Monday, June 29, 2015

Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy Gameplay Review

I'm playing Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, a turn-based tactical space strategy game by Black Lab Games and Slitherine.

A mostly linear, repetitive campaign unlocks missions based on an aggressive or defensive method of beating scenarios; crew skill ratings also improve over time. Custom or randomized skirmish games are also available, but online play is not. The interface provides decent access to the entire armada, from small corvettes to huge dreadnoughts. Movement orders are simple to issue, and vessels can also be moved vertically incrementally. Ships with automatically target the closest enemy within a targeting arc, or specific antagonists can be targeted for slightly more accurate aiming. Energy can be distributed between the engines, shields, and weapons, while shield energy balancing can be adjusted for each side of the ship, a feature I really like. Still, the game could use one or two more things to do to spice up the battles. Capable AI rounds out the package. Despite some assorted shortcomings, Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy is one of the better tactical games available.