As Serena admitted to not liking miniature battle games last week, I too must admit tabletop gaming isn’t exactly up my alley. But I think it’s safe to say we can both put that aside if the game itself is good enough. Such is the case for the Wartile demo.
The demo gives you the option of playing a tutorial, or jumping straight into the main game. In my video, I played the tutorial for the sake of *ahem* demonstration, but honestly there’s no need. It’s all incredibly self-explanatory. It’s a strategy game much like XCOMM or Massive Chalice in which you command a small group of individual units across a map, fighting enemies and gathering supplies.
The tabletop elements are a lot sparser than you would imagine, given how strongly their being pushed in the marketing. Those elements hit you right away visually with a hexagonal board, mini figures to control rather than actual characters, and a card based skill system. However, fundamentally, the game is a lot more similar to the aforementioned popular strategy games than old-school mini figure battlers.
The good news is that Wartile seems to be a good strategy game, and the demo showcased a lot of potential. Unlike Massive Chalice, you have a lot more control over combat aside from troop position. You can use your cards to heal your characters, give them attack and defense buffs, or directly attack enemies.
How often you use can use this cards is dictated by battle points, which you can collect by defeating enemies and opening chests scattered throughout the battlefield. This isn’t a passive experience either, as the points float up, and you have to click on each point before it reaches the top of the screen and disappears. It sounds really convoluted and silly, and it is, but it adds a nice extra layer of interaction that can make battles tenser.
You can also order individual units to block with their shields, or attack small walls enemies erect to slow you down. In that sense, it’s a lot more of an active experience than most strategy games, and likely where you could argue the tabletop elements come into play beyond visual themes. These aren’t major shake-ups, like I said earlier it’s pretty straight forward, but it could be enough in the long run to give Wartile its own unique flavor over other strategy games.
Wartile is a beautiful looking game, and it’s got an interesting concept to back it up. The demo was a little on the bland side, there wasn’t much in terms of diversity of skills or player units, but there’s definitely an interesting base with a lot of potential. I look forward to tracking the progress of Wartile in the coming weeks.