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

That could still all change. I got it on Epic recently because of the Coupon and the discount. Hopefully that will push it too the top.

I skipped over the thread for the first two months because I only remembered the Spellforce name as a mediocre rts/rpg mix which isn’t good at any of the two imo, and I haven’t played Thea so mentioning it in the title didn’t entice me either.

That is tough reputation to overcome, but you should consider looking at Spellforce 3 some time. The two DLC have compelling stories, and I do enjoy the unique base building system.

Thankful, both DLC are standalone.

I agree, I bought Spellforce 3 when it first came out but it was a buggy mess then though it had some very interesting features and for me an interesting campaign.

They updated the game with Spellforce 3 Reforced which was free to anyone who owned the game…just booted up the update the other day and having lots of fun with it.

I had some Spellforce games in my library from GOG but have never played them. Picked this up on the Epic sale and decided to give it a whirl. Have to say, I’m enjoying it but I truly suck at it. I missed some key features somehow, early on, like dropping Hero lodges and how to gain gold/mana income and I started struggling. I’ve been attempting to haul myself out of a gold hole for a very long time, selling off my inventory to keep myself afloat and my tower enhancements have stagnated.

It didn’t help when my main army stack got wiped out in a battle, either. Turns out I also missed what glyphs were for and hadn’t noticed that I could apply them, and other items/trinkets, to units and heroes. I was creating the glyphs but got so distracted doing sidequests I didn’t look up what they were for until hours into my first game.

Well, it’s a harder way to learn the lessons but despite that I can see the game’s value and will likely play it for a while, getting my money’s worth for sure. I’d restart this terrible first attempt if I didn’t like taking the punishment for not paying attention to whatever tutorial told me what I should do. It’ll be fun just seeing if I can recover.

Haha…just the way I started out, ignore all the tutorials and get totally destroyed, then regroup and start again paying close attention to everything they tell me…

I also somehow lost the thread of my main objective. There doesn’t seem to be a quest log of sorts to tell me what to do so I’m guiding myself by markers on the map. But what’s my goal here?

Your actual main quest objectives, the thing that leads to victory, should be tracked in the first page of your spellbook. Once you’ve gotten far enough down that road it’ll open up into several different victory conditions but you only need to complete two of them(or is it three?).

People have been upset about the lack of quest log from the start, but really the thing to do is just go to the quest locations that your stacks happen to be near. You’ll always have tons of active quests and won’t ever finish all of them.

No shame in selling from your inventory, even when I felt like I knew the game well this was often necessary. Income can fluctuate a lot as areas can start out very lucrative and then deplete, only to move your lodge to a new lucrative area. There are tower rooms that can help a lot with gold generation, and also increasing lodge radius when that upgrade comes up. I think it’s the second Earthmaster page that has the Dwarven Vault(?) so keep an eye out for that. Since it sounds like you’re playing the Artificer there is also a rune you can craft gets rid of upkeep for the unit it’s slotted onto. If you’re using higher tier units that’s a good way to free up some money.

Thanks for that info, it’s helpful to redirect some energy knowing what I should focus on.

I’ve had the lodge upgrade and did have one to remove upkeep for a unit. I think my problem was hiring too many units early on and over-extended myself. I also have one dwarven vault, the last thing I built before the struggle really started.

I’m running with three 6-unit armies now, each with a hero. I move so little each turn that it takes a while to get anywhere.

There are runes that can help with that! Greater runes of pathfinding (sky iron + green and blue) and mountain goat (sky iron + green and orange) can help a lot. Also greater rune of undead officer something (sky iron + blue blue purple? or is it blue purple purple? - one of those). And a big one, corrupted rune of pathfinding (corrupted adamantium + green and blue) - that one gives every OTHER unit in the stack +3 movement - so put it on a fast unit and watch your whole stack zoom.

Also, spells. Water walking (Guardian 3), wind walking (Enchantment 3 or 4), pathfinding (Nature 1? or 2?), are all good.

Man, that tip you gave about the main objective, @abrandt, has saved this game. The thing on that page was ‘levitate your tower’ and I was like ‘no, why would I want to do that? What a waste of mana!’ Turns out, you have to do that or you don’t move the main quest even a smidge. Now I’ve suddenly jumped a bunch of steps in there because I had already accomplished the next goals. Room extensions! Yay!

Seriously, this game needs a bit more for pointers.

Thanks, @Sharpe, I’ll keep an eye on creating some of those glyphs. I’ve been selling off so much inventory, I probably missed out on being able to glyph up, not to mention that I didn’t even realize where to apply glyphs for a while.

Speaking of pointers, though, I looked at the ‘help’ for some info on resources but couldn’t find any. I’m looking for a key that will decipher the resource icons under the nodes. Most seem obvious, but I don’t yet know what the shield one means.

That one is one of the best ones in the game: it means every turn you get one rep with the town matching the shield’s heraldry. Usually they are at inns and inns typically give 1 gold and 2 rep per turn - that can be HUGE for getting in good with towns. (I’ve seen a few inns that were 2 gold and 2 rep.)

The little quill thing is magic proficiency, the little dude icon is recruitment bonus of some stripe (can be units or faster recruitment - read the text for the location). Most of the others match ones you’ve seen: gold, research, mana.

Very good, I think I’m getting the hang of this now. Thanks.

Are you supposed to attack the circle mages hogging up the bridges and stopping you from moving into other territories? For some reason they are super happy, but getting angrier as I get more powerful, so I assume I’m supposed to wipe them out at some point.

I think it’s clear that my biggest gripe about the game is that it’s not terribly intuitive and expects you to know things with very limited info. It’s a good thing I still enjoy it!

Wiping them out is not really required (it’s one of 6 or 7 victory conditions and you only need 3), but I’ve reached the point where I always make myself do it for a “true” victory.

In terms of whether you should be afraid to attack their bridge-blocking stacks, the answer is generally “go for it!”, with some caveats. The Circle mages are on a 200 point relationship scale, like the towns and they go to Cold War around 120 IIRC. You tend to start about 20 or 30 points to the good and get attrition over time. There are a few events/quests which can give +10 or +20 with a Circle Mage, depending on who it is. Attacking a Circle Mage stack loses you (2 points on Explorer, 4 points on Balanced) and you suffer the same loss for violating their border. So a few violations won’t matter much - even on Balanced you have some cushion.

To avoid getting into a war with the Circle Mages you want to avoid repeatedly attacking them, repeatedly violating their borders, or attacking their towers.

Once they get to Cold War, don’t panic. They will gradually become aggro towards you but it is slow and they won’t necessarily go all crazed right away. It does tend to create a downhill spiral as once they do aggro on you, you either start losing nodes/lodges or you kill their stacks, which reduces relations further. But again, it is gradual.

TLDR answer: it’s OK to blow through a single bridge block or two, if you have the cushion with the Circle Mage to afford it. Attacking a single stack of theirs does not lead immediately to “THIS MEANS WAR!!” (unless you are way low on the relation meter to begin with like around 50 or less).

Agree with @Sharpe. My additional bit of advice is that once you get to Cold War, things start to accelerate (downhill). You’ve still got a buffer, but my rule of thumb is that that’s the time (or maybe when they’re below 100) to start assembling a stack to beeline to their capital and take them out. This includes figuring out what resistances and enchantments you need, where it is, etc. I think others may disagree here, so YMMV. I just find it a huge pain when they start sending stacks at you–it’s hard to do anything else as you’ve got to devote at least a stack or two to fighting them off, full-time.

Oh, ugh. Yes, I’m definitely going to feel the pain if they start sending stacks my way. Well, time to get to the point where I can see the victory conditions so I can beeline it.

For me, taking out the circle mages is more about stopping them from annoying me, rather than chasing victory conditions specifically.

Wow, I feel dumb now. I saw the 7 victory conditions and when I was still 5/7 or 6/7, I thought I had to finish them all and get to 7/7 to win. I guess I did a thorough job my first game!

When I was ready to take the fight to a circle mage, I would normally try to position a few of my armies near their stacks and then hit them all at once for the extra loot and xp. I agree, though, that once you start to really anger them, take out their tower as soon as you can or it can be quite a pain to keep track of all of their armies causing trouble. My first few times I kept taking out the wrong towers, and didn’t realize what the main one was and how to identify it, but at least I was slowly reducing their influence and eventually found them.

Decided to get this instead of AoW 4 because of all you guys and am loving it so far!

My first game is on balanced with Gillyshire as starting location, because I wanted to see if this game pushes back (too many 4x games don’t). Like @TurinTur my relationship with one of the circle mages escalated to war quickly, and a Titan stack came to attack me by week 16. Fortunately, I managed to summon a fire Golem just in time! A paladin was my only other T3 unit, but I found a way to prevail, losing only one unit. I am in week 34 or so now, with two circle mages defeated.

Some observations:

The glyph crafting gets annoying quickly. There should be an automatic way to match your stock of ingredients with your known recipes. Even with all the filters, finding the optimal combination of ingredients for a given recipe takes way too long!

I am fighting way too many battles because the autoresolve is so poor. It often gives me decisive losses where I don’t lose a single unit fighting manually…

The corrupted glyph of pathfinding (+3 speed to all other stack members) is ridiculously powerful. I have 3-4 of these bad boys in each of my main stacks. As speed affects both strategic movement AND within combat movement, my units can move 8-11 tiles with one action. Makes flanking and everything very easy!

The second wind enchantment (revives a unit within combat) is very strong, as units resurrect with full health. So you can use it with fantastic units (that don’t regenerate easily). It effectively increases your stack size way beyond what your opponent has…

The cleanse debuff skill is crazy good because it is a free (!) action limited only by available mana. My apprentice and my paladin have it and I use it excessively!

My lvl 15 alchemist blows away undead stacks in no time. White bombs are excellent.👌

At this point, wrapping up my game feels like a bit of a chore. All my fights are easy when fighting manually, but the autoresolve will lose all my units. Defeating the first circle mage was hard, defeating the second one was easy and the third one (the undead guy) will also be easy because I have lots and lots of white damage and enchantments specifically targeting undead. Are there any end game events that I can look forward to that up the difficulty?

Anyway, great game and definitely a breath of fresh air in this genre!

Glad to hear you’re enjoying the game. Remember to check your circle mage tasks and if you’ve completed the required number (you don’t have to complete all of them), you can go ahead and move on to the final task to end the game. You don’t have to kill all the circle mages unless you just want to.