We’re finally nearing the end of the summer season, thank God. The scorching heat is killing me slowly. The beach-goers cease to show and the incessant wail of screaming teenagers give way to quieter nights by the sea. The gaming summer drought was hard but it has come to an end with a whimper and it’s back to release and announcements season. Let’s get back to work and to the sweet and comforting embrace of weekly news updates.
World War 2 Operations Husky
This one flew so much under the radar that, despite being on Steam since the 5th of July, it’s press release reached my email only a couple of days ago. There’s not a lot of information about it but it describes itself as a “A light wargame with simple rules tailored to run smooth battles. Recommended to introduce new players to wargames basic concepts and for fast multiplayer matches“. As to how successful World War 2 Operation Husky is in this regard I cannot not tell you, as I am yet to play it. Keep an eye on it here.
Cauldrons of War Stalingrad Out Now
The Cauldrons of War franchise keeps on proving that there’s a place for hardcore and hex-less wargames in today’s day and world. After the resounding critical success of Cauldrons of War Barbarossa, Maestro Cinetik took another shot at the Eastern Front and their newest iteration is now zooming into the brutal battle of Stalingrad. If taking a trip on the Volga is your definition of an autumn well spent then you can do it by the low price of 12,99.
Hearts of Iron IV – Trains and Logistics
Logistics are a huge deal in warfare (surprising, am I right?). Since time immemorial, amongst the military commanders greatest worries was the notion of either not being able to equip it’s army properly and, even worst, not feeding it. It’s actually important to keep your fighting human bellies full so they can be alive to kill each other. Hearts of Iron IV got that memo but it left some stuff tucked and hidden away in what we call “the abstraction layer”. What were those things? Well, trains for starters. In 2017, my naive and younger self wrote that Hearts of Iron IV “is the first game that made logistics an interesting part of gameplay, other than just being a nuisance for the sake of being there, as it happens with so many wargames. The only thing you have to worry about in the strategic map is if you have enough infrastructure to make sure supplies, reinforcements and equipment reach your troops on the ground. No need for useless micromanagement, everything that you would assume is needed for a military company to function is under the production line of Support Equipment, and i’m sure that is supposed to encapsulate, we shall say: Bandages, food, tents, shovels, maintenance material, uniforms, ammunitions and all that minor stuff”.
It seems that’s no more, with trains schedule to go live for the next update. It appears that the supply system is now going to calculate the division’s supply by relating their needs to the province they’re on and it’s relation with the supply hubs that touch that province. While this is something I could live without, it’s going to add another layer of strategy with the inclusion of logistics airstrikes that will damage trains and trucks. Players will also be able to build new trains if need arises. Also, big train artillery goes boom.
Iron Harvest Complete Edition announced
This is old news but news nonetheless, so here it is. After my less favourable preview of Iron Harvest during its beta it became somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. Sure, it has some movement problems with units still carrying too much momentum. The AI is atrocious and the setting while interesting at first, gets boring after a while as the novelty wears down. Fast forward a couple of months and I’m enjoying it’s predictable yet fun campaign. What I want to say is that this is a confort game, it requires little brain effort to get things done and it’s good to play while listening to podcasts or music after a long day at work.
Iron Harvest is getting a Complete Edition with loads of new features: a new game mod called “Dropzone”, Ranked Ladder, a codex for lore-lover, flying units, a coop campaign, new unit skins and cosmetic, more hero abilities and quality of life improvements. One of those is the Unit Responsiveness, (finally!) and the other is the brain dead AI (!).
This Complete Edition marks the end of year one for Iron Harvest but things won’t end here. Expect a New “Worldmap” gamemode (This looks like the Ardennes Campaign from Company of Heroes 2), New “Scenarios” game mode, more free maps and units skins. The Year Two is coming so expect news further down the line.