jp's Northgard (PS4)
| [February 27, 2022 07:17:12 PM]
| Not sure if I wrote about this before...but whatever...
The military system I thought was kind of interesting. The map is divided into sections - and you have to take over these sections in order to do anything with/in them. Normally a section is "empty" (or has some monsters or whatever), so you defeat the monsters and then pay a bunch of food to colonize it. Now, if you take over a section that was owned by another player/AI, the non-military (guard towers) stay in the section! You have to keep troops there all the time, at first they're just counting on an "occupation" timer. Once that timer is complete you have to keep the troops there until you pay the colonization fee - and wait the time for that to happen. Only then is the section yours. Now, it can get taken back - and presumably your opponent has to wait, pay and all that jazz. So, it gets really expensive really fast to win by taking over enemy sections. BUT, it gets worse(?) - because - I think - you can "easily" win by taking over an enemy section that is important (productive) to their economy. The time without it should spiral them into...a bad situation. At least in theory. So, a military victory is essentially an economic one? I never pressed my troops to go all in fighting across sections and so on, maybe I should have? That would have decimated the enemy village population and they wouldn't have been able to recover fast enough.
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| [February 27, 2022 02:16:37 PM]
| I had uninstalled the game and was ready to put it on the shelf when, on writing the previous entry to this one, I realized that I was curious about how a regular (non-campaign) game would go and I decided I wanted to try it out. So, I did. It took 90 minutes, and - for a while - things were going fine. By fine I mean I was making progress on my village, I was getting behind - at least according to the announcements I was seeing, and I had started to "poke" at the AI just to see how things worked. It took 90 minutes and I eventually lost and I was mostly disappointed by how little I understood the game, I think.
There's always a point when you move from campaign to vs AI that "gets you", because you've been playing in a way that works for campaign, but is wrong (inefficient) vs AI. There's an additional bump when you play against other people as well.
I'm generally ok with that - BUT, it's the time investment that gets me. You're at least 30 minutes in before you even know you're screwed/behind. It makes it really annoying to try stuff out and test different approaches. Maybe I'm just lazy?
I did notice as I was playing that I vacillated in my strategy - I kind of went back and forth between going for lore points and building up an army and going on the offensive. I then realized I didn't have the right set up to sustain that army and/or rebuild it as soldiers died. So, ultimately I knew things weren't going to end well, but it still took too long to get there.
I'm also guessing that playing against AI is less fun that other players - if the other players are all new to the game. I remember my early days playing Starcraft - and how much fun it was to learn the game with friends, seeing other people's strategies for building bases and all that stuff. We weren't super competitive or that good - but it was the learning together part that was fun.
Oh, last comment - another thing that made the game annoying to play is that the text was way too small. I had to sit really close to the TV just to read all the messages.
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| [February 13, 2022 09:34:19 PM]
| It's been a while since I've played a game like this. At first I thought it was an RTS - build your Viking village and then go raiding and pillaging. Then I thought it was more of a civ-style empire-builder (perhaps at a smaller scale), but it's not quite this either.
I played the first 4 missions of the campaign or so and...it feels very much like a light-RTS without much of the RTSing...and a pretty tight economy in that there's very little room for mistakes. I messed up a few times and had to start over - once you run out of food there really isn't much you can do to come back - especially when you're playing against time. So, a restart became the option, and it was a big annoying to be honest.
As I write this I realize that perhaps I should play a non-campaign game? I'm guessing it'll be 1v3 or something like that and I'll have to fend off enemy incursions and that sort of thing?
It's really quite a slow-motion feeling game - at most I've had an army of 8, and it's a real drain on the finances to even have that many and, if I were to lose them, it would take a long time to be able to afford the money AND the human resource. When a soldier dies, it takes a while to get a replacement...so losing 5 is a real blow! I guess that's not a bad thing, it just goes to the fact that it's a different style of game than what I was expecting and I was ready to put it away, but now I'm wondering....
Food and lumber management is perhaps the toughest - there's a yearly weather cycle such that in winter it all goes white and you hardly collect any food and your lumber consumption goes way up (because fires!). Unlike RTS games where you can sort of build wherever, here you have a unit of space - sometimes it'll have a special structure (a stone circle you can pray at to get lore points) or affordance (you can plant a field here for food!) - the special structure (or lack of) is what really constraints things. I can't just build as many fields as I want - I have to expand the village to HOPEFULLY find a place where I can build a field and, more often than not, at least in these campaign missions, there's nothing and so you can't really expand that much.
It always felt that the environment was just terrible for growing/getting food so that was my number one concern - get the lore upgrades that benefit food production, build the storehouses, and so on.
I guess this is probably kind of "historically accurate"? But, this is no game where you build a massive army and then steamroll over your opponents. It was fun to build a dock and send people out on raids (mostly raiding for cash + lore, though cash+fame was also an option).
Oh, unlike RTS games where targetting tends to happen automatically - here I found out that I had to explicitly choose to attack an enemy section of land AND, more interestingly, only the watchtowers and enemy units were targetted. The other structures are ignored and I could then take them over. This was, fortunately, the only way I was able to win a campaign mission where I had to accumulate for "something" points than my opponent - and I was way behind so I attacked and took over an area they had - which included their trading building and that simple thing seemingly hobbled their economy to such a degree that they stopped accumulating the "something" points and I was able to catch up and win. Phew!
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jp's Northgard (PS4)
Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored
GameLog started on: Saturday 5 February, 2022
GameLog closed on: Sunday 27 February, 2022
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