengeancing: Red World Edition.

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
Moderator
Posted by Video_Game_King

@Mento said:

My roaming Magic Spirit finds a Magic Tower. This is the easiest way of entering Myrror. I make a mental note of it for now, since the creatures inside are likely to to rip apart the spirit like tissue paper.

Don't you mean a...Mento note?

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Neat feature! I'm gonna have to try this one out if it comes up on sale. It looks right up my alley.

Moderator