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Meet the snake-firing archers and other wonders of Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

Snake guns and shield fans

Video games have been simulating battles since 1873, but none of them have the same reverence for historical authenticity as Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. It's an upcoming physicsy fightfest where you pit hordes of samurai, trebuchets and chicken men against mishmashes of rival units - not to be confused with Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, a spinoff battle royale game where you shoot stuff yourself rather than watching from above.

It won't be out for a while, but in the meantime you can (and should) feast your eyes on the dev videos below. William Nylund has been revolutionising warfare with snake guns and shield fans.

These are all from the Twitter feed of Nylund, who's in charge of both the company and coming up with new units.

You can't play with those yet, but you can mess around in these free early alphas from 2016 - though don't expect quite the same degree of wackiness. There are still light sabres, superheroes and units that fart chickens though.

There's a sandbox mode if you just want to goof about, making several dozen machine gunners fight legions of boxers. That's glorious, but so too are the puzzle-like levels where you're given a limited budget to take out various armies.

You can overcome the early levels by just swamping the enemy with cheap farmers or peasants, but you soon need to start thinking around what you're up against. It's still delightfully playful, but smart strategies become vital: a battalion of musketeers had me stumped until I charged their ranks with some speedy headbutters.

It's a two year old toybox that's already brimming with possibility, well before developers Landfall Games have finished chucking stuff into it. They're not just adding more ideas, though. They're adding brilliant ideas.

I saved the best till last.

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