Just some thoughts about life experiences
Published on July 21, 2007 By MythicalMino In Gaming
Link to Armageddon Empires: http://www.crypticcomet.com/games/AE/armageddon_empires.html

Well, after spending most of the day (and lots of the night) playing Armageddon Empires, I think I can not give more knowledgeable thoughts about it. This will be a long post, but even with the long post, I am not getting into everything that this game has to offer....


Really, that sums it all up, but I will go a bit deeper than that.

First, the setting. Post-Apocalyptic setting. I am usually not really into that type of game world (or movie world, at that). But, I like this. The basic "story" is that in the year 2025, two alien species came to the planet: The Machines and the Xenopods. The Xenopods were basically using humans as a breeding ground. The Xenopods would hatch creatures who would attach themselves inside the humans, and then devour the host. The Machines were here to "stop" them. What resulted was Earth was a battle field in this struggle. And Earth as we know it, was no more. Nuclear weapons and total war decimated the human population (not to mention the genetic experiments done by the Xenopods), and the human population went from 9 billion down to less than 9 million. The war moved on to another front, but left behind was a planet decimated.

That was 300 years ago.

Now, there are basically 4 factions, all vying for control of what is left of the planet:

1. The Empire of Man ~ The remaining humans that have joined forces to reclaim what is theirs: Earth. They use more conventional weapons and units. They remind me very much of the Warhammer 40k universe Marines. Tanks, Imperial troops (Marines, Guards, Commandos), mechs, aircraft. This is the faction I have been playing with.

2. The Free Mutants ~ Mutated humans. Genetic experiments to create "super soldiers". The art for these guys show a lot of four-armed guys (Monad has a home). They also have Giants and Dragons. The story behind the dragons are interesting. The DNA of reptiles and humans were mixed....and thus, we have the Dragons. They look like fantasy dragons, but with that story, they fit in this world. They are fast, strong, and powerful. Very cool idea and concept, actually.

3. Xenopods ~ The Xenopods who were left behind when the Xenopod army moved on. These guys are alien monstrocities. They can somehow evolutionize themselves (not sure how that works in the game, but they can, I guess). The xenopods are experts in biologic and genetic manipulation.

4. The Machine Empre ~ inspite of the cheesy empire name they have, they look to be pretty tough. Battle robots, automated armor (automats) and automated mecha (automecha). They are immune to biological attacks, and are generally very tough, being that they are robots and all. Destruction 3000 would be proud.

Anyways, those are the 4 factions available for play. When you purchase the game, you get all the cards avaiable for each of the factions. What you must do is make a deck to use. Like I said, I have been playing as the Empire of Man, so I have put together a 175 pt deck that I am still in the process of tweaking.

The game is made up of your deck and the "game board" made up of hexes of varying terrain. You may come across a ruined city, or a petrified forest, or an ash field. Each terrain has different movement requirements and can add to the defense/attack stats. Something that is interesting, though. When you make your deck, you can choose terrain to place yourself. You can have no more than 15 pts through the terrain, which usually comes out to about 2-4 terrain hexes, but you can place these around your fortress. They can have mines, they can be hills or mountains (for defense), tunnels for easier travel....or ruined cities or towns for easy resource collection. After those tiles are placed, the game board is then randomly made (but the tiles that you placed will not be moved).

Another pretty cool part of the game is the heroes. When you make your deck, you will want to make sure you have some heroes in there. Each faction has different heroes, of course. Some heroes will be stronger commanding your armies, while other heroes will be better left in the science lab building new attachments and weapons or developing new tactics, while others would be out on their own assassinating enemy heroes or even blowing up facilities of the enemy. The armies that are attached to a general will gain experience as long as they are with that general. And that experience can translate into better and stronger armies. The Heroes really seem to add an rpg feeling to the game, and really offers a ton of strategy. What heroes to take? Also, only heroes can build collectors. Well, any hero can, and the only units that can must have the Engineering ability. Collectors are placed on resources to "collect" them.

Resources are spent to bring in units or facilities. The units have different abilities, and the facilities do different things. Some of the units I had as the Empire of Man....the Imperial Marines, who could have a double attack, or attack the same target twice. A mecha named Vengeance, which could target multiple targets. Also, it had Critical Damage, which would double the damage done. Each unit has stats, like attack, defense, movement, resistances....

Fighting is pretty tactical. A hero can only have 8 units under his command, but each hero also hase a command rating. The units suffer a penatly if the hero is commanding more units than his command rating allows. Generals usually have higher command ratings than, say, scientists. Fighting is done by dice rolls. Heroes also have a stat called "Fate". This fate gives you limited amount of chances to reroll your the dice that were failures. Lets say the Imperial Marines are attacking a group of Xenopod Brutes...2 Imperial Marines vs. 2 Brutes. Lets say that the Marines have a Hero, Vladimir Kost, who has a fate of "4". The marines have an attack of 7 (I believe), and lets say they get the attack initiative. The dice have 6 sides, with 3 sides showing success, and 3 sides showing failure. The first Marine you have target the first Brute (lets say, for example, that the Brutes have 5 attack, and 5 defense). The marines roll their 7 dice...and you get 4 successes. The Brutes roll their 5 dice, and they get 3 successes. The 4 from the marines - the 3 from the brutes = 1. So 1 point of damage is taken on the Brutes. They have (I think) 4 HP, so they now have 3. Now, the Brutes go. The first Brutes unit targest one of the marines, and rolls 5 dice, and gets 5. That marine now rolls their defense (I think it was 5 dice), so they roll....and they get 4. Lets say, for example, an earlier battle left that particular marine with only 1 HP. The Brutes' 5 - the Marines' 4 = 1 pt on damage....this would kill the Marines unit. BUT....the commander, Kost, has 4 fate. So, you choose to reroll that failure using one of the fate of the commanders (he would now have 4 fate). Lets say that it succeeds...so now the Marines have 5 successes. Now, the Marines do not take any damage, and they survive for another round. The fighting would go back and forth, until either side is destroyed, or a side retreats (in which case, the retreating side could possibly take damage from retreating).

Commanders can never die in army combat....unless an opposing unit has a sniper. Also, if a hero is out by him/herself, and they are spotted, a combat ready unit (any unit besides just a hero) can try to hunt-capture-kill the hero. Some heroes are made for this, with the Bounty Hunter ability, which would make the hunt easier. If the lone hero is captured, he is put at the nearest base or outpost, and is held as a prisoner. For each enemy hero held as a prisoner, you get 3 extra action points (pretty much everything costs different amounts of action points. Bringing in that Vengeance mecha cost something like 8 Action Points, along with the 1 Human resource, the 7 materials resource, the 7 tech resource, and the 4 energy resource). You can keep the prisoner there, transport him to another base, or execute him.

Really, there is so much more in this game, and it looks as though each faction plays somewhat differently than the others. You can have a "small" game on a normal map vs. 1 or 2 AI, or you can have a true war on a large or huge map vs. 3 AI. The only thing I do not like about the game, is the fact that there is no Multiplayer. This game SCREAMS mp. But, the dev (there is only one developer) has said that he chose to focus on the AI. That is fine with me, the AI seems pretty strong. He has also said that each faction has something like 65 or more decks that the AI can choose to play from. That offers quite a bit of replayability.

Last night, while playing, I was the Empire of Man vs. the Xenopods. I finally got one of my aircraft in my hand, so I launched an air-to-ground attack. They responded with their own aircraft (it had Interceptor ability). A little air-to-air battle, which I won, then moved on to the air-to-ground battle, which I then took out one of their troops. There are supposedly thermonuclear weapons that you can develop and use. I mean, really....this game is incredible.

Armies (with a hero) will gain more fate points with the more experience they have. There is also Prestige Points that are earned every time an army destroys an enemy unit or facility, or captures/kills an enemy hero. These prestige points show the fame the army has gained throughout the empire. Once an army reaches 35 prestige, it is designated a Legendary army, placing it in the empire's pantheon of heroes. The Legendary armeis are graned special bonuses like +2 bonus to their supply range and +1 movement point. They can also fight more effectively outside their supply. They also recieve another +4 fate bonus. When an army fights in an important battle, the army is awarded a battle honor, noting the vent. There is Air Assault, reconnasance, attachments, enhancements, and munitions, espionage, sabatoge, assassination, supply rules, seiges.....there is A WHOLE DAMN LOT to this game. But it is easy to get into also.

And the dev seems to be a good guy, and is listening to the players and is working on a patch to fix many of the complaints and issues that have been discovered.

If you games with this setting, or games where you gotta build card decks, or just a strategy nut (like me), I think you should at least try it. There is a demo, but it is only a 20 turn demo (the game ends once you reach turn 20). You play with an Empire of Man demo deck, and can only fight against the Machine Empire. And once turn 20 shows up, you are just starting to get into the game and able to start to field some bigger units.

The game is only 30 bucks, but a game like this, I think is well worth the money if you like these types of games.

If there are any questions, feel free to ask.

The demo can be found at the link at the start of this message....


on Jul 22, 2007
First update to this awesome game....

V1.02 Update Notes

Bug Fixes

Fixed army being deleted bug when move was canceled after pop up box explained that selected hex was not valid.

Fixed goal object bug where Intel Facility was trying to upgrade itself past its max level in response to enemy sabotage attempts.

Fixed bug where threat objects from defeated enemies were triggering failed responses in some cases - culled threat objects after AI defeat.

Fixed error where capture of hero by indie caused attempt to tell indie (which has no global AI) that hero had been captured.

Fixed error where goal to cut off enemy supply was failing if unit assigned to mission had been destroyed.

Fixed error where missile barrage goal was attempting to position mobile launcher even if it had been destroyed.

Fixed error where empty garrison was remaining if outpost had been destroyed. Empty ones without outpost now culled at beginning of new round.

Fixed error where no engineer in hex for minefield deployment was returning message that a hero or engineer was needed.

Fixed error where Machines were trying to deploy thrall chamber and wrong goal was being createdFixed error where minefield depletion after attacks was causing duplicate removal of the minefield from the board.

Fixed error where infantry support special ability was not conveying bonus for movement to infantry type (Infantry, PBA, Robot) units in same army.

UI Fixes

Added rollover info pad display of details on cards in player hand.

Added initial hotkey support: Space bar toggles the hand display.

Tab button Toggles the Mini Map.

New Features

Esc key disabled for quitting the program.

Added Fast Initiative Rolls Toggle Button in Options.

Added Fast Die Rolls Toggle Button in Options.

Added Fast Fate Roll Toggle Button in Options.

Added View Info on Card in Hand Button in Options - toggles card info display on/off.
on Jul 23, 2007
I just played the demo, and it looks nice enough. Does the full game come with a hotseat mode? And, most importantly, with the ability to select a screen resolution? The low res of the demo really hurts my eyes, plus it stays on that resolution when alt-tabbing out of the game.
on Jul 23, 2007
Well, that is really, the only thing about the game that surprises me. There is no Multiplayer. This game SCREAMS multiplayer. He chose (and he cited Brad Wardell as his reasoning, even) to focus on the AI, instead of adding a multiplayer component. He is a "one-man show", so he felt he needed to choose. Kinda sucks, though, but hopefully, maybe, eventually a multiplayer aspect will be put in.

But....on one of the other message boards (Octopus Overlords or Quarter to 3), he said that the AI has 65 decks per faction to choose from, with different strategies to choose from.

What resolution is the game in. I use 1024X768, and it works fine for me. It doesn't do a real alt-tab, but it does let me pull up other windows.

The game does have its faults. But, he is taking ppl's complaints and working on them. And he also is answering questions as to why he did things the way he did.

Basically, with the full game, you get all 4 factions to play (I believe he has said there just might possibly be a 5th faction added. If you notice on the turn initiative screen, there is a 5th section for another faction). You also get all the cards for each faction. So you don't have to chase down any "rare" cards. He has added some things to make the UI a bit easier too. Like the roll over tips when you mouse over the cards in your hand. And another biggie is the faster dice rolls.

And even though there is the 20 turn demo, there is so much more in the game than what those 20 turns allow you to get into. 20 turns ends the game usually right around the same time that you are about to start bringing out the bigger units. Plus, there is the "card creation" (tacticians making tactics cards, technicians making new tech cards, and the geneticist making enhancement cards). Those 3 things can really turn a battle around, especially the tactics cards. There is espionage, assassination (in fact, if an assassin tries to kill another assassin, a duel between the two happens, where the defender can actually become the killer), sabatoge.....lots and lots in this game.

Anyways, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

on Jul 24, 2007
The demo has now been extended to 30 turns instead of 20.....

Just letting anyone interested know....
on Jul 25, 2007
Hm. Then I'll redownload. 20 turns simply is too short to form any opinion about the game, especially the AI.

It wasn't clear in your reply, is the game fixed at 1024x768, or is that just a limitation of the demo?
on Jul 25, 2007
I believe it is fixed....not sure if he is going to, or if even he can change that
on Jul 25, 2007
Extremely confusing.I just clicked a couple turns simply to get enough resource points never mind spending them to get an advantage on the dice roll.And with a max of 8 cards in your hand there is not a lot to do.What if I want to do something that I don't have a card for?Probably confused about a lot.Couldn't get how to make armies.
on Jul 25, 2007
the first couple of turns go by pretty quick. But, things you can do:

1. draw cards (up to 8 maximum, except for the Machine Empire faction, they get 9)
2. get a hero out on turn 2 if possible, then you can start to build up your resource collection
3. some units (recon unit, for example) only need 1 of each resource.

I usually don't spend the resources to get the initiative advantage in the roll, use those early resources to get your units out.

As for making armies....heh....it is a strange way to do it, but....

you click on the army icon on the map (there should be two icons there on the starting hex: a tall one, and one to the right of it - the army icon is the one to the right). Up at the top of the window that opens, there should be a "Create" button, click on that. Next, you have to name the army. Over on the left, there should now be "Garrison" and the new army you just named. Then, just drag the unit/hero cards over to the new army and drop them. To create an army costs 3 action points, but to transfer units from the Garrison to the army costs nothing, but to transfer from one army to the garrison OR another army costs action points.

An army can only hold 1 hero, plus up to 8 units. The Command Rating of the hero shows how many units can be under his command before they start to suffer penalties.

To move an army, you have right click the army icon, this opens up a small window....just click on the army you want to move. You have to move 1 hex at a time, though.

To build resource collectors, you need either a HERO or a unit with the ENGINEER ability (the demo deck, or the Empire of Man, has Imperial Pioneers who are engineers). Once you have either of those units on a hex with a resource icon (light brown = human, green = materials, yellow = energy, and blue = tech), right click on the hero (in the army screen). This opens up a small window....just click on the collector you wanna build.

Anymore questions, just ask....

on Jul 28, 2007
wow....so I was playing a 3 player game (I was the Empire of Man vs. The Machines vs. Xenopods).

My first contact was with the Machines up in the north. I hwas having a difficult time really getting my war machine started, as I just couldn't really get enough resources to do much.

I was finally getting things started, getting a decent army to my north, and launching air to ground attacks into the Machines' base. I knew that the Xenopods had to be somewhere to the east of me, but I wasn't sure if they were north east, or just straight east. I was trying to post an army east of my base, trying to catch view of them, since I had not seen them once the entire game.

I was finally just about prepared to move into Machines territory to launch my assault on theeir HQ, (I had a great military leader, along with 4 tactics cards, and 3 or 4 Marines, an Elephant tank, a Vengeance mecha, and an Infantry Support Vehicle).

But...the Xenopods had other plans. A Xenopod Commando unit shows up in the hex next to my stronghold, and they blow up a resource collector. I started moving the 1st Imperial Marines into position (they were guarding a Tech Team collector about 4 or 5 hexes away). The 1st Imperial Marines were made up of 2 Marines and 2 Zeus Power Armor squads. They never made it....but they did get a front row seat to the light show. The Xenopods mushroom clouded me, and annihilated my base....knocking me out of the game.

What a way to go....


my question is, though.....If I am reading the manual correctly, the Xenopods do not have a hydrogen bomb. How did they get one? Or am I reading it wrong?
on Jul 29, 2007
For those who want to learn more I'm running an AAR here:

on Jul 29, 2007
Pretty good game.My basic plan has been to use lots of recon,spycraft and airpower to win.Playing humans.And lots of tech upgrades and missiles.I have lots of pioneers going to resource sights to set up collectors and and some bases you can abstrtact munitions for some action points.Forward air controllers really add to your air power effectiveness.
Although in my last game against the mutants their base was placed close to mine and they did not develop much.
Espionage is awesome.
The game doesn't seem to like fraps so I can't take any screenshots in game.
And it is also unlear what makes your spy heroes vulnerable to othe spies.
I know if your enemy has a sniffer unit it can detect you.
on Dec 26, 2007
I picked this up a week or so ago and Wow! This is a meaty game.

FWIW, the game is now at version 1.06.
on Feb 03, 2008
Just played my first 1v1 match against the Machines. Awesome game but, like other stated, it really lacks a MP mode. I realize their would be a lot of downtime, but the game scope is much smaller than GalCiv for example and sticking to 1v1 games without neutrals should be reasonable.
I realize the game is a one-man job and the guy has other priorities but it's a pity nonetheless. I have a couple of hardcore wargamer buddies that would have enjoyed AE *a lot* in multiplayer.
on Feb 03, 2008
I don't know why, but I'm imagining a total conversion for GalCiv based on this game...
on Feb 28, 2008

You are correct: this game is absolutely fantastic. I bought it withou having much of an idea what it actually is and all of the great things people have been saying about it are entirely true. I'm not even a fan of card-based games whatsoever and this game still manages to own my soul.