One of the better war games to be released at the beginning of the 1990's, Warlords has the appearance of a game lovingly designed by its creator, Steve Fawkner. The game is a hybrid of combat, fantasy and strategy and mixes these components very well. Even more commendable is the depth of the game and the astonishing amount of detail and decision making that makes for intense and exciting game play. Each game always has eight Warlords and though human opponents might be more diverse (the operative word here is "might"), very few will match the computer controlled characters in terms of unadulterated cunning and a downright cutthroat mentality. Computer controlled players tend to have a narrow focus once they set their sights on a weakening foe but don't make the mistake of thinking that makes them an easy target. Although the computer doesn't appear to have any great advantage over human players when it comes to strategy, the art of resource management (hiring heroes, economic warfare, etc.) is definitely well ingrained in the AI. You'll rarely see the computer controlled players overextend, waste forces or overlook opportunities, qualities that can't be guaranteed of human opponents (or yourself!).
In Warlords, the most important character type is the hero and the slick way the program limits accessibility makes acquisition of them doubly important. Without heroes you can't explore certain "treasure troves" you stumble across while expanding your territory. These repositories include places like libraries and ruins and contain various necessary items required to make your forces competitive. But the heroes are expensive and other than the one you start with you'll have to hire the rest. Combat in Warlords is simple, effective and fairly quick and in a nice twist, quality counts more than quantity. That simple design feature coupled with the fabulous array of possible modifiers and outside influences (e.g., a temple blessing) that impact on battles, adds tons of strategy to developing and "stacking" your military units in preparation for war. Management in the game is delightfully uncomplicated yet detailed enough to keep you on your toes. The 81 cities all have specific income and defense parameters, restrictions on what units can be produced and efficiency limitations on producing them! The eight races (empires) are assigned specific varied initial assets such as funding and different capital income but receive an equal defensive rating at the beginning. The introduction into the game of the fantasy elements is just icing on the cake. Not overly abundant and with specific attributes (movement points, flying, etc.) and costs, these creatures (e.g., dragons, griffins, demons, devils, Pegasi) can spell the difference in a battle over rough terrain. All the aforementioned attributes (and plenty more not covered here) blend almost seamlessly to make playing Warlords a rewarding experience for fans of the genre. The game easily overcomes its few shortfalls (such as having only one game map and no option to modify units or land) through sheer depth of game play and the concomitant application of strategy needed against formidable computer or human opponents.
Graphics: Fairly basic stuff, not a lot of flourishes.
Sound: Average. Nothing noteworthy.
Enjoyment: A terrifically playable war game with tons of strategic choices and "smart" AI.
Replay Value: Eight different races (empires) to choose from, each with varying degrees of initial setup parameters, attributes and capabilities. Game play is dependent upon decisions so the potential for diversity is here. Only complaint is the one game world map; random map generation would have been great.
The first in the Warlords series. Basically, your mission is world domination. This may be played between up to 8 people all on the same machine. It is a medieval type strategy game that requires the player to control 80 cities in the realm of Illuria. In order to do so you must wipe out your 7 opponents.
Gold is accrued through the ownership of cities. The gold is then used to create armies. Heroes can sometimes "find" things or be rewarded by sages (there are only 2 and it's a first come first served basis). You can choose between various human and non-human peoples, as well as the ubiquitous evil Warlord. This is a very early version of what strategy games eventually became.
People who downloaded Warlords have also downloaded:
Warlords 2, Warlords 3: Darklords Rising, Warlords 3: Reign of Heroes, Warlords II Deluxe, Warlords 4: Heroes of Etheria, Warlords Battlecry 2, Warlords, Warcraft 2
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