Conquest of Elysium 3 (CoE3) is a streamlined turn based fantasy strategy game with a touch of rogue-like and the complex undertones of Illwinter's Dominions series. While CoE3 appears to be a simple game with limited options at first glance, delving further into the game reveals a game of complex decision making and risky endeavors.
User reviews: Very Positive (256 reviews) - 80% of the 256 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 24, 2012

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About This Game

Conquest of Elysium 3 (CoE3) is a streamlined turn based fantasy strategy game with a touch of rogue-like and the complex undertones of Illwinter's Dominions series. While CoE3 appears to be a simple game with limited options at first glance, delving further into the game reveals a game of complex decision making and risky endeavors.

The main focus in CoE3 is that each race plays differently. We're not talking about a unique building and unique unit, we're talking about completely differently, with different mechanics and different goals. Perhaps you're playing a druid, focused on amassing a vast forest and jungle empire from which to harvest ingredients to summon creatures of the woods with no practical need to conquer mines. Perhaps you're a dwarf, who's only concern are mines and produce units at a set rate every turn, focused almost entirely on upgrading those units to survive as long as possible since they are so difficult to replace. With 18 different factions that alone is enough to keep your play dynamic as you vie for control of the map to conquer Elysium. That isn't where it ends, however, there are 6 scenarios in which your game takes place that will help randomize the map. These scenarios range from a the early days of an agrarian world to a giant gleaming capital, which you can conquer, that spawns patrols of human guards, to a fallen empire filled with the living dead and scarred by battlefields and tombs. There's also random events to contend with, from merchants to pillage to the very gates of the underworld opening portals to your realm, your hands will be full before you even make contact with the enemy.

In each game the objective is to defeat your enemies by relying on the strengths of your chosen race. Combat in CoE3 is automatic to keep things streamlined, but that doesn't make it non-strategic. Each unit has a desired "location" it wants to be in the battlefield. Archers want to be in the rear, heavy infantry want to be in front. As you can imagine, putting together an army that has enough strength to protect the powerful archers and spell casters in the rear is vital. It goes beyond that though, as you must determine your enemy's strengths and hopefully be able to counter their strategy. An army of a mere 10 trolls is extremely dangerous, perhaps able to bring down a dragon, but they can only kill 10 creatures at once. An army of 50 small units will make short work of your trolls. However, an army with a wizard able to cast high level spell may completely destroy all 50 small units in one shot but would be unable to harm 10 trolls. Determining the strength and composition of an enemy army is a vital skill, and since hitting in combat, damage, and even the very spells that will be cast are randomized based on the abilities of each unit, every battle invites potential disaster and a change of plans.

Key Features:

  • 18 different classes that are unique, both in resources they need and the rituals or special abilities they have
  • Copious amounts of monsters and random events, good and bad
  • Random maps.
  • Spell system with 42 magic paths
  • Network or hotseat multiplayer
  • Team play, you can be 2 players against the AI for example.
  • Stealth and invisibility. Scouts needed to detect stealthy troops, something better (a star spawn or a beast bat will work) needed to detect the invisible ones.
  • Assassins that make an assassination attack before combat starts.
  • Catapults, Hill Giants and Rocs that can throw or drop boulders during sieges.
  • Immortal Liches and Vampires.
  • Regenerating trolls rise from the dead if they haven't been killed too badly or their side lost.
  • Large worms that can swallow smaller enemies whole. Swallowed units take a few points of damage from digestion each round until they are freed.
  • Shape changers that looks like something else when seen by the enemies.
  • And many many more monsters and abilites....

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor:1 GHz
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:OpenGL capabable graphics card
    Minimum:
    • OS:10.3 or later
    • Processor:any PowerPC or Intel cpu
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    Minimum:
    • OS:and 32 or 64-bit distro
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:OpenGL capabable graphics card
Helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
239.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2015
This is a gem of a game, a stripped down Dominions 3/4, but not in any way a simple game. There is a hypnotic rhythm to the turns, and 60 turns in you can still process a turn in just a couple of minutes, letting you avoid the bogged down feeling you get with so many similar games in the mid-late game. Given, there are warts galore and lots of areas for improvement with the interface and AI, but it's such an elegant concept. The factions really play differently from each other and it is well worth your time spending a few games with each. Give it a go, or try COE 4 due out mid-November. It's also a great introduction to Illwinter's Dominions 4 which is a crazy deep deep deep deep game that i'm still just scratching the surface of.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2015
If you can look past the fairly simple graphics and don't mind reading a manual to help you overcome a steep learning curve and incomprehensible interface then there is a very enjoyable and strategic game waiting for you in CoE3. There is a great variety of races to play with heaps of interesting and different units. It is more strategy than tactics: you choose your army composition but the computer plays out battles automatically. You need to pay attention to ensure your heroes don't kill your own army with their spells, a creeping doom will single-handedly destroy your huge army of recruited units and the RNG will sometimes make you cry, but overcoming the challenges and emerging victorious is extremely satisfying.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2015
I've never really been one for competitive 4X-style strategy games. I've generally found them too bogged-down in micromanagement and strict formulaic approaches to really be interesting. That's a personal taste, so I hold my ambivalence to the whole genre a bit in reserve.

This game... doesn't exactly escape from micromangement, (what micromanagement it lacks, it's becuase the whole city-management aspect of 4X games was completely gutted from the game, not because it was automated to give players only the interesting choices,) but it does manage to bring a lot of new ideas to the table to make it at least more interesting, and cities and towns are just resource generation points. What makes it interesting is that those aren't the only resource-spawning locations. Each faction has access to different kinds of special resources gained from different terrain tiles, meaning that forests are useless to dwarves or priest-kings, but witches can farm them for fungi they use to summon more units, making controlling them critical when a witch is in play, but pointless when they are not. This makes the value of different landscapes fluctuate based upon who's in play, unlike a game like Civilization, where all cities are operated in basically the same way, so stealing one is always both a positive to you and a negative to your opponents.

That said, most factions let you summon monsters randomly from a table you have no access to, and because battles are random and uncontrollable, as well, this means that you have randomly created troops filling out uncontrolled lines of battle to fight random battles you can't control with randomly generated enemies to take up random landscapes whose composition you have little control over. Strategy goes where?

This game winds up using that classic of turn-based (especially 4X) combat models I call "Stack Mashing", because all you do is make a giant stack of troops, and then blithely ram it into everyone else's stacks until you run out of stack and need a new one. In 4X games, this can generally be forgivable because the point of the game isn't some strategic maneuvering, it's building up the infrastructure to field that giant army in the first place. In this game, however, you really don't have an infrastructure, you just have resource-generation tiles.

The graphics are "I could do better, oh, look, it lets you mod the graphics, so I CAN do better," and the music can be muted so you can play your own, which is generally what I wind up doing with most games that take a long time to play, anyway, since no game comes with enough music variety to last you a 100-hour game.

I've also only played single player, and I'm not sure how well this game works over the Internet with random nobodies.

It's interesting and has some novel ideas, and so I recommend it to strategy gamers for that reason alone. Maybe you'll love it, but I think it's worth buying on sale just to play for a couple hours to understand what it does differently, then carry it with you next time you see a bland space 4X do the same thing a billionth time.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2015
It's a shame that Illwinter makes people buy another full price game because they fixed ONE aspect of gameplay from CoE3 to CoE4. I really like this game but the release politics are really messed up.

CoE3 already uses a foreign product engine (Dominions series) and now they basically rip off their own rip off.

Sorry, but NO.

You can't do very much wrong if you buy either Dominions, CoE3 or CoE 4 but don't buy more then one.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
311.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 14, 2015
Save scumming and sacrifice to your dark lords.

Also huge pool of classes and units.
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