Joining Drodo Studios’ Auto Chess, Valve’s Dota Underlords and Riot’s Teamfight Tactics, is Blizzard’s Hearthstone Battlegrounds, a new eight-player mode coming to Hearthstone.
Like other auto battler games, Battlegrounds pits you against others in a turn-based battle royale, where you’ll fight to be the last man standing. The game will feature heroes and units from the Warcraft universe.
At the start of each turn, you’ll be given some Tavern coin and a random selection of minions to recruit an army with. You can upgrade minions by matching three of the same type together. There are also bonuses for having an army with matching characteristics — for example, multiple orcs or mages.
Unlike every other auto battler game, there is no chessboard-like grid to place your minions on. Instead, like Hearthstone, there’s a single row for you to place them on, and you can only control their position in the line.
Battlegrounds will also include the concept of Heroes, which sounds pretty similar to what Valve is doing with its titular Underlords. At the start of each game, players will be able to select a Hero with a unique power that will affect how you build your army.
For example, the Millificent Manastorm hero will passively cause all Mech minions to gain an additional +1/+1, so if you choose her, you’ll probably want to focus on recruiting mech type units. At launch, there will be 24 different heroes.
You can check out the full list of minions and heroes here.
After you’re done building your army the combat phase will begin. Here, you’ll be pitted against a randomly chosen opponent and your minions will battle each other to the death until one player has no more units remaining.
Minions will take turns attacking, starting with each player’s left-most minion. Minion keywords work just as they would in a normal game of Hearthstone. For example, minions with Taunt must be attacked first, Poisonous minions destroy any minion they deal damage to, and Divine Shield will block the first source of damage.
Once combat is over, you’ll head back to the Tavern screen to recruit more minions. These phases repeat until there’s just one player left standing.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds will go into open beta on November 12, however, BlizzCon 2019 attendees and Virtual Ticket holders will have early access starting on November 5.