There’s plenty of asynchronous tactics games available on mobile platforms, but this one hits the sweet spot in so many tradeoffs that each turn is like munching a little stack of Pringles. For example, the “playfield” is small, like a boardgame. It could be bigger, but it’s not; at the same time, it’s not so small that positioning is minimized. Each turn consists of five – and only five – actions, and you can play your turn over and over again locally until you’ve found the optimal investment of those actions. Maybe a single unit takes all of them. Maybe it’s a turn you use to equip for the countercharge. Turns are never onerous, they always consist of some scientifically optimized volume of input.
Simplifying the description of the game further, you might just call it “Tactics With Friends.” It plays like a very polished, welcoming version of your favorite turn based strategy game (Final Fantasy Tactics, Advance Wars, Jeanne d’Arc, Fire Emblem, etc.) combined with a little card game intrigue. See, in addition to commanding different kinds of units, you always have a “hand” that you can use to either deploy new units, equip them with bonuses, or play effects on the board. Some tricky schemes can be set into motion by playing out unseen resources.
It’s a free download and though it’s got some microtransaction upselling and interstitial ads, it’s never onerous. As if you needed another reason, the game’s developer, Robot Entertainment, consists of some of the people who made Age of Empires and Halo Wars from Ensemble Studios.
Give it a shot. Keep in mind that it’s a “multiplayer only” game, though. There’s no single player campaign, but random opponents have proved to be worthy adversaries.