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GD Star RatingStar Hammer Tactics,
This is a game of humanity versus alien in a gridlocked space battle! It’s a tactical turn-based strategy game that was originally implemented on the Playstation network. It pits the human alliance against the nautilus hive, your technologically advanced star ships against their living armada. There are two main modes of game. One being a duel type mode and the other being a campaign specifically designed for the iPad.
You control a number of ships on a grid. During each turn you’ll have the option of doing one of three things for each ship in your control. 1) Moving them, up to the limit of a predetermined range for each ship. 2) Firing a missile for those ships that have one. 3) Repair if the ship has that function. Note, that if you move a ship such that it finishes next to an enemy ship, you will all engage in direct combat. In addition you can toggle how the energy of a particular ship flows to either weapons or shielding. This is useful to help shield your ship from incoming missiles or to drive in through a wedge attack.
As might be expected in this type of game there are a variety of different type of ships ranging in size. The smaller ships are more mobile but weaker in offensive and defensive capabilities (the smallest don’t even have any missiles or repair functions). Larger ships, naturally, have a smaller range of movement but have much more impressive fire power. This is part of the tactics of the game. Smaller ships can haze and harry the main combatant ships or even swoop in to take the blast from a missile while you hammer the opponent’s main ships with your big guns and firepower.
Through the combination of these actions, your job – should you choose to accept it – is to defeat the flotilla of enemy ships. For the most part, the opposing ships have equivalents to yours and you can expect the numbers of the ships in a given scenario to be roughly matching yours in both strength and numbers. The only difference between them is that the nautilids have living ships, which means they heal a point every turn.
The most important distinction for Star Hammer Tactics is its minimalist interface. The graphics, background, layout, and sound are not the best in the world. They are utilitarian. This doesn’t make for an immersive experience and may find people wanting to disengage from it sooner than later. The game itself is a bit bland and perhaps a bit repetitive. Fundamentally it’s a miniatures game, but the scenarios aren’t made that much better by having only four different types of ships. Though the scenarios are different it usually comes down to employing fairly similar tactics from battle to battle. On the up side the minimalist user interface means its much easier to pick up as a player. There is a tutorial option at the very beginning that will take you through the stops of the game.
Additionally, because each player has a 45 second time limit to make their decisions the opponent AI will exploit it to its maximum utility. This creates a stalling time for each ship of anywhere up to ten seconds. This downtime might not seem much but when you’re talking up to half a minute per turn it gets very monotonous very quickly.
6/10: A solid and dependable miniatures game. Whether you like it will ultimately boil down to how much you enjoy these types of games. Then again, it is free.