The Wargamer's Guide to 2018

By Admin 22 Oct 2018 0

Last year was quite the year for computer wargaming, I for one am still trying to catch up on all the releases I missed. But sadly our favourite hobby, like time or a London bus, waits for no man.

We're most of the way through 2018 now, but there's still a few months left of prime time for new games to come out. Below is a rough guide to the last hold outs, and our expectations on whether they'll release this year (or slip to 2019). Anything that's been confirmed to have moved to 2019 has simply been removed, and will feature on a list we'll do for next year's calendar.

If you want to reflect back on what's been released this year so far, check our our 2018 Review Index.

Armored Brigade (Matrix Games)

Developer: Veitikka Studios
Release Date: November 15th, 2018
Available From:  Matrix Store

Matrix Games picked up this formerly freeware title last year and have thrown some money at it to make it more commercially viable computer war game. It sports several improvements over the original project, and you can check out our hands-on impressions of the game here, as well as some insight into how the game handles urban warfare.

Changes include dynamic campaigns, reworked graphics and UI and improved AI. It's currently being billed as a cross between Close Combat and Combat Mission, with a focus on realism in areas like command & control and weapon performance. You will be able to fight with a total of 7 factions in locations like the Fulda Gap and southern Finland. This could be a real wargaming gem to see out the year, so keep an eye on our site when the the game launches mid-November.

Klotzen! Panzer Battles

Developer: Maxim Games
Release Date: 2018

Another game taking on the storied legacy of Panzer General, Klotzen! Panzer Battles is an ambitious project on the way from Maxim Games, who bringing their own approach to the turn-based operational wargame to PC.

Klotzen2018

EIC Joe spoke with studio director Zoran Stanic earlier this year, and it sounds as though Maxim are planning on a large, challenging campaign that will have branching points that will change the outcome of the war based on which tracks you wind up heading down. Scenarios themselves will also feature a degree of randomness, with weather conditions and other variables changing with each playthrough. Klotzen! Panzer Battles was due out this summer, but is hasn't shown up yet. There's still time for it to release this year, however.

Burden of Command (Independant)

Developer: Green Tree Games
Release Date: 
2018
Available from:  Steam

Wargaming as a whole can often be a clinical affair, with the men and units under your command feeling more chess pieces than people. Green Tree Games are looking to address that with their debut title Burden of Command.

Burden of Command

Whilst tactics and positioning are still important, your relationships with the men under your command are pushed to the forefront of Burden of Command. Events, or “crucibles”, will often force you to choose between your men and the mission. Green Tree Games have painstakingly researched the psychology of soldiers to ensure that your units and the men how lead them act accordingly.

There’s no confirmation yet but the last official word was that GTG are still aiming for a 2018 release.

Unity of Command 2 (Independent)

Developer: 2x2 Games
Release Date: 2018?

Back in 2012, 2x2 games proved that hex wargames don’t always have to be oblique affairs that require inordinate amounts of patience and time. Unity of Command was an accessible title loved by both newcomers and experienced wargamers alike.

UoCDD16

Unity of Command 2 looks like it’ll be trying to take quite a few strides forwards rather than living in its predecessor's shadow. Instead of the cold fields of Russia, Unity of Command 2 will be covering the western front and has switched over from 2D to 3D.

Other promised changes include units carrying over from previous battles (so no more killing most of your army and still winning since you still hold the objective) and more offensive AI. Unity of Command 2 still has no solid release date, but the devs stated their confidence in a 2018 release. Given the dev diaries show everything seems to be coming along quite nicely, we're going to give Mr. Uzelac the benefit of the doubt for now.

Might Slip to 2019

Close Combat: The Bloody First (Matrix Games)

Developer: Matrix Games
Release Date: 2018?
Available From: Matrix Store

The main reason we think this may slip is the lack of any updates recently. Despite the fact that it was on last year's list as well, coupled with the fact that we went hands on with the game earlier this year... there's still a chance that it could meet our original 2018 estimate, but if Matrix themselves were confident of that I would have thought we'd have heard something by now.

For those of you who’ve forgotten or are simply unaware, Close Combat: The Bloody First promises to be a much needed step forwards for the venerable wargame franchise. 

CCbloody

The series’ ancient 2D Close Combat engine has been thrown out and was originally replaced by Unity 3D. However, at some point the devs then opted to start the game anew (hence the delays) on Slitherine’s in-house, 3D Archon engine (an evolution on Battle Academy’s Engine) due to its comparative flexibility.

You should read our coverage for more in-depth details, however the action will take place in Tunisia, Sicily and finally Normandy. You can read a full break-down of the scenario list here.

Panzer Corps 2 (Matrix Games)

Developer: Flashback Games
Release Date: 2018?
Available from:  Matrix Store

Another classic making the jump over to 3D, Panzer Corps 2 will be utilising the now very popular Unreal 4 engine. Brought to us by Flashback Games (PG Forever, Panzer Corps, Warhammer 40k Armageddon) it’s suffice to say that even with engine change Panzer Corps 2 will likely remain faithful to its predecessor.

Despite the regular dev diaries, we have a hunch this may actually slip to next year. This is mainly because the beta hasn't even started yet (as far as we can tell), and there's been no finished gameplay screens shared yet. Given Close Combat is way further along, and yet we think that might slip too, makes us doubtful we'll see this game this year.

DevDiary4

Despite this, Flashback Games have stated in Q&A a blog post that they’re confident Panzer Corps 2 will be released this year. In the meantime, you might want to check this article out which contains everything we know about the game so far.

Rule the Waves II

Developer: Naval Warfare Simulations
Release Date:
Unknown

The original Rules the Waves is a wonderful Great War-era war game (and one of the best Naval Games of all time) that combined both Fleet construction/management, and combat as you managed a nation's navy from 1900 - 1920, with the main goal of not getting sacked and furthering our country's ambitions.

The sequel was announced earlier this year and will span from 1900 all the way to 1950, opening the game up to WW2 naval concerns, as well as some early modern stuff as well. We don't know anything else about the project at this point other than owners of the first game will be able to buy the sequel at a discount upon its release. We think this might slip as this very much feels like a "it'll be done when it's done" project, and painfully little has come out about the game so far.

Seen any other cool wargame projects you want us to do a shout out for? Let us know in the comments and we'll update the list ASAP!

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