|Creating your character|
Expeditions: Conquistador is a exploration-based strategy game, featuring turn based combat and a heavy dose of historical context. You play an explorer heading out from Spain to see what the New World has to offer. The gameplay style sits somewhere in the region of King's Bounty or Heroes of Might and Magic, but instead of a fantasy universe you have locations and characters based on the early 16th Century period.
|Finalising your character and group of explorers|
You begin on the island of Hispaniola, and must complete this section before you move to mainland Mexico. As you meet the various characters and visit the numerous locations, you get choices on how best to further your goals. Who you choose to help and how you choose to interact will give you different benefits and drawbacks.
|Setting sail for the New World|
Sometimes, combat is inevitable, or may even be in your best interests. To this end, there is a very robust turn-based tactical system on hex-based maps. You select a number of your group to take the field, and use their abilities to overcome your foes. The combat is tough, and it can be very unforgiving if you make poor choices or the random-number god looks unfavourably on you. I once had four ranged attacks fail in a single round, something that severely affected the course of the battle.
|Arriving in Hispaniola|
As you explore the map, resources become critical. The system is quite detailed, and at the end of each day (when you run out of movement points) you can assign members of your group to guard, patrol, hunt and so forth. Every action has a consequence, and maintaining your supplies is always necessary. Run out of food and you will quickly lose morale, while forgetting to guard your camp can leave you open to thieves and attackers.
I have only just started my exploration of Hispaniola, but it certainly has it's hooks in me so far. I've always been a sucker for good choice and consequence, and also for turn-based combat. So I hope it lives up to it's early promise.