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Lords of Conquest: Wikis


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Lords of Conquest is a 1986 strategy video game developed by Eon Software, Inc. (collectively, Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Peter Olotka and Trevor Western) and produced by Don Daglow. The original version of the game was programmed for the Apple II in FORTH and assembly language by Ted Schmeckpeper, in collaboration witth Eberle, Kittredge and Olotka. The game was published by Electronic Arts and released for the Commodore 64, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST and PC DOS.

The game is based on the board game Borderlands by Eon (best known for their highly acclaimed board game, Cosmic Encounter), and was marketed with the slogan "Better than Risk!" to identify it as a global conquest game similar to Risk. It proved to be one of EA's best-selling titles of 1986. GameSpy awarded Lords of Conquest a "Gotcha" award as one of the top games of its era.




Game phases

The game is a contest between two to seven players, of which any number may be human or computer players. Each player is given a specific color, which matches their territories. Computer players can be selected to be Aggressive, Defensive or Passive in their style of play. The human player(s) then must select how random the odds of an attack are, the amount of resources in the game, and the amount of land vs. water. Additionally, the Victory Conditions are also chosen; of which is the building of three to eight cities. Territories are then selected one at a time amongst the players, until all are selects or a remainder is left that is at least one less than the number of players, which are left black.

After territory selection, the game then moves on to the Production phase, where all the resources per player are tallied and "put" into the stockpile. There is a 1 in 4 chance for the Production phase to be skipped at any turn. If it is the first turn, players then place their stockpiles in a territory. Next comes Trade, where players may trade any resources they have for resources they wish. All five resources may be traded, but note that horses must have a territory to "land on" to be accepted. The next phase is Shipment, where the stockpile may be moved. Alternatively, a horse, weapon or boat may be moved. Note that you may ship a weapon with a horse, or a weapon and horse with a boat! There is a 1 in 4 chance for the Shipment phase to be skipped at any turn. The fifth phase is Conquest, where you may take up to two attacks on any valid territory. The final phase is Development, where you may buy cities, weapons, or boats.

Resources and units

After the final territory is selected, the players place stockpiles on the map. The stockpile may be moved once a turn if there is a transport phase, or instead of attacking another player. The stockpile holds all of a player's resources, and if the territory it is located in is taken those resources are forfeited to the attacking player.

There are five kinds of resources: coal, gold, iron, timber and horses. Control of each territory with a resource at the beginning of the turn yields one unit of the resource into the stockpile. At the end of the turn boats, cities or weapons may be purchased.

During combat, the offensive and defensive odds are computed by taking the sum of all territories that touch the territory in question. Therefore, if a territory is touched by only one other territory of the same color and three of the offensive player, the odds are 3-2 in favor. However, other factors can change the odds, including:

  • Boats - During an attack, boats may carry one horse and one weapon and raise the attack odds by 2. For defensive purposes, each boat raises the territory defense by 2. A boat costs 3 wood (or 3 Gold) to build, and there may be multiple boats in a territory, one per piece of coastline the territory possesses.
  • Cities - Cities are the key to the game. Besides quantifying victory, cities DOUBLE the production of all resources in the territory they are built OR are touching, with the exception of Horses. Cities add 2 to both offense and defensive odds. A city costs a Coal, a Gold, an Iron, & a Tree (OR 4 Gold) to build, and there may be only one city per territory.
  • Horses - Horses are unique among the resources as they are not a stockpiled good, but rather expand on the map. A horse is produced in the territory that has the herd icon, or in an adjoining territory. A horse adds 1 to both offense and defensive odds, and there may be only one horse per territory.
  • Weapons - Weapons are bought like Boats or Cities. A weapon adds 3 to the offense or defense of a territory. A weapon costs a Coal and an Iron (or 2 Gold) to build, and there may be only one weapon per territory.

Conquest and victory

Each player may attack twice in any one round. If a player chooses to move his stockpile on the first attack, he loses the second. Likewise if the first attack fails, the second is also lost.

Additionally, other players may choose to side with the offense or the defense and throw in their combat odds to that side. Logically, this can only happen if the player in question has a territory bordering the attacked territory.

The game is over when one side builds the number of cities listed as the victory condition, or when all territories have been taken over by a single player. Note that if more than one player exceeds the number of cities required for victory, the game continues until one side falls under than number.

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