Fantasy General II Review05 Sep 2019 0
Fantasy General II Review
Released 05 Sep 2019
Fantasy General II is a brand new turn-based hex strategy game (although you could consider it a ‘war game’ as well) from Slitherine. It’s the sequel to a game that released twenty three years ago in 1996, fresh off the heels of the iconic Panzer General WW2 war game.
It takes place in the fantasy world of Aer, and features two primary factions at the to start with; the Empire,and the Barbarians. It’s a very lean faction set to be sure, but each one has been given a bit more care and attention as to the units you have access to, the back-story and the tactical possibilities.
One thing we will say though is that it hampers replayability as far as the Skirmish mode is concerned, but for the moment you’d probably have a better time tackling the 33-scenario long campaign.
In the campaign you’re put in charge of the Barbarians as Falirson, a charismatic leader who seeks to unite all the clans and invade the overbearing Empire, who have no respect for the natural order of things. Balancing out your rough-and-ready menagerie of troops and the Empire’s more ordered ranks of faux-legionnaires and undead, are a host of neutral threats and hazards that will roam the world and attack whoever they please.
Other than the gorgeous graphics, you can tell the campaign is where a lot of the development time has gone - as you progress through the scenarios you have interesting choices to make in terms of how you fund your growing army and how they develop over time. Interesting events within scenarios are tied to specific units as well; meaning it may be your lone unit of berserkers that ends up becoming the dragon-slayers, or your other hero-figure who ends up getting cursed by the spirits.
Fantasy General 2 has plenty of nods towards the original game, if you ever played it, but it’s mainly trying to stand out on its own in a genre that’s changed massively over the past two decades. Some references may fly over your head, but you needn’t worry - this is a modern turn-based strategy game made for a modern audience, and the only other thing you need to note is that games in the Panzer General ‘mould’ can sometimes share DNA with puzzle games. It’s less about your tactical prowess and more about using the tools on hand to solve the problem presented in front of you. That’s not to say this game is all about finding solutions - this is a sub-genre that’s been developed and iterated on over time - but it helps to keep that point in mind.
The ‘other’ Joe - who mainly writes for our sister site Wargamer.com - handled the review for this game. He very much enjoyed it, although conceded that apart from the campaign there wasn’t much else to do right now. You can read his full thoughts here.