Act as a feudal lord. Like all nobles, your goal is to acquire more land and power, keep the church at bay, and exploit the cities and towns you have contact. Along the way, you'll have to prevent greedy burghers and merchants from becoming too powerful and build sturdy castles to protect your assets. Recruit vassals from pious crusaders to Viking raiders to priests and bishops to manage your lands and lead your armies. The peasantry feeds itself, taking care of its own needs, only bothering their Lord or Lady when special circumstances necessitate it.
Build castles. In Lords 3 you design and build your own castles to defend your lands, or choose from myriad historical castles to build. These range from early "motte and bailey" stockades, through the stout stone towers of the Normans, up to the culmination of the grand Edwardian castles in the late 1200's and early 1300's.
Then tear those castles down in a massive siege. To crush an enemy castle, you can manipulate a dizzying array of siege engines, such as trebuchets, catapults, ballistae and mangonels. Or, if you prefer the direct approach, you can attempt to breach the castle defenses by less destructive means, such as scaling ladders, siege towers, and battering rams – leaving the castle in better condition for future use by the conqueror!
The besieged strive to keep attackers at bay by firing their bows and crossbows through arrow loops and murder holes, emptying vats of boiling oil onto unwitting assailants, or throwing scaling ladders (or attackers themselves!) from the castle walls... while the same time scrambling to plug any breaches in the castle's defenses, by means of sturdy knights and other soldiers.
Walls crack and crumble, flames billow from the castle's stores, steel clashes with steel in a no-holds-barred fight for control of the stronghold, and hence the territory it commands. When the smoke finally clears, scavengers take to the field to reclaim armor and weapons, and fallen enemy knights (those who still draw breath) may be captured for later ransom. If the castle has fallen to the attacker, he'd best set about making repairs, for he is likely to find himself the besieged before too long.
Pricing and Availability: Lords of the Realm III will be released in 2003. Pricing information has not been released.
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