The victors and victims of war are often decided long before the first act of aggression even occurs. It takes careful planning and a keen mind to overcome opposition, a lack of resources, and even the land itself.

Endless Legend, from developer Amplitude Studios (Endless Space), is a fantasy turn-based strategy game that gives players the power to expand societies and wage epic battles. If you’ve not experienced a strategy game of this complexity before, it follows the familiar 4X method of “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate”. After selecting one of eight civilizations, you’re tasked with drawing all you can from the world of Auriga and preparing for impending war- because it’s coming whether you’re prepared or not.

Just as there are different cultures in the world today, Endless Legend gives you the opportunity to shape your society in different ways. Will a sprawling city be able to defend itself should a fighting faction storm its walls? Could a mostly roaming colony of brutes be able to gather the resources to fund their army? That’s up to you to decide, though an answer (and the essence of the game itself) lies somewhere in between.

Auriga is a rich world ripe for the culling. After selecting AI count, difficulty level, region supplies, climate, and shape, you can dive right into the calculated maelstrom. Endless Legend forces you to learn by doing, failing, and shaping all your future moves. The game offers you multiple quests and ways to spend accumulated dust (money) and other resources, as well as heroes to train into generals.

Here’s the thing. If you begin playing Endless Legend and expect a fast-paced action game based on an ominous trailer you may have seen beforehand, you’ll be inevitably disappointed. On the other hand, if you can sink hours into titles like Sid Meier’s Civilization V, then this is right up your alley.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, with time and patience, you too can become a megalomaniac.

Endless Legend is available now on Steam.

Endless Legend Launch Trailer