On the surface, Warband seems like one of those hands-off strategy games. You know, the kind where you set up your troops and then just sit back and watch them do their thing.
To be fair there's a bit more to it than that, but ultimately it's still not all that exciting.Ready… aim…
In a shocking twist, you play the part of a faceless, voiceless protagonist who must save the kingdom from all manner of monsters.
Despite having no real identity or inkling of your past, you're given command over a small squad of soldiers. Because reasons, I guess.
Once you're in charge you'll be surveying the battlefield and shuffling your troops around in order to make the best use of their abilities and the environment. Then you hit Go and just sort of sit back and watch.
There's some strategy in how you place your soldiers. Most areas have obstacles, hazards, and separate paths you can take or defend, which means you'll want to plan a little in advance.March!
You're given a little more to do than simply dragging soldiers around the start area. Once the battle begins you'll also be able to trigger special abilities that can help you, hinder enemies, or otherwise mix things up.
The unfortunate thing is that the battles are such a jumbled mess it can be very difficult to figure out what's going on - and even more importantly, when it's best to put your skills to use.
Outside of combat things aren't much clearer. Squads can upgrade their skills (for a price) once they hit a certain level, but on more than one occasion the game would keep telling me that a squad didn't meet the level requirements for an upgrade despite their stats saying otherwise.
I wouldn't say that Warband is a bad game, so much as a game that hasn't been fully realised. With a little work it could be fun, but at the moment there isn't much of a reason to keep playing.