AoW:Shadow Magic. I want multiplayer, anyone interested?

Years and years ago I tried getting a Shadow Magic game going over the internet. It didn’t work, and I cursed and sighed cause Shadow Magic is possibly the best turn-based fantasy tactical game ever, even if I suck at it.

But since I heard good things about this Gameranger thing I figured that setting up a working Shadow Magic multiplayer game might not be an exercise in sheer frustration anymore. So, anyone interested in giving it a go? You need Shadow Magic patched up to 1.3, game ranger installed, and a couple hours of free time in a GMT+1 friendly timeslot. The game allows anywhere from 2-8 players depending on map.

Wish I had access to my copy. :-(

How much does it cost? If it’s reasonable (really low) I’ll be in for this. Were you planning on playing it with turns going in order or everyone’s turn at the same time? If there are 8 people over the internet it might be better to go with non-coinciding turns, I hate it when it is a race to see who can put their turn in first.

The game is five years old. I expect you can find it for a pittance by now. I was planning for simultaneous movement (turn starts, everyone is free to move and, yes, fight eachother, turn ends when everyone has hit end turn) just to speed things up a bit but I could go for a classic turnbased game.

Ah, Shadow Magic! It had a reserved slot on my hard drive up until Civ IV claimed that honor. Now that you mention it, I do have a hankering to play it again, or to finish my quirky “Wizard’s Duel” scenario where you basically use the wizard as a combat unit on a tiny map with only level 0-1 units available.

I’m up for PBEM, although I’m not sure my time zone (GMT -8) is the best for simultaneous play.

  • Alan

If you see it available for a pittance please tell me. Because I’ve only seen highway robbery for new copies and new-game price for used copies.

Huh, I was able to pick up a replacement copy just last year for cheap in a regular game store. Guess it never got republished and all the on-sale copies are gone. Digital distribution?

Nothing legal, as far as I can tell.

I hope GOG picks it up.

I’m up for it, although I am not sure I will be able to do simultaneous turns. My time is governed by my sons appetite.

Bit off topic but have any of you AoW:SM players tried this mod and/or this fan patch, and if so, what did you think of them?

They both sound fairly promising, but my vague distrust of “Base game improving” mods makes things along the lines of

  • Adds new units.
    Over a 120 new units, either recolored or remade! Only the very best made it in and were judged by a Jury!
    Criteria would be that they must have a professional and authentic feel!
    give me pause.

I always enjoy this sort of game, especially as it doesn’t have to be quite as numbingly time consuming as Dominions. It can be hard to setup, but IIRC playing on a weekend aiming for noon PST and evening in Western Europe works.

Some thoughts on settings/rules, based on the last time we did this here:

  1. Everyone on at once, rather than PBEM.
  2. Simultaneous turns are a must, otherwise it’s just too damn long.
  3. Small map, hopefully finishable in one, maybe two sittings.
  4. 3 minute turn time limits? I forget, and it probably depends on the map size anyway.
  5. Attacker has the choice of tactical battle or autoresolve, with the understanding that only completely one sided battles are autoresolved.
  6. Players can see others’ battles, so they’re not just sitting around doing nothing.
  7. No Orcs, because they’re broken.

I’d be willing to consider mods, but last time I checked there weren’t any good/balanced ones (in contrast to AoW1, where Warlock’s mod was awesome). In particular I remember the unofficial 1.4 patch was terrible, though I don’t remember why I thought so.

1: Yes. I have no interest in PBEM. Too damn slow and someone inevitably drops out, screwing everyone else
2: That was my thought
3: yes
4: Sounds good, we’ll see what works.
6: yes
7: racis…err I mean yes. Orcs are nasty and can steamroller most players.

I’d be willing to consider mods, but last time I checked there weren’t any good/balanced ones (in contrast to AoW1, where Warlock’s mod was awesome). In particular I remember the unofficial 1.4 patch was terrible, though I don’t remember why I thought so.

Admittedly my multiplayer experience has been very brief so I probably can’t appreciate the balance changes properly, but I figured that the official patches should be the baseline game. If I got a game going and if we had any issues we might see if the unofficial patch resolved them. But no mods for now.

My recollection is that 1.4 introduced a bunch of weird changes that ended up unbalancing the game.

  • Alan

Gametap has (had?) a version available. Not sure if it has multiplayer though. I’ll check when I get home.

haha Check out the prices sellers are trying to get for this game new on Amazon:



Is this still in planning? I’d like to join in. And if you’re considering mods, about the only one I really liked more than plain vanilla was DWIGGS mod (which was also updated multiple times.) Notably, I liked what he did to make every hero class extremely fun.

How does Gameranger work?

Is the developer defunct or something? The game came out in 2003, no reason for it be as legendarily priced as ancient lost classics.

It’s on eBay for 29.99 EUR (from France, wtf)

Jesus … do we have to pirate the game? Who on earth is paying $300 for this? Hell I might even have an extra copy somewhere.

Do you have me on ignore or something? (ironic because if he does he won’t see this)

eBay, look up.

You install it, you launch the game from Gameranger, and the game thinks it’s on a LAN thus bypassing most of the hassles inherant in getting the game to play over the internet.

And the game is still in planning. Since there are some interested people I’m thinking this weekend, Sunday sometime might be good. afternoon-ish for Americans, evening-ish for Europeans.