The King's League - Who knew priests had a place in flash gaming?

You won't often find members of the holy order benefiting from starring roles in most types of media. Though you've got the usual films such as The Exorcist and Sister Act that have a somewhat religious edge to them, it's not as if there are dozens of holy men in Hollywood or monks in most forms of entertainment. It is no doubt quite exciting as a priest to then find that your kind are called for even in the lesser-known world of flash games. The King's League may not initially sound like a game whose content includes religious personnel, but once you've been playing this wonderful strategic management game for a while, you discover that priests are none other than one of the central figures in fighting and winning the battles that you must enter in to as part of the game's structure.

Before delving into the priest character's specifics, it's best to give you an idea of the kind of game we're dealing with here. Far from the many serious strategy/management games out there like Stronghold Crusader 2, The King's League is a lighter and arguably more stylish take on strategic management. Set around the year 1800, this game has you overseeing a set of territories, starting with one single plot of land on the map and challenging you to expand gradually. The way you expand is through recruiting troops for battle, of which there are many different types that will be discussed shortly, but when it comes down to it this game is all about the light-hearted management of a miniature army comprised of troops with even more miniature proportions.

The tutorial allows you to get your hands dirty from the outset, scouting out your very own soldier through the game's wonderful recruitment process that involves searching various areas (town, city, mountains, forest, castle etc.) at increasing expense in order to locate troops that wish to join your crusade. As a strategic management game, you're obviously restricted by the amount of money that you have, though in addition to this you also have to pay attention to the amount of resources you have. As you enter into battles, you also gain battle points that you can spend on levelling up your individual troops.

What sets this game apart from the usual game of this genre such as Royal Defense is the fact that you can enter into battles for purposes that differ. Firstly, the game is based around a schedule that follows an accelerated passage of time. This involves being entered into a mandatory battle every thirty days: this battle is the official run-up to the king's tournament ( success in these battles will determine whether or not you get to challenge the king and eventually ascend to the throne). In addition to these compulsory conflicts, you can also choose to attack surrounding areas (marked with small flags on the map) in order to conquer them and increase the size of your empire. With each territory gained comes additional income and resources, so it's wise to start expanding as soon as possible.

What makes entering into battles so entertaining is the fact that you get to recruit a variety of troops. You've got knights and swordsman that take care of the full-on melee combat. Archers fire arrows from afar and provide support to the frontline. Magicians are also common to see in this kind of game; they provide additional power for your team and can be devastating when trained up properly. And last but certainly not least is the inclusion of the priest (or cleric) class of soldier. The priest doesn't set the power of Christ on the enemy however: his job is to heal your other troops during battle and allow you to last longer. Of course priests don't necessarily heal people like this in real life, it's nice to see some holy orders in such a wonderfully designed flash game.

There are many other features that also make this game hugely fun to play including the process of training up your troops to improve their attributes (strength, stamina, speed etc.), the recruitment process (sometimes you don't know if you'll find average or unique and powerful recruits to assimilate into your army), and even the battles themselves. The battles are a purely demonstrative affair, which means you cannot control them once they have begun as they play out based on the respective stats of your army and that of the opposition. The graphics make battles quite fun to watch as the small, cartoon-like characters scramble around on the battlefield against their enemies and a victory indicator sways back and forth at the top.

Could there have been more priest-heavy inclusions in this game? Probably, but that's up to The Kings League 2 to sort out. For now, The Kings League is sufficiently priest heavy by the standards of modern gaming.