Soft Launch Spotlight – Warlords


Warlords is Black Anvil Games’ take on turn-based strategy genre with traditional setting of human liberators against orcish hordes. Players side with the good guys and through series of hexagon-based battles fight their way deeper into the orc-infested lands while facing progressively tougher resistance. As usual, there is a wide variety of troops to develop, items to equip and enemies to defeat.

  • Core game: Team based fighting – strategy focus
  • Meta game: RPG-style team development

Core Loop

Warlords follows the very traditional action-reward-expansion core loop, where:

1. players’ troops fights enemy troops in turn-based tactical combat sequences
2. players are rewarded with resources, experience and different types of items
3. players develop their troops with said resources and items to be able to take on even tougher enemies.

Other things to be noted:

  • “Rock-paper-scissors” mechanic in the battle forces players to plan more carefully how to deploy and use their troops in different situations.
  • The single player campaign is non-linear, meaning players have the freedom (at least to some extent) to choose, which territories to explore and attack next.
  • There are no energy-based session length restrictions in place, but the timer in exploration acts as a way to limit the natural pace of players’ progression, as the territories/levels in the world map cannot be re-attacked once they’ve been captured.
  • Re-playable boss levels give players incentives to check on the game every now and then.
  • Appointment mechanics include two different types of gacha-based gifts that can be collected free of charge.

As an addition to the single player campaign, Warlords offers the possibility to fight other players’ armies in a seasonal PvP-ladder. The combat is asynchronous, meaning you are not actually facing other players in the field, but rather their armies controlled by the AI.  The higher you manage to climb in the rankings, the bigger rewards you receive in the end of the season.

Meta Game

With resources and items rewarded from battles, players can enhance their troops in various ways. With regular level-up, promotion level-up and rather complex skill upgrading mechanics, the troops are actually “character-like” in nature.  This is emphasized even further with upgradeable equipment items that can be attached to troops for added combat bonuses.

Feature-set Analysis – Methodology

To analyze the potential of the game’s feature set we use our proprietary GAME POWER SCORE® approach. It focuses on games’ feature set and its potential giving you an objective view on how well your game’s feature set benchmarks to the current competition.  The higher the score, the better balanced the feature set of the game is and the higher the probability to reach and sustain high top grossing rankings. Here is the methodology in a nutshell:

Feature-set Analysis – Results


The Key Results:

  • Historically, similar type of games in the iOS US top grossing 100 list have had GAME POWER SCORE® of 74 in average. This is clearly higher than Warlords’ current score.
  • In fact, only 6% of games with a score close to Warlords’ have managed to reach a top grossing 100 position. This indicates that there are clear gaps in Warlords’ feature set preventing the game to reach its full potential. However, this is natural to a game in soft launch stage, as there are still areas under development.
  • The biggest area of development in the current version of Warlords is social elements, as the game’s social features contribute only 2 points to its GAME POWER SCORE®. For an average top grossing 100 game, social features’ contribution is 17 points.
  • If Warlords’ social elements score would be lifted to this same level of 17 points, it would be reflected as an over 30%-point increase in its chances to reach the iOS US top grossing 100 list and over 70%-point increase in the chances of reaching the iOS US top grossing 200 list.

Detailed, feature level analysis for Warlords and for 700+ other games are available in our service. Contact us and get a free trial!

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