Often I just want to see a huge daft rumble instead of directing armies in battles—’go here,’ ‘destroy that,”retreat there.’ That’s Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, a game in which you create armies and then wait to see what happens. With ragdoll physics and a roster of units that includes vikings, cavemen, Roman legionaries, pirates, wooly mammoths, tanks, dragons, skeletons, and angels, it gets a little ridiculous. TABS has now reached version 1.0 after a few years of early access, and it now includes multiplayer.
The process is as follows: you see an enemy army, you create an army by selecting units that might be able to fight it, you set out your armies, and then you watch the war unfold as AI and ragdoll physics take over. You may even take command of a unit and fight on the battlefield. It’s obvious that strategy is crucial, but it’s not always the case. Alternatively, you can just sit back and watch a big stupid battle, as big and as stupid as your machine will allow.
TABS was examined by Steve Hogarty twice during early access, once in 2019 and again in 2020. He said it again the second time:
“Slow fights down by holding the left mouse button and you can really savour the technical detail – and begin to appreciate why armies of more than a few hundred units can make a dusty GPU start to wheeze. Swarms of projectiles trace elegant arcs across the battlefield, landing with a satisfying thud in wooden shields where they wobble with perfect accuracy. Soldiers’ desperately flailing legs clamber believably over piles of ragdoll corpses. Sword tips connect with torsos and send fighters tumbling arseways. There’s a new Da Vinci tank unit – a kind of merry-go-round armed with a ring of cannons – which if you zoom right into it, reveals there’s a tiny Da Vinci hurtling around inside. What a treat.”
The Mechanic also spoke with Landfall, the game’s developers, about the game’s physics.
Landfall has also introduced new features such as a unit builder and, most recently, local and online multiplayer. The launch update introduced two new factions, two new maps, two new campaigns, achievements, and Twitch integration, according to the announcement on Friday (yes, it left early access on April Fool’s Day, ho ho).
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator is available for £15.49/€16.79/$19.99 on Steam and the Epic Games Store for Windows and Mac.
Landfall has also made their silly battle royale game, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, free to play. That’s also available on Steam. It was initially free, but cost £4, and is now back to being free. It will be sponsored by a cosmetic store that will open later this month, and anyone who bought the game before the switch will get cosmetics as well as virtuabucks if they paid for it.