Grand Arms: March of the Red Dragon by indie dev Child 39 Studios covered inside our previous Kaeoi55 article. The game is an epic journey through the turbulent history of medieval Wales. As the player, you are Llewelyn II, the last hope for Welsh independence from English oppression. Players must navigate political intrigue, military strategy, and personal relationships to build their armies and restore the glory of the Welsh kingdoms.
The game is a tribute to classic JRPGs like Ogre Battle and Ogre Battle 64, but with its own unique twist. The real-time map movement adds a layer of strategy and urgency to the gameplay, while the turn-based combat system allows for tactical depth and customization. The variety of classes and abilities means that each battle is a puzzle to solve, with different strategies required to overcome different opponents.
The hand-painted graphics and atmospheric music transport the player to a vividly realized world of ancient castles, misty forests, and rolling hills. The characters are fully realized and fleshed out, with their own personalities, backstories, and motivations. As players recruit new soldiers to their cause, they’ll form deep connections with them and feel a sense of investment in their fate.
But the game’s ultimate goal is not just to win battles but to unite Wales against the English invaders and fulfill the prophecy of the Son of Destiny. Llewelyn II’s fate is in the players’ hands.
Grand Arms: March of the Red Dragon is expected to be released in Q4 2023, but now a free demo is available on itch.io. Below an overview of the game via Steam.
ABOUT GRAND ARMS: MARCH OF THE RED DRAGON
Grand Arms: March of the Red Dragon is a spiritual successor to the classic Ogre Battle series, combining real-time, squad-based tactics gameplay with turn-based RPG combat. Move units across the map in real time to capture towns and castles; when enemy units come in contact, a turn-based battle ensues, with the defeated side forced to give up ground.
Organize soldiers with unique appearance, stats and classes into units. Choose from dozens of classes, and customize your unit’s formation to maximize each soldier’s effectiveness, taking advantage of position-specific abilities, damage types and resistances, and support abilities which can be used to help nearby units when they enter combat.
Explore dozens of unique regions depicted in lush, hand-painted graphics. Destroy your opponents and capture their territories to win. Choose where to stand your ground – fighting from the right terrain can give you the advantage you need, and traversing difficult terrain can build up fatigue that will reduce your units’ effectiveness.
When your unit comes in contact with the enemy, a turn-based battle ensues. Battles play out automatically; characters act in initiative order, and their actions are determined by their class, formation, and enemy positioning. Archers will rain down destruction on enemies from the rear, but if they lose their cover, they’re defenseless. Swordsmen will attack from the front row and must hit the enemy’s front row first; from the rear, they’ll do nothing. Bleddyn the bard will bravely wield his rapier from the front, or play a song to buff the entire squad from the back.
The side that deals the most morale damage – by hitting hard, taking down units, or weakening the enemy commander – is the winner, with the other side losing ground on the map.
Years ago, the scattered kingdoms of the Britons were nearly united by one of history’s greatest princes, Llewelyn the Great, in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. Llewelyn was the greatest ruler the land had seen since King Arthur. But when he reached the apex of his power, he died, leaving behind a messy succession crisis. And in the chaos, England invaded, leading to a loss of nearly all Llewelyn had won.
Llewelyn II was named after his famous grandfather. He too is destined for greatness and will someday be known to history. But his path to greatness is uncertain: his father and brothers are imprisoned in London, England occupies half of the territory of Gwynedd, raiders harry the coast, and the ruling prince, Llewelyn’s uncle, is viewed by many as a usurper. Will he be known as the prophesied Son of Destiny who ruled over a united Kingdom of the Britons, or as the prince who lost everything when England invaded?