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Video Game: Battle Nations
Battle Nations is an iOS Game (also recently ported to Mac and Greenlit on Steam) by Z 2 Live that gives you the role of Captain of the 95th Rifle Division in the Imperial Army. The Empire is caught up in a civil war between loyalist and rebel assets of the army, and the game's first tutorial mission puts you in a major battle in the war under the direct command of General Ashe, top Imperial commander and military genius. Also with you is your Lieutenant Morgan, absolutely ecstatic to serve under you and declaring you the best boss he's ever had. After the fighting's over, you and Morgan, along with other members of the 95th like Zoey the optimistic mechanic, Floyd the nature-loving scientist, and Sargent Ramsey the trigger-happy heavy machinegunner, are sent to The Frontier to boost troop numbers at a desolate outpost under constant siege by vicious animals and the local Raider tribes.

And so you build some houses, make a Barracks, train some troops, and start the game.

Battle Nations is a combination of a farm game and a war game: you have to build and maintain various shops, farms, and factories to supply your base with Gold, XP, and various raw and processed materials, which you can put into training troops or building vehicles for use in battle. You can also use the gold and materials build various types of houses and decorations for your outpost, giving you the option of turning a sandy, desolate hellhole into a respectable town, with shops and exports and everything.


This game provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: It turns out that Morgan is one of these once you and your regiment get reassigned to the Frontier. He's almost never sober, will trade anything for a bottle of booze, and in battle even his sprite is about to fall over from inebriation.
  • Ax-Crazy: Tronk, one of Gantas' lieutenants, is basically insane; one of his threats is setting his fists on fire and punching fire at you.
  • Bigger Bad: A late-game boss fight with General Ashe reveals that someone from Rebel High Command may be feeding the renegade general some false information about the Empire...
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Of course, being an iPhone game, it allows players to buy Nanopods to get material and buildings faster and purchase special, exclusive buildings, decorations, and units. Unusual for the course, the game lets you gain Nanopods by watching 30 second advertisements which occasionally pop up when you first load the game, letting you gain a lot them for free.
    • Users can also sign in with Tapjoy which enables players to download certain apps, many free, to get free nanos.
    • Also of note, with the 2.3 Patch and Zombie Invasion event, players can now produce Nanopods by refining Black Nanopods dropped by The Infected.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor, poor Pvt. Perkins. The first Trooper you train and the constant receiver of dangerous missions, suicidal assignments, and having to carry the dangerous stuff while you build places that can do so safely.
    • To a lesser extent, the entire 95th Rifles can be seen as this. Reassigned and dumped into the godforsaken Frontier, surrounded by hostile Raiders, animals, Ancient machinery, and at some point zombies, having to build their Outpost from scratch, lead by a drunkard, and even the Imperial Frontier citizens don't like them much at the beginning. It gets way better as the game goes on, however, and by the time you hit Chapter 2, Elder Taos' Raiders are your allies, Gantas' Raiders are scattered, the Imperial towns around you are beginning to like you and are even starting to thrive because of your presence there, and to top it all off, you're the only remnant of the Empire because you got dumped into a forgotten Frontier Outpost.
  • Cannon Fodder: The rank-and-file Troopers are almost explicitly stated to be this. Their motto is even "First in, rarely return."
  • Crapsack World: The Empire is the good guys; everyone else that isn't a civilian is a brutal, murderous monster. Even your raider allies creep Morgan out with their fondness for torture as punishment, entertainment, and sacrament. Also, the wilderness is filled with raptors, zombies, bandits, bigfoots, killer insect monsters, rampaging mammoths, and forgotten vaults left from the Ancient civilization filled to the brim with booby traps and mechanical monstrosities.
  • Demonic Spiders: In Chapter 1, you have enemy Duskwalkers, who can who go behind front defenses, can do 80+ or 90+ damage an attack, are usually in the back two rows of the enemy formation, and are usually backed up and protected by Brawlers, Champions, Mammoth Riders, War Mammoths, and Skirmishers. In Chapter 2, you have to deal with the Silver Wolves, who do tremendous damage, have a lot of attacks that outright ignore Armor, and apparently give their Grenadiers nukes capable of dealing hundreds of damage to every one of your spaces at high enough levels.
    • And just in case you begin thinking that the Raiders are pushovers at this point, they come back even stronger (and dressed in black) later in Ch. 2. And they also give their grenadiers nukes.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: In Chapter 2, you learn that the chemical weapons that the Rebels have begun fielding are coming from an old Imperial chemical weapons lab in the Frontier that they loot. In the 2.3 Zombie Attack patch, the "Zombies" are actually mutants infected by corrupted Black Nanopods by a secret Imperial facility, with no cure. Something to note: you can actually build both of these facilities in your own Outpost after completing the quest lines for them.
  • The Empire: The Empire, which you work for. Interestingly, the Empire (or at least you) are the heroes of the game, protecting allies and defenseless towns from Raiders, Rebels, Silver Wolves, and the occasional animal or zombie attack.
  • Face-Heel Turn: The rebel regiments of the Imperial Army. Later in Chapter 1, you have to fight none other than the traitorous General Ashe himself, and his high-level Rebel troops. Morgan is horrified, stating that the man is a military genius.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The enemy Raiders all wear full-face gas masks. As do many of your own troops.
  • Gentleman Adventurer: Percival
  • Hope Spot: Gantas is defeated, his fortress is in ruins and on fire, he no longer rules the Frontier with an iron fist, the 95th Rifles are standing together along with Elder Taos and Cassidy as friends and allies, and Morgan is offering you a drink to celebrate the fact that they no longer have to worry about large factions trying to kill them. Then Perkins receives a message: the Rebel Army lead by General Ashe mounted a surprise attack on the capital while they were fighting with Gantas and killed the Emperor. The Empire is no more, and Rebels and Bandits are moving in, killing any loyalist in their way. Your dinky little outpost is the last bastion of Imperial law in the world by the sheer fact that everyone else either forgot about it or couldn't bother to go that far north to get it.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: In Chapter 2, Morgan and you, the player, if you complete the quest line that unlocks Chem units. Floyd even remarks that it's reprehensible and he only wanted the Chemical Weapons Lab as a way to study how to counter them, since the Rebels have begun fielding Chem Troopers, Grenadiers, and Tanks. Morgan replies by saying that this is a fight for survival now, and you don't have the luxury of doing the right thing; with the Empire gone, there's no one to enforce whatever conventions or international laws that may have been in place preventing the use of chemical weapons, not using chemical warfare out of morals and ethics would put you at a serious disadvantage.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Implied with Ramsey's BBQ:
    When Ramsey was just a wee little warrior, his grandpappy taught him everything he knew about killing a man and making a delicious rack of ribs. Though if you understood the overlap there, you wouldn't eat at Ramsey's BBQ.
  • In the Back: Certain units in the game, allied and enemy, attack from the back row going forward, e.g. a high-level Scout Bike with Backshot. An especially annoying example are Raider Dustwalkers, who go behind front defenses, can do 80+ or 90+ damage an attack, are usually in the back two rows of the enemy formation, and are usually backed up and protected by Brawlers, Champions, Mammoth Riders, War Mammoths, and Skirmishers. Used to your advantage when you unlock them with the Prestigious Academy. Even better, you can unlock special attacks for them at higher levels, a weaker frontal stab and a poisonous backstab.
  • Killer Rabbit: Zigzagged with the Bigfoots. All the game's flavor text describes them as easily frightened Gentle Giants, but they are huge, hulking, brutish, Glass Cannons capable of destroying tanks in a couple of hits. They look tough, no one treats them like they are, and they hit hard.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Surprisingly, everyone. Especially apparent during the Siege of Gantas' Fortress, the last set of quests for Chapter 1. Morgan instantly becomes serious and actually sounds like a respectable military leader, Ramsey and Zoey work together to stop the supply flow of ammo to Gantas' very powerful artillery to render them vulnerable, Floyd frees Gantas' war mammoths to cause a stampede in his base, and even Perkins leads the front assault to act as a diversion and manages to take out Gantas' front defenses and artillery.
    • Done again in Chapter 2, this time on New Haven. While you, Morgan, Ramsey, and Perkins attack the Silver Wolf defenses, Zoey, Lloyd, and the Raider Kids take advantage of the distraction and build a tunnel system to get as many of the oppressed civilians out as possible.
  • Lost Technology: The Ancient ruins, etc.
  • Magikarp Power: The Wimp, a pathetic, low level unit that has less HP and does less damage than a regular Trooper. Upon leveling him up to the maximum unit level, he gains devastating Pick-Me-Up attacks that can do around 200 damage each.
    • Another example is the Scout Bike. They are incredibly fragile and have to be put on the front row to attack at first. Later they gain the ability to fire down the line or to back-attack a formation, letting them attack from the back row, and they get a great ability to dodge.
  • More Dakka: You can unlock Heavy Gunners with NanoPods that can damage two rows in front of them with a flurry of light-damage attacks. Also used with Sgt. Ramsey, who uses an even stronger variant of the minigun named Ol' Painful.
  • My Parents Are Dead: Lieutenant Morgan offhandedly says this word for word.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The new Patch 2.3 gives us Type-O who are more like mutants.
    • After a few quests of mowing down the "Zombies", Morgan even suggests using the Black Nanopods taken from the "Zombies" to infect your own Troopers and give you an edge in battle.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Raiders are a threat to your military troops and weaponry despite their weapons being simple gunpowder muskets, alcohol being breathed through torches, and their fists. In Chapter 2, the Silver Wolves are horrendously powerful, and all they have are salvaged weapons and armor: their equivalent of your Riot Trooper uses a torn-off car door, and he can both deal and take more damage. Sort of justified when you first encounter them and the Rebels in Ch. 2 when Morgan says that your troops are more accustomed to tactics against the more primitive Raider tribes, while the Wolves and Rebels use relatively-modern weaponry.
    • And to add insult to injury, all Silver Wolf units are completely immune to the cold (which is devastating in the Eastern Wastes), despite being clothed in rags, while your actual military units will suffer except. The units that are specifically designed to be cold-resistant are largely useless.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: The rebels, in this game, are evil. However, considering your group is made entirely of Sociopathic Heroes... this doesn't seem like much of an issue. Until it's revealed that the rebels are committing war crimes WORSE then the Empire did, including murdering POWs and destroying entire cities...
  • Shout-Out: Early on, there is a quest called The Empire Strikes Back. Surprisingly, this quest has nothing to do with the rebels, which you'll be seeing later.
    • When you unlock the Chemical Weapons Lab and the ability to field Chem units, a serious war crime in real life and probably one in-universe, too, Floyd makes a reference to the Trinity nuclear test's director Kenneth Bainbridge:
    "Now we are all sons of bitches."
    • Many of the armored vehicles closely resemble real-life mobile armor. For instance, the Tank Killer looks like the M50 Ontos of the cold war, the Heavy Tank looks like one of the Tiger Tanks fielded by the Germans in WWII, and the light, medium, and heavy tanks refer to the old system of tank classification, before Main Battle Tanks like the M1 Abrams were introduced.
    • In one of the later missions, a unit that the Silver Wolves field is called Lazar Wolf.
    • There is a set of missions involving Perkins, Percival, and an Ancient vault that are named after the opening line of Nightwish's Wishmaster.
  • The Siege: The Outpost and later on, the various allied towns around it are near constantly under attack by some manner of Raider, bandit, Rebel, animal, or monster. This trope is especially in effect during missions in which enemy bosses assault your Outpost, such as General Ashe.
  • Sliding Scaleof Silliness Versus Seriousness: The game manages to go all across the scale and back: for example, one minute you're ordering Pvt. Perkins to carry around some lethal chemical weapons you just stole from the Rebels by hand, the next minute you're treating chemical warfare as a serious war crime, even acknowledging the dire circumstances you're in that are forcing you to resort to it in the first place, and after that you're having a nice chat about improvising a method of spreading the dangerous, lethal chemicals by modifying Flame Trooper gear with Zoey, who's feeling like she's going crazy thinking about the recent Rebel assault and destruction of an Imperial town and that she can't do anything about it.
  • Storming the Castle: You get to do this multiple times, first on Warlord Gantas' Raider fortress, then on the Silver Wolf held city of New Haven. In a twist, later on in the game you lay siege on the allied Installation 17, which is currently itself under siege and mostly taken over by the Silver Wolves.
  • Tank Goodness: Once you unlock the Vehicle Factory and build an Armor Factory, you can make a variety of tanks, ranging from the lowly Minitank to the monstrous Super Tank and Heavier Tank, as well as specialized variants with weapons such as flamethrowers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: It's an Iphone 'Cityville' type game...with a hilarious script, unique characters, actual plot twists, and a fun combat system.
  • Wrench Whack: Zoey's weapon of choice, which can do light damage to a 3x1 area in the row directly in front of her.
  • Wrench Wench: Zoey, who designs most of your buildings (with tank treads, sometimes, which gives an in-game reason to why you can move around buildings in the Edit menu), vehicles, and generally maintains the Outpost's machinery along with Floyd.
  • Whatever Happened To The Mouse: After 40 levels, they FINALLY bring up that the place was originally SUPPOSED to be a Uranium mine. Unfortunately, with the fall of the Empire, you currently have no access to any facility that can even process the stuff into something useful.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: During the attack on Gantas's fortress with Tronk, Crazy Blades and Sarin all fighting you at once, Sarin says this to Sergeant Ramsey when he thinks he's being complemented by Sarin.
    Sarin: Not you. You fight like a boar. No finesse. The girl there, she is an artist.
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