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Wargroove - Medieval Advance Wars. Out Now on Switch/PC/Xbox One. £15.99

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Just did the siege-style level with Ceasar and it was bloody brilliant. Really loved the pressure of feeling hemmed in. I thought I'd fucked it on more than one occasion which made the victory all the sweeter! 

 

What a cracking start this year has gotten off too. :wub:

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Is the online always realtime? I thought it was auto synchronous at points, so I set up a game with no timer but couldn’t get any one to join. I did join a game which I thought had no timer (in quick match  - I couldn’t see a way to set matchmaking preferences) but it had a turn timer tick down (although I could leave the game without quitting and continue from a menu)

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I like the way you have to attack enemy villages and strongholds, and they can fight back, instead of just taking them unopposed.

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This has run out of steam for me. I'm a huge fan off these type of games but there's just something a bit lifeless about this. Also, at times it feels like it's less about strategy and much more about being massively outnumbered. Fun for a little while though!

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I agree. The outposts etc fighting back is a bad decision. In a way I like it, however when you sneak through and THEN have to fight a barracks, while they’re churning baddies out, and your troops are weakening. Kind of annoying. Does sort of encourage building a massive army and swarming in

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It's still pretty good, but a lot of little things in the end that just drag it down. Map/mission design is one, but also the village capturing and how lame most of the commander powers are.

 

It doesn't help either that nowadays we can be playing Invisble Inc, Into the Breach or XCom 2 instead, all of which make turn-based tactics quicker and more exciting.

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Have been surprised by how quickly the hype has cooled off for this. From what I can tell the game capitalised on the gap in the market created by there being no new advance wars games since 2008. I'm interested in trying it eventually but not at full price. What the final verdict on it then? Is it too much like Advance Wars for its own good? I've been tempted to pick up the original advanced wars again as it seems to have a timelessness to it.

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I'm also one who has gone off this quickly... The battles are just far too long, and if you lose at a later stage of a battle it feels like a right chore to restart and play through all the unexciting turns again. 

 

Not to say it hasn't had its amazingly enjoyable moments, but after a while it just seems to lack a bit soul that's needed to keep me coming back.

 

I will pick it back up again once they patch in checkpoints or saves. 

 

Tbh I think Into The Breach has been a huge reason why I'm feeling the above... Love the quick battles, restart turn feature, and general zipiness of ITB. ITB can be punishing and brutal, but if you mess up the game is far from over, and replaying stages can be quick and even more enjoyable than when playing for the first time. Wargroove is the opposite of all of this. 

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2 hours ago, Dig Dug said:

What the final verdict on it then? Is it too much like Advance Wars for its own good?

It's a bit of being too much like AW when things have moved on in recent years. And a bit of not being quite as good as AW anyway.

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There's kind of two elements that I think really harm the game, one is the one troop a turn per building which stops any massive momentum shifts and makes the game plod on and always feel recoverable.

 

The other is the health/damage mechanic. I don't know if it just needs minor tweaks to it but there's something very frustrating about not being at full power even though you can see all your people still standing. Also when you can't oneshot an enemy because you received minor damage just really slows the pace as they can't really do much except run and mess around.

 

I really think this might have benefited from a while on early access before release.

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I agree with most of the criticism above. The game can get slow, but I find the rule to win most maps quickly is to identify the key structures (usually the barracks furthest forward that you can get to first) and sending a unit in a wagon to capture it whilst the rest of your force captures the buildings behind. And you can always spam spearmen to allow down the enemy, just as you could do with bazookas in AW.

 

The game does suffer from a terrible last level though, which does not reward good tactical so much as hoping not to get an instadeath. I completed it, but through brief teeth after several attempts.

 

At the end of the day, though:

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A strong, flawed AW clone. Good, but not the second coming that many of us were excited about.

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I might just be shite but it feels like trial and error a lot of the time too. There are maps where unless I literally edge forward one square at a time I seem to just get jumped with AI I had no idea was there, and finally beating it doesn't feel like I overcame a challenge but rather I just learned how to exploit where I knew things were going to spawn from. And the "effective/weak against" graphics are dreadful.

 

It's a shame because it's so close to being great - it's polished, the idea of custom maps and crossplay is very welcome, the dog is funny - but it makes enough little blunders to feel frustrating as often as it does rewarding.

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I think a big flaw of this was that it forgot how gently AW eases you in. 

 

In the original AW you're practically at the end of the campaign before you end up playing huge maps with a ton of structures and a full, 45 minute game - it is packed with shorter missions at the start that get you used to the mechanics and slowly hook you.

 

In this mission 3 is already a 30 minute mission, and it just gets longer from there.

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I'm still really enjoying this but I can understand why having an hours worth of progress blow up in your face might be unappealing to some. 

 

I actually think Into The Breach was pretty similar in that regard and certainly more unforgiving; 'a go' could end in complete failure with a single miscalculated move. No single fuck up seems to do it in Wargroove with a loss creeping up more gradually. 

 

Admittedly ITB did have the reset move when you did a proper whoopsie. I guess it's the difference in game structure between those that have a run and those that have a more structured campaign, but the actual time that's 'wasted' when you lose between the two really isn't all that different. 

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I don't think ITB ever felt like a waste of time because the moment to moment experience is so engaging. It completely focuses you on each individual turn. As soon as you restart it's a fresh challenge.

 

In Wargroove, repeating a battle means going through a lot of tedious set up work all over again. Worse still, I even found winning a bore on later levels. You can often tell you're going to win about halfway through but it's a slow trudge to get over the line.

 

They are different games of course. ITB is never going to give you the opportunity to come up with a big plan and then try to execute it. It's just reaction and survival. So there's definitely a place for Wargroove, but it could've been a bit tighter and more modern in its execution.

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I've been fine with the save system UNTIL the final battle of the campaign, which badly needs something. Tried it twice or three times and I don't think I can be bothered again until they do something in that area (but to be fair I've played a lot of Advance Wars so I haven't found it that hard)

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I'm enjoying this very much so far - I think it has enough differences from Advance Wars to keep it interesting.  It is a little unfair in places.

 

Spoiler

The early mission, where you have to help refugees escape and then escape yourself, is one.  My commander was right at the bottom of the screen, finishing off some enemy troops.  All of a sudden she was surrounded by troops who appeared for the final battle.  Eventually they overpowered her, as there were no escape routes.

 

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It’s way better with the patch. Glad they took the feedback on board. Still, some issues persist but the quality of life improvement is significant. 

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