Friday, August 04, 2017

Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages Gameplay Review

I'm playing Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages, a turn-based strategy game by HeroCraft.

The game features a small number of scenarios (eight); while the missions have plentiful secondary objectives that add some replay value, the general plan in each is fairly scripted based on the fixed starting conditions. Most scenarios give a huge economic, territory, and military advantage to the opponent; there is no skirmish mode where each faction is given equal footing to begin with. The benefits for the AI cannot be adjusted, as there are no difficulty settings. The only resource in the game is silver, accumulated each turn by occupying provinces around the map and spent on new infantry, cavalry, and archery units. Heroes whom lead each army can only perform one action per turn (move, attack, or recruit), which adds some strategic choices to the game. While combat is completely automated, units can be placed in formations before the battle begins, which does make a difference in attack and defense attributes. Because of the low unit cap (only seven heroes are allowed, and each hero can only recruit a specific number of units), it can be impossible to quickly finish a scenario even after it’s clear you will be victorious. Strategy & Tactics: Dark Ages is an approachable turn-based strategy game hindered by its small assortment of unbalanced, tedious scenarios.