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February 15th, 2008, 17:15
Disciples is definitely strongly influenced by HoMM, but has its own approach to the same mechanics. The artwork alone gives the game a different feel, and the unit set-up is a little different, with 3 distinct hero types and the land conversion aspect playing a part in resource management. The magic system is set up so each faction has a different spellbook, and a different emphasis.

Like HoMM, it's very combat oriented, and sometimes frustratingly hard until you learn what playstyle works for you. For instance, playing a thief lord instead of warrior means you lose the regeneration ability on your troops, but gain the ability to sabotage combat order(put the archers and mages in the front row where you can nullify their skills, etc) As a mage lord, you can cast more spells per day and they cost less to cast and learn. The game gives you quite a few options, and is a lot of fun to play hot seat or lan because of the diplomacy factor.

Add to that a huge number of campaign and individual scenarios replayable by multiple factions, and hero and unit development that can be quite rpg-ish at times, and you get a game that stands on its own feet and isn't just a copy of HoMM.

If you don't enjoy lots of turn based, chess-like battles, however, the game is not for you.

This interview really makes the next episode look faithful to the series, if maybe not quite as much bang for your buck as the old days, but I'm happy if it even comes close.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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