Also, the trend toward a more sandbox-style of game continues. It is easy to set your own victory conditions before the game starts, for example. This allows the player to decide what style of game they would like to play. Feel like taking over the world? – set your victory condition to “conquer every province”. More relaxed gamers will want to try “gather X food and gold”.
To continue with the sandbox-style options, the quests have been toned down. In KA it could often feel like the quests were railroading your game. The quests so rewarded success (and punished failure) that one pretty much had to undertake them at the right time and in the right order to win. “The Druids” relaxes this some. Quests are still important, but are more like Wonders in Civ – they make it easier to win, but are not absolutely required. Combine the revised quest structure with the ability to choose your own victory conditions and you have a lot of freedom to decide how the game will play.
The point of this expansion was not just to add a few more rules and options, however. The real treat is the addition of the Faerie units. Where KA provided a balanced set of units, with some special units for each side, and the “Saxons” expansion brought more depth to the Christian side, the “Druids” put you in the shoes of a follower of the Old Faith and give you lots of mystical creatures to recruit.
Playing as Arthur himself could be a bit of a drag. There was always the balancing act between Christian and Druid, the constant court intrigue, and endless calls for shrubbery. Playing as the Saxons meant being old-school Christian – lots of fighting, sure, but not all that magical. But the Druids! Now here is a faction one can get behind. They're a more magical, stranger, and altogether more colorful group than those other two. Admittedly the Welsh (the stronghold of the Druids and their Old Faith) did not come off too well in either the stories or reality, but those guys could party.
This is not an expansion that fixes all the problems of the original. There are real problems with the zoom level - simply put, one cannot zoom far enough out to get a real strategic view. And even when zoomed out the pitiful amount allowed, the graphics are too busy to make out what is going on. Waving trees are nice, but so is seeing your units. Also, the installation procedure was a complete mess. It took maybe half-a-dozen attempts to get the expansion to work.
In summary the “King Arthur – The Roleplaying Game: The Druids” expansion is, from a strictly game-oriented perspective, nothing to write home about. From an economic perspective, however, it only costs 10 bucks, which is not bad. At one point Steam was offering the “King Arthur: Complete Pack” (the original game, plus “The Saxons” and “The Druids”, plus 2 DLC packs) for 12 bucks, which is really a great deal. There is way more than 12 bucks worth of game in this bunch.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Not that much new here, but a price to match. A good bet for fans of the original game looking for more content until the sequel comes out. If you can grab the whole series at the $12 mark, do it.
Page 2 of 2