The Ancient Art of War
The Ancient Art of War downloads
The map editor provides a fixed palette of identically-sized tiles with a variety of terrain features, with which one can fill in the details on a fixed-size rectangular map. The severity of certain terrain features, such as whether moving through mountains is merely slow or potentially deadly, is controlled at game time with options, not via a property of the map.
There is no element of the economic management (mining, gathering or construction) which is a common feature of later real-time strategy games.
players: single player
Abandonware DOS popularity: low
- #1 - 12.12.2016 23:33 max2goA bit of a review / info:
I played this in my teens... in terms of tactics, this was the most in-depth and amazing game I've played back then. It was a bit difficult to navigate at first, but once you've got the hang of it, won't be much of an issue. There are three combat unit types - knights, archers and barbarians. Each unit type has their individual pros and cons, such as range, speed and damage (maybe even also toughness / hit points; not sure). There's also a fourth unit type, but it's not for combat - spies. They travel the fastest and can detect enemies twice as far.
The pros and cons of the various types units vs other types of units are very logical: barbarians kill archers the quickest (so don't let them come close), archers are good against barbarians and knights (shoot them at long range) and knights are very effective against barbarians. Also when it comes to a fight near a mountain, being on the mountain shooting down gives those units a plus; also squad formations are very important (where the individual unit types are positioned).
You can combine those units into groups (squads) and also split them; squads can consist of any of the 4 unit types (mixed squads) and they move at the speed of the slowest unit type.
From what I remember, units have 1 value: energy / stamina, which dictates how fast they move. There might also be a food value.
You see everything top-down, but when squads clash with an enemy, it zooms in to see the action up-close from the side. Before combat starts, you can select automatic or manual - if you care about completing battles in the most effective manner, you will need to use manual, which is most important at the start; if you have the upper hand later on, you can then just use automatic. In manual combat, you have the option to attack, advance or retreat your units.
When your units detect enemy units, a message is displayed underneath the map, indication the direction of where enemies were spotted. At that time you'd usually want to reduce the game speed - there are 4 or 5 speeds, there's no pause but there's "very slow", which is almost like a game pause.
When you start the game, after selecting "go to war", you can select from various scenarios (called titles); once you choose one, it gives you a bit of a "background story" on the scenario / title and then the rules, which you can change: whether villages and forts supply food or not, if supply line range is short or long, how often forts train units (resupply), how of a good shape your units start out as, how much of an impact the weather has, how much crossing mountains slow your units down and if they pose a risk or not, and how much crossing forests slow your units down.
All that (with the exception of the enemy AI) you can define in the level editor, so you can create various scenarios from history (before gun powder was discovered and guns were used).
I haven't played it ever since, but I'll change that now! :)
Btw, there's also The Ancient Art of War at Sea and The Ancient Art of War in the Skies - here's a link to the Wikipedia page for the latter - the former is on here already: