Warlords is an award winning computer game series created by Steve Fawkner, in which role-playing elements are combined with strategy in a fantasy setting. The series has been split into two different games lines, the traditional turn-based strategy Warlords series (currently in its fourth edition), and a newer real-time based strategy Warlords Battlecry series (currently in its third edition).
Following the success of Warlords, SSG released Warlords II in 1993. This version included scenarios (five initially, although the later released mission pack and the Deluxe version (1995) increased the number to several dozen). Another new feature was 'fog of war' - optionally, enemy units or even the map could be concealed from players without units close enough to see them. The interface of the game was improved, as were the graphics (with additional unique city graphics for each different player). Moreover, the game featured multiple army, city and terrain sets (still in 16 colours, but upgraded to 256 colours with the Deluxe release), play by e-mail as well as hot seat, and a random map generator and map editor.
Longtime Warlords player and enthusiast Bob Heeter imagined, and then organized, a multi-player tournament using Warlords II, through the newsgroup for strategic games. The tournament depended on a special program called "WarBot" that calculated what 'should' happen when two diverse armies fought under the Warlords rules. Tournament rankings and awards were given based on how well a player did in comparison to other players with the same side in the same scenario. Awards were also given for best roleplaying during the games. The tournament generated a great deal of interest, as well as a great deal of excellent roleplaying, which was archived.