Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, September 08, 2021
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous army management

I mentioned in my previous post on this game that Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous has a sub-game which plays a bit like battles from Heroes of Might & Magic. Now I played that system a bit, I can say more.

Just like in Heroes of Might & Magic, you will have armies with a general moving on the main map, and once they meet an enemy army, battle ensues. Battles are on a square grid, turn-based, and your general can participate by for example casting spells. Unlike Heroes of Might & Magic, you can have a certain amount of losses and recover them at the end of the battle, so a series of battles with minor losses doesn't diminish your army size. You can hire fresh troops every week, get some troops through events or dialogue options with your adventuring group, and you general gets stronger by earning xp.

The interesting part is how the army game interacts with the adventuring group role-playing game. Basically each army has a movement limit per day, while your adventuring party consumes time by movement and resting. This forces you to constantly switch between the two games: You play your army until you run out of movement for it, then play your adventuring group until you reach the next day, where you can again move your army. The enemy armies on the main map are visible both in army mode and in adventuring mode. And in adventuring mode, they simply block the road. So you need to move your army and beat the enemy army that blocks the way for your adventuring group.

I find the system is okay as long you like both RPGs and fantasy tactical battle games. There is more "game" to the army part of Wrath of the Righteous than there was game in the kingdom management part of Kingmaker. However, just like in Heroes of Might & Magic, you better make sure not to occur permanent losses to your army, as that would seriously hinder your progress in the game. While you can turn gold from your adventuring into resources to buy soldiers, the number of soldiers you can hire per week is very limited, and rebuilding a lost army would take a very long time. If you really lose a battle, you are basically forced to save scum and try something else. The strength of the enemy armies tells you what you can beat, and that tells you where your adventuring party can go, which is an interesting new approach on progressively unlocking world map locations.

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