With all the sales going on and the end of the year coming to a swift close, it almost seems like a waste of time to write about the current events in the small corner of our most esteemed hobby.
I could be working on writing more reviews. Let’s say, about Grand Tactician: Civil War (1861-1865). Even spend some time finishing my never-ending list of lists that could include: the 50 best World War 2 wargames of all time and the best games of 2021. Or finally closing my retrospective of the last decade in strategy and wargaming. I could even be writing my interviews with Task Force Admiral and Wargame Design Studios. Oh, wait! That’s because I am! Speaking of the devil.
Wargame Design Studio Developer Interview Coming Later This Week
On the 19th of November, the announcement that Wargame Design Studio had acquired the entirety of the John Tiller Software catalog came as a surprise to everyone. After having finalized the deal with John Tiller’s family, Wargame Design Studios had been working hard on keeping his legacy alive and improving on what the late John had built. I was lucky enough to be granted an interview with David Freer to discuss the future of the JTS franchise. I’m glad to say that it appears to be in formidable, very passionate hands. I’m currently editing the interview, so expect it to come out on Wednesday, the 1st of December. If you haven’t had the chance, take a look at my interview with D. Ezra Sidran, who’s currently developing General Staff Black Powder.
Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts Has a Campaign, Sort of
Earlier this year I reported on how Ultimate General/ Admiral developer, Game Labs was acquired by the free-to-play publisher, Stillfront. The press release at the time read that Game Labs, “As a part of the Stillfront Group, the studio will continue expanding and improving its portfolio of premium games, but also expand into GaaS (games as a service) and free-to-play, with a clear focus on historical strategy and battle themes“. Corporate mumbo jumbo like this rarely brings good news and the lack of apparent development in Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts had many a wargamer fearing that this once-promising title, it might soon be rushed out to justify the 1.0 release to those who already paid for it, myself included. This past week’s announcement is daring to show me wrong, the team behind UA: Dreadnoughts has finally kicked a campaign out of the door to appease those pesky armchair admirals. Here are some quick facts on it (here’s the full thing):
- The version currently available is quite limited, involving only two major nations, Britain and German;
- There is no peace, diplomacy and alliance mechanics, the game basically plays as an endless brawl;
- Economy and techonology mechanics are working at a minimum levels;
- The map is graphically limited aand ship movement mechanics are disabled.
- Instead there’s a mission generation system that will assess the strategic aspects and create battles in different sea regions.
It’s easy to understand that Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts is a complex game that’s going to need a lot of work before it finally reaches its 1.0 version and it’s nice to see something substantial finally come out, proving that not all hope is lost. Will this new title live up to the high expectations set by the previous entries in the other Game Lab collection? That is yet to be seen.
Meanwhile, take a look at the playthrough Thehistoricalgamer has been doing if you want to have an idea of how the campaign plays.
Men of War II Announced
If 2021 wasn’t being a fantastic year so far, it certainly got better with the announcement of the next entry in the Men of War series of World War II RTS. The first game in the series dates all the way back to the early thousands. The original Men of War was an absolute masterpiece, even when it absolutely sucked at mission design. Remember the first British (or was it American?) mission? All stealth, ugh! Even so, I’ve finished literally every Men of War that came out (minus the Assault Squads). There’s not a lot out now, 1C Entertainment describes it as “Men of War II will bring all-new units, locations, campaigns, and game modes, combined with the series’ trademark historical accuracy and action-filled gameplay on Eastern and Western Fronts of WWII. Stay tuned to experience the unforgiving heat of WW II battles first hand!”
Age of Darkness: Final Stand
Another end-of-year surprise that I got during this recent Steam Sale was Age of Darkness: Final Stand. Very similar to They Are Billions but doesn’t have a lot to show for it yet in its early access phase. It packs some fancy graphics, it recently added another hero, and in my book, any horde-survival-real-time-strategy game is good fun.
Burden of Command Gameplay
There’s nothing else going on of note to write about, so here’s a small reminder Burden of Command development is still alive and progressing. This is all I got for you this week, stay tuned for more strategy and wargaming content, and subscribe on the right if you haven’t already.