I've played through all the campaigns, although I'm still working through the Quests
and I've come to conclude that the Disciples series is one of the best Hero-based Turn-based Strategy-game
s I've played. Opinions aside, the game does things differently than Heroes of Might and Magic
As stated above, you capture resources by expanding your race's unique territory over the resource. The Empire have green, fertile land. The Mountain Clans have snowy tundra. The Legion have molten wastelands. And the Undead have dry, gray, and dead lands.
The number of resources are fairly simple. Buildings cost gold and spells cost mana. There are four different types of mana for each race. Life (for the Empire), Death (for the Undead), Chaos (for the Legion), and Runic (for the Mountain Clans).
Each race has a 'rod-planter' hero who has no offensive weapon and can only carry one other unit. Well, the Mountain clan rod-planter has a weapon, but he's the exception. The only real purpose of the rod-planet is to, obviously, plant rods into the ground. These rods expand the territory of the race that planted it. They can only be removed by another rod-planter. This requires the protection of rod-planters as they move into the front-lines to steal resources away from the enemy, since they are physically weak.
It's almost impossible to 'lose' in the traditional sense. Each race has it's own starting fortress which is guarded by a super-unit Guardian that can never leave the base.
While I haven't tried with some of the other races, it seems unlikely that any race except the Undead and the Legion can defeat one of the Guardians. The Undead might because of their ability to paralyze enemies. The Legion might because of their ability to change enemies into harmless Imps. The Empire just has healing and the Clans have damage amplification. Both of those are useless because of a Guardian's devestating attack, which he will usually get off fist due to his higher initiative, and his high armor level, which will deflect 90% of damage. My Empire hero only beat Guardians easily because of his artifact that granted him the ability to paralyze those he hit. Of course, a hero's party still needs to withstand the opening attack by the guardian, which will kill any ordinary and unprotected unit in one hit.
While this Guardian is unlikely to be defeated in a single game where heroes start at level 1, it is possible to cripple the enemy player by controlling every resource and defeating every hero. What's the use in playing when your hero is level 1, there aren't any neutral monsters left to kill, and you're out of mana? The only option is to resign.
Most multiplayer Quests have a specific objective to be reached, not 'destroy all other players'. So once your ability to play has ended, you can either concede or let the other player get the final objective.
- Every player has the ability to summon monsters, via scrolls or magic, to fight for him. These monsters can be summoned to any place that the player has already explored (this also includes all other spell effects). So, if an enemy rod-planter from a nearly-defeated player leaves his base, his opponent might simply summon a monsterto kill him. Chances are, the enemy player controls enough mana such that the spell is quite affordable to cast.
All in all, Disciples and Disciples 2 are very innovative and hauntingly beautiful games.