Games of the Year

Fantasy General 2: Invasion

Fantasy General 2: Invasion Screenshot 1
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Fantasy General II: Invasion is the return of a strategy classic from the 90s! Fight exciting turn-based 3D tactical battles leading a variety of fantasy units, heroes and creatures, level them up and carry them over from one scenario to the next. Vanquish your enemies through a combination of military might, guile and magical prowess. Play through a 33 scenarios campaign, or take it to skirmish, either against the AI or in multiplayer. Or take advantage of the built-In scenario editor to make your own battles. Three hundred years have passed since the Shadow Wars have ravaged Keldonia and the world of Aer, and the struggles of the past have long since faded into legends. In the Highlands of Fareach, Clans of Barbarian warriors have eked out a living in the harsh northern climate, constantly feuding with each other and raiding the wealthier Borderland towns. Fed up with these constant attacks, the Borderland Clans called on the Empire for help – a powerful realm controlling the land from the Scarlett Mountains to Cynehelm Valley and the Hoarwood. The Western Imperial Legion was sent to face the highland raiders, and with the help of the Borderland clans Iseal and Machnar, killed High King Brendan in the battle of Wyrm’s Pass.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Honestly, the best review I can give is to just write out a lot of the core mechanics so you can see the nuance in the combat systems, and they ARE the game.
Melee units are what you'd expect. Many have Charge attacks - some at equal strength to normal, and some have most of their power in a charge. Charge is stopped by a lot of unit types (spearmen, enemy lancers) and a lot of terrain (forests, rough, river) depending on the unit. Melee units WILL get retaliated against.
Skirmish units can attack melee units without retribution (but not each other or archers) - some of them even have the ability to run, attack something, and get automatically teleported back to their starting point, making them great at picking off parts of a line without archer cover. Many of them also have surprsiingly solid raw damage, making up for a weakness vs missile resistance with being pretty good at frontline hit trading. They can retaliate normally against each other and melee units.
Archers can retaliate against anyone, including on behalf of adjacent units - once per turn. Barring exceptions, like slingers on stone terrain or lizardmen shell throwers in the water, and the Imperial Armoured Bowmen who Never Stop Shooting. Archers hit pretty damn hard but you get to pick who they hit, making you really wanna have, say, some shieldbearing skeletons summoned to intentionally hit the thick part of the enemy line and bait out the enemy shots.
Now, before I explain magic, I should explain the wound system - when units get hit, part of their HP bar becomes red. This is their wounds. If they can sit still uninterrupted for one turn, ALL OF THAT COMES BACK INSTANTLY. The enemy knows this and will almost always pull back units below 30% instead of trading a final hit to the death - indeed, a huge amount of strategy in the game is in knowing your enemy has self-preservation and denying them chances to recuperate and come back, while claiming them yourself.
Units actually dying is a % chance from enough damage that's easily mitigated - you'll occasionally have black HP bar take over, but 80%+ of casualities will be recoverable.
When units do die, morale starts getting hit for nearby allies, which eventually gives damage penalties or even forces them to run altogether. Which brings us to magic - your resistance against magic IS your morale. Since you can move units, then move and attack with something else, then attack with the first unit, figuring out where to have magic damage units act in your turn can be a fun mini-puzzle.
This isn't even talking about fliers, bombing or intercepting each other, or the back and forth between scouts, ambushers and trackers in various terrain.
And from what I can tell the writing is even pretty nuanced - a Roman-style Empire in crisis where you're playing as the duo leads of an academic necromancer (sorry, eh em, "transmuter") from the lower classes and a smug but competent nobleman with conventional military training definitely is a lot more worth reading through than your average "hey you're a peasant and now you're the chosen one" fantasy plot.
I sucked it up to buy the full bundle at full price and I'm already expecting it to be very worth the price. The game isn't perfect, but there's a ton of cool mechanics that'll make you look at things differently, and I didn't even get into a lot of the fancier unit types or the ability to equip artifacts that modify units in pretty cool ways. Also a decent variety of campaigns, with a faster roguelike type one being the result of one of the expansions that seems quite cool as a companion to the more conventional campaigns it exists in parallel to.
I'm actually kind of annoyed this game has less than 1000 reviews.

Review from Steam

A very good game 8/10
I did not expect much when buying this and it pleasantly surprised me in every way.
- The Good:
- Decent content even without DLC
- Meaningful choices and campaign paths, adding replayability
- Very nice unit/hero upgrades and gear
- Very well thought out game and battle system; not overly complex but still never too easy
- You can explore each map for treasure locations or you can finish it quick and get bonusses that way, and even try both
- Looks good
- Distinct variety of combat roles for units and heroes (ranged, melee, tank, atrillery, flying, scouts, hidden, all with different damage types)
- Immersive (for lovers of strategy and fantasy alike)
- Okay music, though it gets repetitive
- The Bad:
- Nothing much except I would welcome some more races to recruit from (I got about 4 sources of troops, I know there are more through choices), adding more variety to the army roster
- Some maps are cluttered with difficult terrain (mountains, swamps, forests etc.) crawling your units to a halt and making it a tad tedious
I liked this more than some of the WW2 games from Slitherine, because the fantasy setting gives ample opportunity for gear, upgrades and unit diversity.

Review from Steam

I played the original Fantasy General long ago and it was always one of my favorites. This is similar enough to that but much more modern. If I recall, old Fantasy General had experience levels and you could use gold to upgrade your units. This game is the same except there is a unit upgrade tree and there are more resource requirements for certain units than simply gold. This forces you to make some choices with your limited resources so it's great. Hero units also have a skill tree and can gain spells and abilities. Overall just a great turn based strategy game.

Review from Steam

Panzer, Allied, Pacific, Fantasy, & Star Generals.
40k Rites of War.
Fantasy Wars. Elven Legacy: Magic, Siege, Ranger.
40k Armageddon and Da Orks.
Shields of Loyalty.
Some day I'll do a comparison video of all of them.
*None* of them iterate on the formula very much *at all*. The Panzers have a slightly more complex layer with the supply thing... but I would posit supply doesn't add much value to the gameplay.
This game is very good. DLCs come and go in comparative quality, mostly you have to be in the mood for Evolution, but Onslaught and Empire Aflame offer good value.
I can see how folks who grew up with the original might dislike it. It certainly has a different tone or vibe. FG1 seems to strike a Terry Pratchett-esque note with the whimsy of some of it's units... turn based tactics in the Neverending Story perhaps? Whereas this is played as a straight, po faced modern high-fantasy. However the story isn't offensive, and the mechanics are on point. Some will complain about the scarcity of upgrade materials, but I feel that adds a piquant air to your decision making.
In a way I'm kinda biased when it comes to reviewing this sort of game because they are my definitely comfort zone. (I'm playing through the original again right now, and I"ve over a 1000 hours in Warhammer 40k Armageddon).. but if you liked the original and it's ilk, spring for this one. It's worth it.
Oh, and if you like this one, don't sleep on Fantasy Wars/Elven Legacy. Again, they do Nothing New or "innovative", but they're more of the same of the sort of stuff we like, you and I.

Review from Steam

Amazing fun! It’s like a chess game played with fantasy type playing units and settings that each have strategic abilities and powers. It’s complicated enough not to be too simple, you have to be careful with every move you make. Its simple enough not to be too frustrating. That’s exactly where the fun zone should be for any person playing a strategy game. Anything more complicated than this and it would likely not get played. Oh and no you don’t need to move, save, move save…try playing a whole battle out, suffer any losses you take. If the whole battle went badly, then restart the whole battle. If you did pretty well, then stamp it done and move on to the next battle. That’s the way I play it. There’s no reason to rush this game to the end. It’s a chess type game, take your time.

Review from Steam

If you like Field of Glory 2 and fantasy settings, you should give this game a try. I'm enjoying it greatly. I must say that the first 3 or 4 hours I was about to quit this game but then, after learning the mechanics and how the tactics you use, your army composition, the way You upgrade your character and your unit and how it influences the battles, the game become addictive. Is very deep. It's not another "rock, paper, scissors" game. Still have not finished the campaign because the game, although not being unforgivenly hard, it's not a walk in the park either (I play on normal). Failures are frustatingly satisfying. Also, save scumming won't help you very much in this game because if you don't plan ahead, you'll only notice the results of your planning errors after 4 or 5 scenarios. There are some roleplay elements, not very deep, but the choices you make will affect your campaign.
Also, I'm playing the base game and looking forward to but the "Onslaught " DLC which delivers a new procedural campaign (if you read the reviews about the DLC, people complain about the lacking story but I don't think that story is of great importance in this type of game. Field of glory 2 campaigns don't have any impactfull story and it's one of the best Tactical games I've played). And FG2 is a Tactical wargame.
I recommend it.

Review from Steam

Surprisingly good. Given its pretty generic name, I wasn't expecting much from this title, but it actually ended up being pretty enjoyable. I only played the campaign, but it's quite enjoyable and a fun little strategy title. There seem to be a few places where you can make choices that shape the game a bit, though I haven't played through it multiple times to see how much difference these make, but I have played enough to see that the central combat mechanics are enjoyable and strategic without being overly convoluted and complex as is sometimes the issue with war games.

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