Have you ever wanted to lead your own mercenary group of ruffians and rapscallions towards glory in a low fantasy setting? Battle Brothers allows you to do just that!
The game was developed by Overhype Studios, a very small team based in Hamburg. It was worked on for around five years up until the final version 1.1 and the conclusion of the development cycle of the game by the team.
At the beginning of Battle Brothers you create your own mercenary group by giving it a name and a banner. You’ve been tasked to kill a certain individual, but he ambushes your company, kills almost all of your brothers-in-arms, including your captain, and flees the battlefield. As the highest remaining member, you gain command of the remnants of your company and have to decide what to do next.
These decisions are made in a multiple of ways. One is to choose an ambition (or lack of). This will set you with a company goal, that you will try to fulfill in order to gain some bonus (like naming a member of your company sergeant). The other possible decisions come in the form of random events triggered by the world or the background of your brothers-in-arms or from choices concerning the contracts.
Most of your time in Battle Brothers will pass either travelling in the world map, while preparing for your next battle or trying to find the most lucrative contract with the less danger involved. The other half is combat.
During combat you can choose up to 12 brothers in a custom two-line starting formation. From then on it’s all initiative, taking turns and performing attacks or actions. In this game it is very important how well prepared you enter the battle, both in terms of morale and of gear. Better gear will protect your fighters (since an attack is reduced by armour, until the armour is battered into nothing) and morale will lower the possibility of retreat.
And after the battle and the inevitable losses, you will go to retrieve your hard-earned money (assuming you completed the mission), restock on supplies for the road, recruit men of various backgrounds and levels to take the place of the dead and life will go on, every step harder than the last, especially as your reputation will grow and the jobs will become harder and harder (and more lucrative!) the longer you go.
While the game itself is very good, filling up a niche that was empty up until now, and the writing is top-notch, unfortunately it can feel a bit repetitive, especially in the quest department, where you will find yourself “grinding” similar types of quests. Furthermore, while I completely understand the stance of the company, wanting to finally start working on other projects, I can’t stop thinking what bonuses could a potential mod-support offer this game in terms of content. However, it still is a very good game with a lot of hours of content in it.
Have you played this game? Which was your favourite type of recruit?