Spellforce: Conquest of Eo is a turn based strategy game. It reminded me of the same feeling I had when I played Heroes of Might and Magic 1 way back in the day on my Windows 95 machine. Good times.
Now before all the game enthusiasts start grabbing their torches and pitchforks, obviously Conquest of Eo isn’t one hundred percent the same as Heroes of Might and Magic. I just had the same feeling when playing the game. It also reminded me of playing Disciples: Liberation, another fantastic and lovely turn based strategy game.
Before I digress and go off on a tangent and rant about something not even remotely related to this game, let’s get into the nitty gritty.
Conquest of Eo does scratch that itch for turn based strategy goodness. It checks most of the boxes for what could be considered the staple goods for a modern turn based strategy game. It has a spacious over world with enough to explore, narratives to unfold, resources to harvest, and foes to vanquish. That sort of rhymes!
The combat is pretty standard fare. You have common mechanics such as attacks of opportunity, flanking attacks, counter attacks, and etc. Attacks of opportunity is a mechanic where moving away from an enemy in melee range allows them to get one free attack in. It’s there so you can’t just run up to enemy units, attack, and then run away willy nilly.
The combat did feel a bit difficult with your units feeling a bit like paper. I’m being completely transparent here, I’m not the best at these types of games so it could just be a case of me needing to “get good”. I personally found that holding your melee units back and guarding while waiting to flank worked out more than merely charging in blindly. Also, taking advantage of ranged units to soften up the enemy while delaying direct melee combat seemed to be effective as well.
Most of the time on the lower difficulties however, just using auto resolve worked extremely well. Auto resolve lets the game determine the winner instantly without you having to play through the combat phase. Sometimes you just don’t feel like taking on every fight and I’m grateful for this feature. It lets you take a break every once in a while and focus on exploring the world and story.
The game seems simple enough but there is definitely a level of nuance and depth to the mechanics and some of it may not be apparent at first glance. For example, each unit has a movement modifier that gives it an advantage over certain terrain. Having units in the same squad with different movement modifiers cancels out that advantage. For squads used as scouts, you may want to consider keeping all the movement types the same so you can travel farther. For combat squads you may want to trade being able to travel longer distances for more lethality.
As for the over world, you start out with a mage tower as your main base of operations. It can fly later on in the game by the way. I thought that was a neat thing to imagine seeing a huge mage tower just flying around effortlessly. Anyways, in the tower you can build up rooms that generate resources passively. You can also sell unwanted items for gold and also craft certain things depending on the class of your hero. For example, the alchemist can craft items while the necromancer can create undead soldiers. Depending on what buildings are in the domain of your mage tower, you can hire certain units to add to your squads for an upkeep of gold.
It may feel a bit complicated when you first start playing but you will definitely get the hang of it very quickly. I just min max generating passive resources as quickly as possible by prioritizing the Allfire to generate mana and then use that to build studies in order to generate research. I build workshops as soon as I have enough gold and then I will switch to generating proficiency if I run out of space for new rooms. Once I have enough of a gold income flowing in, I can start building up a massive army. I honestly don’t know if this is the best method, but it’s the method I understand and enjoy using. There are definitely different strategies available such as using gold early to build up squads and then using those squads to actively gather gold by exploring and defeating enemy strongholds.
You can also learn spells in a grimoire. Spells are learned by using your research points and can be used in the game’s over world by consuming your mana. Each class has different spells available so it does create a different feel to how the game plays out.
Personally speaking, I enjoyed the narrative the most. It’s all text. It’s a lot of reading and I know that will turn a lot of people off from this part of the game. Honestly, I quite enjoyed the writing from what little I’ve played. It plays out like a slow political drama with a little bit of mystery and intrigue thrown on top of a revenge story.
It feels like an old text based role playing game. You have all these small side quests, and you can pick different responses. It doesn’t seem to impact the narrative in any meaningful way other than increasing or decreasing your standings with other factions.
I still remember an early side quest where you run across a dwarf stuck in a well. Once you rescue the hapless dwarf, he asks you to help him get justice on his assailant. Turns out, the dwarf was betrayed by a fellow guild member. The plot twists even further when you find out the dwarf stole from his own guild. No one is innocent in this story and with the conversation options I picked, I left with a portion of the guild’s treasure while avoiding any combat.
It’s definitely slow but it helped create a feeling of immersion into the story and world. It definitely won’t apply for everybody though and that is understandable enough.
Overall, Spellforce: Conquest of Eo definitely felt like a fun turn based strategy game. The combat wasn’t outstanding to me but it was definitely serviceable. The writing stood out the most to me and I enjoy it quite a bit. I know it’s a lot of reading so that may definitely turn some people off. It seems like a solid entry. I’ll need to play more in order to dissect the specifics of the mechanics, but for now, I’m enjoying my time and isn’t that all that matters.
As always, hope you guys are staying safe and sane out there, and catch you guys next time!