Hail to the King, the best unit in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator

As I mentioned on the PC Gamer Show (video above, and full show here on YouTube) I have completely fallen for the King in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. It's a game about goofy, physics-based combat between two armies made up of various units. In the campaign levels you have a restricted budget to spend on units to overcome a (typically) stronger army.

But in sandbox mode you can build whatever armies you want and pit them against one another. With all that freedom and all those units at my disposal, I've only been doing one thing: placing a single medieval King on the field and making him fight everything all by himself.

Why do I love the King? Why do I restrict myself to using him and only him? Here is why, in a single goddamn clip that you need to turn the sound on for.

He's a tall, goofy fellow with a huge sword and he strides around making regal gibberish proclamations. He's also a damn tank. See him get hit with multiple boulders? Notice how they basically break his arms so they're stuck behind him. See how he still stabs the catapult to death with both arms bent behind his back?

That's why I love the King. That's why he is the King.

Hail to the King, baby.

Here he is taking on a couple dozen hobbits. Granted, hobbits (halflings) are the very definition of fodder. They're useful in the game for slowing down other units because they stick to them, as you'll see below. The King doesn't quit, though, even after he loses his royal footing and all but disappears in the mob of Brandybucks, Boffins, Bolgers, and Bracegirdles.

Grand and mighty as the King is, he's not invulnerable. He can shrug off a few catapulted boulders, but a ballista (giant-ass crossbow) will immediately put him out for the count. Sharp projectiles, in general, spell demise for the King, but in the case of arrows and spears he can take a number of them to the royal torso and keep on fighting.

Just not forever. Missing a few swings of the sword didn't help, either, but that can happen when you've got a spear lodged in your elbow.

But that's a King for you, simply too proud to carry a shield. And hearty enough to take on Zeus. Yeah, Zeus is in Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, because this is a game about total accuracy.

I do like Zeus a lot too, he's got a swagger I enjoy and he's ruthless against mobs, chaining lightning strikes together than can take down entire lines of infantry. But this is no squire or knight he's fighting. It's the King.

Perhaps my favorite example of how tough my King is can be seen below when he takes on two Viking longboats. Granted, the longboats aren't in their element, being on land and everything, but the Vikings aren't shy about riding them while they're carried and thrown by their mates.

The King has two boats thrown on top of him and lies there, crushed beneath the weight of both. And he still keeps slashing away with Excalibur, wiping one poor dude off the map with just one swing while lying on his back under a buncha damn boats! When he finally works his way free his arms are all jacked up (again—I think inbreeding in the royal family make have resulted in weakened joints) but he keeps fighting. 

There are ways to make the King even more powerful—priest units will follow him around using divine magic to protect him, which would probably give him the edge he needs to take on spear-hurlers and archers and ballistas.

But I like making the King go out there by himself. Leading by example. Being a one-man army. Hail to the King.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.