Video Game: Age of War
Age of War is a Real-Time Strategy game for IOS and PC, made by Roc Software and released in 2010. It takes place in a rather generic fantasy world, where seven factions are driven to war over the limited land and resources. There are the generic fantasy Humans, the nomadic Huns, High Elves, Dark Elves, Uruk-hai – like Desert Orcs, Warhammer – inspired mountain orcs and the Undead. You’re restricted to the regular humans, high elves and desert orcs initially, with other factions unlocked once you go far enough into the game.The game uses a Risk - style map, where you can attack any of the adjacent territories. Once your made your move, you’re transported to the battle map, where you need to destroy the opponent’s stronghold by sending troops from your own fortress while the enemy tries to do the same. At the beginning you’re restricted to swordsmen and archers, but can buy better units as the game goes on. Both you and the opponent also possess a Charge Meter, which allows you to instantly create a wave of any unlocked unit for free. The entire game for IOS can be downloaded here.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Bomb: The Desert Orcs don’t have catapults but use slaves as suicide bombers instead. These have less health and can only deal damage once, but they’re much faster and so have greater chance of actually making it to the walls. It helps that they aren’t completely defenceless and can melee opponents with their explosive barrels.
- Armor Is Useless: Played with. Generally, the tougher units within a faction tend to be heavily armored infantry and cavalry. However, the armored Imperial swordsman has the same health as his half-naked Hun counterpart, and same applies to archers, spearmen, axemen...
- Bears Are Bad News: The dark elves use grey bears instead of regular heavy cavalry.
- The Beastmaster: Dark elves specialise in this, being able to use bears and tree men to fight on their side. Mountain orcs are also close with their trolls and wolf riders.
- BFS: The gladiators used by Huns and Desert Orcs wield these. Unsurprisingly, they deal great damage but have low defence and require a tougher unit put in front of them to act as damage sponge.
- Black Knight: The Undead’s only cavalry unit if you don’t count the spiders. To compensate, they’re the most powerful cavalry in the game by far, requiring three or more spearmen to take down.
- Bloodless Carnage: It’s high fantasy, so don’t expect any.
- Boring Yet Practical: The Desert Orcs’ heavy pikemen. They have good health, deal reasonable damage, are nigh-invulnerable against cavalry and have a good respawn rate, allowing you to produce them quickly.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The game doesn’t portray the Dark Elves as being evil in any meaningful role. They have split from the High Elves because of the religious differences and the goddess they now worship allows them to have bears and treemen fight for them.
- Dem Bones: All undead units besides the catapults and giant spiders are skeletal, with no zombies or ghosts used.
- Fake Ultimate Mook: The catapults. They do great damage to the castle, sure, but they’re completely defenceless against any enemies in their path, so a single swordsman can stop them in their tracks if they’re not protected by buffer troops. Generally, they only get close enough to do damage when the battle would have already been won or lost.
- Fragile Speedster: The light cavalry units are very fast and great for quickly grabbing bonuses, but they can barely hold their own against swordsmen, much less against spearmen or other units.
- Giant Mook: The Mountain Orcs use trolls instead of the heavy cavalry of other factions. These are obviously slower, but are far tougher and more powerful. Dark Elves also have walking trees, which are even tougher, but are the slowest unit in the game.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Undead’s Black Knights. They’re as fast as any other heavy cavalry, yet more health and deal a lot more damage.
- No Arc in Archery: As can be seen from the screenshot, all archers' arrows fly in a perfect straight line.
- Power-Up: A few of these are occasionally scattered halfway through the battlefield, which can be claimed by the first unit to touch them. These include cooldown times on your troops being reset to zero, unit in question becoming superpowered or, most importantly, a “wave spawn” meter being refilled. Collecting these is the main reason to use the light cavalry at all, and prevents you from being over-reliant on ranged units.
- Rubber Band AI: The game’s AI ramps up the difficulty depending on how many territories you own. At the beginning, any faction will seem easy, only use a few of their available units and do many stupid moves. The difficulty ramps up as you go along and when you’re up against the sole surviving faction most battles would require multiple reloads.
- Savage Wolves: Both desert orcs and the mountain orcs use Wolf Riders as their only cavalry. They’re not as fast as other light cavalry, yet they possess the same health and deal only marginally better damage.
- Squishy Wizard: The wizards have very low health, but they deal a lot of damage at range. This makes them safe against the early-game melee units, but they have lesser range than archers, and are easily picked off by them.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Mages deal great damage at range but are outranged by archers. Axemen easily mince regular infantry but lose quickly against cavalry, who are in turn defeated by spearmen.
- Zerg Rush: The undead specialise in this. Their basic units are all weaker than the rest of the factions, but they can create them much faster than other factions. In fact, they get to create two waves of infantry rather than one once the charge meter fills up.