Genre: Turn Based Strategy
Price: £15.49 Steam
Release Date: 09 Sept 19
Fog rolled across the marsh, reducing the surroundings of the water to nothing more than half seen shadows and faint traces of movement, the rippling waves breaking the invasive silence that usually inhabited this place. Thorn crouched low behind the stump of a tree, picking at the feathers that fletched her arrow, they needed no real adjustment as Thorn had crafted these with her own hands and they would fly truer than most, but the movement proved a useful distraction as she watched her prey.
A subtle change in the waves alerted Thorn to the fact she was no longer alone, as the thick fog betrayed the outline of the disturber. Thick muscled shoulders framed a gnarled gruesome face, sneering, it’s curved tusks menacing as they dripped with swamp water. The Bog Troll continued to emerge from the water, finally towering over Thorn despite being haunched over, though it made no move to threaten Thorn, it simply settled beside her.
Thorn stopped playing with her arrow and glanced beyond the Troll, eyes straining to pierce the fog, before settling on new shadows further along the tree line. She did not need clear sight to know what was there, for it was time, and her instructions had been clear.
Slowly she rose from behind the stump, bow in hand arrow already notched instinctively, as the fog almost seemed to dissipate immediately in front of her. Unheard whispers crept from her mouth, lips barely moving, as the arrow head began to smoke, faintly yet thickening into a purple haze within seconds. Her eyes narrowed, breath stopped, and as the Bog Troll and Orcs erupted from the trees the arrow flew. Her prey had no idea, no chance, they would panic and be slaughtered within minutes, and Captain Holly Thorn would cement her control of this land.
Last Regiment is a very interesting mix of Turn Based Strategy and deck building card game, allowing for visual maneuvering, town building and chess like strategy but with the flavour (and sometimes bad luck) of waiting for the right card to appear. The game sticks to very common themes from both genres of game, but the end result is an enjoyable experience whether you’re playing against the AI or other players.
The strategy game play basics are very quickly picked up as they will feel very similar to any turn based gamer, where you look to gain control over areas of the map, then building and upgrading control points to provide benefits and more options to the player, whether that’s increased gold or mana production, higher unit caps, provide extra line of sight or even raw victory points that are used to judge the winner once the games then limit has been reached. There’s no surprise that the more gold you produce, the quicker you can buy units and upgrades, and the sooner you can increase your unit cap the quicker you can start getting more units onto the field of play.
This is where things get interesting though, as the units you spawn aren’t produced from set buildings but rather they come from the cards drawn out of the deck you’re using, alongside a range of permanent and temporary buffs that can be applied to your units. Your deck is made up of 9-12 different cards, so you can add some theming to the deck you play with, and during the game you draw cards each turn into your hand, holding up to a maximum of six cards at a time. These cards are where you spend your gold & mana to summon new units, upgrade those already on the map or provide healing & buffs to further bolster their prowess.
Last Regiment offers a campaign story mode alongside the skirmish & multiplayer features, and while I only played through a few of the starting scenarios it does a good job of holding your hand through the learning curve, introducing more freedom and choices at a reasonable pace so that you can get up to speed on the mechanics in good time. Though for me personally I enjoyed the freedom of deck building and taking on rivals in the skirmish modes a lot more, and with the game conditions (turn limit etc) being within your control as well, you can easily set up a game to suit smaller time frames if your simply looking to unwind for a short while after a long day.
I was lucky enough to get the chance to speak to the Creative Director about the game and what’s planned through the Early Access phase, and there’s an awful lot going on behind the scenes to really add a great deal of depth to the game. “I can tell you that the future plans for the game are to keep releasing more and more content: more maps, more troops, more powers, more heroes, more campaigns and missions. Additionally, we're working on the tools we need to get the editor ready for release, so we can have players building, uploading, and sharing their own maps.” Boomzap really are focused on ensuring that all changes and additions contribute to a fun experience for players, and are aiming to double (as a low end target) the amount of heroes and units within the game, however, the last part around player created maps is truly great news, as once a dedicated community has the ability to get involved and share creations there will always be something fresh to try out!
I want to thank the developers over at Boomzap for letting me get hold of Last Regiment during it’s closed beta period, and want to point out that the game has only just released into Early Access, so there is plenty of scope for new units, buffs, champions and maps to be added into the game, however, as it stands now I could easily recommend this game to anyone looking for an intriguing turn based strategy game to play.