I’m especially interested in Manor Lords, an indie, medieval strategy game coming to PC from Slavic Magic. It’s supposed to feature “in-depth city building, large-scale tactical battles, and complex economic and social simulations” if its Steam page is something to go by. Its graphics certainly look impressive and a video released a year ago already showcased a robust battle system with formations, stances and archery modes, the ability to pick each soldier’s equipment, weighty combat, and animations that could put Total War to shame.
Slavic Magic has confirmed that Manor Lords will be playable during the Steam Next Fest, lasting from October 3rd to the 10th. Apparently, the only portion of the game that’s going to be available is the city-building part.
In a genre dominated by the likes of Total War and Fields of Glory, whose focus lies mostly on the tactical aspect of it, it’s refreshing to see a game going the route of, well… Stronghold. Maybe, after two decades since Firefly Studios released the last good Stronghold, this one being Crusader, we will have the pleasure of reliving old memories, now with a more modern spin.
After going through the penultimate post, the number of changes showcased by the developer behind this project is impressive, to say the least. Since the game was announced, in 2020, it went through several iterations on almost every major system. The plot system was redesigned to make it look more organic and realistic. Before the game’s existing regions, Manor Lords was a more classical RTS in the vein of Age of Empires, with a grid and fog of war. The look of the game’s architecture also went from the classical Anglo-Saxon and French housing styles to a unified southern German style with the help of a community member.
This line earned Slavic Magic my unyielding amateur historian respect: “The first version of the Retinue had two major problems. One is the lack of historical accuracy that I already mentioned, and another one was [the unification of equipment. Initially, I’ve made the customization system so that you pick a weapon, eg a “sword” or a “war axe” and it would effectively create a unit of “swordsmen” or “axemen”. Such unification wasn’t really in medieval spirit”. These are the words of a man who knows his medieval warfare History.
Recently, Manor Lords partnered up with Hooded Horse, as the strategy-kingpin took Slavic Magic under its wing as their publisher, and they’ll help with translations, marketing, and with a little bit of extra development budget. In the meanwhile, check out this list!