Punk Wars is a turn based strategy game that feels like a board game. It features four warring factions; the steampunk, the dieselpunk, the steelpunk, and the atompunk. That is a lot of punks.
You start out with a small base on a map full of hexagonal tiles. Every turn, you can move any available unit and use any available building. For units, every unit has action points and each action uses a certain amount of points. Some units, such as the sniper, can only attack or move once per turn. They can’t do both since attacking takes up six action points and units have six action points total, whereas the man-at-arms can move a short distance and attack in the same turn. Some units also have special abilities, like the man-at-arms’ Steam Charge ability which boosts movement speed and attack for that turn by using one ability point. You can use Steam Charge, attack a unit with boosted damage, and then fortify and wait to counterattack in one turn if the man-art-arms does not move.
The buildings usually fall under two main categories, one produces resources every turn and the other produces units you can fight with. Structures such as the Air Well produces resources such as water, and other structures produce food, steam energy, and science points per turn. You can then spend those resources to create troops or builders. Builders can be used to build new structures or upgrade them as their name suggests. Builders are consumed once used so you have to create more if you would like to create or upgrade more buildings.
I’m new to the game but the general game play loop seemed to focus heavily on combat. Even in the easy difficulty, there were a lot of enemy troops roaming about looking for fights. I had to focus on balancing creating a big enough military to fend off attacks while expanding my base to produce enough resources to create troops quickly enough.
Exploring is necessary if you want to expand your base quickly, There are abandoned cities that you can take over. Other factions will be vying for these bases as well so you need to bring a big enough expeditionary force to take over and defend your new found territory.
As you play the game, random event will occur. Most of them will have multiple choices you can pick as a response. Each response will give different rewards or punishments. It does add something to the game play but I wish the responses would be slightly more transparent about what your reward/punishment would be. It’s not a very fun feeling to have a random event forced upon you and being punished for not knowing which response to pick.
Overall, Punk Wars is a pretty solid turn based strategy game. It feels like playing a fast paced board game once you get used to the game. The action is quick and things are always happening.