The game features two campaigns with six factions fighting over a randomized hex continent. Each province has food, workers, and income that are used to recruit troops and build airships that capture additional territory. A garrison protects surrounding territories, and additional dirigibles can be purchased to expand your empire. Conscript units are recruited and equipped right before battle, although experienced veteran units can be deployed with advanced weaponry. The turn-based tactical battles take place on twenty battlefields; objectives includes clearing the area of all enemies or fighting over a flag. Each unit has a number of action points that can be used to move, shoot, or passively fire during the enemy turn. Basic morale and health values are kept, and you can pick up inventory items from fallen troops. The AI uses a randomly-chosen combat tactic decently well. The tactical battles could use a minimap, smaller maps, and faster unit movement resolution. While Airship Dragoon has some interesting ideas, the “indie” nature of the strategy title is evident with tedious unit management during tactical battles.