While at PAX West this year myself and Travis Williams had the opportunity to talk with Scott Lussier from Hi-Rez Studios about Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics, a turn-based tactical card game that can best be described as Hearthstone meets Final Fantasy Tactics. It's based on SMITE using the characters you know and love in a turn-based tactics form. We had the chance to talk about Hand of the Gods eSports and tournaments, where the idea of the game came from, and more.
Hand of the Gods definitely seems to be Hi-Rez's answer to Hearthstone, another in a long line of franchises to make a card game. This time, however, the focus seems to be mostly on the tactical gameplay, and the card mechanics are there to mix things up a bit.
You can get a pretty good idea of how the game works in the video above, but it's basically as described: Hearthstone meets a turn-based tactics game. Instead of the classes like Hearthstone, you have pantheons in Hand of the Gods. These have one God who leads that pantheon, like Zeus for the Greeks, that has a unique ability. Then you have various other Greek gods that can make up your deck, along with abilities.
So you build your decks in that way and play them just like a game like Hearthstone, but your units get placed on a grid, opening up the other layer of strategy you have to worry about. The object is to use your spells and units to destroy your opponent's Summoning Stone. It's around that stone that most of your units will have to be placed; it functions as their starting point in a way.
You can get your hands on Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics right now by registering for the open beta on PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4.