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A Game of Thrones: Genesis — My Pet Dragon

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If you are scoring at home, yes, that is my pet black dragon. He’s flying over to that castle to blast it all to hell, which it did with great ease, I might add.

That screen capture is from a campaign mission in A Game of Thrones Genesis — a mission in chapter two of the campaign when you get to play as the crazy ass Targaryens, who have thing thing for dragons.

The campaign in Genesis is like a lot of RTS campaigns — a lot of it is scripted, at times designed to piss you off, and is really a set up for multiplayer games. The campaign IS long, but it’s also full of some frustrations thanks to that silly save checkpoint system.

Note to all PC developers: cut that shit out.

That said, this remains an intriguing game. I am admittedly not very good at it yet but I am playing enough that it’s clear, to me at least, that I want to learn. This is an advanced RTS. There are a lot of moving parts and learning how they all work together is vital. Picture this common scenario:

You see a town.

Towns in the game are vital to your economy; you need them on your side. So you create an envoy at your castle and instruct him to go there and form an alliance. He jogs over , pulls out some parchment and starts reading. You see a little bar start to move and thus securing your alliance with Generic Town X.

Or did it?

What if your envoy is really a “turncloak”? It’s possible. Maybe a spy slinked into your home castle, thus turning all envoys into double agents? Well, you can check to see by using your own spy and clicking on the envoy just to make sure he’s playing on the right team.

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So, assuming the envoy is A-Ok, he forms an alliance with the town. Now what? Unless you do other stuff that town is ripe for the taking.

An enemy spy could go there and try to form a secret alliance, which is a giant pain in the ass.

An enemy rogue could show up and start a riot. Another giant PITA.

An enemy envoy could show up and talk the town into changing sides. So you had best leave an envoy at the town so he’ll kick out any enemy envoys who come a knockin’.

If you do THAT, you’re just ASKING for an enemy assassin to show up to, well, do what assassins do.

So you better buy a unit of guardsmen to protect the envoy, which they’ll do to the last man. You STILL aren’t out of the woods yet though because you may want to park a spy outside the town in order to see any enemy spies, rogues or assassins who might be lingering nearby — as an assassin can still attempt to poison a target even with guardsmen there to protect them.

If you want to get serious about this you may need to send a royal lady to the town and get her hitched to the local lord thus creating a blood link to your house. This prevents any enemy envoys or spies doing their thing. (but not assassins) Blood is thicker than water. You may want to also use your Royal Lady to seduce enemy individuals — like envoys. Show some skin, and the diplomat falls in lust and joins your side.

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So you have your town secure and ready!

War has been declared! You see units of mounted knights, men at arms, and crossbowmen heading to your newly acquired town.

You did remember to build an actual army, right?

This is really how the ebb and flow of Genesis works. You are constantly looking for easy targets — enemy or neutral towns that are ripe for agent activity.

Of course, if all else fails, send in the dragon.

Done and done.

Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

7 thoughts to “A Game of Thrones: Genesis — My Pet Dragon”

  1. I’ve been looking forward to this post, because no one seems to be writing or talking about this game, and it seems interesting based on your last post. But I’m worried it’s too much micromanagement and not enough *fun*.

    I know it’s hard to categorize. Basically, I don’t mind learning and getting good at something if it’s advanced and fun, but hectic craziness can really eat away at the fun.

    Are you far enough in the single-player campaign to know it’s going to keep your interest?

  2. Well, micromanaging is an issue. There *are* prompts to tell you when and where things happen, like an assassin attack, etc.

    The issue I am having is that the units need babysat.

    Example:

    Guardsmen can “arrest” an enemy spy that is visible. But you need to TELL them to make an arrest and you really have no way of knowing that a spy i sparked outside a town or castle unless you happen to see the small red dot on the map.

    You can’t, from what I can tell, instruct your guard to always arrest nearby spies that are uncovered.

    Also, if you tell an army unit to “walk here” they will walk there even if attacked. If there is a hotkey to tell them to fight along the way I haven’t found it.

  3. Dunno, those issues you mention are things I kind of hate to see in a game like this. Add in that it’s Cyanide and how badly they dropped the ball with AI in Blood Bowl, and I’m just really apprehensive about the game. I’m fine with micromanagement, love me some GalCiv2 for instance, but not allowing some automation is, well, unacceptable. I’m going to wait til (if) it gets patched before I invest in it.

  4. After the tutorial, a few campaign missions, and a couple multiplayer games… I would give almost anything for a more effective way of quickly AND precisely moving about the map. It feels like its a constant choice between one or the other.

  5. … you’re making positive comments about this game. I am wondering if you’re still climbing the Chick Parabola based on the fact the game is more complex than you expected. Other people I trust have completely written this off after a few hours.

    That said, this is sounding like it would’ve been better as a turn based game or perhaps a Paradox-style realt time pausable grand strategy.

  6. No, not ready to write this off yet. And I’m curious why those people wrote it off after a couple of hours when you’re still learning how all of this works.

    If anything, this is the kind of game that you finally discover breaks down after several hours, not a cursory glance.

    There are a lot of good ideas in this game, I just don’t know if the game itself is really any god or not yet.

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