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Iron Harvest is a Real-Time Strategy game set in the alternate reality of 1920+, the same universe that Scythe takes place in. 1920+ is an Alternate History version of Europe two years after the end of World War I; with one of the main differences being that in this world mechs were developed instead of tanks to break the deadlock of the trenches. The game features three factions:
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  • Polania (Poland): The Polania Republic is a large agricultural country that is trying to maintain its status and territory while dealing with its aggressive neighbors.
  • Saxony (Germany): The Saxony Empire is one of the most powerful countries in Europe. They boast powerful industries and modern factories in addition to a strong military tradition. They were on the losing side in the Great War and many powerful figures within the Empire secretly oppose the Emperor’s appeasement policies.
  • Rusviet (Russia): The Rusviet Union is huge country that has unmatched industrial and population potential. Unfortunately, Rusviet suffered dearly in the Great War and the country is on the brink of civil war.

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This game contains examples of:

  • Action Bomb: Weapon of choice for the MWF 28 "Stiefmutter", which produces and launches monocycle attack drones with explosive charges mounted on them.
  • Alternate History: In addition to the development of mechs and Powered Armor instead of tanks the timeline diverged from our own in other ways earlier. For example, Saxony-Goethburg apparently unified Germany instead of Prussia and the Tsar was never overthrown during the war.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The game teaches you how to play with Anna as a little girl having a snowball fight with the boys in her village and hunting a deer, before her brother ships off to fight in The Great War.
  • Animal Motifs: Saxony is certainly fond of wolf iconography. Their coat-of-arms features a wolf; one of their hero units, Gunter von Duisberg, has two pet wolves and another hero unit, Prince William, has a custom mech with a golden wolf's head; and one of their mechs is named after a wolf character from a Germanic folktale.
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  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The game features a population cap system limiting the number of units you can field at once.
  • Arm Cannon: Standard equipment for Polanian PZM-2 "Rycerz" Powered Armor is a large cannon mounted to their forearm which makes short work of most armored targets.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: A few of the mechs fall into this, such as the Ognivo, a flamethrower-toting anti-infantry and anti-building mech that moves slowly and has short range, making it easily kited and taken out by anti-armor weapons. The Serp, a heavy mech with two huge scythes, also falls into this category, as it's quite slow and will likely take a lot of damage before it gets into range to attack.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: Polania has the Nosidełko, a walking fortress that carries infantry squads into battle. Firing slits surround it's entire body enabling the infantry to fire out while protected inside and it has a powerful turreted mortar mounted on it.
    • Saxony's heroic mech unit is the Brunhilde, an even larger mobile fort which looks for all the world like a headless AT-AT that can ferry infantry in addition to its formidable onboard batteries of both light and heavy cannons.
  • Badass Beard: Gunter von Duisberg has one with an Imperial (aka the Kaiser Wilhelm) style mustache.
  • Badass Longcoat: Many Saxony soldiers and officers wear greatcoats.
  • Beary Friendly: Wojtek totes around a small hospital's worth of medical supplies on his back, allowing him to passively heal allied infantry while out of combat.
  • BFG: Infantry squads can carry light machine guns or anti-mech rifles.
  • Big Bad: The Fenris organisation, under the leadership of Rasputin, are revealed to be the ones responsible for reigniting the war between the three nations. Using their agents and manipulations, they hope to cause another world war to not only take over Europe but also access Telsa's factory and its highly advanced technologies.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Units often have pun-based or meaningful (sometimes both) names - as long as you know a bit of Polish, Russian and German to notice.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Lech's custom built mech features one of these as a backup melee weapon, while still allowing him to mount an autocannon in the same arm.
  • Cavalry Officer: Michal Sikorski, one of Polania's heroes, is one.
  • Chicken Walker: Polania's recon mech, the Śmiały, has these kind of legs and is even nicknamed "Chicken Legs".
    • Rusviet's SHM-86 Kolokol features similarly jointed legs.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Rusviet combat doctrine emphasizes getting as close as possible to the enemy to deal maximum damage. They prefer flamethrowers instead of machine guns for anti-infantry duties, equip their infantry with shotguns as standard, have a pair of melee-only units and both their heroes are focused on melee or short range firefights.
  • Combat Medic: Medic units are outfitted with pistols for self defense, since there doesn't seem to be much of a notion of "protected noncombatants" in the 1920+ universe.
  • Cool Helmet: Gunter von Duisberg and many other Saxony soldiers wear Pickelhaube spiked helmets.
  • Cool Pet: Several of the heroes have one:
    • Gunter von Duisberg has two wolves, Nacht and Tag.
    • Olga Romanova has a tiger named Changa.
    • Anna has a bear named Wojtek.
  • Cyborg: Anna's brother Janek was turned into one by the Rusviets. He is not happy about this development.
  • Diesel Punk: The game takes place in Alternate History Europe during the 1920s where technology developed slightly different.
  • Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: Gunter von Duisberg is often depicted in the artwork smoking one.
  • The Engineer: Every nation fields combat Engineers, who can construct buildings, fortifications and mines. They can also repair damaged mechs.
  • Faction Calculus:
    • Polania: Subversive. They excel at long-range engagements and several of their mech units are Fragile Speedster designs with good long range firepower.
    • Saxony: Balanced. Their units on average are tougher then Polania's but not as tough as Rusviet forces. They are also faster and more maneuverable then Rusviet forces but are not as fast as Polania. They excel at medium ranged engagements.
    • Rusviet: Powerhouse. A Mighty Glacier faction with extremely durable but slow moving mechs and the only faction to have access to rocket artillery. They favor close-ranged combat.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Saxony is Germany, Polania is Poland and Rusviet is Russia.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Both Saxony and Polania field flamethrower infantry. Rusviet has flamethrower mechs in the form of the SHM-78 "Ognivo".
  • For Want of a Nail: The game's version of Germany and Russia never suffered a revolution during the Great War that overthrew their respective monarchs.
  • Fragile Speedster: Polania's anti-infantry mech, the Stranznik, and its recon mech, the Śmiały, are both very fast units with good firepower and weak armor and low hitpoints.
  • Frameup: Prince Wilhelm murders the Kaiser with Gunter's handcannon and pinning his death on the old commander.
  • Friendly Sniper: Anna Kos, when she isn't being a Fiery Redhead, is fairly laid back and informal, commonly reacting to being selected with a breezy "Whatcha need?" She's also a world-class sniper, capable of pulling off a One-Hit Polykill roughly once a minute.
  • Glass Cannon: A few units can fall into this category.
    • The Mocny, Polania's artillery mech, can do immense damage but cannot take much punishment and is easily destroyed if it starts taking fire. This also goes for the Erlkonig and Nakovalnya artillery mechs, but the Mocny is the most fragile of the three.
    • Janek Kos as a hero unit also counts as this, as he boasts a lot of firepower but has Light armor and relatively low HP, so he can't take much abuse.
    • The Wotan, Saxony's mech-destroyer, is an unusual version - it has the Heavy armor classification but doesn't have the HP to back it up, so any attacks that get through its armor will kill it quickly.
  • The Heavy: Though Rasputin is the Big Bad it is the actions of his operative Colonel Zubov that drives most of the plot.
  • Historical Domain Character: Grigori Rasputin is the leader of a rebel faction within the Rusviet Union and Nikola Tesla is the man responsible for the development of mechs and Powered Armor in this timeline.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Grigori Rasputin in real life was an eccentric religious figure with some unsavory character traits but was relatively harmless. Here he is pretty much a James Bond villain serving as the head of Fenris, plotting world domination, trying to raid Tesla's factory and lab, and trying to start a new world war (he is also revealed to have started the first one).
  • Home by Christmas: During the prologue, Polanian troops use this phrase word for word when Anna and Janek ask about the now inevitable war with the Rusviet Union. As one can tragically guess, not only are they wrong, but this version of the Great War lasts for five years instead of the four our world suffered through.
  • Hufflepuff House: A throwaway line by Janek Kos at the end of the first level of the Polania Campaign says that the War that would go down would involve all of the major powers of the world including Polania: "Saxony, Rusviet, The Nordic Kingdoms, maybe even the Shogunate." The latter two do not make any appearance either in the gameplay or in the following cinematic, and are never even mentioned again.
  • Humongous Mecha: Some mechs are pretty damn big, which special mention going to Polania's PZM-24 "Tur" (an artillery unit that makes houses look puny).
  • Interface Spoiler: Starting up a skirmish or multiplayer match and taking a look at the Rusviet hero options spoils the fact that Anna's brother Janek is still alive, is now a cyborg and is also a soldier in the Rusviet Army. This effectively gives away couple of the campaigns major plot twists.
  • Jump Jet Pack: Rusviet SHM-60 "Groza" Powered Armor suits feature jump jets, allowing them to bypass terrain and rapidly close with the enemy to best employ their powerful cutting blades. Colonel Lev features a scaled up version of the same system on his Ace Custom mech, and the sight of a flying walker the size of a house is quite impressive.
  • Kick the Dog: Zubov is very fond of doing this. Examples include ordering his men to burn down a tavern full of civilians and taunting Anna with her father's prosthetic arm.
  • Mighty Glacier: Standard Rusviet philosophy when it comes to mech design is that armor trumps all other concerns; if it's not in danger of tipping over or collapsing under its own weight, it needs more plating. While this does mean that even the lightest Rusviet mech has a top speed which could charitably be called sluggish, they can absorb far more punishment than their foreign counterparts.
  • More Dakka:
    • Both Saxony and Polania field anti-infantry mechs armed with powerful machine guns though there are some key differences between the two. The Polania Stranznik has four machine guns, is very fast and is capable of firing on the move but has very weak armor. In contrast the Saxon Grimbart has much heavier armor and about double the health of its Polanian counterpart but is significantly slower and has to halt to fire its machine gun.
    • All three factions can field both light and heavy machine gun teams.
    • Saxony can also field squads of Stormtroopers armed with rapid-fire submachine guns.
  • Mr. Fixit: Engineers can repair damaged vehicles and buildings.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: All Rasputin does in the game is talk to Tsar Nicholas and give orders to Colonel Zubov to raid Tesla's factory and lab.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: This happens more than a few times in the campaign.
    • After the fourth Rusviet mission, Zubov has an entire village burned down and its villagers massacred so they won't tell anyone of the presence of his forces.
    • Prince Wilhelm is guilty of at least two different war crimes in the second and third missions of the Saxonian campaign: the first is using poison gas against Rusviet troops; the second is personally executing Rusviet prisoners of war.
    • Medics will often get shot at during gameplay. The Polanian medics even point it out when they're being attacked.
  • Occupiers Out of Our Country: According to the devs, as well as statements made by Lech, a large part of Polania is still occupied by Rusviet forces at the start of the game. Their campaign tells the story of a struggling rebel army trying to evict these forces from their homeland.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Infantry squads can pick-up abandoned equipment, ranging from grenades and first aid kits to anti-tank guns, lying around and use it without any problems.
  • Powered Armor: Each of the factions has a variant.
    • The Saxony Eisenhans is a soldier in power armor lugging around a pair of heavy mortars. As with the mechs the armor is crude and bulky and the soldier can only move at a walking pace and has to stand still in order to fire.
    • The Rusviet Groza features jump jets so they can rapidly close with the enemy and engage them with powerful melee attacks.
    • The Polania Rycerz features a hand-held shield and an auto-cannon.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: Saxony is fond of doing this with their units:
    • Wotan is the old High German tongue name for Odin.
    • Erlkönig is German for Elf King, and is the title of a classic poem later adapted by Franz Schubert.
    • Isegrim the wolf is a character from the Germanic folktale Reynard the Fox.
    • Eisenhans Powered Armor is named for the title character in the German fairy tale "Iron Hans".
    • Stiefmutter means "Stepmother", likely in reference to The wicked stepmother.
  • Real Robot Genre: The mechs are meant to invoke the tanks of the First World War; slow and crude with the technology still being in its infancy.
  • Ridiculously Fast Construction: As is usual for an Real-Time Strategy game. However, almost all buildings are ad-hoc sheds and tents, so it's not as egregious as usually.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: A Christmas Truce happens between Saxony and Rusviet soldiers that is overseen by Gunter and Prince Wilhelm. While the former is pleased to see the soldiers enjoying the holiday and finally getting well earned relax from the war, the Prince is disgusted to see his enemies mingling with his men and wish to have them gunned down right there as they are celebrating.
  • Sequel Hook: The Saxony campaign ends with von Duisberg, Anna, Olega, Janek and their respective armies uniting under Tesla's banner to wage war against Rasputin and Fenris.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The Rusviets, in keeping with their army's close quarters combat doctrine, have seen fit to arm their Vanguard infantry with shotguns.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Spider Tank: Saxony is fond of these with two prominent examples being the Sd. KS 78 Isegrim and the SKS 156 Wotan. The MWF 28 Stiefmutter also qualifies, though it looks more like a tick in practice with its six stubby legs obscured under its hull.
    • Polania, not to be outdone, fields the PZM-9 Straznik, an anti-infantry raider, and the PZM-16 Nosidelko, a mobile bunker and mortar carrier. Lech Kos' custom mech also uses all four of its limbs to move, but is instead patterned on a gorilla, to better emphasize its furious close combat power.
    • Rusviet Ognivo and Nagan mechs are a unique variation, as they feature stabilizer wheels in place of rear legs, giving them a movement style akin to a legless man pulling himself forward.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Combat largely revolves around Armor Types, both what a unit is equipped with and what they are best at dealing damage to. A general rule is that the larger and slower firing a weapon is, the heavier the armor it can destroy.
  • Tesla Tech Timeline: Nikola Tesla is responsible for creating the mechs and other advanced technologies in the world of 1920+. However, Tesla was left disappointed and appalled over his inventions being use in war and has since trying to keep his even more advanced technology away from the public.
  • The Scapegoat: Gunter is made to take the blame for Prince Wilhelm's war crimes by Kaiser Freidrich for political reasons.
  • Tripod Terror: The TF-1597 "Icarus", or the Icarus Protocol, is a automated towering super-heavy mech designed by Nikola Tesla to destroy The Factory to prevent its technologies from falling to Fenris and anyone who misuse them, and is the final boss. It is a weapon of mass destruction capable of releashing an electrical blast so intense it will melt any metal within a 20 kilometers radius. Tesla unleashed Icarus against Fenris, but the machine was uncontrollable and cannot be shutdown, thus forcing the heroes to team up and destroying it.
  • Units Not to Scale: Averted, the mechs are realistically bigger than the infantrymen. That said, artwork tends to depict mechs as being much larger than they appear in game. The worst offender by far is the Tur, which looks to be about 40 feet when deployed, but paintings and cinematics depict it being a titan that easily crests 100 feet.
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People: The heroes of the three factions have a bear, a tiger and pair of wolves for pets.
  • Walking Tank: The mechs in general but the Saxony Isegrim and Wotan look the most like tanks who had their treads removed and spider legs mounted in their place.
  • Wrench Wench: Frieda Reute, who repairs and even improves the Brunhilde mech.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Actually, you require more iron and oil. Iron in-game functions as the gold-like resource used to purchase most units and buildings. Oil is used for vehicles and advanced buildings.

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