Solium Infernum Hands-on Preview – Pursuing dominance

Posted on October 6, 2023

When you play strategy games that involve warfare, your goal is to crush your enemies or maintain an advantage. Solium Infernum takes the strategy element and stretches it over several turns. In a mix of diplomacy, planning, and combat, you must conspire to be the top demon by thinking three moves ahead.

The game tasks you with building your forces and claiming as much territory as you can. But the twist is that you can’t attack your rivals immediately. You must focus on sabotaging their efforts by making demands and retaliating if they don’t comply. Other players can’t attack you either and they will do the same thing.

Solium Infernum is a turn-based strategy game and everyone takes their turns in order. That order shifts with players taking their turn after the leader. Everyone gets to be the leader at least once, but you must plan for actions that might take place before yours. Without thinking ahead, it’s possible for your plans to unravel because your current rival went before you.

To cause problems for other players, you make demands from them to earn Prestige that helps you win games. You can acquiesce to these demands or you can refuse. Giving in prevents conflict from breaking out but puts you at a disadvantage. Refusing demands lets you fight back but there’s no guarantee the conflict ends well for you.

Your best chance of preparing for conflict is building your forces and claiming territory. Let your army gather resources to help you bid for more armies or generals known as Praetors. By ensuring you pay attention to damage types and army strengths, you can plan for an eventual battle with your rivals.

As you explore territory, you can claim certain locations for yourself. They offer a continual supply of resources but you must conquer them first. Beasts roam about the world which gives you a chance to practice combat as well. It’s a good method of testing your forces and seeing if your configurations work as intended.

You won’t be letting your player character slack off as you strengthen them with the Prestige you earn. Every time you are the leader, you get Event Cards that let you cause an event. Combine this with powers that you earn with Prestige and you can create beneficial situations for yourself that hinder your rivals. It’s a constant struggle of thinking ahead that creates a fun challenge that you can conquer.

Right now, you can’t fully see the results of your actions and you can only engage in a few conflicts before the game ends. But it’s great to see a strategy game that forces you to think about every advantage you have. Conflicts are inevitable if you want to win, but you must choose your fights carefully. Do you go for short-term wins or do you shine in the long run? Solium Infernum allows both strategies to succeed, and it’s up to you to master the tools.

Solium Infernum is releasing from Melbourne-based studio League of Geeks. You can wishlist the title on Steam or check it out at PAX Aus 2023 until Sunday October 8th.