Slitherine hosted their second Home of Wargamers Live stream last night, and it came with plenty interesting factoids and new announcements.
They started off by reflecting and talking a few recent bits of news. Command: Desert Storm, for example seems to have proven quite popular not only because it’s a very recognisable setting, but also because it’s ended up being a good ‘gateway’ game for learning CMANO. They also spoke a bit about Neverdark, and also announced they’re doing ‘Challenges’ for Field of Glory: Empires.
It’s mainly aimed at streamers/YouTube creators, but essentially you can apply to be given a special ‘restricted’ version of the game that’s feature complete but locked to the Italian Peninsular and some surrounding territories (so Epirus is present, but not the rest of the Balkans). The challenge is to play as the Rome faction and try to conquer Italy in as few turns as possible.
Before we launch into our recap of the headline announcements, here’s an embed of the stream archive if you want to watch the whole thing:
Fantasy General II: Invasion
Not the first, but probably the biggest announcement of the night was the news that Slitherine are bringing back Fantasy General. Officially No.6 in our ranked guide to the 5-Star General series, Fantasy General was released in 1995 and was basically what would happen if you crossed Panzer General with Dungeons & Dragons. It was novel, but a bit flawed like most of the General games.
Slitherine seem to have gotten the rights to bring back this classic with a modern sequel; Fantasy General II: Invasion, developed by Owned by Gravity, a studio we’ve never encountered before. The Managing Director, Jan Wagner, who introduces the game during the stream, has previously worked for Cliffhanger Productions, who developed the recently released Jagged Alliance: Rage!
They bill Invasion as being a ‘reimagining’ of the original game the core turn-based gameplay will remain, but there’s quite a few things such as the narrative and the wider campaign context of the game that have been updated and improved to reflect how turn-based games have evolved. There’s going to be lots of strategic decision making about how your army evolves over time units can change role & class as they get updated. Jump to 57:30 to see some actual gameplay in action specifically around how terrain an careful preparation can lead to vastly different outcomes, even within the same amount of turns.
Not to be ignored though was the additional announcement of Armored Brigade‘s first DLC pack. Called a ‘Nation Pack’, it introduces Italy & Yugoslavia as DLC factions, with over 250 new units between them. The DLC will also feature a new map that covers the Cold War era border between the Republic of Italy and the SFR Yugoslavia, a source of great tension through-out much of the Cold War, especially over the Free Port of Trieste. This will be a new 61 x 61km map.
At the same time, a free content will also launch with the DLC that, amongst other things, will introduce a Campaign Generator. This is something we’ve felt the game has been lacking, and the developers have come up with an interesting solution to the problem. Keeping to the ideals of very free-form, often contextless engagements, the Campaign Generator will allow you mark a start point, and an end-point on a single map. It will then generate a series of engagement zones along the route, mainly centred around key milestones. Will need to fight with your chosen army from one end of the route to another, with damage and losses remaining persistent through-out the entire experience.
We’re not sure what other factors such as a supply, experience etc… are currently planned for this update, but it’s a step in the right direction to give AB something more to do other than endless one-off skirmishes. Both the DLC and the free patch are due to release early May.
Panzer Corps 2
Last, but certainly not least, Slitherine/Matrix showed off some live Panzer Corps 2 footage. It’s not ‘proper’ gameplay more like a series of snapshots showing different maps, units moving a little bit and a lot of battle exchanges. It starts around the 37:25 mark if you want to jump straight to the action.
The most interesting bit for me was actually around the 42 min mark where they show how scalable the UI is. Makes me hopeful for our mobile brethren that perhaps an iOS version may still yet be in the works.
Next month they will show off actual gameplay, with a lot more detail as to how the game will function. We’re very excited to see more during the next Home of Wargamers Live event. So far though, the game is looking very pretty and quite solid, provided you’re not put off by the slightly warped scale between the units and the terrain around them.
That’s all of the salient points from Slitherine’s latest live show. As has been mentioned, these are now going to be monthly streams, so expect the next one to hit around this time next month.