Qvadriga was one of those titles that few people had ever heard of, but those that had absolutely loved it. I’m quite confident that Qvadriga was (and probably still is) in Owen’s top 5 mobile titles of all time. While the title was published by Slitherine, the developer was Turnopia. Yeah, I hadn’t heard of them either. Turns out they’re still hard at work on other titles, with their latest just heading to beta now. It’s all about ancient naval combat and is called Mare Nostrum.
Mare Nostrum is, I’m almost positive, Latin for “horse nostrils”, so I’m not quite sure of the fit. Then again, I still don’t know what Qvadriga means and, being too lazy to Google either term, am quite content wallowing in my ignorance. [Thanks to Academy Games, I actually know that Mare Nostrum means “our sea” and was the term for the Mediterranean way back when. Everything I know I learned from playing board games. -ed.]
This is a turn-based naval simulation with WEGO mechanisms, meaning that everyone’s turns fire off at the same time. Think Diplomacy, where everyone goes off and takes their turn separately, but then all the actions happen at once. There are 14 different ships to choose from and 24 different historical battles to play through. The game will offer solo play vs. AI, or online play where you can go head-to-head against another human.
- From the dawn of history to the Roman Civil Wars, from Iberia to Cyprus, revive the ancient naval battles of the Mediterranean. 24 historic naval battles, including Salamis, the final defeat of Xerxes in Greece, and Actium, Downfall of Antony and Cleopatra.
- Classic WEGO system. Plan the actions first, then execute and view a simultaneous turn resolution.
- Battle AI adapts to the tactical situation and the historical settings.
- Configurable skirmish battles allows choosing of map, size, wind and opposing sides, using a point buy system.
- Multiplayer mode allows multiple historical and skirmish battles to be played by two players using Slitherine’s easy to use PBEM+ system.
- 14 ship types, from the swift penteconter to the massive deceres, equippable with devices like engines, towers, harpax, corvus, rodian firepots or sails.
- Historical tactics and maneuvers, depending on the situation and the ship type. Ram, rake oars or grapple and board. Arrows, artillery and fire.
- Squadron system with chain of command, the ships needs to be under command to be able to receive orders. Admirals and commanders has special abilities and a squadron range, lines of ships could be arranged out of this range to give command to all of them.
- Gameplay features include crew fatigue, atmospheric phenomena like fog, rain and a variable wind system and special rules for treasure ships, local command, plague, anchored ships and transports.
I don’t know much about ancient naval combat, but if they can make this half as engaging as they did with chariot races in Qvadriga, I think they’ll have another hit on their hands. The game is going to beta right now, so if you want to sign up and help polish it for PC, sign up here.