Annnnndddd we’re back! Hope you all had a great holiday break and are feeling full and content – now it’s back to the ‘ol grindstone. Due to developments happening within my company I will soon find myself with more time to dedicate to Wargamer, which I worry has felt a bit neglected in the past couple of months. Rest assured 2020 is going to be our year.

I definitely want to take another stab at expanding into table-top. Bill’s done a great job holding down the historical miniatures and board war game side of things, but our experiments in talking about Warhammer 40K, Age of Sigmar etc… have proven popular, so I want to increase our output in those areas. That’s not to say we’ll be moving our focus away from computer wargames, but you guys are as aware of the landscape there as I am: there’s just not a lot of computer war game projects on the go in any given year. I want to find new ways to talk about computer games to help fill the void though, instead of not trying at all.

Meanwhile, in the world of war games…

Task Force Admiral Update

Drydock Games have put out a New Years update for their in-development naval war game, Task Force Admiral. It covers a range of things from new bios, to ship design and more, so make sure you go here to read the full update.

The diary does have a video from the end of November we never looked at, which has some cool test game footage of a plane doing a dive-bombing run:

2020: Year of Naval Warfare?

Along with Task Force Admiral above, I’ve noticed a few new naval war game/simulation projects crop up over the past couple of months. Assuming these new games will actually release in 2020 (which isn’t a guarantee, knowing this industry), then we’re going to get a lot of naval warfare in a relatively short space of time:

New Game: Aircraft Carrier Survival

I guess if you took Every Single Soldier’s Carrier Deck, paired it with UBOAT and threw more money at it, Aircraft Carrier Survival is what you might end up with. It’s a new survival/simulation game from CreativeForge Games. These guys have developed games like Hard West and Phantom Doctrine, the latter being a really cool blend of Cold War espionage and XCOM.

ACS seems less focused on putting together strike packages and more focused about keeping the ship itself working so that air assets can deploy on missions. It’s set during WW2 as opposed to Carrier Deck’s modern setting, and is due to release in Q2 2020.

New Game: Sea Power

Cold Waters is a game we really should try to cover more, as it’s a very popular topic. Hopefully that popularity is transferable because one of the developers has moved on to found a new studio called Triassic Games that’ll be working on a brand new naval war game – Sea Power: Naval Combat in the Missile Age.

It focuses on naval warfare in general, and not the submarine focus of Cold Waters, and it’s looking very pretty in early screenshots. There’s a forum thread on it over on Grogheads if you want to see more. 

ArmA 3 Apex: Old Man Beta

This dropped while I was away so I wasn’t able to cover it properly, but it’s worth highlighting now as it’s still an interesting bit of news. Bohemia have released a beta version of a free scenario they’ve designed for ArmA 3: Apex. It’s another narrative driven experience, where you play a retired Legionnaire living on the South Pacific island of Tanoa and it’s called ‘Old Man’. Here’s the synopsis:

When a new strain of malaria causes yet another humanitarian crisis, and local authorities fail to distribute an effective vaccine to the civilian population, you’re tipped off about a possible plot. Together with a former military contact, you set out to uncover the truth.

This is still a largely sandbox game, and it’s up to you to navigate Tanoa’s 100km2 map to scavenge your own gear and define your own strategies. We like the creativity and imagination that goes into these more story-driven experiences, although their success have been fairly mixed during ArmA 3’s life-span so far. Still, this is a free scenario so it’s worth checking out if you’re interested.

Since this is a beta, you have to subscribe to a Steam Workshop item to try it out but it’s due to be added to the main game properly when it releases later this year. Either way, you’ll need to own ArmA 3: Apex in order to play it.

John Tiller’s Modern Campaigns series gets the Gold treatment

Wargame Design Studio announced just after Christmas that they’ve given all five of JTS’ Modern Campaigns games the ‘Gold’ treatment. To recap, this means:

  • All new game graphics including terrain, in game counters and 2D & 3D units as well as the toolbar icons.
  • All new sounds.
  • Game enhancements include revised disruption movement and reinforcement ‘place all’ function from other series

Each game also includes tons of new scenarios included as standard. The give Modern Campaigns games are:

  • Middle East ‘67
  • Korea ‘85
  • Fulda Gap ‘85
  • North German Plain ‘85
  • Danube Front ‘85

It seems 1985 was a bad year to be a German citizen. You can read more details on what each individual game has in terms of new content, as well as screenshots, here.

That’s all we’ve got for this week – if you see anything else we’ve missed, let us know in the comments!