Wargamer Weekly: Down The Barrel of a Gun

By Joe Robinson 02 Feb 2018 0

We’re back with another weekly round-up of what’s moving and shaking in the wargaming genre. I’d like to say I’ve been hard at work fighting on the western front, or travelling back in time to wage war in some obscure, yet innately interesting historical period… but I’ve been playing Kerbal Space Program instead. What? Space is cool.

KSP manages to engage my love of space as well as make me feel like an idiot in equal measures, and there’s a great modding community behind it keep the game fresh and interesting between the rare content updates from the developers. The game was recently acquired by Take-Two/2K, of all people (who publish a diverse range of games, from Grand Theft Auto to XCOM), so it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the game going forward. Hopefully, as much as I’m baffled and out of my league, the science isn’t comprised at all.

 

Meanwhile, in the world of wargaming…

Matrix Games/Slitherine

Two updates worth noting this week – both new game announcements. Hurrah!

First up, the next Command standalone expansion has been announced, titled The Silent Service. This latest instalment focuses on Submarine warfare and how it’s evolved from the Korean War to the present day. It'll feature 18 intense standalone scenarios (six of them part of a WW3 mini-campaign) written by Rory Noonan, CMANO community veteran: each scenario is accompanied by era-authentic mission briefings placing you into the scene of action. There will be a wide range of introductory tutorials, designed to teach you how to get into the game in an approachable and accessible way, and the underwater warfare will have new wrinkles specific to the submarine domain.

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Slitherine and Matrix are also trying their hand at table-top conversions, with their other new game announcement being a digital adaptation of Scott Fisher’s award-winning WW2 dogfighting game Check Your 6!

Releasing on March 15th, it’s being developed by The Lordz Games Studio (of W40K Armageddon fame) and Moonlit Studio out of Poland:

With 14 aircraft, 8 for the Axis and 6 for the Allies, fighting over 18 different missions that are playable from both sides, the game gives you the opportunity to be replayed multiple times. The WEGO turn-based gameplay makes every game of Check Your 6! different as each move has a dramatic impact on the final battle results.

Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare

I have a lot of time for Mount & Blade – it’s a great hybrid game that deserved to have more resources thrown at it than it’s had up till now. Why Bannerlord is taking so long, we’ll probably never know, but in the meantime here’s something that might scratch that itch.

I’ll be honest “Mount & Blade but with Politically Correct Guerrillas” is not something I thought I’d ever have to type, but here we are. Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare has just launched into Steam’s Early Access program, and is a Mount & Blade style sandbox FPS/RPG where you take control of a guerrilla faction and fight to free the local area from oppression. And by ‘Free’, we mean take over everyone’s stuff.

free

It’s intriguing, and the modern-era setting makes for some very different tactics than you’d ever encounter in its medieval counter-part. There’s a strategy layer to it as well that we’ve yet to explore – look out for some preview coverage on this at the end of the month.

Moscow ’41 Gold

Wargame Design Studio has released another Gold edition of JTS’ Panzer Campaigns series. Moscow ’41 has now joined the frontline, and comes with the usual range of improvements and features. You can find out more here.

Hearts of Ambience

Not going to dwell on this week’s Hearts of Iron IV Dev Diary too much – it mainly deals with changes in ambience and immersion in terms of art, visuals and sound design.

Hoi4 Chi RPC Group v02
More importantly though, we have a date! The Waking the Tiger expansion will be out on March 8th, so get yourself ready. I for one am very much looking forward to doing an alt-history Germany play-through. I rarely play as Nazi Germany in Hearts of Iron games as the idea has never really say well with me, but the alternate paths they’re adding in should make for a more entertaining experience.

Space Hulk: Tactics

Before Warhammer 40,000, there was Space Hulk. The classic table-top skirmish board/war game has had a several iterations over the years, even in the realms of videogames. The current custodians of the digital license are Focus Home Interactive, who made Space Hulk: Deathwing, a FPS re-imagining of the franchise.

Focus have today just announced they're working on a turn-based game called Space Hulk: Tactics, due out later this year. Developed by Cyanide Studios (who've previously adapted Blood Bowl to digital), this will be a "unique twist" on the classic table-top game. Card mechanics have been mentioned as part of a customisation system, and there will be two separate narrative campaigns as well as a "deep, competitive" multiplayer system.

The last turn-based iteration of Space Hulk was released in 2013, developed by Full Control and published directly by Games Workshop itself. It received a luke-warm reaction from critics, although it holds a 'Mostly Positive' 70% rating on Steam. It was later re-released in 2014 under the title Space Hulk: Ascension, with added mechanics, weapons and an RPG layer.

Holdfast: Nations at War

We forgot to write this up last week, but Holdfast has been given a major update – one the largest for the game to do date, according to the developers. This announcements post goes into all of the gritty details, but just to summarise:

  • New Support Class – The Bagpipers
  • New Fife & Drum tunes
  • New Offense Class – Grenadiers
  • New Units – The 92nd Gordon Highlanders & the Polish Vistula Legion
  • Improvements to Melee combat
  • Four new maps
  • And a host of other changes contained within the change-log

We did a preview of this game last year – if you like Napoleonic warfare and the idea of marching in a line formation, it’s a pretty fascinating first/third person action game. The big army assault maps are especially fun.

Battalion 1944

Wow, a lot of shooter-type games this week, eh? Battalion 1944 is another WW2-themed FPS that’s attempting to recapture the “good old days” before Call of Duty changed the genre forever. It’s just launched into Steam Early Access, and we’ll have some impressions of it later in the month.

That’s all for this week’s news round-up – have a good weekend and happy gaming! This article covers games developed and published by members of the Slitherine Group with which we share an affiliation with. For more information, please see the About Us page.

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