I wasn’t sure about Elven Legacy. Initially, I had only a mild interest even after looking over some screenshots and a trailer for the features of this turn-based game. After some prodding, my editor convinced me to do a then-preview of Elven Legacy as the game wasn’t quite finished (it launched while I was playing). I had no idea how much I would like this game from Paradox and 1C. But off to Gamersgate.com I went to download.
As an aside, I’m finding Gamersgate to be a good source for downloading digital games such as Elven Legacy.
This dynamic strategy game is based on the premise that our elven hero, Sagitell and the elven watcher Gylven along with an army, are chasing after a human mage. The mage has stolen forbidden secrets ascribed to ancient elven lore that will imperil the world. Sagitell and Gylven must venture forth into the lands and deal with various nemeses such as humans, goblins, trolls and other nefarious creatures. To compound matters, has to do this with green troops - which he laments. Not to fear, the troops and heroes will level as you fight your way awarding a perk of your choosing per level.
A hex based strategy game that is played in turns, you are given a choice of movement, fighting, healing, conscripting troops and releasing reserves each turn. While playing you can turn the hex overlay on (it is off by default). I recommend turning it on as it aids in your movement decisions while fighting. You also have air units that can occupy the same hex as a ground unit; I found it trying to place them in the right spot without the hex display. The hex overlay will also let you know how far a unit can move.
Combat is simple yet complex. You move your melee units next to the adversary you want to attack; your pointer then turns to an attack symbol as you move it over the enemy; then you click to begin the fight. Ranged fighters can shoot over melee units, and depending on the perk chosen will fire at longer ranges. Airships need to fly to their objective and will drop bombs initially. As you achieve perks you can give the airships ranged attacks as well. The complexity of the combat is in knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each. As you have a limited number of units on the landscape it is important to apply measures that ensure they will carry over to the next act of the campaign.
Healing units is an easy affair assuming you place your units in the most effective position. If they are close to enemy units, healing becomes restricted; you will need to move them to areas that have no enemy units close.
Conscription is an interesting mechanic that results in the replacing of killed units within your main unit. Each unit on the screen has a small green box that indicates its health. As the unit takes damage it will be replaced by a red to indicate damage, and black when killed. Units represent more than one troop, so the black “killed” portion is actually casualties that cannot be healed. After healing the wounded any casualties must be conscripted by sitting next to a town or camp you control. Conscription also costs gold. Without gold in your coffers there will be little you can do to replace lost units until they are ready for the next part of the campaign when they become healthy again.
Reserves are units purchased but unable to come into play at the beginning of the scenario. To bring in reserves, you must be in control of a town and have placed the reserves next to that town. This also has a monetary cost and it doesn’t come cheaply. You must capture towns and camps while completing your missions according to mission guidelines.
Each scenario has three turn lengths. The gold turn may be 10 turns long; the silver an extra 4 turns; and the copper an additional 5 turns. Each turn awards gold but in ever decreasing amounts. In addition to monetary rewards, units receive perks for each level completed. You have three perks, from which you pick one. You can make them stronger offensively, defensively, able to walk streams without penalties and much more.
There are only a few screens so the game gives over to the landscape and game play without micro managing everything. You have a quest log, map, switch camera position, banner mode and hex grid hide and show buttons. There are three modes of play - campaign, six scenarios and multiplayer. The one problem I see is that replayabilty will be limited unless you like to play in multiplayer mode. Graphics are splendid with in your face camera zooming and rotation. Magic effects are great as well. For casual gaming you can’t beat Elven Legacy .
My knowledge of the industry mostly evolves around beta testing games, such as Earth & Beyond from EA, Saga of Ryzom, and companies like MSN and Acolade. Self taught web design is another interest I have. Family life is entertaining at times. It also can get weird as well, after you have been married 31 years.