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Promising tactics 'em up The Lamplighters League will sneak out on October 3rd

Quite the change from Battletech

The case of The Lamplighters League
Image credit: Paradox Interactive

The Lamplighter's League is an intriguing proposition, with the Battletech tech devs setting aside their big stompy mechs and stepping into the much sneakier shoes of 1930's scoundrels as they wage shadow wars over supernatural artefacts. Its blend of real-time sleuthing and turn-based squabbling impressed Katharine when she snuck her hands on the opening mission last month, heralding it as a game of the year contender.

Big words! Exciting words. As announced yesterday, we'll get to judge for ourselves when it comes out on October 3rd.

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As Katharine summarises in her hands on preview, "think XCOM mixed with a dash of Desperados 3". Each mission starts with an infiltration phase where you tiptoe about in real-time, using character abilities to knock out guards, pick locks and set up traps. Once you're discovered - or nicely set up for an ambush - the action swaps to turn-based combat, with familiar shooting and ability-popping spiced up by environmental hazards. Such as the way that man chucks a goon in a fire, up in that there release date reveal trailer. Brutal.

There's also much more of an emphasis on your team as people rather than units, with unique abilities and fleshed out personalities. It worked well for Marvel's Midnight Suns, though here you'll be chinwagging with "outcasts, scoundrels and cutthroats" rather than goody two shoes superheroes. They're still banding together against an eldritch cult, but they're like, cool about it.

Katharine's previous Lamplighter preview has lots to get excited over, too, drilling down into power-changing tarot cards, proc-genned levels and debuffs for when both you and your enemies get stressed out. I particularly like the sound of building towards "one big turn":

"Anna Sophia, for example, currently has a rare relic equipped that gives her another AP every time she heals somebody. Combine that with her once-per-mission signature ability for a massive AOE heal, and you'll be positively rolling in the stuff if you get everyone within range. Rogers says this relic is something players will have to "work really hard for" in the final game, but in this instance, it's just the ticket he needs to let him perform another heal on our friend Fedir, who's been knocked down after taking too much damage in the unexpected fire breakout. Fedir himself also has attacks with various secondary effects that kick in when he's properly enraged, such as allowing him to heal for the amount of damage he puts out. But here Rogers has also given him a special tarot card that lets him heal even further."

Systems knocking on other systems, complex webs of synergies, all that good stuff. I wants it.

I'll gets it on October 3rd, from either Steam, the Epic Games Store or the Windows Store.

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