Note: This post largely cribbed from posts on videogamegeek….

I’ve been a fan of Master of Magic since I discovered it maybe a decade ago (long after it was originally published). It’s great game, with some nice options.

It does, however, have it’s share of problems. Mostly, the AI just isn’t as competent as it needs to be, but there’s also a number of things that don’t work the way they’re supposed to. Anyway, I have it on my portable computer, Azuna, though I have to have a mouse plugged in to play it (touch does not work). A little while ago, I discovered the ‘unofficial’ 1.4 patch (currently at 1.4n), and have been playing it some more after seeing a much more active AI.

I usually end up creating a custom wizard, with some sort of odd combination of spellbooks. This last time, I went against type and took standard Rjak. He’s the all death-magic wizard, which I also have generally stayed away from.

I had trouble from the start; I managed to conquer some smaller cities, but just couldn’t get very far with anything bigger, and kept losing units trying. My mana production usually, lags, but was worse than normal this time. Very worrisome was the fact that I finally got my first hero very, very late, even though I had lots money.

I had neighbors to the east (and I just can’t seem to remember who, though Raven showed up somewhere past him), and north (Tlaloc) who never wanted to warm up to me (surely they could see my winning personality under the death-mage exterior…). South and west were all wilderness with encounters I couldn’t beat out to the seacoast, with a large neutral city full of defenders in between. I bumped into East again while trying to fill in the blanks of my frontier, and he declared war.

At this point I finally tried out the Lycanthropy spell (turns a normal unit into werewolves with a lot of immunities, but a high magic upkeep), and took the major city out in the wilderness, losing my one first level hero in the process. I then turned my burgeoning military East, and took over two frontier settlements, and then two cities directly north of his capital.

And that was my high water mark. I managed to fritter away the initiative and army trying to keep the lid on, and lost the biggest city I’d taken to Raven. Then Tlaloc got antsy and started sending units into my territory without formally declaring war. I might have handled that too, but I let a stack slip through and take my capital. I’ve been kind of ironmaning these games, so I took the loss instead of taking the long resummoning time. 35 score (0%), actually my ‘best’ loss.

I really could have done much better all along. I was starting to really pump up my magic buildings to play into Rjak’s strength, and needed to do so much earlier than I did. I’m too used to having better initial relations with the AI, and getting heroes early, and didn’t know what to do without that.