Moby ID: 6845
DOS Specs
Conversion (official) Included in See Also


The first in the Warlords series. Basically, your mission is world domination. This may be played between up to 8 people all on the same machine. It is a medieval type strategy game that requires the player to control 80 cities in the realm of Illuria. In order to do so you must wipe out your 7 opponents.

Gold is accrued through the ownership of cities. The gold is then used to create armies. Heroes can sometimes "find" things or be rewarded by sages (there are only 2 and it's a first come first served basis). You can choose between various human and non-human peoples, as well as the ubiquitous evil Warlord. This is a very early version of what strategy games eventually became.

Groups +


Credits (DOS version)

20 People

Ideas (radical and clever)
Original Design
Amiga Programming
Artificial Intelligence Design and Programming
Ibm Development and Programming
Production Co-Ordinator and Additional Development
IBM Utilities
Computer Art
Sleeve Art
Game Testing



Average score: 76% (based on 18 ratings)


Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 4 reviews)

An early version of Heroes of Might and Magic!

The Good
This is a very cool turn-based fantasy-strategy game!

You decide which of the eight master cities to start in, and away you go. Each city has advantages and disadvantages, of course! Some cities are well-defended, but that just means they are difficult to get out of and conquer surrounding towns, getting them to churn out more gold and armies for you.

Other cities are poorly defended and make weak armies, but there are other cities nearby that you can quickly conquer and make your own. Still others make really tough armies, but at a slower rate, so you can't move at such a fast pace...

And then there are the ruins that can give your heroes special powers, or add demons and devils to your army of Orcs, wolf-riders, archers, or trolls... sigh I do so miss having a DOS-based Operating System.

The Bad
It was always the same dang map. And it was tough to win if you didn't start with the right town!

The Bottom Line
A very nice early fantasy-strategy game. No complaints about it at all.

DOS · by ex_navynuke! (42) · 2005

A Quintessential Bridge

The Good
Warlords I was a near perfect game. It was funny. It had massive variety in units and racial abilities (Elves moved better in the woods...). Different cities produced units, say cavalry, better than others, or cheaper than others. Leaders could explore ruins and if they survived, return with Dragons or obscene amounts of Gold. Units could be blessed at one of four different altars (Control of the Altar was therefore strategic. The Map was not random, but well planned. In its first dozen or so plays, we utterly forgot Empire ever existed.

The graphics folks used dithering in this game to greatly improve the realism level over earlier efforts by game designers. While I'm pretty sure this was a 16 color game, it appeared to use many more colors than 16.

This was the first game I'd played that required a mouse. I remember teaching my roommate how to double click.

One thing I loved was when the AI would explore someplace and get a stack of dragons, which it would then use to fly around the map razing cities. Once it lost a dragon, that stack would stay where it landed forever.

Oh yeah, you could stack units in this game, and the units affected each other's performance. So, start with a stack of Loran wolf riders, bless them four times prior to use, stack them with a hero and some demons, and you were ready to go after Lord Bane...or stack a hero on some griffens and you could fly. Wizards moved 50 (Shadowfax???). If you razed a city, you got some wild sounds from your PC's built in speaker--this was before the soundblaster card was expected to be on a PC. This game had a fabulous number of new ideas, many of which have yet to find their way to even today's turn based favorites.

The Bad
For all the good work, Warlords, just like Interstel's Empire, failed to constrain unit production. Each turn took longer than the preceeding. Cities became more and more difficult to take, and I do not remember any multiplayer games ever being finished, even after weeks of get togethers. Nonetheless, Warlords is better fantasy game than can be created with the scenario editor of Civilization III.

The Bottom Line
This is still worth playing. I found Warlords I better (and far more stable) than later Warlords releases, and preferred the original map to any that I played in Warlords II, which incidentally, did have a great scenario editor). I have only just recently discovered that Warlords has had versions since version II. Yes, I am interested!

DOS · by Simon Haller (16) · 2004

Beginning of Strategy games

The Good
The fact that I loved this game growing up. I have always liked strategy games that don't have 10,000,000 things you have to keep up with. Being able to find things that aid in your strength and other attributes are also a real plus.

The Bad
It's hard to keep up with where your armies are that you are moving.

The Bottom Line
This is an essential game to play if you are interested in classic strategy games. Plus, the wolfriders are just cool.

DOS · by Leshpar Dracendor (15) · 2005

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
iPhone remake Rola (8485) Feb 13, 2013



  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1991 (Issue #88) – Wargame of the Year (together with Command H.Q.)


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Related Games

Warlords: Classic
Released 2012 on iPad, iPhone
Warlords Awakening
Released 2018 on Windows
Winged Warlords
Released 1983 on ZX Spectrum
Winged Warlords
Released 1984 on BBC Micro
Ancient Warlords
Released 2018 on Macintosh, Windows
Warlords II
Released 1993 on DOS, 1994 on Macintosh, Windows Mobile
Warlords: Battlecry
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Onimusha: Warlords
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  • MobyGames ID: 6845
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by zeta thompson.

Amiga added by Rebound Boy. Macintosh added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Patrick Bregger.

Game added July 2, 2002. Last modified February 23, 2024.