It’s been a while since I’ve been in a situation where there’s almost too much to write up. I probably could have written up more during the week as aside from the table-top stuff on Monday it’s not been as interesting a week as what we had before. Although Ian’s feature on the free war games available via the Internet Archive is ace.

Next week we’re looking at the Blocks! Julius Caesar review (hopefully) and the usual round of evergreens that need a refresh, but other than that there’s not a lot else happening so will try and be more news-led through the middle of the week. We’re also thinking of doing something for Black Friday.

Meanwhile, in the world of wargames…

Wargame Design Studio End of Year Update

It’s been a busy year for Wargame Design Studio. Between helping JTS upgrade their existing catalogue, to developing new titles in those same lines, they’ve had a lot on their plate and so haven’t kept in regular contact via their blog. To make up for it, they’ve posted a large ‘end-of-year’ update that (at the time of writing) is spread across two posts.

A summary of the salient info:

  • The Modern Campaigns series should be updated by the end of the year. Currently Korea ’85 & North German Plain ‘85 are completed, with the other three being worked on.
  • WDS are working on one final Civil War Battles game, to be announced at a later date.
  • Three new Panzer Campaigns games are being worked on, one each for the European, Eastern and Pacific theatres.
  • The European game is Panzer Campaigns Scheldt ’44, due mid-2020.
  • There is a new Panzer Battles game still being worked on, although it was on hold during 2019.

It’s worth noting that any or all of the above could be shelved at a moments notice depending on available manpower and projects leaders. It was interesting to read that Japan ‘45 & ‘46 were actually started a decade ago in 2009, but work paused after the main designer retired. The same fate could happen to any of the games WDS works on, as they are very dependant on volunteers.

Axis & Allies Digital New Patch

This dropped last Thursday but we didn’t spot it in time – Beamdog’s digital adaptation of Axis & Allies 1942 has received a new major patch. Titled ‘Turning Point’ the fifth major update to the game changes everything from the rendering engine, to the UI and player controls and more! It also disables parts of the tutorial so they can be updated with the new features.

It’s good to see the developers hard at work with this – I get the impression this has been abit of learning experience for them, and our testing so far has found much still wanting (none-the-least basic technical performance) which is why we’ve held off on writing about it. If this new patch pans out as they hope, perhaps we’ll take a fresh look in the New Year.

Deja Vu of War

So I got this email through to my inbox last week announcing a Closed Beta Test for a WW2 FPS called Days of War, from developer Driven Arts. This confused me because we looked at Days of War, by Driven Arts, back in 2017. I was sure it had left Early Access as well, but maybe not.

Looking at the Steam page, it seems that whatever’s going on the game, it’s planning a ‘rebirth’ in early 2020, with this new beta the first step on that journey. The test will take place over two weekends, this weekend 22nd – 24th and then the 13th – 15th of December. Makes me curious as to what’s changed since we last looked at it, but I can’t help but feel the era has passed for these specific types of shooters.

Token Table-Top: Star Wars: Legion gets a Skirmish mode

In case you don’t know, Star Wars: Legion is a miniatures wargame from Fantasy Flight Games that’s squarely in the ‘Warhammer et al’ bracket. It’s not quite like some of their previous games, like Star Wars: Imperial Assault, which was more of an adventure RPG – this is a full on Army vs. Army war game. It’s been going for while now, getting new sets and a Clone Wars-era themed alternative Core Set recently, and now they’re jumping on the bandwagon and pushing out some Skirmish rules.

I think there’s a pretty serious wake-up call waiting to happen with the table-top industry when they realise that the only people who can afford to buy everything are slowly dying off (while the rest of us deal with stagnating wages – woo), so catering to people who prefer collecting smaller army sets is wise. You can download the rules from here, if you’re a follower of the game and want to give it a go.

Matrix Games

Three bits of news from Matrix games this week:

  • CMO & CMANO have just received a new free Community Scenario pack, curated by Kushan Gaming. You can read the details here.
  • Strategic Command: WW1 will be releasing on the Matrix Store & Steam on December 5th.

Finally, the second game in the new Order of Battle trilogy focusing on the USSR has been announced. Order of Battle: Red Steel is due out in Q1 2020, and covers the period from Autumn 1942 through to the Third Battle of Kharkov in early 1943 across sixteen scenarios. It also includes new specialisations and new unlockable commanders.

And the rest…

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