A TripleA game by of the Relics humbabba
This is a complex medieval-themed strategy game, unlike a lot of other war games. It is highly recommended you refer to the full manual in the doc folder under where you put the relic_war folder - or further down here in the game notes.
There is also a standalone map coordinates index for locating sites and a Lords Tree to see which lords grant access to which in the doc folder.
But for those who insist on jumping right in....
The game file is massive - it will take a long time to load. A few minutes, perhaps.
Don't bother trying to play the AI - two human players are required. (The two AI players are there for game-system tasks; they need to stay on AI.)
You don't buy a lot of units, just one per round.
Each unit is unique.
You do not built strength by conquering territory - don't bother taking castles unless you have a specific reason.
Mouse over units in the production window for info.
Place lords in their houses - the squares on the bottom half of the game board - not directly on the map.
Each lord has his own house, labeled with the name matching the initial on his icon.
From their houses, lords can be moved to territories their titles grant them.
Lords don't fight themselves, rather the strength of their titles and other assets does the fighting - lords on the losing side are taken captive and can be executed or ransomed.
Randomly granted assets can be placed in a lord's house to add to his strength each round starting on the third.
All lords on one side of a battle add their total "pro" strength and subtract their enemies' total "con" strength. The result is the number or less they must roll one a ten-sided die to get a hit. If the defender gets a hit, he wins. If neither gets a hit, it's a stalemate.
"Con" strengths are doubled when attacking a fort garrison - including when there are also lords in the fort.
2:1 strength in the field means the defender can't win; 1:1 against a fort means the same.
Battles last one round. Lords are not taken as casualties directly, rather their possible deaths in battle are determined separately.
Random events at the end of the round can kill or move lords around.
The relics, when captured, act as standalone units for your faction. Each also has a special bonus: The Ring gives you access to extra assets, the Rod gives 1 extra movement, and the Sword is mighty in battle.
To win, gather all three relics and a druid and bring them to the sacred grove (village with the curly symbol) with one of the "great lords," the guys with the stars on their shields.