Writing after April 1st feels like avoiding stepping on a minefield of funny, interesting, and sometimes downright wishful news. There’s not a whole lot going on this week but here are some of the highlights.
Age of Darkness: Final Stand New Hero Unveiled
Age of Darkness: Final Stand is a game both interesting and disappointing in the same measure. The first is because the setting strikes the perfect balance of mystery and “unknown”. The second is because the game does nothing with it (that might change with the campaign later when it sees the light of day). AoD is taking clear inspiration from the excellent They Are Billions, it’s a survival RTS against an overwhelming number of indescribable nightmares. The developers of this early access title have been steady in their content output for the last couple of months. Now they’re finally unveiling the last of the three original heroes. The Veil’s Hand looks the part of an anti-hero and his nightmarish aspect finally brings a hero that looks like it belongs in the world of Age of Darkness. I love Edwin, the “flaming-sword” wielding generic monster whacker. The Queen is just the worst version of Edwin and is ridiculously uninspired. Vizargo’s active skills look overpowering and worth of someone who’s been tempted by the darkness (or the “Veil”) and both indulged in it and managed to escape its grasp with supernatural powers. Can’t wait to play with it.
Task Force Admiral – Funny April’s Fool
My heart skipped a beat when Task Force Admiral announced their supposed partnership with other companies by letting them advertise on their World War 2 naval sim. It was then that I noticed it was April 1st. You got me! Here’s the full Bamboozle.
“Happy & proud to announce our brand business partnership as a new part of our in-game experience. So as to provide us with the means of our development, companies support us by buying space on our aircraft & ship skins. You’ll get to pick which ones you want to see more often, of course. Super proud to be supported by great French companies with a long history of philanthropy in this latest innovation we are obviously very fond of. Cheers, and thank you for your support of course!”
Gary Grigsby’s War In The East 2 Massive Update Goes Open Beta
A massive new update is coming to Gary Grigsby’s magnum opus. The 1.02.25 is currently undergoing testing as an open beta opt-in. Interested Red Army and Wehrmacht commanders have to direct their attention to the properties menu of the game on Steam and list choose the “Open Beta” option. The list has dozens of lines and to avoid polluting the rest of this page, I’ll just list a direct link right here.
WARNO Milestone MURAT
It feels like every week there’s a new update coming to WARNO, Wargame’s franchise spiritual successor. This time, it’s MURAT’s time to bring some new goodies into the fight. The Motorisierte Schützendivision is this week’s highlight. The historic East German Division is poised to pack a punch with its large amount of Helicopter options- including several options for heli-transported units- the introduction of the Soviet MLRS, BM30- Smerch, and better-equipped MiGs.
As for the next “gameplay feature”, I couldn’t figure out if this was part of an Aprils Fool but I sincerely hope not. WARNO will have “Dynamic mustaches! No Cold War game would be complete with fabulous lip foliage, ever-so-popular during the 80s until sadly falling out of fashion, like M.C. Hammer pants and oversized shoulder pads. At Eugen, we got you covered. WARNO will not only include painstakingly modeled handlebars and realistic whiskers on its infantry models but also tie it with the perfect gameplay implementation: mustaches link to veterancy! The more veterancy you take your INF squads, the bigger the hairy caterpillar!”
Please be real.
WEGO World War II: Stalingrad Out Now
I really need to start reviewing this one. It looks fantastic. We don’t have enough WEGO games at the moment, so everything is welcome. More on this one later, and in case you can’t check out the video right now, WEGO World War II: Stalingrad is the successor to WEGO: World War II: Desert War. It’s a hex-based, operational-level wargame, focused on ground operations and built around the German offensive on the city of Stalingrad during the Summer of 1942. It comes with three campaigns, each with 3 to 6 linked scenarios. Here’s what’s within:
- WEGO – simultaneous movement and combat resolution system.
- Fog of War and intelligence collection capabilities.
- Off-map assets that include air, naval, command, intelligence, supply, partisans, and special forces.
- Complete game editor included. Create maps, units, assets, scenarios, campaigns, AI scripting, and more.
- Linked Scenario-Campaigns.
- Night Turns with night-capable units and penalties for conducting night operations.
- AI Staff Assist. The Staff AI can help the player by creating ground battles and assigning air/ground assets. This can be set to happen automatically at turn start, or at any time using hotkeys.
- Air transport assets can supply encircled units.
- Air assets and artillery have their own bombardment results table.
- Supply Depots and Airfields are added supply sources.
- Logistics management includes fuel, ammo, personnel and equipment.
- Replacement system to re-build under-strength land units.
- New Terrain: Rivers, bridges, steppes, mud flats, and city hexes.
- New Units: Bridging Engineers can repair/destroy bridges or create Pontoons; there are ski troops, partisans and security forces.
- Players can breakdown regiments/brigades into three battalion-sized task forces, or combine three battalions into a regiment/brigade.
- Divisions can attach/detach from one corps to another.
- An in-game Attack Editor. The player can right-click on a planned attack to see the units and assets currently involved. Using the Attack Editor, you can remove or add ground units, artillery support, and air assets to the attack. The player can also assign different attack orders to each separate unit in the attack.
Combat Mission Cold War Screenshot Competition
The recent conflict in Ukraine has, no doubt, contemporary wargamers testing their mettle against Russia’s finest. The amount of Facebook posts about Combat Mission: Black Sea is steadily increasing and won’t stop any time soon. If only this Screenshot Competition was about CM:BS instead of Combat Mission Cold War, the amount of submissions would surely be higher.
The competition will take place in the Combat Mission discord server (link: https://discord.gg/XTgS6t4) and the three selected winners, voted by the community will have their screenshots featured in the game’s official communications and “as the basis for official artwork”. Those wishing to take part must do so until the 5th of May. Here are the requirements:
-Resolution 1920×1080 or higher – format .JPG
-Screenshots need to be compliant with the Slitherine rules.
-You need to be the author of the screenshot.
-Screenshot needs to be new. You cannot use those which have previously been published.
-We will only accept raw screenshots from the game, you cannot use any editing software or any other visual enhancements.
Earn College Credits Using Age of Empire IV
My mom always said that “playing video games won’t get you far in life”. Well, it seems that current students of the University of Arizona can earn credits toward their college degrees by interacting with Age of Empires IV‘s special educational content. This is something out of another April’s Fool. What a world we live in… Who’s laughing now, mom?
“The University of Arizona Illuminated History Experience, developed by two Department of History faculty members – associate professor of medieval history Paul Milliman and associate professor of Roman history and department head Alison Futrell – in collaboration with game designers from World’s Edge game studio and Relic Entertainment, is now available on the Age of Empires website. The educational material supplements the historical storytelling in the Age of Empires IV campaign enables players to take part in additional out-of-game content, including testing their knowledge of the historical time period.”If you’re studying at the University of Arizona and want to snag one extra credit, just show them your save files.
That’s all for this week.