The turn-based strategy games of the 90s were some of the best the genre has ever seen, even now. Legendary titles like Heroes of Might and Magic, Kings Bounty, and Age of Wonders set the bar for the level of quality and mechanics games in the genre should have, but many turn-based strategy games of today have strayed from the formula of their ancestors. New game development studio Lavapotion must have also noticed this, as their first-ever title is a throwback to those halcyon days.
The Swedish developers have recently released Songs of Conquest into Steam Early Access, a game that features gorgeous pixel art, an intricate story, and classic gameplay with plenty of improvements to make it feel modern. If you’re a fan of those older games, or even if you’re trying turn-based strategy for the first time, I have some tips to help you get started in your Songs of Conquest playthrough. So gather up your troops, and let’s get started!
Take the Time to Learn
While easily accessible and very intuitive, Songs of Conquest has many moving parts. There are layered mechanics as well as a ton of wielders and units for you to get acquainted with, and it is important to know the function of each one. Thankfully, there is a menu called “Tutorials & Codex” that is accessible within the pause menu. This menu will show you all of the tutorials you have been given up to the point it is accessed and will outline the functions and abilities of each wielder and unit. If you use this menu frequently when you are getting started, you will quickly learn the most important parts of the game and will be more successful overall.
Start at the First Campaign
If you’re a turn-based strategy veteran, you’re probably going to want to jump right into a skirmish and skip all of the tutorials. But, just like someone who has never played a turn-based strategy game, you should also start at the game’s first campaign, “The Song of Stoutheart”. While this is ultimately a tutorial campaign, it also serves to give you the background and an overview of the game’s lore, its four factions, and how all of its mechanics work together. Songs of Conquest is inspired by Heroes of Might and Magic and its contemporaries, but it is also its own game that stands alone and deserves to be fully understood.
Speed Things Up
During gameplay, you will find yourself spending quite a bit of time waiting for wielders to move after you give them an order. Depending on how far their new target is, it could take a few seconds for them to complete their journey. This adds up over the course of a run, but there is a way to speed things up. After you set a target for a wielder to move, if you right-click on that target location, the hero will warp there, saving you that few seconds of waiting. This is very helpful, but be warned, if you set them to interact with a source of power or a location where lore will be revealed, warping to that location will also speed through that dialogue. So just be mindful of where you’re warping if you’re hoping to get the most out of Songs of Conquest as you can.
Make the Most of Build Sites
In Songs of Conquest, you will be able to build various facilities that will grow your empire’s power and provide you with helpful perks in skirmishes. There are three types of build sites: small, medium, and large. You might just build whatever building you need that fits that space, but if you need a building of a different size and you’re running out of space, it is important to know that you can construct a building of any size that is smaller than that location as well. If you have a large building location, you can also build medium and small buildings. This will effectively waste the rest of that available space, but if you need the functions of that smaller building then it should work out.
Use Rally Points
At your various settlements, you are able to build rally points. These unique constructions allow you to build units at other locations and then teleport them to the rally point. You’ll often run into a situation where you need a settlement defended but are unable to get troops there in time. This is where the rally point comes in.
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