Strategy and Wargaming News – 25th September – Free Europa Universalis, Grand Tactician, War Mongrels

Oh man, it’s good to be back. Even if I never went away in the first place. This week was so rich in news you could have mistaken it for a suspicious swiss bank account. Slitherine is back with full force with their most recent Tea Time unveiling even more details about Starship Troopers, Age of Empires IV is shaping up to be a smash hit and Europa Universalis IV is going to be free for the 3 people in the World that don’t own it yet. Let’s get right into it!


Grand Tactician Out Of Early Access

Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1865) is set to be the Civil War game to end all Civil War Wargames is finally out and ready to be judged under the label of it’s 1.0 release. After some maturing for some time in Early Access, this all encompassing epic is doing it’s best to blend a complex and intricate strategical layer with an even more convoluted tactical battle system. I was fortunate enough to be granted a review key for it so meet me in the field of battle this weekend. My thoughts are far from being set in stone but are pretty positive so far, even if the lack of a tutorial is giving my growing affection for this game some pain. By 2021, one should have realized that releasing games as complex as this without a dedicated tutorial is a huge step to alienate a large portion of the audience.


Age of Empires IV Is Well Received?

It’s been said before and I say it again: “low expectations are the key to living a happy life” and that couldn’t be more accurate with Age of Empires IV. Went into the Technical Stress Test last week without a single sliver of hope and came out of it thoroughly impressed by the state of the game. It also seems the community has been sharing it’s love, with articles and videos singing their praises to the fourth entry of this seminal franchise. Strong opinions are good to hold and defend but it’s only but human nature to enjoy having them validated. For once, I’m actually exciting to see what the future hold for Age of Empires.


Starship Troopers – Terran Command Demo Coming

Starship Troopers is on par with Star Wars as my favourite sci-fi franchise of all time and if there’s something I never expected to see in my lifetime is a decent game of Starship Troopers, much less a RTS. Slitherine has announced in their latest Tea Time that ST:TC is one of the most wishlisted games out there with 200,000 and counting. That’s pretty impressive. The demo is going to be out as the developers are looking for feedback on what to improve and to get a general feeling on how the community reacts to it. Would you like to know more? Then you’ll have to wait until the 1st of October to play the demo.


Door Kickers 2 Huge Update

Door Kickers 2 was a great game in it’s own right when it released into the Steam Early Access in November of last year. This is an opinion me and KillHouse Games didn’t see eye to eye on because the mad lads behind the amazing sequel to the original Door Kickers keep on pumping content with scary consistency. Virtual military commanders can now exchange at will between the Rangers and CIA operatives. These agents come in two different forms, one multi-role Black Ops Paramilitary Officer that can field any weapon and the more interesting and specialized Undercover Agents whose gimmick is to use concealment tactics by infiltrating the enemy lines. Each one of these officers will have his own Concealment rating according to the gear and weapons they carry – strap one hand cannons to each leg, wildly swing and AK and run around with a bowie knife held within your jaws and you better be prepared to get slammed in the spot. Avoid suspicious behaviour and the enemies will most likely never notice you were there. These new units play fast and loose with any rules of engagement, being allowed to use whatever weapons they want or can find. This new update also adds a new mission type called Raid On Stronghold, described as: “Get in, destroy enemy equipment, and don’t forget to get out. You’re always outnumbered, don’t be outsmarted, and leave no man behind”.


Europa Universalis IV For Free?

Another PSA for those who still living under the rocks, Europa Universalis IV is going to be free in the Epic Games Store the following week, starting September 30th. In case this opportunity to grab one of the best games ever created you can count on your faithful StrategyandWargaming.com to deliver you a clickbaity reminder in the following days titled something like “One of the best Grand Strategy Games of All Time Is Now Free”. Oh, and the Kingdom of Grenade once told me that my mother was a hamster and my father smelled of elderberries. Classy.


Shrapnel Games Autumn Sale

When the email arrived chanting the big savings that had just arrived in the official Shrapnel Games store I thought to myself: what a perfect fit for my weekly news compilation. Finally, a reason to recommend buying a nearly three decade old game that you can play for free like winSPMBT: Main Battle Tank or winSPWW2. Unfortunately, those savings subtact only 13% of the usual 39.95 price tag, lowering it to 34.95. Yes, both games are classics in their own right and deserve your attention if you’re serious about digital wargaming but paying 35 bucks for an old, old game is going to be a hard sell, even for the grogiest of the grog.

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War Mongrels

Lovers of the stealth strategy genre have been starved for new entries in the genre for more than a decade after the release of Commandos 3. That was until Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun pulled out the defibrillator and shocked the world, reviving and carrying an entire genre on its randoseru. Skip a couple of years and the Commandos Franchise is getting remastered (with moderate success) and Desesperados 3 is a smash hit. Currently Partisans 1941 is running wild with the newly light torch of World War 2 stealth action. Now War Mongrels is getting into the low-key action of World War trenches. The developers will be showcasing the game and hopefully unveiling more details at EGX 2021 in early October and if their most recent War Diaries is anything to go by, they won’t be shy of facing some of the hardest facets of the war. The game is set to release October 19th of this year.


Strategy Smashes Steam Top Sellers Chart

PC Players are an interesting breed- while their console counterparts are sweating over the look of Thor in the latest God of War reveal, the Steam Top 20 games of last month are filled to the brim with strategical goodness. Microprose’s Carrier Command 2, Sprocket: Tank Design and Humankind are small sheds of light escaping the endless void of the black hole that is the Steam Store.


Field of Glory II Medieval : Swords and Scimitars Out Now

This is one that came out of nowhere and wasn’t remotely in my radar. But more FoG is always a good thing my medieval enluminure. Swords and Scimitars, as the name implies, is focusing on the period of the Christian Crusades from 1040 to 1270 and is replicating iconic moments in history such as the rise and fall of the Byzantine empire, the Mongol invasion of the Middle East and some of the bloody battles on the way to Jerusalem. There’s new units (35), new nations (20) and new historical scenarios (8).

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