4 mods

In the beginning, there was no such thing as game modes. There was one relatively simple game. However, over the course of four years of testing, it became apparent that a game this complex, given its scope, was challenging to balance all possible gameplay and styles. Two directions also emerged: to keep the game simple and to get closer to reality. As these two directions diverged, I was regretful to cut one off. On the contrary, I found it advantageous to have a simpler version for entry, and to be able to expand my strategic options for deeper play. My personal preference has long been on the side of more complex play. And so even a simple game was too complex for a mainstream player. And so I took it and chopped it down by options, which gave rise to the third mode. Three years later, I also revived an early idea for a so-called fast mode. Among other things, I’ve spent the last year figuring out how to make each one a full game. Some of the new mechanics seemed so essential that I ended up adding them to all the modes and similarly making most unit types available. Now the game contains an amazing breadth of meaningful combinations, where the ideal approach can be slightly different in each. Above it all, though, it still remains that the most important thing is how others behave. This adaptive strategy may seem like a tactical game. Make no mistake, it is not. The game has a tactical scale, even an operational aspect, but it is first and foremost a strategy. So if the idea of competition, exploration, originality, and multi-aspect planning instead of a rigid default situation excites you just a little, you should be excited. Replayability is not the issue here, it’s the philosophy. And yet, with a bit of exaggeration, you can define the layout and play out a virtually historical simulation.

Fast mode

Fast mode is a simple variant of the game without agriculture. There is a lot of gold in the game. Building is shorter and therefore pays off a lot. It is therefore purely a positional game. Without combat, it can only be won by defending an above-average position for a full 5 years. However, due to the large resources, there are also generous military options. This mode is a good entry game or shorter game. 4 rounds per year and a maximum of 20 rounds.

Basic mode

xBasic mode is a simplified version of the full game. Seasons have their own meaning (sowing and harvesting; price of meat). Control of the seas also allows fishing. Building takes a maximum of 3 rounds, which becomes a problem in the short term. Likewise, all agriculture is practically one big soft target for all armies. Meat is absolutely key. However, as the herds get more numerous, the fields are no longer enough. Attacks on herds, grain, and even simple looting usually have more effect than large battles. Holding naval superiority (and blocking foreign ports) is another key element and a source of income. Aggressive play can quickly deplete the agricultural base. However, richer players are often targeted by multiple players at the same time. Probably the most common version of the game. 4 rounds per year and a maximum of 20 rounds.

Original mode

The original mode unlocks the full potential of the game. There are starting bonuses for individual players, stormy seas, but above all prestige. Building takes up to 4 rounds and the year is also longer (6 rounds). Investing in a large building becomes a risky venture. Now every unit represents a potential danger. The slight asymmetry through starting bonuses can greatly influence the appropriate strategy. And sometimes it brings entirely new possibilities. The sea continues to grow in importance, but it is also more uncertain and dangerous. An aggressive style brings prestige (which can also be gained in festivals), which can be targeted and thus strengthen a military campaign. The experience of the units becomes more valuable. The best choice for experienced players. 6 rounds per year means a maximum of 30 rounds.

Extended mode

The extended mode further expands the complexity of the game and the player’s options. Modifies some game situations. Allows battle on the battle board, where the element of chance in decisive battles can be better controlled. Each round is made more surprising by the weather, often forcing changes to original plans. The game is more geographically realistic due to the climatic regions. Animal management allows for optimization thanks to Transhumance. The morale of armies (which is the passive use of prestige) and the level of command further affect the performance of armies. Given the length of the game year (8 rounds), it is already quite crucial to adapt your game to geographical and geopolitical conditions. Every resource and every unit is multiply valuable. Maneuvering is thus an absolutely key component of the game. Recommended only for enthusiasts and players very familiar with the previous modes. The year lasts 8 rounds and the game a maximum of 40 rounds.