Monday, April 25, 2011

Spoils Of War

In Spoils of War, you are a mercenary. Your clients are the beastmasters of Tatalia and the barbarians of Krewlod and they've decided to take advantage of Erathia's unrest by initiating a land grab. The problem is, these factions also hate one another. Before the campaign is over, you'll have to betray one of your clients. Such is the life of the mercenary.

Back in 1999 when Heroes III first came out, I remember thinking it was really novel for NWC to create a neutral campaign. The ultimate outcome of Tatalia and Krewlod's border dispute isn't very important in the grand scheme of the war. Both factions ultimately expand their territory and fatten their wallets at Erathia's expense. But it's a testament to the vibrancy and complexity of Heroes III's world that players are able to enjoy perspectives beyond the typical angels vs. demons and good vs. evil plot. Heroes III is about the continent of Antagarich and the evolution of its factions. Erathia's invasion is just a very tiny part of the bigger story in the same way that the events in The Lord of the Rings is really just a tiny speck in the grand history of Middle Earth.

Just as in the Dungeons and Devils campaign, you'll have the opportunity to pick your starting scenario. In the final scenario, you'll need to choose one of the factions to ultimately side with.

In Borderlands, King Tralossk (whose name sounds like a sound a lizard would make) decides to expand Tatalia's borders by conquering some nearby Erathian settlements and stealing their resources. To complete the scenario, all mines must be flagged.

The other scenario is Gold Rush, which requires you to aid Duke Winston Boragus as his barbarians plunder Erathia's gold mines and overtax its citizens. To complete the scenario, your kingdom must acquire 200,000 gold.

There's a common theme that runs through these missions: you are a greedy bastard.

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