Four nations, one epic feud - meet the AI featured in the new real-time strategy
The war has shifted from Medieval Europe and the Middle East, and now we find ourselves in a heated feud across East Asia in Stronghold: Warlords.
In this exciting real-time strategy game from Firefly Studios, you'll recruit, upgrade and command AI lords across the battlefield in the form of in-game ‘Warlords’. Each of these warlords under your command will help boost your strategic prowess with unique perks, characteristics and upgradeable abilities.
You can put them to work for your industry, as well as fortifying borders, forging weapons or team up for a pincer attack. Each campaign mission, skirmish game and multiplayer battle means a fresh set of warlords to command and new strategic depth to discover.
The game features four nations in which you'll meet iconic war leaders who you'll either be fighting as or against. Here, we'll take you through what each nation has in store, and the AI Warlords who call it home.
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang, the founder of the Qin dynasty and the first emperor of a unified China. The units available to the China are said to be inspired all the way from 300 BC to 1132AD.
Featuring both Imperial and Auxiliary, the Chinese are one of the most heavily armored, regimented and militaristic in Stronghold: Warlords. The light-armored Axeman and Archers in the auxiliary units offer a slightly different approach when it comes to conflict - the Archers are perfect for filling towers and castle walls to arm your settlement with a defensive strategy, with mid-range attacks and the ability to trigger traps when enemies are nearby.
The Axeman are a completely new unit to the Stronghold series and can be used as frontline attackers to take down units supporting an enemy Warlord or siege weapons. The Imperial Bannerman dons heavy armor and can boost the fighting spirit of nearby Imperial troops.
Imperial Crossbowmen return in Stronghold Warlords, and they're perfect for taking out heavily-armored foes at range. There are also the Imperial Guardsmen, a new unit which wields a heavy mace for a wide medium attack range.
Softening up the enemy's frontline by crushing their bones is a pretty effective strategy - but they must ensure that they're well supported, as their slow movements leave them open to attacks. Another new unit is the Imperial Warrior, a high-attack & high-armor soldier wielding a sword and shield.
They're one of the most resilient units in the game and can withstand Archer fire and have high resistance against environmental damages such as fire.
Qin Shi Huang will build rice and vegetable farms and, later on, clothing production to boost his popularity and feed his nation. It is at the point where Qui's economy is booming that he'll focus his attention on building a stronger military force - thus the arrival of the Imperial Warrior.
If you're able to match his army in numbers, you will most likely stand a chance as his torture chamber antics come at a cost to his troop's morale.
The iconic roofs and castle design stand high and proud within the fortress of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the Japanese samurai and daimyo of the late Sengoku period who was regarded as the second 'Great Unifier' of Japan. Hideyoshi has the advantage of peasant popularity over his opponents due to silk and tea production.
His stealth approach can catch enemies off guard, with the Japanese Sohei Monks that can deliver swift effective attacks in battle.
Hideyoshi, as expected, has access to the Samurai units who are effective at dealing damage and knockback effects at short charging distance, as well as using their precision strike to take down enemy troops. These units are ideal for taking on generals, or other enemies with high health stats.
As his army and economy grows, Hideyoshi will gain access to Mantlets, Ballista and Catapults that can take down your castle walls with ease.
The first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Khan is one of the more aggressive Warlords in the game. Taking place around 1227 AD, you'll witness the great Khan's move to crush rebelling Xia forces.
Despite his humble backdrop, his economy focuses on gold generation - which will fund his favored unit type Horse Archer, a unit that is great for swift, hit-and-run-style conflicts.
On the heavy side, Genghis' siege weapons can grow quickly at the right difficulty - when left unchecked by the player, these weapons can cause serious hurt to your settlement. Before long, Genghis will introduce Imperial Cavalry, Generals and Fire Lancers to his ranks, creating a deadly combination on the attack and defending his keep.
Like Qin Shi Huang, Genghis focuses on fear-factor buildings, as well as making use of rice and pig farms and clothing resource chains.
The Vietnamese section of the campaign focuses on Warlord Thuc Phan (also known as An Dương Vương) in 300 BC, an historical figure who seized the throne from the last Hung king of the state of Van Lang, united its people in the process. With the Vietnamese being the first chronologically in the single-player campaign, their troops a cheap to recruit and offer fast offensive options through the Tribesman (spear and blowpipe).
Though these troops aren't build for full-scale war and sieging settlements, they are great for harassing enemies in numbers, as well as taking out workers to cripple an opposing faction's economy. With the Tribesman units wearing little to no armor (merely a shield for the spearman) they are one of the most vulnerable to gunpowder and fire.
As Thuc Phan's economy grows, he'll gain access to siege weapons, Auxiliary Axeman and Light Cavalry units to strengthen his forces. His military approach is steady and revolves around pressuring the enemy into submission.