Thursday, February 10, 2011

King Arthur - A Fresh Start

I am a sucker for atmosphere in games and King Arthur the Role playing wargame has tonnes of it so I am determined to overcome my initial setbacks and make some progress in the game.  In my first attempt I went bull headed for the main storyline quests and soon found myself with my only army in tatters and with no money to recruit a new one.

Second time around I played a lot more slowly and cautiously. Before I tackled the challenging Lady of the Lake battle I did all the side quests I could find, recruiting heroes along the way. I managed to pick up a few giants of my own in one encounter without even fighting. Many encounters in King Arthur can it seems be solved through diplomacy rather than battle.  The main difficulty in this early part of the game is that you have only one opportunity to recruit new troops until you overcome the "Lady of the Lake encounter" this leaves you with the dilemma of whether to recruit early to help you in the pre Lady encounters or to recruit late in order to make up the losses accrued during those encounters. I chose the latter which forced me to play carefully during the early encounters with the aim of minimising losses. Although the battles in this game play out very differently to those in Total War games some basic military tactics do carry over and figuring out the right counters to use against the different types of enemy unit proved useful. I am also finally getting the hang of some powerful magical spells and abilities. Single spells can devastate entire enemy units or boost your own troops effectiveness by 20% or 30%.  The Knights who cast these spells are severely mana constrained so the most powerful spells can only be cast once per battle. Knowing exactly when and where to use them is key. 

With a strong army now containing four Knights I overcame the giants and wargs of the Lady encounter with relatively light losses. Now I am tasked with establishing a stronghold either in Christian London or Pagan Viriconium. I am aiming for a rightful old faith alignment so it is Virconium for me. Before I take that step however I intend to spend time building up my resources. The country seems fairly peaceful at the moment with no one interested in attacking me. I have five provinces under my wing and I am getting a modest income each year with which to recruit troops. I have half a notion of trying to subjugate most of the Christian provinces of South East England before heading Northwards to Virconium (modern day Shrewsbury).  It would be nice to have the whole of the South under my thumb before exposing myself to the higher level threats that advancing the storyline quest will surely bring and killing a bunch of Christians will hopefully advance my old faith alignment.  The only difficulty with this plan is that the only troops I can recruit at the moment are fairly low grade footsoldiers and just about everybody seems to have better quality troops than I have. I have come across references to research in the game but I don't seem to be able to do it yet. I guess that I need a stronghold to research better quality units.

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