Spellforce: Conquest of Eo is like Age of Wonders and Thea made a baby

Yes. But on the other hand: There’s no hurry to anything. Enjoy the little, simple fights a bit. Grind a bit ;) My advice (on top of everything else what was said) would be to focus on leveling up what you have. Especially your apprentice! Don’t rush the main/story quests. It will get you in trouble. It really is a bit of an RPG at the beginning: You are weak, you need to level up (castle, units) before you can really stomp on anything. You have to choose your battles carefully. Yes, that’s a bit slow paced overall.

They are highly resistant to physical damage. White damage works well so an army fully of cheap summoned wisps should do it. Or use the Holy Weapons spell if you have it to turn your unit’s damage to white damage.

Yeah I saw those resistance and thought one of the basic summons would go well. I guess I didn’t really grok how much was the 50% resistance they have. Despite being, you know, an easy number to grok…

edit: they also have good base stats and shields… even with a stack with 6 white damage units, I lost:

But now I should be able to win on a second battle.

Having all ranged units is a tough army composition to win with. A melee unit or two mixed in to tank some damage away from your ranged units would make all the difference. If you ever find a book of demon summoning, or if your mage gets offered that skill on level-up, grab it. It’ll make a huge difference.

Can you do that? Isn’t the Circle mages diplomacy in a ticking clock, with the relations going down with them regularly?

Yes, but…it depends on how many nodes you have taken (I wouldn’t go for a big one early on, big ones certainly mean reputation loss), how fast you level your tower/mastery rank, depends on the mages (some of them being more aggressive) you are against and where they are. Rep loss is also caused by violating their borders and, of course, fighting them.
Rarely you will get quests to even gain reputation. So all in all you can avoid conflict with most/some of them for many rounds.

Unfortunately it’s not easy to find the numbers for reputation loss. (Regular rep loss also depends on your difficulty level. With playing on ‘balanced’ there isn’t that much of a hurry. As long as you are not playing aggressively.)

Sometimes I would get the warning of -5 reputation with them when I hadn’t reached any relevant metric. No new tower levels or nodes, so I thought maybe it was purely time related.
I’m at war with one of them because the fucker trying to make a camp just in my border.

It is, but the clock runs very slowly on Balanced or below. In my first game, Balanced, I was at week 50 before my relations reached cold war with just one Circle Mage. I had avoided taking any action to aggravate them, including not taking the major Allfire node.

Even on Hard, which I have played through twice now, the pace feels leisurely. One can rush, and from what I read, that may be needed to play on Impossible, but I find the game very much supports a cautious, paced approach too.

That’s another thing, right. -5 every week(?) on ‘balanced’. But see above: There’s plenty of time.

What I meant here was that you can influence how fast relations will deteriorate. The weekly -5 is something you can’t do anything about; the other things, that have also fixed numbers, you can partially avoid.

One more thing about the Circle Mages - just b/c they are mad at you doesn’t mean they will pound you ceaselessly with large forces. Once they reach “Cold War” they will begin being annoying - occasionally sending a medium stack against your tower or weak to medium stacks against nodes/lodges (the frequency of this can be varied on setup). Once they reach “War” they send larger stacks more frequently and on occasion will even send a Titan your way. This can be managed by figuring out their likely routes of attack and stationing some troops there.

I would only worry about Circle Mage aggression if you get into War with multiple mages, which takes a while.

So the Circle Mages are a clock which adds time pressure but it’s not as urgent as it first seems. They will eventually become a big threat, but it takes many weeks. (On Balanced.)

The autoresolve AI could be better. I read it had improved in a previous patch, but it’s still not very good, in comparison with a human.

The gave gave me a decisive defeat here (that’s a tier 4 shaper golem-titan), but I beat it without casualties.

In any case, the AI has started throwing titans against me. Well, not only a titan, but a titan + six tier 3 units. While I have mostly tier 1-2 units (and two tier 3 alchemists). I needed three full stacks, each with a hero, to defeat it. So while I have won, I have been so weakened that I think it’s game over. In the time I recover (not only hiring again,but leveling up my troops to the same level), the circle standing will only get worse.

I made a few mistakes in this game. First, I misunderstood a message I had about my tower, I could have flown it time ago, I think I didn’t have to wait for the crystal I thought I needed to gather.
Second, and more important, when the undead Circle dude started with some harassing near territory, I should have held, instead of attacking him. I thought he was going to attack me in a few turns, so it didn’t matter. But I think I could have delayed the hostilities with him a lot more, my attack on him puts us on cold war, that meant he would start to send small parties against me, which started everything, because destroying them meant our relationship got worse and worse, until finally reaching ‘War’ status earlier than it should. Which triggered the Titan.

Yeah, I pissed off a mage early in my first campaign thinking the same thing. Turns out you can in fact bide your time for quite awhile with most of them.

As for the attrition, one thing I’d change about the game is unit recruitment at cities should match up with your current army levels. No one has any use for a level 1 unit in the mid to late campaign.

One of the best things about AoW 4 is that you can recruit heroes at high level (for a price) as the game goes on; really makes them feel worthwhile without the busywork. (Not units, but unit levels are fairly minor in that game.)

As for the Circle mages, my opinion is that as soon as you find them (especially the jerkface ones) you should start planning to assemble and send a grade-A stack to take them out with minimal delay. Never mind the maneuvers, just go straight at them.

Interesting, just go bumrush them before they start to spawn strong armies? What force do you need for that? I don’t know how hard it’s to defeat one of them, I never tried it on my game.

In any case I have started a Necromancer game now.

My necromancer strategy:

  1. Find a way to get tier 2 souls. (Soul trap + kill T2 units)
  2. Make plaguebearers.
  3. Find a way to get tier 3 souls (bonepiles can work, or soul trap + kill T3 units)
  4. Make “good” T3 units (don’t be afraid to use up your crafting stuff, having good units opens up easy access to much better crafting stuff anyway)
  6. Except stuff that does white damage. Use non undead units for that.

I found I could generate full “good” T3 stacks much quicker as necro. Yes the mana upkeep cost is steep, but I had a full T3 stack so I could get allfire sources and roll over the circle mages if they tried to give me grief.

I am still really enjoying this. I am up to week 52 of my first ever game still and just need to wipe out the last two circle mages to win.

I have my Lore Grimm main guy and 4 of my 5 apprentices all fully leveled up with level 15 armies and most of the map conquered so time to finally wipe out the last two. I started with a lower setting and made sure the game advanced slowly (enemy circle mages very slowly get mad at you) and it has been perfect for a first game. It still offered plenty of resistance for me as a first time player and a very fair difficulty curve throughout the game.

I am debating another game to try a different class and different apprentices. I also made some huge early mistakes like not realizing I could build tower rooms and not realizing each apprentice can build their own lodge. That last one took me until week 25 or so to realize! I remember reading that doing the first main story Allfire node may get the enemy mages really mad at you so I delayed going for that for a long time. However, I underestimated grabbing all the other nodes around the map and I was really slow to get my magic and research up and going.

I did manage to get most of the golem types, and those are super fun, along with the Lightbringer and Forgemaster uniques. Time to finish up this one. I am really glad I gave this game a chance as it really is a gem. I love that I can go into a battle and not truly know what will happen nor the outcome most times. Positioning and use of skills and consumables really can turn the tide in a battle, and by a great deal. I really love a highly leveled alchemist unit and all the debuffs they can get. It seems each of my armies is different enough that I have to adapt to new strategies each time, and also with each group of enemy depending on where you are on the map. Probably my game of the year so far.

It’s mine for sure. AoW4 hasn’t changed that any. It’s really an innovative, winning formula that they put together.

It’s such a shame that it looks like the publisher will not be supporting any further DLC or enhancements to the game. It was made made on the cheap and had pretty much zero marketing. I know there was a lot of other stuff the developer wanted to do to add on and improve the game going forward but, sadly, I don’t think it will happen now. It just didn’t sell enough, apparently. That’s on the publisher, imo. It doesn’t change the fact that this game has a winning formula.

I wish a strategy publisher like Hooded Horse or Paradox would pick up the Owned by Gravity developer and give them the resources they need to do their vision of this kind of hybrid RPG/4X the way they want to do it. Can you imagine this kind of game with random maps, more heroes/apprentices and some of the game customization features that AoW4 has? I’m also hoping other developers realize just how cool this game is and steal ideas from it shamelessly.

Same. I’m not aware of anything coming out the remaining of the year that’s likely to impress me as much as this did. It was a joy to play.

There’s a spark of creativity in it that brought something fresh to the genre w/ just enough crunch in the combat that I happily played them out.

This is the sort of gaming experience I only ever get about once every 2 or 3 years.

I couldn’t play the last two days, but I just played 90 minutes now, and my Necro game is going well.

You could argue I’m doing it better because I have more experience as a player but… actually, I think it’s the RNG? The way I’m playing isn’t varying so much.
Well, I don’t know how the map (which is fixed) varies in different runs,if it varies. But I’m having some differences.

Of course a difference could be that the Necromancer is stronger than the Alchemist, but the other difference in this run is that I started on the second possible location (which ironically, it’s in theory harder than the first one).

But what I wanted to comment is:
-I found 3 mana nodes, the three easily accessible somewhat nearby my initial location. In my previous game I only had 1 easily accesible node, and a second one in the gated off undead area which was further away and much harder to obtain.
-Very close to my initial position there was a dwarf city with lots of moneys, and two other rich resources. The three of them can be captured with a normal apprentice thingie (the cottage?).
-I’m on week 8, and I still haven’t found any of the Circle mages. On my previous game, I found two of them fairly soon while exploring, and one of them started screwing with me pretty quickly.

I’m pretty sure that with these three things this game will go much smoother.

Now, do you know what game I suddenly remembered while playing this?
Conquest of Elysium. As much as I like Dominions, and I wanted to like CoE, it’s a game that I feel have an inner conflict and doesn’t know what to be, as it is split in between being a roguelike experience managing a few armies and heroes and exploring the world while fighting cool monsters, and a 4x strategy game where the framework of the experience is different factions expanding their territory, taking resources to produce units to defeat the other factions.
This Spellforce is what CoE should be, a game more focused on exploring with your quirky leaders, gathering some resources, doing quests, getting loot, fighting, doing cool magical rituals and having only a limited “building/expansion/conquering” functionality, as I feel that’s the weakest part of CoE (bad strategic AI, whack-a-mole territory harassing, slow map movement & recruitment).

Surprisingly mine too…as this game wasn’t even on my radar a few weeks ago.

My favorite strategy games of all time, that have never been off my computer even this newer gaming laptop…HoMM 2-4 and Age of Wonders 1 and Shadow Magic.
So when I was reading the posts here and other places where someone said that CoE looked more like the AoW of old than the new AoW looks like the old AoW, I knew I had to give it a try.

And its been keeping me up too late these last few nights, that hasn’t happened in quite awhile…
I hope that’s not for sure that they are giving up on this game, I was listening to a podcast with the lead developer of CoE and he has so many good ideas to bring in the form of DLC, it would be a shame to end it here.