So, on a whim, I decided to try out a special build in Age of Wonders. The idea was to make "Nazi Halflings". As of writing, I've spent a couple of hours in the game and I'm just about to break into the mid-game. This kind of build is quite different to my own play-style, but it turned out to be a really fun and interesting experiment. So here's the set up:
We're out to build the biggest empire in Halfling-history. For this, we need to have some ideals. First off, we will NOT have any cities that are other races than halflings. Every city that is conquered has to be razed, or have the populous displaced and Halflings moved in. Secondly, only Halfling heroes are welcome in our ranks, all non-halfling heroes has to be turned away or killed. Thirdly, we DO NOT BARTER WITH NON HALFLINGS. No diplomacy is allowed, we do not even take quests from neutral cities.
An emperor and his people
Meet Jouttinn the Third, our dear emperor. We go for Dreadnought for two reasons. Firstly, it's fitting thematically that our glorious empire be one focused on the machine and industry. In all fairness, we do not need people, we need soldiers, machinists and slaves. Secondly, Dreadnought is a class that mixes well with halflings. See, the inherited weakness of halflings are their frail bodies. And these bodies will be nice and safe behind a wall of muskets. Halflings also gain a small bonus to ranged strength, which is a very nice bonus. For specializations, we pick destruction adept and master, and fire adept. We pick these mostly for thematic reasons, but being good at destruction does fast-track our standing to "evil".
Since diplomacy is out the window before we even start the game. We have to rely on military and industry to expand our territory. This will be the main challenge in the early to mid game. Halflings are generally weak creatures, but they do have an ace up their sleeve. That ace is their "Lucky" ability. This nifty ability gives each halfling a small chance to avoid incoming damage. The chance to avoid is proportional to the morale of the unit. So, the higher the morale, the luckier the unit gets.
The two biggest influences on an army is its leader and the terrain its on. So, it stands to reason that we pick morale raising traits at our soonest level up. the terrain will be a bit trickier. There are spells in the game that can terraform terrain, change the preferred terrain for cities and generally suppress the influence of terrain all-together, but these spells only work within our empires domain. So what we will want to do is leap-frog our army with heavy spell-casting. Conquering territory and the minute we have gained the domain, we make it to our liking. This will make our empire very mana-dependent, so will have to take as many nodes as possible. Even erecting forts for singular nodes, if needed. We will also go through a hefty amount of troops, and since we're erecting forts, we probably also should build as many roads as possible, to quickly move our soldiers to the front.
This small experiment in builds has been very fun from the start. It is a challenge to through the game as militant halflings, and it does not play well to my personal style, but that is half the fun. I would recommend any owner of Age of Wonders 3 to give this a try. Maybe you too will discover the darkness within the heart of every halfling that has been laughed at, mocked and kicked by the long-legged creatures.