Dynasty Tactics by KOEI

I know there are several people on these boards that are KOEI fans. Anyway, I was reading PSM, and they had the first review I have read about the game. It’s coming out this month, btw. The reviewers said that out of 100+ games that he has reviewed for the mag, this was the most addictive game he had played. He gave it 4.5 out of 5, but only because of some little things. Apparently the game takes the Final Fantasy Tactics formula to new levels. It maintains the same historical ROTK flavor that KOEI loves so much, complete with all the generals and relationships among them. Then it lets you do battle with tactical options that go beyond ROTK and similar games. It looks great. I was already planning to get the game, but this review makes me feel even better about it. I love tactical strategy games like this (and Advance Wars, etc.).

Anyone else up for this one?

Greatest. sentance. EVAR.

Yeah, it was hard to write with a straight face too ;)

That’s good to hear I’v loved the sub-genre since the first shining force and was looking forward to this one.

Speaking of Koei our at least we will be now damn it, Anyone else playing three kingdoms VII? It’s dubbed as a stratagy game but it’s definitly my favariot rpg of the year. I like how you can play as a simple officer going through various ranks all the way to Liege. I’d like to see that sort of thing in more games.

I’m cautiously optimistic about Dynasty Tactics. A great deal of the attraction for me in RoTK VII is the sense of vastness and unpredictability. I agree, it’s a helluva roleplaying game in many respects. If Tactics is just a linear, or branching linear, game alot of the magic of the series will be lost for me. Who knows, console games are weird critters for me as sometimes I’ll like games I probably wouldn’t put up with on the PC - Front Mission 3 for example - they just hit me the right way. OTOH, I couldn’t tolerate Final Fantasy Tactics for very long, despite the fact it seems to be a legend of some kind. Between cutsie superdeformed characters and tough, and painfully redundant, random encounter battles that seemed to go on for, bloody, ever I ran out of patience with the excercise.

I’ll probably need some reviews before I take the leap but we’ll see what we see.

Dynasty Tactics has a semi-linear campaign. You pick your faction in the beginning, Wei (Cao Cao), Wu (Sun Quan), or Shu (Liu Bei), and you have the strategic map of China with all the interconnecting provinces and bases. You can move your armies and envoys wherever you want, but you are given an overarching objective to be completed in so-and-so turns, in order to progress in the story and campaign.

For example, as Liu Bei, early in the campaign Lu Bu offers you an alliance so he can have help attacking/conquering Yuan Shu’s faction. The strategic map will tell you that you have a 5 turn limit for this objective - you either send an envoy to Lu Bu to accept this, or attack Lu Bu with your own army to reject it, within 5 turns. When you fulfill that, it will directly move the storyline along, depending on which path you chose. BUT, you have free reign to do whatever you want until you fulfill that objective. So, you can spend 3-4 turns attacking a neighboring faction, or scouting and recruiting other generals, or just doing nothing, before attacking or allying with Lu Bu.

Oh, and the tactical combat is very, very addictive. Terrain, unit type, and maneuver all have roles, but it will take some time to grasp the deeper mechanics of the “tactical actions” that the Generals can perform. Basically, every General can perform one or more special maneuvers in battle, and a key strategy is to know when and where to use these to maximize their effect. It’s made more complicated in that you can combo, and are greatly encouraged to combo, various special moves by Generals so that they form a continous chain of attacks, provided you time the attacks right with the shown movement order of your armies.

Hmm, that probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless you’ve seen and played the game or the game’s tutorial. Let me just give an example of the Tactics combo system used. The key to the combos is that if a General uses a special move that moves an enemy unit into fulfilling the requirements of a fellow General’s special move, then that fellow General gets to immediately attack with his special attack.

For example: Liu Bei uses his Decoy ability to attack an enemy one square ahead - Liu Bei’s army does damage, then retreats back one square, drawing the enemy down one square to follow him. Guan Yu’s army was next to and facing Liu Bei’s original position from the east, so now he’s facing the flank of the decoyed enemy army. His “Charge” tactical special move was ready for use, so he immediately launches a Charge attack at the flank of the enemy army, driving it one square west as his own army moves one square west, doing massive damage to the enemy in the process. Now, Zhang Fei’s army was positioned south of the spot where the enemy was just driven. His “Pierce” special tactic was ready, and as the enemy army is now moved into his range, he immediately launches his Pierce special move, charging through the enemy, doing massive damage, and stopping his army two squares behind the enemy army. Damage caused by specials increases by how many combo moves are chained, so the enemy army is now destroyed. BUT, because this chain of events was caused by Liu Bei’s initial Decoy move, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei are still allowed to move and perform their armies’ actions for this round of combat.

That probably still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but the combat system seems pretty deep, and the game is addictive enough to keep me playing for 4 hours, till 4:30 AM, when I planned to try it out “for just a half an hour”. Of course, now I’m tired as hell writing this post and will probably be asleep at work later on.

  • Balut

Hooray!! It is almost here. I have mentioned this title now and again on these boards probably with the same people in this thread and I, for one, cannot wait. I just want a decent PS2 strategy game dammit!

And Brian, that is blasphemy that you like FM3 more than FFT. FM3s inane dialogue got to me before I could finish (much like NWNs, but exponentially worse). I enjoyed the levelling system and classes in FFT so much more than robot assembly. Not that I did not enjoy FM3, I did. I will not hear that your tastes are different or the silly FFT characters are gay. You are simply a poor misguided individual and I hope you can get some help. :wink:

Balut, your post makes me feel all warm and yummy inside.

I take it you have a review copy or has it been prematurely released in your area?

My tastes are different and the silly FFT characters are gay. :)

Inserts fingers in ears

“La…La…La-La…I can’t hear you…hmmmm…mmmmm”

Nope, it came out at my local (New Jersey) EB 2 days ago (9/11).

  • Balut

That was a really good overview of the game, balut. It made the decision of whether to purchase the game or not easy.

I’ve been a RoTK whore for a while so I was already leaning that way a little.

Yeah, the little overview was very easy to understand actually, especially if you have played ROTKVII, which also uses some battle tactics (though not in the same way, obviously). Looks like this is the game to get for strategy fans on the console. I haven’t been to my local EB this week, but I will go on Tuesday and pick it up. Thanks!

Thanks for the feedback on my overview - I honestly didn’t think it would be very coherent when I wrote it.

A note on Dynasty Tactics, though - the faction choice when you start a campaign acts as a sort of built-in difficulty setting:

Cao Cao = Easy
Sun Ce = Medium
Liu Bei = Hard

Historically, I suppose this makes sense as well, considering Cao Cao took over all of northern China, and IIRC Liu Bei’s ShuHan kingdom was the smallest of the three.

I’m still using Liu Bei first, though, just so I can find and recruit all the 5 Tiger Generals.

  • Balut

Reminds me of the old nintendo game Bandit Kings of Ancient China. To this day that game holds my personal record for consecutive hours of gaming at 86.

It seems to me that those old games would translate well to the FFT style, and if this game is for PS or something I’ll buy it.


Bandit Kings of Ancient China was one of the few glimmers of computer gaming light back in my Mac user days. I didn’t even know anyone still remembered that game. Memories… :)

Heh, all the Koei games were great back then: Nobunaga’s Ambition 1 and 2, Romance of the Three Kingdoms 1-3, Genghis Khan 1 and 2, Bandit Kings of Ancient China, and maybe even Gemfire (okay, maybe not).

I think what’s partly to blame for the addictive nature of Koei games is the “collecting” aspect of them - you really try to collect as many of the great generals as possible in their games, whether it be Liu Bei trying to get all the Tiger Generals (Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, Huang Zhong, and Ma Chao), or Cao Cao trying to get his 5 Dragon Generals (Zhang Liao, Dian Wei, Xu Huang, Zhang He, and Xu Zhu - or was it Xiahou Dun?).

Koei keeps this aspect altered but intact in Dynasty Tactics - in DT, free generals are recruited through “friendships” with other generals. For example, Taishi Ci is friends with Sun Ce, so when I move Sun Ce’s army into the province that Taishi Ci is currently in, the next turn Taishi Ci approaches Sun Ce with an offer to join his army. If a desirable free general is located in a province deep behind enemy lines, it might be necessary to create an Envoy out of one of your generals with a friendship with the one you want to recruit - Envoys act as diplomats and spies, and thus can often move through neutral or enemy territories unhindered. When an Envoy of yours ends its turn in a province with a friendly free general, the next turn that general will approach you with an offer to join.

It’s a simple mechanism, but it works well.

  • Balut

KOEI did try out a FFT style system for Bandit Kings 2, the game mechanics is Ok, but the graphics are unsipiring(save the opening and ending AVI) mad worse with a clunky and even uglier Windows Interface.


The FFT-style of games is actually a very well established and VERY popular genre in Japan/East Asia . Its call a SLG ,or R-SLG in some cases.

They have a very long and sucessful series , “The Legend of XXX”
a SLG based on chars of thier ROTK and Nobugana series.
Legend of Kong Ming (Zhuge Liang)
Legend of Cao Cao
Legend of Nobugana
Legend of Mori
to name a few…

I picked it up this weekend. Great fun!! Thank goodness there are in-battle saves. They can be a bitch and last quite a while. Lots and lots of options for combinations. I think I am ahead of the game and then the A.I. swoops in and decimates me. Still trying to figure out the best use of diplomacy, envoys, etc. Probably should re-read the manual. And yes I did actually read it once already.

No use giving any summary, as I cannot follow balut. Sufficed to say: Daddy likey!

I’ve always wished they would export those Legend games, which I understand are much more RPG than the historical simulations. The website (the Korean and Chinese sites) are full of those games, and they look fantastic! I wish they would send just one or two over here, updated of course! Maybe some success with DT will help convince them ;).

I like the friendship thing. It makes historical sense and adds to the flavor of the game. Taishi Ci is my second favorite general (Guan Yu being first), so sometimes I play Sun Ce just to get him.

How difficult is the game on the higher two settings? I am not a big fan of playing Cao Cao. I always see him as the bad guy. So I would like to be able to skip that level.