Wargamer Weekly: I Just Came Here to Build a Bridge13 Apr 2018 1
I’ve rediscovered my love for Men of War: Assault Squad 2 this week. It featured in our recent take on the best WW2 strategy and war games, and I’ve yet to be convinced it’s not the Best Game of All Time(TM).
Seriously though – while not without its flaws, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a tense, immersive and visceral WW2 tactical experience in any other game. There are better simulations, and some of the slower hex turn-based WW2 games are also worthy tactical experiences, but Men of War manages to hit that sweet spot between Company of Heroes mainstream appeal, and the traditional 'wargame' concerns such as supply and combined arms.
One moment that I’ll never forget – It may not have been in Assault Squad 2, but an earlier Men of War game… I was trying to hold a hill in a multiplayer match. There could only have been half a dozen so guys, all holed up in foxholes that had been dug by prior explosions. No matter how much artillery was thrown at them, not matter how many men and tanks they sent up that hill, that rag-tag squad held out against all odds. And then they died, but it was the best moment I’ve had in any tactical WW2 game to date.
Meanwhile, in the world of wargaming…
ARMA III Tanks Roll Out
Bohemia Interactive has released a new major content pack for ArmA III. Called ‘Tanks’, this is the last piece of DLC from the existing content roadmap. The DLC comes with new armoured vehicles to rock around with, and there’s also a free platform update which adds things like 3D interiors and new fire control systems.
Matrix Games & Slitherine
It’s been another relatively quiet week for the artist formerly known as ‘formerly known as Matrix Games’, now known as Matrix Games.
Shenandoah released their new ‘lite’ Napoleonic turn-based strategy/war game March to Glory on Thursday. Ian was ready and waiting with our review – it’s neat, but fairly abstract so make sure you manage your expectations.
Speaking of Shenandoah, their critically acclaimed Drive on Moscow will be making the jump to consoles soon (Playstation 4 & Xbox One), so that should be exciting.
Finally, we’ve been treated to a bevy of new screenshots for upcoming Order of Battle expansion, Sandstorm.
This is a cool thing – Military Operations is an upcoming operational-level WW2 experience that aims to be more ‘sim’ than game, and it seems to have some really powerful tech powering it.
There’s an entry for their bench-marking tool on Steam which is due out later this Spring. This is meant to test your machine to see If you can actually run the full program or not. We highly recommend checking out the dev blogs to get a better sense as to what this is about.
Fun fact: I’ve seen this in action already. They were under consideration for a certain wargames publisher have since been dropped. The effect from looking at the global few, to zooming right down to see the units advancing along a road was certainly cool to look at. How the project evolves into a meaningful experience though remains to be seen. It’s all well and good aiming to be a ‘simulation’ over a ‘game’, but it still has to be something people want to interact with.
Zulu Dawn is the second-best film ever made, second only to Zulu. It stands to reason that Digitalgameworks’ latest release, ZuluDawn! Must be the second-best wargame every made.
Whatever the truth of the matter, this is a turn-based, company level game on a hex-grid that puts you in charge of either the British 24th Regiment of Foot, or the Zulu Impis, as you fight out what is commonly held as one of the greatest military disasters in British history - The Battle of Islandwana.
The game also comes with randomised Zulu force levels, and gameplay variations such as the British being fortified with Laagers, and/or possessing more troops (to reflect Chelmsford not splitting the column, as he did historically like an idiot).
That’s all for this week’s new round-up. If you’ve seen anything else we’ve missed, let us know. Otherwise, have a great weekend!