Legends of Eisenwald is an original mix of RPG and strategy, with tactical turn based battles and a simple economic model. Rich possibilities of gameplay mechanics allow a player to feel being a hero of different stories ranging from treasure hunt to fighting for the throne.
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Sometimes we hear questions from players why a hero doesn’t lead huge armies but rather separate units. Well, usually a medieval knight-errant didn’t have under his command armies of hundreds or thousands of people. In historical novels we see descriptions where a rich and pompous knight leaves his castle with: four beautiful and strong war horses that are led by two stablemen, three knights with fourteen horses, a chaplain, forager, smith, armourer, baggage animals, and a string of carts with gifts. Usually everything was a bit humbler and almost all the time it depended on well-being of knight-errant.
“Legends of Eisenwald” is role playing game above all; it is a simulator of knight-errant who pursued adventures that are later reflected in stories and epic poems. His troops is not just faceless army headed by a general, it’s team of mercenaries and adventurers who like to be in the company of a man of high principle (and with some gold). Taking this into consideration, it’s best to provide more details on the role playing aspect and highlight it.
You can equip any soldier in your army, give to him or her good weapon and opportunity to upgrade: a hunter who became crossbowman sergeant, herbalist who soared to the heights of an enchantress. Individual traits of a hero allow you to carefully use choice ability because this or that skill affect not only combat behaviour but also global map behavior. For enhancing individualization effect, we decided to customize all possible knight’s comrades-in-arms: give names to them, a bit different traits and even nicknames for special characters. We hope that we will be able to implement these algorithms up to release.
Combat is very important but this is not a main gaming key element so that is why we have created system that made combat fun and swift. In addition, it seems that we solved movement problem in a very elegant manner. First, we removed ability to move without action. This limitation made combat not only faster but also added new tactical decisions.
Player’s unit had to attack enemies, which are close to him. Locked in combat unit cannot leave it and go to another target before enemies near him won’t be defeated. It’s necessary to take into consideration when you want to lock enemy character or bring yours to help. You can say that our combat system is “back to ancient board games” with their’s harsh rules and unforgiving game mechanic.
Eventually, initial placing of your troops is one of the key factor of any battle. Sometimes it worth to sacrifice a peasant and block a way to a powerful enemy to save time and wait for primary attackers. But the enemy uses the same rules and can do the same with your troops.
First, player always faces positioning. Player can use up to 12 slot for his characters. One slot is for your hero (according to the class) and others for mercenaries and adventures who you can find into villages, cities, castles and other places. Use first line for heavy melee fighters who won’t act not only as your main attacking power but also to prevent enemies from getting into back ranges. The second line (four slots) usually used by archers or infantry. And you definitely should fill third range by support class: priests, herbalists.
Sometimes it’s good to experiment. If the majority of your troops uses close combat weapons and the only support unit is cute herbalist girl you can try to defend her by putting infantry into slots that will create additional sword wall on the way to her. It’s not the best tactic because it will force you to act one-sided while even level-uped healer won’t be able to effectively help to save pack of guys from enemy sword, arrow and magic damage, but is there any other way?
The main task of any leader is to draw out troops who entrusted their lives to him with least possible casualties. In case if your knight was so lucky that characters survive and get experience, you should think about treatment eventually. You can heal some damage just in the battle process if you can use healers (if battle is not finished yet). In case if your fellows in arms received some minor wounds soon they will go away itself, you just have to wait or continue your travel. If wounds are serious you should go to monastery, city or castle (treatment in the castle is cheaper) and you can keep folk medicine (bottles with potions) about yourself.
Those who has already tried “Legends of Eisenwald” probably noticed that combat system doesn’t work properly yet. You don’t see event log in the battle, sometimes it’s impossible to understand whom archer is shooting at, some players face another troubles. Arrows and strike animation, special effects and event log will be added when they will be all ready. And wait for significant combat system changes — bosses will surprise you, we are working hard to change their behavior mechanic.
In the next entry we’ll tell you about the current state of castle sieges and what we want to change about them in future.