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Default Battle Brothers - Review @ RPGFan

April 17th, 2017, 17:11
RPGFan reviewed the tactical RPG Battle Brothers:

Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers is the story of a merry band of ugly, illiterate mercenaries who do grunt work for rich people. Set in a decrepit fantasy world where living to thirty with all of one's teeth might be considered an accomplishment, the gritty landscapes are littered with seemingly countless brigands, orcs, undead, and really, really big dogs. Your company's primary concern, though? Gain reputation and money so that you can gain more reputation and money. It's like life, except with less ability to employ basic academic skills and more sudden death.

Battle Brothers offers little in the way of story or dialogue. Banter between your company and your employers occurs only when taking a job, and it's brief at that. What's more, exchanges are regurgitated with shocking frequency, leaving any immersion surface-level, at best. When traveling around, rare scenarios occur in which someone in your band wants a raise, a civilian needs help, or an injury is mended. These occur maybe once per hour and, again, are often regurgitated. Like most roguelikes, the story isn't secondary or even tertiary. The disappointment here lies in that the writing is decent, and with a little more work, the world building could truly enhance the experience.

[…]

Battle Brothers knows what it is and doesn't try to be more than it should be, and that makes it so much better than other titles that strive for an epic or storied feel. What's accomplished here is a solid, honest package of thrills and strategic depth, though not oppressively so. In truth, the world can get monotonous and drags at times, but I also found myself losing track of time on several occasions as I told myself, "Just one more job." I dabbled in Veteran a bit before writing this review and couldn't get back into it — I just couldn't find the heart to jump right back in after I had developed such an incredible group of fighters who I got to know by name. One day I will likely pick the banner back up and I may just fall on the battlefield twenty hours in. And that's okay.

Score: 82%
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April 17th, 2017, 17:11
Reviewer has a serious problem with illiteracy and lack of education… in characters in computer games.
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April 17th, 2017, 17:36
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Reviewer has a serious problem with illiteracy and lack of education… in characters in computer games.
Sounds like one of the wallstreet protestors that basically is using game reviews as his platform against "The Man". Kinda funny to read but overall sad. He did do a decent job of the highlights of the game tho.
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May 11th, 2017, 18:59
What's accomplished here is a solid, honest package of thrills and strategic depth, though not oppressively so.
After watching streams, (played on vet or exp settings) the stategic depth is yet to be found. Very monolithic gameplay.
Players trying to repeat over and over the same pattern.
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May 12th, 2017, 00:25
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Reviewer has a serious problem with illiteracy and lack of education… in characters in computer games.
I thought the review was pretty good, what part annoyed you?
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May 12th, 2017, 20:08
Dismissed initial conditions:
The idea behind providing different initial conditions is to lead to change the approach of the same problem. Different initial conditions, different plans.
After watching streams, players generally do not like this feature. They prefer to come with a predetermined plan they expect to work no matter the initial conditions.

In BB, this tendency is helped as initial conditions barely matter. There is no need to adapt to different environments.

One big monolithic block:
A company is strong of 20 twenty men (12 active and 8 in reserve)
Looking at the pool of potential recruits, you could have thought it would lead to build a variety of companies, working on different principles.
Nothing of the sort. Players get to the same party composition in general, a general template made of pre determined builds.
Usually, players have four ideal builds and they will try to find the recruit matching one of the builds.
It is not about taking recruits as they come and find a way to get them to work as a unit.
It is about fishing for recruits that fit a profile.

The recruitment is made through blind picks, players do not have access to stats until they have recruited the character. Allegedly, the character back story hints at the hidden stats (it is hard to check)
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May 12th, 2017, 22:10
Sometimes or very often a game can be played in a boring way, and change it can generate a play a lot more fun.

Wasteland 2 is a typical example, just build a team of AR and SR is generating boredom OP static combats. At reverse balance well the team with also shotguns, smgs, and chaingun, is generating much more fun and much more dynamic and much more diversifed combats.

Some players can't go over it and not exploit the OP ways even when it's boredom. Myself I refuse stick to such stupid approach, choosing play what's boring to play.

So I consider Wasteland 2 has great combats, it could requires not abuse of very long range and most OP weapons, but in that context combats are great and I dismiss opinion of players unable to change their way to play the game.
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May 13th, 2017, 00:17
I actually agree with you on this one Dasale. Min-maxing can be fun, but it's seldom the most interesting way to play a game.
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May 13th, 2017, 10:04
No. That is playing against the metagame and going against the design of the product.

Products (especially when they happen to be games), when they rely on a min max approach, are assessed by the quality of the min max approaches they provide.
Claiming they should be assessed on a different ground dismisses the supposed value of the product.

Min max based products are good or bad because their approach on min max is good or bad.

BB is very monolithic in this regard as it provides one way to min max, and that way is hindered by picking blinding recruits.
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May 13th, 2017, 12:08
Opinions Chien, not truths.
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May 13th, 2017, 13:28
You can make your brothers in many different ways. You can have many shooters or front line brothers. You can go with heavy tanks or more damage dealers. I have over 300 hours in the game and won the crisis situations on iron man. It does not provide one way to min max and you should play the game before you provide false information.

I have done 4 mercenary groups past day 100 and every party has been different. I have seen some people try to min max their brothers and they forget about morale and the undead geists tear them up. Brothers can go with shields or 2 handed weapons or be duelists and all can be power houses in the mid to late game.
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May 13th, 2017, 22:55
Originally Posted by Hastar View Post
It does not provide one way to min max and you should play the game before you provide false information.
*Gasp* You mean Chien is…wrong??? That's impossible!!!
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May 14th, 2017, 14:02
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
No. That is playing against the metagame and going against the design of the product.

Products (especially when they happen to be games), when they rely on a min max approach, are assessed by the quality of the min max approaches they provide.
Claiming they should be assessed on a different ground dismisses the supposed value of the product.

Min max based products are good or bad because their approach on min max is good or bad.

BB is very monolithic in this regard as it provides one way to min max, and that way is hindered by picking blinding recruits.
Can't you write posts not just in perfect English but that most people can understand?

I think you are making a ton of shortcut in your reasoning, and the problem is you don't see the large paths of alternate interpretation that can be done, and at end, it looks like gibberish (I don't know what means this word and too tired to check, it just looks cool).

If I translate, you consider that only min/max play is valid play. I don't see anything else in your post, nor even any arguing just an affirmation.

There's many problem with that affirmation:
- How you min max without knowing the game already? It makes no sense, you build a character maxed for huge fire attack and then get areas with ton of enemies resilient to fire. Nope, min/max is an absurdity and can't be the only way of playing to consider.
- By using min max you'll kill combats of almost all RPG past first parts. It shows how non interesting is the min/max point of view.

A quote, optimization point of view is a better term, min/max just one of the way to achieve it and usually the more efficient because it exploits game holes.
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May 14th, 2017, 15:25
Certain products are meant to be played through min/max. Min/max is the only relevant way to assess those products.
Good min/max products are products providing good min/max processes.

Only trivial points.
Platformers are about platforming.
VS fighting games are about vs fighting.
Football games are about football.

The trend of looking elsewhere but the core of the product is very specific to so called RPGers (who think that RPGs are anything else but roleplaying)

Elsewhere, people get their priorities right. When discussing the quality of a vs fighting products, people discuss the vs fighting core of the product. They do not look elsewhere.

There is nothing to argue on that. People who think otherwise must provide arguments, not people who stick to trivial points.

Min/max based products can be fun when they are not played along min/max.
They must be fun when they are played min/max.
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May 14th, 2017, 15:27
Originally Posted by tomasp3n View Post
Opinions Chien, not truths.
Statements of truths are opinions. People have a very difficulty time with this opinion.
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May 14th, 2017, 16:02
Originally Posted by Hastar View Post
You can make your brothers in many different ways. You can have many shooters or front line brothers. You can go with heavy tanks or more damage dealers. I have over 300 hours in the game and won the crisis situations on iron man. It does not provide one way to min max and you should play the game before you provide false information.
Been watching a dozen of streamers. They play exp or vet (only a minority) Only one does not play iron man and that is to cover honest mistakes. Streamers often stream at night and with the fatigue, might put points in range skill instead of melee.
Even better, when it happened to a streamer who played an iron game, his chat advised him to reload the auto save.

Iron man means nothing. Vet or exp mean something. These levels force min/max efficiency.

As to the number of builds, four in the average. So heavy tanks, damage dealers make two already. Adding archers makes three.
They are already covered by a previous posts. People claiming there is a need for more must provide something.


I have done 4 mercenary groups past day 100 and every party has been different. I have seen some people try to min max their brothers and they forget about morale and the undead geists tear them up. Brothers can go with shields or 2 handed weapons or be duelists and all can be power houses in the mid to late game.

That is failed min/max. Resolve matters as its inflicts bonuses or penalties. It is part of a min/max process to put the mininum points required to avoid them.
On this side, resolve is always a min, never a max. People try to max other stats (like hitting chances to reach the quasi certainty cap)
There is no party centered around resolve.

Weaponry: usually a matter of one perk placed in weapon specialization (when it matters, since for example, the spear specialization is useless)

Brothers in that case differ by one perk (they have also a different face, beard, hair etc)

The building up of brothers is made against pre determined builds.
This sets an ideal profile for each build.

Perks are applied to correct a deficient profile.

For example, a player wants a tank. The player blindly picks a candidate that happens to suit the bill except the candidate lacks health. The perk colossus is used to boost his health as it adds a percentage of the health.

The developpment of any character is made against pre determined builds. The way the recruitment is done means that only luck provides with proper recruits.
In most cases, players must do with approximate candidates that do the trick when they are corrected.

This is how brothers differ one from another. In the late game, when the build is properly done, their stats are all in the same range.

As to the number of days, streamers often dive over the 200 days mark.
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May 16th, 2017, 20:39
Another big chunk in BB is the troublesome mid and late game.

This happens on several levels.

Some are connected to percentage based UgoIgo. In that system, uncertainty is generated by randomness. To maintain uncertainty, usually, 100 per cent or 0 per cent chances are avoided.
BB did not miss that rule and max chances are capped to 95 pc.

Another point tied to ugoigo, mission objectives. It's been decades it is known providing destruction as the only objective in a UgoIgo products leads to problems.
Destruction leads to camping, with players singing the RNG song for turns and turns.
It happens in BB. It might be like spending 6 turns to activate the two conventional archers in the company until they hit. In a 12 vs 12, it makes a lot of turns to pass simply to activate two characters per turn.

Admittedly, BB somewhat forces players to move out by displaying at times (depends on the company) a camping AI that is favoured by very strong archery range skills.

In this regard, BB tried to adress the length in combat by putting a cap through an endurance.
It works properly at early stages as fights are generally dealt with in four turns.
In the mid late games, it backfires quite harshly. Combat lasts more than four turns and characters are out of breath so they are limited to one strike by turn.
It is painful in the mid game as characters have not yet reached the 95 pc hit chances.
It means spending entire turns to click once hoping that a 60 to 75 chance does not miss.

Another big consequence to the percentage based UgoIgo core: the survivability of the party increases along the process.
BB is a low casualty product and most of them happen in the beginning when players must struggle with 50 to 75 pc chances. Deaths often happen as the consequence of unfavourable rolls.

When the 95 pc chance is hit, of course, this issue has disappeared.
To counteract the effect, devs introduced features. Like the permanent destruction of the environment. The party can not be defeated but the supporting environment can. Towns that sell products to keep the party going can be destroyed. Once they are, the party is worn down through attrition.
Players did not like it and the feature can be ticked off.

Another feature to try to bring the company to the end was the increase in number of enemies. This can lead to huge battles involving 30,40,50 enemies. All this plays turn by turn.
In the mid and late game, one fight can take 20,30, 40 minutes to be resolved.
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