It was announced during Blizzcon 2019 that Hearthstone would have a new gameplay mode. Battlegrounds mode is Blizzard’s attempt to not lose the train and stay behind the new games that are coming up. It mixes the gameplay mechanics of Hearthstone with a new recruit system to deliver an automatic battle experience with similarities to Autochess. It has been already available for a few days for players who got early access in the BlizzCon, but now anyone can try it for free during the open beta that just started today.

Battlegrounds is a gameplay mode where you play with a hero from a pool of 24 different characters, each of them with their own power. The gameplay mechanic is very simple. Every round, you get to recruit minions from a set that is available in the tavern. Those minions cost three coins each. You start the game with three coins, and you increase your coin limit by one every turn up to a maximum of ten coins. Your coins are refreshed every turn as well as the minions, and you can use them to increase the rarity of the minions that can appear in the tavern and refresh the available minions with new ones. You can also sell any minion that you have summoned for one coin.

Once you are done with your recruiting phase, you will get to combat against another player. Minions will fight automatically, starting with the ones on the left and attacking randomly chosen targets. The player with minion left on the board wins the round and causes damage to his opponent, depending on the minions left in play. You continue playing rounds until you are the only player left from the eight participating in each match.

One of the new heroes in Battlegrounds – The Rat King

It works reasonably well, and the time assigned to each round is not too long, so players are not able to stall the game going away from the keyboard and the experience doesn’t feel cumbersome.

Battlegrounds add a new level of strategy and difficulty to Hearthstone and it’s open to all players. You don’t even need to have any card to enjoy it.

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