Upcoming Wargames 202005 May 2020 10
There’s a lot on the horizon for PC wargamers in 2020! The big houses like Slitherine/Matrix and Paradox 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.
Upcoming War Games for PC 2020
- Aeronautica Imperialis: Flight Command
- Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal
- Shadow Empire
- Campaign Series: Vietnam
- Klotzen! Panzer Battles
- Waterloo 3D
- Panzer Campaigns: Scheldt ‘44
- Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
- Strategic Mind: Blitzkrieg
- Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts
- Galactic Ruler
- Cold War Game
- Second Front
- War Room: Afghanistan
- Gates of Hell
- Valor & Victory
- Burden of Command
- General Staff Wargaming System
- Task Force Admiral Volume 1: American Carrier Battles
- Order of Battle: Red Steel
This list is probably incomplete so feel free to shout out a game you’re looking forward to in the comments.
Aeronautica Imperialis: Flight Command
Release Date: May 2020
You remember that in September last year Charles reviewed the newley released core set for Aeronautica Imperialis: Wings of Vengeance, a new aerial skirmish miniatures war game from Games Workshop. We assume it was attempting to be their answer to something like X-Wing, but we're not sure how well the new line has fared since launch. In an unusual move, Games Workshop has partnered with Green Man Publishing to work on a digital version, which is due out at the end of this month.
Aeronautica Imperialis: Flight Command isn't a like-for-like port, although the only major difference is that it uses a simultaneous 'WEGO' system vs. the table-top's turn-based setup. Still, the visual style and branding are all the same, and you even have the same two start factions - Orks and Imperials. We like that more games are using a WEGO style, and we'll be watching this one with interest when it drops towards the end of the month.
Release Date: June 4th 2020
A detailed sci-fi genre mix. Shadow Empire promises a “unique mix of military wargame, 4X, procedural generation and role playing elements.” The idea of a 4X game that dedicates a lot of resources to making a good wargame has us eagerly awaiting its release next month.
Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal
Release Date: June 5th, 2020
This is an excellent turn-based war game that was originally released on mobile for iOS that's now getting a full PC (and Android) release next month thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign last year. Carrier Battles covers most of the major air and naval battles of the Pacific Theatre between 1942 and 1944, and is made in the classic 'hex-and-coutner' style. The mobile version used pretty, but also simple 2D graphics, but the PC version has been spruced up a bit. this is a solitaire game, but you can play as either the Japanese or the US across six historical scenarios. You can read our review of the mobile version here.
Release Date: June 12th, 2020
A new game from AGEOD veteran Miguel Santacruz, Libertadores focuses on the wars of independence in Spanish America. Players control either Patriots or Royalists in a style reminiscent of the classic AGEOD drag and drop system. A physical boardgame is in production as well.
Klotzen! Panzer Battles
Release Date: Early 2020 (allegedly)
An indie hex game in the vein of the classic Panzer General. Klotzen! boasts a massive branching campaign with flexible AI and variable scenarios, and over 600 unique unit types. One to keep an eye on as it comes together. We thought this was going to land half-way through 2019 but it's gone a bit MIA so no idea what's actually happening with it at the moment.
Cold War Game
Release Date: 'Early' 2020
Real-time tactics game in the same vein (and visual style) as Wargame. The emphasis seems to be on good multiplayer suitability. The full release promises campaigns for both NATO and Warsaw Pact factions and a destructible world. We'll be watching this one with interest.
Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts
Release Date: Early Access Release - Q1/2 2020
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.
Strategic Mind: Blitzkrieg
Release Date: Spring 2020
Starni Games are back with another game in their Strategic Mind series, this time returning to their Panzer Strategy roots with Strategic Mind: Blitzkrieg. This seems a bit like a 'Let's try this again kind of deal', although SMB shows the action from the Axis side this time around. Honestly, we weren't big fans of Panzer Strategy, nor of Naval-focused Strategic Mind: The Pacific. There's every chance Blitzkrieg will have learned the right lessons from the past two games, but all we can do for now is wait and see.
Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865)
Release Date: Summer 2020
From the indie developer behind 2015’s The Seven Year’s War, Grand Tactician: The Civil War is a real time strategy game offering a strategic campaign mixed with real time battles, reminiscent of the Hegemony series. The Civil War promises a grand campaign in which players manage their nation, recruitment, and supplies as they maneuver armies. Real time battles are to deal with major engagement that can last up to days.
Release Date: Q2 2020
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.
Release Date: "Holidays" 2020
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
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
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.
Release Date: TBD 2020
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.
War Room: Afghanistan
Release Date: 'Coming Soon'
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.
Gates of Hell
Release Date: TBD 2020
Another MIA from 2019, I literally have no idea what's going on with this project. I thought it was being made by Best Way, the original creators of Men of War and the studio that made the engine it's running on... except now the Steam Page lists a studio called Barbed Wire Studios and then there was this recent dev update talking about 'Independence'... so maybe Best Way are just looking after the engine like they did last time?
Hopefully, the spiritual successor to Men of War will release sometime this year, although maybe not if the companies don't stop worrying so much on who's dependant on who.
Valor & Victory
Release Date: Currently in Early Access
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. Can't wait to see the finished product!
Burden of Command
Release Date: "When it's Done Right"
I've listed this here mainly so that I don't forget about it. Green Tree Game's narrative driven WW2 'Command Simulator' is less about testing your tactical or strategic decision making, and more about testing your abilities as a leader. While this will of course involve combat decision, most war games ignore the many facets that go into a 'Go/No Go' decision in any combat scenario, especially when it's made in the heat of the moment. We look forward to trying this out properly.
General Staff Wargaming System
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.
Task Force Admiral Volume 1: American Carrier Battles
Release Date: When it's (well) done
Lead your carrier Task Force in important battles like Coral Sea, Midway and Guadalcanal in a 3D environment with beautifully rendered ships and aircraft. I’ve been following this one closely and am impressed by the depth of their research and dedication.
Upcoming Expansions & DLC
Field of Glory: Empires - Persia
Release Date: TBD 2020
Field of Glory: Empires, the grand-strategy wargame from AGEOD that's using Slitherine's internal engine, is finally getting a new piece of DLC. Persia is set during the years 550 - 330 BCE, with a focus on ancient Greece and the rising power of Persia. It will come with new factions, new mechanics and a new campaign start. We don't have any information on a release date yet.
The second in the trilogy of OOB DLC dedicated to the entirety of WWII from the Soviet Union’s perspective. Beginning in January 1942 and ending with the battle of Kharkov in early 1943. players will command armies outside Moscow, in the Crimea, through the hellish battle of Stalingrad before facing a resurgent Germany at Kharkov. As a sequel, players of Red Star can import their core army and commanders.
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!