Generals and Rulers
Starting a new game for the first time you’ll have the option of two campaigns, Europe 1207 or Asia 1207. Once you’ve completed either of the first campaigns, you’ll unlock two more campaigns, World 1207 and World 1750 for your gaming pleasure. After choosing one of the two you’ll need to choose the factions (country) you’ll want to play as. Each faction has a difficulty rating; the ratings range between half and five stars with the easiest setting having the lowest star rating.
Once you’ve chosen your faction, you’ll be taken to the world screen which is the main game screen. Here you’ll find each of the other factions; zooming in and out will reveal each of the regions inside each of the faction areas. Some factions only control one region like Genoa or Venice while others can have many more.
Each of the factions is also labelled, and hovering your cursor above them will display a brief description. For more detailed information you can just click anywhere on a faction's region. This will open the factions' profile, where you’ll have details on their population, their ranking, regions and unit rank, any Allies or Enemies they currently have, the Dominant Religion and any other religions in the region. Battle History, Your Relations with this faction, Truce, Peace or War along with Recon Data, Army, General, Military and Units Power.
On the left hand side of the world screen, you’ll find information on your current faction, such as the amount of gold you currently have, the size of your population, the number of regions you control, the number of units in your army, the number of research points you have for research and the number of rebels within your faction. Along the bottom there’s Headquarters, Army, Diplomacy, Treasury, Research, Reconnaissance, News and Ranking. Finally, in the top right corner you’ll find a Calendar detailing the week, moth and year along with the Next Turn button.
The object of the game is to take control of all the factions and in doing so conquer the known world. To do this you must go to war and invade the other factions. Firstly though, you’ll need to build up some resources. Gold will allow you to increase the size of your Army and will also allow you to hire Scientists for Research. You’ll gain gold after each turn; the main source of gold you receive is from residents paying their taxes. You can also earn gold from trade with other factions through peace or unions. Conquering a faction which has a large population will bring in more gold faster while also expanding your faction’s region.
Selecting Army will open a window, where you notice Units Recruitment, Info and Mercenaries, along with a list of recruits you’re able to buy. Each of the types of units on offer will have some information alongside it on its Attack, Available (how many you currently own), One Unit Cost, Units Recruitment (slider/plus and minus to increase or lower the number of units you’d like to recruit), Number (number of units selected from either using the unit's recruitment sliders or from manually entering the number of units you’d like to buy), Total Cost of each type of unit you’ve chosen to recruit (if you’re happy you can just hit the Hire button which is at the end of each of the unit types after total cost).
Below all units you can recruit is Total Hire, which will display the Total Units, Total Power, Loss of Population, Total Cost and Hire All button. So you can select all the units you want and pay for them all at once should you wish too. You can also recruit Mercenaries in the same way as you would recruiting units. Here though you be able to recruit Militiamen, Trebuchets and maybe different types of units for different campaigns. Under Info you’ll find some details on each of the units, how many you have available, attacking damage and the damage dealt to other units.
Diplomacy is where you can build relations or go to war with other factions. There are several degrees of diplomacy ranging from War to Union with a few levels of truce and peace in between. The Diplomacy profile has four sections: Diplomacy, Neighbours, Allies and Enemies. The diplomacy tab includes all the factions, neighbours (those with whom you share a border), Allies (those with whom are in a Union), and Enemies (those with whom you are at war). You can change the level of diplomacy at any time with any faction by selecting the Negotiations button and choosing which level of relations you want with a certain faction. Making unions will help you gain more gold through commerce and maybe protect your borders for a while. Eventually though you’re going to have to crack some skulls and go to war if you want to conquer the world.
Headquarters is where you’ll send your army out to invade foreign soils and expand your territory. Here you have Send Units (Landborne), Send Units (Seaborne) and Units In Campaign. There are also details on each of the units you currently have available. Just below your available army is a list of countries and their details, regions, population etcetera along with Actions, Select Units and Send. There are four actions you can take towards a country: Ground Assault, Send Assassins, Maritime Trade Blockade or Raid. After deciding what action to take you can then select the number of units to carry out your chosen action. You can select to send out either a percentage of your available army or all of it at once. You can also send units by sea in the same way as sending them by land. Any units currently out at war can be found in Units in Campaign.
Under Reconnaissance there are four tabs: All, Neighbours, Allies and Enemies. Each of these tabs will list each of the countries that are either your neighbours, allies or enemies or all of them in one list. Each country will have some information on the population, unions, current wars, and whether or not you have spies in any of the countries. You’ll also have some details on their army, general, military and units' power. In those countries where you have a spy you can send them for Reconnaissance or Espionage for some gold which will then give you more details on that country.
After each turn, you’ll be given some news, which you can read at any time from the News tab at the bottom of the screen. There are five tabs for the news: All, Your News, Military News, Neighbouring Countries News and Enemy News. All will give you details of current wars, truces, peace treaties etcetera close to home and abroad. Next to the News on the world view there’s Rank, where you can check all factions and their current rankings in Army, Economy, Population and Regions.
Selecting Treasury will give you details on Gold Profit (profit from trading with countries and residents), Gold Losses (from war and rebels), Units Power Increase, Research Number Increase and Scientists Hired.
Under Research you have the option to research three different fields: General, Military and Units Power. However, before you can research anything, you’ll need some scientists. You’ll need to spend some of that gold you’ve been hording away to hire the scientists. On the left side of research window it displays Research Points, Scientists Hired, and Researchers Per Turn. You can also Hire Scientists using either a slider or by typing the number of scientists you’d like to hire. Below here are Hired Scientists, Research Per Turn, Research Points After Hiring and Cost.
Hiring scientists will give you research points that you can use to research various subjects from the three research groups. After each new turn you’ll gain some research points from the scientists you already have hired. Most of the different researches can be upgraded to a level of ninety-nine, except for three researches.
As you progress taking over the world a screen will be displayed that looks like a throne room in a castle. You’ll be given five options to improve this room: Throne, Ground Floor, Second Floor and Back Wall. Each time you chose one of these it will improve the room with arches, windows, decorated floors, statues etcetera until it’s fully furnished and all the options have been chosen.
Once you control most of the world, you’ll be greeted with a Victory window. This will give you information on your result, the Faction you used, the difficulty and number of turns to achieve victory along with Glory Points. At this point you can call it quits and start a new game or you can continue your conquest. I continued until I had total control over Europe and had the victory window pop up three times in total; once I had total control of Europe the game was over. Once you’ve completed either the Europe or Asia campaigns then you’ll unlock the other two campaigns which can be selected when starting a new game.
On the main menu screen there’s Continue, Tutorial, New Game, Multiplayer, Load/Save, Settings and Exit. In the settings you’ll find options for Display Mode; Full Screen, Resolution, Music and Sound sliders and Language; English, Portuguese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Ukraine and Turkish.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed playing this turn-based strategy game. It’s not complicated (even I managed to pick it up with ease). There are a few different game difficulties for people like me who aren't every good at games like this, while also having something for the more hardcore strategists out there wanting more of a challenge. There are four campaigns which I’ll be attempting to conquer at some point, and I look forward to doing so. Fantastic game!
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Enjoyable game
+ Not too complicated
+ Multiple game difficulties
Negatives- No cards
Select your faction, build your army, spy and use espionage on your neighbours, anything it takes in your conquest of the world.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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