Wargamer Weekly: Totally War(Hammer)gaming

The recent release of Total War: Warhammer II has had us all a little occupied recently. Mainly for our sister website Strategy Gamer, although it has always been a series that straddles that line between strategy and tactical wargame.

As you’ll have read, Marcello handles the Warhammer II review, while I brought myself up to speed on Total Warhammer The First. I’d stopped playing the series after Rome II, for obvious reasons, but also because the Attila period and Warhammer Fantasy just didn’t speak to my personal interests. In the years since, I’ve heard surprisingly good things about both games, and it seems TW:W2 has gotten even better, so I decided to fire up my copy of the first one and take it for a spin.

It was incredibly disorientating. Despite the strategy layer going from strength-to-strength, the tactical layer seems to be changing in ways that require some serious re-writing of learned behaviour in order to manage. Battles are more show-y, involving greater losses and a quicker morale cycle. A good tactic in past games would be to pin a force down with heavy infantry and then flank them from the rear, but now either your pinning force or the enemy are likely to be dead before you get there.

It’s early days for me yet – I’ve still got to play Attila, and I’m trying out each of the factions in Warhammer 1 as they all play very differently. For now, on with this week’s news…

Matrix Games & Slitherine

It’s been a week of proper wargame news from the Eternal City recently, with a couple new announcements and a sneak peak.

First up, CMANO‘s third full-on stand-alone/expansion has been announced. Command: Shifting Sands will focus on the Middle-East theatre, and comes with a host of new content and features:

  • 7 campaign scenarios (14 historical and 3 hypothetical) written by Paul A. Bridge, ex-Royal Navy officer and author of the award-winning “Northern Inferno” campaign.
  • Witness the dramatic changes in warfare hardware and tactics first-hand: the combat debut of the modern anti-ship missile and the countermeasures to it, the revolution in offensive counter-air operations, the emergence of the surface-to-air missile (SAM) and the development of SEAD (suppression of enemy air-defences) systems and tactics to deal with the new threat.
  • Explore the great historical what-ifs of the Middle East theatre: The US responds forcefully to the attack on the Liberty, the Soviet and US fleets clash over their supported allies, and Israel resorts to nuclear weapons as the defensive fronts collapse.

Next up in terms of new announcements is the next expansion for Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach. The Sons of Cadia are(is) coming to Alaric Prime, allowing players to field the armies of the Asta Milatarum for the first time. Featuring new units, a new campaign and a new experience & progression tree, we’re looking forward to seeing how these guys differ from the existing factions.

Finally, those still eagerly awaiting the release of Field of Glory II might be interested in taking a sneak-peek at the hardcover manual. Being a Matrix Wargame, you know its going to be good and beefy, but for now you can read-up on Custom Battles, Battles, How Cohesion works, and also the full Table of Contents to see what else the tome has in store.

New Game Sited

We had a new game brought to our attention the other day – Panzer Strategy: Blitzkrieg.

It’s the most recent creation of StarniGames, a Russian developer who only seems to have worked on a browser MMO called StarGhosts prior to this. Citing Order of Battle & Panzer Corps (amongst others) as their inspiration, they seem to have created a tactical wargame that looks a lot like Order of Battle, but set in 3D environments that could have been pulled from Men of War.

We recommend checking out their game page for yourself, but we’ll bring you more information as we get it.


It’s been a very slow week in wargaming, the only other things worth highlighting are that Hearts of Iron IV dev diaries are picking up again (we especially recommend the one about War Support).

There’s also Warbanners, which is a fantasy themed tactical strategy game, which is releasing on October 18th. Strategy Gamer will definitely have a review ready, although I’ll wait and see if it gets posted here.

Have a good weekend, and happy gaming! This article covers games published and developed by members of the Slitherine Group. For more information please see the About Us page.