Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns Review
Khaldun was once a perfect world. This world was inhabited by the Kohan, a race of immortal beings with great powers. Into this world came the Shadow, which destroyed the Kohan and decimated Khaldun in what came to be known as the Great Cataclysm. After eons have passed, the Kohan have reawakened and are now trying to reclaim their once perfect world...
Kohan is in some ways a traditional fantasy RTS, but it has evolved many of the concepts familiar to real-time strategy games. In Kohan, your armies do not consist of dozens of individual units that each must be directed on its own. Instead, your armies are company-based and consist of both frontline and support troops. You give your orders to the company leaders and they direct the troops to carry them out. You can also group your companies into regiments, allowing you to direct larger armies more efficiently.
Kohan also makes use of concepts usually found more often in war games then in real-time strategy. Companies require supplies to remain at full strength after combat - supplies which can only be drawn from your cities and outposts. Overextending your offensive without taking care to build a link of supply centers can lead to the decimation of your armies. Another concept used in Kohan is that of fortification or 'digging in'. Companies which do not move will begin to fortify their position, increasing their defensive strength. Morale is another feature in Kohan that is not commonly seen in RTS games. Units which take a beating may route to safety until they have time to regroup. Finally, movement and combat in Kohan is greatly affected by the terrain. For example, units will move more slowly through forests, but will have a defensive advantage when attacked there. The movement and defensive modifiers of terrain can also be affected by the company's formation - for example, companies in a column move quickly, but face a serious penalty should they get caught in combat. Kohan supports four different company formations and allows the player to define custom formations for both companies and regiments.
Instead of requiring the player to build and direct units to continually harvest resources, Kohan uses an economic model which represents the economy of the kingdom as a whole. Units and outposts require a continuous supply of resources, which are provided by production centers in the cities and mines located at resource sites. The player controls demand by the number and types of armies produced and by the number of outposts built, while providing supply by the building of production centers and mines. This system frees the player from resource micromanagement while more accurately reflecting the drain on an economy a large army creates.
The Kohan themselves appear in the game as leaders which you can assign to your companies. They provide a variety of bonuses to the company to which they are assigned, which can range from morale boosts and combat bonuses to magical powers. The player can obtain more Kohan by discovering amulets hidden in the gameworld. These amulets contain the essence of the Kohans' souls, allowing the player to 'awaken' them to serve in his/her armies.
In addition to a campaign game which follows an intriguing storyline, Kohan can be played as single map skirmishes and in multiplayer mode over the internet. Kohan also comes with a nice scenario editor which allows players to design their own maps and scenarios.