Lords of the Realm 2 ([url=http://www.sierra.com]Sierra, 1996[/url]) is a decent turn based medieval fantasy strategy game. For the time, this game had a good computer AI, fairly impressive graphics, and simple gameplay without falling victim to the usual RTS problems. In that I mean usually these types of games you have to pay too much attention to either the micromanagement of your realm or to the battle/combat side of things; this game you spent equal amounts of time doing both without becoming too bored or you let the computer handle the micromanagement stuff or even the battles if you prefer to be more governor than general.
There are over 24 scenarios in the stock game and you can get the expansion, Lords of the Realm 2 Siege pack, to increase that if you need more. Typical to the RTS genre, you do have to decide what types of weapons, equipment and serf occupations you need in what order. This is done in the common point & click method using icons with help just a mouse click away or by reading the detailed manual. (Yeah I know, who reads the f'ing manual? Sometimes you just got to do it to see what's in there that might help you.)
Combat was much improved over the original Lords of the Realms in that you start out paused instead of trying to scramble to figure out what the heck was going on. Your troops don't need you to set tons of waypoints, just give them a rough idea where you want and they'll do their best to overcome whatever landscape gets in the way, even finding the nearest bridge to cross a river. I've read reports in magazines that the worst thing about the combat is that both you and your foes troops move too fast to control or react to decently. But I never had too much problems with this as I'm the type to let battles happen while I'm working on the important stuff like keeping my serfs happy and not revolting on me--that's always a setback when they don't like you.
The graphics and music aren't too annoying though you can put your own cd on the stereo and jam out to your favourite stuff as there aren't any witty or crucial things you need to hear after an hour of gameplay. You can listen to the tutorial at the beginning of the game should you choose, it's done tastefully without being too much like a history teacher after lunch (can we say siesta time?)
This was one of the first RTS games I ever bought and I ended up getting a lot more based on my experiences with Lord of the Realms 2 even if they all didn't live up to my expectations. Cheat codes, hints and strategies are online as with most games and this one has something else the first version didn't: Multiplay! Yep, you and your friends can dominate each other to your liking. Two of you if it's modem based or 4 with a network. There's even a web forum that still exists at [url=http://lords.proboards12.com/index.cgi] http://lords.proboards12.com/index.cgi [/url] though I think it's grown dusty from lack of fresh blood. There are no known patches for this game except for a couple on the Sierra Support section for the Siege Pack.
Written by: ~MrSoundMan