Wizards and Warlords: procedurally generated fantasy war game

Wizards and Warlords is an indie turn-based strategy game, where you play in a randomly generated fantasy world, filled with rival wizards and warlords. It is published by Valravn Games and the developer is dedicated to realizing the potential of this complex game through regular patches and updates and interaction with the players. I first learned of this through a now outdated series from DasTactic and I’ve been playing this since release and would say it is a complete game but still a work in progress. Despite the fact that the developer admits that not all the systems and features are complete yet, and improved documentation/more intuitive UI are needed, I would recommend folks give it a try. This game is not in Early Access, though it is not finished.

You start by choosing to play as a Wizard or a Warlord with loads of customization options. And you start with an initial province and a base (Wizard Tower if you play as a Wizard), Over time you will upgrade your base in order to summon or recruit better troops, gain more powerful magic, acquire more resources and stuff. You will also need to fully search the province to find places of interest, like dungeons for your followers to explore and plunder (or die trying).

Eventually you will explore other provinces and annex them and meet other wizards and warlords. You do this through followers (heroes). The sheer variety of things you can do with them make for interesting tradeoffs. They can search other provinces, train your workers, serve in various offices, lead dungeon expeditions, become generals of your armies, petition for offices such as Advisor or Spymaster, level up and acquire unique items. Follows have their own professions and traits, and represent different races, and some don’t get on well with others making for more interesting choices of which ones to partner when leading armies or dungeoneering. Heroes also interact with the site where they are stationed. If you build a library in your wizards tower and station a mage follower there, the mage will gain xp faster.

Your workers also represent various races and have initial skills that can be further developed through training or can acquire new skills. They are necessary for creating the farms, logging camps, mines, etc. and then they will work those sites. Managing them and upgrading them is a minigame unto itself. Assigning a follower with the appropriate skill, say a Prospector to a jade mine, will produce additional jade that can be sold in the marketplace, or consumed in the creation of Jade Golems.

There is a research tree of sorts, where you can research new Masteries, begin new projects to acquire more powerful spells, and a Lore section with 10 levels for each area of lore.

There are a lot of resources, gold and mana being the two primaries, the rest can be produced at sites or looted from dungeons or purchased through the market or traded with other NPCs. Some of those can be sold off for gold, some you will need to keep a stockpile on hand to create outposts and upgrade them into fortifications or cities, or to accomplish other goals. Most of this you will learn by trial and error, but the marketplace is there if you sold off a bunch of ichor and later learn you should have hung onto it because reasons.

I think that if you like a game like Deity Empires that you would enjoy Wizards and Warlords, especially if you can tolerate the quirks and have the patience to untangle a slightly messy UI. The developer is responsive as I said, and humble when called out on some of the nuttier Rube Goldberg ways he has coded things.

Available on Steam

Bought this ages ago but I was waiting for more patches before I would dive in, since at the time people reported some balance and stability issues. Is now a good time?

I think so. I have not encountered any crashes or stability issues.

Like you I have waited to return to this, but with my disappointment at the too soon release of Distant Worlds 2 I thought why not return to this and I have been pleasantly surprised at how far along the game has come.

Warning, while there is a basic tutorial there is no manual. The guides on Steam are helpful.

I will say that there are times when I think that there is a feature lacking but if I dig a bit I figure out what I was missing. But many things could be more intuitive.

For instance, once you have cleared a province of active monster lairs, you can build an outpost if you have the gold and lumber and necessary workers. Once the outpost is complete, you can upgrade it to a fort or a settlement. A settlement costs 2000 food, but you can’t stockpile that much food beyond your limited capacity early in the game. And you can’t buy that much food from the market. WTF, right?!

Except, there is a “Buy Missing Resources” toggle when you click on the upgrade outpost button that I initially missed and the food will be bought and spent immediately (provided you have the gold) without the food cap being a problem. Things like that need to be presented more clearly without having to search the Steam forums.

Hopefully this thread will help us learn together as I think this game is worth the effort.

I really like the idea of this game, but last time I played, which has probably been 6 months or so, the AI was just brain dead and seemed completely unable to compete. I had fun building up and conquering territories, but when I actually started fighting the other Wizards/Warlords it all kind of fell apart as they were totally ineffective at best. There are a lot of cool elements to the game, but like a lot of other interesting releases lately it seems like the AI just can’t play the game (Looking at you Shadow Empire, DW2). If this has changed please let me know, as I would love to see this game succeed, it feels like a labor of love and has many cool ideas.

there is no game where these three things are true:

-the AI and the human play the same game
-the human understands all the rules
-the AI is good
fades into the ether

People’s experiences with Caster of Magic for Windows suggest this is not necessarily true.

They don’t seem to make a great job at selling their own game, looking at their Steam page.
So, what’s the ‘thing’ with this game? What is their highlight? selling point?

Very detailed simulated combat?
Great variety of gameplay?
Very sophisticated world generation?
great AI? (it doesn’t seem to be the case)

While all this may be true, I am only at turn 125 and this is a long game, so I don’t have the experience to agree with or refute any of this. I’ve only encountered one rival Wizard, they spawned in the province adjacent to mine and within the first 10 turns they laid siege to my wizard tower. It took me around 30 turns to conquer them. Since then I have not encountered the other three rivals so I can’t speak to what they are up to.

What I do know is that the developer has released 17 patches or updates since June 2021.

I was just thinking about creating a thread for this game so I’m glad someone beat me to it.

This is one of those single developer games. The developer is constantly and almost fanatically working to improve his game and has been rolling out a massive number of constant updates to that end. There’s new functionality being added in addition to fixes of various types. He’s great at listening to player feedback and implementing suggestions. I had a few suggestions about a month ago and he’s implemented them already.

The game is still a work in progress to some degree. For example, the game used to not have tactical battles but he has added a new tactical battle map option for those that want to use it instead of auto-resolving battles. It’s still a work in progress and fairly bare bones at this time.

This game is quite fun but it does have a learning curve. I recommend watching a let’s play and then go though the beginning tutorial if you’re interested.

I was just going to pipe up with this.

And Remnants of the Precursors will give you a challenge.

So I would say both of these have an AI that is good enough.

materializes from invisibility
“Giving you a challenge” was not what I meant by “good AI” and not what I thought most people meant but by that standard, yes, many games give you a challenge

I meant “plays by the same rules as a human, and in a human-like way, and stands a chance when the human knows the rules, which are not obfuscated to the human for the benefit of the AI”

Then perhaps reappear and explain what you mean.

When most people talk about “good AI” in a strategy game, they’re mostly meaning “good enough that I don’t feel it’s cheating (even though it probably is) seems to play by the same rules as me, and can sometimes surprise me, but also not unfairly overwhelm me unless I’m playing like a complete knob.”

Which is why I asked because the AI in RTOP fits that description in my view. Plays by sames rules and is quite competent at it.

Thanks for the thread, Orald. Sadly, I have two red lines that have been crossed:

Anyone who creates a game without also creating an onboarding experiencing might as well have never created a game.

There are so many games with decent AI these days, not to mention plenty with good AI.

Basically, life is too short for Wizards and Warlords. :(


There actually is a basic tutorial.

Well, again, people’s reports of the CoMfW AI are just this.

Cool! My understanding of Master of Magic (before Caster of Magic) is that nobody really understands the rules (“nobody” meaning everyone outside an elite handful of nerds – 99.9% of players) and that it’s basically a 4x box of toys. I was under the impression that Caster of Magic made things more, not less, complicated. But perhaps I was wrong.

I stand corrected and will edit the above.

It’s good that they have a tutorial, but is the idea that once you’ve played the tutorial, you’ll remember all the rules you need to remember? Is the game that simple? What do you do if you want to look something up?