In the last entry I had fought my way to the Necrophage region of Saradh, destroyed the city there, and converted a local village to complete a stage of my faction quest. My armies were returning victorious. The next stage involved searching some ruins, which would be easy enough - but I need Palladian ore, a rare resource that I currently have no production in, even with my many converted villages. Time to head to the diplomacy screen to see if anyone has some they're willing to part with.
In my first attack on Glandeh, I'm a little cocky and just charge straight in, ignoring the fortification bonuses. The fortification level of a city can be reduced by a siege, but if you just attack then it provides an extra layer of armour on top of all defending units which must be cleared before you actually start dealing damage to the unit. In addition, I was a little surprised to see the Necrophage militia prove moderately effective against my units (in past experience city militia has been utterly useless, but maybe that's because I wasn't investing in city defence upgrades and neither were my opponents).
In the last entry I had explored more of the world and uncovered the region of Saradh, where I need to convert every minor faction village and destroy any city present. Unfortunately that region belongs to the Necrophages, currently the strongest players in the game. I have a peace treaty with their neighbours - the Vaulters - but they happen to be the weakest players in the game.
We closed the last entry at turn 70, with a Broken Lords invasion force preparing to cross the small sea between their land and my Citadel. My hero Andom the Seer is several regions away, and the only army I have needs to take a longer route around the water - I muster two units of Kazanjii daemons from the villages in the neighbouring region, but given the winter I'm not sure if they'll get to Citadel before the Broken Lords lay siege.
This will be my third game of Endless Legend. My faction of choice this time will be the Cultists, who only have one city and convert the minor faction villages to be more dedicated allies than for other factions. I enjoyed the Wild Walkers and their forest bonuses in my first game, but found the Drakken much less interesting in my second. Probably because I had a better grasp of the game mechanics and was still playing on a low difficulty I found it too easy, so I didn't have much call for the diplomatic special powers of the dragon people. If nothing else, having only one city should change the game substantially. I'm playing on a large map with six empires on Hard difficulty. The world gen options are fairly standard.
The information we receive in strategy games about the enemy and our own units tends towards a very limited set of different states in most cases. The fog of war is usually present as a binary state where we either have no information about an area or perfect information, based on the sight ranges of our units or the utilization of special powers which will clear the fog of war. Sometimes there will be units with 'stealth', rendering them invisible until they attack, get too close to enemies, or within the range of certain detector units which can uncover them. These units tend to be fairly rare though, and still only occupy either a completely hidden state or a completely known one.
Most strategy games have some form of 'elite' unit, from the commando or mammoth tanks from the original Command and Conquer to your 50+ kills Colonel in X-Com. Less fantastical games often include experience as a unit trait, so though these two rifle divisions might be technically the same in terms of equipment, one is made up of green recruits and the other is comprised of hardened veterans.
It's always the approaches to my main base that are most dangerous. But while the helicopters usually get hit flying over the nearby stretches of jungle, it's the engineers who tend to get ambushed barely a few hexes out from safety. It must be very demoralizing, to be freshly deployed with the mission of improving the road network miles behind the frontlines and forward bases, only to be hammered with RPG fire moments after leaving the safety of the compound. Then having to limp back for reinforcement, not even having completed a full movement before taking losses.
I'm inclined to like any game where getting a Chinook for longer range transport and longer operation time between resupply is not only a legitimately exciting prospect, but often more compelling than a Cobra gunship. Where it can take the little Huey's several turns to ferry artillery shells to your most advanced positions, the Chinooks feel like they can cover the whole map in two turns (I'm sure they don't take more than three). Don't get me wrong, I love the Cobras for their ability to deliver indirect firepower quickly without having to worry about terrain, but they aren't going to help keep my artillery supplied or airlift injured infantry out of harm's way.
Vietnam '65 is all about transport and supply lines. Your task is to patrol a section of the country, identifying and destroying enemy units to win the hearts and minds of villages in the area. While you win hearts and minds mostly by destroying enemy units (and a little from visiting the villages with infantry, though these visits are often more valuable to get intel on enemies to destroy than for the small H&M boost itself), Viet Cong cadres will emerge from the jungle aiming to visit these villages to lower their H&M value, lay minefields, or set ambushes. You'll also have to deal with advances by North Vietnamese Army units, which will grow in intensity if the overall H&M score is allowed to drop.
I experienced something interesting while playing a game of Endless Legend recently that I haven't personally seen in another strategy game up to now, which I figured was worth a post. Technological progress and innovations in conflicts can be fascinating, particularly in longer ones between somewhat balanced opponents, such as the World Wars or the Cold War. I'm not talking here about groundbreaking stuff like the atomic bomb or tanks in WW1, but smaller things from blind bombing radio technology to longer range escort fighters and increased fuel capacity for bombers.*
What's All this then?
I like making and writing about PC games - mostly strategy games. Expect after action reports, thoughts about design and gameplay, and maybe even a few prototypes.