Exciting things are happening this week and over the weekend. The first Steel Division 2 public beta is currently running until Monday, and myself and one of the other writers are currently taking it for a spin to get a taste of what we can look forward too come May. Beyond that, on a whim I’ve installed World of Warships to refresh myself of the game ahead of a rumoured console launch.

The late Mr. Cobb dabbled in Wargaming’s Free-to-Play naval warfare game – it’s definitely more arcade than it is simulation, but there is a certain cerebral quality to it as positioning, careful aim (after some range-finding) and navigation are all important. We may start covering it more as a counter-point to the hardcore stuff we do, but at the moment its just speculation and research.

In the realm of table-top, I recently acquired both Paths of Glory (strategic-level WW1) and Falling Skies (COIN set during Caesar’s Gallic Wars) from GMT Games, both of which have some solo options. I’ll try and bust those out when I can as well.

Meanwhile, in the world of wargaming…

Command: Desert Storm

The new stand-alone expansion for CMANO is now out. Desert Storm features 14 historical and what-if scenarios based around the Gulf War in 1990. It comes with the full database update to provide all of the forces present during the war, a bonus scenario, but no premium new mechanics from what we can tell. There has however been a pretty decent free patch update – Patch 1.15 – which has a lot of cool features in it that enhance the DLC content. Desert Storm can purchased as a stand-alone experience or as a DLC add-on to CMANO itself.

Earlier in the week Matrix published the second half of their article looking at the scenarios. Apologies for not having a review ready for launch day – it is coming, and I expect it to go live sometime next week.

Armoured Commander II

A quick note for this one – the developer has released his Alpha 4 Release Candidate. The only note-worthy new feature is weather conditions, which is determined at the start of every day but can change during the course of a day. Download here.

Unity of Command 2

A new Dev Diary went live this week, this time looking at how the Fog of War, Intel & Stragglers mechanics tie together in a loop. When you defeat units they can generate ‘stragglers’ that will retreat away from the frontlines. If they’re not captured the enemy can eventually re-use them as reinforcements. If you capture them, however, they provide intel to your HQ and can reveal the position of other enemy units deep within the Fog of War.

Further to that, stragglers of a large size can present tactical challenges, as they will end up clogging up the road. You can move around them if you’re racing to get somewhere, but they’ll need dealing with eventually the intel they provide could mean the difference between victory or defeat.

Radio Shack

The Radio Commander devs have been stepping up their communication and PR in the wake of their Kickstarter, and during that they recommended an alternative project for those looking for a different take on the idea.

Radio General is a similar concept to Radio Commander, except this time set during WW2. No news on a release window, but there are some screenshots on the official website and this Devlog that lays out the basic premise (there are 12 more showing actual gameplay on their channel).

That’s all for this week – enjoy your weekends!