Next up on my list of possibles for my 1-week Spring Break window is developer Slitherine’s Battle Academy. Unlike Eterium, Battle Academy is a bit more proven, having already been released for iOS, as well as what appears to be some retail releases for x86 platforms as well. This is a turn-based strategy game, and so while it looks like the genealogy is reminiscent of Company of Heroes, it probably plays closer to The Operational Art of War. That game was one of my favorites, so if Battle Academy gets anywhere near it, the game will be golden in my eyes.
One mechanic that I go ga-ga over in both RTS’ and Turn-based Strategy (TBS) games is when your units are persistent, gain experience, and can be named with custom titles and unit names. I am not sure about the custom names, but your units in Battle Academy will gain experience and can earn promotions. There will be multiplayer for any grognards who also want to take the battle to the field PvP-style. Slitherine also promises accessible hooks for modification of the game via scripting, so expect to see lots of mods for this game.
You can control a host of allied forces from World War II, including the UK, the US, Poland, and Canada. In multiplayer, Italy and Germany are playable.There are more than 100 different types of units, including tanks and aircraft. The game models several aspects of warfare that will impact the outcome of encounters. Ambushes will grant big advantages to the attackers in an encounter. Line of sight will enhance the ability to strike enemy units that your forces have a clear bead on, while limiting your chance to hit if the enemy has cover, or is behind something occluding your vision. The effects of artillery, airstrikes, scouts, morale, APCs, flame throwers, heavy bombers, snipers and suppression also weigh into how the tide of battle shifts from one turn to the next.
Arguably one of the most remarkable features of the game is the support for cross-platform multiplayer. PvP is server-based, and players will get an alert whenever their opponent has made a move. So you do not need to sit around with the game running waiting for your opponent. And yes, you can start a game on your PC, and then walk out of the door with your iPad and continue from your tablet at different location. Sold!
Battle Academy arrives this Wednesday, April 16th, and will initially be on sale for $19.99 on Steam. The iOS version is available now via the App Store and is also being sold for $19.99. You can check out the gameplay trailer below.