Saturday, January 11, 2014

World Conqueror 3D: A Game of War

Many strategy games either oversimplify, or over-complicate, the art of war. World Conqueror 3D appears to be the first, on the surface at least. While the battle system between squads is very simplistic, it does capture one element often forgotten in many strategy games, the supply route advantage.

The basic elements of the game are very simple, three units, one defensive, one mixed, and one offensive. A few strategy "cards" as well, that can modify the values and offer a small advantage or clear out one region completely. Of course there are upgrades, for both regions and units, that offer a few more options and advantages. However, the nuance of the game is not in the units themselves or the terrain.

The nuance of the game that is often missed by many who review it is that the regions are not a grid. Meaning, one region can touch five or six others, while another will only have access to two other regions. This is where the strategy comes into play. Placing units on all the regions you control will not work, the opponents will eventually wear them down and take over one by one.

When you first look at the map, find regions that create bottlenecks, where one region controls several routes. Take those, build up a huge number of units there, and hold onto it with all you have. That's one of the strategies, a defensive one, which will force the opponent to waste units on blind attacks just to get those regions so they can progress into your territory.

Taking key regions, like the bottleneck ones, requires a different tactic. One squad of a lot of units will not work, since you can only impact the target by up to five per attack. Thus you use a lot of smaller squads surrounding the target region, making the key regions difficult to defend. The AI surprisingly does that, it's not as stupid as many other strategy games.

As you play more of the campaigns you start to see maps where you have to consider the access points to each one, often allowing the opponent to take a bottleneck while you build up an army to punch through it. The AI considers these advantages, it seems, only holding onto regions that are an asset to it's position while allowing others to be claimed by an opponent.

Now, if you did not catch all I have said to this point, let me assure you that this game is worth the small price they ask. Players who enjoy chess-like games will find this one riveting, as the strategy is entirely positional. The game is well done, in it's own simplicity it offers a variety not seen in many similar games, and enough weighing of odds to keep you playing for hours.

So in spite of some of the negative reviews of World Conqueror, please give it a try before you decide. The demo provides enough to understand the game and how it works, play all three campaigns on that and you will know if it is a game you will enjoy. Enjoy your gaming, and have fun in life.

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