Game Balancing (Barracks and Army Costing)

5 min readJan 28, 2022


The Barracks

The Barracks is the location within Aradena that allows players to view their Aradena NFTs which are available for their in-game army. This includes warriors, women warriors, various types of units, and various special action items. Players can use the barracks to change their army loadout, and save different loadout templates for different gameplay strategies.

Commanding Warriors

All players require a commanding warrior NFT to play Aradena: Battlegrounds. These currently include the Warriors of Aradena and Women of Aradena genesis collections, and will also include new generations created through the recruitment system. In the first game mode released, this commanding warrior will act as the player’s health during battle, new modes will follow later on with different objectives. Currently the plan is to only allow one warrior in each army loadout in order to keep the game balanced and avoid pay to win scenarios. However, this could be alleviated through army costing (see below), and we can test this out during the initial stages of balance testing. We would like to get the community’s feedback on this. Owning multiple warriors will offer many other in-game benefits, including staking, recruiting, loaning out via the mercenary system, and being used to create different strategic loadouts which compliments different styles of battle and different unit combinations.

Default Items

Default items will be part of every player’s account and will be locked to that account. These will include a mix of units and special actions, none of which are NFTs, therefore they cannot be sold or traded. The purpose of default items is to offer every owner of a commanding warrior NFT the ability to field an initial starting army. The sets will be identical across all players, and will offer more units than required to play in order to provide players with flexibility and initial strategic decisions. This also ensures that the game has a low entry cost for new players and offers a relatively fair and balanced starting position.

Unit NFTs

Unit NFTs can be won as rewards in-game, these can be used to replace default units within a player’s army to open up more strategic options. Units are fighting items which can be used to maneuver around and attack the opponent. Some of these unit NFTs will be the same as the default units, whilst others will introduce entirely new units with unique properties, stats and artwork, for example a Loktras Bodyguard. Unit NFTs will be tradeable, allowing players to monetise from unwanted units sitting in their Barracks, or to purchase new units that will aid their style of play.

Special Action NFTs

Special Action NFTs can also be won as rewards in-game to replace default items within a player’s army. Special actions add another layer of depth to battle strategy by having a wide range of unique effects which can help turn the tide of the battle. For example, Rainy Weather would give all ranged units a stat penalty for a number of turns. These items will be accompanied by engrossing on-screen animations. These are also tradeable, allowing players to buy and sell depending on their preferences and style of play.

Army Upkeep

To ensure that the game remains well-balanced regardless of what items a player may win or purchase, Aradena: Battlegrounds will implement an army costing system whereby every warrior, unit, and special action will have a specific upkeep cost associated with its in-game merits. Each army loadout will have an identical upkeep allowance, meaning that a player could opt to fill an army with stronger items whilst having less total items within it, or vice versa. However, armies will have both a minimum and maximum number of items required. Not only does this keep the game well-balanced, but it also introduces more strategic decisions which impacts the battle in interesting ways whilst keeping these decisions within reasonable constraints.

Example: If a certain type of Swordsman cost 100 upkeep, and a certain type of Heavy Cavalry cost 200 upkeep, assuming that the total upkeep allowance was 2000, then a player could choose to have an army of 20 Swordsman, 10 Swordsman and 5 Heavy Cavalry, or any other combination that doesn’t exceed the 2000 total allowance.

Action Points

To further balance the game, whilst also ensuring that turns are relatively quick to keep the gameplay exciting by going back and forth, players will have a certain number of action points that they can use each turn. These action points are required for all in-game actions, including deploying an item to the battlefield, moving a unit, and making an attack. Each item will carry unique costs to be used in game, for example a Swordsman may only cost 2 action points to play, and 1 action point to move, whereas a Heavy Cavalry may cost 3 action points to play and 2 action points to move.

There will also be a limit to the number of units that a player can have on the field at any one time. This ensures that action points are also spent on developing map position as well as developing the army size on the field, dissuading players from hunkering down in their starting area waiting for the enemy to attack (the infamous noob box). Overall the action points system allows for a more natural development at the beginning of games, as well as a better chance for climatic endings.

Army Saving

Saving armies is a simple but key feature to ensure that players can easily swap out and return to different army loadouts. The same items that a player owns can be saved across different loadout templates. This encourages players to try different strategies and keep gameplay fresh to ensure games do not become stale, and to ensure opponents do not become too accustomed to the same strategies. Players will have a certain number of save slots, which can be increased through staking benefits.

When entering a battle, players will be able to choose the army they want to use from a list of their saved armies. Players can easily swap commanding warriors in and out of these army loadouts prior to the battle to provide quick and convenient strategy changes.


Genesis Collection (Men):

Genesis Collection (Women):







Aradena is a medieval fantasy gaming brand created by Litoja Labs. Aradena: Battlegrounds is a tactical TCG where collectable cards come to life.