Wartile wages RTS war in pretty dioramas

Oh me oh my, Wartile [official site] is a pretty one. It’s a medieval real-time strategy game set in cute little dioramas, which even have polished wooden bases. Whoever made those loves their wars. It’s a curious wargame, with customisable figurines and a bit of deck-building with cards that give bonuses and abilities. If you dig the sound (or look) of that, hey, Wartile entered early access today. I’d expect a hexy strategy game to be turn-based but nope, these wee men bounce around in real time. See for yourself in this trailer:

That’s a fair bit of information to pick up just by watching a video so here’s an explanation in word format from developers Playwood Project:

“Each Battle Board is an intricately realised digital diorama complete with tiles that allow players to strategize their tactical moves and attack in real time. Units are fully customizable with armor, weapons and new stat tokens that players can pick up throughout the game by completing special challenges. Stat tokens provide points that players can add to their characters stats which unlock when players level up, stat tokens can be discovered in each of the various Battle Boards in the game. Players can add a tactical edge to their combat by utilizing Ability cards and Godly cards as their figurine gains more experience, and by completing special battle board objectives. Godly cards and abilities can be assembled by the player before engaging in battle and used during combat, these cards can easily change the course of the fight should the odds be stacked against their favor.”

The singleplayer campaign sees Vikings battling across boards to control England and Scandinavia. Multiplayer is in too, obvs.

Wartile is £13.49/17,99€/$17.99 on Steam Early Access, which includes a small launch discount. Playwood say the singleplayer side in this initial early access release is about two hours long. They plan to expand that, and to add more figurine classes, to “create a deeper combat system” by adding more cards and environment types, to bop in random encounters, and to expand multiplayer with competitive matchmaking and co-op. They hope to launch within 6-9 months.


  1. Eightball says:

    Real time?!? Oh man, this looks great except for that (and that’s a pretty huge turnoff).

  2. Gothnak says:

    If this was single player, and turn based, i’d be all over it. Multiplayer real time? Hrmpf…

    • Czrly says:

      And Deck Building. Because EVERY game has to have that, now. WTF? Why? It’s not like stochastic elements are hard to incorporate in games. Why does it always have to be deck building?

      • Kitsunin says:

        Although…come to think of it, more games with Deck Building as a mechanic would be freakin’ sweet. Like, Deck Building as in Dominion, Thunderstone etc. Only PC game I can think of with that kind of Deck Building as a mechanic is Dream Quest and it’s fantastic. So underexplored.

        • MajorLag says:

          I agree. Dominion is what I think of when I think “Deck-building” and Dominion is rad. MtG-style “Deck-building” is awful.

          • syndrome says:

            Learn the difference between deck-building and collectible card games.

            It’s obvious to anyone except to you.
            From Wikipedia:
            A deck-building game is a card game that uses building a deck as the main focus of the gameplay. It is similar to collectible card games (CCGs) in that each player has their own deck. However, unlike CCGs, the cards are not sold in randomized packs, and the majority of the deck is built during the game, instead of before the game. Typically, the cards provide a type of game currency which allows players to buy more cards to add to their decks.

    • rochrist says:

      It’s single player as well as multiplayer. There is (or will be) a complete single player campaign. As to the real timeness of it, they do say they’re trying to balance it so that it plays basically like a turn based game without the pauses.

  3. Mumbles says:

    I also have to voice my confusion as to why they thought making this real-time was a good idea. With that kind of environment design, especially since the player is moving around figurines, turn-based play would have made much more sense. In fact, I thought it was turn-based while watching the video… and then I read the article. =/

    • DarkFenix says:

      Same; thought it was turn-based, got interested, read article, no longer interested.

    • RagnoDeetz says:

      I registered on RPS just so I could agree with you. Here’s hoping that there will be an option to make it turn-based? It would be hard to keep up and think about your moves in real-time. Looks awesome otherwise.

  4. Darthus says:

    Amazing how a game can have such extreme graphical and artistic visual polish (those dioramas are amazing), and yet be totally clunky looking in other ways (the UI in general is very jaggy and looks low resolution). Not to mention that there are significant typos/text issues in their public trailer (Potion of Strentgh and “Loot the booming chests of treasures”). But the latter could be explained either by localization issues (non-native English devs), or just deprioritizing flavor text. Still, for a game that rests on a portrayal of visual polish, for me that immediately made this trailer seem super rough around the edges.

  5. Captain Narol says:

    Damn, that was on my watch list, why the hell did they go real-time ???

  6. ButteringSundays says:

    I also suggest that turn-based combat would be preferable.

    Pitchforks for everyone!

  7. Rumpelstiltskin says:

    Someone should make a realtime chess game already

  8. Otterley says:

    Damn, I was about to dig out my inner child from his cairn of mothballs – until I read “real-time combat”. Might just pour some formaldehyde on the little bugger instead :/

  9. grimdanfango says:

    I hate to crap all over someone daring to try something different, but I’m afraid I have to agree with everyone else – what a way to alienate *everyone* who might want to play your game… make it look like a turn based game, and then make it real-time?
    I fear they’ve resigned their game to total obscurity, which is a shame as it’s very apparent how much care and artistry went into it.

    Edit: That said… it so far seems to be bringing in mostly positive steam reviews. I guess it shouldn’t be written off without at least trying it.

  10. anon459 says:

    Man this game is beautiful, and I almost thought it was going to be my next tactics game. But it’s strange; It’s essentially a turn-based game, except it just continually skips into the next turn, leaving you behind if you’re too slow. IDK man. Looks cool for a niche crowd though. Someone let me know when a non-rng turn-based tactics game comes out.

    • Captain Narol says:

      “Into The Breach” by the company that did FTL should be your cup of tea then, but it’s not out yet…

      • anon459 says:

        Oh thanks. I new about the game but assumed it had rng for some reason. Will add to the watch list :). Hoping for one with competitive multiplayer eventually, as Frozen Synapse was amazing.

  11. Wartile says:

    Hi guys

    Why it’s not turn based seems to be the really big question for a lot of people.

    The short answer is that when setting out the direction of Wartile, we did not aim to hit any specific demographic, or game genre. We aimed to create a very special feeling of a miniature world coming to life. Bring back the childhood fantasy of playing with miniature figurines, but use the technology to make the board pieces and figurines react to your actions and thereby bring life into a normally static scenery. We wanted the action to keep going, but maintain the flavor of turn based mechanics. We have spent three years testing and iterating on this game system, and are becoming very satisfied with the result, knowing that we can still improve it in many ways. Wartile can’t really be labeled as one genre or another, its something you have to try, before knowing exactly how it feels to play. it’s just… different.

    Maybe take a look at one of the many Let’s plays coming on Youtube to get a first impression. We can suggest this one -> link to youtu.be

    Best regards
    Michael Rud
    Creative director – Wartile

    • trjp says:

      Without prompting, I ended-up watching some Let’s Plays of this last night and it actually looks quite solid and very challenging…

      Even allowing for ‘turn up the difficulty because there’s not much content’-itis – common for early-development games – I liked what I saw…

      I’m happy to go into this and see what they’ve made instead of looking at-it and saying “that should be something else”

      Too much of that nonsense in gaming – more people need to try a game instead of trying to pigeonhole it without playing it

  12. Throwback says:

    I disagree with all the people hoping for turn-based. 1: there is absolutely heaps of turn-based stuff out there, and 2: Real-time is what had me excited. It’s such a dead genre, I’m very happy to see anything that explores it.

    • Captain Narol says:

      1. NO, there isn’t any turn-based game with such nice 3D Dioramas that feels like tabletop miniatures, so at least it’s a missed opportunity that I hope someone else will pick up.

      2. NO, Real-time is not a dead genre. 90% of the games out there are real-time.

      Anyway, I respect the choice of the devs to try something different, even if it is not what I would have wished and what I like, and I might even give it a try when the game will be more baked and I’ll have room on my Hard Drive, because this game really looks beautiful.

  13. Xaver says:

    Something i cant understand is why not offer 2 play styles… like Combat mission… if they dont want a pure turn system at least give a mode to play with “autopause” every 5-10 seconds.

    Apart the strange option to only offer real time in a game like this the lack of content and price made me dont buy it… i feel Battle Brothers is NOW a much better option for same price and being a more mature and elavorate game.

    Real time per se is not bad but in a game like this offer it as only mode is… a big risk that is not going to increase the potential customer base.