Heroes Of Might: Legends Of Eisenwald

I love daft fantasy worlds, with their magical hats, dragons and whatnot. Love ’em. This year alone, I’ve had a blast picking through the recognisable-but-weird mythology of Pillars of Eternity, and The Witcher 3’s creature feature quests have been a source of delight. Magic and monsters sometimes seem like essential ingredients in the RPG pie. Given a choice though, I’d opt for a straight-up historical RPG every time and I thought Legends of Eisenwald [official site] might be just that. A strategic-RPG set in medieval Germany. It’s not quite what I’d hoped for but Aterdux’s game, which has just left Early Access, is well worth a look.

It it were Heroes of Might and Magic without the magic, I’d be intrigued. King’s Bounty without the comedy folklore. There aren’t many developers, outside strategy and wargaming, recreating historical periods and places.

Legends of Eisenwald hasn’t flushed out all of the fantasy elements but it contains a sprinkling of superstition rather than seventy schools of magic, and fifteen varieties of dragonkin.

…it’s a land where the superstitions of the time have come to life. This isn’t a fantasy game. There are no elves or dragons here. There are only people – and their passions, sins and fears that often take a tangible form.

I played the earliest of the early access builds very briefly but will try to find time for a closer look at the final release this week. The general consensus seems to be positive, although I’ve heard soe complaints about the linear, repetitive nature of the campaign.

14 Comments

  1. stonetoes says:

    I played the first couple of fights and found the combat pretty limited. You can’t move without attacking, you can’t move into a free square, or skip your turn. There didn’t seem to be any terrain types and the “battlefield” is very small and crowded, I can’t even imagine playing it once I had 12 troops instead of 6.

    Maybe it gets better as it goes on but my advice is to play Battle Brothers instead if you’re looking for an early-access, turn-based, low-fantasy, tactical RPG.

  2. DThor says:

    I love me my turn-based tactical games, but a big part of that is the levelling up – the new gear and skills. It strikes me that removing x-commy upgrades and new wizard spells things might get a little… ho hum? Turn based is by definition highly abstract – closer to battle chess than Geralt Does Skellige – I’m wondering how/if they manage to rise above tedium? Restricting hand to hand combat to a turn based format seems repetitive.
    Mostly – for crying out loud please don’t have your soldiers stroll up to the enemy as if they’re going to ask for a cup of sugar!

    • Frank says:

      Different strokes for different folks. Not all TBT games need to include your laundry list of familiar features to find an audience. Personally, I find FF Tactics-style deck building incredibly tedious; the less of that, the better.

      Also, I saw plenty of “gear” in the videos for this game, so I’m not sure what angle you’re coming from. For all I know, it does have intricate leveling.

  3. namad says:

    Awful, just awful spell checking in this article. Even a basic word editor should’ve been able to automatically fix a few of the typos. “If” “some”.

    I’ve come to expect better than this of RPS.

    • Funso Banjo says:

      No one ever accused Adam of being able to spell or using correct grammar.

      He talks about games though, and what more could we ask for on this site?

  4. Serenegoose says:

    …it’s a land where the superstitions of the time have come to life. This isn’t a fantasy game.

    The cognitive dissonance must be like an actual hum inside the head of whoever wrote this.

  5. Voqar says:

    Looks interesting but also looks like an overpriced (compared to say AOW III) and very limited mix of HOMM and AOW.

    AOW3 has a huge variety of units, some of the best (if not the best) turn-based tactical combat, huge variation in how you can setup games, and campaigns (not my thing but some like them), was never that expensive.

    Blackguards and Battle Bros also come to mind, I guess – depending on what you want.

    Low fantasy to me usually means low interest and/or low replay since playing with few units with a small pool of overall abilities leads to very repetitive and generic battles.

    The one appealing thing to me was that the armies and battles look small, which might be nice. In AoW III many battles can grow large (as large as once can be with 18 units and 3 heroes on one side) and with the complexity end up taking a while so you’re doing lots of slugfests of battles.

    • Aterdux says:

      We have over a 100 unique characters in our game, so it’s not as limited as you might think.

    • geisler says:

      Kind of agree with you, apart from you claiming AOW III is supposedly cheap? Unless you pick it up in a sale, it costs about €60 or £42 including all DLC.

  6. blastaz says:

    I also played a very early build of this. I really liked the setting (Darklands one of my all time favourite games) and stopped on the second chapter when it all got slightly unfinished.

    Have been meaning to give it a proper go now that it has released.