Friday, May 6, 2011

Conquered Kingdoms



Getting ready to capture a castle


Finally, I present a genuine PC gaming classic...

Conquered Kingdoms is a turn-based strategy game released by QQP in 1992.  The game followed QQP's other successful turn-based games like The Perfect General and The Lost Admiral by offering innovative, extremely enjoyable gameplay, solid AI and basic, functional graphics.

This game was clearly influenced by classic boardgames like RISK and earlier computer wargames like WarlordsEmpire and QQP's own releases, yet Conquered Kindoms manages to present a totally unique combination of elements; resource collection, unit combat, castle siege, etc that haven't appeared together in a game since.  Probably the closest similar games would be those of the Heroes of Might and Magic series.

Conqured Kingdoms ad


Conquered Kindoms was released to near universal praise.  Reviewers complimented the rich gameplay, quality AI and replayability.  There were a few complaints about the game's confusing manual and the generally rough graphics but these were far outweighed by praise. Here's Computer Gaming World's review:



Conquered Kingdoms was ranked as one of the top 10 released games by CGW readers for an  incredible 7 months straight, peaking at the number 1 spot in March of 1993 above DOS classics like Civilization, Ultima Underworld and Wing Commander II:



Box scans. (courtesy Mobygames)





Sadly only a month after Conquered Kingdoms was released in November of '92 Westwood Games released the classic Dune II, a game which created the modern real-time strategy genre, spawning dozens of similar games and relegated turn-based strategy gaming to an uncertain future.

Conquered Kingdoms proved to be arguably QQP's gaming highpoint, and although they later developed several excellant games like The Grandest Fleet and The Perfect General II in less than three years they would cease to exist as a company...  



To play Conquered Kingdoms you'll need the DOSBox DOS emulator and the game files themselves which you can get here at Home of the Underdogs(it's the .ZIP file).

Exclusive game DOCS:

Previously unavailable FULL manual here.

Unit combat interaction chart here.

Color battlemaps here.

IMPORTANT: You'll also need a special mouse driver that you can download here. Extract MOUSE.COM and put it in your Conquered Kingdoms game folder.
 
Run the game by mounting the game folder in DOSBox and then type "MOUSE.COM" to run the mouse driver, and then type "CC B" to start the game with the Soundblaster sound option.

There will be a copy protection prompt but just enter any series of keys followed by ENTER three times to get by this.

This video covers the basics of playing the game:


The goal of Conquered Kingdoms is to have more Victory Points than your opponent at the end of the game. You gain VPs by capturing towns, cities and castles and you do this by fighting the enemy and occupying these points with your various army units.

Before each game you buy an army with your initial gold supply, and after the game starts you can purchase new units using Resource Points(Gold, Coal and Wood) that you collect by occupying the RP points scattered throughout the map. 

Every other turn a BUILD screen pops up allowing you to purchase new units with resource points, but you can only place these new units inside CASTLES that you already own.  This makes capturing castles very important... 


Unit movement is fairly simple; right-click on a unit and then left click a destination square. 

IMPORTANT: Make sure not to place more than 2 friendly units on a single square or you might lose your units(max units per square is 2 friendly 2 enemy). 

Combat happens in a seperate turn-phase.  Each unit in the game has a different effectiveness versus enemy units, and many powerful units can be killed using simple cheap units(ie: archers killing dragons) so careful planning is required.

Here's a helpful chart showing unit vs. unit effectiveness:



A scenario map:






Conquered Kingdoms is a truly fantastic game and a forgotten classic of the DOS era.  It has many levels of strategic gameplay, requiring deep planning and bold strategy in order to win at the higher difficulty levels.  Without hesitation I give Conquered Kingdoms four out of four Golden Floppies:



3 comments: