The land of Nocturne has been at peace for generations until it was recently invaded by an exotic army from a distant land. Seemingly overnight, all the cities have fallen save one: Mooncrest. As the last bastion and only hope for Nocturne, can you overcome an overwhelming force and the dark arcane powers they wield and save the land or will all become enslaved to these cruel masters?
In The Rise of Mooncrest (RoM), you will take command of the city’s armies and fight through a series of battles of turn-based strategy. As you progress you will use your tactical knowledge to defeat your enemies, acquire new abilities for your Commanders, and advance the story.
The Rise of Mooncrest (RoM) is a TRPG inspired by the long running Japanese series Langrisser (the first game was translated and released on Sega Genesis as Warsong). RoM draws on the storytelling elements of modern TRPGs to deliver a rich narrative that follows the early history of Mooncrest and the city’s rise to prominence.
The Commanders (yellow units) play an important role on the field of battle. While tactically the most import unit in your army, they there are also characters that lead Mooncrest’s troops to war. Their interaction with other Commanders, their troops, and a varied cast of characters is what drives the narrative of RoM.
In total, there are 6 Commanders that players will get to control. The 5th and 6th Commanders will also gain some additional build options if our Social Goals are met. Players begin the game with Serise who is a natural, but reluctant leader. Your second squad is commanded by Kerbasi, her childhood friend and an excellent tactician. On a routine mission they spot a foreign raiding party and discover that these scouts are part of a much larger invading force. Our heroes spring into action and attempt to warn the Council, but will they arrive before it’s too late?
The Rise of Mooncrest is separated into different stages. Each stage is a battle where your desperate and outnumbered forces attempt to free all of Nocturne from an invading army. These stages play through the major events of the story: reconnaissance, daring rescues, skirmishes, defense, and liberation. Some stages offer just a single massive battle while others develop over time through a series of related events.
The time for parlay has passed and each stage is a conflict between the ragtag forces of Mooncrest and their would be overlords. Victory can not be achieved without loss and every battle turns into a war of attrition. For the cunning Commander, the key to success is to leverage your forces tactical advantages.
Can patchwork army of Mooncrest’s remaining forces grow strong enough to repel the arcane magics of their attackers, or is Nocturne doomed to an age of darkness?
Commanders and Squads
Commanders are the most powerful units in your army. They are highly skilled individuals and the main heroes and villains of the story. Each Commander unit represents one mighty hero. In comparison, squad units represent 10 rank and file soldiers.
As mentioned, Commanders are your most valuable units. Not only are they the most powerful, but their command radius also allows them to buff nearby units. But be warned. Careless use of a Commander can see him defeated in battle, and if he falls, all units under his command will flee the battle as well.
Each commander represents a highly skilled individual and is one of the main heroes or villains of the battle. In comparison, squads units represent groups of rank and file combatants. Part of a commander’s strength is their ability to buff their nearby squads through their Command Radius. But their power does come with a price. When a commander is defeated, all of their squads will leave the battle.
Battles in The Rise of Mooncrest are brutal and decisive. RoM is a game that treats combat as a war of attrition. Commanders are akin to kings or queens in chess while squads are pawns to be carefully sacrificed to protect their Commanders.
Combat in The Rise of Mooncrest is highly tactical. Players are rewarded for smart gameplay by out thinking and out maneuvering their opponents. Tactical advantage manifests itself in the game in various ways.
Terrain Bonuses: Terrain offers various bonuses in RoM. Some allows for faster movement which enables easier unit positioning. Other terrain grants attack and defense bonuses, but slows down your troops. For example: Roads don’t provide any combat bonuses, but units on roads can move much faster. Forests grant defensive bonuses, and hills provide bonuses to both attack and defense. Terrain advantage is crucial as lining up your units on ridge gives them a great advantage against troops attacking from below.
Unit Advantages: Units in RoM each have their own specialty and work off of the Rock-Paper-Scissors concept. With Soldiers, Archers, and Mages being the 3 primary unit types.
This concept is easy to understand, but increases in scope and complexity once additional unit types are introduced in the game.
Strength in Numbers: As units become injured their combat effectiveness decreases. A cunning player can overwhelm weakened units by attacking with full strength squads to help minimize their losses. Commanders can maintain their strength in numbers by taking advantage of their triage ability which allows units in base contact with their Commander to heal 1 point of health at the start of the player’s turn. Players who learn and utilize these tactics will have a significant advantage over their enemy.
While crushing your enemies and seeing them driven before you is fun, too much of the same thing can get tiring and that has been an issue with some TRPGs in the past.
In order to add some variety to RoM’s gameplay, a lot of thought went into the design of the different scenarios. While some stages are your typical “kill all the enemies”, others will feature a linear series of objectives that must be completed in order to claim victory. There are a wide variety of scenarios planned to keep you all arm chair generals out there engaged throughout the game. Some examples include:
Advance to location “x” and: extinguish a fire, destroy a barrier, erect a fortification, capture an objective, etc.
Guard the pass and prevent any enemies from escaping.
Survive for “x” amount of turns until reinforcements arrive.
Chase down and capture a fleeing enemy.
Capture the flag.
And many, many more.
Our story begins with Nocturne under siege. A powerful unknown enemy has quickly conquered all who oppose them. The dol-fayn as the people of Nocturne have come to call them, wield terrible arcane powers and raze the land. Mooncrest is the last bastion of hope for the people of Nocturne as all of the neighboring cities have fallen. You will take command of the remaining soldiers of Mooncrest in an attempt to mount a counter offensive and liberate your allies. You will uncover the secret origins of the dol-fayn and interact with characters through cutscenes both during missions and between stages.
Like other TRPGs, The Rise of Mooncrest has a leveling system based on experience points (XP). This works just like you would expect: when a Commander or one of his units defeats an enemy, the Commander gains XP. Each time a Commander gains a level, his stats will increase until he reaches level 10.
Once a Commander reaches level 10, he can choose between two advanced classes that come with their own perks and abilities. For example, upon hitting level 10, Kerbasi can choose to advance to a Captain making him a melee specialist. This also gives him access to the special ability Rally which grants a bonus to attack and defense to any units in his aura until the next turn.
In addition, advanced characters gain one more unit to command for a total of 5. They benefit from increased stats, can choose what types of units they lead (selecting archers or soldiers), and their tactical acumen allows them a bit of control over where they are placed before the stage begins. In total, there are 22 different classes the player’s can choose from to customize their forces.