Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders – Preview
Follow Genre: Turn-based war game
Developer: Kerberos Productions
Publisher: Kerberos
Platform: PC, Android

Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders – Preview

Good: Deep gameplay, it's fun to see your troops fight
Bad: Might be a little hard to understand at first, repetitive music
User Score
(15 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (15 votes cast)

Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders can be described as a turn-based war-game made by Kerberos Productions, the creators of Sword of the Stars 1 and 2 and Sword of the Stars: The Pit. The other day, they released the alpha of their newest game so it’s the perfect opportunity to see where this game is going to.


In this demo, it’s only possible to try out Skirmish mode, so that’s exactly what I did. There’s a tutorial but it’s completely optional. However, I can only recommend that you give the tutorial a shot, because otherwise, you’ll probably be utterly confused within the first 2 minutes. The game is very complex and quite a handful to understand properly. Even after the tutorial explained every facet of the gameplay, I was still quite confused so starting the game without practice is at your own risk. Besides the tutorial, there are 3 maps for you to try out. That should be enough to give you a general impression on what the game is all about.

At the beginning of every map, you can choose the deck of cards to use in the battle. For now, only a default deck can be picked. In the complete game you should be able to customize a deck however you want.

sword of stars 5

The battleground is shaped in a bee hive looking grid where you can position your troops. The tutorial recommends to place the Divisional Command Battalion first as this is the key to winning or losing a match. If your Command Battalion is destroyed, it’s game over.

A match consists of 5 different phases.

The first phase is the Draw Phase. Here the game gives you several cards that can you can use in battle. Every card has its own ability like reinforcing, supplying and assisting your troops or damage the enemy’s army.

After that, you’ll find yourself in the Supply Phase. As the name already reveals, this is the phase where you supply your troops. Every Supply Phase will create Logistic Points which can be used to transport supplies, equipment and personnel across the map. If a unit runs out of supply, it will not be able to move properly around the battlefield and it will lose some of its combat ability. Another penalty consists of decreased “Readiness Level” which eventually will cause your unit to be unusable.

sword of stars 4

The third phase is the Recruit Phase where your Commander can make an appeal to reinforcement Personnel who will of course aid you in battle.

In the Equip phase, you can assign Materiel to your units which will increase their effectiveness in battle. This is the phase where the dice make their entry. You can give all different units several dice which will show in their “Dice Pool”, they’ll use this to attack and defend themselves.  The higher the numbers on the dice, the more effective they will be.

Last but not least, there is the Combat phase. This is the moment where your preparations show their worth. Here, the troops can be moved around the battlefield. Each unit can only attack once per turn, so it’s probably not a bad idea to think about every move thoroughly. When you attack an enemy, the “odds table” pops up which calculates your chance on a victory. Something I found quite cool is that you see your troops actually fighting in two separate windows that open after the odds table. It brings a vivid touch to the fighting.

sword of stars 3

The map itself is quite clear and it’s easy to follow what exactly is going on. This game seems to be an example of one where you’ll have to play a couple of games to fully understand the mechanics behind it. Even for an alpha, the gameplay is quite deep and can be a lot to take in at first, but as they say: practice makes perfect.

The music of the game is nothing special. It goes on and on in a loop and it might become rather an annoyance after playing for a while. I ended up muting the music. It is however very possible that the developers will add more variation in the audio later on.

The options menu is still very basic. You can switch between windowed mode and full screen but you cannot change resolution or anything else graphic wise for that matter. Keep in mind though that this still is an ALPHA-demo, so it’s quiet normal that everything still feels rather simplistic.

sword of stars 1


This demo is still a rough sketch of Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders, but it brings the right idea of how the game plays. It looks like a game where you’ll have to sink your teeth in to really understand it, but it might just be worth the energy. I recommend to the fans of the turn-based war-game genre to give this demo a try and see for yourself if this is the game you’ve been waiting for.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (15 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)
Sword of the Stars: Ground Pounders - Preview, 8.9 out of 10 based on 15 ratings

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.