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.