Production Diary 0: 20th Century Breakdown

What Is Tyrannis?

To put it simply, Tyrannis is an indie turn-based guerrilla warfare game that pits one-to-two Mercenary players against up to six Rebel players as they fight across the dystopian Continental States of America, or “CSA” for short.

The World of Tyrannis


Twenty-five years after the last world war, the Continental States reigns from sea to shining sea and pole to frozen pole. The star-crossed banner waves proudly over citizens and non-citizens alike, taunting the ever-despised Europa as a reminder of their most recent military failure.

However, all is not well in the CSA. In the South, Rebels have taken up arms once more against the forced assimilation and crackdowns by their thirty-year conquerors. Meanwhile in the more-assimilated Central Regions, corruption and abuse have reopened the century-old scars of colonialism. Even in the North, the very heartland of Greater America, the impoverished masses chafe against the American Caesar’s brutal crackdown on the Civil RIghts movement.

The year is 1976. For over four years, the American Caesar has favored blunt brutality over diplomacy and reform. Though cruel even by most Caesars’ standards, the violent crackdown on Civil Rights and the Crash of ‘75 being in recent memory have exacerbated the issue tenfold.

Left with the belief that peaceful revolution is impossible, almost two dozen Rebel forces have taken up arms against the American Caesar and his overstretched Mercenaries.

How to Play Tyrannis

Getting Started – Menus

To begin a Skirmish, select “Skirmish” on the Main Menu and choose between a Local Skirmish and an Online Skirmish.


For a Local Skirmish, choose between starting a new Skirmish, or, if there are any saved Skirmishes, loading a Skirmish.


For Online Skirmishes, players can choose to Host a Skirmish, or Join a Skirmish.

To Host a Skirmish, the player  will click on “Host,” then either “New” to start a new Skirmish or “Load” to continue a saved Skirmish.


But if a player chooses to Join a Skirmish, they will need to enter the hosting player’s IP address and select one of the factions if the host has loaded a Skirmish.


Getting Started – Skirmish Settings

If “New Skirmish” is selected, the host can toggle settings for the game, including the number of Turns, the number of AI Players, the Scoring System, the Maximum Mercenary Players, the Regions in Play, and, if it is a Local Skirmish, the number of Human Players.


To edit any of these settings, click on the setting in the Skirmish Menu to select it, then click through the Menus to modify them.


Note that these settings cannot be changed if the Player/Host selects “Load Skirmish.”

Getting Started – Player Settings

To access Player Settings, first select a Player by clicking on them.


In a Loaded Online Skirmish, if you click on an AI Player Slot, and the Human Player has not chosen a slot, then the Human Player will assume the AI Player’s role.


In a Loaded Local Skirmish, you can click on an AI Player to toggle between a Human Player and an AI Player.

In a New Skirmish, you (or the Host in an Online Skirmish) can also choose each Player’s Faction, Profile, and if they are an AI Player, the AI Settings as well.


A Player’s AI Settings include the Player’s Offensiveness, Aggression, and Randomness. A higher number increases the likelihood of the AI Player acting offensively, aggressively, and randomly, respectively.


Getting Started – Beginning a Skirmish

When you (or the Host in an Online Skirmish) are ready, select “Start Skirmish” to continue.


Selection Phase

During this Phase, the Mercenary Player(s) will select which Regions they want to control, with Mercenary Players alternating between one another if there is more than one Mercenary Player.


Click on a greyed-out, in-play State to build a Base and claim the Region.


Once all in-play Regions are selected, the game will move on to the Deployment Phase.

Deployment Phase

During the Deployment Phase, both Mercenary and Rebel Players will Deploy any or all Units they have available.

Click on a State to Deploy one Unit.


Mercenary Players can hover over each Region they control to see how many Units they still need to deploy in the Region, while Rebel Players can hover over any in-play State to see how many Units still need to be Deployed. The counter in the upper-right-hand corner shows how many people still need to be deployed

Mercenary Players need to Deploy as many Units as there are States in each Region they control. For example, a Mercenary Player in charge of California needs to Deploy seven Units in the California Region.


For Rebel Players, each Rebel Player will be able to Deploy up two Units anywhere on the map. If there are more than two Regions per Rebel Player, the Rebel Player will be able to Deploy an additional two Units anywhere on the map.


Movement Phase – Icons

Each State has several icons that show the presence of a Base, Combat Information, and the types of Units in the State.


The black icons with a white building indicate the presence of a Base in the State, while the number below it indicates the number of successful Attacks required before Rebels can liberate the State. If a Rebel Player wants to take a Mercenary Player’s State with a Base, they must first destroy the Base by successfully attacking it four times.


Red icons indicate a recent Attack on the State by the owner, while white icons indicate a Draw from the previous Turn. If the State was recently Attacked by the owner, their side will be unable to Attack the State for as many Turns indicated by the number under the red icon. Meanwhile, a white icon indicates that a Draw occurred in the previous Turn, and that the Units involved in the Draw will continue until the Draw is resolved.


Units in the State are shown with three versions of the Unit Icon, with the corresponding amount of each type shown underneath their respective Unit Icon.


If there are Movable Units, there will be an opaque Unit Icon in the State.

Non-Movable Units will have a translucent Unit Icon.

Finally, any Attacking Units are indicated by a black-and-white version of the Unit Icon.

Movement Phase – Movement

To move a Unit, first Select a State by clicking on it, then click on any of the highlighted States to move one Unit there.


To instantly Attack a State, hold down Shift when clicking a highlighted State to Move and Attack the State. This will not be possible if the State has been Previously Attacked, shown by a red piece in the State.


Movement Phase – Attacking

Players can Attack a State by clicking on a State, then using the buttons on the Attack Menu to Attack the State. The Attack Menu allows Players to Attack the State with one, five, or all Units, so long as the Player has enough Units. Non-Movable Units will be used in an Attack before Movable Units.


Movement Phase – Infrastructure Construction

If resources are the lifeblood of any war machine, then Infrastructure is the vital artery in which they flow. State Income is based on the Infrastructure multiplied by the Base Income of the State. A higher Infrastructure level leads to faster Infrastructure repairs.


Players can see a State’s Infrastructure by first selecting a State and then looking at the box in the lower left. Hover over the Infrastructure Section of a State’s Info to see the current progress on Infrastructure Construction. If the Player controls the State and has enough Money, they can begin Infrastructure Construction in the State.


If the Player has already begun Infrastructure Construction, they can refund their money by clicking on the Infrastructure Section.


If an Enemy Player successfully Attacks the State, their opponents and the opponents’ allies will lose all progress towards Infrastructure Construction.

Movement Phase – Unit Recruitment

If a Player hovers over the Unit Construction Section, they can see the cost and progress of Unit Construction in the State.

Should a Player have enough money, they can click on the Unit Construction Section to begin Unit Recruitment. After the given number of Turns have passed, a new Unit will spawn in the State on the following Turn.


A Player can also cancel Unit Recruitment by clicking on the box again to refund the costs.


If an Enemy Player successfully Attacks the State, their opponents and their opponent’s allies will lose all progress towards Unit Recruitment.

Movement Phase – Unit Management

Players can Disband Movable, Non-Movable, and Attacking Units in a State by clicking “-” to Disband one Unit. If at least one Unit of a given type has been Disbanded, the Player can click on “+” to Restore one Unit to undo the Disbandment.


Movement Phase – Rebel Support

Rebel Players can seek a more peaceful means of revolution by increasing Rebel Support in a State. Every Rebel Cell, as well as any Rebel units, will increase Rebel Support in the State by 2.5%.


Should Rebel Support reach 100% and a Base is present, the Base will receive one Level of Damage. If the State has no Base, the State will be transferred to the Rebel Players during the Combat Phase.


Rebel Players can press “+” to organize a Rebel Cell. Rebel Players can also press “-” to refund any Rebel Cells that are organizing during the current Turn.


Meanwhile, Mercenary Players can press “+” to organize Propaganda Campaigns, each of which will decrease Revel Support by 5%. They could also Attack the enemy State and eliminate any Rebel Cells. Mercenary Players can press “-” to cancel a Propaganda Campaign.


Movement Phase – Continue

When a Player is finished, they can click “End Turn” to move forward to the Combat Phase.


If this is an Online Skirmish, all Human Players must agree to move forward before they can enter the Combat Phase. See Readiness Bar at the bottom for details.

Combat Phase – Combat

Tyrannis’ combat system is pretty straightforward. Basically, the larger army wins.

Defend with more Units than there are Attackers? All of the Attackers are destroyed.


Attack with more Units than there are Defenders? All of the Defenders are eliminated. And if the Defenders’ side controls the state, then the Attackers take the State. Or at least destroy part of the Base.


The same happens if you can start an Uprising with 100% Rebel Support.


But in the off chance that the Attackers and Defenders are evenly matched, the Battle ends in a Draw, with all of the Units involved locked in combat until the tie is broken.


Combat Phase – New Owners

When a side successfully Attacks an enemy-held State, the Attacking Players can choose which Attacking Player will control the State.


If the Rebel Players are able to control all of the States in a Region, the Rebel Players will also choose between themselves to select the new Region Controller.


Endgame Phase – Victory Conditions

In Tyrannis, there are five different ways to win: Conquest, Elimination, Score, State Coalition, and Rebel Coalition.

Conquest: If all States are simultaneously controlled by the Rebel Players, all Rebel Players win.


Elimination: If there are no Rebel Units on the map, all Mercenary Players win.


Score: Players with the highest Score at the end of the Skirmish win. Score is calculated by counting the number of States owned by each Player, with a 2x multiplier for a State controlled by the same Player as its Region.


State Coalition: At the end of a Skirmish, the Player controlling the most States, any of their allies they select, and up to one opposing Player (Or in the case of a tie, all Players controlling the most States, plus one lower-scoring player), can form a Coalition. If that Coalition contains more than half of the States, then all players in the Coalition win.


Region Coalition: At the end of a Skirmish, the Player controlling the most Regions, any of their allies they select, and up to one opposing Player (Or in the case of a tie, all Players controlling the most Regions, plus one lower-scoring player), can form a Coalition. If that Coalition contains more than half of the Regions, then all players in the Coalition win.



For post-launch content, Tyrannis will have six planned Updates:

Update 1.1.0 – Peaceful Revolution

Organize Resistance Cells in occupied territory to support a peaceful uprising, and receive rewards for your patience. Or fund Propaganda Campaigns to discredit the opposition and stoke fear.


Update Completed and Implemented for July 8th Launch.

Update 1.2.0 – Custom Faction Creator

Create custom factions for local and online multiplayer and share your unique factions with your friends through online multiplayer.


Update 1.3.0 – Reconnaissance Skirmish

A new Skirmish mode for 2- 8 players. Recon Skirmishes have Rebel Players scouting Mercenary territory, while the Mercenary Players try to root out Rebel networks. Victory comes from gathering intelligence rather than conquest.


Update 1.4.0 – AI Profile Overhaul

Using player gameplay data, profiles can be used to create AI players that simulate a player’s decision making. Connect with friends to share your profiles, so that you and your friends can play one another in Local Skirmishes and Online Skirmishes, even when they are offline.


Update 1.5.0 – Survival Skirmish

A new Skirmish mode for 1-8 Players. Survival Skirmishes have Players from both Rebel and Mercenary Factions fighting for survival from an unknown enemy that threatens friend and foe alike.


Update 1.6.0 – Custom Maps

Create a Custom Map of up to 30 Regions that is compatible with Classic, Reconnaissance, and Insurgency Skirmishes, as well as playable with Online Multiplayer and AI players. Connect with your friends to share your custom maps.



Thanks for checking out Tyrannis, an indie turn-based strategy game from cGh ONE.

Tyrannis will be launching on Steam on July 8, 2020 for $9.99.

To stay updated, feel free to follow us at @cGh_ONE on Twitter, cGh ONE on YouTube, or head straight to the source at cghone.com.

Hope to see you on the 8th.


Lead Artist, Writer, Developer, and Almost Everything Else at cGh ONE

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