Warlords IV Impressions. :D

I just bought it today and played my first random map. Large size with one measly opponent, few cities. Five hours later I finished with a win. Those five hours flew by! I like it a lot better than the demo. The more I played it the more I see that it really is a direct descendant to the earlier games and that’s a good thing. The battle system works out much better than I expected.

Making stacks of combined arms is important. You need an archer, a siege engine or two to take out towers (or rock throwing giants!), a healer, some tanks and a hero. Part of the strategy is putting the hero in near the end so he can get the most experience… without getting him/her killed.

I haven’t started the campaign yet, since I want to build up a Warlord and a retinue of heroes. I saved two level 6 heroes and level 6 Dragon after the first map I played. My warlord is an Elf ranger with nature magic. The campaign is 30 missions with 10 required and the rest optional.

Oh yeah, spells are researched and can be cast overland to give bonuses or in combat for healing, buffs or more damage. All in all, looks like lots of playtime here in contrast to 10 hour shooters!

Hi Midnight. How was the AI? Did the AI ever attack your cities? The problem I had in the demo was the AI never attacked my cities even though it had an overwhelming superiority of forces (on the medium AI level, whatever that’s called) What AI level did you play at?

I played at the lowest level just to get my feet wet. The AI did indeed attack my cities and stacks at that level. Of course, I whooped up on it pretty bad since it’s the bottom. Next game, I jump up to the next one.

The Lord AI is BRUTAL. Very aggressive, clusters large amounts of well-designed stacks, and keeps the pressure high. In my most recent campaign map to conquer the undead, I had to raze all the cities between me and him just to keep him at least a turn away; he was consistently matching my stacks with counters and knocking at the weak points in my first line of cities. Tough. I consider myself pretty damn good against the AI in Warlords title, having played more hours of Warlords 2 and 3 DLR than I can count, but Warlords 4 on Lord is making me really work for my victories (and suffer a few losses).

Only complaint with the high-level AI is how quickly it cleans out dungeons. It probably scores 75% of the loot before I had a chance, and now I’m having to rely on quests to shore up my production with troops and gear. Actually, it’s not such a bad thing overall – it makes me work quests into my build and attack strategies – but MAN I LIKE TO SCORE THE LOOT MYSELF.

I got the game too, despite not liking the demo. I like the full better so far, that is for sure. Not sure what kind of legs it will have for me though, as I tend to have a short attention span.

I am playing a campaign on prince and the AI definitely attacks. It also makes good stacks. It seems to Raze a lot.

It sure does take forever to think though, damn. I dont have the fastest machine around, but it trounces the minimum and recommended specs (its an XP2700+ with 1gig). The first campaign map I played, the AI is coded to just sit holed up in one city. Well, its turn still takes a few seconds to resolve. In this particular scenario, the AI doesnt move units at all and only has one city to manage. It seems to me its turn should be near instantaneous in that kind of situation. The second campaign map has me fighting two expansionist enemies, and by turn 20 or so their combined turns take almost 20 seconds. I can only imagine its going to get worse.

So far no bugs, but I havent played it a lot and I am not sure how many rules bugs I would catch. The combat doesnt give you much feedback aside from how much damage you do and what special abilities are going off. I wish you could break it down more.

I think it needs some tweaking though. Some powers seem way badass while others flat out suck. Multi Attack is incredible, for example. Obviously overpowered if you ask me. Crushing Blow is another that is very good. Bless on the other hand seems very weak, it just doesnt go off enough. Siege seems very weak to me also. The spells are cool, and very diverse. So much so that I would bet there are some very overpowered ones, but I havent played with magic much. I can say that the summoned units my Templar has access to are very powerful, but mana regenerates slowly so

olaf

I like the full game better than the demo. There is much more depth, and the complexity of the many races, monsters, abilities, and spells complements the simplistic combat system.

I started playing a campaign at Prince level. Even at this level the AI is pretty good, and will aggressively exploit obvious weakness like leaving a city lightly defended. Somehow the AI seems to come up with a lot of high level heroes, not sure if it is lucky, deliberately emphasizing them, or cheating offhand, as I’ve only played two campaign scenarios so far.

It’s not cheating; I get a lot events for random heroes, too. The higher level AIs do seem to have a big chunk of starting gold, though, to buy those high-level heroes.

Just finished my first random game at the Prince level. Another 4 hours! I’m lovin’ it! My first Warlord is up to level 3 and I have 3 heroes in my retinue of levels 9, 10 and 11. Next, I play against two or more opponents. Haven’t touched the campaign yet. Might try a Dark Elf Warlord…