King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame (PC)

King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame PC Box
8 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Mechanics: 7/10
Story: 9/10

Great artwork | Great look and feel

Steep learning curve later in the game | RTS battles become tedious

Game Info

GAME NAME: King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame

DEVELOPER(S): Neocore Games

PUBLISHER(S): Paradox Interactive


GENRE(S): RTS, RPG, Strategy

RELEASE DATE(S): November 25, 2009


 King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame was released in November 2009 by Neocore Games – so it’s not a new game by any means – but it is an interesting one. This game is steeped in Celtic myth and the lore of the British Isles and its mechanics are uniquely multifaceted. I first saw this game on Steam and later bought the whole series for around $40. And while I don’t quite know if I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of the game, I don’t feel jipped in the slightest. I’ve even heard that a sequel is in development and I’m curious to see what the developers do next with the franchise.

The basic conceit of the game is that you the player, a lowly cog in information age society, are the legendary and mystical King Arthur! You start out in Cornwall with a small army led by your foster brother Kay and proceed from there to towards the founding of your capital city, Camelot and the eventual unification of Britain. You play through the early tutorial stages of the game and progress through the defeat of the Saxons and/or and the Welsh and beyond. And when I say beyond, what I really mean is into the realm of the Sidhe! There are also several expansion packs for the game that include new units, heroes and artifacts. At the time that I am writing this, everything can be purchased off Steam for something just under $34 – a steal if there ever was one. I think I paid a bit over $40 when I got it in January of 2011.

King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame - In the heat of battle

Let me start by saying that this game is ambitious. It tries to do a lot of things and while it gets most of them right, there are few areas where it is a bit sub par, even if only marginally. First, this game is a real-time battle simulator (watch out for the archers; be sure to weaken them in the settings). I think it’s probably safe to say that this is the main thrust of the game. But in between battles, there is the strategic map where you move your armies and manage your territories and strongholds. Finally, there are text and image based adventure events, much like choose your own adventure stories, that pop up on the strategic map, both as random events and as parts of the main story line. So, with so much to offer, this game really pushes the limits. I enjoy the real time battles, just not all the marching and movement of the little armies. I also enjoy managing the kingdom, but I wish the UI were a little better at getting me information on army support costs versus what I am bringing in. Finally, I enjoy the linear text adventures, I’m kind of iffy on the ones that end in combat, and I’m not a big fan of any text adventure when I have to take notes (e.g., the one with the maze). But taken on a whole, I do like the whole package even though I feel that some certain parts of it need a little tweaking.

King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame - The campaing map

The sound and graphics are both good – the voice acting especially so. The guy who narrates the game does an excellent job and the music is very appropriate to the game’s setting and different aspects. The battlefields are well rendered, but the units themselves are a bit small and not rendered with all the precision that they could be. The weather and spell effects are both good. Now, let me take a moment here to stop and address the load screens in the game. The load screens in this game has to one of the most impressive collection of Arthurian fantasy artwork in existence. I am not joking about this. These images are phenomenal and enjoy eyeballing each and everyone of them every time they come up. This top-notch artwork.

King Arthur: The Roleplaying Wargame - Excalibur Wallpaper

So, in the final analysis, is King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame worth your time and money? Well, I’ve spent hours in front of my computer playing this title, and while there are some issues, like supporting more than 4 or so armies while developing your kingdom and not going broke,  I’d have to say at the reduced prices being offered on Steam and Impulse (be careful there though, I don’t think the multiplayer works in the Impulse offering), it’s definitely worth it. This game feels like a throwback to King Arthur games in the 1990s, but with modern graphics and sound. This game is currently rated at 79 on, but it has a charm or an atmosphere that can easily suck you in if you let it. And there are so many choices to make, you could play four different games and get 4 different flavors of King Arthur (righteous, tyrant, Christian, and Old Faith) with 4 sets of specialized units. I recommend this game to anyone who loves Arthurian lore and real-time battle simulations. I’d also recommend it for strategy players as well. I personally rate King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame at 8 out of 10 and sincerely hope that the sequel is even better.


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Author: Michael Bartok View all posts by

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