Similarly, Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf almost has the same gameplay as other real-time strategy games. There are 4 clans (Dragon, Serpent, Lotus, and Wolf), with each has its own units and specialty. For all these clans, there is only one unit to do everything; the peasant. They create your buildings, gather resources (water and rice), and they are also your main source of an army. You have to train them through the different training grounds, which consists of three categories; melee ranged and missile/fire. You can train your units in each building, adding one more tier to them.
There is a maximum of 3 tiers for each unit, with the exception of the Wolf and Lotus as they have a special tier or a 4th tier. Their third tier units can transform into a much more powerful unit. However, having 20 3rd tier units are not always good, as Battle Realms: Winter of the wolf has this complex rock-paper-scissor concept for the strengths and weaknesses of each unit. A combination of all tiers would be optimal for an attack.
To put it simply, there are different types of melee and ranged attacks. For melee, there are blunt, piercing, cutting, while the ranged attack has magic, explosive, and fire. This has given the battles less generic, and more on strategy because you have to think what units you have to dispatch to counter the enemy’s attack. It makes a solid and balanced gameplay overall and it gives a lot of variety in terms of engaging an enemy in battles. It goes to show that a platoon of tier 3 units cannot defeat a platoon mixed of tier 1 and tier 2 units.
Units can get a specific skill within one of the two buildings, so you have to double check what is best for your unit. They are also upgradeable in the training grounds, but it has now a cost, it is either Yin or Yang, depending on what clan you choose. Dragon & Wolf are Yin; Serpent and Lotus are Yang. Yin/Yang can be acquired through engaging in a battle.
Battle Realms: Winter of the Wolf offers a campaign map, skirmish and a map editor. We just discussed that the campaigns have branches, and it is actually a very good story. Although, it would have been better if you can go back and replay some missions once you already cleared it just to see what lies on the other path. However, that is just my preference.
If you have friends, you can have a LAN Party, then this game will be tons of fun to play. Even if you play with the AI in this game, it can still give you tons of replay value.
The map editor, though, is just pretty basic stuff. You can create your own map and play it in skirmish mode. If you are into creating your own landscape, then you may waste a lot of time and still have fun, especially once you use the map in skirmish mode.