RISE: BATTLE LINES is a Steam media game made for the PC using the UNITY game engine. It comes as a Download and costs a few pennies under £5.00.
It is a tabletop wargame in a Medieval setting with each side having a General and a selection of Knights, Swordsmen , Axemen, Crossbows and Archers.
First off you name your General, your game ID, and then decide if you want to battle against the Computer's A.I., a LAN friend or an online opponent found for you by the game itself.
Once you have chosen your battle it is time to select your army units from those available, each unit type having a number of troops that can be chosen, this number reduces each time the unit is chosen and the General is the last piece selected and is automatically placed once the final unit has been chsoen and placed, players position each unit in one of the available dark green hexes, immediately the troop is selected. Who selects first is randomly decided.
When all units are in place the battle can begin. Whoever has the first turn (randomly decided) gives orders to all (or as many as they wish) of their units, including the General. To give orders you simple left click on a unit to select it and this will bring up on the board the hexes to which the unit can move. Right clicking on one of these hexes gives the order for the unit to move there when all orders have been submitted by both sides; Not until both sides have submitted their orders will the battle begin.
Each unit has a number of Hit points and a turn order; the General always acts first and then the other units move and act according to seniority. If a unit is within its combat range to an opponent then instead of using the Right Mouse Button to give it a Move order then you select the unit and then press the Left Mouse Button on the target opposing unit so that when the orders commence the units will combat, moving towards each other if necessary before striking at each other.
RISE: Battle Lines is a very nice, solid game that looks more child-like than it actually is. It is fun-like in appearance, but the game-play is that of a strategy game where the positioning of your units and the targets you direct them to is as important as the units you chose. There is nothing visually exciting, although the cartoon-style animation is very good and the pieces are reminiscent of a tabletop wargame skirmish game with miniatures.
The battle field has the feel of being an Arena even though there are no spectators or bleachers as such. Units with Crossbows and Long Bows can fire from 2-3 hexes away but rarely do more than 1 hit point of damage; they can mix it at close range also, but again their attacks are weaker than that of the Axe or Swordsman, plus they can take less damage themselves.
This is sort of like a Chess game being played online but with pieces who all have the same direction movement (unlike Chess pieces) if not the same length of movement. Pieces can be selected to move onto hex spaces being vacated by other units, though not onto the same space - only one unit per hex - they can even move through these spaces if they have enough movement allowance. After each round of action the players input new orders, allowing them to act or react to the opponent's movement in the last round. If you lose your General it gives a large VP bonus to your opponent but it also loses one hit point from every one of your units unless they are already down to one HP - losing a General will not kill any units but it will weaken them.
Overall this is a neat and tidy, good looking, fun miniatures skirmish game that is playable without the need to have a table, a hexed cloth, 3D scenery, a host of miniatures and a human opponent in the same room.