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4. Re: Elemental - Fallen Enchantress Map Pack Dec 5, 2012, 19:19 MoreLuckThanSkill
I bought this game during the 50% or whatever Steam sale, and I've actually been playing the hell out of it. It's a lot of fun, but I can see it being a bit of a steep climb at first for some players.

You MUST make expansions with pioneers, quickly, while using your hero and a few other units (in ONE army, so they have a chance) to steamroll all the nearby easy monsters. Once you have some kills, and the experience/levels and gear they drop, it'll be dramatically easier. Magic seems inordinately cost inefficient early, and it is, but once you get some cities up(from pioneers) you can cast a few offensive spells per tactical battle.

From there it's all downhill, you can keep expanding, researching increase in Army size and Army bonuses, along with a few civic improvements, keep taking on tougher groups of monsters and annexing more shards etc. Get into trade agreements with similar Race/Group civilizations, avoid opposing civilizations. The main choice: Kingdom or Empire, which basically means Life or Death magic respectively in E:FE.

All of my games so far have taken about 7-10 hours, because movement is a bit slow in this game off the roads.

This game reminds me a bit of Sins of a Solar Empire, in that it greatly benefits you to have 1 or 2 major armies/fleets, which you use constantly, and lesser armies/fleets to do mundane tasks like destroy unguarded outposts/shards etc. Experience and loot ramp up considerably.

I recommend making your own civilization once you have played a game or two, it's far better than the default 8 civilizations to have specific setups. I'm leaning towards Kingdom, Archers, Master Smiths, Free Champion Hiring, with a Fire/Life or Air/Life Hero as primary. Melee and Ranged champions are all over the place, but good caster heroes seem impossible to find. Late game, of course, magic rules all, aside from Dragons.

Also, avoid war and just expand at first. The AI rarely seems to initiate conflict unless you repeatedly go into their territory, if you are anywhere near the same size civilization. Then, steamroll a nearby civilization, take all their cities, expand until you bump up against the next civilization, etc.

Well worth the 20 bucks to me so far, but back on Topic, screw buying map packs.

PS. The game seriously needs ways to bump up old veteran units to the late game unit status, ie. early game 3 man archer groups promoted to 7 man Companies late game. This is required in my opinion, because the max size of an army is so small, you have no choice but to disband your veteran archers and replace them with companies late game. 7 Rookie Archers +late game tech >> 3 'veteran' archers, 90% of the time.

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