If there’s one game that brings out my procrastination before anyone else, it’s none other than The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici. The perfect sequel to the groundbreaking The Settlers of Amiga 500. An engrossing strategy that sees you build an empire seemingly calm and collected until you fight for gold.

With almost a dozen shipments since its beginnings in 1993, Ubisoft has spent a quarter of a century without being able to repeat the success of its sequel, by far the most popular for its quality. And without a doubt we await the news that will arrive just before the reboot announced at distant Gamescom 2018. Because this waiting has made me addicted to The Settlers II again. As if I needed an excuse at this point…

Come on, Vidi, Vici. The Total Conquest of Settlers 2

For those of us who grew up on the Commodore machine with The Settlers, the 1996 sequel was a giant leap. It looked prettier, with better animations, but above all it optimized and expanded everything related to the management of the economy and the buildings, resulting in an extremely addictive strategy game that knew how to challenge with specific missions.

His campaign was constant learning at a very high level: from the way the building types were unlocked in his tutorial to how he exploited a number of formulas in later missions (creating ships to explore other islands, the use of catapults). a smaller amount of gold compared to the opponent, etc.), we had endless hours of game play in which we could easily lose sight of real-time. And all for the desire to expand our territory.

Yes, previously you had to adjust a number of parameters from HQ to indicate, for example, which resources should be prioritized over certain buildings or soldier behavior when attacking or defending. Once everything was done, the rest went smoothly…or at least we knew which foot was limping as soon as we saw the stitching. Because it wasn’t a perfect sequel due to a number of erratic behaviors at very specific points: The fact that the villagers didn’t always look for the “forbidden” sign when stopping a task (like not depositing gold coins in a fortress , that’s always smuggled), the stupid limitation of ships when placing transport orders…

Expanding his world in search of more land (including sea) was a very ambitious sequel and if we see this adventure from perspective it passed with flying colors. It is not surprising that since then all subsequent The Settlers have always stood in the shadow of this 1996 classic, although they certainly had some notable exponents such as the tenth anniversary edition remake or The Settlers 7: Roads to the Kingdom in 2010 civilization mechanics.

This way of managing the empire, with the obligation to create paths to each building to transport the necessary resources for its manufacture, transport piece by piece by the villagers (and literally donkeys), the great help of geologists given the Knowledge What kind of mine can you build on a mountain…

Apart from the battles with the soldiers, nothing is left to chance in The Settlers II. If we want a farmer to be successful, he needs a lot of space to grow wheat. The combination of mill and bakery is ideal to satisfy the miners with more pleasure … without being disgusted with fish or meat, far from . And similarly, for a sawmill to optimize its efficiency, you need at least two lumberjacks and a forester so that there is a constant flow of trees.

When it clicks you don’t know how to stop…

settlers 2

Anyone who has played the genre and is even a little passionate will know these processes and many more by heart. If this is not your first time coming to this Blue Byte work, it is easy to understand once you understand all of its concepts. Resources are vital, but some are limited. The wood taken from the trees is infinite as long as we have the right buildings, while the coal, iron, gold or stone will run out as we mine everything.

In his campaign, he knows how to play with these limitations very well, since it forces us to prioritize certain processes. We can risk training more soldiers (with sword, shield and beer from a warehouse) by spending coal and iron, or leave some of that coal behind to use this other scarce commodity to make gold coins and thus improve the soldiers’ veteran. Sometimes less is more when we know how to defend or attack afterwards. And that’s gratifying.

However, the battles are the only section that is easily left to chance. It’s true that a general always has everything to gain against a private, but with others of varying degrees there is still room for surprises. For this reason, it is recommended to send more units to attack than necessary to avoid inconvenience. At the end of the day, the leftovers can still return…

Just because the enemy takes one of our headquarters doesn’t mean we can’t take it back. Here it depends on the hardness of your structure based on the number of soldiers that can be garrisoned. The largest keep is capped at nine, while the smallest outpost is capped at two…though at least you don’t need a stone to construct it. These are aspects that are burned into our memory, because the games can last for many hours. That’s why it’s so addicting, as it moves away from the typical rush of other strategy games. Here it fits more with the 4X philosophy.

The Settlers 2, the great (almost) perfect sequel

The settlers 2

The Settlers II sometimes gets us on the ropes on certain maps as we have to take advantage of the limited space that is offered to us. It’s practically a constant, with some maps (like the one above within the campaign) putting up big barriers (rocks, trees) that we have to slowly break down.

This “cleansing” process then leads to a readjustment of our basis. Because where we couldn’t build a farm before, we can now. And when the roads are “paved” by themselves due to the trot carried by the villagers with endless items, then you need to start thinking about building a donkey farm. So with everything: every process can lead to others and every game gains nuances that you must use to achieve victory.

But it’s not a perfect sequel as we vaguely expected/remembered a few paragraphs ago. Boats are his Achilles heel. And because you can’t tell them what to transport, on many occasions it’s necessary to do real juggling so that they deduce what we need and, more importantly, where we want it.

If we go beyond the maps with islands, it is in fact the continuation of the dream, since it represents a huge leap in terms of the management of the first The Settlers that could be improved, since in its retro analysis to commemorate its 25th anniversary with of the Ubisoft reboot on Uplay, it hasn’t aged that well.

Whether it’s the original version of Ubisoft Connect for $4.99 or the upgraded Gold Edition available on GOG for $9.99, it’s still a game that doesn’t understand the concept of the passage of time. And to top it all off with the allure of its Gold Edition map editor to be more infinite if possible…

Return to the Roots, the dream mod. And free

Go back to basics

All of this is forgotten as we return to Return to the Roots. A decade has passed since we dedicated an article to talk about how it is “a dream come true”, namely a mod that improves the weak points of the 1996 classic. This is still active when it reached version 0.9.1 on November 13th, 2021 with many improvements since no own campaign was implemented. Which of course will come, eye.

If even then I was impressed by this mod of a group of fans (mod free of course; you just have to keep the original game), now returning after ten years without playing is much more impressive because of how much it has improved.

We’re no longer just talking about the Carbonera (a building that allows us to generate unlimited coal based on logs and wheat) or the optimal behavior with gold coins in the barracks, but about a list of improvements that is overwhelming and touching are input, the main theme of the sequel. Yes, the transport with the boats. Because with The Settlers II: Return to the Roots, it’s easy to start an exploration of the sea. Also, let the warehouses request certain resources. And they pay attention to us, eye!

In the original, we could only put the item we wanted in storage or take it out of storage, not specifically ask them to bring us a specific item. The combination of these two basic commands means that these tricks are no longer required for several camps. And like this example, there are many more how to get the best soldiers to leave the barracks.

The final touch lies in the advanced options, since there are chord parameters that we can regulate. That the mines never run out? Ready. And unlimited fish in the water? Also. What shall the way of the boats be unlimited? There you have it. By deputy you can regulate the appearance of animals when there are enough trees or noticeably change the game speed. At this point, it doesn’t matter what restarting the…