Wargamer Weekly: Madness

You know, I think it might be time to finally get excited about Hearts of Iron 4. Even though we posted our own summary of the key changes to expect in the upcoming Man the Guns expansion, it seems even we failed to capture how ground-breaking this expansion/patch will really be. Being on the same scale as Waking the Tiger, between these past two updates HOI4 has gone through a profound transformation.

It’s not as drastic as, say, the changes Stellaris has gone through, but certainly the dev team behind the WW2 grand-strategy game have either changed, or at the very least, made up their minds, about certain things. Jack’s already hard at work on our review, and we’ll find out next week where things lie in terms of what you need to pay for, and what’s a premium feature. It may be Man the Guns itself isn’t exactly a ‘must have’, but overall, I get the feeling Hearts of Iron 4 is finally becoming the war game it was mean’t to be.

Meanwhile, in the world of war games…

Matrix Games & Slitherine

It’s Matrix’s turn to have a ‘Mid-Week Madness’ sale via Steam. The promotion started earlier in the week but there’s still some time to pick up some cheap games. Some highlights especially worth paying attention to:

Gary Grigsby’s War in the East is a game-changing 60%, affording another opportunity to get this epic Eastern Front war game at a price that’s not wallet-destroying. War in the West is also 70% off.

We recently reviewed AGEOD’s Revolution Under Siege, which is now 75% off if you want to check out this earlier  chapter in AGEOD’s history. A lot of AGEOD games are currently enjoying big discounts, so if you absolutely hate-yourself have a keen interest in logistics-focused wargames, check them out.

The base game of Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations is reduced by 67%, as well as most of its DLC, including the LIVE scenarios. You should check out our master guide to figure out which add-ons are worth picking up.

If you’ve yet to pick up Fury Software’s latest Strategic Command game, World at War, it’s now a respectable 25% off. A highlight in WW2 grand-strategy war gaming.

Recent Slitherine/Matrix recruits Z9K games have both of their games – Panzer Doctrine & Land Doctrine – discounted. You should check them out.

And that’s not to mention Field of Glory 2, Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock and all of the other excellent war games you could be picking up on the cheap.

You’ve got until 6PM GMT tonight.

Lock’n Load Publishing

We’ve known about Lock’n Load’s digital projects for a while, but news on them has been sparse. This week the company put out a couple of videos showing off how their digital projects are coming along. No concrete release dates yet, but they claim to be “not far off” so perhaps we’ll hear something more solid over the next couple of months.

Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare

We haven’t really had a proper look at Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare since Alex previewed the initial Early Access build last February for our sister website. It was quite rough around the edges then, but from what we observed since it’s come along in leaps and bounds in terms of design and polish.

If you need the cliff-notes, this is Mount & Blade meets Jagged Alliance in a fictional country ravaged by rival factions and civil war. As a leader of a new group, you must earn money and build and army so you can unite the land. It’s got some very nice features in terms of strategic management, and a surprisingly ARMA-like first-person tactical shooter layer, complete with command & control ability for your army.

Their most recent announcement – concerned with the intention to include robust modding support – isn’t ground breaking, but it served as a stark reminder that this is a game that exists, and that it’s worth checking out. We’ll try and do some updated coverage on it, at any rate.

Wargame Design Studio

Last but not least, the boys over at WDS have maintained their fine tradition of giving us exactly zero notice on when they’re about to do cool things.

They’ve completed the rest of the ‘Western Front’ Panzer Campaigns games, and the following JTS titles now have Gold editions:

Like all of the Gold upgrades to date, the following improvements have been applied:

  • The game code will now be standardized on the JTS codebase. There will be no further support for the HPS versions.
  • All new and expanded game maps.
  • All new 2D & 3D map graphics.
  • All new unit graphics and counters on map.
  • All new unit cards.
  • All new in game sounds; weapon, explosion, background and miscellaneous.
  • All released Volcano Man scenarios.
  • New ‘modern’ toolbar icons.
  • Code update – disruption no longer halves movement during the day and is reduced by one third at night.
  • Code update – reinforcement ‘place all’ has been migrated across from the First World War Campaign series.
  • New national rules covering fatigue and surrender.

Now that these are out of the way, the team have now resumed work on three remaining desert titles, as well as some Civil War Battles remakes as well. We’ll add these to our games pile, but generally they’ll fit under the larger ‘Legacy Review’ initiative so I’m not sure when we’ll get around to doing them. I know the Other Joe is interested, but he’s about to go away on a trip so his output will be severely reduced through most of March.

That’s all for this week’s update – have a great weekend!