Exp:Conq RPGWatch Feature: Expeditions: Conquistador - Review

Expeditions: Conquistador

teije

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Nice review - on the whole matches my experience so far playing the game. I'm looking forward to future products from the devs.
 
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tolknaz

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Well done, especially the two-forked commentary about what some are cheerleading as "finally no high fantasy" (as if that was a quality in itself) but then highlighting some of the problems that come with such a setting.

I disagree. Speaking purely about settings and lore, it is certainly MUCH harder to do tolkienesque high fantasy well, than it is a low fantasy or history inspired setting, simply because experienced audience members have already seen it all. To someone like me, who has experienced tens or even hundreds of various high fantasy settings over the years in all kinds of media, another copycat high fantasy setting without a clever twist is an instant turnoff.
 
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cacaro

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Great review, well-written and informative. Would read again.
 
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S

Sacred_Path

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I disagree. Speaking purely about settings and lore, it is certainly MUCH harder to do tolkienesque high fantasy well, than it is a low fantasy or history inspired setting, simply because experienced audience members have already seen it all. To someone like me, who has experienced tens or even hundreds of various high fantasy settings over the years in all kinds of media, another copycat high fantasy setting without a clever twist is an instant turnoff.
I don't see where you disagree with my point.

Also lol if you think fantasy is overdone
 

screeg

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The review was long, but it was Fellowship-of-the-Ring long, not Hobbit-long. :)
Good work!
 
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wolfing

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I just finished the game. I liked the first campaign, but the second campaign not so much...
1- My characters were already high level. Only got to do like 2 advancements in the 2nd campaign. I like having things to look forward to.
2- I had already completed all invention research so again, nothing to look forward there.
3- Too much back&forth.
With my fortress
being so far to the west, having to go back to it to add another thing was a chore (in the end I just skipped this)

But nothing to take away from the game. I liked it a lot, and didn't feel the battles were repetitive. Yes, there isn't much enemy variety, but this is not an RPG with battles every 10 seconds. There aren't many battles and usually enough time passes between one fight and the next that it doesn't feel repetitive.
 
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GhanBuriGhan

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I just finished the game. I liked the first campaign, but the second campaign not so much…
1- My characters were already high level. Only got to do like 2 advancements in the 2nd campaign. I like having things to look forward to.
2- I had already completed all invention research so again, nothing to look forward there.
3- Too much back&forth.
With my fortress
being so far to the west, having to go back to it to add another thing was a chore (in the end I just skipped this)

Yes, the traveling can be a bit tedious. However, almost always when I was just about to get a bit bored by it, one of these random events or conversations happened, or I did find something intersting out there after all, so it just so worked OK for me.
I did not explore Hispaniola fully and left several sidequests unfinished in my playthrough, so I had a less fully developed expedition when I went to the mainland than you did. But I can easily imagine that that can be a problem. Glad you enjoyed it anyway.

By the way:
Did any of you guys get the battle to defend you fortress against the Aztec where you stand with 6 against 18 pretty high-level Aztecs, and won it? That's the one fight I was unable to win.
 
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joxer

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An answer to the spoiler:
yes I won it on normal difficulty. Bring a doctor, position 4 tanks/fighters to protect him and one rifleman. Use smoke and stuns on enemies and abuse the special hit 3 adjacent enemies your "guest" brings. It's the only battle I didn't use 2 riflemen but only one.
 
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GhanBuriGhan

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An answer to the spoiler:
yes I won it on normal difficulty. Bring a doctor, position 4 tanks/fighters to protect him and one rifleman. Use smoke and stuns on enemies and abuse the special hit 3 adjacent enemies your "guest" brings. It's the only battle I didn't use 2 riflemen but only one.

Hmm, I was playing on insane at that time, and I remember no "guest" - who do you mean? I tried what you describe altthough I first tried with 3 soldiers, 1 doctor, 1 scout, one hunter, which was my standard setup. I didn't have many cannonballs at that stage, so the Artillery wasn't much help either. I tried a couple of times, but they always cut me down before I could take out even half of them. Considering that almost all other fights at that point were rather easy, it seemed quite a crazy difficulty spike. So I assumed I had made some poor choices in the events leading up to this point.
 
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wolfing

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By the way:
Did any of you guys get the battle to defend you fortress against the Aztec where you stand with 6 against 18 pretty high-level Aztecs, and won it? That's the one fight I was unable to win.

I only fought one battle in my fortress, a bit after I got it or built the first thing in it, don't remember it being difficult at all (but I was playing on normal difficulty).

If I remember correctly, it wasn't even a fight. There was only 1 guy to fight, there were like 12 more that came already dead, not sure if it was a bug or it was because the captain from Hispaniola came to help because I had been so cool to him and killed them for me.
 
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ChaosTheory

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I'm not much of an indie game fan, but this one sounded interesting so I bought it. While the period of the Conquistadors has minimal appeal to me, it's the overall exploration and strategy that's got me hooked. I've played quite a bit now, and I feel it's more than worth the $20 I paid.

There's enough depth to exploration to keep it interesting and the random RPG elements are really neat. I wonder how much replayability it will have though, as there are only a handful of characters to choose from and you do start seeing the same random events occur over time.

One thing that is really driving me batty is that you can't spin the camera or even tilt it— making exploration on the worldview and combat on some maps very difficult because you can't see many of the units or spaces to which they can move due to trees, buildings, etc. What's worse is that the game seems to take advantage of this at times, hiding enemies and such, which I think is a bit cheesy.

Ranged combat is all but worthless, and I have to think this mechanic is broken. Luckily you really don't need it if you level some of your other characters with "hunting" in mind.

It was also a tough game in the beginning, but I'm about 1/2 through it now and I've found it to have gotten very easy (normal difficulty) so balancing is an issue. I never lose characters in combat anymore, and rarely are they below half life at the end, despite facing greater odds. I'm also never running out of food while traveling, which happened quite frequently when I was still on the "tutorial" island of Hispaniola. With higher levels and tech, managing your army's mood later in the game is basically a nonfactor, which is too bad because the fear of imminent revolt added to the suspense in the early going.

All that said, it's got that "one more turn" appeal that's truly a special thing. Overall I'm very pleased with it and will likely buy the expansions.
 
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GhanBuriGhan

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You can spin or tilt the camera, hold middle mouse button (scroll wheel). IIRC, A and D also rotate the camera. I agree that ranged is probably underpowered, but I found it useful to always have one hunter on the field to mop up injured opponents that my melee soldiers couldn't quite finish - their high movement and range makes them great for that job. Agreed on the difficulty curve - I think the devs already mentioned they would address this in a patch.
 
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Nova

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Yeah, we have a content update coming out very soon that'll address some of the balancing in Mexico mostly, as well as a bunch of new events and some new features that we've had a lot of requests for. A slew of bugfixes as well.
 
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ChaosTheory

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You can spin or tilt the camera, hold middle mouse button (scroll wheel). IIRC, A and D also rotate the camera. I agree that ranged is probably underpowered, but I found it useful to always have one hunter on the field to mop up injured opponents that my melee soldiers couldn't quite finish - their high movement and range makes them great for that job. Agreed on the difficulty curve - I think the devs already mentioned they would address this in a patch.

Middle mouse button doesn't work, but I'll try A & D. That will help a lot, actually. Does that work on the world map, too?

As for the "mop up" range usage— since they hit less than 50% of the time on a good day for minimal damage at near point blank range, I've found that a scout is vastly more effective in this situation. They can move twice what anyone else can AND can contribute to overall combat because they hit hard. Ranged units literally just run around making noise with their boom sticks while everyone else fights and wonders why they brought them in the first place... LOL
 
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GhanBuriGhan

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Middle mouse button doesn't work? Maybe I'm confusing it with another game. But I think I remember correctly now that the buttons for camera rotation were Q and E, not A and D.

Well, Scouts hit hard, but they are also fairly vulnerable, and will often end the turn in an exposed position if used for mop up, while ranged units can do their work from behind the protection of the melee units. I typically used 3 soldiers, 1 doctor, one scout, one hunter.
 
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ChaosTheory

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Well, Scouts hit hard, but they are also fairly vulnerable, and will often end the turn in an exposed position if used for mop up, while ranged units can do their work from behind the protection of the melee units. I typically used 3 soldiers, 1 doctor, one scout, one hunter.

That's what I'm currently using, too, but I'm about ready to replace my hunter with another soldier until ranged units are fixed. You know soldiers can shoot too, right? Obviously not as well, but missing shots during mop-up can be done with them provided you remember to switch back to melee weapon prior to ending your turn.
 
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GhanBuriGhan

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OK, I quickly confirmed the following:

Mouse:
Hold right mouse button and move mouse: turn camera
Mouse over edge of screen: pan camera
scroll wheel: zoom


Keyboard:
ADSW: pan camera
QE: turn camera

No way to tilt, AFAIK.
 
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ChaosTheory

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So I just finished the campaign, and for the most part I will hold steady with my initial thoughts. It should also be noted that I figured out how to rotate the camera, both on the tactical map and also the world map. Helped quite a bit, as you might expect...

My only other comment about the game itself is that it would be nice to have a fast travel option. Running back and forth to the keep really got old when you can only see about 6 inches in any direction. Another option would be to allow movement using the world map, with auto-camp enabled.

On a historical note, I'm kind of curious as to why the game seemed to ignore the Yucatan Mayan cities like Cozumel, Tulum, Chichen Itza. I realize the Mayans were not featured here (Aztecs) and that their civ had pretty much collapsed by the conquistador period, but many were still significant cities in Mexico. And then to include Masaya (modern day Nicaragua, 1300 miles south of Tenochtitlan!) as this vast volcanic landscape... It's just weird that they had that in there but left other stuff out.

Anyway, fun game to muck around with between other titles and worth the $20.
 
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