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A Weewar can be Bigfun

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  • A Weewar can be Bigfun

    A Weewar can be Bigfun

    I've had a fondness for strategy games for as long as I can remember, from some of the more basic games like checkers to the more advanced board games like Axis & Allies and Diplomacy. The older I got the more difficult it was for me to find opponents and the time to sit and play these games for hours on end. Eventually some of these games found their way into the 1's and 0's that make up the computer games we play today. And better yet, they offered online internet play against real live opponents. These games still cost money and required a central location for opponents to find each other. In the end they dwindled into non-existence and I'm stuck again playing against the inferior AI.

    Browser-based (web-based) games are beginning to make their way into the gaming spectrum. We've seen the likes of browser-based games like Desktop Tower Defense that offers hours of entertainment. There is a new game that is entering the fray called Weewar.

    In their own words...
    “Weewar.com is a round based strategy game featuring real action on real maps. Up to 6 players command their colorful pixel armies against each other on the many maps available. And since it is all happening in the browser Weewar can be played from anywhere - including the office :)”
    Weewar is currently in a semi-private beta test that I've been lucky to be a part of for a few months now. I've spent quite a few hours moving my pixel units around a hexagonal map battling anywhere from one to five other players. The best part for myself is it is turn-based. I don't have to sit at my computer for hours on end to finish a game. I've had games finish in an hour and games that took several weeks. That all depends on the number of players, size of the map, and how long a turn is.

    Weewar has recently been nominated for Browser Game of the Year in six of the fifteen categories.

    I know, I know... you're dying to hear about the details of Weewar. Well I've got some to provide.

    The name of the game is Weewar and you can find it at your local interweb. Weewar is a turn-based web game playable in the latest web browsers. There are no plug-ins required and nothing to install. Two to six players get to command their pixel army units around a growing list of maps in an attempt to defeat their opponents. Weewar currently offers free and pro accounts.


    How do I start?

    Weewar is currently in a semi-private beta stage. That means you currently can't go and create a new account. However, Tactical Gamer has worked with Weewar to provide a limited number of beta accounts. If you wish to get a free Weewar account, please visit the Tactical Gamer Weewar forum.

    Another alternative to getting a free beta account is to have an existing beta user create a game and invite you using your email address. So once we get some Tactical Gamer's setup with beta accounts they can invite you to a game.


    How do I get into a game?

    There are two ways to start a game of Weewar. The first is to find an existing game. There is a community tab that lists all open games. Simply click on a game to view the details and select to join. You can view the map, the current players involved and their rankings.

    The second way to join a game is to create one. Simply click the "New Game" tab, give the game a name, select a map, select the time length for each turn, and click to start the game.

    A game starts as soon as the creator selects to start even if all of the game slots are not filled yet. As players join they will make their first move. Once all of the spots are filled and all of the players have made their first move, the game then goes into round two. The game creator does have the option to wait until all slots are filled before starting the game.

    If you're not quite ready to play a game, there is the option to observe other games. The main page for Weewar provides a ticker of each turn made in active games. Unfortunately this ticker can move pretty fast and make it difficult to select to view that game.


    How long are the turns?

    One of the great features of Weewar is the fact that it is turn-based. However the length of the turns are customizable. The game creator can select the turn length to be anywhere from five minutes (for you impatient types) to three days (for those lazy types) and just about anywhere in between.

    Be careful to look at how long the turns are when creating or joining a game. If a player does not complete their turn in the allotted time, the other players have a chance to kick the player out of the game, adding to their loss column. While most players will understand that sometimes life will get in the way and give you additional time to make your move, there are those who simply want the win and won't wait.

    A player will receive an email notification when it is their turn. This is very useful for turns of a day or more, however can be very annoying when you're playing a five minute turn game. Weewar took that into consideration however and has an option to disable email notification on a game-by-game basis.


    Ranking

    Wins, losses, and draws are recorded and displayed with your profile. A rank is given to each player based on these stats and the rank of the players you battled against. A player's rank is similar to that in chess. It helps players understand the skill level of the player they are going up against.


    Maps

    At the time of this review there are twenty nine (29) total maps. Nineteen of those maps are available to the free accounts and ten additional maps are available to the pro accounts. These maps range from two player to six player maps. The maps determine the number of players however the map size does not determine the number of players. There are large two player maps and small six player maps and anywhere in between. Some maps are symmetrical where each half of the map is a mirror of it's other half. Then there are maps that are not symmetrical and staring position has a great deal of influence.

    Unfortunately one of the downsides to some of these maps is the position of the starting players. In some cases, the person who goes first has a better success rate of winning due to the layout. You'll quickly learn which maps these are and find that most players will avoid these maps.

    On a more optimistic note, Weewar does plan to release a map editor soon. This can open up a multitude of possibilities and offer new content from the players.




    For a list of the Weewar maps, visit the Weewar wiki on maps.


    Terrain

    Each map consists of a variety of terrain. The terrain ranges from grassy plains to sandy deserts to rocky mountains to watery water. Yes... I just said watery water. I ran out of adjectives.


    The terrain plays an important role in battle. Certain units are unable to traverse certain terrain. For example, a heavy tank cannot move across a mountain and most units will have a negative attack/defense bonus if they are in a mossy swamp. (I found another adjective laying around.)


    For a list of map terrain and their modifiers, visit the Weewar wiki on terrain.


    Units

    Weewar offers all types of units from ground infantry to mechanized ground vehicles to naval units to aircraft. At the time of this review there are a total of nineteen units. There are seven standard (free) units and twelve pro units.


    These units have the option to move, attack, or repair. In some cases they may perform multiple actions during one turn. In addition, certain units have the capability to capture a city. (More on cities below).


    Each unit has advantages and disadvantages. Troopers (basic ground infantry) are great meat grinders. They are cheap and can be very useful with Zone of Control (more about ZoC below). Troopers can navigate through the mountains but have a negative defense bonus on sand. Tanks are powerful against troopers and strong on sand but they cannot traverse mountains and move slowly through swamps. Heavy Troopers are your anti-tank specialists. They are cheap and can do some damage to those tanks rolling through. But watch out for those raiders (jeeps with machine guns) that run circles around those heavy troopers. Those are just a few of the standard (free) units available.

    For a list of units, please visit the Weewar wiki on units.


    Objective & Game-play

    The objective to Weewar is to annihilate your opponents. This is accomplished by defeating all of your opponents units and capturing their cities. There is a surrender option for those weak-minded players. In some cases both players may be too evenly matched. When this does happen, there is a draw option. If all players select this option, the game will end in a draw.

    In most cases each player starts off with a set number of units, cities, and money. This is predetermined by the map. Each turn that a player controls a city they generate more money. Each turn a city may produce one unit. The player may select which unit to produce in each city based on the amount of cold hard cash they have in the bank. As you can guess, controlling cities is a critical aspect of the game.

    The trooper and heavy trooper are the only two units capable of capturing a city. This action takes two turns to complete and does leave the unit more vulnerable to attack (i.e. negative defense bonus). It's important to have supporting units around to defend your units that are capturing a city but once you have captured a city you may begin producing units from that city on your next turn. You will have to defend the city in the process because if an opponent has any unit camping on top of your city, even without capturing it, you cannot produce a unit there.

    Each unit starts off with ten hit points (HP). This value will decrease as it takes damage during battle. Reaching zero will destroy the unit completely. The unit has the option to repair itself back up to a maximum of ten. The number of hit points, the attack/defense power of each unit, and the attack/defense bonus of the terrain plays an important part in determining the outcome of a battle. Additional bonuses do come into play when multiple units surround and/or attack the same unit.

    To learn more about how the outcome of battles are determined, please visit the Weewar wiki on battle specifications.

    During each turn the player may control each unit. They may move, attack, repair or capture. Move your units wisely because there is a feature called Zone of Control (ZoC). A unit's ZoC are the hex-tiles directly connected to the tile the unit is on. Once an unit enters a ZoC of an opponent that unit will not be able to move any farther. Zone of Control is a critical aspect of an overall strategy.


    Other Features & Tools

    Something I've found useful is a replay feature. Each game you play is recorded and available to replay. This offers a great opportunity to learn from your previous games. Each player may store a certain amount of games for replay depending on their account type (free/pro).

    Weewar also makes available certain APIs for those developers so inclined to create 3rd party tools. Some tools have already been created that display a list of your current games, ranks, and offer up notifications when it is your turn.

    To learn more about Weewar APIs and 3rd party tools, please visit the Weewar wiki on tools and services.
    To learn more about upcoming and suggested features, please visit the Weewar wiki on suggestions.


    Free Accounts vs. Pro Accounts

    Weewar is free to play however there are some limitations. Free accounts can play nineteen of the twenty nine maps and use seven of the nineteen units. Free accounts may also play in a total of four games simultaneously while the pro accounts can play in ten. The same goes for storing recorded games.

    Free account holders may play against pro account holders. Both players will default to the free account maps and units in this case.

    The pro accounts are relatively inexpensive and one of three options can be purchased using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or PayPal. ($4 for one month, $9 for three months, or $24 for twelve months.)


    Other useful Weewar info

    FAQs
    Tutorials (screencasts)
    Strategies


    Summary

    Weewar has offered me countless hours of entertainment allowing me to play for a few minutes to a few hours at a time. I've found that on most maps the games are balanced and strategy is critical to defeating your opponents. While the maps are currently limited to twenty-nine there are plans for a map editor.

    Throughout the past few months there have been some downtime with Weewar. It is still in beta but it is a very polished game none-the-less. I'm able to battle against random opponents or select/invite friends to play against.

    There are no sounds or animation to the game yet, but the graphics are simple and appealing. There's nothing like watching little pixel tanks tank on pixel troopers on pixel grassland. There is a chat feature for each game that allows you to converse with the opponents and occasionally razz a few here and there.

    All in all, this game is definitely worth signing up for the free account. And if you do find yourself playing more frequently, check out the pro account for a month and play with the new units and maps.

    Weewar @ Tactical Gamer

    If there is enough interest among us Tactical Gamers, there is a chance we could setup our own tournament or league. There may even be a pro account or two for the winners. If you have interest in this at all, please visit the Tactical Gamer Weewar forum were you can sign up for a free beta account.
    |TG-12th| asch
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

    Looks alot like Advance Wars.
    Skud


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    • #3
      Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

      Reminds me of Conflict from the first nintendo.

      This is a nice find for when you have no one to play a good game of Risk or Axis and Allies.
      The soldier formerly known as, Eroak.

      From the TG Primer: 2) Create an environment where there is
      mutual respect for your fellow gamers
      and where all members
      would be working together to advance the enjoyment of their hobby.
      Former TGU Dean, 3rd, 9th, & 56th IHS member.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

        I'm about to start sending out invites to those I've received emails for. Keep your eyes out for invites. I'll also start a thread in the Weewar forums for players to note their Weewar user ids.
        |TG-12th| asch
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

          Is there a mode you can play against a computer controlled opponant to practice ? Also what is the time limit to return go's, being in a different timezone could get furstrating for matches.



          "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
          Winston Churchill

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          • #6
            Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

            Originally posted by Disciple View Post
            Is there a mode you can play against a computer controlled opponant to practice ? Also what is the time limit to return go's, being in a different timezone could get furstrating for matches.
            There is no single player play, but if you create a game and give it a title that you want to practice against a newer player you'll usually get a game quick. We also have TGers getting accounts so you'll be able to find a game pretty easily.

            The time limit can vary by game anywhere from 5 minutes to 3 days. You should be able to find players in different time zones... and make sure to join a game with at least 1 day turns.
            |TG-12th| asch
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

              Originally posted by Disciple View Post
              Is there a mode you can play against a computer controlled opponant to practice ? Also what is the time limit to return go's, being in a different timezone could get furstrating for matches.
              Make sure you play the intro game with Asch, he was helpful.



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              • #8
                Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

                Asch gave me a tutorial game and I was off to the races I've got a pro account now so anyone interested in an invite feel free to PM me.


                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

                  Originally posted by Disciple View Post
                  Is there a mode you can play against a computer controlled opponant to practice ? Also what is the time limit to return go's, being in a different timezone could get furstrating for matches.
                  I generally elect 1 day games to be sure I don't get yanked. What has happened for me is that I have 3 games (of 9 on my pro account) that are progressing about 3-4 rounds per day. 1 game that we all tend to get online about the same time and may go 10 rounds a night. The rest of the games everyone must only check once a day so it is 7 days.. 3 rounds (yikes that is slow).

                  If you play smaller size games (I prefer 4-5 players) then games will progress faster in less time.


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                  • #10
                    Re: A Weewar can be Bigfun

                    I'm only now starting to get the hang of things, feel free to invite me to your games.

                    Comment

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