Warrior Kings Battles (WKB) is the sequel to Warrior Kings which to say I’ve never played, but I’m always in the mood to play a new strategy game. WKB is published by Strategy First and offers the usual a*ortment of options for a real time strategy game. The game world is set as a medieval fantasy world, where you’ll encounter Knights and Demons, Priest’s and Pagans. You’ll find the Skirmish Mode, Campaign, and Multiplayer options available. There’s also a Tutorial available. It’s not played as an interactive tutorial, but more like a multimedia event, meaning that you really don’t participate. You just watch. I particularly like some of the options you can select in the Skirmish portion of the game (since I’m basically the single-player type).In Skirmish Mode you can select up to 8 AI Generals to fight against, or you can create your own General to do battle with since you can define their personalities. There are no normal difficulty settings, instead you choose between 3 levels of AI Generals, conscript, veteran and elite. Certain Generals are available at certain levels. For example, if you wish to do battle against “Roland the Weaver” and he plays at the conscript level, you won’t find him listed under the elite General’s tab. You can play with a limited number of Generals in the Skirmish Mode. In order to play with the rest of the AI Generals, you can unlock them after you have defeated them in the Campaign Mode. You can play elect to play with the economy turned on or off, giving you the ability to play with just the massive armies at your disposal. The only thing that I don’t like in the Skirmish Mode is that the enemy tends to “bum rush” you at every opportunity, and they move pretty fast, meaning that as soon as you start playing, they’ve already built a vast infrastructure. This has a tendency to make you play a click-fest game!The Multiplayer Mode allows most of the same options as the Skirmish Mode, with the additional ability to use Naval Warfare. There are four ship types in MP play, Cog, Corsair, Carrack, and Fire Boats. I haven’t seen the option so far to use ships in the single player game. MP boasts the usual way to play games. A maximum of eight humans can play across a LAN or the Internet. GameSpy is also supported. Humans can play the Skirmish Mode with all of the options available in that forum, i.e. economy on or off. Humans cannot play a campaign together.The Campaign Mode for the most part (I’ll explain this later) is very well done. It offers approximately 22 missions or Provinces to conquer in almost any order you choose. You select one of the Provinces on the campaign map that looks like a “Risk” map. Once you conquer a Province, you are awarded a “bonus” before moving on to the next. The bonuses are given in the form of technology upgrades, population increases or super duper powers. In the campaign mode all players start at the same level, at some point you will be forced to follow a path of enlightenment. Either Imperial, Renaissance, or Pagan. Each allowing different technologies and spells. I’m happy to report that combat is very different from the Skirmish Mode, so far I haven’t experienced cheating AI or the “click-fest”. Economy and combat play a very big role in this game, you MUST develop a strategy to use in order to destroy your enemy. Formations, supply lines and ammunition as well as food play a very big role. You can actually defeat a larger army if you play your cards right. Here is the game killer for me! You do NOT bring any of your accomplishments with you from Province to Province. You MUST start all of your research from scratch with every mission, you bring no troops, allies, or resources with you. This in my opinion will turn off a lot of gamers. It seems pointless to win new bonuses with the capturing of Provinces, only to realize that you must start all of your research from the very beginning again. Definitely a turn off. Another thing that bothers me as well, there doesn’t seem any way that you can initiate diplomacy with the AI Generals either. They will initiate it based on their personalities, perhaps this will change as I progress further into the campaign. I’ll keep you posted in our forums.All in all Warrior King Battles is a stable, bug-free game that’s worth a hard look if you’re a serious RTS fan. But, with the release of Empires, Railroad Tycoon 3 and the other major players I think it’s going to get lost in the sauce with the big boys!