Knights of Honor
is a medieval strategy game where you are in control of a kingdom, empire, duchy, emirate or several other kinds of states from that period. You build up cities, burn and loot enemy towns with your marshals, earn gold or goods with merchants, spy on other nations with spies, make and break alliances, fight crusades, slaughter rebels and destroy history!
There are three main religions of which the nations are part, and to which they can convert: Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims. There are also pagans, but you cant become pagan, and few nations start pagan. aside from some bonuses (Roman Catholics get a boost to income, Muslims can call for jihad which produces free, weak units that attack other religions' armies) and negative effects (Roman Catholics can be excommunicated by the pope, and have to send armies to fight in crusades when they are powerful. If they refuse, they'll often get excommunicated).
The Ai tends to make stupid mistakes and seldom builds up more than a handful of armies, even when opposing nations are invading from all sides, so wars tend to consist of them raiding villages, and you taking their provinces. As the game goes on, they build great defenses, so siege weapons are a necessity.
There are four ways to win. The easiest (comparatively) is to get all "kingdom advantages" (basically improvements from having certain trading goods), which requires a large income and at least eight cities with harbors, as well as many different resources, which usually take a dozen or so different provinces.
The second is to be elected emperor of all Europe. You need to be at least
the second most powerful nation to even be considered, and you need great relations with other nations for them to vote for you. The election happens periodically, and it's rare for any nation to even vote one way or another.
The third and hardest way is to conquer everything
. Athens, Rome, London, Jerusalem, Paris, basically all of Europe, North Africa, and parts of the Middle East and Asia. Obviously this is the hardest, but the most rewarding.
The fourth way, similar to the second, is to "claim the title". Basically, you claim to be emperor of all Europe. If you are friendly enough with the major powers and have a good army, they might vote you in. If they don't, then most of Europe hates you and you end up with a rare case of the AIs doing serious damage. Generally, by the time this can work, either number two will have happened or number three is within reach.
A sequel has been rumored for years to exist. The publishers even mentioned it officially at least once, but they were bought by another company and it appears to be vaporware
.Needs a Better Description
This game provides examples of:
- Awesome but Impractical: Trebuchet, in normal battles. Their immobile, leaving them sitting ducks for cavalry
- Command And Conquer Economy: Peasants collect the available raw resources from the province automatically, but the player has to manage all other infrastructure per castle.
- The Crusades: If you play with a Catholic State the Papal States can request/order your best marshall to head a Crusade, and not complying with this decreases your relationship with the Papal States and other Catholic States immensely. If you play with an Islamic State, the moment you become the least bit powerful, or start conflicts with a Catholic State, Crusades will be called against you.
- Instant-Win Condition: Killing an enemy marshal in battle makes his troops flee. If there are two marshals, the other's troops will still stay and fight. Garrisons in towns won't flee no matter who you kill.
- Damage Is Fire: When pillaging, laying a siege, or battling enemy forces, the units/structures/castles are replaced with burning flames.
- Easy Logistics: Averted. Troops consume food supplies, which need to be restocked, either by pillaging farms, or by entering a castle and restocking there. This can be problematic when laying siege to a castle, because often the castle's supply of food is larger than that of the enemy army.
- Fog of War: This is province based inKnights of Honor, you can see what's happening in the entire province once your marshall crosses the border. Also applies to your spies in enemy courts, depending on what they are employed as.
- If employed as a marshal the same rules apply as for your own marshals.
- If employed as a cleric, builder or landlord the Fog disappears for the specific province they are assigned to.
- Horse Archer: One of many available units, though only available in provinces who have horses as a resource, so they are medium rare.
- Karma Meter: referred to as Kingdom Power in game. A scale that roughly translates to your reputation, popularity with the people, and the grasp you have on your kingdom. Actions like breaking alliances (both political ones as ones formed through marriage), attacking nations with the same religion, spies being found out have a negative influence. Increasing your Kingdom power is only possible by spending gold and piety on it. If your Kingdom Power is very low, rebels will emerge, marshals will revolt, and if it's low for a long time, entire provinces can declare independence or join other nations.
- Kill It with Fire: and MANY possible ways to do it. Marshals can learn a skill that lets all ranged siege weapons and archers to do this. Gatehouses can be upgraded with burning oil that does this to large groups at one time. Enemies set on fire stop fighting and even have a animation as they burn to death.
- The Knights Templar: Featured as one of the best swordsman units, and available only to Catholic nations.
- Set in The Middle Ages
- The bulk of the game is set in The High Middle Ages however. There's 3 starting points in time, confusingly named Early, Middle and Late Middle Ages, although the dates don't really match up with Historical convention (The game's Early Middle Ages start at 1000 AD for instance).
- Point Defenseless: Catapult towers, while very effective, will damage themselves if they try to fire at troops close to themselves.
- The Teutonic Knights: They are featured as one of the best armored swordsman units in Knights of Honor, but are only limitedly available to Catholic nations ruling specific provinces.