Warlords III article by Al Giovetti


By Al Giovetti
Genre: strategy
Release: September 1997
Developer: SSG (Australia)
Lead Artist:
Producer: Steve Faulkner, Roger Keating, Ian Trout, and Gregor Whiley
Publisher: Broderbund
Phone: 800-521-6263
Website: www.broder.com

Warlords III: Reign of Heroes


In 1988, Warlords was released to good numbers of sold games. Fantasy strategy gamers made the game an instant classic. Five years later SSG followed up the first game with the release of the sequel Warlords II in 1993.

Company Line

You have come to this city in search of your destiny. The rumors of a strange new evil forming in the far north have been circulating for months, but now reports of horrific battles are starting to trickle in. Agaria is in danger of falling to this unholy menace, and it is your duty to join the forces of the Sirian Knights to liberate the lands these terrible armies have taken.

After a long journey, you have reached the city. You wander into a local inn as a light rain starts to fall. A short, stocky man stands behind the counter; his modest clothes suggest he doesn't make much of a profit on these rooms, and that suits you fine. Before you can say anything, he bursts forth in greeting.

"Greetings, my friend, come in, come in! From the looks of you, I'd say you've had quite a journey, so let me be the first to welcome you to the city. Are you here on business? Or are you looking to join in the wars up north, perhaps? Well, I suppose that's none of my affair! Enjoy your stay!"

Game Play

The new items include simultaneous, turn-based movement and internet play. You can join the world leading one of thirteen sides: Knights, Human Empire, Barbarians, Grey Elves, High Elves, Dark Elves, Dwarves, Dark Dwarves, Undead, Orcs, Giants, Gnolls, and Monsters. Each side will have eight regular units, three mercinaries and four possible allied groups, one ship, and four heroes.

Warlords III is played in turns - one side moves some or all of its units, then another side moves some or all of its units, and so on. The screen shot at right shows the action: the main window shows the units and surrounding area, the upper-right window displays a map of the entire countryside, and the lower-right area contains information and options integral to game play.

The map (see close-up below) shows you the locations of all the cities in the scenario, and you can tell which side controls a city by which shield appears there. You set the options which decide what determines how victory is achieved.

To move a unit, you select it on the map and click on its destination. A unit's movement points govern how far it can move in one turn, and factors such as terrain can also affect the distance a unit can move. Once you encounter enemy units or cities, the battle begins! If you defeat the armies within a city, the city is yours to raze or pillage ... or to occupy and add to your empire.

There are ten classes of heroes: warrior, wizard, general, priest, necromancer, paladin, ranger, thief, vampire, and shaman. You start the game with a single hero, and new heroes may offer to join you later - for a hefty price.

As heroes gain experience, they also gain abilities and attributes that can help them in combat. These include increased movement and strength, improved morale and leadership, and spells such as invisibility and phantom steed. Heroes will play a greater role in this game.

Heroes may also choose to embark upon quests to gain great rewards. Quests can be undertaken within certain cities, and can be as easy as escorting someone to a nearby city or as difficult as seeking and slaying an enemy hero in a faraway city.


Before death spread across this land, the Knights of Agaria seemed to be constantly at war. Local power barons seeking to expand their control clashed with each other; various enclaves claimed to be seeking order, but always with their own interests at the center. It was this instability that left us unprepared for what would come next. The seers portended doom, a wave of death from the north, but the knights were too busy fighting each other to notice.

In the far north, the terrible Lord Bane, Dark Horseman of Death, was planning a siege more deadly than any the land had ever seen. Bane had been kept in check for years by Lord Sartek, Dark Horseman of War, and their constant fighting confined their armies to their respective realms. Bane and Sartek knew their war was futile, and after years of strife, they finally reached an agreement. Several years ago -- in the year 1232 SE, Bane and Sartek formed an alliance designed to take control of the lands south of the Realms of Death and War.

They summoned the gruesome undead that wandered their lands, both humanoid and beast, and formed them into powerful armies. They mimicked the structure and fighting style of our armies and organized their forces to exploit our weaknesses. When they had amassed enough of their evil warriors, they began to move south...it was the beginning of the blackest scourge we have ever faced."

This is the first part of the plot, The Unholy Alliance, which is followed by the Fall of the Northland, The Tide of War and Onward to Glory. Suffice it to say that you will have an involved plot to justify the game but not much of a plot to carry it along.


There will be over 80 hand drawn units,


Voice Actors

Music Score

Sound Effects


Generate custom games by setting number of combattants, their strengths, starting forces, world size, number of cities and other factors and then the random map builder creates worlds. The game contains both scripted campaigns of linked missions , individual scripted missions, and randome missions. There is no scenerio and map builder as seen in Warlords II.

Compare to

Multi-player Features

Warlords III has a unique simultaneous movement mode which reveals each player's actions simultaneously, in multiplayer games. Warlords III is playable over the Internet, LAN, modem, e-mail or Red Orb Entertainment's all new free game matching service, Red Orb Zone. Players have the option of choosing between three skill levels for computer opponents.

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