Medieval fantasy RTS Bannermen will hold an open beta test next week

Bannermen is a medieval RTS with dynamic environments that we first looked at a couple of years ago. It was in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign that seemed to be going well at the time, but it ran into trouble and was ultimately cancelled. Development went on, however, and it's now slated for release on February 21. Ahead of that, gamers will have a chance to see what it's all about in an open beta that will take place from February 8-10. 

The game is set in the "semi-fantasy medieval realm of Valtoria," and mixes conventional units and weapons with powerful "nature magic." Base building and effective resource management are important to success, as each map has unique powers that can be unlocked and turned against enemy forces by building and defending temples in "holy spots."   

There's also a "strong focus" on unit control: Each unit in your army can be controlled manually, and you'll also have a hero unit at your disposal that can be levelled up to cast more powerful spells. It will offer a single-player campaign, skirmishes against the AI, ranked and unranked online multiplayer, and custom games with support for up to eight players at once. 

It sounds like a fairly straightforward fantasy RTS, although that's not necessarily a bad thing, and that's why the open beta is a nice option: Betas rarely go perfectly smoothly, but publisher 2tainment said it "will give players a sense of the game, its story, and the tactics they will use to shape the world and deliver a victory for their Lord." 

Bannermen will be available on Steam, and you can find out more at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.