Warbands: Bushido is a “tactical, turn-based, tabletop-style wargame series.” It’s a videogame, but it’s also a tabletop inspired game. There’s a hexagonal board on which you play on, you move figures around the board, and you collect cards that act as special events or power-ups. It’s also presented as a videogame, meaning it’s heavily inspired by Final Fantasy Tactics and Valkyrie Chronicles and is single player focused.
Does any of that sound familiar? It should, because it’s the same setup as the ill-fated Wartile, which was on Kickstarter last month.
They’re both similar in the grand scheme. They’re both tabletop videogames with the same RTS-type gameplay. They both feature historical campaigns, although Warbands’s Japanese setting seems to be more grounded in reality than Wartile’s magical Viking adventure. They both rely on cards to mix up the gameplay, and they’re both have a heavy dash of RPG elements. Heck, both of their names begin with ‘war.’
Unlike similar campaigns going up around the same time a la Battalion 1944 and Days of War, Warbands is following in the steps of a campaign that failed. Despite high praise from across the internet, myself included, Wartile fell over £30,000 short of its goal by the time the developers canceled the campaign.
It’s impossible to say for sure why Wartile failed, it could be that people didn’t like the specifics of that game, bad poor timing on Playwood Project’s part, or maybe it was the reward tiers as local Fabio look alike Carston Anderson speculates. The notion that Kickstarter users simply don’t like that type of game is a ridiculous, but Wartile looked like the kind of game that’s too good to fail.
There’s no denying these two are very similar, and Warbands developer Red Unit Studios needs to look at every possible reason why Wartile failed. They’re asking for much less money, about $18,000 less, but Warbands is missing a big element it’s predecessor had. Wartile came with a demo out of the gate, whereas Warbands doesn’t have one. With how little gameplay is shown of Warbands it’s easy to speculate they’re not as far along in development as Playwood Project was.
It could be that the lack of a demo will help Warbands: Bushido, or it could hurt them. Asking for less money might help the campaign, but it could hurt the game overall. Perhaps the greater focus on a realistic setting will be enough to separate Warbands for Wartile. These questions aren’t all that dissimilar to what we ask of other crowdfunding projects, but the failure of a high profile game so similar and so recently can’t help but cast a shadow over Warbands: Bushido. Only time will tell what will happen.
And possibly Kicktraq, which projects the game falling 30% short of its goal. Kicktraq’s been wrong before though, so instead I’ll say only time can tell for sure.
Track the progress of the Warband: Bushido Kickstarter in our Campaign Calendar.