Fantasy General II review

Fantasy General was first released in 1996. Slitherine brought a sequel to the series. With Fantasy General II, released on September 5, 2019, the turn-based tactical game entered our library as a fixture. We evaluated Fantasy General 2, developed by Owned by Gravity and published by Slitherine. Is it worth playing the game? Or is the 23-year hiatus a bit too much? Keep reading the review for more ideas.

Fantasy General II review

Fantasy General 2 combines the age-old concepts of the classic Panzer General series in a series of fantasy and RPG theme packs. In the game’s “Invasion” you play as Falirson, a young barbarian warrior who grows up to be the king of his own tribe. Your father has given you an unavoidable responsibility: to lead your people to greatness and
defeat their forces. Along the way you will meet new friends and enemies. Again, given the fantasy themes, you’ll encounter massive trolls, magic-casting shaman, shape-shifting werekin, valkyries, and more.

In terms of role-playing aspects, you’ll follow the story of Fantasy General 2 as you progress through over 30 scenarios and missions. There are times when various decisions are presented to you, whether it’s what task to take on or a dialogue that will lead to a particular outcome. For example, in one of the previous missions, Falirson witnesses a fight between trolls and humans. If you take the side of the trolls, you will earn their respect. Next, you will meet a troll hero character and you can mention that you saved his friends in the previous mission.

Fantasy General II gameplay

Learning how the game works is pretty easy. You have the usual hex-based unit placement, solitaire melee attacks, two to three six-range attacks, and you may even see some siege units that can destroy opponents from further away. Units have a departure point and an action point, and some have free actions such as destroying a settlement on the tactical map.

Naturally, no fantasy-themed game would be complete without magic-based units and spells, and Fantasy General 2 has a few of them. Some spells include summoning tools as well as revealing part of the map, hiding yourself in fog, turning an area into a forest. Other notable mechanics would be “wounds” and “kills”. When units take damage, they inflict “scars” that can be regenerated if you return to rest. However, taking too much damage causes “deaths”. Most of your regular units are squads, and their numbers will decrease if soldiers are killed.

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Unlike wounds, killed soldiers do not regenerate even when you rest during battle. You can only get them back if you use a special potion, spend gold to restore troops in a camp or castle, or when you finish the battle. However, ending battles after losing a unit of soldiers also means that experience points will be lost. Needless to say, this creates an engaging dynamic in which you will try to play more defensively. Protecting your units is a must to prevent XP losses.

Fantasy General II maps and rewards

Almost all of Fantasy General 2’s maps are gigantic. Even better, the maps themselves feature various points of interest. Ruins and caves can bind you gold, artifacts (accessories), or upgrade materials such as weapons and armor. The same is true when you raze an enemy’s settlement. You can also spot shrines that can grant army-wide buffs and mana pools that add MP with each turn that can be used for magic. Similarly, some quests may even have a small village, witch’s hut, or several locations that can provide an additional option for sidequests or dialogue.

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Combine the above with the strategy mechanics of Fantasy General 2 as you battle your enemies and you can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour just finishing certain missions. This is because some of these rewards are completely randomized. For example, destroying a certain settlement on the battlefield can earn you 150 gold. However, reinstalling the game and performing the same action might get you some weapons for unit upgrades on the next try.

Fantasy General II battle system

As you mow down your enemies, you’ll see a counter going down on the right. This is the amount of gold you can get after finishing a battle. You will need to strike a balance between the following. Hurrying to complete the scenario can get you a ton of gold (the number on the counter will be multiplied by 25), but you may miss out on upgrade materials. Walking around or exploring every nook and cranny can bring you great things, but you may not get any bonus gold once the fight is over.

Fantasy General 2 also has no towns, headquarters or shops. If you want to lead your army, you must fight one after the other battles on the extraterrestrial map with a break. Perhaps the biggest drawback I had when reviewing Fantasy General 2 was how horribly repetitive it became as time went on. In many cases, I found myself loading the empire’s troops with rocks from trolls or arrows from my hunters.

I used to highlight my heroes in tank hits. Then, if they needed to heal for a turn, I would once again place them behind my melee units. For ruins or caves, I would use magic to reveal parts of the map and summon a ghost that could reach those areas.

Fantasy General 2 will have you play as Falirson-led barbarians for the single-player “Invasion” campaign. That’s basically it. All 30+ missions are in the perspective of the same faction from start to finish. There’s also a short prequel section that lets you play as the barbarians. The other playable faction is Empire, but this is only available for skirmish and multiplayer.

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