The Empire Has Fallen… Review

Warlords III Info


  • Strategy


  • 1 - 8


  • Red Orb


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • PC


The Empire Has Fallen…

The evil forces of Lord Bane and Lord Sartek have formed an

unholy alliance intent on overrunning the prosperous Selentine

Empire. Darkness sweeps across the land as the evil lords send

their hordes of zombies, ogres and skeleton warriors to conquer

and pillage your beautiful homeland. The end seems near.

But wait, there is one hope. (You knew I was going to say that,

didn’t you?) As the Lord Paladin, you can turn your tiny army

into a major power, ally the feuding factions of knights, and

purge Lords Bane and Sartek from the land.

Warlords III: Reign of

is a turn-based fantasy strategy game produced by SSG and published

by Red Orb. Up to eight players control cities, armies, heroes and magic while

attempting to expel all non-allied players from the game. Each game begins with

each player controlling one or more cities and one or more armies. Your cities

can produce eight army types, which depend on which race you chose. During the

course of the game, mercenaries can approach you and offer to join your side

for a fee. You also start the game with one hero and can hire more later on.

Warlords III is subtitled “Reign of Heroes”, and it is the heroes in

Warlords III which help keep it interesting. Heroes are

practically essential to building an army which is truly of the

highest caliber. Heroes are able to explore ruins and mystical

sites in order to find allied monsters to fight for you, as well

as enchanted items and that perennial favorite, gold. As heroes

explore ruins and complete quests, they increase in ability

levels, an effect that anyone who has played RPGs will be familiar with.

Whenever a hero gains a level, he or she gets an ability point to

spend. Ability points can be used to buy greater strength,

leadership skills, or knowledge of magic spells.

Once you have amassed a large enough army, you can take it out

into the world and try to capture either the cities of enemies or

of neutrals. Combat is handled by comparing the adjusted

strength of two opposing units and applying a random number to

yield the result. A unit’s strength is adjusted up or down by

bonuses and penalties such as morale, fortification, leadership

and the like. Once you capture a city, you may pillage, sack or

raze it.

One of the major complaints

from players of Warlords II was that the game did not let them improve

their cities. Warlords III has addressed this point, but only in a very

minor way, because Warlords III lets players increase the fortification

level of a city. It does not let the player build a new city, or build docks,

or mines for an existing city. It’s a good step, but I wish the folks at SSG

had given the player a little more power to improve cities.

Game play itself is pretty good. There is a total of 64 units so

things rarely get dull. On the other hand, of the 64 units, many

of them are a lot alike, which is a shame, because with a

fantasy setting like Warlords III has, there was room to make a

truly rich cast of creatures. The individuality of the heroes

helps to compensate for the sameness of the creatures. The

game’s AI is unexceptional but does make a good effort to kill

off your heroes.

Warlords III is a good game for anyone who likes Warcraft

but was annoyed by the real-time aspect of the game. The lack of a good

unit mix is made up for by a good group of scenarios and a multiplayer feature,

which includes play-by-email. Gamers looking for an extremely detailed strategy

game should look elsewhere, but fantasy gamers who appreciate simple rules and

a wealth of options will find that Warlords III is right in their realm.


A good fantasy strategy game
Units too similar
Lack of a map editor
Many options but little depth of play