Sunday, 17 December 2017

Battle Brothers: Review

A post for Isey!

I know I've leveled up in obfuscation when I can write 30 or so chapters based on this game yet leave readers wondering what the game is about!

At its heart, Battle Brothers is about managing a band of mercenaries in a fantasy world. You need to keep everyone paid, fed, happy and hopefully alive! There are two main parts to the game, the first of which is combat, which is a turn by turn activity wherein individuals, represented as busts (clever when you get used to the idea), are moved around a hex based map to gain tactical advantage and defeat their opponents.

While basic concepts like holding the high ground comes naturally, the game has other factors to take into account. At night all ranged units perform worse. A spearman at the ready can auto push back an advancing foe. Orcs have bad morale checks so do you kill lots of weak ones to get them panicked or concentrate on the slow heavy armored ones at the back? There are many choices, and while team member death is highly likely during the game more frequent are injuries - some of which permanently affect your team.

This is where the second activity: management, comes in. Each brother you hire has a background and particular traits. Sure a laborer might be more physically adept than a tailor, but you then have to balance things out such as hiring youth over experience or vice versa. You also have some people who are secretly murderers, or drunkards, or greedy. Maybe they are really small, which makes them hard to hit but in turn means they do less damage. The list of combinations is a long one.

They all are very different.

People improve as they survive combats, but do you fire them when the injuries pile on? Sid Sidorovich in my play through suffered a weakened heart (less stamina and hp), broken elbow (less chance to hit), lost a finger (less chance to hit), lost an eye (less chance to hit) was traumatized (less morale), yet was being paid a good amount per day because I chose to keep him on.

While traveling on the world map you also have random events ranging from funny to very serious. The characteristics of the team you have also determines additional choices and/or consequences for each event. Outside those the main "story" is for your company to survive through the "late game crisis" which currently is either an undead invasion, an orc rampage or a war between the noble houses.

To answer Isey's question of how does this translate into a story - easily as the game is already rich in content. Obviously I had a blast with this one and highly recommend it to the tactical war gamer types among you. I give it 4 Lindwurms out of 5.


  1. Thank you for this!

    The story was funny at times, and amazing at others - always engaging. Nice to understand the mechanics behind the tale, and how the game plays. I think I will go get this. =)