Drive on Moscow Shenandoah Studios surprise announcement explained

By Wargamer Staff 19 Aug 2013 0

On 13th August Shenandoah Studios rather surprisingly announced ('s-defend-moscow!) that their next game release was not, as expected, to be El-Alamein, but Drive on Moscow ? another WW2 game set in the winter of 1941-42 on the eastern front. The Wargamer spoke to Brad Cummings of Shenandoah about the reasons for this sudden change.

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First up Brad was at pains to assure us that El-Alamein is very much still on the cards for a 2013 release and has not been canned. However, the developers of El-Alamein have run into problems in making the game interesting and fun for both the British and Axis players ? as he said, there are fundamental reasons that the Axis eventually lost the battle and it?d be no fun if the Axis player felt they had no chance.  One of the ways they are adding to the Axis players fun is to expand the game from not just covering the battle to including an optional pre-battle campaign mode that starts in July 1942. Thus the armies can alter their deployment and options so that the start point of the battle varies from history. Players will, however, still have the option to play the battle as per history.

The bottom line here is that Shenandoah remain fully committed to El-Alamein and expect it to be released in the autumn. Additionally those who supported the game through Kickstarter have been approached with various options so they are not being left in the lurch by this change in release schedule.

So what about Drive on Moscow?

This is the second game in the Crisis of Command series following the success of Battle of the Bulge. It uses the same game engine and mechanics but the game is on a far larger scale than Bulge. The game scenario is the German army?s final push to take Moscow (no surprise there I guess) in late 1941, and the city itself is literally in the centre of the map. The game has been designed by veteran designer Ted Racier. As would be expected weather plays a major part in the game, and unlike Bulge this changes over time. There are four different weather states each of which impacts on game play in a different way and will be visually represented by changes in the way the map looks. In another addition from Bulge the Soviet defensive fortifications are a new addition, although exactly how these will work is still a work in progress at this time. Keep your eyes peeled for more news.

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On the hardware front this game will require an iPad2 at the least, and will utilise features of the upcoming iOS7 to improve gameplay. iOS7 will be required, therefore. Brad commented that only 5% of iOS games are now played on iOS5 and so they have, with some reluctance, taken the decision to not make the game backward compatible with that. There is no iPhone version currently in development. An iPhone version of Bulge is being worked on, and how this is received will probably dictate whether or not Moscow also gets the treatment ? although Brad did sound optimistic on this.

Further into the future and Brad confirmed that Gettysburg is still on track for 2014 and that they are starting to look beyond that at more new releases. They have just completed a survey as to which battles players are most interested in seeing developed, and the most popular was Operation Market Garden. D-day was also a popular choice (2nd in fact), but also rated highly on the list of games players did not want to see. Tricky ?

Brad finished by saying that they certainly have a lot of ideas about future developments and this would include games in a different style from Bulge and Moscow, with a few surprises in the mix. Watch this space for further news at it appears.



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