Solium Infernum - Game Released and Final Diary Entries @ Fidgit
This slipped past me during Thanksgiving, but the Demo has been released for Solium Infernum. Solium Infernum is a strategy game based in the Infernal Pitt. You take on the role of an archdemon vying for the Throne of Darkness. The demo comes with the manual. You can download the demo here.
In addition, Fidgit has wrapped up the diaries on the game. The third in the series is called "Touched By An Angel". It goes over the random events in the game. Here is a snippet from the entry:
Many games have random events. A common mechanic in a boardgame is drawing some sort of event card that can affect everyone. But Solium Infernum doesn't quite do it that way. Instead, you draw a card every time it's your turn to first. So when you're in the catbird seat, so to speak, you get to draw a random event that you can keep until you're ready to play. And therefore, any time an event happens, it happened because someone played it.
The catch is that many of these random events are indeed random. There's no guarantee you won't be hoist by your own petard.
After the jump, I'll tell you about the Angelic Host.
Angelic Host Incursion is one of the event cards. It brings onto the board an Angelic Host, which is that gold piece up there. She's pretty bad-ass, and she can fly a far distance. She arrives and attacks one of the legions of the player who's in the lead. Then she works her way down the list of players, flitting about the board and swatting down demonic legions over the course of several turns. Considering most players will only have two or three armies, and considering this Angelic Host is a mighty powerful creature, this is a perfect event for trailing players. It's the equivalent of that cannon bullet in Mario Kart that lets you nose your way towards the lead. Just keep your fingers crossed she goes away before she gets to you.
The last called "A Couple Things You Should Know First" gives a critique of the game. It mostly focuses on the AI, but one thing Vic is known for is updating his games and tweaking them to perfection. For Example: Armageddon Empires was updated many times before he was satisfied with the AI. The other critique is the difficulty in learning the game. This is nothing new with his games and frankly it's refreshing to not be able to figure out within a few seconds all the nuances of a the game. It's always a good idea to read the manual before playing or scan the forums for help. It's a little difficult to post a snippet from the article due to the fact that he references a screenshot in the article, but here are a few:
See that screenshot up there? It's the diplomacy screen, where you track each player's score. I'm in a full six-player game against the AI. I'm at the top. As you can see, my score is 132. If you work your way around the ring clockwise, the AI players' scores are 20, 6, 8, 0, and 13. The game is probably about a third of the way over. None of the other players has lifted a finger against me in any meaningful way. No diplomatic initiatives, no attacks, no rituals. I am clearly the biggest threat on the board. Their reaction? No reaction at all. I'm literally just hitting the "next turn" button over and over, watching my score rise.
The other thing I would warn you about is that this is not an easy game to understand. There is no tutorial. You're not going to figure it out by shuffling pieces around and checking the tool tips (there aren't any). You will have to read the manual. You will then have to read it a second time. You will then want to have it handy to reference it while you're playing. Solium Infernum is a complex game that will not meet you half way. You have to do the homework.
Those two things said, I cannot recommend this game enthusiastically enough. There are too few strategy games this bold, this true to their subject matter, and this unique in terms of gameplay. Get it here (there's a demo you can try to see if it's the sort of thing you'll like) and I hope to see you on a score board like the one above, but with the numbers a bit more evenly distributed.
Information aboutSolium Infernum
SP/MP: Single + MP