That’s a fair impression there. And I’m not denying it at all. But I do want to present that the attraction of Autochess(‘s) is actually the strategy and not the tactics (on the board). You’re right in that there actually isn’t much in common with chess at all. I think that’s somewhat of the irony.
But to go a little further, the attraction for those in to it is actually all the synergies and struggle to obtain synergy between deployed units. Through a match you may find yourself going heavily with one unit kind or having to switch unit kind focus several times over to become competitive. It’s learning these synergies and what decimates and what the chances of pulling those synergies are that people are attracted to.
There’s also an economy thing going on. In this fashion it’s actually much like a board game where getting your economy up and running at the sacrifice of some bad (chess) board results now will actually be of benefit to you in the long term. You are aware that you get extra coins per turn for EITHER of winning streaks AND losing streaks? So in some situations, it’s actually a short/mid term objective of some to actually lose the auto matches in order to gain economic income from lose streaks.
And then there’s a little mini goal thingy where every 10 coins in your bank, you generate extra (2 was it?) coin income per turn. So there’s a struggle to keep coin in your bank at the end of turn in a multiple of 10 level to make use of the extra income. That leaves you with real world problems of tough spending choices between the auto chess battles.
…so really, it’s the strategy. It’s not fine tactics like you find in chess.
I can really recommend Quill18’s beginner guide on this very much. He explains everything. This guy is really, really great at explaining quite a number of games we here at stately would dig actually. I found him really useful for Civ VI, through the ages, terraforming Mars, and this game. The guy must have a doctorate in picking up games and explaining them shortly after.
Quill18 dota guide -