Uber-Hardcore, Turn-Based, Steampunk, Squad Tactics. Battle 6 other factions for control of Pangea in emergent, tactical gameplay.
User reviews: Mixed (26 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 26, 2014
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"Tactical Strategy in a Steampunk world! Win!"

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January 22

Airship Dragoon v1.6 Update

Airship Dragoon update version 1.6 has been released.

The updated features a couple of bug fixes, some tweaks, and a new gameplay mode for Tactical Battles called "STREAMLINE" mode.

Start with the biggest change is the new choice of gameplay modes, "HARDCORE" and "STREAMLINE". HARDCORE is the standard style of Tactical Battle. STREAMLINE is the newly available choice with the following differences.

Carrying external ammuntion is no longer a requirement in STREAMLINE mode. During deployment this frees up a lot of weight in a trooper's inventory for other items like frags and aidkits (especially aidkits). In combat, weapon's still have an internal bullet capacity and clips/magazines must still be reloaded when empty, but there is no longer a requirement for additional ammunition in the inventory. Disposable single use items are still only useable once, so do not expect an infinite supply of rocket grenades, aidkits or flamerockets. Use the extra weight saved by not needing ammunition to stock up on these one-shot wonders.

Inventory manipulation no longer costs Action Points in STREAMLINE mode. Previously swapping weapons, dropping or picking up items, arming or disarming frags and bombs, all cost Action Points. In STREAMLINE mode this is now free. Using an item, such as an aidkit to heal or call for medivac, or reloading a weapon's clip/magazine does still cost Action Points.

During the Passive Phase of a Tactical Battle, when the opposing team is taking their turn, reactive attacks based on spotting a new target or returning fire after being unsuccessfully attacked by an opponent are no longer Class based. In HARDCORE mode each class of trooper has a specific range at which they can attack during their Passive Phase. In STREAMLINE mode this no longer applies, meaning that all troopers in range of an enemy may attack during their Passive Phase. Spotting an enemy still works the same as previously, and is dependant on the trooper's vision attribute, distance and angle, or when an enemy gives away their position by attacking.

Passive Fire in STREAMLINE mode makes ambushes much more dangerous, with everyone in sight now capable of blazing away at an enemy who comes wandering unsuspectedly over a rise in the terrain or around the corner of a building. Grouping troops close together gives a better chance of them all seeing a new enemy at the same time, though this also makes them more susceptible to explosive or machine-gun area fire. Expect a lot more returned fire when attacking a large group yourself.

Gameplay mode cannot be changed mid-battle (swapping from STREAMLINE to HARDCORE would mean no one had any ammo) but can be changed anytime during the Strategy Phase of a campaign via the Options Menu. When loading a battle from a saved game, the gameplay mode will default to the one in use in the saved file.

In other tweaks and changes which affect both gameplay modes:

Attacking targets who are in the open and clearly visible now gives a +20% bonus to accuracy. So a trooper who is crouching using CAUTIOUS tactic and can see the full length of an enemy will have a +40% bonus to accurcay (crouching +20, unobscurred target +20). Keeping your troopers partially obscurred by the lie-of-the-land and/or in cover is now more important than ever.

Players asked for a better stealth when attacking from the rear, so spotting targets is much more difficult from behind now, especially at distance. This now makes it possible to creep up directly behind enemies completely unseen, with no chance of them detecting your trooper as long as they do not come closer than 30 metres, in which case they do have a chance to hear the approaching threat. Of course once an undetected trooper starts shooting they will give away their position to everyone within sight.

AI troopers have had their basic statistics rebalanced.

In the Pangea (main) Campaign the Dastardly Pirates have had their progression rebalanced to prevent them from becoming overpowered in the late stages of the campaign.

An issue with Arid Map 2 and Arid Realism Map 2 where projectiles would not collide with rocks and boulders has been resolved.

Airship Dragoon will automatically update the next time STEAM is started.

Airship Dragoon is an uber-hardcore, turn-based, strategy game inspired by early 1990s tactical games such as X-Com/UFO series, Laser Squad and Steel Panthers, a demo is available.

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About This Game

Uber-Hardcore Turn-Based Steampunk Squad Tactics.

Conquer the super-continent of Pangea with an invasion of Airships!
Battle Dastardly Pirate Insurgents!
Keep the locals happy or they will be revolting!

Game Features:
Turn-based squad tactical combat with emergent gameplay
Hardcore and Streamline gameplay modes
Environmental Realism Mod for high poly environments.

2 massive strategic campaigns featuring resource, technology and population management
Campaigns are randomized on creation for infinite replayability
Single Battle Mode for getting straight into tactical action
No two games the same

20 battlefields
Randomized deployment on battlefields
5 types of environment with environmental modifiers
3 types of battlefield objectives
4 types of weather

Enemy Ai with 11 different combat tactics
5 Ai campaign strategies
7 classes of troops, each with 4 upgrades of weapons/equipment
Troops have unique attributes which are upgraded with experience ... if they survive combat ...

6 playable Steampunk factions
  • Austro-Hungarian Empire
  • British Royalists
  • Chinese Dynasty
  • Peoples Collective
  • US Republic
  • Zulu Nation

How big is the game?
Average battle time ~ 30 minutes
Average campaign time > 100 hours

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8.1
    • Processor: 1.7 GHz or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256mb VRAM Shader 3.0 supported, Nvidia 6800 or 7300 or better, ATI Radeon X1300 or better
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 583 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8.1
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Dual Core or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512MB VRam or greater, Shader 3.0 supported
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 583 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
The tag line doesn't lie - this is a pretty hardcore turn-based tactical squad game. Troops utilize action points to perform all of their actions and have varying attributes which are reminiscent of old X-COM - strength, reaction, courage, accuracy, etc. The only difference is health which is uniformly 100 regardless of class. You don't distribute points upon soldier promotion - instead they are boosted automatically based on class. Each class does get specific class upgrade equipment such as specialty explosives, weapons, and so on. These must be researched in the strategic layer, one upgrade per turn. Each one costs a set amount of money. I haven't found too much to do in the strategic layer other than purchase more dirigibles and research upgrades.

Essentially you assault a hex with enemies utilizing a dirigible transporting your squad. You'll need to outfit them prior which costs you cash. Equipment includes frag grenades, rifles, pistols, first aid kits plus specialty equipment previously mentioned. If you perform well you'll recoup your investment and then some after combat is finished. The tactical combat is slow and methodical. You select a stance for your soldier prior to movement - cautious is a crouch move which requires more AP per unit distance moved. Standard is regular movement and charge! is a sprint. You can specify whether to save AP for reaction fire as well. The stance selection is a bit annoying as once you've moved a soldier you can't change their stance. So once you move a soldier in standard stance, for example you can't have him crouch once he reaches a decent cover position. This doesn't make much sense tactically, though I can accept it for gameplay balance purposes. Crouching of course increases accuracy and decreases enemy hit chance. I assume charging carries an accuracy penalty. Typically your soldiers can take 1 hit, though if they get caught in the leg they might survive one more. Enemy 'hidden movement' can take an excrutiatingly long time and will likely test your patience, especially when the enemy squad is composed of only 9 soldiers. The tactical layer only provides bare bones information, for example if you spot an enemy you'll see the distance and whether you can fire. It doesn't provide hit chances at all. You can change soldier facing through the use of a button on the UI which allows you to click to change your facing. Trying to position your soldiers properly behind cover is an exercise in frustration though, as you click about trying to get them positioned properly. Enemy soldiers have always had reaction shots on my movement while my soldiers appear to stand about watching lazily, even when the have enough AP to fire and the enemy is in plain view. Frustrating.

With the realism mod enabled the terrain graphics are sufficiently attractive in the tactical layer though hardly amazing. The images on the store page are exactly what you should expect. Animations are stiff and unattractive but passable.

I recommend this game but only to hardcore fans of turn-based squad tactics. It requires an extreme amount of patience and fortitude to enjoy considering the wonky movement system, tactical stance limitations and 'what the heck' moments.

Edit: Please disregard Steam hours. I had originally purchased through Gamersgate and played fairly extensively before activating here.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 18
Most people with negative reviews about this game have complained about it not being what it is not - it is NOT a casual strategy game with quick battles and few decisions, but it is a slow-paced, advanced, hardcore strategy game.

Now, today there are many casual players not willing to put so much time in single games, so it is understandable that this game is not well-regarded by some people.

The combat is really exciting when you finally find the enemy, and have to think about every single step your soldiers take, as the consequences for mindlessly charging into battle can be very grave. There are many weapons, different ammuniton types and some other equipment such as first-aid kits. Before commencing an attack, the player must choose soldiers for their squad, pick their equipment and think about what statistics they have, and as thus, people who put time into thinking about that can have a huge advantage in the battle. In combat when the soldiers are deployed, each soldier has a certain amount of action points, which are drained by moving, shooting, changing weapons and such. There is a map and a compass for navigating, and hills and trees for hiding. The player is told only where they are spawned, and where the enemy is spawned - common sense and a good strategy is required in order to find the enemy. However, there is A LOT of micromanaging, which I like, but I do know that for some people looking for a simple game, that is unfitting.

The graphical theme is lovely with its sharp colours, and soldiers look great. There is an official "realism mod" by the game developer, which changes all textures to look realistic, which makes for a nice change to the aestethics should one get tired of the bright landscapes. Also, the game has a steampunk theme, uniforms look like they are from the 19th century, there are airships (as the title says), pith helmets, monocles, you name it!

If I were to choose something to be added to this game, then it would be vehicles in battles, imagine steampunk tanks and airships cruising around and attacking the enemies, for more significant battles. Also, multiplayer would be extremely fun!

I love this game, but I know that it is not for everyone.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
138.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 29
Seems to take a good amount of inspiration from Valkyria Chronicles battle system, probably the only game outside the series to do so. If your not familiar it's progressive turn-based, 3D combat with real time interrupts. Airship Dragoon is more hard core (read: punishing) than Valkyria by a long shot though. Highly fun in the early to mid stages,
Has balance problems in the later phases specifically, everyone starts lugging around massive explosive weapons and the tactics combat becomes more reminiscent of "Artillery". There are a few other problems with the game, such as the A.I. almost infinite capacity and willingness to engage in hopeless but time consuming defensive operations, and small touches like being unable to set default equipment configurations, despite the fact that you almost always go with a standard loadout for each class (based on current available tech). That said there are ALOT of good things about this game and it's probably the most fun you will have with a game which you are unlikely to finish.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 21
Airship Dragoon is an uber-hardcore, turn-based strategy game. Players take control of one of six factions and fight for control of Pangea.

I really didn’t think I would like this game. Most of the reviews, and even the description, say it’s for hard-core wargamers only. And there are lots of comments about bad UI. Not being a wargamer, much less a hard-core one, I wasn’t enthusiastic about this game until I played it. AD is really fun, though the UI is troublesome. The UI isn’t confusing per se, there’s just a lot of options. Before going into battle, you have to recruit soldiers then equip their gear. When on the battlefield, you need to press the move button to move units and the shoot button to fire at enemies. This takes some getting used to.

Each battle is basically a capture the flag scenario. You can place up to ten units on the field and maneuver them through the various structures. The goal is to capture the enemies flag while protecting your own, but I’ve yet to win without eliminating the opposition. This can be difficult because the weapon accuracy is ridiculously low.

One of the interesting mechanics is morale. Each unit has morale and as units die or are fired upon their morale drops. If their morale drops too low, then they can freeze up, run away, or even go nuts. When units go nuts they fire wildly at the enemy. Sometimes this results in enemy deaths. Either way, the announcement that someone has ‘lost it and gone nuts’ was always hilarious.

I’ll admit I’m still not sure what I’m doing most of the time, and I don’t take the game too seriously. But I’ve enjoyed every minute of this game, even when I’m losing. That’s unusual. This is definitely a niche game, though, and isn’t for everyone. While this isn’t typically my kind of game, I will be playing more of it.

Verdict: Get it on sale. It’s worth trying, but it has a limited audience and a high price.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 12
It's slow and can be tough when you first start out but It's a good game.I recommend you buy and play it.
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