(This is part of my journey going checking out Master of Magic. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
No matter what 4X game I’m playing or when, I always assume the same strategy. I play defensively as long as possible — growing cities, expanding, researching, building a money and power base — and hopefully by the time the computer decides to start getting aggressive, I have enough warning and foresight to build up a defensive army while I gradually accumulate a massive invasion force and win in one long battle campaign.
So no change here. I’ve already bumped into two of the four enemy factions in my searches and am trying to figure out the best way to expand my nation.
Despite doing nothing but sitting on his lazy posterior, Ocho gained a level. Maybe it’s a mail order-type situation.
Speaking of Twitter friends, a Dwarf named Brax pops up and asks to join my team. Welcome aboard, Braxwolf!
I also found a fourth town, Werit, to hem in an enemy in the northern peninsula that will now have nowhere to go. To keep Werit safe, I station my sole halfling army in its dirt walls.
A small raider army sweeps up and crushes my capital. Well, this will not do. I’m not about save scumming in 4X games — except in the first 100 turns or so. I like to get off to a good start. Plus, when you lose your capital you lose the game. So let’s rewind time and see if we can’t bolster up my defenses a little!
I order up a unit of spearmen for each city. They have weaker melee strength but less upkeep as well. I speed up the process a tad by using some of my gold to buy them instantly.
In this alternate universe from Timeline A, Ranni withstands the raider attack while I cast my first summons. I AM UNSTOPPABLE AHAHAHAHA. Seriously, how awesome is that graphic above? I wonder what the wizard does next. Maybe shoo the bear downstairs. “Go on, now. Git!”
Oh, and in Timeline B here, Brax never approached me, so he doesn’t exist. So sorry man!
You know how I said that I like to turtle and play defensively? Well, there’s an exception to that, and that’s if I sense a good opportunity. I think I have one here, as that lone enemy city up north could be prime for the taking if I strike fast with all of the units in my possession. I quickly start on a second war bear spell and begin sending my spearmen up north.
I’ve got to do this fast. I’m running a mana deficit, at the end of which I assume my war bears will disappear. Plus, I’m leaving the rest of my kingdom horribly exposed, and raiders are coming back up from the south.
Oof, this will be an ugly fight. The game limits how many units you can have in your army — nine in all — so I have to split my army into two parts. I send in my war bear contingent first, partially because I’m curious how they’ll fare, and partially because the bears don’t cost me gold. Might as well use them up first.
I don’t know what I was worried about — the bears frickin’ MAUL the enemy to shreds. We plow through the defensive army like butter, conquering the city in no time. The city and resources of Cannae is mine!