Aug
17

Dev Blog #100: The Unhold

Last week we took a look at the Hexe, a wily witch that is making its way into the world of Battle Brothers as part of the upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC. This week, we’ll take a look at the Unhold, a more down-to-earth type of enemy that is intended to spice up the mid game with its physical presence. Let’s go!

The Unhold

The Unhold is a lumbering giant, easily the size of three men, and dwarfing even the tallest orc. It eats whole sheep for a snack and empties a pond to wash it down. There’s tales of enraged Unholds leveling remote farms and plucking the limbs off of unlucky farmers like wings from insects, but closer examination will reveal that Unholds aren’t malicious creatures. They’re fiercely territorial, but may often be content to persuade with ear-deafening bellowing and threatening gestures any invaders to run for their lives. The Unhold is a somewhat solitary creature and can be found either alone or in small groups only.

The upcoming DLC will assign to all the beasts distinct habitats around the world, but the Unhold actually has several, because it comes in three regional variants. The most common variant is found in the northern tundra and hills. Another variant is said to be found in swamps and sometimes forests, where they inhabit caves. The fiercest is the northern variant found in the snowy wastes, with white fur that protects equally against cold and steel. Click here for a wallpaper of the artwork below.

The Unhold’s theme in the game is displacement, and all of his skills center around it. To this behemoth, zone of control means little, as he will constantly shuffle the battlefield and demand smart repositioning by the player to protect their weakest characters, and allow the strongest to bring their weapons to bear on the beast. Unholds have little to no armor, depending on the regional variant, but they possess the unique ability of healing wounds slowly over the course of combat. Luckily they can’t heal injuries, like a broken leg, the same way, but the longer combat drags on, the more their regenerative abilities will work in their favor.

The Unhold’s first skill is called ‘Unstoppable Charge’ and works similar to the charge that orcs employ. When charging, the Unhold hurls himself towards his opponents with such force that it can’t be defended against with a spearwall, it stuns or knocks back several people at once, and it also dazes the Unhold himself as he makes impact, so he isn’t able to charge and attack in the same turn.

The second skill is ‘Fling Back’ and allows the Unhold to grab any opponent in his way and fling them back over his shoulder like a plaything, taking their place in the process. Using the ‘Indomitable’ perk will guard against it, but anyone flung like this will receive falling damage. By tossing his opponents around, the Unhold can slowly make his way wherever he wants to go.

Once in melee, the Unhold uses his massive fists to make sweeping strikes that can hit up to three targets at once with so much force that there’s a chance they’ll be knocked back. Because the Unhold will constantly knock targets away from himself, he’s rather bad at focusing down a single target, but he excels at battering down a group of people over time. Individual attacks of the Unhold aren’t the most damaging, especially to armor, but he has the potential to make a real mess out of your plans if you don’t adapt fast enough.

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Aug
10

Dev Blog #99: The Hexe

The upcoming ‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC will add a variety of new beasts and related creatures to the world of Battle Brothers. We’re going to introduce new opponents to cover the early, mid and late game. Some of them will be pretty complex to fight, and others more straight-forward. Some will be magical creatures, and some plain beasts, but all of them will come with their own unique mechanics to challenge you.

To start things off, we’ll be taking a look at the Hexe today. It’s the first of two upcoming spellcaster type opponents we’re adding, and intended for spicing up the mid to late game. Let’s roll!

The Hexe

The Hexe is a witch inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales, a malevolent old crone living in swamps and forests outside of villages alone or in a coven with other Hexen. They’re human, but have long sacrificed their humanity for otherworldly powers. They’re feared, but also worshipped by some. They’re burned at the stake, and yet people seek them out to plead for miracles. They lure and abduct little children to make broth and concoctions out of, they strike terrible pacts with villagers to receive their firstborn, they weave curses and cast hexes. Their huts may or may not be made of candy. With her sorcery, a Hexe can enthrall wild beasts, and even warp the mind of humans, and so will often be found in the company of creatures that serve her.

The Hexe has two skills in combat. The first one is called ‘Charm’ and works like this: From her shriveled lips, the crone blows one of your men a seductive kiss to bewitch their mind. A strong-willed individual can resist with a successful resolve check, but otherwise they’re doomed to have their senses warped and to fall under the spell’s dominion for several turns until the effect wears off. To the ensorcelled, the Hexe no longer appears as an old crone, but a youthful lady with radiant beauty for which they will gladly obey every command. They’ll be eager to shield the witch from arrows with their bodies, and not think twice about hacking their comrades to pieces in order to protect their beloved. Should every last man on the battlefield be mind-controlled by a Hexe, the coven will have them all commit suicide in order to end the battle.

Even though the Hexe is old and fragile, has no melee attack, and in fact no Zone of Control, she isn’t quite defenseless. Her second skill is also a spell; it’s called ‘Hex’ and can be cast on one enemy at a time. Anyone that has a hex cast on them is cursed to feel the same pain and receive the same wounds as the Hexe does. It’s mutually assured destruction when the Hexe defends herself by giving you a choice: Attack her, and risk the health and potentially even life of one of your men, or let the hag live for another round, hoping that she doesn’t do too much damage in the meantime and that you can get her before she casts another hex. Or at least casts it on someone who can take a blow for the team.

Fighting a Hexe is different from fighting most other opponents in the game. For starters, the stronger you are, the stronger the Hexe gets, as you’ll spend a good time dealing with your own men turned hostile. Her two skills also make for a more puzzle-esque battle than usual, but the right approach can turn a seemingly impossible challenge into a manageable one. Maces and nets are useful for disabling your own men while they’re charmed, rushing or taunting the Hexe can be effective, and having solid resolve is always helpful. What tactics can you come up with to beat her?

Join us again next week for a look at a new beast that you’ll soon be able to meet on the field of battle – one that uses brute strength and not trickery of the mind.

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Aug
03

‘Beasts & Exploration’ DLC Announcement

We’re very excited to announce that we’re working on a full-sized DLC for Battle Brothers. Yes, you heard that right – there’s going to be a real and meaty expansion with fresh content coming for that game that you like. The name of the upcoming DLC is going to be ‘Beasts & Exploration’.

That’s a pretty telling name, and as it suggests, the focus of the DLC will be on introducing new beast opponents in order to bring more variety to every stage of the game, and to make exploring the world more interesting and rewarding. But that’s not all!

Here’s the list of major features you can expect:

  • A variety of challenging new beasts populating different parts of the wilds. Each with unique mechanics and loot.
  • A bigger world to explore, full of unique hidden locations throughout that offer new possibilities and rewards to the daring adventurer.
  • Trophies from slain beasts that can be crafted into charms, potions and other items to customize the look of your hardened mercenaries and benefit them in combat.
  • New contracts that have you engage in profitable beast hunting, exploration and more.
  • New weapons, tools, shields, and armor to equip your men with.
  • New paint items that can be used to paint shields and helmets in the colors of your company.
  • Lots of new events.
  • New music tracks.

In addition to these major features, the DLC will also include countless smaller additions. Just like in the past, all the major points and most of the minor ones will be explained in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you’ll always know what we’re working on and why. We expect to be working on this for several months and will announce a release date and final feature list once we’re closer to the finish line. We’re also making good progress on our new game, and will continue to work on it in parallel.

Alongside the DLC, which will not be free, the game will also receive a sizable free update. This update will contain a whole bunch of improvements and balancing changes, as well as some minor content additions.

Join us next week for our first dev blog on the new DLC, introducing a terrifying new opponent!

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Jul
27

Something Big Approaches

Something big is coming to change the world of Battle Brothers, from the frozen north all the way down to the parched steppe.

How big? Read the full announcement next Friday!

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Mar
20

“Wolfmother” Short Story Released

Casey Hollingshead, the game’s original writer, has released a short story set in the grim medieval world of Battle Brothers as an eBook on Amazon. Its title: “Wolfmother”.

A leader. A kid. A scapegrace. A fighter. A nobleman. A scholar. One agreement. Led by a battle hardened mercenary captain, a group of sellswords trek up a mountainside to complete a contract. If you enjoyed the writing in Battle Brothers and want for more, check out his book here.

Also, it’s anniversary time! One year ago, Battle Brothers graduated from Early Access and was released a full game into the world. To celebrate this occasion, Battle Brothers is on sale with a 50% discount for the next two days. Hurray!

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Dec
11

Update 1.1.0.7

A small update has been released with collected minor improvements and bugfixes for issues that you guys reported since the last update.

Changelog

  • Changed name of Fallen Hero without head to ‘Headless Fallen Hero’ to make it more clear that this is intended behavior.
  • Fixed rare issue with fresh undead becoming untargetable during the Undead Scourge endgame crisis.
  • Fixed initiative penalty due to waiting not being applied correctly.
  • Fixed Necrosavants not dropping Shimmering Ashes.
  • Fixed ‘Horrific Scream’ of Geists being subject to height level restrictions.
  • Fixed potentially wrong reward amount mentioned in one of the ‘Drive Away Bandits’ texts.
  • Fixed Black Monolith being selected in one of the ‘Find Artifact’ twists as the new target.
  • Fixed AI sometimes being confused on swamp terrain.
  • Fixed incorrect tooltip hint for muddy ground and plashy grass on swamp terrain.
  • Fixed ‘Split Hand’ injury not being affected by ‘Hold Out’ perk.
  • Fixed news about conquered settlements in the noble war crisis sometimes arriving too late and preventing other events from firing.
  • Fixed various minor issues.
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