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Wartile is gorgeous, back from the dead and coming to Steam next month

Failed Kickstarter be damned

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Wartile stormed onto Kickstarter less than a year ago, but the campaign was canceled in part due to a lack of funding. Now the small team at Playwood Projects is back with a more complete version of the game, launching on Steam’s Early Access platform March 17.

Even more impressive is the fact that even without crowdfunding support, Playwood still got the game ready to meet the delivery date that it originally pitched in its Kickstarter campaign.

Wartile is a unique blend of real-time strategy and tabletop miniatures-based gameplay. While the enemy moves and attacks on their own, players click and drag their own game pieces around making attacks. It looks a bit like a sublimely animated version of Battle Chess, with one key difference.

The terrain in Wartile is absolutely stunning.

Fully 3D, hex-based “battleboards” have an impressive amount of elevation. The in-game camera is generous as well, letting you admire the landscapes from every angle and adding a touch of modern lighting and depth-of-field effects. If you’ve ever seen a miniatures table all decked out at a friendly local game shop or a wargaming convention, understand that Wartile is leaps and bounds better than anything you’ve seen before.

You can watch our interview with the creative director and founder of Playwood, Michael Rud Jakobsen, in the video below.

“We created Wartile to be a living, breathing tabletop video game that invites the player into a beautifully rendered miniature universe full of small adventures and challenges that require real time strategical decisions,” Rud Jakobsen said in a press release. “The digital diorama aspect gives the game a totally unique graphical look and feel that strategy and tabletop fans will love.”

Since last year, Wartile has added a multiplayer mode as well as customization options for miniatures, including multiple sets of weapons and armor. There are collectible abilities, in the form of cards, that players can unlock over the course of the campaign. Development will continue, based on fan feedback, throughout the Early Access period.

Wartile’s Steam page is up, but there’s no word yet on pricing.