Once units are put into play they behave in pretty much the same way as units do in any other real-time strategy game. You give them move and attack orders with the mouse, and choose when to use a unit's special power. Tactical considerations have to be kept in mind, such as keeping ranged units out of melee and having anti-air units available to provide cover from flying units for other units. Collectible card game players new to real-time strategy games may have a little trouble adjusting at first – in card games the interaction between different cards are defined and predictable but that's not the case here. In fact, BattleForge feels more like an introduction to collectible card games for strategy gamers than the reverse.
BattleForge comes with a campaign game, but it feels less like a traditional strategy game campaign and more like a series of mission challenges. The game has a storyline behind it, but it's not very cohesive and it's not tied too well into the campaign's missions. You can replay the missions with different decks for a little variety and practice, but once you're through the campaign you'll spend all your time with the game playing against other gamers. There is an unusual aspect to the campaign in that some of the missions require more than one player, and can require up to twelve. It's not much trouble getting matched up with other players to take on these missions, but the degree of cooperation you'll get from your teammates is rather random unless you're playing with friends. Not all players play smart or nice when using a shared resource pool. And in case this all has you wondering, the game is an online game, even when you're playing through the campaign. If you're looking for a strategy game to stick on your laptop and play on a plane or something like that, this is not that game.
Multiplayer battles are either one-on-one or two-on-two affairs, and the game will handle matching skill levels so that newbies don't have to worry about being fodder for more experienced players. As with most games of this nature, you can do well-enough at first using the default decks and some of your free booster cards and good strategy, but to compete at the highest levels it's going to take some of your cash to get the cards you need to build a strong and competitive deck. Multiplayer games are certainly fun – you never know just what kind of army you'll be facing and when your opponent will summon a new unit or cast a spell. It all makes for dynamic battles and some exciting gameplay.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 82%. A real-time strategy gamer's collectible card game, but not so much a collectible card gamer's real-time strategy game.