Strategy and Wargaming 14th October – Unity of Command II Stalingrad DLC, Rebel Inc: Escalation, DCS

Unusual workloads tend to strain content release around here but it’s that time of the week when press releases must be scoured, websites searched and news be written. So I stand before you, peasants! His Royal Most Esteemed Cursore of Strategy and Wargaming is stopping by to lay bare the on-goings of this most respected and admirable genres.

Unity of Command II Stalingrad DLC Announced

Did I ever told you the definition of insanity? Insanity is trying to invade the Soviet Union and expect to win. But that’s not stopping World War figure-pushers and supply-chain wranglers from having another go at it. Luckily, 2×2 Games and their acclaimed Unity of Command 2 is going to have players stuffing sauerkrauts in preparation for the long march east in order to reverse the disastrous misadventures of the Fall Blau offensive.

Expect the usual bag of sovietic-skirmishing goodies, here’s what the press release contains:

  • A 15-scenario historical campaign covering the German “Fall Blau” offensive and the Caucasus campaign, through the Soviet counterattack at Stalingrad and on to the Third Battle of Kharkov
  • A 9-scenario alternative history branch exploring what might have happened had the Axis focused their entire 1942 effort on the Caucasus
  • New specialists: Soviet T-60 and Lend-Lease M3 tanks, Marder tank destroyers, Sturm pioneers, and more
  • New unit models for Soviet mechanized troops, T-34/76 tanks, German SS Panzer Grenadiers, Italian motorized infantry, and more
  • The toughest AI yet, capable of mounting major offensives that will keep your Romanians, Hungarians, and Italians reeling in shock and awe!

The previous expansion Moscow 41 earned their three and a half stars out of five by being “worthy, fun and enjoyable take on the hex and counter formula that has a proven track record of being recognized by many has the best entry level wargame in the market, and having more of that is a good thing, as far as I see it“. 

Rebel Inc: Escalation Now Out of Early Access

After the resounding success of Plague Inc: Evolved, Ndemic Creations has finally unleashed the 1.0 version of Rebel Inc: Escalation, two years after stewing in Early Access.

Rebel Inc: Escalation is one of those rare, but precious games that challenges the typical pre-conceptions of all out warfare by forcing players to engage with fields more complex and nuanced then restlessly painting the fields in one’s colour. Instead, alongside Afghanistan ’11 and Vietnam ’65, Rebel Inc: Escalation forces players to think about COIN operations.

I’ve played a bit of the game as soon as it hit Early Access and I remember not being necessarily impressed by it, striking me as extremely random and overall very simplistic. There wasn’t a lot to learn and the game usually devolved with me becoming desperate and frustrated by pursuing terrorists all across the map in futile attempts of cornering them, but don’t take my word for it. If T. Jawad, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UK impressions is something to go by, he claimed “Rebel Inc. is sophisticated and engaging. It shows the complexity of war and insurgency with interesting options to achieve success through stability and peace”. Not deterred by the criticism of simplicity, Ndemic creations has stated that it’s game has received acclaim from international development experts and was featured at major international peace conferences.

What’s to expect, you ask?

  • 8 regions to stabilise – Deploy to wildly different strategic environments, including the gentle farms of ‘Saffron Fields’, or the impenetrable forests of ‘Distant Steppe’. Work to defend the ‘Azure Dam’ from the Insurgency, or develop unique new strategies to counter the drug trade in ‘Opium Trail’.
  • 8 unique governors – Each one with radical new abilities to master. Choose the ‘Economist’ to receive an entire year’s income in one go or the ‘Warlord’ to train a personal militia. Field an army of heavy armour with the ‘Tank Commander’, or tap into the black-market with the ‘Smuggler’.
  • Hyper-realistic – Inspired by Afghanistan, the simulation is highly detailed, containing real world development initiatives and an innovative representation of counter insurgency tactics. It has been praised by the World Bank and was even featured at a major international peace conference.
  • Campaign Mode – Conduct large-scale operations across multiple regions. Carefully manage resources and choose unique upgrades in a persistent world with 150+ Player Tactics, Map Features and Insurgent Tactics to radically mix up gameplay!
  • Multiplayer – Two multiplayer modes, Co-Op and VS. Take control of the Insurgency to try and topple the government in your opponent’s Region, whilst trying to stabilise your own! or work together to simultaneously stabilise two separate Regions, sending soldiers and resources to your partner to achieve your goals.
  • Challenge Mode – Compete against the Steam Community on randomised Weekly Challenges, including an extra hard mode for the best of the best.  
  • Custom Scenarios & Scenario Creator – Explore a world of fresh new ways to play with community created Scenarios, or develop your own share them with other players via Steam Workshop. Who said Nation Building was hard?
  • Advanced civilian and military AI – Sophisticated narrative algorithms model the needs of local populations, while deadly insurgent attacks put constant pressure on your operation.
  • Gorgeous Graphics – Stabilise a beautifully rendered 3D world that responds to your actions and thrives as you provide jobs and services. Drone cams and civilian TV channels bring your operation to life and show you what’s happening on the ground.

Graviteam Tactics: Pivot Point New DLC Released

The best tactical wargame of all time- Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front – is getting another expansion to it’s ever growing eastern front library of meticulous recreated conflicts. The new expansion, codename Pivot Point brings two new operations of 15 turns for each of the sides, with the conflict taking place between December 15th to 17th, covering the Soviet offensive to Mozdok in order to destroy the Ishcherskaya-Mozdok group.

No new units were announced and to be fair, it would strike me as odd if it did, given the fact that Graviteam Tactics has extensively recreated nearly every vehicle that saw action in the eastern front. Of course, the new expansion is packing a new map of over 120 sq. km comprising, mainly of desert plain and Canal. Don’t forget the historically accurate orders of battle at the time.

The DLC will set you back $11,59 or your regional equivalent.

Total War: WARHAMMER III – World of Tzeentch Reveal

For the first time, Creative Assembly is revealing what these Chaos Gods can bring. Also, in case you were wondering, that ugly, two-head ostrich is called Kairos Fateweaver and he seems to be a pretty chill dude.

Of all the Chaos Gods, Tzeentch is probably the least horrible. He’s going to use Grimoires, you know? Those forbidden texts, histories and spell books that were hidden scattered through the world for a reason? With the power of knowledge (stay in college), Tzeentch can utilize “Changing the Ways”, a series of unique actions that will allow players to interfere in the world around them by: transferring control of ownership of one settlement to a new faction (and yes, between factions, not only to yourself); Opening the gates of major settlements; Forcing rebellions, Track enemy armies; Reveal faction intentions; Reveal shroud; Halt an entire faction for a turn; Co-ordinate attacks with factions that aren’t your allies; Force alliances to break; Force wars to be declared.

Tzeench can also manipulate the “Winds of Magic” at it’s disposal by channeling it to where’s it most necessary. Now there’s going to be two types of Corruption, the general one and one for each of the four factions. Cults are also a thing and Tzeentch’s are mostly dedicated to generating grimoires and increasing the winds of magic. I just love how all out Creative Assembly is going with these powers. Also, Tzeentch can teleport it’s armies. Just something to have in mind.

If you want to read about Total War III Tzeentch mechanics you can do it so by clicking here.

DCS: AH- 64D Announced, Releasing In December

I don’t know enough about DCS to write anything interesting but damn, what a trailer.

Tank Mechanic Simulator, BT- 7 Incoming

A guilty pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless, Tank Mechanic Simulator is a lovely game whose sole focus is on digging up and restoring mid-twentieth century hunks of warfighting metal. It’s ever expanding garage, another reason to keep coming back and making that museum of yours just a little bit more complete. Now, the olympic gold medalist for the 3 mile tank dash without tracks BT-7 is arriving, with the development team making an effort, alongside their community to deliver the most faithful recreation of this T-34 predecessor.

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