I love The Settlers II. After StarCraft, it is probably the game I have bought the most copies of due to needing physical media "back in the day" and a habit of losing or destroying said media, not to mention then buying it again on GoG. It also probably has a fairly high claim to being the game I've spent the most time with over the years, after World of Warcraft anyway. Even though I stopped playing that years ago, I doubt any game I've ever played comes close to how much time I wasted away playing WoW.
Note: I'm talking about the original release, not the History version that Ubisoft released a short time ago. Although it would be nice to have modern resolution support, I like my games DRM free and not tied to a platform such as Uplay where possible. And besides, no doubt at some point they'll find a way to add micro transactions to it. But mostly because of recent stories (that as usual the gaming press are completely ignoring as they whore themselves out to these companies) about the conduct of Ubisoft's upper echelons and so it will be a cold day in hell before I ever give Ubisoft any further money.
Anyway, rant over. Every so often I get the urge to play it again and usually have a blast. My usual modus operandi is to expand to cover every inch I possibly can, holding the opponent at bay but not advancing unless required by the map in question. Then I suck every resource out of the lands I control, and then, only when the last mine has gone dry, the last pile of stone mined, do I wage unrestrained war on any opponents, annihilating them completely before I take the gate. This also means that I spend hours on each map. Hey, I like the game!
But that's not to say it's all fun and games. If there's one level I dislike, it is level 4 of the original campaign, "On The High Seas". On this map, the mainland has all the coal, but if you want iron, you most likely need to settle another island. And ships and harbours in The Settlers II seem to be very buggy. This time, I finished the map with just under 600 pieces of iron on that island and my bloody ships wouldn't transport it to the mainland. Or when I built a fishery on an island and so the ships took my entire stock of wooden planks and dumped them all on this tiny island with a harbour and a fishery. Sigh.
However, this time around I rushed across the map, probably faster than I ever have before. Normally I build Guardhouses for expansion, but knowing that running out of stone is also a serious problem on this map, I tried a new approach of just using the basic Barracks buildings. Their area of influence is smaller, but they are much faster to build and only need wood. I will probably keep with this approach going forward, it worked rather well. Funny, I've been playing this game for 24 years and just found something new. I also sent my ships out to the far side of the map to capture a mountain in enemy territory, something I normally don't bother to do as I'm too busy settling the resource based islands.
Anyway, the point of this post... as I'd saved so much stone by not building gazillions of Guardhouses, I decided that I would try and win the map by capturing the gateway without going into open warfare. In The Settlers II, this can be done with catapults. So with a few carefully positioned catapults, I carved my way down enemy territory, building fortresses all the way down so I had a large and well trained army just in case. I then started carving my way inland, putting up the odd Barracks to take the brunt of the enemy catapults and then to keep expanding as I trounced them.
And, it worked, despite the abysmal aim of my minions. Another first in all the time I've been playing this game.
This post was first published Wednesday 26th of August 2020 and was last modified Thursday 27th of August 2020 at 10:16:15.