Warlock: Master of the Arcane, or Warlock for short, is a fantasy turn-based strategy video game. The game was developed by Ino-Co Plus and published by Paradox Interactive. It was released on May 8 2012. The game is available for purchase at GamersGate and Steam. Warlock uses Steamworks as DRM, which means that Steam is required to run the game.

Warlock: Master of the Arcane is using a newer version of the engine that Ino-Co's Elven Legacy used.[1]


DVD Cover. Note that the logo is a hexagon.

Source of Inspiration

Warlock is said to be inspired by Ino-Co's previous title Elven Legacy and Master of Magic, developed by Simtex back in 1995.[1][2]. The game also bears some resemblance to Sid Meier's Civilization series, as well as to Ino-Co's Majesty 2.

Warlock has the same developer and using the same engine as Elven Legacy, making them superficially similar. What Warlock shares with Master of Magic is the combination of spell casting and empire management. The graphical style of the game has been compared to Civilization V, but the similarities end there.

Warlock is set in the same world - Ardania - as the Majesty series, and shares similar units and unit progression. The tutorial in the game is also narrated by the Majesty's series hallmark advisor character.[3][4]

Game Rules and Basic Elements

As with many strategy games, the main aspect of the game is to simulate empire management and warfare. The player has to build cities, recruit military units, gather resources, and solve conflicts with other factions. The player has multiple options at their disposal to achieve victory.

Warlock is a turn-based strategy game, which means that it works very much like a table top board game. The game goes through turns where each player gets to think through their moves. Turn-based is the opposite of Real-time strategy games, where everything happens in real-time. Warlock has, instead of a table top game board, a world based on hexagons, simply known as 'hexes'. Each hex represents a terrain type, such as Forest, Desert or Volcanoes. These affect how easy or hard it is for units to pass through them, among other things.

Warlock is based in the fantasy world of Ardania. Along with conventional medieval military units such as archers and knights, the player has a choice of governing a race of intelligent beasts or an undead empire. The world also contains portals to alternate planes or underworlds, which contain fearsome dragons and rare resources. The terrain in these worlds is often hostile and alien.

The player is put into the pointy shoes of one of the world's most powerful mages. As one of these Great Mages, your goal is to defeat your rivals and take ultimate control over the world. To do this, you have various Spells at your disposal, some of which destroy enemy units, cripple a rival's economy, or summon creatures to do your bidding. To cast spells, the player needs to maintain a reserve of Mana, which is the resource of magical energy.

Warlock currently consists of three races - Humans, Monsters and Undead. All three of them have different styles. For instance, Humans are specialized in Gold production, while Undead are best suited to produce the Mana which sustains them, and there is nothing hungry Monsters do better than produce Food. Playing different races requires different strategies to maintain a profitable empire.


Before starting a game, the player selects the difficulty level, and then the world configuration, which gives you options for terrain distribution and the size of the oceans, as well as for the number of rival mages and alternate planes. You can then select a pre-generated Great Mage, or customize your own. The Great Mages give you different skills, starting spells and determine what race you are going to be. When you have selected all the different settings, you are ready to start.

Once the game has started, your task is to build your empire and your army so that you can defend against the dangers of the world, namely, other Great Mages, Neutrals and Nature. Your relationship with the other mages starts out peaceful, but this never lasts. The Neutral faction has cities of their own and will defend them against any intruders. The Nature faction consists of creatures that roam the wilds, looking for easy prey.

There are four different victory conditions - Magic, Conquest, Religious and Divine. It is wiser to focus your attention to the needs of your empire before starting a run toward the goal, although it's always nice to have plans. If you need a Getting Started guide, read more at Getting Started. If you need more advanced strategy guides, go to Advanced Guides.

Multiplayer and Future DLC's

Multiplayer was not present in the release version of Warlock. The developers stated early on that they were aware of the demands, and explained that they are very much interested in adding Multiplayer support for Warlock post-release, in form of a DLC. Paradox Interactive's CEO Fredrik Wester confirmed this in his livestream of Warlock, and also he said that the DLC would be free.

The patch adding multiplayer (1.2) was released in early July 2012.


Notes and References