Wartile is an upcoming real-time strategy game that is styled like a tabletop miniature war game. [And looks a hell of a lot like Heroscape. That’s not a bad thing. -ed.] The game is currently in alpha-testing with a planned Windows release sometime in Q1 (and later releases for Mac and tablets) and I recently had a chance to give the whole thing a whirl.
The first thing that stands out is the artistic style. The three-dimensional battle maps, called dioramas by the developers, are very attractive and do a great job of evoking the elaborately designed sets for which miniature war gaming is known. The miniatures are similarly realistic and just as impressive. They look just like very well painted minis, but are fully animated when fighting.
Wartile will feature a couple realistic single-player campaigns set in medieval Europe. Dioramas are designed to look like the mountains of Norway and the English coast and the mythology of the period will feature prominently in the campaigns. There will also be a player-versus-player mode where you set your band of warriors against that of another player to see who shall prevail.
Combat is in real-time with a cooldown timer. You move a mini and then must wait a couple seconds before taking another action. This will have you jumping back and forth between the miniatures under your command. Wartile isn’t as fast-twitchy as some real-time strategy titles but also doesn’t let you stop and thoughtfully consider your next move when in the thick of it. Slow, turn-based strategy this is not.
Miniatures attack automatically when in range of enemies and it is your job to put them in the best possible position to be victorious. The game puts a premium on tactical considerations like high ground, reach, and flanking and you need to quickly wrap your head around these concepts as combat in Wartile is difficult and unforgiving. Each fighter also has special abilities, represented by cards, that can be activated. Additional cards, like “Heal Unit”, are available for use on any miniature—some are purely tactical and others are gifts from the gods. You’ll gain more cards as you advance through the game as well as the opportunity to manage the deck you bring into combat. Yes, tactical miniature and deck-management action!
Thus far Wartile looks fantastic, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on it as it nears release. Fans of Heroscape, or tabletop miniature games in general, have a lot to be excited about with Wartile.