Warlock: Master of the Arcane Starter Guide
In Warlock: Master of the Arcane you could easily get off the wrong foot. You might construct the wrong buildings, train the wrong units, research the wrong spells. After a while you find that formula which suits you best, and which you will use over and over again. Later the situation might change, as you adjust your overall strategy and city/army building, but a good start is the most crucial part of any game.
In this guide I would want to talk about the beginning of any game you could have, in Warlock: Master of the Arcane. I will bring you attention to a number of priorities you should have, and what to pay attention to.
Warlock: Master of the Arcane – The beginning
Aside from your difficulty choice, and world settings, the next important element of any game is your wizard. The choice of a race is related to your own play-style, though each race has its own strengths and weaknesses. The Undead at first need Mana. Your skeleton archers and warriors will need it in order to function properly. For this reason any starting Undead city will have one Mana Trap already built. In turn, any Human or Monster city will have a farm constructed at the start. Both the Monsters and Humans have more move points at first, allowing them to more quickly explore the surrounding areas. However, the Undead have the benefit of having resistance to Death Magic, as well as (in the case of skeletons) some resistance to ranged attacks.
The final decisions during the creation of your wizard are his perks/traits. You have a number of points to spend on either perks or spells, and it is a good idea to give some thought what you pick. Consider the following, you could buy yourself the Mana Vault Perk (100 bonus mana at the start of the game) and a few spells, or instead, invest in the Tutor Perk (units get +1 exp per turn) which would benefit you throughout the game. It is not a bad idea to ignore more expensive spells for the sake of more expensive perks, because you will research most of the starter spells very quickly.
When choosing your wizard’s perks, consider how will they benefit you in the future, if at all. It is better to buy something that will keep on giving, than taking a one-time start boost.
Ready, Set, Go!
You wizard is set, the map is ready, let’s begin the game. You will always start in a similar fashion. Your capital, with (usually) a recruitment building, market, and either a farm or mana trap. On top of that, depending on your race of choice, a ranged unit and a close combat unit of some sort. First things first, explore. Your capital can defend itself for the time being, and keeping any units in it is simply not worth it. After your initial unit moves you have to build something in your capital.
As I mentioned in my Warlock Review, you often have to specialise a city in a specific task. Currently I can name four possible tasks for any city under your control: Mana, Gold or Food Production, or unit recruitment. Research points can be increased through the building of Mana related buildings (usually) or constructing special buildings on special resources, but it is impossible to make a town specialise purely in research. This is because certain buildings can only be constructed once per city. For example, you can have only one Library in a City, and not a city full of Libraries. Cities which focus on Mana, Gold or Food should construct appropriate buildings to increase the output of each farm, manufacturer district or mana trap. After a certain point building an extra good production building, as well as any other building producing a related good will also gain the bonus. So if you had a Gem Mine (+20 Gold) a Mint would double its output.
Meanwhile, making your capital focus on recruitment, and building recruitment related buildings in order to gain access to more advanced units, will give you an advantage in unit quality. At first you will not have a problem with quickly conquering small neutral cities or destroying creature lairs. Later on, you will need the stronger troops your capital will produce.
Another reason for quickly dispatching local creature nests is that otherwise they will keep damaging your cities or units. This could slow down your progress or leave you vulnerable. Any stronger creatures should be noted down and dealt with later, when you have access to stronger units, spells or upgrades.