Ironclad Tactics is a fast-paced, card-based tactics game set in an alternate history Civil War - with steam-powered military robots!Key Features: No microtransactions! Unlock cards by playing the game, not by purchasing them separately.
User reviews: Mixed (433 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 18, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"A melding of a trading card and real-time tactics game involving civil war robots (yes really). No microtransaction nonsense and a solid campaign."
Read the full review here.

Digital Deluxe Edition

Includes:

  • The first two add-on campaigns released for Ironclad Tactics when they are released. Add-on campaigns include new missions, new cards to unlock, new gameplay, and new stories to tie them into the game universe.
  • A high-quality digital artbook with concept art, designs, and commentary from the Zachtronics team.
  • A printable papercraft model of an ironclad that you can print out and assemble.
  • The Ironclad Tactics OST, with music by Evan Le Ny and Farewell to the Woods.
  • A giftable copy of SpaceChem
  • A giftable copy of SpaceChem: 63 Corvi

About This Game

Ironclad Tactics is a fast-paced, card-based tactics game set in an alternate history Civil War - with steam-powered military robots!

Key Features:

  • No microtransactions! Unlock cards by playing the game, not by purchasing them separately.
  • Experience unique gameplay, with rapid, simultaneous turns that blend the precision of tactics and card games with the spontaneity of fast-paced strategy games.
  • Follow the campaign story through a fully-illustrated, character-driven interactive graphic novel.
  • Collect cards as you play through the campaign and build your own decks to crush your foes.
  • Play with your friends in the co-op story campaign or against them in skirmish and nemesis modes.
  • Face off against online challengers in quick-skirmish mode, and unlock special cards when you win.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Support for OpenGL 2.0 or greater
    • Hard Drive: 850 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.5.8, or later
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Support for OpenGL 2.0 or greater
    • Hard Drive: 850 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Support for OpenGL 2.0 or greater
    • Hard Drive: 850 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
28 of 35 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
46.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2014
I've been playing Ironclad Tactics off and on for over a year. Only now, after earning every card, I realize that I forgot to write a review. It’s sort of a Plants VS Zombies game except that it’s Zombies VS Zombies, and the zombies are steampunk mechs.

The pace is realtime, but it moves slow enough to allow some thinking time for your next moves. Most of the challenge comes from building specialized decks to solve the puzzle that each level presents. Your AI opponent will have the upper hand with some new attack or defense and you’ll have to come up with a counter. Most of the time this results in a tense battle of planning, wits, and fortune. When you tweak a deck combo into working just right it feels great! Each new card opens up lots of tactical options and completing challenges for cards feels rewarding.

The civil war theme and story are awesome. I love the characters and animated comics that set up you journey across America. The in-game art and animation is beautiful. It’s easy to tell every unit apart and their abilities match the visuals. A robot with a jetpack files, dude with a shotgun has spread attack, and a flame thrower hits multiple targets. The music fits and is serviceable, but for me it’s one of the weakest points of the game. Something less traditional and more gutsy could have really helped some of the longer play sessions.

Each level starts by showing you 5 random cards from your deck of 20, so sometimes it feels like a lucky/unlucky start can make or break a win. If cards come out in just the wrong order it can kill a plan, but managing this problem is also part of the art of deck building. It improved a bit with the release of the first DLC where you can now spend 1 action point to ‘save’ a critical card for later.

The first DLC uses an army with a completely different and fun style of play. It’s satisfying playing as the boss enemies that were beating you down in the final levels and to understanding the logic behind how their robots transform. It also fills in missing parts of the story with more comics. The second DLC is very stripped down, but still provides new interesting abilities. Playing the ‘War’ mode, where you’re stuck with either French or Germany armies, varies the play styles just enough to keep things fresh.

After completing everything it feels like every inch of the design space has been explored. Not every ability or tactic is perfectly balanced, but there’s lots of viable strategies to solve each problem. That said, I haven’t played multiplayer which would be a much better gauge of balance. There’s not enough players to support random matchmaking and I don’t feel like it would be that fun against friends (even if they unlocked all the cards). I also haven’t tried the co-op mode, which is supported throughout the entire game.

If you liked Spacechem, you might like this. It’s about building machines, but stochastic machines rather than logical ones. If you loved Spacechem then definitely play this to support the awesome developers!
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWvKNef7yok

Ironclad Tactics is a fast paced real time strategy card game set in a fictitious civil war era featuring steam powered robot warriors. The game features lovely artwork offering charming and funny comic strip style cut scenes. The core gameplay is centered on constricting your deck of 20 cards consisting of various human and machine warriors along with weapons and perks you can apply in combat. You start the game with three randomly drawn cards and earn more cards upon one full cycle of the brief timer that counts as each turn, upon the completion of the turn you are also awarded an Action Point that you use to activate the cards from your hand. The main objective of each mission is to earn a set number of victory points that are obtained by one of your ironclad warrior robot troops successfully getting from one end of the battlefield to the other.

The fast paced nature of the game is both what makes the game shine and at the same time is its biggest hindrance, the fact that you have to make decisions so quickly eliminates the ability to really thoroughly strategize and plan out your next move as would a turn based strategy card game would, however this little bit of hectic fast paced chaos is what makes the game different from other card lane strategy games. Upon completion of the mission you are awarded with a new set of cards that have some unique twist or element that was the featured gimmick of the level.

The game does offer a fairly steep difficulty curve that can become frustrating at times but adds to the overall length and replay-ability of the game when you have to go back and rework a new deck to try to conquer your highly competent AI foe. The game perfectly combines the good of both a Trading card game and a card lane strategy game; it offers a lovely art style, interesting setting, and a very challenging level of difficulty
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 24
Great turn based strategy game that you can enjoy with friends. It can be challenging in some parts but easy in others. Its well thought out and well done across the board. Recommended to co-op players.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdrzRJ6iY38&list=UU7_-PLIhjsEBwIQXqKxmNpA

Ironclad Tactics is a lane defense game with cards. It is a top down style
tactical game that relays its story in a comic book fashion. You gain cards
by completing missions, challenges, and increasing difficulty.

The cards are organized a bit haphazardly, making it difficult to build
a deck. There are filters, but the way they are laid out makes it a
bit confusing
as you build your collection.

The missions aren't too complicated, but the game has increasing
difficulty and challenges that promote replayability. The object is to get
your cards (or players) accross the board, on a turn by turn basis, and to
defeat the enemy cards. There is a luck element into what kind of enemy will
appear and in what lane, and what cards you will have availble from your
collection. This randomization may appeal to some players, but the way the
cards interact does slow the lane defense experience. In the same vein, those
who are used to card games may be disillusioned by the tactical strategy that
is necessary to the more quicker paced lane defense mechanic.

I can recommend this game, but I strongly recommend that you are aware
of the hybrid card/lane defense elements so as not to expect all of one element
or too much of the other.

This is a summary of what I talk about in the video, I am a YT'er not a Blogger
Thanks for your viewership and support for more videos check click here.

http://www.youtube.com/user/SocioPyscho
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
Achievement Hunters, this game has 1 achievement and takes 15 minutes to unlock. Buy it! :D:
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
22.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 24
If you've ever played a collectible card game, do you enjoy constructing a deck as much as actually playing the game? If so, then you'll probably enjoy Ironclad Tactics.

It's possible to slog your way through missions with sub-optimal builds/tactics, and granted, it is incredibly frustrating when played in that manner. The core missions are tolerant of bad play, so you can get pretty far into the game before realizing what you're doing wrong. After unwittingly playing badly throughout the main campaign, I eventually hit a wall in the additional content.

The final mission of New Game Plus was particularly brutal, and I barely beat it after a couple hours of reckless attempts. As I moved onto the DLC missions, I found myself frequently devastated by the enemy having 1.5-2 times the resources that I do. Slogging through these missions was becoming increasingly unlikely, and I was questioning whether these missions were fairly balanced. Did I have to rely on the AI screwing up to stand a chance, or was there anyother way?

At that point, I approached the game from a different angle. First play a mission noncommitally with a simple deck, just to grasp what's being thrown my way. Then go to the drawing board and construct a deck particularly for that mission. With that mindset, I was crushing missions on the first "serious attempt" and feeling accomplished in my decision making.

Playing in this manner is a bit artificial. In what other game do you play a level for the first time solely to analyze it, with no intent of winning? I wonder if Ironclad Tactics could have been more forthcoming with its mission content, rather than have players flail through the motions with an uncatered deck.

I recommend trying Ironclad Tactics with the "study first, succeed later" approach. That's what tipped me into the "recommended" camp. This is certainly a game for analysts/tinkerers.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
Pretty fun and addicting game. Great Co-op.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
The game by itself is good, so I won't downvote it. Got it from humble-bundle and didn't liked it that much, but it's just me. I am just not a fan of card-games
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
58.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
I love ironclad tactics a lot. I still dont get why peoples bash it a lot. i have finish the game and now i am playing on game+
and let met tell you IT VERY HARD. But still i make new decks and i find a way to win. So the game is extremly challenging but it is sooooo much fun to play. very recommanded and i hope there will be a ironclad tactics 2 :D
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
This game is real strategy. It is fast and hard. You can build you deck from cards you collect and fight with enemies in amazing story with comic. There is a co-op and multiplaier, but there is not enough players so no one plaies the onliene skirmish. But I think if comunity of this game gets to higher level it could change. I recomend this game, buy it you are not going to be disappointed if you are strategy game fan. Fast turns strong enemies and quick tactical thinking makes
the game awesome.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
http://calmdowntom.com/review/ironclad-tactics-review-pc/

"When Ironclad Tactics was pitched to me as a ‘fast-paced, card-based tactics game’ set during the American Civil War, I have to admit, I was skeptical. Little did I know that it featured ROBOTS!"
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
58.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
I think that it is a good game overall, although it gets sorta repetative after awhile and can get stressfull if you fail many times, but once you figure it out i think it is good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2014
The first playthru of the main campaign was only 11 hours for me, and I was taking my time, solving most of the objectives and playing every stage multiple times. I feel like the game was a lot of fun, and worth buying when on sale. I'll revisit it again soon and re-play the campaign (the second playthru unlocks more "cards"). If you like "plants vs. zombies" then you will probably like this game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
A very cool and decidedly unique strategy game from Spacechem's Zachtronics. Ignore the metacritic rating (seriously what is the point anymore of metacritic?) and give this a try if you are intrigued by the premise and mechanics. This game is definitely not for everyone, but if it seems interesting, you'll most likely enjoy it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2014
interesting stratagy game
enjoyed playing the little bit i was able to
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
63.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
I've been playing Ironclad Tactics off and on for a big time Only now, after earning lot's card, I realize that I forgot to write a review.

The pace is realtime, but it moves slow enough to allow some thinking time for your next moves. Most of the challenge comes from building specialized decks to solve the puzzle that each level presents. Your AI opponent will have the upper hand with some new attack or defense and you’ll have to come up with a counter. Most of the time this results in a tense battle of planning, wits, and fortune. When you tweak a deck combo into working just right it feels great! Each new card opens up lots of tactical options and completing challenges for cards feels rewarding.

The civil war theme and story are awesome. I love the characters and animated comics that set up you journey across America. The in-game art and animation is beautiful. It’s easy to tell every unit apart and their abilities match the visuals. A robot with a jetpack files, dude with a shotgun has spread attack, and a flame thrower hits multiple targets. .

Each level starts by showing you 5 random cards from your deck of 20, so sometimes it feels like a lucky/unlucky start can make or break a win. If cards come out in just the wrong order it can kill a plan, but managing this problem is also part of the art of deck building. It improved a bit with the release of the first DLC where you can now spend 1 action point to ‘save’ a critical card for later.

The first DLC uses an army with a completely different and fun style of play. It’s satisfying playing as the boss enemies that were beating you down in the final levels and to understanding the logic behind how their robots transform. It also fills in missing parts of the story with more comics.

Not every ability or tactic is perfectly balanced, but there’s lots of viable strategies to solve each problem. That said, I haven’t played multiplayer which would be a much better gauge of balance. There’s not enough players to support random matchmaking and I don’t feel like it would be that fun against friends (even if they unlocked all the cards). I also haven’t tried the co-op mode, which is supported throughout the entire game buti think it would be pretty fun!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 34 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2014
Genre - Strategy lane game with cards
This is one of those games where you have to throw your units against your enemies on the other side of the screen hoping they get through, whilst they do the same to you. This is done by activating cards at varying cost that you collect as you play the game. Some units are better suited against others and you can get some cards to move units, heal and damage. On paper this sounds quite fun. However, I am not a big fan of these lane games as I find them quite boring. True the cards add a new element but just throwing units at the enemy hoping hey get through whilst they do the same doesn't keep my interest. Also I don't know if I am just crap at this game but I tend to lose quite a few games on a level before I get the win and this seems mainly down to luck. The idea of the American civil war with steam powered Mechs is a cool concept though. Basically if you like lane fighting games, you will like this. If you don't, you will think it is a good example of the genre but still won't like it.
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180 of 234 people (77%) found this review helpful
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2013
A rather disappointing game considering the system itself had potential, but is unfortunately woefully incomplete (apparently more content is coming out as DLC, but the base content as it is is barebones).

Initially the game possessed a intriguing system of unlocking new units through the completion of mini-achievements, allowing your cards to evolve into a more effective and specialised fighting force. Unfortunately this feature is only seen in the first half dozen cards before never being seen again.

The game also featured several factions with different tactics and units that you can mix and match. Unfortunately again, all the factions with the exception of the army (Union and Confederate's are both considered the same, begging the question as to why it is set in the Civil War) have barely enough cards for a playable deck, much less one that you can base a unique strategy out of. This is further made worse by every faction's units being essentially the same thing (Army riflemen and bandits have absolutely no distinguising characteristics between them).

Even worse, the potential dynamic was there, in the form of unattainable weapons and units the computer gets during the campaign. After completing the game, and every last achievement (both single player and multiplayer) I was upset that the only things I receieved were more of the same cards. Indeed, the final boss's deck is displayed as an available playable faction, but does not have a single unit or weapon card in it.

The story serves it's purpose I suppose, so it is hardly disappointing, but it is somewhat baffling that early in the story you can clearly see a sibling rivalry, only for one of the brothers to disapear, and only come back at the end of the game to do absolutely nothing, unlike the collection of minor characters who assemble for the purpose of serving as an Deus Ex Machina during a mission. Whoever is actually manning and directing your ironclads is never mentioned (unless it is assumed that the sergeant who gets a brief mention early in the game is the PC). The Civil war is barely mentioned, and the game might as well be set during the Anglo-Russian war for all it matters.

The campaign itself is not so much challenging as it is putting you in a situation with an outright disadvantage. In the early stages this disadvantage is negated by unlocking a new weapon. However, due to the fact that there are no decent unlocks in the later missions the game simply becomes a matter of chance. Hoping that the luck of the draw gets you exactly the unit you need, and that the computer does not use the obnoxiously overpowered ability that he is granted this mission on the turn it would hurt the most. The last mission in particular is guilty in that the enemy boss is not only invincible (unless you kill two heavily armoured units guarding an electric outlet, and procede to occupy both outlets with infantry that can be killed instantly by said boss) but possessing a repetoire of weapons far superior to what you can get, and heals completely should you fail to stop him from going to your side. The strategy towards defeating him involves praying to your chosen deity that the enemy AI will decide to lay waste to your ironclads, rather then stepping on your infantry, and will stand still for that brief moment where you miraculously achieve enough firepower to destroy him in one turn. God help you if you decide to go for the achievements.

All that said, the game has potential. If it simply had more content and diverse factions that would allow for actual tactical options.
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91 of 127 people (72%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 5, 2014
This game has a framework with so much potential I was really excited the first few rounds.

Unfortunately, before long it starts to feel like playing rock-paper-scissors with, well, a computer. Random play is equally effective as well-thought strategy and winning or losing feels like a flip of the coin. However if you lose a round the computer will replay the round virtually identically so it becomes trivial to win next time.

There's a really good game waiting to be made here, but this isn't it.




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43 of 53 people (81%) found this review helpful
41.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2013
I really enjoyed this game and chose to go through every optional challenge for a full completion of the campaign. Even so, it was fairly short (around 12 hours for a full-clear?) The multiplayer was also enjoyable, but not a compelling reason to buy. The campaign missions, challenges, and puzzles were solid and I really enjoyed the setting for the game (more than I expected to.) I recommend picking this up if you like a good strategic game with reasonable depth and multiple paths to victory. I bought it as part of a full price two-pack and would buy again. Completing all of the challenges (especially without using cards from much further on in the campaign) made this have just the right difficulty level for me to really like that challenge without thinking it was stupidly hard or "lucky."
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