Smite Tactics Announced, A Turn-Based Action Spin-Off

Smite developers Hi-Rez today announced Smite Tactics [official site], a turn-based spin-off from their MOBA. Smite Tactics will combine turn-based combat with collect-o-deckbuilding card antics for both competitive multiplayer and a spot of singleplayer. No word yet on when – or how – it’ll fully launch but a beta will come later this year.

Smite, if you’re not caught up on your MOBAs, is the one which all characters are real-world gods and mythological characters. What does Tactics do with that? Here’s the official word from today’s announcement:

“Smite Tactics is a game of strategy where players will carefully choose which minions to deploy across the battlefield and which gods will lead them. Every unit has unique abilities and players will build their armies prior to battle using collectible cards. Players will be able to compete for prestige in 1v1 ranked competitive modes and experience various adventure modes versus AI.”

You can see snippets of pre-alpha gameplay in this here announcement trailer:

Hi-Rez don’t mention a business model, which does make me wonder whether it’ll be free-to-play or not. You’d think so? All of their other games are free-to-play.

This is another reminder that the MOBA rush is over, that MOBAs are now established as just another type of video game – they’re stable enough for spin-offs and even board games. Heck, maybe we’re even nearing the end of a rush of hybrids smooshing MOBAs into other genres. The MOBA design vocabulary will sit seamlessly into the design dictionary, as has happened to countless other games and rushes.


  1. coprolit says:

    Reminds me very much of Duelyst.

  2. kwyjibo says:

    This is exactly Duelyst.

  3. samuliofdoom says:

    I’m glad someone else is making turn-based tactics games than just us small folk! The art looks nice, so let’s just hope the tactics part lives up to it’s name, eh?

  4. Legion1183 says:

    Its basically Duelyst. Nice art style though, may give it a go but I’ve just started getting into Duelyst after Hearthstone and not sure if I want to get into yet another card game.

  5. Beepdabies says:

    I was going to say this looks like Duelsyt but it seems like I am a bit late for that

  6. Darkmessage says:

    PSA: During the Smite patch notes 3.20 when they first showed the new game, they said it would sure as hell be free-to-play because that’s basically the whole philosophy behind HiRez nowadays.

  7. Koozer says:

    The pro players in sports-style shirts are hilarious. I’m sure they really work up a sweat twiddling their digits.

  8. Neurotic says:

    It’s always a good day when more TBS is announced!

  9. Captain Narol says:

    Interesting, but the combat map seems small : something like 8×8 or 8×10.

    That makes the fights quite limited in possibilities from a tactical standpoint as you don’t have much room to maneuver.

    Scrolls had quite the same problem, maybe that works for Chess but not for much else.

    I prefer tactical games like XCOM or Battle For Wesnoth were you have a more complex map that you can use at your advantage to outsmart the opponent !

    • kwyjibo says:

      The grid is 5×9 because they’ve copied Duelyst down to the details.

      The limited board means that games are designed to end quickly. This is important for matchmaking. The breadth of units and abilities should mean that there is still lots of variation in play.

      I love games with bigger boards such as Advance Wars. But for competitive online game, I just wanna get in and out and not have to commit half an hour per match.

      • Captain Narol says:

        Half an hour by match sounds to me like a good duration for a tactical game that is more about smart thinking than a test of reflexes…

        Of course, your mileage may vary…

        • kwyjibo says:

          Well I’d rather play speed chess than chess. Can you make good decisions quickly or not?

          I’m playing Faeria too, which is another card+board game. That has games around the 20 minute mark, and I just find the openings (like the openings in chess) rote and boring.

          • Captain Narol says:

            To each their own, I’ve played competitive chess for many years in my youth and I definitely prefer “normal” chess to speed chess.

            I like to have time to analyse situations and build a complex plan, in fast games you play instinctively but you can’t go really deep in your thinking with the clock pressuring you to go fast.

            This era sadly has an obsession for speed and people lack patience, but I think it’s time to start a move back toward “Slow Gaming” !