The Troop is a turn-based tactical game set in WW2 with a hex grid. Developed by Giant Flame and Published by PLA Studious, The Troop is available on Steam for £30.99. A demo is also available for players to get a taste of it first.
Strategize & Command Platoons
The game features 36 story missions following the narrative from D-Day and four campaigns of linked historically-inspired scenarios. Commanding either British, German, or Canadian units, players will get a taste of history through the gameplay. Born from a love of turn-based games and WW2, The Troop incorporates elements of classic tabletop gaming.
As previously mentioned, The Troop features a few different modes. Story Mode has 36 missions and a linked story. There are four campaign modes. The campaigns are a series of scenarios and historical fights without a linked story. In campaign mode, your troops gain XP over time. Finally, there is a Skirmish mode, almost like a free-play mode. You can choose your forces, what side you’re fighting for, and enemy restrictions.
Movement Points (MP) determine how far your units can move. If you use up all of a unit’s MP, their turn ends, called a Final Action. Troops have a varying limit on their total MP. Infantry units have 4 MP. Moving over short hedges costs 3 MP while moving over tall ones costs 4. Moving into a building costs 2 MP. Firing is also a Final Action (which instantly ends the unit’s turn). However, the more an Infantry unit moves, the less accurate their firing rate will be.
Tanks have more MP than Infantry units (6 MP). Tanks can reverse and rotate, then advance. These sets of moves cost more than advancing. Additionally, Tanks move further across roads than grass. Players must choose their moves wisely to use their MP efficiently before their turn ends.
Accuracy & Steadiness
Aiming and firing uses Gunnery Points (GP). Tanks need to aim their turret before they can fire. Every turn spent aiming at a static target without moving your unit increases your hit chance. For targets further away, your unit may need to stay aiming for two turns. When your accuracy is 100%, you can hit a specific target on your next turn. Distance and cover also affect your and the enemy’s hit chances.
Woodland and orchards block fire beyond a certain depth, displayed by a purple hex. Grenades are not affected by movement and ignore cover but can only be thrown into buildings if your unit is adjacent. The yellow slider indicates your Steadiness. Steadiness dictates the accuracy of shooting attacks. Reduce Steadiness by moving or suppression from enemy fire. If a unit’s Steadiness falls to zero, it’s counted as a Final Action, ending its turn.
Graphics & Audio
The graphics for The Troop are pretty sound. The general textures and animations in the game are decent. The game has a suitably green and muddy overall aesthetic. The UI didn’t feel cluttered, which can be an issue in these games. A nice touch is that you can fast-forward animations, so you don’t have to watch the same ones and slow down your experience. Another thing I enjoyed was the mini cinematic that plays when a tank fires.
The same goes for the audio: decent overall, and the voice acting sounds appropriate without sounding too cheesy. The music is very similar in style to most typical World War media. A silly and fun detail I thought was hilarious was the deep metallic ‘ding!’ noise when something hits a tank.
While, like most turn-based strategy games, the varying difficulties of each mission may already provide many hours for the player, The Troop‘s hours will heavily lie in Skirmish mode. As earlier stated, Skirmish is almost like a free-play mode. The ability to set specific enemy restrictions, who you’re fighting for and against, and choosing your forces leaves potential for many hours and many possibilities.
My time while playing The Troop was quite challenging. I enjoyed playing through the Story mode until mission ten. This is when I started to feel fatigued, and the gameplay loop wasn’t pulling me in. It did confuse me why the Story mode is different to the Campaign since I couldn’t play the Campaign, to begin with. The game does a good amount of content with the Skirmish maps and thirty-six missions, so I am curious to see what the Campaign is.
The game wasn’t for me, but others who enjoy these types of games might enjoy it. This is why I’m giving The Troop the Thumb Culture’s Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.