Before you begin your campaign, you’ll choose a hero to head up your army. For the standard edition of Conan Unconquered, you have the choice between two heroes: Conan and Valeria. Each hero has special abilities that will help you gather resources, explore the map between enemy attacks, and keep enemies at bay once they try and break down your walls. Enemy waves come at regular intervals and become stronger as the game progresses; while at the start of the game you can easily send your chosen hero into battle on their own to single-handedly defeat a handful of spear-throwers, you’ll soon need a larger army to fight off hordes of soldiers and monsters in one single battle.
Through the game’s interface, you’re able to track when an attack wave is forming or approaching. This is important, because you will need time to strategise, set up your defences, and gather resources before each attack hits. In order to build up an army and to gather the resources to keep your army going, you will have to leave your fort to explore the far corners of the map and slay monsters (called ‘creepers’). These creepers can come in the form of spiders or other giant animals and, once killed, you can harvest valuable components from their carcasses. You can use these items to bolster your defences or construct buildings that either generate gold or allow you to train more units for your army. This is where having a strong hero is crucial: defeating creepers with the few military units you have leaves your fort unprotected and vulnerable, not to mention their power doesn’t even come close to Conan’s or Valeria’s. I felt that this was a great way Conan Unconquered encourages players to dive into the game early-on and get familiar with the combat mechanics and map structure, while levelling up your chosen hero in the process.