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‘Dieselpunk mech’ game Iron Harvest fully funded in just 36 hours

The RTS shares the same world with Scythe, the critically acclaimed board game

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.

The crowdfunding campaign for Iron Harvest, the real-time strategy game that shares the same lore as the hit board game Scythe, has hit its funding goal after just 36 hours on Kickstarter. Developer King Art Games celebrated today with the release of a new annotated trailer, showing off the mechanics of the “dieselpunk mech” strategy game for the first time.

In motion, the game looks clearly like a throwback RTS with a modernized camera system. The game models individual soldiers in the same way that the Cossacks series does, but also makes excellent use of cover systems in the style of the Company of Heroes franchise. The biggest difference, though, is Iron Harvest’s hero units, which are massive diesel-powered mechs.

The game’s title, Iron Harvest, refers to the aftermath of World War I, when farmers plowing their fields often came across unexploded munitions left behind following the Great War. The game explores the lore of 1920+, created by Polish artist Jakub Różalski. It’s an alternate history based on the Battle of Warsaw in 1920, one of the last great cavalry battles in modern times. Różalski describes it as a “period when tradition clashed with modernity,” when the world was “still full of mysteries and secrets” and “mankind [was] fascinated by engines, iron and steel, [and] began to experiment and try to build a huge walking machine.”

It’s the same alternate history that forms the basis of Stonemaier Games’ tabletop strategy game, Scythe, which Polygon has reviewed in the past. Ironically, much of that game’s tension comes from the threat of conflict rather than the repeated use of force. Iron Harvest swings the pendulum in the other direction, presenting an active conflict in great detail.

The Kickstarter campaign will end in another 28 days, on April 13. The final product is said to be delivered by December 2019. It will include single-player and multiplayer modes, and be available for Windows PC as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The success of Iron Harvest is good news for Kickstarter, which saw a dramatic decline in the amount of money pledged to video games in the last two years. Tabletop games, meanwhile, continue to explode on the crowdfunding platform, with an increase of almost 36 percent in 2017 to a total of $137.77 million raised.

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