Blight of the Immortals PreviewPlatform: PC Exclusive
Developer: Iron Helmet Games
After the great, terrible, life consuming spectacle that was Neptune’s Pride
, it was with both great trepidation and excitement that I approached Iron Helmet's second offering: Blight of The Immortals. The base concept is similar - a very slow burning 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) real-time strategy game that takes place over weeks rather than hours - but that’s where the similarities end.
Blight is firmly rooted in fantasy, rather than Neptune’s sci-fi tropes. Elves, Dwarves, Dark Elves, Ents, Wizards, Orcs, Goblins - all the Tolkien staples are present. And then the titular Blight, or rather, Zombies; which is where the differentiation from Neptune’s really starts to take hold.
The aim of Blight of the Immortals is for a group of six to eight players to ally and save a fantasy land from The Blight - a zombie infestation that threatens to consume the world. This means it’s co-operative rather than competitive, and immediately it’s a far less stressful, friendlier experience because of it.
Each game starts with the world divided up into rough sections for each of the players. By choosing to be an Elf at the start of my first game I was given land in and around the southern forests. This included a few towns, two armies of Elf rangers and an army of Ents. Other players were cast their lots too; Dwarves in mountain ranges, Men on the coasts, and Orcs and Goblins on plains. These ‘factions’ are also asymmetrical and each unit is different, which essentially means you will be doing lots of maths.
Maths is fun though, right? We’re all geeks, we deal in +10 STR and -5 AGL all the time, it’s just that here you’re doing maths based on time and dice rolls in order to calculate the best possible move. It can get absurd in its complexity, to the point of having to write down your working out and getting the numbers checked by an ally.
Staghold was a rustic town just to the north of the great Elven forests. It was a place of little drama – known for song, sweet summer wines, children and love. A mere 20 fresh-faced Elves kept a garrison there and they had never seen battle. Until one day, when a Level 2 army of 50 Blighted Cyclops came marching their way. Scouts said they would arrive in 20 hours, at which point 50 damage will crush the 20 Elves, who will hit for 20 damage and barely dent their enemy. The Elves will die and Staghold will become a place of death, rot and zombies. It was up to the illustrious leader to save the day with Maths and Working Out. He went and got a bit of pencil. And some squared paper.
Call him Legolas, I dare ya
The kingdom had enough coin in the coffers to build fortifications, which would increase the strength of the Elves by 10. They would take 18 hours to build, but that’s plenty of time. The leader also sacrificed two of his best huntsmen, using their abilities to do an extra 10 per cent of damage to the Cyclops once the fortifications were built.
Devoid of all emotion, the leader scribbles down the cold calculations:
Elves: 20 warriors - 2 for Hunt + 10 from fortifications = 28
Blight: 50 cyclops’ - 10% = 45
28 - 45 = -17 = Certain death
‘Certain death is not a valid answer to this problem,
’ said the leader. He called on nearby villages for re-enforcements, mustering another 12 warriors to his cause. It was still not enough.
Then he had an idea.