From: St. Paul, MN
However I may feel with a few more hours of Drums of War under my belt, this game certainly does not give off a good first impression.
Despite some poor opinions earlier today, I broke down and picked it up because I used to love somewhat lite tactical battle games going back to the days of Breach and Paladin and from the description and screenshots, this reminded me a lot of them and how their editors allowed for a lot of fun and variety (as least, to my childhood memories). Right now I am regretting that hasty decision. Richtschnur might seem a little harsh, but he's not far off. DoW actually lived up too much to my thoughts from before the purchase. It looks and feels as if I started up DOSBox and loaded up Paladin II, except with hexes.
There is some depth to the tactics (more than those old games, anyway), but so far it doesn't feel all that much deeper (granted, I've only played a few skirmishes to get a feel for different units and a battle I whipped up in the editor, so there might be more that I just haven't delved deep enough for yet). The units, with a few exceptions, seem to lack variety between factions and are fairly generic fantasy types - if I tell you the four factions are Humans, Orcs, Undead, and Dwarves, you'll probably guess 85%+ of the units).
Effects, sounds, music, and graphics (if you can overlook the late 80's/early 90's feel) are all passable with some highlights. Not bad for a tiny team.
What I found most disappointing so far is the editor, which is where I had placed much hope beyond a sound tactical base game. It is very easy to use, but ultimately feels very limited and I fear that what little community will bite at DoW will not be able to breathe a second life into the game through creative missions and campaigns. You're pretty much limited to the base units, heroes, and artifacts from the main game with little chance to add any personal touch to them. The maps editor doesn't allow for triggers (besides gate opening devices) or events or anything for more creative endeavors. You basically lay terrain, units, and items, and then just have a go. I'll have to do some digging, but I'm hoping perhaps there's some flexibility for modding (after all, the simplistic graphics should allow for someone to change things up without too much art hassle). Looking at the data files the editor creates, however, it doesn't look like there's room for any behind the scenes modding o the missions, so I wouldn't hold my breath for anything truly creative or different to come out of the community. Fans have surprised me in the past, though.
Overall, I hate to sound negative, but this is a first impression thread and right now, it disappoints at first look. I'm hoping to feel the drive to give it a bit more of a go and see if there's more to it than at first seems, but I still fear that in the long run, it won't live long past it's initial built-in missions and that will barely feel worth the price.