the Great Cataclysm, dragons have been banished from
Ansalon, in the kingdom of Krynn, for more than a millennium;
people are beginning to take their now-peaceful existence
for granted and security has become lax. And so it is
with little effort that Takhisis, Queen of Darkness
(and villain of almost every Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
scenario) and her new ally, Highlord of Neraka, muster
draconian forces and taste victory in their first battle
with the armies of Whitestone (he's the good guy). Krynn's
in the poo once again! Are you person enough to face
the challenge of battle and drive Highlord back to the
Khalkist Mountains from whence he crawled?
of the Lance (WOTL) is a one or two-player
game with either a friend or your computer commanding
Highlord while you look after Whitestone. Each campaign
lasts six years (thankfully not in real time, but actually
thirty game turns), during which time both players engage
their armies in battle to conquer enemy territory. While
bloody battles are being fought, champions quest for
magic items to help your cause. Alternatively, you may
dispatch diplomats rather than soldiers in an effort
to gain alliance with other countries.
can be won in two ways: by having more points than your
enemy at the end of play or by destroying his central
you've selected who's playing whom, you choose either
Campaign -- the start of the war when Whitestone has
no allies; or Scenario -- further into the war when
both sides have allies and Highlord has several conquered
nations to brag about. There then follows a number of
options allowing you to alter strength of units, lost-units
replacements, alliance percentages (how willing a country
might be to join you) and combat effectiveness.
consists of several phases, which include Message, Quest,
Diplomatic, Movement, Recovery, and Combat (possible
on land, sea or in the air) -- and players take turns
at each. All phases are complex, highly detailed and
require much thought if a winning move is to be made,
but then isn't that the basis of all good wargames?
WOTL was designed by David Landrey (also responsible
for the award-winning Gettysburg and Battles
of Napoleon) which explains its depth, professionalism,
attention to detail and intricate strategies.
particularly refreshing feature is that the whole game
comes on one, double side disk -- there's none of this
'Insert disk 12, side C' confusion which has been far
too prevalent of late.
should stress that even though you may have enjoyed
other SSI/AD&D products, don't go rushing out blindly
to buy this one. You might be disappointed: it's their
first 'Wargame' and as such lacks the graphics (limited
to icons flashing around on a basic, but scrolling,
map), sound and visual effects featured in Pool of
Radiance or Champions of Krynn. Having said
that, WOTL might be a good introduction to wargaming.
If you like the Dragonlance scenarios, and pretty pictures
don't make or break a game for you, then you're half