Battle Brothers Hits Early Access

I’m surprised a thread hadn’t already been started. $20

I’ve only watched the tutorial and played a couple of the training scenarios so far. Solid, deep turn-based combat with punishing difficulty. It’s been described as turn-based Mount & Blade, but I haven’t played enough to comment on that as yet.

I’ve played a couple early missions. I’m really liking it. The very first mission I played saw my entire party get wiped, but I also learned how much more prepared I needed to be. Started over, won the first mission, got in a couple more fights and slowly started upgrading my small band of mercenaries.

I’d definitely agree that it has a M&B vibe to it, but it is thematically a little darker, and is less forgiving. I really enjoy the visual details they put into battle as you watch your men slowly wearing down before they’re slaughtered… or do the slaughtering.

Anytime anyone mentions M&B I’m there - but I can’t for the life of me see how this is like M&B? Can you please elaborate on that part?

Also - the graphics in the battles - the heads I mean - is that placeholder or the way it is going to look?

As far as the art style, I think thats how it is going to look.

As far as M&B is concerned, it is similar in the sense that you recruit/equip a band of mercenaries, and you roam the world at will, taking quests/jobs, fighting enemies, and leveling up your characters, while you take care of their pay and their food.

The battles are turn based, and you pick equipment/perks for all of your units, instead of having masses of soldiers and a few companions. I’m not yet sure if you can raid villages/castles at will, or if you’re limited to only fighting the “bad guy” armies. I haven’t gotten too far into it.

Thanks. Is the overland movement real-time , or turn based as well?

Sad about the graphics - they are a real turn off for me. Different strokes and all that I guess.

The overland movement is real-time. I’m really digging the art style, but it does have a cartoonish look that might limit the appeal to some people.

Well, perhaps I should revise my initial feelings, then - Thanks for the quick replies :-)

Had the same initial impression Razgon but the rest sounds right up my alley. What do.

I found the graphics take some getting used to.

I’ve been watching a Das playthrough and he goes into great detail in the first 2 videos…taking time to describe all the mechanics. Some of you might be interested.

Playthrough here


To those who’ve played it: do the tactical battles have a Battle for Wesnoth vibe? That’s kind of what I got watching the video on the steam page, but it could be just the cartoony graphics. Also, the video on the steam page doesn’t show any sort of world map (i.e. for traveling around, visiting towns, etc)–does this exist? (Yet? How early access is it?)

There is a world map for traveling and it’s wide open. Pathfinding is kind of sketchy, particularly when you want your army of mercs to stay on a road or cross a bridge, but I imagine that will be ironed out in time.

You know what else I imagine? How perfect this engine would be for someone to remake Darklands

Jeez! Why don’t you just pull the money straight from my wallet?!? :-P

I’ve been playing for a few days now. So far so fun. The strategic map and UI still feel bare (I’m looking forward to the promised features), but they’ve done great work with the tactical battles. So absorbing and so deceptively complex. I love how diversifying your mercs (tanks, axemen, archers, spearmen, bludgeoners) and having them play their roles becomes a tactical necessity. And I also love the mini-RPG elements as well as how specializing and kitting out your dudes involves so many separate tradeoffs – speed vs. armor, offense vs. defense, quality vs. frugality. The fatigue system is ingenious, a great way to make you pay attention to the tempo of battle (beware of tiring your troops out right before the climactic action). And there’s enough variety in the tactical maps to keep things interesting. I was just perfecting my flat ground, battle line tactics when I found my dudes scattered in a barely navigable swamp, surrounded on all sides by Beserker Orcs. (Everyone, sadly, died).

That brings me to my only real problem so far. As a number of people have mentioned, the game is pretty difficult and even a little capricious right now. And the enemy descriptions (puny, weak, average, strong) are pretty inexact. For example, a “puny” group of werewolves can chew through a low level, twelve man squad without breaking a sweat. And “average” seems to encompass everything from a cakewalk over a handful of bandits to that swamp Orc murder trap I described above. The game’s a little like Mount and Blade not just in the design, but in the fact that geography determines difficulty to some extent. You learn the hard way the areas of the map you need to stay away from until you’ve built up your band a little more. Early on, it’s unwise to stray anywhere outside the well-guarded main roads, particularly at night. I do like the decision to err on the difficult side overall though. As the devs repeatedly warn, casualties are not just possible, they’re inevitable. I have found myself affected by the endless character deaths, fretting over my old favorites, not wanting to get too connected to new guys until they’d survived a few battles. Very funny.

I have to disagree a little with a few earlier posters about the art style. (Personal taste here, of course). Yes, it’s a little hard to root for soldiers who look like Toby mugs, but I really admire how much information and variety there is in the character art. I love how you can tell visually what kind of condition a given combatant is in. I also like how personality traits register visually – that bloodthirsty farmhand actually looks bloodthirsty, etc.

Thumbs up here. I’m impressed with what they’ve done, by the innovations and the shrewd borrowings from other games. I’ve got a feeling that if this stays on track, it’s going to turn into one of my favorites.

I recognize that the developers have come up with something that potentially could be special, but it just isn’t grabbing me yet. Part of it is the lack of things to do other than fight, and part is the difficulty. After I had a party wipe on the first or second mission for the 5th or 6th time, I just didn’t care any more. Particularly since your starting party is random (that’s fine) and you don’t have a whole lot of information about characters before you hire them (not so fine).

I look forward to seeing where this goes in the future, but for now I’m afraid I’m shelving it.

Yes, well said. That is one of my favorite aspects of the game.

Was watching all the videos recommended by Antediluvian above. This feels very far from a finished product right now and if it’s not, then it’s definitely not for me. Nearly fell asleep watching the lets-player take ages scouring a swamp for enemies only to have a battle decided almost purely by RNG.

The graphics grew on me while watching but the mechanics would wear me out right quick if I played this in its current state. Gonna return to this in six months. It basically needs more of everything, I can see no reason to play this now.

According to their FAQ it should retail about a year after Early Access starts, so it’s still got about a year development time.

According to their blog, Early Access for Battle Brothers has done well enough for the devs that they are quitting their day jobsto work full-time on the game. That certainly bodes well for its future and, I hope, for theirs.

This makes me more inclined to buy in to their EA.

The pathfinding was improved in one of the most recent updates. Your troops now take the quickest route to a point instead of moving in a straight line. Granted, this might not always mean sticking to the roads, but it often does on short trips.