Hex-A-Decimate: Drums Of War Beta

Beta signups are now open for Drums of War, a turn-based tactical combat game set in a world of “magic and mythical creatures”. They mean fireballs and orcs. Looking through the screenshots, I was convinced I’d seen the game before but a quick trip to the RPS archives left me covered in dust and regret, but I found no evidence of these particular drums. I suppose one hex-based fantasy game can look a lot like another, but the emphasis on environmental reaction was sending my belfry into a cacophony. Then it hit me – I’d failed to find a previous reference to the game because it had a naff word crammed in front of its now-absent colon. The game was once Crasleen: Drums of War and I rather enjoyed the demo.

Let’s take a look at what the Adam of Winter Past made of it all:

That view does provide a sensible view of the battlefield and even though the graphics won’t convince your console-kissing friends that your PC actually is the most powerful gaming machine on the planet, they are clear and uncluttered for the most part. Along with the artifacts and potions that can be equipped between battle, units have their own special abilities, which occasionally combine with elements of the battlefield. A knight can charge, pushing units back into fire or water, necromancers can create alternate routes by freezing rivers (the ice eventually breaking) and siege machinery can be claimed and turned against the enemy.

If you’re willing to put up with the gently fumbled translation and don’t mind hanging out with a gaggle of greenskins for the umpteenth time, Crasleen’s demo is certainly worth the small download and quick playtime…

Well said, that man. It looks like you can still download the demo here but if you want to sign up for the beta, you’ll need to register at Slitherine’s site.

Here are the Drums of Death, one of the four other main Drum types.


  1. Crazy Horse says:

    Banjos of Feuding.

  2. Kasper Finknottle says:

    For some reason it reminded me of Ambush at Sorinor :0)

    I remember the Battle Cattle and War Chickens fondly.

  3. twig_reads says:

    I don’t want to rain on anyones parade but there’s already Battle for Wesnoth, a game thats developed for years and already has a pretty refined hex-turn-based fantasy strategy. And is free. Very tough to compete against that.

    • loquee says:

      I was wondering the same and looked if they at least were honest about it. As it seems, they were:
      ” This is a turn based fantasy game with a mix of strategy and RPG elements. It is in development at Crasleen Games, a small indie developer. The closest comparison would be a game like Battle for Wesnoth”
      Since Wesnoth is open source I guess that is totally ok. Looking forward to find some time to try it out.

    • Cheradanine Zakalwe says:

      The main thing that battle of wesnoth lacks is more ‘exciting’ unit abilities. Its refined and balanced, yes – but it can be dull at times.

      • Anthile says:

        There’s actually a lot of mods for Wesnoth. From additional factions to custom maps, there’s just about everything- and that was years ago.

        • loquee says:

          I even found one called “drums of war” … coincidence? probably not :)

    • UmmonTL says:

      Battle for Wesnoth is not only a very good game and free, it also looks much better than this does in my opinion. Not sure where they want to go with this but the features on their list are also utterly unremarkable. How do they expect to entice people to pay for this?

      • teije says:

        Just what I was thinking. The amount of content available for Battle for Wesnoth is incredible, makes it very replayable.

        Also a good iOS/Android Battle for Wesnoth app out there. Not free, but loads of content.for $4 and plays much the same.

    • jrodman says:

      Wesnoth is intentionally distinct. The play of the units, the chanciness, the ebb and flow of combat play out in a way that is not highly similar to other games.

      It would be very easy for this game to have a distinct playstyle.

      Also remember that similar games are often not really in competition, people will play multiple. Especially when they have many years between their releases.

  4. Snids says:

    Very nice of everyone to stay standing on their hexagons like that. Even in the heat of war.

    • UmmonTL says:

      Seriously? That’s the thing you find remarkable enough to comment? Because yeah, never seen combat simulated in turn based form on a grid before *cough*chess*cough*

      • jrodman says:

        To answer the question: No.
        That’s called whimsical, not serious.

  5. Borodin says:

    Damn. With that sound track on the trailer I’m not going within hearing distance of the game