Elemental is a game I want to like. Perhaps I’m just to old to get sucked in properly? Perhaps my recent passion for Go has made me realise that most computer strategy games have very little strategy in them. Perhaps the game just isn’t very good. The first instalment, War of Magic, certainly wasn’t. I played it once and didn’t really enjoy it very much. But that was War of Magic. Since then, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, and it has the guy behind CivIV:FfH2 involved, which is a game I really like (although haven’t played as much as I’d like). Fallen Enchantress can out a while ago, and has been through the usual cycle of game mechanic and balance changing patches. Now that v1.3 is out, Stardock have turned their attention to the next game in the series: Elemental: Legendary Heroes. And while the buzz around the beta seems to be pretty positive, I’m not really a fan of betas. So, I’m going to play Ele:FE instead!
This will actually be my second game of Ele:FE. I played a warm up game on normal difficulty and found that while it was easy and with very few meaningful choices, it did feel a lot more promising than Ele:WoM. So, I’m playing a second game. This time, the difficulty is set to challenging, and resources are set to rare and I’ll be playing on a large map with 7 Ai factions. Nearly everything else is set to random.
So, the first thing to do is to found a capital city. There’s a lack of any city sites with access to essence (required to cast city spells), but there is a site with 5 grain/3 materials which looks like a decent choice: Hagudst is founded, and the citizens start to work building a tower of dominion (which lessesn city unrest and gives a small growth bonus).
Just outside the city boundaries the hero Miredesi is for hire. She wants most my gold, but hey what else am I doing with it just now. As far as I can tell, this is a non-choice in Ele:FE. Why wouldn’t you want to hire the first hero you find? Beats me. So, hired she is. Miredesi’s initail orders are to head out west to collect loot, while my leader Nabeanice leaves the citizens of Hagudst to organise themselves, and heads northeast to see what he can find.
It turns out that he finds a sand golem (which is unsurprising, as it seems to happen early on in every game I play). There are some outlaws nearby, so I make killing them my first priority. As Nabeanice has the summoner trait, hiring a shadow warg before combat seems like a sensible idea.
It turns out, it was a good idea, and the warg makes short work of the ruffians. Nearby, I find the Codex of Hosten, a magical book that increase my magical power, while out west Miredesi finds the belt of precognition. Which I think makes her harder to be hit with arrows. Nabeanice then moves onto to tactical battle number two, and dispatches some darklings.
This nets her enough experience to level up, and I go for the dull, but probably “correct” choice of potential I. Which, gives me +15% exp. I assume that’s a bonus to all future experience I gain, but the pop-up text is a little vague.
Miredesi discovers some new city sites to the west of Hagudst, but the location leaves a lot to be desired: a dangerous looking forest inhabited by armies of crag spawn:
I wonder if it would be a good idea to hold off settling this part of the world. At least until my army consists of more than Nabeanice, her pet dog and a golem made of sand. There’s a good spot for an outpost half way between these lands and Hagudst though, and it will give me access to an air shard and an iron mine, so I make grabbing these resources my next priority.
Talking of Hagudst, the settlement has levelled up, and I decide that given it’s access to lots of grain, making it a town would be a good idea. I don’t know the game mechanics well enough to know if this is true, but hey, it makes sense to me. Sadly though, the town isn’t yet the prosperous place I’d like it to be and I have to up the tax rate to stop my limited gold supplies decrease further.