Strategy and Tactics Medieval Wars (Or perhaps Medieval Wars Strategy and Tactics) is a sequel to the game Strategy and Tactics WWII based in medieval times. The setting is much more generic this time around, spanning many decades as opposed to 6 years, although the setting is still Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The game is on mobile platforms like its predecessor, and uses touch controls. The 3 campaigns are the Crusades, England, and France, (and Germany) with several standalone missions that can be played involving other locations.
The gameplay is basically the same with different artwork: mechanized infantry and tanks are replaced with cavalry and knights; artillery with archers; and infantry with older-looking infantry. The Pros and Cons of using each type of unit in a particular scenario remain relatively the same. There are a few changes, the first being the obvious lack of air power, which makes battles more dull in my opinion. The resources that provinces produce have been replaced by gold, which in reality just adds one order of magnitude to everything and makes the game needlessly complicated (I’ve always been one for simplification in games, 1 should either be the least I can get or spend in a turn, not 10). The graphics are also needlessly complicated. While I found the first game’s graphics to be easy to understand and visually appealing, I find these quite the opposite. I prefer to play the game zoomed out, and in such a state I can’t tell the difference between the units even with my glasses on, and zooming in only lessens the difficulty of the problem, but doesn’t fix it. The font used is also very thin and much less readable than in the previous game.
The interface is the same, responsive and usable. There is no additional polish added since the last game, but I don’t feel it was needed. The mechanics of surrounding enemy armies, capturing key provinces, and buying new units are still there, just with a different skin. The maps have changed. They cover a smaller area, but thankfully have similar numbers of provinces (any smaller than the last game would not have been fun). This makes sense for the time period but I still have a hard time believing it (the amount they move and the battles that take place). I just can’t understand how these armies are operating, knowing what I know about wars of the time. And that is my main problem with the game. Medieval wars and the Second World War were fundamentally different wars in terms of both strategy and tactics, but the game is the same. In the Second World War it makes sense for large numbers of troops to hold miles and miles of territory to prevent a siege breaking out, but even scaled down in this game, the battles don’t stack up. The maps should be of cities and the surrounding countryside, not of entire parts of countries (at least in my opinion).
So I have to admit, I didn’t play the game past parts of the first campaign. The difficulty seems to have increased in comparison to S&T WWII, and that coupled with the art I couldn’t understand, and the historical element that just didn’t click with me, made the game almost unplayable. I played a couple of the standalone scenarios, part of the English Campaign, and then quit. I only came back for this review and didn’t get much farther.
That being said, it is the same game essentially as its predecessor, so if that game was enjoyable to you this one would be as well (just without aircraft). And if the medieval theme grabs you this one might be even more enjoyable. Still, neither of these first two games are ones that I’d really recommend: they are slow, and sometimes feel more like just sending units forward than actual strategy and tactics. The next game is the one I’d really recommend.