Strategy and Wargaming News – 19th September – Age of Empires IV, Delays, Free Games

If this weekly entry was delayed any longer you could be forgiven for mistaking it for the US entering the Second World War! Speaking of delays, oh boy do I have some bad news for you. The summer drought might have been bad enough but it’s not over with games such as Battlefield 2042, Warhammer III and Dying Light 2 being pushed back a couple of months.


Age of Empires IV – Playable For Everyone

At long last, the moment everyone was waiting for has come. Age of Empires IV is finally in a playable state and the gods at the Microsoft- Olympus are allowing us, mere mortals, to taste some of that sweet, sweet AoE nectar. All jokes aside, I’ve been playing the Technical Stress Test and there’s very little to complain about. Relic have finally gotten their shit together and instead of trying to reinvent the wheel they’re focusing on improving it- and the results show. The core gameplay loop can be described as Age of Empires II with a couple of twists, no doubt. It all appears to be a natural evolution of the original formula with more depth added to the usual mechanics: corps within the radius of a farm wield more resources, moving up the ages happen by building unique edifices, walls can be manned, towers can be gradually upgraded, siege machines such as cannons and trebuchets have to be previously deployed and have limited attack angles. It’s still a monumental task to unseat Age of Empires II as the king of medieval RTS but if any game has any chance of doing it it’s one from it’s franchise. I’m truly optimistic for what’s to come.


Jagged Alliance 3 Announced

There’s few settings I despise as much as a Banana Republic. Of all the things one could choose, it baffles the mind on why someone would decide to set a game in a tropical paradise destroyed by ditatorial ambitions of disgruntled generals. It’s more overused than a cuban taxi and an argentinian submarine put together- Just Cause, Tropico, Far Cry 6. For some reason, Jagged Alliance 3 has decided it was time to revisit the setting instead of banking on something new. When are we going to get a tactical game set in Eastern Europe? Anyway, Jagged Alliance 3 was announced a couple of days ago.


Jagged Alliance Gold Edition Free For Grabs

And if you have access to your Steam account right now go here and claim a free copy of the original Jagged Alliance. THQ is also giving away Titan Quest, an older Diablo-like that is great nonetheless so get both if you can.


Total War: Warhammer III Delayed Into Early 2022

Here’s hoping the Blood God isn’t in dire need of a blood transfusion because Warhammer III is getting delayed into early 2022. As far as I’m aware no reason was given for this delay but attending to CA’s track record of broken releases, Warhammer III probably just needs a bit more time in the development oven. Warhammer II is a great game and I’m expecting a total blast of an experience with the final entry of the Warhammer trilogy. In the meantime, the marketing department keep drip feeding information about the up and coming factions, this time announcing the arrival of the jade embed dragons and the terracotta Golems of the Grand Cathay.

As Creative Assembly did with Kislev, they joined forces with Games Workshop to revamp the lore of this previously established , but underdeveloped faction.

The army of the Grand Cathay is a defensive one, whose focus in on range and melee units working together to boost their stats, Yin and Yang, it is said. The focus of their campaign will be on harvesting the riches of the Silk Road and channel their resources into the defense of the Grand Bastion, “the invincible walled fortress that borders the Chaos Wastes to their North. Defending it and launching assaults from it is a key part of their campaign and will make or break the fates of mortals”


Fantasy General and Pacific General Out On Steam

Fantasy General and Pacific General have finally found their way to Steam. When these games originally came out my underdeveloped kid brain cared not for the intricacies of wargaming. Give me Action-Man, Legos and Playmobil or leave me alone. There’s not a whole lot I can say about it so… If you want to grab them go here and there.


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Burden of Command

It’s nice to see that Burden of Command is still being worked upon almost half a decade since it was first announced. Above you’ll find a recent update of the soundtrack with dynamically generated sounds that derive from the players actions. It’s nifty effect and it can be put to good use but the lack of more gameplay clips is starting to worry even the most fervent defenders. The idea of a World War 2 tactical RPG focusing on the aspects of leadership is an absolute genius idea.


Armoured Commander II – Development Road Map

What can I say about Armoured Commander II that hasn’t already being said before? It just keeps getting bigger and better with each and every update. Now the developer announced his roadmap for the next content updates and, as you can see, new units are coming, a Spanish Civil War campaign and most importantly, a Korean War campaign.

  • Near-term: Create modding guide, add Workshop and Nexus integration
  • Near-term: Add new air and ground units 1939-1945
  • Near-term: Minor improvements to existing campaigns
  • Medium-term: Spanish Civil War units and campaigns
  • Medium-term: Pacific and Southeast Asia units and campaigns
  • Medium-term: Second Sino-Japanese War units and campaigns
  • Long-term: Korean War units and campaigns

And that’s all folks! Stay tuned for my X-COM retrospective coming out soon and my list of the best World War 2 games of all time. Oh, here’s a couple of new units arriving at Order of Battle with the Allies Resurgent DLC.

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