I’ve been away in Germany this week at a convention called ‘GamesCom’, it’s a consumer & trade show on par with the likes of E3 held in Cologne, and is usually a lot more orientated towards strategy and PC games. Not necessarily wargames, although Slitherine have been known to be there.
Fun fact – Being based on the Rhine, Cologne and the corridor that stretched out from the East bank towards Kassel and the Weser river was assigned to the Belgian I Corps during the Cold War. In late 2016 I attended a megagame that covered a ‘what if’ scenario where the USSR crosses the border in the 1980’s. I was the Chief of Staff for the 1 BE team, and Cologne was our base of operations. You can read my multi-part write up if you want to know more about how the day went.
Speaking of the Cold War, the only thing I really saw that was relevant to us here was Men of War: Assault Squad 2‘s ‘Cold War‘ expansion, which I did a write-up on earlier in the week.
Meanwhile, in the world of wargaming
Matrix/Slitherine were at GamesCom this year although I’m sorry to report I didn’t get a chance to catch up with them – I’ll be having a quick briefing with their PR team next week to catch up on the things I missed (Close Combat: The Bloody First will be releasing before Christmas, apparently), but in the mean time they had other news bits you may be interested in.
First up – Strategic Command WW1 is now in Beta! You can go to their ‘Betas’ page on their new website to sign-up, along with WarPlan, and Close Combat: The Bloody First. Fantasy General II also has a release date now – you’ll be able to get your hands on it on September 5th.
Hearts of Iron 4 Expansion News
The Hearts of Iron 4 dev team are back from their ridiculously long summer holiday. Dev diaries will resume next week and to remind you of what’s on the slate next, we’re working towards the 1.8 ‘Husky’ update now, along with an unannounced new expansion.
Podcat also confirmed that the new expansion will be revealed at PDXCON in October.
A Few Good Manuals
This is something I received via our forums. It seems a small group of fans of the Graviteam games wished the manuals and documentation were better, and so have taken it upon themselves to be the heroes we need.
The PM I got was a bit of a word dump so apologies if I’ve missed something, but what I can tell you is that the team of volunteers have put together a ‘Learner’s Guide’ for Tank Warfare: Tunisia 1943. You can grab it through this link, although you have to be signed up to the website to download it.
Steel Division 2
We’ve been a bit lax on keeping up with Steel Division 2‘s improvements and changes since launch. Patch 1.4 was released at the tail end of July, which brought more tweaks and fixes for Army General and the rest of the game.
At the start of this week Eugen also announced the release of the games’ first free DLC – the imaginatively named ‘Reinforcement Pack #1‘ adds a range of new content:
- The German 25. Panzergrenadier Division and the 84th Guards Rifle Division as playable divisions.
- A new Skirmish map for Solo, Co-Op and Multiplayer.
- New units, Aces and some additional music tracks.
This ‘Free-LC’ pack is the first of ten such content drops Eugen have committed to, and we’re glad to see the patches are coming thick and fast as well.
Clad in Iron: Carolines 1885
Totem Games’ first DLC for Clad in Iron: Philippines 1898 now has a release date. Carolines 1885 is a new alternative history scenario detailing a possible conflict between Germany and Spain over the Caroline Islands in the Pacific. Along with the new campaign, eight new types of historical ships have been added in for the two sides.
The DLC will be released next Monday on August 26th.
Star Wars Armada Campaign Expansion
Going to make more of an effort to cover something from the table-top world going forward. Star Wars: Armada, in case you’ve forgotten, is a turn-based fleet-combat game set in the Star Wars Universe. It’s really fun and I wish I could devote more time to playing it.
One of the interesting things FFG have been experimenting with is ‘Campaign’ expansions – products that aren’t about giving you new ship models, but instead give a range of tools and cards themed around fighting a persistent campaign. They’ve only released one so far, 2016’s The Corellian Conflict.
Now they’re looking to release a second expansion later this year called Rebellion in the Rim, and they recently put out an article that went a bit deeper into some of the new toys on offer. One of the new systems being introduced is the idea of ‘Task Force Commanders’, which replaces the traditional ‘Fleet Commander’ slot in a typical Armada game.
These new Commanders can evolve and grow as the campaign is fought in the same way ships can through experience and new abilities you can acquire as you advance up the tiers. These abilities are themed around existing archetypes, such as Squadron focused builds. You can read more about the new options here, and Rebellion in the Rim is slated for a ‘Q3’ 2019 release. I’m probably going to buy it anyway, because I’m an idiot.
That’s all we have for you this week – as always if you’ve spotted something we’ve missed, let us know in the comments!