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 Post subject: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:42 am 
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This is not a card game, but it's strategy at its finest, so I'm sure most of the card game lovers out there will like this as well. "Into the Breach" comes from the same developers that made FTL, and it's a turn-based, tile-based, slightly roguelike strategy game where you control 3 mechs which fight against insectoid aliens, called Vek, in a post-apocalyptic Earth scenario. Graphic style is pixel art, but it fits really well, and this comes from someone who usually hates pixel art so you can trust me. :D

The objective of each run is to not let the grid power reach 0: you get -1 grid power each time a building in a mission gets damaged, but you can also gain grid power in some ways. If you reach 0, you lose, but you can keep one of your current mech pilots - which hopefully has leveled up in the meantime and gained some perks - for the next run: that's the roguelike part. You do the same when you complete a run as well.

The world is composed of 4 islands with different environments, each with 5 missions which are generated randomly both on objectives and tiles. You can go to the final island which contains the final mission as soon as you completed 2 islands, or 3, or all 4, and the difficulty scales accordingly.
At the end of each island you get to spend the reputation gained by completing objectives: you can buy different weapons for your mechs, reactor cores (which empower the weapons), or grid power.

The main idea of the mission gameplay is that you see which tile(s) the Vek intend to attack before they do it, and by using your mechs you can kill them or move them before they act, so that they miss their initial target or even attack another Vek (you can always look at the order in which the actions are carried and decide based on that). In fact, you could theoretically win a mission without killing any Vek, you just need to survive 5 turns.
During each turn after the 1st, more Vek surface from the ground, but you can keep them from doing that by parking your mechs - or another Vek - on the spawning point (the blocking unit will suffer 1 damage).

There's a wide variety of Vek, a wide variety of pilots (some with special perks), and a wide variety of mech squads which you can unlock by spending coins gained from achievements. Each mech squad has its own 3 achievements so there's a lot of replayability.

Does anybody here play it? What's your opinion?


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 Post subject: Re: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:23 am 
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People here will love this game

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 Post subject: Re: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:01 am 
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I've played 20 hours, got 80% of the achievements including winning once with each faction, though I've been playing on easy. It's a good game in terms of quality - the UI has been written about, it's impressively able to show you all the things you need to know each turn. There aren't any hidden mechanics, and you can often test any ambiguity without needing to commit to an action. There's enough content, the achievements are achievable without being trivial, the easy difficulty really is easy, you have choices about which maps and islands you fight on, and the starting mech squads show off most of the cool interactions.

But it's not one of my favourite games. It lacks some strategic depth. On one turn of one fight you do have a lot of choices and this is where most of the excitement is: which mech should engage which enemy, is it possible to kill two birds with one stone (e.g. by pushing one enemy into the attack path of another), making two mechs combine their abilities to take down a powerful enemy, making trade offs between taking mech damage or building damage or completing quests or killing enemies to make the later turns easier and gain xp for your pilots.

But what about between turns? You don't know where the enemies are going to move to next. You can make minor predictions based on the distance each enemy can travel and if they can't fly you can try to block their path, but these predictions aren't accurate enough to be useful, because an enemy being one square further than you wanted or attacking in a different direction can make a huge difference. Obviously, killing enemies means you don't have to keep trying to neutralize their attacks later, but I see that more as a trade off in what you can do in a single turn (see above) rather than part of a strategy that persists across turns. Same goes for avoiding damage to your own mechs or repairing them. The only thing you can really do to plan ahead is try to keep your mechs in central positions so they'll be able to go anywhere on the board if needed next turn.

What about between fights? You can gain reactor cores which let you upgrade your mechs' stats and weapons (the possible upgrades for any given weapon are always the same), so there is a question of which upgrade out of all the possible options is most needed right now. And there are shops which sell weapons randomly chosen from all those in the game. You can't really do like in a lot of other roguelikes and take a chance on a specific weapon appearing in a shop, but also, you wouldn't really want to. Usually when you take a second weapon for a mech, you're looking for something that's completely different to what it's already got to offset a weakness, rather than going for a linear build that complements its strengths. Basically, this game doesn't have the moment where you go from just drafting the most powerful cards you see to drafting around a strategy.

And it's nice that when you begin a game, if you've unlocked at least one new mech squad, you have the option to make a custom squad by mixing and matching mechs from different squads instead of only using the prebuilt ones. This should be exciting, but it's not. There aren't really great synergies waiting to be found - it'd be hard enough to make a deliberately bad squad, unless you made one that had no way to move an enemy or no way to damage one. I could tell you what almost any Magic card does, but I couldn't tell you what most of these mechs do.


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 Post subject: Re: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:41 am 
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Flopfoot wrote:
I've played 20 hours, got 80% of the achievements including winning once with each faction, though I've been playing on easy.

I played on normal all the time, got all the squad-specific achievements except the one that asks to complete the first 2 islands in less than 30 minutes with the Blitzkrieg squad (come on, I like turn-based games for a reason, you can't force me to rush!), I wonder if I could do it on easy. Did you complete that one?
I saw a YouTuber play on hard, and the worst thing is the final mission, where you get all alpha Vek, so you can't get one-shot kills and you need to be able to always move them. I'll try to play hard once in order to unlock the achievement for completing 1 hard run, but I have to choose a squad that excels at moving Vek.

Flopfoot wrote:
Basically, this game doesn't have the moment where you go from just drafting the most powerful cards you see to drafting around a strategy.

Well, maybe I pushed the "card game lovers will like this" thought too much, but I didn't mean to say that it's just like a card game, of course it's not. Based on my experience, since I liked this game because of the strategy element, there will probably be other people here who will get hooked by it, that's all I meant.

You can actually find some synergies, not between mechs, but rather between pilots and weapons.
Silica, for example, is the pilot I have always brought back after each run because his special perk is the one that allows for more "broken plays" with the right weapons: you can act twice if you don't move. Give him a weapon that makes the mech move, and you can move him twice along straight lines while doing stuff. Or put him in the mech with the Cryo Launcher (it freezes both yourself and the target), and you can shoot ice and then repair in order to free yourself from the ice.
In my Rusted Hulks run I have been so lucky to find the weapon that generates smoke on the mech's tile and in the 4 adjacent tiles, together with the pilot that is unaffected by smoke and webbing (usually, anything coated in smoke can only move). Rusted Hulks are already smoke-based (they start with a passive that makes smoke deal damage to enemies) so the synergy was great.


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 Post subject: Re: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:49 am 
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I don't think I have the smoke free pilot yet. Sounds strong. But the rusted hulks are cool. Maybe you could use them on hard and just smoke the enemies instead of pushing them.

And I didn't mean my criticism as saying its not exactly like a card game. A card game can have that problem too, if it's too modular.


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 Post subject: Re: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:59 am 
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Do you get all alpha vek on hard even if you only do 2 islands and then go to the final island? Or does that only happen if you do 4 islands first?

Do you find the game easier or harder when you do more islands?


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 Post subject: Re: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:57 am 
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Flopfoot wrote:
Do you get all alpha vek on hard even if you only do 2 islands and then go to the final island? Or does that only happen if you do 4 islands first?

I think it was a 4 island run. In fact, when I managed to do a 2 island run on hard, there were normal Vek as well.

Flopfoot wrote:
Do you find the game easier or harder when you do more islands?

I think they did a pretty good job balancing the final island because I can't really tell the difference.

I'm at the point where I'm missing only the "Distant Friends" achievement. Basically you need to find a mountain or an ice patch with a beacon (it's a small flashing yellow light), destroy the mountain/patch, gather the beacon with a mech, then a special pod will come down and you need to defend it like any other pod. Inside, there will be one of 3 secret pilots from FTL.
I made some research, and there are people saying that any mountain or ice patch can contain the beacon, while other people say that the mountain or ice patch must be already half broken at the start of the mission (if that's the case, though, you won't see it half broken when clicking on the mission, only when you actually enter the map). Also, they say the chance of it happening is higher the more islands you already completed in the run.
Having an achievement completely based on luck is quite the hassle.

EDIT: I completed that achievement, but since it was just a question of luck, I felt justified to cheat. :angel: I started an easy run (less difficult to concentrate on getting the beacon and protecting the pod), completed 3 islands, then, before going to the 4th, I made a copy of my profile, and restored the copy as many times as needed before I could find the beacon on the 1st mission of the 4th island. It actually took me just 4 tries.
The pilot I found is the mantid (the one in the achievement icon). Not sure if I would ever use it: its special ability is replacing the repair command with a 2 damage melee attack. I imagine it could be viable on a mech that has no damaging attacks in order to increase variety, but since my playstyle involves blocking the spawns as much as I can, the repair ability is very useful to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Into the Breach
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:17 am 
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Nice. I think I have seen a mountain like that before but didn't know it meant anything /:

That pilot might have been useful for my most recent run - I used a custom squad of three different science mechs with flying to get two of the custom squad achievements in one run. But that meant I had no damaging attacks. I got Harold Schmidt during the run which was useful (push nearby tiles when repairing).

I ended up winning - blocking spawns, making vek hit each other, pushing them into hazards etc. Was playing on easy and only did 2 islands.


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