I first started the Alpha at work. I know I shouldn't do that, but I have a very low powered netbook on my desk at work for personal email and such. I wanted to see how it would perform. (really, I swear, that was the only reason)
This is a terrific netbook game. I know those are a thing of the past, but a really small resolution and almost no “hardware umph” still let this game shine. The fully turn based gameplay mixed with the stellar performance will probably turn this into my goto “break-time game.” I ran into a crash early, and stopped paying attention while leaving a Mantis report. I went back to work and didn't even notice that I had left the game running the whole time. I listened to the wonderful background music for over 2 hours before realizing.
I have been ignoring the Skyward Collapse forum as much as possible to avoid learning anything before I experienced the game. I did know about the general concept of world building and creating a stalemate between forces.
The first tutorial message tells me everything is free for 5 turns. Interesting. It says to pick from expensive things so that everything is ideal. I don't know what constitutes “ideal” but here we go.
Ok, next tutorial message. Place a barracks. I can do that. Now it says next in my queue for the barracks is a Berserk. I need a Pig Farm, Butcher, Iron Mine, Woodcutter, Carpenter, Smithy, Brewery. That's as close to a list of what to build as I can tell.
Building a Pig Farm. Says “Too close to a town center: you can only place Town Buildings in the two rings next to town centers.” Typo? Maybe I don't understand what a “ring” is. I place it three spaces away.
The Butcher says, if I place it near the Pig Farm, “Too far from a red faction town center: you must place Town Buildings of the red faction within two files of a red town center!” So this is OK, but I don't know what a “files” is That guy goes right next to my town center.
I go to build the Iron Mine, but it says I am out of actions. So I am! Ok, end turn. Blue's barracks makes a Ekdromos, and it wants a similar list of missing buildings. Pig Farm, Butcher, Wheat Farm, Bakery, Iron Mine, Woodcutter, Carpenter, Smithy. They also get a pig farm and a butcher.
Next turn's message says I should build Chapman, but at 7 fish, they feel “cheap” so I think I'll wait on them like the first message said to do
Red's Iron Mine goes next to the Pig Farm, with the same message about “town rings”. Now for the Woodcutter. I see Wood. It also requires a Woodcutter. Is the Woodcutter not like the Carpenter? Nope, Carpenter also requires a Woodcutter. Maybe that Chapman was a woodcutter. Let's try. Nope, Woodcutter still missing. Ok, I'll skip that one. Carpenter it is.
I end the turn, and scroll back to the other side. (I know you said don't put in suggestions here, but maybe it should “move” my view to the other town?) The Greeks get Wheat, Bakery and an Iron Mine.
Next message: Crime is bad. And Bandits grow increasingly much. Interesting. I guess building all these barracks support buildings is the right thing to do. Smithy goes in, and then the Brewery. Wait, I can't build a Brewery. My personal profile has to reach 8, and even if it were, I couldn't build it for free anyways. I don't know what it would cost me instead, it just says free. Guess I'm not getting any Berserks. Ah, now I understand the barrack's tooltip. That list was just for the “highest” unit. I have no missing requirements for the Marauder and need a Smelter for the Huscarl. And a Woodcutter, but hopefully that Chapman can figure out how to use an ax at some point. I can't build a Well either, so that looks like it for the Barracks. Now what? I think more barracks, that Crime thing sounded bad.
A Smithy, Ranch and a Chapman for the Norse. Now they could build their lower two tier buildings. I could build a carpenter to finish their Ekdromos, but I wasn't able to build a Brewery for the Norse. Would that unbalance them? It still needs woodcutter, so maybe it's OK?
Being reminded to “not stress” on the forth turn message makes me think that maybe I should be? But I won't! Oh, I should also build an archery range or siege workshop. More leads! Don't let everyone die. Ok, I'll try.
Looks like Norse Siege engines can't replace bread with beer, I need a wheat farm after all. The Greeks get a siege and archery range as well, along with a carpenter. We'll see how big a mistake that is.
Ooh, another tutorial message, the last one lied! The “I can't control anyone directly” is on of the few things I knew about this game, so cool.
The Norse get a bakery (I can't make beer, I think they will be very sad) and a sheep farm. Wait, a sheep farm for the ballista? I don't want to know. Added a fletcher as well.
I figure I might build a school. Don't know why, let's see what happens.
Round 1 begins. The “hope you made good use of your free turns!” comment feels ever so slightly sarcastic... Like the game knows what a bad job I did
Time for some more fish/rice and chapman. I think I'll watch and bank my turns for now, till I have the slightest idea of what to do.
It's turn 3, and people are pissed at each other already. My ranch did gain 0.5 horses. I have no idea how that works.
There are now 6 Norse level 1 units VS. 3 Greek level 2 units. I imagine this will go well? I don't know.
Level 2 units seem to be 3 times more powerful. Guess I'll build a Norse school, keep them in check. Nope, scratch that. Can't afford it at all. In fact, I can't build anything. My economy looks to be running as well as I planned it to, which is not at all.
Turn 10. The lack of a woodcutter seems to be hurting the Norse much more than the Greek. The Greek are running rampant in the Norse town. Maybe I can cut them off?
I smite a line of unused land blocking off the green army from the Norse. 2 Norse chapmen (chamans?) are trapped on the other side. God speed.
Apparently, Greek slingers can throw rocks over entire mountain ranges. Hmm... The single Greek level 2 Xiphos just killed every single Norse unit made last round. Norse still can't build anything.
Land fills up a smitehole, and another @#$@ blue unit comes in, on a horse. This will not end well. I fill up the lead with more mountains (the only export of the Norse, I guess)
Ah, diagonals don't count as a block, so that's where the Blue's where coming from. A little more smiting and mountain building later, I think it might be filled up.
Turn 40, I get a god! Cool. The Norse can have a mountain crossing god? That sounds like exactly what they need. I pick a god without wings for the Greek.
Well, that Skadi seems to have fixed that minor problem of 5 rampaging units in her town. She successfully reclaimed it.
The Norse just can't catch a break. Bandits attack from their rear. They should have put mountains on all sides!
I try to Command Skadi to attack the bandits. She doesn't seem to care. Maybe the 4 Norse people left aren't praying? I don't see why not.
Turn 80. Thor or Odin. I saw the movie, and I think I'll go with Odin. He has a longer range, and if he decides to not move, maybe it will help?
The Greeks, well, they have problems too. To be mean, I could give them Poseidon (who looks to be about as useful as Aquaman in this landlocked floating island), but I don't think so. They can have Zeus to balance off Odin.
Skadi and Odin won't move, but they are protecting their small piece of land. The rest of the Norse empire decays around them.
Victory? I get 476,000 points (most from not using turns) and I “win.” Final populations are Norse:3 to Greek: 13. Bandits: 10. Overall, I think the bandits won.
I have no idea what happened, but I had a pretty great time watching.