Review: Post Human W.A.R.16 Jan 2018 0
Review: Post Human W.A.R.
Released 14 Dec 2017
Post Human W.A.R. is a quirky post apocalyptic turn based strategy that throws us into a world where humans have become extinct. With the death of humanity, R-patch Robots occupy a broken world, Anthropist Apes and our other hominid counter parts have become sentient and begun to move into human heritage, and then there’s the Wraak forces consisting of mutant chickens, rams, polar bears etc. that also evolved, but want to destroy everything humanity created. The three factions fight for conquest and ownership of Earth across multiplayer territories and campaign narratives.
The gameplay PHWAR boasts is an interesting take on tile based combat. Similar to RTS games, you are given a map with different map tactics and contest areas. Some maps have different terrain types like corrosive tiles, mud tiles, air only tiles, which dictate map strategy. Other maps have tight design chokeholds that can reward the player that takes control. These features are important when entering a map as they can dictate an army composition and varying strategies based on these circumstances.
Contest areas are usually dictated by the benefits of the map resources that or a key strategic position. Resources in the game come in two forms, one is small packages whilst the other are bigger packages that look like crates on the map. These resources are collected by the player and go into a tally that you can use to place structures, buff damage, heal, provide defensive stats etc. Normally these objectives are crucial to claim otherwise heavy advantages go towards your opponent and can turn the tide of battle.
As you can see in the top right i lost the resource race and was pushed back onto my end of the map due to the favourable advantage they had
Each faction has their own units that have different capabilities that offer different takes on ranged, melee, flight and quick units. Every army as its own strengths and weaknesses for each unit compared to the other factions unit in that category. Some units also have buffs, like the small quick units have the ability to dodge ranged attack, the heavy melee units can attack twice in one turn etc. These units and their buffs offer great opportunities for each maps strategic placements, and are great for those that want to theorycraft optimal army compositions for each faction.
Totems are also an interesting feature of the game. Totems are stationary big health structures that each team has. When a structure is destroyed, the enemy team takes damage to all remaining minions a the start of their turn to kick in a game fatigue system. It is up to the player to choose whether they want to prioritise this game win condition, or to kill the enemy champion for instant victory.
The champion feature is the most iconic feature of the game. At the start of a game, you select one of your units to become the champion of your team. The other player also selects a unit to become the champion and the game is about trying to eliminate the opposing champion, except you don't know who the enemy champion is! The game calls itself an a psychological strategy for this reason. Put out your best ruse cards, be as obvious or as inconspicuous as possible to truly get the feel for unit strategy of placement that this game can allow. Alternatively, you can chose to reveal your commander at any moment for the payoff for increased attack defense and health stats, in exchange for the enemy making B-line straight for your newly revealed big baddie.
There are other smaller and niche features to the game. The game allows for a recycle mechanic that refunds 70% of a units current health points, in exchange for resources to spend on the rest of your units. This feature doesn't seem as useful to me but it's nice to have and can create a pretty unpredictable turn if used well.
Despite all these possibilities, I only tend to see the Wraak animal race get played on multiplayer. The general strategy is to select a few of those mutated chickens, as they are the fastest unit in the game, to quickly gather all long distance map resources before your opponent does. Then you use the quick flyers to get across the chasms for the other map resources. The rest you select for your playstyle. I've not had many sample sizes to go off from since the multiplayer does seem to take a while to find a game, but these seem to be big balance issues from what i've witnessed so far.
On the other hand, the campaigns are pretty great mission by mission playthroughs. Each race has a campaign with around 6 missions each, which explores the lore behind each race and their reason for conquest. From some of the missions i have played so far, these missions create quick immersion into that world, whilst offering some challenge to map strategy and mission objectives. For example, one map offered a large wall in the middle with the occasional ranged cover tile for ranged to shoot over. This made a mission feel like turtling or a cover fire manoeuvre was effective methods in reaching victory.
The game surprised me by incorporating a local lan 2 player mode with some okay AI to play against. The AI in my eyes didn't seem too skilled to play against as I was trashed by people in multiplayer but made quick work out of the 2 different skill levels of AI. Although, the higher difficulty AI did bring out some interesting unit choices and approaches to the map that made it enjoyable nethertheless. If local lan is your thing, this game essentially plays like a 2 player board game on a PC. Here’s your money, drop your pieces onto the board, off you go into battle. If that’s your thing then i think this a wonderful feature to have for a social night with your armchair general friends.
For those that find themselves easily invested into games like this, there is great and respectful incentives to log on every day. As most games go these days, they provide daily quests to complete to earn in game gold to purchase on cosmetic items for units.In a world where loot boxes are the norm of cosmetics, I have to say, thank you so much!
On a final note, the developers are truly wonderful and are very committed to listening to what their players want and think is wrong about the game. In the forums the developers regularly join discussion on game balance and listen to what you have to say. One player spoke about a certain mission in a campaign and how ranged units cause a lot of difficulty in one particular campaign mission. Developers read into the complaints and balanced a campaign map to allow for more cover in the no mans land to nerf the firepower of ranged move and attack capabilities.
Overall Post Human W.A.R. is a interesting game with great map design and unit composition. The 15 playable maps provides enough variation and design layouts to allow for interesting skirmishes every time. Top it off with a three interesting but short campaigns and you can have lots of fun playing with different armies and strategies. I recommend this if your very interested in short playthroughs, a cheap strategy to play casually against AI, in the campaign, or against local friends. However, i’d advise against getting this game if you’re interested in multiplayer competitive play, due to the lack of an online player base resulting in long queue times for both casual and ranked play.