Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is an interesting blending of a strategy board game and turn based combat. The main goal of the game is to take over an entire continent via military conquest. On top of all of this is a grand epic of anime proportions.
Before you start out on your adventure of conquest, you select a protagonist from one of the six countries of Runersia: the Norzaleo Kingdom, the Republic of Guimoule, the Shinobi Tribe, the Holy Gustava Empire, the Mana Saleesia Theocracy, and the United Islands of Mirelva. Each country has an interesting cast of characters, each with their own unique stories and motivations. Each character also has lines of voice acting in Japanese as well.
Not only are the cast of characters different, each country has unique starting stats for the game. Some are quite large and have more bases and starting mana at the cost of having more territories to defend from enemy attacks.
Once the game begins, there are two distinct phases. The first one is the organization phase where you can move troops around to different bases that you own, change equipment, and summon more monsters to assign to a troop. Monsters have a summon cost and a smaller upkeep cost in mana, and mana is earned from owning bases so it highly incentivizes you to start taking over surrounding lands.
You can assign troops to go on quests as well, which are completed automatically and bring you rewards such as items, equipment, experience points for your units, and possibly recruit new heroes to your cause.
The second phase is the attack phase where you choose to move troops into enemy territory. Once this phase starts, you go into battle with the defending troops and the game is now a turn based strategy game. You can take up to three troops with you per battle.
The combat phase has a lot of depth and nuance. There are many stats to keep track of that can provide many small advantages and they all add up to an easier path to victory, as the combat can be quite difficult. For example, the monsters in your troop will have their accuracy and evasion stats buffed or debuffed based on their preferred territory. If a monster with a preferred territory of water is on a mountain, it will has reduced stats and be more likely to miss attacks and be hit with critical attacks in turn.
If you are victorious, you will have taken over the enemy base and can now invade further into their land. This of course comes at the expense of having more possible vectors in which your other rivals can attack you.
Overall, Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is a challenging and rewarding turn based strategy game. The narrative is well thought out and it is interesting to see the different perspectives of each country and their own understanding (or misunderstanding) of what is happening in rival countries. It is quite similar to an anime so that may be a pro or a con depending on your personal preferences. The combat is quite challenging and has a lot of depth and nuance to the ebb and flow of battle. The art style is looks great and the production value to the game feels solid, other than a few minor typos in the text.