What the STRUCK is The Iron Oath?

What The STRUCK is The Iron Oath?

(My BRUTALLY honest Impressions of the game after completing its Early Access)

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The Iron Oath launched on April 19th, 2022 for PC (Humble [partner link], Steam, & GoG). After completing the Early Access portion of the game’s campaign I’m ready to share my Early Access Impressions and explain “What The STRUCK is The Iron Oath?“.

I’ll be brutally honest and some of the things I say may not be nice but my overall impression of the game is: that it’s a solid RPG but might feel a bit overpriced for what it offers (at least in EU & NA regions). I’ve enjoyed playing the game at my own pace and only progressing the main story when I felt like it and there were very few thing that made me feel bad. Why? Hopefully, it will get clear after reading this post (or watching my video version).

Command, endure, and prosper in The Iron Oath, a turn-based tactical RPG where the fate of your mercenary company rests on your decisions. Lead your band as they age, retire, and die. Build your outfit’s renown across decades in the ever-changing medieval fantasy realm of Caelum.

Quoted from the game’s Steam Store.

This post could end up getting expanded and updated eventually but, hopefully, for now it includes enough information to serve as a basic guide on top of a Early Access Impressions article.

Video Version:

The Story:

This is how the game is described by the devs:

As the leader of a band of soldiers-for-hire in the harsh realm of Caelum, you’ll need to hire recruits, manage your operations wisely, and embark on perilous missions in order to survive, thrive, and build your company’s renown. As the years progress, the world of Caelum evolves dynamically, opening up new storylines for you to discover and making each new playthrough unpredictable and unique. What fortunes await your company?

Quoted from the Game’s Steam Page

The story begins with a Prologue that can be skipped where we are put into a series of fights versus monsters. Eventually, after the prologue, the plot takes a turn and (hopefully not spoiling too much with the next lines) a betrayal occurs. Following the betrayal, we (the company leader) decide to lead our company of mercenaries on a quest to find the truth about why were were betrayed. Trailing behind the ones who betrayed your company, you are in charge of a merry band of mercenaries which means more mouth to feed and the need to do the odd task here and there for coins arises.

Your company will have the opportunity to helps the noble families in charge of various cities with all sorts of contracts: eliminating monsters, rescuing civilians, even contracts that come from merchants in need of some muscle to escort them or to act as a middleman in a trade with another town.

World Map & Locations:

The world map is big enough with some obvious closed off parts that most likely will become explorable after a future update. There are various biomes: cold/snowy, desert, forest, grasslands, etc. and a sufficient number of towns to visit for trading and to accept contracts, each town being under the control of a certain Noble House. Aiding a certain town will increase your reputation with that town as well as with the Noble House that is in charge of it + it will also grant you some Renown (more about Renown in the Attributes paragraph below)

The Combat:

The combat system is pretty solid and it adopts a standard hex-grid tactical rpg system with both teams places on one side of the screen (left/right). As it has become pretty common in tactical RPGs it’s not just team 1 acts then team 2 but rather there is a Speed stat. Speed acts as what usually games refer to as ‘initiative’ – the higher the speed the earlier this unit takes their turn.

When it comes to abilities – they all have a limited number of charges. Ability charges in overworld battles replenish right after the fights BUT during expeditions they last until the whole expedition is over which can vary in length. More details about expeditions a few paragraph below this on. There are also various types of abilities, single target, arc AoE, straight line AoE, radial AoE, self-target, ally target and so on. There’s enough healing and buff abilities as well as options to trigger secondary effects based on how that ability is upgraded that can nudge the players towards adapting to a certain playstyle.

Players can also use cover to hid their units and make them completely untargetable or targetable but reducing the damage they take by 50%.

Main Quests & Contracts:

There are plenty of contracts (side quests) to do alongside the main story line. The main quest (without spoiling too much) is about us figuring out why we were betrayed while dealing with the looming threat of the Scourge & the void spawn that a particular rampaging Dragon is causing.

The contracts vary from the minor escort or fetch and get rewarded type of tasks, to the more time consuming and difficult ones that would require you to clear out an expedition involving multiple fights.

I’ve noticed that the contracts that involve expeditions and not as rewarding for the time spent completing those compared to the simpler escort or ‘proxy trading’ missions, which by the way one can do wile personally trading goods between the various town for extra profit.


The expeditions system is somewhat like what players can see in games like Darkest Dungeon where you pick your team of 4 plus an assortment of provisions and then set out on a journey. The journey however can become very long and boring and considering the limited provisions player can take and the limited number of times players can camp to restore hp or recharge their abilities, it not a very casual-friendly system. In fact, the Expeditions System it one of the worst things about the game right now.

Each expedition run will have different length but it will always work in the same way – you are put into a tile-based grid where you travel from one island/tile to another and get involved with various encounters: enemies/fights, NPC/dialogues, treasures, blockades, traps, and others. Each time the player moves they use up a resource called “Time”. After reaching X time, the players trigger a random time modifier (a temporary modifier that only applies until the end of the expedition) that could affect their expedition in minor or major ways. Many of the actions players take during the various encounters will also add up to that time and the longer a player takes to clear out an expedition the more time modifiers they will accumulate, making it progressively harder and more annoying.

Player will also have the option to camp (limited how many times per expedition tho). Camping will allow players to burn various types of incense with different incense cost up to their total maximum incense cost (which can be increased with Company Upgrades). There are types of incense for HP regen, for ability recharging, for morale regeneration and other useful things.

The Heroes/Classes:

There are currently 6 different mercenary classes (with more to be added as per the roadmap) each of them offering a certain playstyle based on the provided 6 abilities (one must choose to use 4 of those 6). Mix-and-match 4 mercenaries with the classes you like and make your own ‘dream team’. Each class also has a fixed type of weapon they can use but anyone can wear any armor type you decide to equip them with offering a bit of freedom here at least.

There current 6 classes are:

  • Pyrolancer – An offensive class that synergizes well with fire & melee. Has some nice AoE abilities.
  • Guardian – A defensive class that offers great synergy with melee & support (via healing & buffs).
  • Stormcaller – An offensive class that synergizes with long-ranged nuke-casting. Has options for both AoE or Single Target nukes.
  • Pugilist – A close range melee centric class that has a hybrid role of being a dps as well as self and team buffer.
  • Valkyrie – A defensive tank that can also be used offensively. She if the only one (so far) with an AoE taunt ability but unlike the guarding there’s no healing abilities here.
  • Huntress – As the name suggest, a long range offensive class. Single Target & AoE dps + self buffs & enemy debuffs to maximize her dps against her targets.

Loot & Itemization:

The itemization is kind of lacking even for such a single player story-based RPG without endgame. There are white, blue, purple, bright orange, and dark orange items. Referred to as common, rare, epic, pristine, and masterwork respectively.

Players have 4 equipment slots:

  • 1 Artifact slot (those items seem to not be added in the game yet)
  • 1 Weapon slot
  • 1 Off-hand slot (2handed weapons will use this one as well as the main on most classes)
  • 1 Armor slot (there are 3 types of armor: Light, Medium, Heavy (Light giving more Evasion, move, speed but less defense than medium, and medium giving more tats & less defense than heavy)

It is kind of disappointing that Pristine & Masterwork gear is just loot with a bit more stats than epic (purple) gear and there are no special affixes attached to those rarities of gear. One thing worth keeping in mind is that there is also a durability system and even masterwork items will eventually break down. There is no ways to repair items and the lower the durability the lower the price you can get by selling this item is as well.

The Attributes:

When a mercenary levels up they don’t only get ability points but also attribute points that can be spent to boost one’s Physique, Finesse, Toughness, Convictions, Insight, and Mind. Each class will have two “main attributes” that will boost power on top of the standard stats they boost. Unlike abilities that can be respec-ed for the price of gold coins, the attributes points allocation seem to be permanent and this leaves a pretty negative experience.

Company Upgrades & Renown:

Completing quests & contracts will reward players with Renown. Accumulating XYZ Renown will grant you a Company Perk (upgrade point) and increase your company’s Renown Level. Company Perks can be spent into one of the following 3 categories of company upgrades:

  • General – various company related upgrades: reduced salary costs, increased roster size, faster overworld movement, bigger contract limit, increased gear durability, etc.
  • Expeditions – various expedition related upgrades: increased camping Incense Points, bigger provisions bag, reduced provision costs, refund unused provisions, increases your ambush chance, decreases chance to get ambushed, etc.
  • Alchemy – pretty much all of it is Incense and expeditions camping related. Unlock various new types of incense.

The Trading:

The game has a decent number of town that constantly change based on various events: fairs, blizzards, food shortages, and so on. Players can take advantage of those random events and participate in trading of good. Buying items below the average selling price and selling them for 50% above the average price or even up to 300% of the average price in some cases. However, there is one HUGE PROBLEM – the merchants in each city don’t seem to be gaining much funds and eventually that will be the one thing stopping you prom prospering from and enjoying the trading system. Overall it’s a good system but it needs serious improvements in regards to making sure the city merchants have more sources of income.



  • Beautiful Dark Fantasy World
  • An interesting main quest line (currently incomplete)
  • Turn-based combat with enough mechanics
  • Beautiful VFX, SFX, & OST
  • Multiple Gear Rarities
  • Multiple Hero Classes
  • A Hero Abilities System
  • An Attributes System
  • A Trading System
  • A Hero Customization Option
  • Unlimited Side Missions
  • A Reputation & ‘Factions’ System
  • A Company Upgrades System
  • Roadmap with multiple Updates during Early Access before launch
  • Sandbox style gameplay after the main quest is ‘finished’


  • lacking loot diversity + Pristine & Masterwork gear is not special
  • Expeditions/Missions are designed to be extremely long and boring
  • the city merchants don’t seem to get much funds and are nearly broke
  • can’t find a way to respec my stats
  • Respec-ing abilities is too expensive (why a cost in the first place?)
  • I wish there was a way to increase my maximum carry weight
  • Extremely difficult to figure out when a year ends/how many days left until next year comes
  • The main quest currently ends very early and it’s kind of short (this will get completed eventually)
  • Missions of 3 skulls and above are unreasonably low in rewards for the time it takes to complete
  • Unless one lowers the difficulty the game is unreasonably hard for casual players

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This concludes my 2-in-1 Early Access Impressions + Basic Guide for The Iron Oath. If you’re interested in the game below are links to the various platforms where one can buy it (you can just click the links to open a new tab):


Humble Store (also creator link = I earn profit when used to buy)



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