Upcoming Wargames 202006 Aug 2020 12
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
- Order of Battle: Red Storm
- Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 Steam
- Panzer Corps 2: Axis Operations
- Partisan 1941
- Strategic Mind: Spectre of Communism
- Steel Division 2: Black Sunday
- 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: Afghanistan
- Call to Arms: Gates of Hell
- Valor & Victory
- Burden of Command
- General Staff Wargaming System
- Task Force Admiral Volume 1: American Carrier Battles
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 Steel Division 2.
Combat Mission: Shock Force 2 (Steam)
Release Date: Augsut 25th, 2020
This entry might confuse you initially - I mean, CMSF2 is already out, right? We reviewed it at the end of 2018! What are we talking about!? Turns out, despite the head honchos over at Battlefront swearing until the day they died that they'd never go to Steam, they have decided in fact to go to Steam.
To be fair, we suspect Matrix Games proved very persuasive in this regard, as everyone's favourite wargames overlord is taking over publishing duties of this and any future CM titles that they decide to port over. This should be fun.
Panzer Corps 2: Axis Operations
Release Date: Various
The second PC2 DLC that's part of the first wave of Axis Operations - 1939 - actually deals with Germany's annexation of Czechoslovakia and not Poland, which is interesting. I can't remember the last time I saw a wargame cover that campaign in great depth. It also covers the Saar Offensive where the French actually attempted to invade Germany while they were invading Poland. This expansion will release on August 27th, 2020. Anyone who pre-ordered the 'Field Marshal' edition of PC2 will get these two packs for free.
Order of Battle: Red Storm
Release Date: 2020
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.
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.
Release Date: "Coming Soon"
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
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
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.
Steel Division 2: Black Sunday
Release Date: TBD 2020
This is the final expansion of Steel Division 2's initial 'History Pass', and will cover the Romanian front during 1944. It will feature six new divisions, three for each side and the Axis divisions are all going to be from the Romanian army. There will also be two fully-fleshed out Army General campaigns (one for reach of the flanking operations - Jassy & Tiraspol) as well as 150 new units, 2 new aces and 16 new camouflage skins.
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.
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: Q3 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. It's also worth noting this game is now being published by the newly resurgent MicroProse.
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.
Call to Arms: Gates of Hell
Release Date: TBD 2020
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.
I'm not 100% sure if this will still be a stand-alone game or some kind of Call to Arms expansion, but I'm sure we'll find out more later in the year. You can check the same information I have in this blog post, which outlines the current situation.
Valor & Victory
Release Date: Unknown
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.
Burden of Command
Release Date: Probably 2021 but w/e
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: Probably 2021
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. This game is being published by the newly relaunched MicroProse.
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!