Age of Wonders II
is a turn-based strategy game with a strong emphasis on magic. The style follows closely to that of games like Heroes of Might and Magic IV
, with the basic unit combat being heavily supported by spell casting.
The core of the game is based on the Campaign mode, where as the wizard Merlin, you must take on 14 other wizards in 20 different scenarios to claim the Wizard's Throne. To help you on your goal of conquest are a myriad of spells, champions, and units. These weapons aren't just handed to you, however. Resource management plays a big part in this game, with spells using up mana, and units costing gold.
Resources can be gotten from cities and other various locations on the map such as mines, gold piles, and magic nodes. These generators of income and mana must be defended if you are to keep up the pressure on your opponents, making you point a defensive eye not only towards your city, but also the surrounding area.
When two or more armies meet on the map, the screen changes to a close up view of their location, where each army must fight to the death in turn-based combat. Due to the hex shaped board of the world map, up to seven armies can participate in a battle at once. The only problem here is that once committed to a battle, you cannot make any attempt to retreat, forcing you to commit every unit in your army to the battle until they either win or die.
Other modes in the game include Scenario and Multiplayer modes, where you can choose your wizard, race, and magical affiliation and fight it out against up to 7 other wizards. The main goal of each map is the total annihilation of your enemy, but there are plenty of wizards and races to choose from, giving you a unique experience each time through.