Out Of Lords: Warbarons

By Adam Smith on May 16th, 2012 at 7:00 pm.

One day there will be a tag, ‘indie games that Adam honestly intends to play for hours and hours but hasn’t had a chance to yet’. It’d cover all the hundreds of exciting projects people write to me about, or that I discover on my many nocturnal voyages around the internet, but never quite find the time to become properly acquainted with. I’ve played Warbarons, a browser-based strategy game inspired by Warlords, but I’ve certainly not explored Warbarons. Maybe it’d be easier if I didn’t insist on enjoying this sort of thing and plumped for games that have a more obvious and concrete narrative route instead. Maybe now and then, but here’s to all the stories that are mine and mine alone. Warbarons might provide a few.

If you’ve played any of the Warlords series, Warbarons will looks instantly familiar. A smattering of castles/settlements are spread across a map and the rival barons, controlled by either or other humans or AI, set out to conquer them all, taking turns to do so and dispatching one other while they’re at it. The multiplayer has

As with its spiritual precursor, Warbarons isn’t the most complex of strategy games. Every campaign is simply a case of building units, which are all armies of one sort or another, and then seizing preset locations that are essentially factories to create more armies. What was so satisfying about the Warlords series was the fact that the simplicity of objective and control was made elaborate by the variety of units, hero types, sidequests and map types, and it was easy to read precisely where each faction stood at any point due to the clean interface, which Warbarons has modeled its visuals around.

With its multiplayer focus and intent to work across various platforms, the game’s existence in browsers is understandable, even if I would rather have a version squirrelled away on my desktop. It’s entirely free to play, although there are gold and silver memberships available, which allow for the running of more games simultaneously, and allow the use of more maps and more AI slots among other things. Games will also lead to an automatic surrender if left running without a response for too long.

I’d recommend taking some time to learn the layout and location of all the possible commands, but for anyone comfortable with wargaming it shouldn’t be too hard to grasp. The main problem I have with any of this is that it’s yet another reminder that Warlords 3 isn’t available to buy through digital distribution, unless it is in which case tell me where to go immediately.

Oh, and Warbarons recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, just about raising its target of $6,000. Maybe that’s what’s keeping it free for people to play and see if they want to buy a membership, in which case it seems like a splendid thing to have happened.

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46 Comments »

  1. Torgen says:

    “The multiplayer has…..”?

    OMG they got Adam! =O

  2. Rhin says:

    I keep reading the title as “Warbarians.” Too much Diablo lately I guess.

    • The Tupper says:

      I read ‘Warburtons’. Too much toast lately, I guess.

      • Unaco says:

        I read it as “Warblings”. Too much bird spotting lately, I guess.

        • paranoydandroyd says:

          I read it as “Woberons.” Too much Shakespeare lately, I guess.

          • Brun says:

            I read it as “Warbrains”. Too much zombie movies lately, I guess.

          • Lambchops says:

            I read it as “Whisky.” Too much booze lately, I guess.

          • killias2 says:

            I read it as “Warbarons.” Too little Diablo, toast, bird spotting, Shakespeare, zombie movies, and booze lately, I guess.

          • Man Raised by Puffins says:

            I read it as “‘Ouse of Lords: Warband” and was disappointed not to find details of brutal ermine-clad Peer on Peer mounted combat.
            Too much alt-tabbing between Mount & Blade and Hansard, I guess.

          • Buttless Boy says:

            I read it as “Metabarons”. Too much Alejandro Jodorowsky lately, I guess.

          • Andrew says:

            I read it as ‘ArwBranso”. Too much dyslexia lately, I guess.

          • Phantoon says:

            I read it was “Warbananas”. Too much potassium in my diet, I guess.

            And war is bananas, don’t you think?

          • Ridnarhtim says:

            I read it as Peacepeasants. Too much opposite day lately I guess.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            There can never be too much Alejandro Jodorowsky

  3. Maldomel says:

    Anything that reminds of Warlords can’t be bad.

  4. paranoydandroyd says:

    Also, the Warbarons site seems to be down. Can anyone confirm?

  5. dontnormally says:

    http://www.warbarons.com/index.php

    gives:

    “This webpage has a redirect loop
    The webpage at http://www.warbarons.com/index.php has resulted in too many redirects. Clearing your cookies for this site or allowing third-party cookies may fix the problem. If not, it is possibly a server configuration issue and not a problem with your computer.”

    • Biscuitry says:

      I’m getting this too. It’s responding with 302 Found when I try to access it with Firefox 13.0, but it’s behaving itself for Chrome 18.0. Sounds like they’ve got something serverside that reacts to the user-agent field in the request, but isn’t handling some values right.

      For the purpose of comparing notes, what browser version are you running?

  6. MythArcana says:

    Can’t load the site whatsoever. Yup, huge breakthrough in browser technology alright! :)

    • JiminyJickers says:

      Haha indeed. Yeah the website is completely down. If only they did an offline client for single player (seems that I’m wishing for that a lot lately).

      • Piranha says:

        Hi

        I just wanted to drop by and say that the server isn’t down. I’ll see if I can figure out whats causing the loop error for some of you. While it’s not a solution changing to another browser could help. ( Best performance in chrome & opera, and then firefox )

        /Piranha

  7. Joshua Northey says:

    Looks really interesting. I can see putting some time into this.

  8. Moorkh says:

    Ah, Warlords… (3 DLR). Never played a single game that much, before or after. Good times!

    This was actually the very first kickstart I co-funded. The game’s designers emerged from the original’s veteran community, and KGB worked together with Steve Fawkner on an official Warlords follow-up-thingy for a while, IIRC.

    Too bad about the online-only part, though. I’d really have loved to have single player, even though I’m aware AI is tricky. I just don’t like to play with strangers…

  9. PodX140 says:

    Whaaaaa??! Warlords does NOT come directly from HoMM? I think I need to sit down…

  10. hungrytales says:

    At last. All you RPS warlorders, now you have no excuse for not checking it out. It really is Warlords gameplay reborn in a browser. And Warlords gameplay doesn’t get old, does it? Or maybe it does but then we too, so I don’t notice anything? Dunno, but it works. It’s damn 3:20 a.m. here where I’m living. I’m back from an exhausting Game of Thrones boardgame session and I’m not sleeping, I’m f***ing clicking those turns. That is pure genius or magic or power (or some major un-wisdom on my part).

  11. Jezebeau says:

    “The multiplayer has”

    I am a vampire and

  12. Phantoon says:

    Adam accidentally the multiplayer.

  13. innokenti says:

    I think more people need to subscribe to RPS so that the hivemind can afford to provide Adam with the appropriate biotech modifications to eliminate the need for sleep. This will allow him to cram in more ‘indie games that Adam honestly intends to play for hours and hours but hasn’t had a chance to yet’.

  14. piranha66 says:

    Just stopping by to tell you that we have released 2 major new versions since this review was made. The endless loop problem is gone since long :-).

    Lots of improvements have been made. New graphics, heroes, items, better AI to name a few. http://www.warbarons.com to check it out.

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