Battle Brothers Developer Blog #124 - New Lands

With Overhype Studios hard at work on the Blazing Deserts DLC for their strategy RPG Battle Brothers, we get a new developer blog for the game. There, we can learn a thing or two about the vast and appropriately blazing sandy locales the DLC will introduce, as well as its new approach to combat arenas. Check it out:

The upcoming ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC for Battle Brothers will expand and enrich the world with new lands to the south. But it also brings a significant addition to tactical combat maps. Let’s find out more!


With the ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC we want to add more flavor and variety to the southern part of the map. One part of the recipe to achieve this is a different geography, and so we’re going to expand the world map with new lands to the very south to create one large and continuous world. These new lands are made up of blistering hot deserts, barren rocky hills towering seas of sand, and lush jungles that hug the coast. You’ll be able to reach them both by traveling as far south as your feet can carry you, or by taking the sea route from a northern port town.

Even though the world is going to be larger, frequent auto-saves in ironman mode will actually become faster thanks to some parallelization.


The new sand is about to turn red with blood as these new types of terrain will of course also make an appearance during combat. Behold the desert.

An oft-requested feature for Battle Brothers is to portray any location that you’re fighting at, such as a graveyard or a brigand camp, also on the tactical combat map. Fighting Wiedergängers between fallen tombstones and not just on empty plains can add a lot to the atmosphere and flair to that tight battle that will decide the future of your company. We’re happy to announce that with the ‘Blazing Deserts’ DLC we’ll introduce a wealth of new location-based environments in combat to make possible just that.

The combat system of Battle Brothers – one of its strongest features, as most of us will agree – was designed for small scale infantry combat on open or mostly open maps, and that’s where it works best. Having the odd fight in more enclosed environments, such as in forests, can shake things up every now and then in interesting ways, but doing this too much can also wear on a player’s patience. For example, the initiative system that works well in open field battles can become frustrating in tight quarters where 12 or more characters are constantly blocking each other. So with that in mind, let’s talk about how environments based on location are going to work.

Fighting brigands at their base camp will bring a dynamic to combat that is different from fighting them in the open field. That’s a good thing, because it adds more variety to combat in general, and because it adds another strategic dimension to the world map where you’ll now have to weigh the pros and cons of luring an opponent out of their base or fighting them at home. But while there’ll now be walls, palisades and gravestones shaping some of the maps, we also won’t turn every attack on a brigand camp into a siege, or a fight in a dense forest of tents and barrels. It’s not what the combat system was designed for, and consequently it just wouldn’t be fun. All combat will still take place outside, and most location-based objects are in fact cosmetic, meaning they’ll provide a flavorful backdrop and tell a story of where you’re fighting, but they won’t get in your way and won’t block your men from moving. On top of that we’ll be adding a smaller selection of objects which actually do block tiles to change the dynamic of combat in a controlled way. For example, a brigand camp may be surrounded by palisades to create chokepoints, but there’ll be also enough open space both outside and inside to have a proper battle.

While we take care to make it visually apparent which objects block a tile from being entered, and which objects are merely cosmetic, we’re also aware that it won’t always be intuitively readable for everyone and in every situation. Again, it’s a problem that you may have already encountered when fighting in the woods. To alleviate this issue, we’re introducing a new quality of life feature with the free update that comes along with the DLC. You’ll be able to toggle at any time to have highlighted in red all tiles that are blocked by environmental objects, such as trees, by pressing a button on the top right or by pressing a hotkey. Useful for navigating those new environments and any forest alike.

Join us again next week for a very special announcement regarding Battle Brothers!