Symphony of War: a fantasy-themed take on Advance Wars and Ogre Battle

So, this is an RPG Maker game, albeit modified quite a bit, and that’s to blame for most of its UI, control, and camera issues. I suspect this also means that the developers are extremely limited in terms of how much they can improve on those issues in subsequent updates, though I don’t think I’ve ever played an RPG Maker game that wasn’t Space Funeral so please correct me if I’m wrong about that. I do think a lot of its systems are interesting, but between having recently finished a mediocre SRPG and actually seeing this game in action—and thus, seeing all the clunkiness that comes with it (e.g., the inordinate number of clicks to do simple stuff)—has cooled me on it for now.

Yup, this is about right. I spent a couple of hours with this last night and I actually really like it on the scale of low budget, high labor-of-love RPG Maker games, but it really fits into that category. You’re bought in for UI issues, stock-style (if not literally stock) character art, and some general clunkiness as soon as you’re through the door.

It’s a bit of a shame, because the developers (and it’s two of them plus an art person, who I imagine does all of the 2D battle art that actually looks custom/good) have a really good feel for the mechanics of these kind of SNES-love-letter games. They’ve done some short JRPGs in RPG Maker in the past that are also a couple of steps above the average fare for the format, notably Skyborn. Symphony of War, even two hours in, seems to understand what made the classes, items, and other nuts-and-bolts of its type of game interesting in a way that many of the (often much higher budget) modern homages do not.

Also, there really isn’t that much out there in the style of SNES Ogre Battle. (And yes, that’s the primary influence, for all that the map runs turn-based. I am more than capable of nerding out over these sorts of things, but Ogre Battle is very clearly the primary ‘genre’.) I can put up with some RPG Maker cruft for that, but I totally understand anyone who doesn’t want to.

I loved OB64 back when. I should probably try the original game sometime!

i’m on chapter 6 now and so far I like the game enough to put up with a terrible UI. At the very least the organize army screen should show the current and maximum capacity of the squad so you don’t have to go click on each one to find out. Also, the game should tell you what the deploy limit will be on the next map before you get there. Beyond that, I find that for most of the information it is hard to find. Also, has anyone found a table somewhere of the requirements for each class?I can find the requirement for promotion from class a class B by clicking on class a but it’s a pain to have to do that for all of them. Also, are there any implicit requirements for a class that needs to certain level in one attribute but needs to be promoted from a class which itself had a minimum on a different attribute? .

On the plus side The developer is very active on the steam form so there’s some hope that we will be getting improvements

Well, the UI definitely isn’t good but apart from that I’m enjoying this. The UI is good enough for the basic gameplay, but finding details to minmax and plan things out is quite annoying.

I restarted for permadeath difficulty after the first 8 or so chapters were just too easy; I was drowning in gold from not having to recruit.

Does anyone happen to know if there is a penalty for putting traditional front line units in the back row? They still seem to attack, so I’ve been keeping an infantry in the 3rd row and putting support in the 2nd to protect from rogues. My old gaming head insists that you can’t put infantry in the back, though, and therefore I must be just missing whatever the penalty is.

If you want to dramatically improve the UI, I recommend installing and playing this. Then, switch back to Symphony of War, and realise how much less terrible it is. Or maybe just a little less complex.

Both potentially very good games, Brigandine both strategic and tactical layer, Symphony tactical layer only, but oh god my eyes, my fingers, for the UI! Still, maybe these are like the game equivalents of uh, pomegranates. Genuinely great tasty fruit, but so gosh dang tricky to access!

How is the permadeath runthrough going? can you still get S”s? I would like to try it but I worry about getting into a downward spiral after the first few chapters.

I’m one chapter behind where I was before I believe, at chapter 9 now. It hasn’t been particularly difficult, I’m still getting an S most of the time, a couple of As. Frankly, it’s going better this time around but that’s because I’ve learned to deal with rogues better.

I just restarted on warlord too. I only got an A on chapter 3 because I didn’t stop one of the green armies from suiciding. So I’m trying to decide whether to replay to get the extra faction points.
Other than putting melee in back, what can be done to deal with rogues? Also, on my last run I had a hard time keeping my own rogues alive, any thoughts on that?

OK got the S, had to really focus on where green was going to go next and how to keep them out of trouble.

Which artifacts only the leader in which affect the whole squad?

The other things I use to help with rogues is to carefully check their movement range to make sure you attack them; they can’t stealth attack on defense. Cavalry helps there, though I have had the occasional light infantry unit that could reach them.

Otherwise, they might have an archer with them in which case if you put a unit just out of their movement range they can be baited to move forward and launch a ranged attack and you can then initiate melee the following turn. So far the only time that hasn’t worked is if they were guarding a specific location in which case they didn’t move to initiate anyway.

edit: My primary concern now is that I bought the game on Epic and they don’t appear to have the patch that released on Steam supposedly about 11 hours ago. Hopefully Epic is just slow, otherwise I’m going to regret saving that extra $4.

good idea to bait archer attacks!
Im now through chapter 9 with all S. 6;7 and 8 werent hard but I had to replay 9, the cannons really chewed up my armor. I dont have any mages yet, need to find more sunstone, both for mages and to promote some priestesses to templar. or
else I could demote one to reclaim the sunstone and switch her to sorceress.
I do like having lots of healing but the sunstones seem scarce.

I forgot you can get resources back by demoting. I do have a mage ready to upgrade, but those templars are really putting in some work for me. I’ll try and hold out, I’m not convinced mages are that great anyway. I’ll have to try and think of some decent formations for them.

edit: and I asked in the discord, they apologized and said Epic should have patch tomorrow. The apology makes me wonder if they just forgot as they watch their Steam numbers approaching overwhelmingly positive, small team and all.

I ended up picking this up while it’s 20% off but don’t intend to jump right in. Did the first patch start to smooth out some of the UI issues? I know they can only do so much with the engine they have.

A tiny bit? The most relevant patch notes were:

LBumper and RBumper functions for controllers have been corrected. (They can be used to cycle player squads on the tactical map, page up and page down in menus)

Future plans:

  • Major UI/UX pass for reducing clicks, drag and drop, and more

The first note, particularly cycling player squads, was probably my biggest in-battle issue. There are a few more things I’d like to see improved in the in-between-battle menuing, and it sounds like they’ll get there. All of that said, I actually think it plays pretty well with the controller at this point. I only tried K/M for a little bit but that seemed a lot worse to me until they get to that whole “reducing clicks” thing.

Makes me wonder if Steam Link on my iPad is viable then. Any idea how well RPG Maker supports wonky resolutions?

I could have sworn this was the game where the battles play out kind of like they do in Dominions. Looking back through the posts that doesn’t seem to be the case. Am I getting it confused with another game that came out recently? Maybe Brigandine?

Maybe you are thinking of heroes hour? Is heroes of might and magic with auto combat