War of the Lance

Moby ID: 1481
Apple II Specs

Description official descriptions

Command armies, heroes, and special units against the evil Highlord Dragonarmies. Have your heroes quest for magic to help in your battles, use diplomats to gather nations to your side, and send armies out to the field to do battle or hunt down enemy heroes. Play against a human opponent, or against the computer controlled Highlord Dragonarmies.

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Credits (Apple II version)

14 People

Game Design
Programming
Initial Game Design
Graphics
Game Development
Manual
Playtesters
Customized Disk Operating System
Art & Graphic Design
Desktop Publishing
Printing
  • A&a Printers and Lithographers

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 71% (based on 8 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 14 ratings with 3 reviews)

It's one of the Great Classics of the Past

The Good
The challenge is excellent. The Highlord AI is one of the best I've ever played against. It uses tactics most gamers wished modern day game ai's used. The Diplomacy system in this is excellent and I wished other games would copy it. For EGA graphics it's not really bad on the eyes. I like it.

The Bad
Some might be turned away by the UI since you must use the keyboard arrow keys and the number pad to play it. It's not hard really just a different form of playing.

The Bottom Line
A beer & pretzels quality game that ranks up there with Empire Deluxe and Panzer General for fun, entertainment and challenge that doesn't take a lifetime to play out one game of it.

DOS · by willie sanderson (1) · 2009

A comprehensive fantasy war game that captures the struggle of good and evil.

The Good
For a strategy game written in 1989 this game has it all. It has diplomacy, tactics, heroes, and good old fashioned war gaming. The computer poses a good challenge and you really gain a sense of desperation as the Highlord Dragonarmies begin picking off your allies one by one.

The Bad
The controls are completely keyboard driven and require some getting used to. I experienced one bug in the game where my Whitestone armies could not sack the enemy capital because a small force was not engagable.

The Bottom Line
If you like AD&D and strategy then this game is for you. It is a classic game set in the rich fantasy world of Krynn.

DOS · by Zen Gamer (75) · 2000

The first mass-combat AD&D war game. This is history boys & girls.

The Good
2nd Update.

This was a something new in its time. A turn-based strategy war game based of AD&D - Heroes of the Lance. Back than AD&D games were basicalyl all RPGs, at least those I could get my hands on. Mostly everything AD&D was a standard first person perspective RPG dungeon crawler. So I really wasn't expecting anything different.

How I managed to understand how to play this game is beyond my current comprehension. I tried to play it again and I couldn't understand how to play the dang game. Apparently my IQ has gotten lower in the past decade or I just lost patience. But speaking from memory, this is one hell of a cool strategy game.

The game is 100% based on the Dragonlance TM Saga. Knights, Dragons, Flying Citadels...you name it, they got it. For a AD&D what more could you want? They've even got the Heroes of the Dragonlance in small section of the game. They don't do much, but what they do really matters in the game.

The game itself is divided into 3 parts, although the screen is the same. And note I (always) play the most difficult - difficulty of the game.

  • First is "surprisingly" diplomacy. Note that there are many different "periods" in the game where you can start. You can start in the "beginning" where technically the "War of the Lance" has not begun, or you can begin later where the full fledged war has begun. Diplomacy is the first strategy of the game you have grasp quite skillfully in the game. In the time before the war of the lance, you only control Solance (I think) and come small countries. The bad guys (or bad girl) in this case, the evil dark queen and her country NERAKA (which coincidentally means HELL in Indonesian and Malay) are only at war with some neighbouring states. Every other country like the Dwaves, Elves, other humans, minotaurs, etc. are neutral. The queens dragon armies are numerous and strong, so that bunch of cavalry you have doesn't amount to much. You'll send your ambassadors to the many states to "persuade" them to join the war...more importantly join the war in "your" side. The non-linear thing about the diplomacy is that, you (Solace) and the dark queen (Neraka) have different countries that have better or worse relations with you but are still neutral. The elves for example are easier to persuade to your side than Neraka is. The minotaurs are more inclined to Neraka. The more diplomats you send, the more likely their relation with you will enhance thus ultimately turn them into your side. Succeding to do so means you control their land, their armies and more importantly their diplomats. More diplomants mean more allies to recruit.
  • The second has to do with your heroes dubbed "Heroes of the Lance". They play a small but essential role in the war of the lance. In the Quest section, you can send heroes throughout the land to search for items useful to your cause. Missions are dangerous and its likely someone will get hurt. In worst cases, some get killed (hint: load game). Though their not essentially part of the game play, the items that they find are. Magical items are important, but most importantly are Dragon lances. What makes Neraka dangerous is that she has dragons and you don't (at least in the beginning of the game). The most effective way to mortally kill a dragon is when an army has a dragonlance (and believe me even with one, killing a dragon is a celebrated feat!). The only way an army has a dragon lance is if the heroes found one in their many missions. So it's an interesting game of hide and seek while you plan the strategies of your armies aligned with the success and failures of your heroes. That is until citadels start flying around...
  • Last is planning, locating and moving your armies. Neraka is aggresive so you had better know which countries to defend or else it will fall and so will their armies and resources they offer to you. Got to love all those dragons.

    **The Bad**
    Those enemy dragons can get kinda frustrating...but I guess they deserve that respect of being somewhat invincible. That is until the flying citadels show up. I still don't know how to defeat those oversided pile of rocks. The game is quite difficult to learn the first time around so you'd probably have to play the game 4-5 times to finally understand the overall strategy of the game. But I suppose the best strategy games out there are the one you don't understand the first several times around.

    **The Bottom Line**
    Well if your a AD&D lover, then I shouldn't remind you the importance of this gem. But an old school strategy gamer should find this game quite entertaining. In deed 'tis Medieval Art of War. With a touch of dragons.
  • DOS · by Indra was here (20756) · 2006

    Trivia

    The game box's cover features a painting by artist Jeff Easley, earlier used as the front cover to Douglas Niles and Tracy Hickman's 1985 RPG module "Dragons of Glory".

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    Contributors to this Entry

    Game added by Zen Gamer.

    Commodore 64 added by Rebound Boy. Apple II added by Terok Nor.

    Additional contributors: Pseudo_Intellectual, FatherJack.

    Game added May 25, 2000. Last modified January 18, 2024.