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Der Königsmacher

Lords of the realm logo  AGA  A1200 Speziell

Deutschland braucht einen König! Was, wir haben doch unseren Helmut? Stimmt, aber im Mittelalter hatten wir laut Impressions nicht einmal den – weshalb dieser Mix aus Strategie und Handel einen Thronenanwärter produzieren soll.

B Lords of the realm is zu sechs Blaublüter dürfen hier um die Krone rangeln, wobei der Rechner fehlende Adelige ersetzt. Jeder erhält nun zu Beginn eine von 32 Grafschaften wie Burund und Pommern und muß diese Rune um Runde bzw. Jahreszeit um Jahreszeit wirtschaftlich und militärisch auf Vordermann bringen. Denn nur ein stramm geführtes Ländle kann hoffen, sich durch Steuereinnahmen eine forsche Armee leisten zu können – und damit die restlichen Ländereien zu erobern.

Via Iconmenü und die zoom- und scrollbare Draufsichtkarte verpflichtet man die Untertanen also erst mal zum Frondienst auf den 16 Äckern seiner Region. Dort sollen sie durch Getreideanbau sowie Schaf- und Rinderzucht für die Ernährung und Vermehrung der Einheimischen sorgen. Sinkende Erträge sind dabei durch ab und an auch mal brachliegende Felder zu vermeiden, während überschlüssiges Futter bei den jährlich anrückenden Händlern versilbert wird. Wer von der Bevölkerung nicht nur Nahrungserzeugung benötigt wird, findet Arbeit als Holzfäller oder in den Erzminen, werden derlei Rohstoffe doch dringend benötigt, um Waffen und Burgen zu produzieren. Ohne Burg ist unser Reich nämlich ein gefundenes Fressen für die Konkurrenten und andere im Überfallgewerbe tätige Banditen Als Grundriß für so ein Rittereigenheim kommt entweder eines der fünf vorhandenen Instantdesigns in Frage, oder man zimmert sich sein Bollwerk am Reißbrett selbst zusammen.

Doch ohne Militär nützt die schönste Burg nix, also werden auch ein paar Leute zum Wehrdienst eingezogen und mit acht verschiedenen Waffen ausgestattet. Sie sind auc der Karte dann als einsamer Einzelkämpfer zu sehen und können per Mausklick in eine angrenze Grafschaft beordert werden, wo sie bei ihrer Ankunft sogleich das anvisierte Ziel (Hauptstadt oder Burg) belagern. Sollte sich der Feind nicht so einfach aushungern lassen, erteilt man den Befehl zum icongesteuerten Sturmangriff; bei Erfolg hat man so oder so eine Länderei mehr unter den Fuchsel. Da man es jedoch schlecht mit fünf Gegners zugleich aufnehmen kann, bekommt der Großfürst noch Spione und ein diplomatisches Corps an die Hand, um etwa Bündnisse zu schließen.

Optisch und akustisch wird dieselbe Schonkast geboten, wie man sie bereits aus der PC-Version kennt – die Präsentation unterscheidet sich daher am 500er auch nur unwesentlich von der hier fotografierten AGA-Fassung. Dasselbe gilt für die unhandliche Maussteuerung und die vor allem ohne Festplatte ellenlangen Wartezeiten. So was bremst die Begeisterung über das interessante und komplexe Gameplay natürlich etwas aus: Die Impressionisten haben hier Ritterspiele abgeliefert, denen es ein wenig an Format mangelt. (md)

Amiga Joker, January 1995, p.89

LORDS OF THE REALM
(IMPRESSIONS)
RITTER-STRATEGICAL
65%
"NA JA"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
60%
52%
61%
59%
66%
68%
VARIABEL
PREIS DM 89,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
2 MB
4/JA
JA
SPIELSTÄNDE
KOMPLETT


Lords of the realm logo  AGA

Price: £34.99   Publisher: Impressions/Daze Marketing   071 372 7435

Impressions are releasing new software by the horse and cart load these days – or is it these Daze? Ho ho! Alan Dykes gets mediaeval...

I Lords of the realm was sad. I played Castles and Castles II into the night. I got abuse from my colleagues for being a train spotter – but I still enjoyed myself. Like other simulations there is a great sense of satisfaction when things go your way, when you have the most land, the most awesome army and the biggest castles. It is a power thing and my shrink tells me it is OK as long as I do not confuse gaming with reality.

Impressions have a power thing about simulations. In the same way as Arnold Schwarzenegger devoted his youth to developing the most insanely exaggerated body in the world, the staff at Impressions have devoted their collective youth to getting the simulation engine right. Be it in mediaeval world domination or car production, they are determined to feed us with the right mixture of statistics, realism and playability to develop our minds and raise our body temperatures on all those cold winter nights spent indoors running mice into the ground playing their games. But Impressions has had its flaws. Its games have been criticised for speaking in a strange, difficult to understand manner and being over complex but under animated. Too much faffinf around and not enough excitement.

According to Tony Dillon, Detroit solved most of these criticisms, but I found the game rather too boring to agree with him. It is the nature of this sort of beast though, he will probably disagree with me on Lords Of The Realm which I think is the most addictive game of its type on the Amiga.

Lords Of The Realm is based in England from the mid 13th century onwards. There are six Lords and consequently you can have up to six players. Starting off at the set-up stage you can choose one of four difficulty levels, viewing options and what to name your very own character. From here the game places you in control of a country – which one is a random choice but does actually affect the game. I broke the back of Gwynedd in North Wales and made Gloucestershire the most powerful country in England on two separate occasions, while Andy Leaning’s political machinations completely ruined and depopulated Suffolk (and event from which it still has not recovered). He is now trying to get out of Devon. The only country neither of use liked was Somerset where the people continuously diseased.

Peasant stew
The object of the game is to succeed to the throne, dominating the land with your powerful armies and brilliant strategies. But it all starts off at home, where you have to look after your local peasants in order to tax them, make them build castles, keep your fields in good order, grown grain, look after cattle and sheep and breed the cannon fodder of the future.

Depending on which country you win in this lottery you will start off with a small amount of cash (gold crowns), cattle, sheep, grain and, of course, people. Each turn the player takes represents a season of the year and the distribution of your peasants will thus be different for every one. In the spring you will need plenty of peasants to sow grain, but in summer you do not need as many. In autumn though you will need more than ever to reap the harvest. And do not forget about sheep and cattle. During lambing and calving you will need more people to increase the herd. Oh yes, and peasants eat too you know.

Pound a dozen luv
It is all about money in the end and there are two ways of making this. Way number one is to raise the tithes (taxes) and way number two is to sell produce at market.
The first way is useful but will lead to unpopularity, the second is easy if you have the gear to sell and a trader is in your territory during the season. You will need to build up a thriving economy I the first year or two before you advance across someone’s border and increase your land ownership. Once there are enough sheckles in the coffer you can hire a mercenary army and knock the stuffing out of most neighbouring villages, with one or two exceptions.

The bad news is that people can get unhappy if you ask too much and do not look after them. Clicking on one of your countries in the main map of Britain (minus Scotland) will bring up a status report in the top right corner of which is a heart symbol. The happiest you can get your people is 40 hearts the most disgusted is 0. Once you drop below five hearts you have five reasons to recover the confidence or get booted out of the country – and if this happens you will lose your castle too.

Threats come from other lords and ladies, either human or computer controlled, who want your wealth and land, so you will find that it is a good idea to make peace with some of them. They may double cross you at a later date (so can you), but it is better than having everyone openly aligned against your forces. Of course, if you particularly do not like one you can taunt or insult them and deal with the consequences later.

In single player mode information on how you are doing is accessed via a court stewart who tells you how much your power, wealth and population has increased or decreased over they year. If you want you can have him give you even more help, popping up every now and then to tell you what needs to be done once you have three territories or more. You also get a status panel consisting of flags which tell you who has got the largest army and the most land etc, and, for the vain, who is considered to be the greatest leader.

Conclusion
If you were a Defender of the Crown or Castles fan then Lords Of The Realm is for you. Any game which has me playing ‘till 1 o’clock in the morning, three nights in a row has to be worthwhile. There are some flaws though. In two player mode the stewart function is switched off so there is much less interaction. The game does suffer from this. The manual battle mode is rather droll too, even though the strategy you use may be better and save more lives than computer control, and as such is useful. The game also tends to slow down from time to time, even on our 4000 and messages sometimes corrupt – but this should be fixed in the final version.

In the final analysis, the AGA graphics are superb, sound is moderate and the interaction and addictivity level is impressive. If you want a quick fix this won’t provide it.
Lords Of The Realm will take weeks, if not months, to master and you will lose a lot of sleep in the process. Not everybody’s cup of tea but one of my favourite pastimes for the last few weeks. Now, if only I could stop the peasants stop eating those damn cows!

CU Amiga, January 1995, p.p.47-48

BATTLE BY NUMBERS
Chit chat has its place in Lords of the Realm but the only way to increase your power is to take over neighbouring countries. This gives you access to more people, more produce and more tithes. You can engage in battle personally or let your Amiga decide the outcome for your.
Lords of the realm - defeated

AT THE MARKET
Hey ho, noddy ho, as a popular mediaeval song used to say, probably. It is market day and Honest Jim the trader has come to town. You need to speculate to accumulate in this business so starting by buying more cattle and sheep will reap dividends at a later stage.
Lords of the realm - Cattle CATTLE
A useful livestock investment.
Lords of the realm - Sheep SHEEP
Best try to hold onto these for the wool.
Lords of the realm - Grain GRAIN
Keep your grain stores high.
Lords of the realm - Wool WOOL
The best item to sell. Loads of dosh.
Lords of the realm - Beer BEER
Peasants dissatisfied? Fill them with Boddies.
Lords of the realm - Iron IRON
Not described.
Lords of the realm - Stones STONES
Expensive to buy, but castles need it.
Lords of the realm - Wood WOOD
Won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Lords of the realm - Weapons WEAPONS
Expensive but essential. Get some now!

CASTLE BUILDING
Castle building is very much a matter of personal preference. There are six different types of castle supplied in the castle menu but, if you are like our Andy, you will want to design your own> Lords allows you to do this and even to add to your castle at a later date. Remember though, the bigger the castle, the more peasants tied up in its building and the more expensive the materials needed for it. Start small and build on later.
Lords of the realm – use one of the pre-set castles

Lords of the realm – Or design a 1000 soldier monstrosity.

LORDS OF THE REALM
A500

A500+

A600

A1200

A1500

A2000

A3000

A4000


 

workbench version: 3.0 or better

number of disks: 3

RAM: 4 MB

hard disk installable: HD only
 

graphics

sound

lastability

playability
 

90%

79%

92%

82%
 

OVERALL
Great! Marathon role playing sessions ahoy.
 
87%%