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Thread: This iS A-R-D-A-N-I-A! - A Warlock: Master of the Arcane AAR

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    This iS A-R-D-A-N-I-A! - A Warlock: Master of the Arcane AAR




    Hello and welcome. I have been asked to write a brief AAR of a game of Warlock: Master of the Arcane. My aim therefore will be to provide a taster of gameplay for those you of who have or haven't tried the demo or may just be interested to see if the game has anything to offer.




    This AAR will be purely in the style of retold gameplay. Where I can I will note my thoughts at the time or decisions taken in terms of strategy and tactics used and why. To allow some idea of how the action unfolds. I hope to add some humour to the exposition, but as I have been told my humour is pretty weird, probably not so much.

    Here is a little info about myself:
    Name: 2Coats
    Title: Warlock novice
    Race: Er... divine god wannabe
    Age: A little older than the rogues. A little younger than the Old Trolls. Much, much younger than the elves and dwarves.
    Current experience: 200+ beta hours. (I'm not revealing the exact number, lest I get into trouble.
    Designs, aims, goals: Total world conquest. Failing that casting the Unity spell, destroying a gods avatar or just having fun.







    For this game I have the following configuration options set:
    Difficultly: Impossible, no softies here. CHECK!
    World Type: Continent. CHECK!
    World Size: Normal, so not to big and not to small. Just right, at least for the AAR. CHECK!
    World Type: Cylindrical. For some reason the other settings mess with my skeleton's GPS. Just kidding. CHECK!
    Additional Worlds: Three. As I want to show a few of these lovely vacation spots off. CHECK!
    Rival Great Mages: Four. Well I have to be able to fight someone. It would be boring otherwise. CHECK!

    Note: that the final two settings are dependent on the World Type and World Size options set.



    Now its time to ready my leader. I select King Lich the V. His base set-up to use undead units and buildings. This is gonna be somewhat fun and scary, as most of my game time has been split between human and monster factions. Immediately I customise his perks & spells. I remove both spells and add the Mana Vault perk. As I am playing the undead I want to maximise my starting pool of this resource. Gold is vital to, but if need be I will balance income of this resource with cities built to generate gold.

    So now were set. Feel free to chip in advice or comments. It's all welcome.

    Lets unleash the undead hordes....

    Last edited by 2Coats; 05-05-2012 at 12:55.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  2. #2
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Turn 1

    As we can see from the above picture we start with one city, Mistcastle - out capitol. If we lose this city to an enemy army we will homeless. Actually worse than that, we will be defeated and our game over. Luckily though we have two units already nearby to guard this precious site. We have 1x Skeleton Warriors and 1x Skeleton Archers. Not so great. But it's something. Without wasting any more time I move the cursor over to the first Alert, which can be found over the mini-map in the bottom right corner.





    It reminds us that we have an open slot to research a new spell. Clicking on it opens up the spell research panel which shows us five candidates to choose from. We have (from top going clockwise) Harvest Blessing a city buff spell which increases food production in the targeted city. This will take 8 turns to learn. We have Lesser Fireball, a basic attack spell that can be learned in three turns. The others are Melee Resistance a unit defensive buff, Frost Weapon a unit attack buff and Elemental Resistance another unit defensive buff.


    I choose the Lesser Fireball Spell as my feeble skeletons will need some offensive help during combat. I would have chosen the Harvest Blessing, but as food isn't that important to undead cities, I will wait to see if I have any human or monster cities later in the game. Then I may decide to research it.


    I click on the next alert, which informs me I can construct a building in my only city. There are six building types to choose from. Bat Fort brings in a little income, allows the creation of some additional units, but best of all provide additional ranged defences to the city it is built near. The farm is not so useful now as it provides food resources and that is not my priority. Nor is the Smithy which provides unit upgrade (perks) which I don't really need at the moment. First lets build up our army.





    The harbour could be useful, as it allows land based units to travel across the oceans. So is the Craftsman's District as it will give us an extra +3 gold per turn. In the end, as my mana is the resource with the lowest income per turn, I choose to build this. It will provide us with +4 mana per turn and also is the pre-requisite for the Mana Vault building. Which will give us +50% mana per turn and the ability to build the Crypt, which will give us access to zombies and other units.





    While I am here I decide to build a few units. Unlike buildings which are free to build, but cost in upkeep, units require both. Though for the most part the cost is much lower. I order the recruitment of 1x skeleton warriors and 1x skeleton archers. I could order more units but I want to keep some gold in the kingdom coffers.





    Next I go back and look at the alerts I still have to sort through. The next one is an Alert for active units ready to be moved or sent into combat. Clicking on it selects the first unit the Skeleton Warriors and move the skeleton to the west to scout through the fog of war (clouds in that area).





    It spots another band of warriors belonging to an unaligned city. This city becomes my next objective. All decisions from now will be to take this city into our domain. With this in mind click on the alert button again, which sends me to my other unit, the archers. Immediately I send these to take up position on the hill next to my warriors. A little more of the enemy unit reveals them to be rogues. So we can deduce that the city will be of the human type.





    If I can capture it, I will be able to make the fast walking rogues excellent scouts, hardy warriors great defenders and rangers, better missile units. When the correct buildings are in place of course. Unfortunately my warriors could not get close enough to attack this round. My archers did get close enough, but ran out of action points.

    With nothing left to do, I check the other alerts. The last one informs us of any new unit types that can be built across the empire. In this case the skeleton warriors, which I have already queued. This triggers one when a completely new unit is available to build for the very first time. I click okay and hit the end of turn button (or the enter key).





    Now it is the turn of the A.I controlled factions.



    Last edited by 2Coats; 04-05-2012 at 15:25.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  3. #3
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    AI's turn 1

    Immediately each of my competitors takes their turn. Yet as I have not managed to explore enough of the map yet, I cannot see what they are up to. Eventually though it is the turn of all and any unaligned factions.





    Without so much as a by-your-leave, a band of enemy rogues charges towards my skeleton archers and proceeds to hack it to death. A hefty dose of damage is done to the archers. Though in fairness the archers give back almost as good as they get.





    However the A.I isn't done, sending a group of tough warriors to attempt to annihilate what's left of my archers. It does a good job to. Luckily though skeletons have a decent defence against melee. The unit remains, but barely. It must however, retreat to hex to its rear. The warriors are able to advance and secure the hex previously occupied by the archers.

    Turn 2





    Aaarrrghh! If only my skeleton's were Spartans. We could hold the pass and annihilate all that came before us! As it is, I select my skeleton warriors and look to see what sort of damage they would be able to confer on the warriors. I select the unit and move the cursor of the hex with our enemy. The battle readout does not make good reading. We (the attacker) would likely cause 4 points of damage against the unit. While the warriors on the hill terrain would retaliate for 13 points.

    There can be only one thing for it. RETREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Time to give some cover to my retreating troops. I click on the Enemy At the Gate Alert which sends me to my capitol. The city defences it seems are within range of the enemy warriors. If I attack it will only cause a paltry 2 points of damage. At least they cannot retaliate. I my capitol's defences to fire.





    They cause minimal damage. So I order my archers to retreat beyond the city to the east.





    Following them up I send the warriors back into the city and give the enemy the initiative. I set my archers to rest in the hope they can recover enough to be involved in next turn's counter-attack.

    AI's Turn 2





    The enemy sends his warriors to attack the group of skeletons hiding in the city. Both the city and warriors on both sides take medium damage. His wounded rogues retreat towards the safety of his own city.

    More to follow....
    Last edited by 2Coats; 04-05-2012 at 19:14.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  4. #4
    Cool.

    The IMPOSSIBLE SETTING. What do the various SETTING affect? Do they affect Resources, Combat adders, tactics (more aggressive, etc.,), or a combination?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poopfaust View Post
    Cool.

    The IMPOSSIBLE SETTING. What do the various SETTING affect? Do they affect Resources, Combat adders, tactics (more aggressive, etc.,), or a combination?
    You know I had this written down somewhere. My minds totally gone blank. I do know that the AI aggressiveness is higher in terms of leaving its cities to attack any unfriendlies. TBH as I almost always play impossible I really couldnt tell you if there is much of a difference. The few games of challenging and normal I did play were back in early beta and as you can probably imagine the devs have been developing the AI from day1.

    Let me have a look for my notes and Ill post them later.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


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    Turn 3

    With such an set-back so early on, I'm wondering whether to exit and start a fresh. I really miss playing human! Ed: Pull yourself together man! You've a war to win!

    After downing the remainder of my strawberry milkshake its time to counter-attack. So as before I click on my first alert, which is the Enemy At the Gate alert.

    EDIT: Note that as our cities size leapt from 4 to 5, the diameter of its territorial border jumped from one to two hexes.
    \EDIT





    With the enemy having just one unit against our two..... wait, our three, well two and a half and the support of my city defenders, we should be able to get some payback. That's right we have our new skeleton warrior unit is ready for orders.

    My first action is to target my city defence at our target. Warriors have 50% resistance against missile fire, so the attack will not be that effective. We manage to know off a few more hit-points. Its health bar changes from green to yellow. We are making some progress at least.





    The skeleton warriors still with a good amount of their original health charge from the city walls into the enemy ranks. Though the enemy is better at melee combat that our skeletons, we continue to whittle them down.





    Next is the turn of our fresh undead warrior unit. Newly built they start as near as to the city hex as possible. On this occasion they start to the south-east. I move them to the north-west.





    The attack is another balanced affair, with my unit of weakened skeletons inflicting just a little more damage than they take.





    Our tactics are almost perfect, reducing the the enemy unit to one hit-points. It really is on its death-bed. The unit is forced to retreat and the attacking skeletons move up to take the hex it just vacated.

    I think about using the wounded archers to finish it off, but decide to give it an extra turn of rest. Since it cannot rest this turn, the enemy unit is likely to retreat and should be within range of one of my warrior units next turn. I can then kill it's remaining troops and move my archers up towards the enemy city.





    My final action of the turn is click on the final alert, which informs me that I can now built undead settler unit, to found new cities. For now I decide not to recruit any. After-all, I have a battle to win.


    AI's Turn 3


    With most of the A.I's machinations shrouded in mystery I pick up a piece of deep fried chicken. A drumstick no less. Mmmm. Nice! Ouch... my tooth. What was that!? Bloody bones... they get everywhere.





    Anyway our human opponents make their move. The warrior unit is moved away from the front lines, towards its city and the rogues return and attack my fresh skeleton unit. Unfortunately for them, the rogues do not have such a great defence against melee attacks. Being already wounded, our attacks have left them in a very vulnerable state.

    Next turn will no doubt see a change in the tide.


    More to follow...
    Last edited by 2Coats; 04-05-2012 at 21:34.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  7. #7
    Un Canadien Errant Featauril's Avatar
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    Awesome! Keep it coming!

  8. #8
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    Pretty sweet. King Lich the V for life!
    Worst WritAAR series:
    Saruhan-Annexed
    Avignon-Annexed
    Genoa- Done.................for now
    Ottomans- Dead (to lazy)

  9. #9
    I approve of this.

  10. #10
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Featauril View Post
    Awesome! Keep it coming!
    Quote Originally Posted by lordreaven448 View Post
    Pretty sweet. King Lich the V for life!
    Quote Originally Posted by Romtos View Post
    I approve of this.
    Thanks guys, Ill be restarting the AAR tomorrow, with a new game, as tonites patch broke my savegame!
    But I wont be starting the AAR from the beginning. Ill be continuing from around turn 5.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  11. #11
    Lt. General lordreaven448's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Coats View Post
    Thanks guys, Ill be restarting the AAR tomorrow, with a new game, as tonites patch broke my savegame!
    But I wont be starting the AAR from the beginning. Ill be continuing from around turn 5.
    Excellent...Undead still I assume, my undying Lord?
    Worst WritAAR series:
    Saruhan-Annexed
    Avignon-Annexed
    Genoa- Done.................for now
    Ottomans- Dead (to lazy)

  12. #12
    Agree, this is GREAT.

    PS - I worked in a chicken place when I was young. I am not aware of a bone in a drumstick except for the main bone.., perhaps it was..., oh nothing.....,

  13. #13
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordreaven448 View Post
    Excellent...Undead still I assume, my undying Lord?
    Yep!

    Quote Originally Posted by Poopfaust View Post
    Agree, this is GREAT.
    PS - I worked in a chicken place when I was young. I am not aware of a bone in a drumstick except for the main bone.., perhaps it was..., oh nothing.....,
    Ive not had fast-food chicken in decades, if have ever made deepfried coated chicken drumstick you may be unfortunate to bit through one of small pieces of bone. Esp. when you are younger. Oh and thats twice coated chicken, in breadcrumbs and cajun mix!

    Here's the update for this morning...



    Overview of New Game

    Since I had to restart my game. I have chosen all the same configuration options as in the preview attempt. The only thing I have changed is the faction color, to red. For some reason I never liked that aqua blue!





    In turn 1 the game started as before with one city and two skeleton units. My new capitol's name is Geludurum. The research choices presented were similar, except for Harvest Blessing and Lesser Fireball. These were replaced by Firestorm and Shadow Bolt. So I decided to go for Firestorm, as it is a mass area effect spell, perfect for targeting and weakening several enemy forces in one strike. In terms of construction I chose to build a mana farm 'again' and a new set of warriors and archers. They may be be fragile but they are all I have available to me.





    My capitol's starting position looks similar to the previous game. On a hunch, I decided to go east.... and encounter a nest of monster-eating spiders. Maybe that should be man-eating spiders!?! My units cannot reach them and they cannot reach my units. So I hit the next turn button and let the AI have its/their go.





    From the south-west a band of skeleton archers moves up and attacks my city. By their colouring they belong to an unaligned city. So much for my gut. Guess that chicken was bad. Worse than biting through bone!





    In turn 2, I move my units closer to the spider nest. As I moved my warriors into the swamp their action points are used up and they are unable to attack their target. The archers on the other hand move to within firing range and fire their shards at the monsters. A small amount of damage around 1/5 of their hitpoints was inflicted.

    I choose to let the neutral unit get closer to my capitol. It is alone so any damage it will cause before I can get back to defend it, will be minimal. Without being able to do much else I let the AI have it's turn.

    The group of spiders charges from it's nest, attacking my skeleton warriors and in the process causing a significant amount of damage (11). It would have been worse as the spiders possess the Poison Perk. An additional form of damage, which would affect other races. Undead however are immune to its effects.

    The skeleton's give as good as they get, causing slightly less injuries in return. The neutral skeletons from the south-west continue towards the captiol and unleash a weak volley of arrows, scoring a minimal hit on the city. It is my turn once more.





    In turn 3, the monster-eating spiders are dispatched. With them being in such a poor state of health, I decide to use the archers to finish it off. With the way clear to their next, I move the warriors there and gratefully receive a bounty of 40 gold for my trouble. I will use these to buy additional skeleton warrior and archer units.





    Now I turn my focus on defending my city. I select the enemy at the gate alert and attack the unaligned skeletons to the west. The attack causes an additional 2 points of damage. The first of my new warrior units is built on the city hex. I select it and immediately launch an attack against the wounded enemy. This causes a large amount of casualties. Nine points in total, causing the enemy to retreat to the west and my warriors to chase after it.

    I also received a new alert letting me know that I can now build settlers. My city size has increased from level four to five, meaning the territorial borders have increased from one to two hexes in diameter. So I will be able to tap into more hexes when I choose to construct my next building. Once more the A.I gets it's go.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  14. #14
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    Onwards and upwards

    Now we can continue “the game”.





    Rather than retreating the unaligned skeleton archers move to the hex north of the city and attack. Makes a change from the rather guarded actions of the AI in the previous game. Though that was a “human” opponent.

    In turn 4, I have four alert types. New building to construct, Enemy At The Gate, Unit needing orders and building construction finished. I will deal with those in a bit after concentrating on the action.





    I move the archers from the north-east into my city, thus positioning them in range of the enemy unit. They fire and inflict enough damage to eliminate our foes. With the threat to our capitol gone, and the east clear of any dangers it is time to focus the attention of our army to the west and the neutral city.





    Before I do that, I take a look at which building to erect. In my last game, I chose to build a Mana Vault. In this one I decide differently, by building a harbor on the frozen forest. My decision to change tact are the two hexes filled with flotsam. The intention is to grab as much loot as possible to build large numbers of low grade undead. At least until I have the ability to recruit better troops. In that way I can blast my enemies with magic and them swamp them with a horde of undead. For that I am going to need as much gold as possible. As well as mana.





    The AI has its turn, but nothing visible occurs on screen. It is now turn 5. Another unit of archers are recruit and they are moved as far east as possible. This uncovers the neutral city we suspected was there. A skeleton warrior unit is on guard in the city's hex.

    My new unit is joined by my other 2x warriors and 1x archers. Both archers are moved into missile range of the city. They attack and casual a minimal (1) point of damage each. One of the archers gains a level in experience.





    Of the three perks which can be awarded to the unit, I choose Marksmen (+20 missile attack) over, Wide Formation (+25% missile defence) and Cover Specialist (Defence bonus on rugged terrain). [Ed: I usually crack up defence on warriors to soak up damage and add attack perks to missile troops, so they can inflict better damage without getting their hands dirty.]





    My newly created warriors move to a position east of the enemy city and set about attacking both the city and the warriors guarding it, scoring (-3) and (-2) hits respectively. However, I should have paid more attention to the combat prediction as my unit receives a (-10) points in return. That's just under their total health.

    I move my other band of warriors into the hex adjacent, having more warrior units form a line of protection in from of my archers. This time however, I do not elect to have these attack the enemy unit or city. As all four of my units have just moved, I cannot order them to rest to regain hit-points or fortify to increase the resistance against the attack we know is coming. Now it is the turn of the AI.





    I guessed correctly. The enemy skeleton warriors charge out after the city defences launch a barrage against the unit I sent in last. Between both of their attacks, they deliver a hefty amount of damage, forcing my warriors to retreat to the north-west hex. This though could prove fatal for the enemy as it is not out in the open.

    I still haven't been able to complete my spell research. At this rate it will take three or four more turns to complete.
    Last edited by 2Coats; 05-05-2012 at 22:16.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  15. #15
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    Our First City....

    It is now turn 7. In this turn the harbor has been built in the capitol city. An additional unit of skeleton archers is available, while I can now build Caravelus (ships) to explore the oceans. My land units can also move into water hexes using up one turn worth of action points to do so, as long as they are on a coastal hex at the beginning of a turn.





    I waste no time and move my badly wounded warriors north, out of range of the enemy forces.

    I now look to surround and pummel the remaining enemy unit with all my forces. The nearby archer unit manoeuvres between the unit that just retreated and the enemy warriors. To attack it and at the same time protect the weakened warriors from attack. It takes aim and fires causing (-3) to health. My other unit of archers I order to take up position in the hex the previous archers occupied and they too fire a volley into the enemy unit. This time only inflicting a further (-2) to health. I send my newly created band of warriors into the hex left unoccupied by the last group of archers. Their attack reduces the enemy to a pulp, forcing them to retreat to the west. Their city blocks my only remaining unused undead warriors from finishing the job. Instead I order them to attack the enemy city, scoring (-8) and a critical hit.

    Having reached the end of turn, the A.I moves it's warriors into the city and precedes to attack the nearest group of skeleton archers. Suicide by arrow is the result.





    We are now in turn 8. It is us against the city defences. Unsurprisingly after using all my healthy units, archers first, followed by a single warrior attack the city defences are crippled to a few points. The first warrior unit which attacked managed to go up a level of experience and I chose to upgrade it with Bladewall perk (+30 melee resistance), and not Furious charge (+20 melee attack) or Cover Specialist.

    The AI takes its turn, and with great fortunate sees its single attack score a critical. Damage is still low though, due to the city's strength being low.

    To the north a single unit of cockroaches appears from beyond the veil of war.





    Turn 9 sees a new skeleton archer unit ready in the capitol. With the unaligned city defences reduced to zero, my 2x archer units complete the job and lay way for one of my warrior units to walk right in and seize control. Yay! One of the archer units raised its experience level and was awarded the Marksman perk as the one before.

    With the goal achieved, I move my newly created archers north of the capitol, up to the coastline. I want them to go fishing for gold the next turn.

    With the capture of the suitably named Lichton, an alert remind me that I can erect a building there. Taking a look at what's available I choose the most basic of mana producing buildings the mana trap. I then decide to rest any unit that has not taken an action this turn and let the AI have its go.





    To the north the cockroaches close the distance with my resting warrior unit and attacked. Luckily for them they regained enough health to see of this assault losing (-4) health.

    Turn 10 arrives. I turn my attention to remove these vermin. One of my archers together with the warriors that were attacked manage to kill off the cockroaches without any bother. The warrior unit going up in experience. It is awarded the Bladewall perk (+20 melee resistance). As the warriors automatically move into the hex vacated by the enemy, they get into visual range of the source of the cockroaches. A garbage dump to the north.





    To the east, the archers unit I move into the sea acquire transport ships and immediately gains the rewards of moving into the area of a shipwreck. Wielding a 50 gold boon to our coffers. I set the remaining units to rest, to recover from any battle-damage suffered so far. Except for one group of skeleton archers who are at 100% health. These I send towards the garbage dump.

    No enemy actions are seen during the AI phase of the turn.





    It is turn 11 and finally spell research completes. Firestorm will allow me to wreck havoc against my foes. <Queue evil laughter> My new choices to research from; are Range & Melee Resistance, Summon Imps, Lesser Weakness and Shadow Bolt. I taken on Shadow Bolt as it can deal a goodly amount of death damage against a single target.





    I have two alerts to deal with. Unit orders and a new building slot in my capitol. My choices come down to two. The Mana Vault or the Air Dockyard. I opt for the latter, in order to get access to the Flying Caravelus. A machination that will give me access to the units that can fly over land and water. One that can fly over mountains.





    To the north move the transports full of my archers towards the other shipwreck hex and gather in another 40 gold reward. Conveniently they are now in range of the cockroaches sitting on the garbage pile. They let fly their arrows joined by another group of archers to cause nominal wounds against their target. I send a second group of archers towards these cockroaches, but they stop short when they discover a group of flying bats hovering over their next to the west of the garbage pile.





    To the south near the city of Lichton, my two warrior units are ordered further west to scout out what may be waiting for us in that direction. The AI moves next.

    My mistake. There aren't flying bats. Not when fire bolts shoot out of their mouths! The attack scores a critical devastating my archers for (-9) hit-points. Ooops!!! At least they gain a level in experience!

    More to follow....
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  16. #16
    Lt. General lordreaven448's Avatar
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    Goood....Goood. Are you planning on Expanding across the sea to that Island with the Lava Field?
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  17. #17
    You still have +5 Food. Are you building Farms and forgetting to show us that?

    Very interesting. Looking forward to see what the Flying Boats can do?

  18. #18
    I hope they make the coasts a bit smoother with a patch, looks very weird the way they are now.

  19. #19
    Un Canadien Errant Featauril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poopfaust View Post
    You still have +5 Food. Are you building Farms and forgetting to show us that?

    Very interesting. Looking forward to see what the Flying Boats can do?
    Skeletons don't eat food, they cost mana.

  20. #20
    General ashbery76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Featauril View Post
    Skeletons don't eat food, they cost mana.
    The diet works well as they never get fat.

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