Halo Wars 2 is a realtime strategy game for Windows PC and Xbox One that's due to be released next month. In the meantime, publisher Microsoft has launched a multiplayer demo that eases players into the game's action sequences.
Halo Wars Blitz is free-to-play for anyone with Windows 10 or an Xbox Live Gold account. It replaces the basic start-game RTS mechanic of resource gathering, base building and tech tree advancement with a card-based strategy.
Players select from a random pack of cards, balancing their attack and defense budgets, before going into battle with a human opponent. The demo is strictly player-vs-player right now, but there will be an opportunity to play this mode against an AI when the final game launches.
"For fans new to RTS, Blitz takes players straight into battle," states a Microsoft release. "RTS veterans will find opportunity for deeper strategy through deck building, army composition and counterplay." Blitz will be available until Jan. 30.