Can’t Get Enough Hoburg Weed

The original title of this screenshot was "slowly growing," to indicate the gradual expansion of my empire. Little did I know it was steeped in unintended double meaning.

The beginnings of a very profitable Hoburg Weed growing enterprise. The little towns with green fields are hoburg villages. They grow, well, you can guess.

I’ve recently been playing a lot of Conquest of Elysium 3, the new game from Illwinter Game Design, who you might recognize as the creators of Dominions 3. Today I’m playing as the Burgmeister, a leader among halfmen.

It isn’t easy being a halfman, even if you have managed to join up with the Hoburgs. You have to put up with the worst sort of ridicule, and those short legs aren’t taking you anywhere fast. At best you have 4 hitpoints—and chances are you’ve got fewer. Even most human archers have 7, and beefcakes can work up to more than double that.

Yessir, life as a Hoburg sure would stink if it weren’t for fine Hoburg Weed.

Yes, this *is* an easy fight. But troops will die nonetheless. Such is the life of a Hoburg.

Hoburg soldiers face off against relative giants.

Sadly, Hoburg Weed doesn’t do what you might assume. I’ll explain.

Each of the 17 societies in Conquest of Elysium 3 is unique, to the point that many even have unique economies. Everyone can make use of gold and iron, of course, but not everybody is interested in gems, or fungus, or the severed left hands of thieves.

Hoburg society is strictly ordered. This might come as a surprise to anyone with only a passing knowledge of halfman stereotypes—you know, the idea that they bumble through life gardening and smoking. The Hoburgs sneer at these slurs: they’re orderly and professional, and so what if they have green thumbs? Their fortified towns are led by Burgmeisters, who are served by Horologists, Horticulturists, and Hogmeisters. Each of these professions helps transform the Hoburgs from a rabble of halfmen to a force that just might conquer Elysium.

One stereotype is true: Hoburgs are huge J.R.R. Tolkien fans, just like any other halfman.

Hoburg soldiers face off against an actual giant.

The most ordinary of these helpers is the Hogmeister. He rides a hog and leads Hoburg armies (which tend to be large) to war.

Horologists can use mined gems to construct all sorts of useful mechanical fighters. Clockwork warriors or scorpions—eventually even iron dragons. But gems can be hard to come by, and mines are easy targets.

So the easiest way to bolster your sizeable-but-frail Hoburg military is to use the Horticulturist. Once your Burgmeister hires one (or gets lucky and is joined by one), you’ll start producing Hoburg Weed. Even better, the Horticulturist can convert captured farms (which were probably growing un-magical beans) into Hoburg Villages, which produce a bit of extra gold in addition to nice dry stacks of Weed.

Rather than using this Weed to hop up your little fighters, your Horticulturist can burn it to call animals for assistance. Don’t ask me why this works. It just does.

Pictured: a warren of rabbits, a sloth of bears, a leash of deer, a pack of wolves, a sounder of boars, a knot of snakes, and a squash of Hoburgs.

A Hoburg army filled with summoned animals.

Sometimes your Horticulturist will be answered by something useless, like a bevy of rabbits or deer. Other times you’ll get packs of wolves, bears, snakes, boars, or other deadly creatures. With enough Weed, you’ll have plenty of animals happy to protect your fragile Hoburg Crossbows.

In my recent game as the Burgmeister, I’d conquered over half of Elysium when I received a message that the veil between life and death had grown so thin that the spirits of the dead were now stalking the land. I didn’t pay much attention to this until a couple turns later when I saw that dispossessed spirits were now consuming my empire from every direction. Within half a year, my once-impressive kingdom had been reduced to a few well-defended strongholds. I even had to retake my capital from a spectral army.

If Rick Moranis promises to come out of retirement, I'll let Harold Ramis use this as the premise for Ghostbusters 3.

The ghost invasion pushes me out of my own capital, and begins to overrun many of the smaller towns and mines that I had worked to conquer.

These ghosts proved surprisingly efficient at toppling Hoburg empires. They were everywhere, and only one out of every four hits would land successfully, making even smaller groups difficult to eliminate. To save my kingdom, I turned to my Horticulturist.

One of my early scouting parties had found an ancient forest far to the east, and I’d noticed that for 100 stacks of Weed (a normal summoning takes 10), my Horticulturist could enter just such a place to call the “Guardian of the Hoburgs.” Well, if the Hoburgs ever needed a guardian, this was the time for it.

I gave my horticulturist a sizeable army—everyone not needed to hold onto the last two strongholds—and sent him east. It took a while, and he had to avoid larger gatherings of spirits, but eventually he made it.

Hroom.

Three ents join the Hoburg army.

Three trips into the ancient forest and three ent-summonings later, and I had a Hoburg army that I could be proud of. It was only a matter of time before our kingdom was saved.

Thank heavens for Hoburg Weed.

Posted on March 6, 2012, in Indie and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. thank you for this nice review. Have not played the hogburgs yet. I always liked them on Dominions3

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