(This is part of my journey going checking out Master of Magic. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
With the northern town of Cannae under my belt, I have a decision to make: Do I press on my campaign and try to take a major enemy city right to the south, or do I sue for peace and focus on growing my kingdom?
These sorts of nail-biting choices are what make 4X games both maddening and addictive. You’re constantly weighing pros and cons, making educated guesses and playing against an enemy that you can’t fully see.
Another crucial choice: How do you build up your city? It’s been so long that I don’t have the first clue what’s the most optimal way to grow a city in this game, but I figure you can’t go wrong with more money! Also, walls. Gotta keep dem bears out.
M-O-O-N, that spells moon!
That’s no moon, it’s a space station!
Take your pick. They’re both on me.
My northern army finally descends upon Isseme, where a spirited defense pours out to fight off my invaders. It’s a slightly tougher fight than in Cannae; I lose Ocho early on and even one war bear bites it. But in the end, we triumph.
With that, I turn to proper empire building. I disband one of my war bears and scatter my units to finish exploring this continent and shore up defenses in each of my cities. This game has a disturbing habit of throwing raiders and monsters against my towns randomly.
Um… so who would like to see a battle to the death between unicorns and war bears? Oh, everybody? Then here we go!
OK, that is totally not a fair fight. Two packs of unicorns and two ghosties versus one unit of war bears? I hate to say it, but the bears got smoked. Going to have to build back up my war bear army and come back for sweet, sweet revenge.
The great news is that I finish exploring this middle continent and find that I’m the sole occupant now that I’ve conquered those two towns. There’s even a little room to build a couple more cities!