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                                                        Last Days of Old Earth Review   Hang on, wait a second. Why am I r...

Last days of Old Earth Review Last days of Old Earth Review

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Last Days of Old Earth

                                                        Last Days of Old Earth Review

  Hang on, wait a second. Why am I reviewing this game? I am a grognard whose pedigree goes back to the early days of board wargaming. I don't even read Sci-Fi; well, very little. The map isn't of Europe or anything I have seen before, and what about all of the strange units? What's up with them? Just as companies have to branch out like Slitherine has done into IOS, Android, and non-historical games to keep pace with, and sometimes create new markets. We wargamers should do the same. I know I used to look down my nose at a map that had "shudder" areas instead of hexes. I now play Ageod games all the time and love them. So please, people, step out of your comfort zone with games every once in a while and check out those beer and pretzel games, fantasy, and Sci-Fi games. So does Slitherine and Auroch Digital hit one out of the park to the ultaran nebula, or is this game the last spark of a super nova turned cold?

  Last Days of Old Earth was reviewed earlier here when it was still in early access. The game has changed since then, and also just received a very large update.

 In this turn based strategy game, you can play as the Skywatchers Clan or the Automata.

 The Skywatchers Clan are the last remnant of humans who live on Earth; not ours, but one that has been turned into a freeze pop. Playing as them, you are marching toward the equator, which is still warm enough to sustain some life.

 The Automata are a robotic race of sentinels that are in the way of the Skywatchers Clan on their trek to the equator.

 The only thing that confused me is that the Skywatchers clan is set on doing its Northwalk. Living in the northern hemisphere, it had me turning my head several times. This again is proof that people should think, look, and walk at times out of their comfort zone.

 In some ways, the game resembles a turn based RTS game. You build facilities and upgrade them. You explore the map looking for both resources and enemies. The map is a blank slate except for the few tiles that you can see at first. As far as similarities to RTS games, that is about it. At its heart it is a strategy game as much as any wargame is.

 The main difference is that it is turn based. So you have no need for frenetic map searching or finger clicking. It reminds me of the newer board games with its die rolls and cards to pull.

 The terrain is varied, and gives bonuses to the defender like a typical wargame. The units have all strengths and weaknesses that have to be used to used to attack or to defend against your enemy.

  You can build outposts which are military installations, and also build collectors on resource tiles.

 One place the game really shines is in terrain height. In this game it actually matters. You not only get the expected defense bonus, but your units can actually SEE farther on the map. This helps immensely with recon, attack, and defense planning.

 The other very well done part of the games is in its hero units. They have special abilities, and also have a set amount of units that they can command in armies.

You can garrison your HQ or your outpost or deploy your armies out of them. If you lose your HQ to the enemy, the game is lost. All of your installations have limits on the amount of units allowed to be present in the garrison. Units in installations can also be healed and repaired. There are a few units that can do this for your armies in the field.

 The game turn starts with a die roll to determine who wins the initiative. You can use your resources to buy more chances to win the die roll. Gaining the initiative not only lets you move first, you also gain more action points to use during that turn.

 Battles occur when units of both sides are in the same hex. You can choose to autoresolve it or move it to the field of battle. The field of battle is pretty typical in its look and usage. The front line is for units defending and attacking directly with the second line used for support units.

 The AI is very competent on both the field of battle, and the maps.

 The graphics at first seemed to me a bit cartoon-like (see above), but the maps and units grew on me. They are actually well done for the game's story line.

 Resources are the key to the game.You have to get moving on the first turn. For both recon and to search, find, and capture the different resource hexes on each map. Not only finding, but also defending your resources is really the crux of game play. If the enemy can take away your resources you will lose. Possibly a slow loss, but a loss nonetheless.

 The game comes with the ability to choose your units before you start with the ability to build your own 'decks' of them before battle.

 The game also has an adjustable 'sudden death' meter in the skirmish games. This is a good addition so the player doesn't have to destroy all of his enemies or capture the entire map to win that scenario. 


  To add to the player's choices, the game has some interesting features. A unit can go into stealth mode in a forest tile and become hidden. You can try to assassinate your enemy's heroes. Sabotage is also something you can do against your enemy and cut down on his supply. The game also has 'encounters' where the player's forces will move next to a tile that has a force that is not one of the two antagonists. The player has to choose on how his forces will react to this. It is possible to gain allies during one of these encounters.

 To sum it up, this game is an interesting title that really does have some depth if you take the time to play it. A lot of wargamers or grogs would look askance at it due to the story and graphics. This one will remain on my harddrive and I will definitely play it. In the beginning I was skeptical, but it has proved its worth.


 Game: Last Days of Old Earth
 Developer: Auroch Digital
 Publisher: Slitherine
 Date of Review: 8/6/2016

Decisions, decisions, decisions!   That is what is in the store while playing Slitherine’s (and Auroch Digital’s) Early Access,...

Last Days of Old Earth review                                Last Days of Old Earth review

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Last Days of Old Earth

Decisions, decisions, decisions! 

That is what is in the store while playing Slitherine’s (and Auroch Digital’s) Early Access, turn-based “Last Days of Old Earth”. 

Action Points (AP) are the soul of the procedurally generated main map.
AP are used to recruit units, move units, create armies, and to draw new hero and fighter cards for your expanding deck. Need additional resources (Materials, Population, Energy)?
Leftover AP. Resources are also needed for unit purchase and for trying to improve your chances, at the turn beginnings, for Initiative dice rolls. If you win the Initiative next turn,  you not only move first, but you also earn more AP to spend.

It is tempting to jump in and spend all of your AP every turn. However, any unspent AP will collect each turn and eventually be spendable on more resources. More resources equal higher value cards and, again, a chance for winning Initiative.
Brain melting yet? So, do you spend more AP building up and moving armies or hold on to them to accumulate for following turns? It’s quite the (tremendously fun) conundrum.

As you move through the map, there are various “Encounters” that you come across, with more decisions to be made (I won’t spoil any of them). There are also additional resources on the map itself to build collectors upon (then yet another quandary of, “Leave the collector unguarded or leave precious troops there to protect it?” Yes, you want to protect them, but at the cost of weakening an army?) and reap their benefits every turn.

Supply is also a large factor. Your armies are penalized for moving out of supply range. The solution is to spend the much-needed resources to build outposts, to extend your supply radius.

Everything above is before ever engaging an enemy in turn-based battles! There are easy as many strategies as game hexes within each battle itself. Setup before the battle allows you to decide which units should be frontline, and which ones are to be used as a support, artillery, auxiliary, etc. Turns alternate with you choosing the order of attack you prefer. Tactics rule as you try to outwit your opponent on the battlefield, enabling you to take down an enemy with superior numbers.

It may verbally seem like a lot, but the game is extremely easy to get into. The AI is good as it kicked me around quite a bit while also punishing me for any less-than-optimal decisions I may have made along the way. The gameplay was really smooth and I did not have any crashes or technical difficulties at all.

Finally, all of this is available right now, in an EA game! They are going to add deck building, although the current decks are quite satisfying, which will give you and even more tailored-to-your-strategy experience. Stealth will also be added which will include sabotage and assassination They are also going to implement Air mechanics including air strikes, AA, and air recon. Single player is currently skirmishes only (with variable amounts of opponents), but they are adding a Campaign. (Multiplayer is in, but I did not test that at all).

My only decisions left to be made now are:

1) which side do I choose and 
2) how many enemies do I want to teach me lessons about my decision-making process?
I am definitely going back in to beat upon some more.