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Ground Pounders is a hex-based, turn-based strategy wargame. Inspired by classic strategy games like Panzer General, and steeped in the lore of the Sword of the Stars universe, Ground Pounders offers a new generation of gamers an updated taste of turn-based strategic warfare.
Release Date: Feb 14, 2014
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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Join the infantry early! Join at a discount! Join and give feedback!


Greetings, commander! Your army awaits your orders!

Welcome to the Early Access release of Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders, as we transition from our closed Beta to final release! As an early adopter, you get to play the game now at a reduced price. When Ground Pounders has its full release at the end of March at its full price, you will automatically receive the final release content!

What is the difference between the game now and final release?

With this Early Access release, Ground Pounders is feature complete, and the main differences between now and final release - besides a few last minute cards and units - is there is only 1 campaign (instead of 2) and 5 scenarios (instead of ten). You can play the campaign and five scenarios now against the AI, your friends, and give us your feedback;

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You can also talk to us about the game on the Steam messageboards (see below!)

Those with mobile devices, we will be releasing Ground Pounders for Android shortly, with iOS/Mac/Linux to follow shortly after final release!”
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Buy Ground Pounders

$9.99

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Recent updates View all (16)

Ground Pounders Early Access Update 16 - Early Access ends July 11th!

July 2nd, 2014

It's time. Friday, July 11th. Mark your calendar. Tell your procrastinating friends, last chance to join in the fun at the Early Access price!

Critical:

  • Fixed Human mission 3 and Hiver mission 2
  • New enemies in Human campaign...
  • Fixed CTD when attacking units with 0 ATT/DEF
  • Fixed card CTD
  • Fixed hover units not being able to move over roads easily
  • Fixed being able to transport boats with ground transports
  • Fixed loading save game CTD
  • Reworked Player Profile Screen
  • Use slider to delete a player profile
  • Fixed not being able to save a game using the same name as someone else with another profile
  • Hiver campaign recruit points rebalance
  • Allow selecting the destination to deploy a unit
Other:
  • Updated Campaign Select Screen
  • AI tweaking
  • Make campaign briefing description into a scroll text
  • Show unit command limit for a battle in the campaign select screen
  • Fixed supply icons disappearing
  • Allowed being able to cancel giving a unit an aspect
Beta 0.1.3598

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Ground Pounders Early Access Update 15

June 23rd, 2014

As we finalize distribution of the non-Steam builds, a lot of stuff got addressed in this update, including the replacement of the placeholder radio chatter from your units. Thanks all and as always, keep the feedback comin'!

Beta 0.1.3496

Critical:

  • First half of Human Campaign (the Hiver portion) updated
  • Fixed CTD when selecting Air Base
  • Fixed CTD with air units and reactionary fire
  • Fixed combat CTD
  • Fixed unstable ground causing occasional CTD
  • Fixed retreat result for units that are involved in air com
  • Fixed getting stuck in card tutorial
  • Fixed defender unit not getting any dice in air combat
  • Don't modify unit XP during combat
  • Fixed air units attacking more than once
  • Automatically consume support unit's lowest dice first, instead of first
  • Fixed showing defensive support unit's ratings modify before combat has been committed
  • Campaign battles now will unlock units
  • Fixed attribute highlights for unit upgrades in unit screens
  • Updated campaign rewards dialog to show any units unlocked by winning a mission
  • Show stat comparison when looking to upgrade units
  • Enabled selling units
  • Allow divisional command units to upgrade to anything
  • Fixed not able to swap players in MP
  • Fixed not saving victory point or supply zone owners in MP
  • Update player select dialog
  • Fixed non air transport units not picking up units
  • Fixed bridges only working half of the time

Other:
  • Fixed AI not distributing supply points if a card is played on a unit
  • AI update
  • Radio speech update
  • Fixed engineer units able to build constructs with random dies instead of assigned dies only
  • Fixed not being able to attack when out of supply for 1 turn
  • Fixed combat scene alignment in full screen
  • Fixed transport UI
  • In resupply phase, only highlight units that CAN be reinforced, instead of all the ones that require reinforcements (more clear on available actions)
  • Prevent advancing from the start phase until after viewing the combat results
  • Cleaned up unit shop
  • Speed up dice animation
  • Fixed so that when you finish a campaign mission and its the last mission on the planet, you return to the star map screen where you can select the next planet
  • Removed background in roll results table
  • Allowed for multiple victory bonuses
  • Give rewards for victory bonuses
  • Fixed preventing spawning air units in an air base with a unit on it
  • Fixed discard button getting lost behind the cards
  • Highlight "My Units" and highlight units that can upgrade and add aspects
  • Prevent playing with a deck that the player cannot use in a battle
  • Show spawn locations when you draw a spawn unit card
  • Fixed being able to click buttons when card preview is up in Deck Management Screen
  • Fixed unit availability costs in placement phase
  • Updated selection effect on lists

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Reviews

“The pure sensation of moving troops around, outflanking and out-thinking even an AI is addictive.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

About the Game

Ground Pounders is a hex-based, turn-based strategy wargame. Inspired by classic strategy games like Panzer General, and steeped in the lore of the Sword of the Stars universe, Ground Pounders offers a new generation of gamers an updated taste of turn-based strategic warfare. Best of all, you can play it cross platform between desktop machine and mobile devices.

Ground Pounders lets players control an army from one of two factions. Each army is comprised of dozens of different unit types. You will lead your ground pounders across a variety of worlds, increase their experience levels and abilities over the course of two campaigns, and use them to unlock special action cards that can add special effects to single-player games, or to up the stakes in your cross-platform multi-player battles.

FULL RELEASE FEATURES
  • Control one of 2 armies – Human and Hivers
  • 80+ units covering land, sea, and air
  • Battle across alien worlds on exotic battlefields, including airless moons, lava plains, and meteor-blasted wastelands
  • Seize orbital superiority and call down bombardment on your foes
  • Build airfields, fortify areas, and repair or destroy bridges
  • Improve your unit’s experience and abilities over 2 campaigns
  • Unlock and collect combat cards, including faction-unique cards!
  • Build unique combat card decks and even tune them for specific battles
  • Ten scenarios to play in skirmish mode or cross-platform multi-player
  • Enjoy a SotSdex filled with Lore details on famous units, personalities, battles and weapon systems

PC System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512-MB
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any Windows compatible sound device, stereo speakers or head phones
    • Additional Notes: Valid email address and Internet connection (broadband not required) required for multiplayer

Mac System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.8 Mountain Lion
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512-MB
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any Mac compatible sound device, stereo speakers or head phones
    • Additional Notes: Valid email address and Internet connection (broadband not required) required for multiplayer

Linux System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12, Fedora 20, etc
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512-MB
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Any Linux compatible sound device, stereo speakers or head phones
    • Additional Notes: Valid email address and Internet connection (broadband not required) required for multiplayer
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
195 products in account
3 reviews
5.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Ok. Personally, I think this game has potential and there are obviously still issues needing to be worked out as the game is still pre-release.

Now, that said, I'm going to advise against buying the game now if you are looking for something to play. If you are wanting to support the development of this game, go ahead and buy it, play it, and give the company feedback. I'll give a brief bullet point list as to the current pros and cons with the game as I see it.

Pros:
1. Tutorials are worth the time and explain a lot of the game's mechanics. Do -not- skip them, thinking you'll pick up the game quickly without them because you've played games like this before.
2. Luck and skill both play a role in this game, without placing a premium on either.
3. The card mechanic is a nice touch, as it creates openings that you might otherwise not be able to take advantage of.
4. The campaign structure (from what I've been able to play of it) rewards careful husbanding of the units you buy, without punishing you unduely for taking risks with the temporary units assigned to your command.
5. The three layers of the battlefield keeps things fresh, as burrowers may sometimes pop up in your lines unexpectedly.
6. Keeps the flavor and expands on the lore of the Sword of the Stars universe.

Cons:
1. The game is buggy as hell. But it's early access, so...you should be expecting that going in.
2. The high-res texture pack will cause the game to crash when loading in. At least, that's been my experience.
3. The game has a sharp learning curve. As noted in the pros, the tutorials are worth the time, so...that helps curb that somewhat.
4. Some aspects of the game are counter-intuitive, adding to the learning curve noted above.
5. No adjustable resolution or window size.
6. It's early access, therefore not recomended for someone expecting a completed game. It's -very- much a work in progress.

Overall, however, I highly recomend this game and look forward to seeing the end result. Given Kerebos' track record with SotS games, I have high hopes for the end result.
Posted: June 2nd, 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
1,965 products in account
66 reviews
2.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I have been holding off writing this review because the game could be so good and I was hoping it would change.

This is a hex-based wargame in the SotS universe and that's exciting stuff. (I just realized that will sound like a joke to non-wargame fans, but it's true).

Based on the screenshots you would think was a cool, deep, fun game. The information in the encyclopedia in game is a nice touch.

Try to play the game though and you'll find a confusing, fiddly mess. There are far too many phases and lots of fiddly things you have to keep doing. The user interface is really bad both in usability and in showing you what's going on. A lot of this is because of the developers making the bad decision to have a "unified user interface" on mobile and PC, which means no tooltips, only one button used and no scrolling when you get your mouse to the edge of the screen. This cripples the PC UI and the developers flat-out refuse to change it to make the PC version easier to use.

The tutorial has been through a few changes but still remains awful at teaching you the game. This is both due to the content of the tutorial and the way it is presented, which makes it hard to tie together the UI with what the flash-card like windows are telling you.

I bought the game at the start of the Early Access on Steam and I was disappointed to find out that the game was not as finished as I thought it would be. From the store page it seemed like the only thing missing were some campaign missions, and the ironing out of the last few bugs:

"With this Early Access release, Ground Pounders is feature complete, and the main differences between now and final release - besides a few last minute cards and units - is there is only 1 campaign (instead of 2) and 5 scenarios (instead of ten)."

It turned out that early adopters really were unpaid beta testers and only by assiduously playing when it wasn't fun and giving feedback could we turn the game into the good game it had the potential to be. I mean, it wasn't just bug fixing, there were actually changes to how the game worked, and there was really the feeling that the game hadn't been tested at all before putting it on steam.

I did this for a short while but then I just couldn't be bothered any more- it was just not fun. I decided to put the game down until they finished it and see how it was. As of today the game is still in Early Access but is 66% off on a certain online game store. Because the Steam store page went out of its way to point out that we were saving money by buying into the Early Access game at the start vs. buying when it launched I felt a bit betrayed by this; I also took it as a sign that the studio may be in some sort of trouble. The game was planned to be released in March according to the Steam store page and it's almost June now with no release so maybe that's why.

Anyway, I suppose if you do get a deep discount on this or even get it in a bundle (there have been a lot of Early Access games in bundles recently) then it may turn out to be the game you expect, but at the moment it's unlikely that it is.
Posted: May 30th, 2014
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A developer has responded on Jul 12, 2014 @ 4:00pm
(view response)
46 of 108 people (43%) found this review helpful
104 products in account
2 reviews
0.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game looked promising in the description but it led me to actually doubt my way of supporting developers by buying early access...

The interface is horrible and I have seen some bad design etc. in my 25 years of gaming experience.

There is no tutorial whatsoever, so I was put off and had no nerve to even try and understand the tactical gameplay after 30 minutes into the first game of the campaign.

I can only advise everyone to wait for the final product or just skip this title. Sorry lads.
Posted: February 17th, 2014
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20 of 53 people (38%) found this review helpful
89 products in account
1 review
0.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
This game is painfully bad.

It has no explaination of what's going on, no text anywhere, cryptic symbols, no way to tell what is art, UI or just plain broken... uninteresting mechanics (apparently), and just no appeal whatsoever.

And I say this as a person who loves turn based strategy games. But Ground Pounders reminds me of a bad 1970s boxed game with chits, only it forces you to play the game while hopped up on novacane.
Posted: March 12th, 2014
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