From Snake6283@aol.comFri Nov 3 17:24:11 1995
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 1995 17:22:19 -0500
To: John Holt
Well, here are the quick thumbnail sketches with honest appraisals of kingdom prospects.
Aquilonia: They have the strongest military in the game, and can eradicate any single kingdom. They just don’t get the chance to fight single kingdoms. Their court has good examples of every character type, but they are sparse.
Amazonia: Their military is roughly equal to their neighbor and age old enemy Juma’s Kingdom. They have the luxury of one set of warseasons of uninhibited expansion as well. Their court is stacked with great rulers, but lacks in magic and diplomacy.
Argos: Their land troops are almost entirely mercenaries, and most of their expansion will likely be at sea. Those mercenaries are great, but alas, you need to pay them as well. The court is very good, with some great generals. Sea battles though, are very risky to characters.
Asgard: They have the best infantry in the game but are flanked by enemies. If they can break out of their area, they can wreak some havoc on the rest of the world. Their court is full of heroes, but they won’t get too much magic, generally.
Border Kingdom: This is the most difficult position in the game, and will require diplomacy in and out of the game, and no small measure of luck to survive. Surrounded by enemies, with only one, grudging, ally makes this an intriguing position and a challenge for any player, any time. Their military is inferior to everything in the area, and their court has good generals and heroes, but not much diplomacy, which they need more than anything.
Brythunia: They have probably the most unique military in the game, with lots of cavalry. However, they have no wealth, and rely heavily on levies, which are plentiful. They have a court which lacks rulership, which will be essential to their long term survival, and they have one diplomat, who is an early target of Zamora.
Cimmeria: Obviously, the land of Conan is going to be a great position. Great warriors and some great archers. They can go toe to toe with any kingdom, with the possible exception of Aquilonia. A hero-heavy court, and they won’t get much in the way of wizards.
Corinthia: The Corinthian heavy pike are among the best units in the game. They are the bane of all cavalry, and are one of the most feared troop units in the game. Their court is competent, with a couple of exceptional characters.
Darfar: One of the most difficult kingdoms in the game. Their military is mostly archer units, which have trouble fighting melee battles. They also want a piece of nearly everyone in the area. Their court is small, but exceptional. They are built for war.
Hyperborea: This is a real character kingdom. Tons of wizards make the backbone of their military. The troops are mostly light, and not very comparable to the other kingdoms in the area. Their best troop unit is the cheap, heavy undead infantry called the walking dead, but they are a defensive unit, and will not join an invasion.
Hyrkania: The masters of the plains, their mostly cav military gets easy early expansion, but their court is lacking, and they need to find a decent ruler to avoid costly revolts in their provinces.
Iranistan: The military is varied, but their best troop is the heavy infantry, which is the best in the area. Their court is decent, with some good diplomacy and magic.
Juma’s Kingdom: Their single troop type is comparable in military to Amazonia, their court is a little more varied. They must be quick though to sneak out and pick up provinces before Amazonia picks them all up.
Kambulja: This kingdom is heavy on wizards and intrigue, and their troops are decent. But this kingdom has one cause, and one goal, Khitai, the largest kingdom at the start of the game. They have their work cut out for them, especially if they can’t find early allies.
Keshan: A competent military, with some interesting variety, including chariots. Their court is their strength though, and they should use it early against their hated enemy, Punt.
Khauran: This is a kingdom with wealth beyond its size, but a need to use it to fight against Turan. Their court is good and varied, and they tend to get some great agents. They should be careful though, since Khauran City is one of the wealthiest provinces in the game, and therefore one of the most coveted.
Khitai: They start with the largest kingdom, and the largest military. They also have the only heavy non-imperial troops in the east, but their feet are built of clay. Their light infantry is the worst in the game, and they must have 20% of their military in this troop. Their court is good, with good magic, but they lack diplomacy. They have easy early expansion, but have many enemies ready to block their path.
Khoraja: This is the best small kingdom military. They have heavy troops, more than even their neighbor Khauran. They have as good a court, and diplomacy. Like Khauran, they have Koth to the north as a shield, and can expand into the deserts early.
Kosala: A very difficult position, because it is one of two with light (25%) losses as the national loss acceptance in open field. They are enemies with their friend Vendhya, powerful Turan to the north, and typically Iranistan as well. Luckily, they have a great court, with the ability to peace off anyone, and they should use it early and often if they are to survive.
Koth: A very difficult position, for a large kingdom, because most of its military is made up of light archers. They also need to protect Khauran and Khoraja, making this a challenging position. Their court is stellar, one of the best in the game. They also have the best heroes outside of the barbarians, but they lack what they need most: Diplomacy.
Kusan: The best diplomats in the game live in Kusan. This is another court kingdom, with variety, skill, and numbers. They’ll need to use it to survive, too, sitting so close to Khitai. Their military is passable, but not able to stand very well against the PKs in the area. They are very reliant on their court.
Kush: The best kingdom in the south typically has trouble prospering because its goals point it in the wrong direction: north. They have a small court, not very adept at what they do. They are a military kingdom, and if they go in the right direction, they’ll do well.
Nemedia: Arguably the second best military in the game belongs to Nemedia, and they have one of the best courts as well. They need it though, because their enemy is Aquilonia.
Ophir: This is a kingdom that has a good military, but it stands trapped between giants. They have to be careful to expand slowly, and in the right direction. Their court is decent, and has some good, needed diplomats.
Pictland: Their military is not on par with any in their area, and their court is sadly lacking. Pictland usually disappears in the first set of warseasons. Yet if they last through to the peace years, a great prize awaits: an incredible levy rate and 12 provinces from which to levy. At this point they become a power. Certainly it is one thing for 30 Aquilonian troops to fight 30 Picts. It is another thing entirely for 30 Aquilonian troops to fight 130.
Punt: A very difficult position. They have a decent military, even if composed mainly of one troop type. They have a small, but very gifted court, and must use everything in their power to maintain ownership of the Gold Hills, one of the richest provinces in the game.
Shem: Small court, not very adept either. Don’t believe too much in magic either, generally, but they have one of the best militaries in the game, and a nice place to put them: Koth. But they must contend with plenty of enemies as well, and with their lack of diplomacy at the beginning, they may have to fight when they aren’t quite ready.
Stygia: The best wizards in the game live in Stygia. But their court isn’t just wizards. It is varied and exemplary, and they should lose very few with all of their reincarnate spells. Their one fault may be heroes, but that matters little in the grand scheme of things. They have plenty of diplomacy to peace off their many enemies, and their wizards can defend well if someone gets past their diplomacy. Their military is good for the south, but weak when they sit next to Shem.
Tombalku: This kingdom is also one of the most difficult. They start with a weak court and a small military. But they have the best medium cavalry in the south, and can use it effectively. Their one help in the court is their monarch, who can’t rule, but is a good diplomat. They’ll need him to last very long at all.
Turan: I consider this the best position in the game. It has a very strong military, the highest standard mercenary ratios outside of Argos, and easy early expansion. They also have a good court. They must be careful only to watch whose attention they pique with their expansion.
Uttara Kuru: Their military is decent, but they, like Kosala, have light losses in the open field. They must use their court, arguably the best in the game, to succeed. Great wizards and skilled diplomats make them a constant threat to their enemy Vendhya.
Vanaheim: A good military, with troops comparable to, though not as good as, the other barbarian kingdoms of Cimmeria and Asgard, they have difficult goals ahead of them. Their court is slightly weak, and they shouldn’t expect a wizard to ever grace the hallowed halls of their capital.
Vendhya: The second largest kingdom at the start has its age old ally on one side, and is bound in peace with its age old enemy. To its north are the barbarous mountain tribes, always difficult to get past. The Vendhyan troops have their jobs cut out for them. Their troops aren’t bad, but aren’t great. Their strength is in their slightly better than average infantry, and their numbers. Their court is varied and competent, but they don’t have many standouts at the start.
Zamora: The best agents in the game walk the streets of Shadizar. The fear of these agents visiting their court is enough for many kingdoms to bend their knee to Zamora. Their troops are adequate enough to back them up, too. But Zamora must make certain to back the troops up with their wizards and their agents, or their road will be difficult indeed.
Zembabwei: The best spearmen in the game fight in Zembabwei, underneath the defensive Winged Reptiles. Their military is very good, but they must contend with Iranistan, whose military is superior to their own. Zembabwei’s court is decent, and varied, but is slightly lacking in diplomacy.
Zingara: The other naval nation in the north, Zingara is hampered even in that battle. For them to own the seas, they must conquer their enemy Argos on land. Their court is good and varied, nearly a match for Argos.