Art of war: Legions – A mobile game review

Art of War: Legions 4/10 – Slightly bellow average

The campaign gets stale real quick, the arena requires a huge investment of either cash or time to be competitive, expeditions offers a glimmer of hope for the game.

Art of war: Legions is in its own words “A game with huge amount of spectacular battles. You will be the commander who leads legions of tiny armies, It´s your army you´re in charge”


There are three notable game modes in Art of war, battles in the campaign and in the arena, honor hunting and expeditions.

The campaign battle screen in art of war

Battles is the bread and butter of the game. You buy card packs with gold or gems to receive troops, two level one troops can be combined into a level two troop and two level two troops can be combined into a level three troop and so on. Combining units into higher level stronger units allows you to fit more units onto the battlefield. Before the battle starts you get to look at your opponents army and you choose your setup, both which units to use and how to set them up. Usually you want units that can tank both in the front to hold off your opponents infantry and in the back to counter his assasins and flying units which will go straight for your backline. When you are happy with your setup you just hit the play button and your army goes to war. The campaign is super easy and require very little strategy, at least up to the level i got to before i got a bored with it, 895. Some tanks in the front, some tanks in the back and the only restriction to how high i could get seemed to be how many times i managed to press the play button.
For an untrained eye it was pretty hard to follow what happend during the battles so adjusting my army beyond having tanks both in the front and in the back felt pretty hopeless. The game also gives you very little information to work with. Instead of writing on the unit cards what their abilities actually are you get descriptions like “You will be redeemed with the fire” and “fight for our faith” this forces the player to go to third party websites to actually understand what your units are doing.

The paladin shields low health friendly units, but
according to their card they “fight for our faith”


If battles were the only game mode the game offered the final verdict for my review would have been pretty harsh, but the expeditions offers a glimmer of hope for the game.
In expeditions you take control of forts and the objective is to wipe out the enemies forces with soldiers that are generated in those forts. You can chose to use your soldiers to attack neutral or enemy forts, or you can spend soldiers upgrading the forts you already control. This will increase their ability to store soldiers and up the speed at which they generate them. If you want to see how it works watch the youtube clip below for a three star clear of a expedition level.

Expedition example

In this game mode you have to make good strategic decisions on the fly and serval of the levels actually feel pretty challenging, forcing you to try different approaches in order to clear them. Do I spend my forces to capture more forts, do i save up to upgrade the forts i already control or are my soldiers needed in order to defend my high level forts? As you can see in the video a captured fort is knocked back down to level one, so sometimes it can be worth it to capture a enemy fort just to slow his production down, even if you know you wont be able to hold on to it. Expeditions is definitely my favourite part of the game and I think the concept could be expanded on to include PvP instead of just PvE. With some twists and good map design you could have a skill based easy to learn hard to master PvP mobile game. Even with no PvP I still had the most fun getting three stars on all the expedition maps available.

Pay to win

Unfortunately as we´ve come to expect from most modern mobile games the game is filled with pay to win elements. Need more coins? Sure, just open your wallet! Want to open more hero boxes? Sure, just enter your credit card details! Need some more gems? No problem, just 10$.
In order to grow your armies power you need hero cards and unit cards. Basic units is acquired with gold while more rare units and heroes are acquired with gems, both currencies are purchasable with real world money making it possible to simply buy a stronger army. The game have made it possible to earn a good amount of both coins and gems just by playing it, but from my experience you would either have to spend a serious amount of time or a serious amount of cash to even have strong enough units for formations and strategy to be a factor in the PvP battles. I have no problem spending money on games that I enjoy and have sunk hundreds of dollars into games like CS:GO, Dota2, Path of exile and others. But a system were the size of your wallet and your chance of success directly correlates kills my enjoyment of the game. Sadly Art of war: legions feels like one of those games.

Final verdict

Pay to win 8/10 – pretty much pay to win
The ability to earn coins and gems at a decent rate pulls the pay to win score down a bit, but the game still feels super pay to win.
Battles 3/10 – Bellow average
Gets stale pretty fast and collecting enough cards to be competitive in the arena is either a huge time grind or a big investment of real life cash

Expeditions 6/10 – Slightly above average
Expeditions is super fun and a lot of the missions is pretty challenging. Few missions and no PvP pulls the score down a bit to slightly above average.
Art of War: Legions 4/10 – Slightly bellow average
The campaign gets stale real quick, the arena requires a huge investment of either cash or time to be competitive, but expeditions offers a glimmer of hope for the game.