As a tabletop gamer, I’ve always wanted a digital game where my figurines came to life on the tabletop. From what I’ve seen from the alpha, Wartile is an excellent attempt in revitalizing this age-old genre.
Ignoring all the features of a game in alpha, the concept behind the game is quite interesting: Real-time combat with figurines. The execution is done rather well for an alpha, although there are definite points of improvement.
Conceptually Sound and Simple To Play
The game emphasizes movement above everything – very much unlike RTS video games, which tend to emphasize combat with their complex skill trees and combat systems. This makes the game conceptually simple as combat involves you having to positioning your figures perfectly. Attacks are done automatically when units are in range, and you can choose which unit you want to attack your foes with. Flanking and other strategic elements are in the game, and you’re able to slow down time temporarily to move your figures quickly.
However, the alpha only allowed me to control up to four figures – I would say five is the maximum for such a game as I had my hands full trying to maximize my movement for each figure.
Occasionally Disorienting and Confusing
Make no mistake, this tabletop game is definitely not turn-based. Everything occurs in real-time, and units are only limited by their own action cooldowns – after moving a figure, they will have a short cooldown before they can move again. Attacking has a separate cooldown, so there’s no need to worry about combat in that sense. The camera, though, is sometimes a nightmare as you can easily lose sight of your units in the scramble to move them quickly.
As the game is still in alpha, not much can be said about its graphics. The UI is relatively minimalistic and has enough information, although I would have liked more numerical markers instead of just bars for stats. Aside from moving units, you’ll be able to cast spells to support them. Most spells are buffs and heals, with each unit type having their own unique ability as well. Direct damage spells cost a lot to cast, making it more of a luxury rather than a staple.
Gameplay is relatively enjoyable even in alpha, but strategic depth is lacking as enemies only move when engaged. There isn’t a sense of danger or challenge when enemies come in separate encounters – I expect that the developers will change that somewhat as the game near release.
From what I’ve played, the game feels like a 25-dollar release to me. There is currently no price on Wartile, so keep your eyes peeled for any announcements if you’re interested in the game!
+ Engaging movement system and innovative tabletop combat
+ Simple and easy-to-grasp game concepts
+ Customizable units means that you can build whatever variety of soldiers you want
– Will always be small – forget about controlling big armies
– Movement is often inaccurate when done quickly due to 3D interface.
– RNG-based combat undercuts strategic elements instead of making combat more exciting.
Sound and music: 3/5
Replay value: 3/5
Watch for “Wartile” if you’re a fan of tabletop combat games, and are not afraid of trying out something entirely new. This game isn’t intuitive at first, but makes sense once the controls are learnt.
Developer: Playwood Project
Resolution: N/A – alpha build
Release date: N/A
Spent time: 5+ hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI/ESRB age rating: N/A
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
More by Chen Yiji:
Save 3$ with our Play-Asia coupon code "thegg"