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This is a good game for fans of Risk and Dice Wars, for strategists who like to compare numbers but dislike the fuddy-duddiness of unit weaknesses and initiative and terrain bonuses. In other words, it's a casual turn-based strategy war game, pitting you against three computer-controlled armies in a battle for dominion over a randomly-generated plot of land.

Your objective is to capture the capital cities of your enemies. The map is littered with smaller cities and coastal ports, and generally speaking, it is a good idea to control as many of these as possible. At the end of each turn, each city in your territory will generate a unit 10 soldiers strong, while ports and the rest of your occupied land add soldiers to your cities randomly.

There is only one unit type, though for easy reference, it changes appearance depending on its strength. Your main restriction is that you can only move five units per turn, though you will quickly find yourself with more than five groups of soldiers. It's up to you whether you spend your precious five turns consolidating weaker units into more intimidating ones, or pushing the battlefront forward. Though it may seem restrictive, these are the choices that make Hex Empire interesting.

The other factor is morale. Winning or losing battles directly affects the strength of your army, so much that a losing battle can be reversed sometimes through a series of demoralizing surgical strikes. A unit's maximum physical strength is always 99, but in a battle between two maxed-out squads, the more courageous one will always win.

Replayability comes from the random map layouts. If you find a particularly fun one, you can write down its ID number and revisit it freely. The downside is that awkward maps are common, granting unfair advantages to some factions and mucking things up with large bodies of water. Just hit the randomize button again if the first map is too weird.

Rating: 4.8/10 (26 votes cast)

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