Upcoming Wargames 2020

By Joe Fonseca 03 Sep 2020 13

There’s still a lot on the horizon for PC wargamers as we approach the mid-point of 2020! The big houses are showering us in DLC, updates, and new properties while indie developers are out in force, bringing us an ever-wider collection of projects near and dear to the developer’s heart.

It’s a good year to be a wargamer and it's only going to get better from here.

Upcoming War Games for PC 2020

  • Making History: The First World War
  • Order of Battle: Red Storm
  • Partisan 1941
  • ICBM
  • Strategic Mind: Spectre of Communism
  • Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2
  • Campaign Series: Vietnam
  • Waterloo 3D
  • Panzer Campaigns: Scheldt ‘44
  • Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts
  • Galactic Ruler
  • Second Front
  • War Room
  • Call to Arms: Gates of Hell Ostfront
  • Valor & Victory

This list is probably incomplete so feel free to shout out a game you’re looking forward to in the comments. The header image is from Making History: The First World War.

Making History: The First World War

Release Date: September 5th, 2020

making history ww1

We almost missed this one - Factus Games have long been a quiet fixture of digital wargames with their Making History series, the most recent of which was a WW2 game released back in 2018. Before that they worked on several version that covered WW1, and now they're back again covering this period with Making History: The First World War.

This is a turn-based grand strategy wargame that throws you into a Hearts of Iron style sandbox during a time of great political and economic upheaval. It will be launching into Early Access first, where it's expected to remain there for around 4 months.

Order of Battle: Red Storm

Release Date: 2020

order of battle red storm

The third expansion in the Soviet-themed trilogy of Order of Battle expansions. This one covers events from Operation Citadel in 1943 through to 1945.

There are also optional scenarios that involve partisan warfare, which can help with Operation Bagration, and after the Fall of Berlin the final scenarios deal with the last major Soviet offensive in WW2 when they invaded Manchuria and fought the Japanese.

Call to Arms: Gates of Hell Ostfront

Release Date: Q4 2020

Gates of Hell Release Date

Another MIA from 2019, a lot has changed regarding this project in the past few months and the situation is slightly confusing. The main take away are though that the game is still coming this year. After having split from their publisher, the developers have now struck up a deal with former Men of War custodians digitalmindsoft. DMS currently run their modern war-themed Call to Arms, and Gates of Hell is now going to be published by that company under the same branding.

As was revealed in early September 2020, this is now going to be released as an expansion to Call to Arms, which means you'll need to buy DMU's game in order to play it. The devs claim they will be tweaking the price to reflect this, though.

Partisan 1941

Release Date: Summer 2020

This is an interesting project that was announced recently. A real-time tactics game, Partisan 1941 appears to combine elements of Commandos & Company of Heroes, with base-building & management, stealth tactics and guerrilla warfare. You take on the role of an army commander sent behind enemy lines into German occupied territory along the Eastern Front, and your goal is recruit a band of partisans to wage a guerrilla war against the Germans.

ICBM

Release Date: "Coming Soon"

ICBM War game

With all of the chaos and confusion in the world, Slitherine thought now would be a great time to release some friendly, wholesome content to put us all at ease... which is why they announced a game about Thermonuclear annihilation. To be fair, DEFCON is an interesting game so it was only a matter of time before someone tried to do it again.

ICBM has all of the hall-markings of a successor, with a few more bells and whistles to boot. It's being made by the same team that did Polaris Sector, and is due out later in the year (we think).

Strategic Mind: Spectre of Communism

Release Date: Q4 2020

strategic mind spectre of communism

Those lovable rogues at Starni Games are at it again. Despite recently claiming they were getting harassed by Russian media over their previous game, Strategic Mind: Blitzkrieg and how it portrayed Nazis, not only are they ploughing ahead and making another game, they're making a new game specifically about Soviet Russia's WW2 campaigns. This can only go well.

Spectre of Communism will follow the historical route the Red Army took all the way up to Berlin, while also offering some alternate history paths beyond that, where you get to try and spread communism to the rest of Europe. It will also sport the series' trademark 'narrative' elements, focusing on characters and cheesy cut scenes. Joy.

Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts

Release Date: Early Access Release - TBA 2020

ultimate admiral dreadnought battles

We’ve got a preview of Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts for you to look over for details, but know that this flashy new title from the developers of Ultimate General: Civil War will allow players to design warships and battle across a global campaign. Purchasing a copy now will net you access to the pre-release build.

Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2

Release Date: Late 2020

We're putting this one on the list because it emerged recently that this project is recruiting for more beta testers, and several readers/community members have mentioned the devs think it'll be out this year. It hasn't been "officially" announced by Slitherine yet so until it is we can't be super confident this will turn up in 2020, but we're more confident than we were a couple of months ago.

Galactic Ruler

Release Date: Q3 2020

Galactic Ruler Release Date

The makers of Supreme Ruler: Ultimate and Supreme Ruler: The Great War are taking their grand strategy style wargame into outer space. Explore a procedurally generated galaxy, found colonies, interact with other factions, and fight pausable real-time space and planetary battles. Galactic Ruler will come with multiplayer support for up to 15 players, as well as diplomacy and research.

Waterloo 3D

Release Date: "Holidays" 2020

Waterloo 3D Release Date
An intriguing indie project that sees players leading either the French, British, or Prussians during the Waterloo Campaign. Battles consist of fully rendered units from the battalion to the division level across a 3D map in real-time. Reminiscent of Scourge of War: Waterloo but with superior graphics. The development team are currently working on giving Waterloo 3D some Brigade-level combat logic, a battle planner, and better AI path-finding that's authentic with Napoleonic-era tactics.

Campaign Series: Vietnam

Release Date: TBD 2020

Campaign Series Vietnam Release Date
A turn-based, tactical/operation war game focusing on the conflicts fought in South East Asia (1948-1979). A Detailed game engine expanded and modified for this entry, Campaign Series: Vietnam promises to cover seven conflicts with painstakingly researched maps, Orders of Battle, and special circumstances. Personally, I’m excited to see developer Campaign Series Legion tackle such under represented conflicts like the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979 and the Cambodian Civil War. All on top of the full run of Indochina conflicts.

It's worth noting that as much as we're expecting it to land this year, we were also expecting it to land last year (because the developer said so). Hard to imagine there's much more holding things up, with with smaller studios like CSL anything could happen, so take this with a pinch of salt.

Panzer Campaigns: Scheldt ‘44

Release Date: TBD 2020

Scheldt 44 Release Date

Set in Holland from September ’44 and covering (shock!) not Operation Market Garden, this title will focus on the Allied attempt to clear the port of Antwerp to allow the push east to continue. As usual there is a huge number of scenarios and massively detailed Orders of Battle for the combatants. Scheldt’44 also includes the first use of irregular troops in a Panzer Campaigns title.

It's worth noting that between JTS and Wargame Design Studios, there's a few more games coming down the pipeline as well - we'll expand this section with more information on those at a later date.

Second Front

Release Date: 2020? Maybe?

Second Front Release Date

A turn-based ETO WWII game with charming boardgame-looking hex map and 3D graphics. Second Front boasts over 200 unit types, a full campaign and individual scenarios. Now that the Steam page is operational, it's nice to just stare at it and all of the pretty pictures. It's also worth noting this game is now being published by the newly resurgent MicroProse.

We're hoping this is a 2020 release - nothing we've seen would indicate otherwise but they're still being very coy about it. None of hte MicroProse's other games are due out this year either, so it's possible this might be 2021 as well.

War Room

Release Date: 'Coming Soon'

War Room Release Date

This RTS puts players in the role of a US Army Commander in a fictional region of Afghanistan. Focus on fighting insurgency, taking care of your soldiers and civilians, and experience the game’s real events inspired story across a 1,000km² map. War Room promises an insight into the wars in the Middle-East that hasn't been dealt with before.

 

Valor & Victory

Release Date: Unknown

Valor Victory2

We thought Yobowargames getting picked up by Slitherine while working on his digital port of Valor & Victory would mean we'd see it released by now, but I'm hoping the delay means that he's been given more time and resources to get things right. The physical hex-and-counter war game is highly regarded, and so far it looks like Yobo have done a good job porting it over to digital.

It's due to release in Early Access, but so far that hasn't happened yet and there's no time frame for it.

General Staff Wargaming System

Little Bighorn in Scenario Editor

Dr. Ezra Sidran is still plugging away at the latest iteration of his wargames simulation software. Bringing with it a lot of tools, AI coding and general academic heft, this is going to be an all-purpose tool for people to create (or recreate) battles and test out any number of things. It will have a very powerful editor, and will roughly cover three main era-groups - Ancients, Black Powder and Modern.

There's only Dr. Sidran and one other person working on this project, and the other person fell quite ill during the Summer so this project has experienced delays. We'll keep this entry here for now but it's highly likely it will slip till 2021.

Upcoming War Games 2021

As we're now past the half-way mark, we're going to see some games slip, or unknown dates revealed to actually be for next year instead. I'll keep a note here of any information we have regarding games due next year:

We'll be updating this article regularly, so keep an eye out - also please do let us know if you think we've forgotten anyone - it can be hard to keep track sometimes!

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