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Written by  :  Matt Steward (4)
Written on  :  Jan 22, 2006
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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A strategy suggestion: Sword of Aragon

The Good

Others have reviewed this game with admirable detail so I will not wax lyrical about a game that still has not lost its playability of 15 years. Needless to say this is the first review I have been moved to make so my reader may be assured that I still enjoy playing it to this very day.

Basically what I'd like to do here is to suggest an alternative approach to the game that although may not be in the 'spirit of the game' certainly does not involve recoding.

OK let’s start with the army:

Choose a Warrior - he comes in a 6th level basic don't bother to change his equipment because he gets the sword, but saying that I don't really know if it really affects his combat stats if you re-equip him with anything else.

Next hire as many 3rd level Warrior hero’s as your level allows* and re-equip them with Mail, Large shield, Sword, Spear, Medium horse & Chain barding and later to Mail, Two handed Sword, Xbow, Medium horse & Chain barding.

*You can 'cycle' through the hiring process until you get 3rd level hero’s.

Then you make 2 units of Mtd infantry, 30 men a unit equipped with Leather, Large Shield, Sword Spear, Light Horse & Leather barding.

Why? I hear you ask. It’s to maximise your yearly movement. The more moves you make the more chance of an encounter the more chance of earning victory points and the whole point of the pre Pitlag part of the game is to get your warrior up as many levels as possible.

Why? Because you are aiming to get to 14th level as soon as possible as this is the time you sack half your warriors and buy your real army, the army that will destroy Xafanta in 2 turns without you moving one space. An army that can do 4500 hits in a single attack in Medeval from one unit (I can prove it).

An army that can go up 14 experience levels - yes 14 levels in one combat.

An army that when properly positioned can recapture Char Gernok Xafanta and Dersh all in one turn and thus providing you with a steady income.

What is this army? I'll tell you in a minute.

OK so we have our army and we still through the first battle. I just stick all my hero’s in the tower and fill out the other 2 spaces with the Mtd Inf.

The systems AI tends to assault the hex with the most units in which is fine; watch the Orcs charge in and then take second thoughts or get destroyed. This amuses me.

Well we have no cash now to buy in the logging so its off to the Minotaur in the northwest woods (force march north 1 turn a wait for him to fall on your spears) and down to the Cyclops (force march west, take the hit then jump him).

Now you have enough cash to buy your Allada defence unit - 100 infantry Mail, Large, Sword & Spear. This you leave in Allada and train up to 4th level So you can equip them with the statutory Plate, Sword and Pike.

Still feeling a little strapped for cash? Time to visit the Orcs and the Wizards Southeast of Allada. Charge in and bingo you are 15K richer and you have increased your 2 Mounted Infantry units to 40 men with Mail, Large shield, Sword, Spear, Medium horse & Chain barding and perhaps adding another 2 identical units.

Now you march up and down the roads gaining experience*, you may decide to leave your Mtd Inf behind as they will hamper your experience gain on your hero’s, but its worth getting them up a few levels for the Pitlag fight.

*do not march around if there is any attrition value and save your game after each turn.

Don't forget to buy logging and agriculture (one or two points spent in fortification and structure keeps your people happy).

Next the Duke dies and a quick chat to Malacon followed by the charging in approach and you have your first vassal.

Then you wait for Pitlag to invade Brocada and then charge in to help Petrov and there is vassal number 2.

Next is the big one to do is Paritan do this one when the old man gives you the nod, Pitlag has 2 incarnations this is because no matter how hard you squish him in the battle he always manages to escape to the south east. Don't forget to buy you 100 infantry for Paritan. Take your Mtd Inf to seige Nuralia (check the time of year for attrition purposes). Take your hero’s down to beat up Pitlag.

When Nuralia falls make it vassal number 3 and regroup back in Allada.

Now we so south, go and see the monks and pay them. Travel east up the road and kill the dragon. The combat will go - You stack up your heroes. The dragon lands on them. It dies. You get 72K, nice.

Don't attack Gernock yet. Head back to SurNova, beat up some giants en route and buy your 100 infantry to defend SurNova - don't forget to train them up.

Now its time for the secret weapon.

Yes you guessed it - Mages.

By as many Mages as you can ensure they are the maximum level you can buy. Ensure they all have horses.

Mages are pants until they get to 12th level all they can really offer is their missile attack. Leave your army in SurNova and go and beat up the Priests & Demons with your heroes Northeast of SurNova. Now drag your heroes up and down the road south of Surnova to get encounters. Remember NEVER stack your Mages so they become more of a target that your Warriors especially if there are Giants or Titans. I tend to stack 3 Mages to a hex and 4 Warriors to a hex in order to draw the fire. If you end up too close to you targets, teleport away a distance.

Now quite simply the rest of the game is building up your Mages and using this tactic - Pyro.

Pyro is a wonderful spell, as you progress in level the area of effect gets bigger and the damage per unit gets bigger.

3 20th level mages can take Gernok on their own - try it and watch them get 3-7 levels each for the fight! Note that I suggest for the first fight you take all your heroes as I don't know if your main character has to be there to collect to points.

As you take out subsequent cities your Mages will go up levels quicker if you leave a couple of them next to the city hex to re-conquer it during the next turn - again watch for attrition. The only cities I tend to use in this manner are Gernok Char and Dersh.

I have built up a mage to 100th level and his pyros were doing 50 hits a unit on every enemy unit on the entire map - this was after I accidentally dropped the pyro at his feet!

I won't detail the rest of the game now but this will give you the idea.



The Bad

The graphics but what do you expect from a 15 year old game. If half the games out now had half the playability of this gem I'd be a happy man.

The Bottom Line

Sword of Aragon is **the** Classic fantasy strategy game. A must for those how enjoy a little nostalgia and want to find out where all the other subsquent fantasy strategy games stole thier ideas from.