March of War - A Turn-based Diesel Punk MMO!
March of War is an online turn based strategy game set in a diesel-punk world and is developed by ISOTX. There are 6 different factions, each with their own strengths and weakness, clearly displayed when you choose your faction. The factions include various stereotypes as Eagleland, Germany, Soviet Russia, South American Guerrillas, African Anarchists, and Sengoku Era Japan. Though there is an obvious silliness to it.
My first faction was the African Anarchists, known in game as African Warlords, but you can have multiple “character” each in a different faction, though only the first two character slots are free. More can be bought for 10USD a slot.
You can use gems, which are the cash equivalent in game, to buy boosts to your in game gold, tech, and experience. You can either unlock new units through the research tree with tech points gained from battle, or you can buy them with gems. You can buy more unit cards (more on the battle system later) with in game gold, or with gems. Of course, having more units, and a higher tech level will give you a big edge in combat, though I do have to say that the combat does feel tactical, so I imagine that some good strategy and tactics could over come a player with a slightly higher tech level. However despite being able to purchase in-game currency to advance quicker through the tech tree or unlock more powerful units, you still need to gather the resources in order deploy them on the battlefield meaning you still can’t buy victory in March of War.
Onto the battle system. The point of each battle is to capture various control points throughout the map. Each point gives both resources for deploying new units, and space to deploy new units. You call in new units using unit cards, each costing either manpower points, vehicle points, or both. You can also use one time use special abilities with command points(buying them from the shop with gold or gems) to turn the tide of battle possibly.
Other than your standard infantry unit, all unit cards have a set number of uses during battle. If you run out, you cannot deploy that particular unit anymore during that battle. This can put you in a real bind in some situations so it’s vital that you play your cards right to avoid defeat.
You can play these battles either against other players, or against the AI. Battles against the AI net you less tech and gold than PvP battles, and adds less battle points to your side during a territory contest (known in game as a “Battle for X”.) The battles in each territory are turn based of course, with your side taking one turn, and the enemy taking another. If you are interested, the AI can be challenging, especially early into a battle.
As for territory contests, or “Battle for X”‘s (Replace X with the name of the territory of course) they are voted on by a panel of players who are voted in by the community. This “high command” votes on which territory they think should be attacked. That territory becomes contested, and players fight a series of battles over it, either PvP or AI, earning battle points for their side. Territory contests are difficult to explain, but basically, each faction has a health bar. When that health bar reaches zero, that faction loses the battle. Battle points are the damage. I guess in a bid to keep things even, factions with less accounts signed to them, no matter how many are online, do more damage per victory.
Because of all of this, strategy is important at many levels. From high command to new players participating in each battle. I’ve already seen the pitfalls of poor planning. Right now, the European Alliance, which has a lot of accounts, is battling on every front, against every faction except one. Since they don’t do as much damage per player, and aren’t focused on one front, they are losing most battles.
The Soviet Union was beaten almost completely, and is now struggling to defend their last territory, Australia, against the Shogun empire.
One thing I should mention is their plan to release new content every month, in what they call “episodes”. It is currently still in development with the “Pilot episodes” currently available. The official launch for March of War is August 1st 2013.
Below is an interview between our own Stephen Jackson and the developers of March of War to help provide more on an insight into what exactly March of War is and the future of the game.
SJ: Compared to other Online strategy games, what makes March of War stand out from the crowd?
SJ: What are the game-modes which players can experience at the present? And do you plan on adding more in the future?
ISOTX: Right now we have 4-game modes which each require a unique strategic skill to complete, challenging players each time they play. We are planning to add a lot more, as it’s what drives gameplay variety, and rather than do what most free-2-play games do to get players to keep playing by harassing them with slow-paced upgrading, we hope to provide it with gameplay variety
A Huge Thank You to the guys at ISOTX for providing us with that Q&A!
If you want to find out more information about March of War and the guys behind it, head to their website here.
You can play March of War right now by downloading it on Steam!
Steam Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/234310/
Written by Christopher Howell