The Let's Play Archive

War for the Overworld

by Enchanted Hat

Part 2: Welcome to Kairos

Episode 2: Welcome to Kairos

Now's the time for a bigger challenge. Before you lies an Imperial keep, guarded by a certain Lord Roussimoff. He had a bit of an accident that melted most of his face, but he's no less vigilant a soldier. He's been sent to guard an object that could threaten our campaign… get in there and burn the rest of him, Underlord.

Well, I'm not one to leave a job unfinished. Let's get the invasion of Kairos started!

We've punctured the veil of this world through a schism - a point of weakness in the bonds between realms. Unfortunately for us, the Empire has crafted defences to keep us from the heart of their kingdom.

These inhibitors prevent Underlords from trespass, but whether it's bone or stone it can be broken.

I suspect that this Empire force has yet to taste true battle, but before you go engaging them you'll need to muster up some minions.

Smash the glowing thing, got it.

The use of the term "Underlords" is interesting. Are we not the only Underlord? Are there other Underlords like us out there, trying to destroy the land of Kairos? Maybe they'll be our friends later and help us fight the heroes. It's nice to have friends.

As usual, the first thing to do is tunnel straight for the monster gateway. Also, Mendechaus is kind of a jerk.

Unfortunately for me, your time in the Aether has left you a weak husk of your former self. In order to reacquire your powers you will need to access the Veins of Evil.

This is the "Veins of Evil" that Mendechaus was talking about. It's one of the ways that you unlock new room types and other useful tools for your dungeon.

The talent tree layout makes it look like it's going to have a lot of customisability and allow for interesting choices in terms of what kind of dungeon you want to design, but honestly, it's extremely railroaded. You get access to a couple of tools each mission, and you'll unlock substantially everything in the order that the level designers want you to.

We only have one option, which is to unlock the archive, so let's do that.

I build a small archive. Archives allow you to research "sins" that you can spend on the Veins of Evil screen to unlock more tools. You need researchers, though, and our gnarlings are much too stupid to do that.

A Cultist has found its way into your Dungeon. Attracted by the magical tomes within your Archive, these minions will spend most of their time researching Sins for you. Though they are weak combatants, they have the power to curse your foes… making them weak to your other minions' blows.

Luckily, the archive attracts nerds! Cultists are almost completely useless in combat, but they're necessary for researching sins in the archive. I'd recommend always building the smallest possible archive, just enough to get a minimum number of cultists to research sins. Any more than that, and they will just take up valuable space in your monster army.

After "researching another sin", which sounds like a really strange euphemism, I can unlock the tavern. This is not a tavern for attracting adventurers (although a tavern in a monster dungeon would be a very clever trap, come to think of it). Rather, it's more like a dining hall for your monsters. Monsters prefer to eat from the tavern rather than grabbing a raw pig from the pigsty. What's more, they'll even pay for their food at the tavern!

South of the dungeon core, I build this giant super-room with a training barracks to the left, a tavern in the middle and a bedroom to the right. The game's tutorial trains you to build little 3x3 size rooms with individual entrances, and the game's mechanics support this to an extent. Rooms get a small bonus to their efficiency if they are surrounded by unbroken wall tiles. However, in my experience, the bonus is not big enough to justify making numerous small, separate rooms, especially considering the efficiency of having monsters live and eat right next to the training room.

Shortly afterwards, my workers find some kind of eyeball gyroscope. This is a Perception Shrine. It gives you free map vision in a pretty big radius, allowing us to peek into Lord Roussimoff's fortress to the north.

This is the hero fortress. Hero fortresses are quite a bit nicer than our dungeon. For one, they have excellent masonry, and their bedrooms aren't full of gibbets. The heroes still have to eat raw pigs straight from a pigsty, though, whereas we have a nice new tavern, so perhaps it all evens out.

We could attack right away, but I don't feel strong enough to pick a fight with Lord Roussimoff just yet. We'll wait until we've attracted some more gnarlings and then let them train at the barracks for a little while.

…at least, that was the plan, but I soon get alerted that Roussimoff's diggers are tunnelling straight for our dungeon!

I summon our minions to the Perception Shrine, where the diggers breached our dungeon. Pictured are two cultists getting beaten up by enemy soldiers. Luckily, we've also attracted a couple of gnarlings who are able to get the job done.

After beating the soldiers, I retreat back to the dungeon. In order to attract some more gnarlings, I expand the barracks.

Rooms in War for the Overworld (and Dungeon Keeper before it) work a little strangely. Most room types have something called props. In the case of the barracks, the props are the training dummies along the middle of the room. The number of props determines (in a rather confusing non-linear fashion) how many monsters that room will attract, and how many monsters can interact with that room.

In order to make a prop appear in most room types, the room has to be at least 3x3 tiles in size. That will spawn one prop in the centre tile. To make another prop, you can either build another 3x3 room somewhere else in your base, or you can expand your existing room. If you decide to expand your room, you only need to add a 2x3 section to spawn one more prop. So a 5x3 room will spawn two props. This room shape is a rather strange 3x7 with an extra 2x3 at the bottom, spawning a total of four props. It would have been more efficient for me to make a 5x5 room to get four props, but there was another room in the way, so I had to improvise.

That's enough training for now. When you're ready, rally your minions to the Inhibitor and defeat Sir Roussimoff.

At this time, Mendechaus becomes impatient and tells us to stop screwing around.

I plant our war banner right on top of the Inhibitor, which tells our monsters to charge right at it. This is a very sophisticated military tactic known as a coup de main, which I decided to use after careful deliberation, and should in no way be interpreted as me being lazy or bad at controlling my units.

Our army charges at the heroes' fortress. Our force has grown to six gnarlings and somehow five cultists, even though I deliberately tried to minimise the number of cultists that we'd attract. These guys grow like weeds.

To tip the balance in our favour, we have a special card up our sleeve:

Possession! We have the power to directly possess any monster in our dungeon in order to participate in the fighting personally. I decided to possess a cultist, which is why a large part of my screen is obscured by his goofy red hood. Cultists are useless in close combat, but they do have a nice heal spell that they can use to support the gnarlings, as well as a pretty wimpy fireball. I hang back and pretend that I'm making a difference while our gnarlings do all the work.

We've managed to break into the heroes' treasury. Luckily, our gnarlings are dumb enough to keep moving towards the Inhibitor instead of stopping to plunder this room. And the cultists are worthless, so I don't care what they do.

We reach the Inhibitor, and Roussimoff is there waiting for us. He's pretty tough, but there are many of us, and only one of him.

Roussimoff: The light… the light has gone… Kira… I am… Extinguished…

Soon, he's just a red smear on the beautifully tiled floor.

With Roussimoff dead, I feel confident enough to cancel the possession spell. The gnarlings will make short work of the undefended Inhibitor.

Well done Underlord, you're learning much faster this time.

We've barely even started, and you already have a notch on your belt! Well done, Underlord, but there's no rest for the wicked… Two Inhibitors still stand between us and the mainland… but after your butchery of poor Lord Roussimoff, I doubt they'll be as weakly defended…

And with that, we've beaten our first real mission of the game! Now that we have the archive, we should soon be able to unlock some more interesting monsters and tools for our dungeon. We have a lot of pillaging still to do!