Gem Wizards Tactics: The Garg-oil and the Bulldozer

I’ve talked a little bit before about the Business Demons, who are the first completed faction in my upcoming turn based tactical war game, Gem Wizards Tactics. They have two special units: the Bulldozer, and the Garg-Oil. I’ve just recently finished up a bunch of the mechanics for the Garg-Oil so I wanted to write something about these two units because I think it’s a good example of the kind of stuff that’s possible in this game. (By the way: I have just made the first alpha version of Gem Wizards Tactics available to my Silver tier patrons and up, so if you want to check it out yourself, head on over to my Patreon!)

The Bulldozer

The Bulldozer, in many ways, is like a model unit for this game. It has actually just 1 ability, but such a strong identity, and its one ability can do so much. The Business Demons are the only faction that lacks a Cavalry unit – who are both the most mobile units in the game, but also units which are particularly good at getting over rivers. Not only that, but several of their units have Wheel type unit (including their main infantry unit, who rides a Segway-like device!), and Wheel type movement is terrible at moving anywhere except on roads. Enter the Bulldozer!

The Bulldozer is a super tanky high defense unit that has VERY low attack, so it’s really a support unit in general. It has a passive ability which lets it pave any tiles it crosses! This means you’ve gotta plan where you move your Bulldozer to help your high damage units and siege units get into position.


A bulldozer paves over a river to help a Catapult get into position faster.

But the coolest thing about Bulldozers is their Bulldoze ability. Bulldoze is pretty simple: move the Bulldozer 1-2 tiles in a direction, pushing any units in your way and paving along the way (you can even use this to pave over mountains, normally traversible by no one!) The reason I like this ability so much is that it has several different kinds of uses. You can use it to push your own units into better position (probably the best way to use it most of the time). But you can also use it to push your own friendly units out of harm’s way. Or push enemy units into a more favorable position! It has a ton of uses and combines great with almost every other ability in the game.

That Order Knight was threatening my Cavalry, but no more! By the way, how about that stack-pushing?!

The Garg-Oil

The Garg-Oil (thanks Nomorebirds for the awesome name!) is a huge, tanky and strong special unit that is made completely of oil. Oil is one of the important resources of the Business Demons (along with roads, toxic waste, and of course, Gems), and when units touch oil, they get an “Oily” buff that makes them trail oil and take more damage from fire. But the Garg-oil is made from 100% crude, and so if fire touches him, watch out! He’s also trailing oil at all times, forever, so you can actually do that thing in cartoons where you lay a really long trail of gunpowder and then just have your Dragon cough on it and the whole thing goes up in flames, detonating the Gargoil himself and dealing huge damage to everyone in the vicinity.

The Garg-oil takes a ton of damage from this, so you gotta make it count!

I’m still getting some details together on how oil works: right now it actually can be picked up by all Business Demon units to gain +1 cooldowns (like picking up a Gem), but also if mechanical units pick it up it heals them. Anyway, it’s an example of the kind of weird emergent stuff that can be set up.

This is really only the beginning. I have most of the next faction – the Potatoes – designed and art made for them, and I’m excited to get them in there (actually one Potato is already in the game, as you can probably see in the screenshot above).

I think these kinds of abilities and the many surprising ways they’re likely to combine with each other really make this game special and fun, and really distinct from games like Advance Wars which don’t have a ton of emergent gameplay properties.

If you think this is cool, please consider becoming a Patron to get builds and all the latest news on the game. Thanks for reading!