Strategy and Wargaming News – 16th April – Free XCOM 2, SC: American Civil War, WDS Squad Battles

Happy Easter, everybody! I hope you and your family have a nice holiday together! Now, let’s get into it. This week the amount of news might be underwhelming at best but at least there are a couple golden nuggets.

XCOM 2 Free To Keep

It might not be Christmas, but one of the best Turn-based-tactics games of all time is available for keepsies at the Epic Games Store. The second entry of the alien slapping franchise XCOM is free until the 21st of April alongside Insurmountable. All you need is an Epic Games account, go to the games’ page and click the big blue button where “Get” is spelled. Congratulations, you’re now a proud owner of XCOM 2. Enjoy!

Just in case you’re one of those insufferable old bats that refuses to play on the Epic Games Store then the whole XCOM 2 Collection is on sale until April 28th and will set you back 12 and a half dollars.


Strategic Command: American Civil War Announced

Now here’s a pleasant twist and one I don’t think a lot were expecting: Strategic Command is leaving the 20th century to go back in time and indulge American Civil War aficionados with another turn-based strategy game. Players will “control the armies, research, production and diplomatic policies of either the Union or the Confederacy”. The war will take place on a giant 296×224 map at a scale of 15kilometers or 9 miles, making this the largest hex-based map ever in the history of the Strategic Command series.

Those wishing to test how well the 6 campaigns covering the Civil War, the new unit types, technologies, and riverine warfare play out can apply as beta testers at the Matrix website.


Wargame Design Studio To Focus On Squad Battles

After acquiring all the assets from the late John Tiller, Wargame Design Studio has been hard at work revamping all the older content. Now, in their 2022 first-quarter review the team unveiled that their now working on refreshing the Squad Battles game series, starting their work on Advance of the Reich as a prototype.

This will be a joint venture from both Wargame Design Studio and community Squad Battles veterans to help build the best experience possible: “To give just a flavor of what is changing, a range of bugs have been squashed, including invulnerable vehicles in assaults. Programming to allow better representation of units including dynamic facing is now underway. All the included orders of battle have been reviewed and with many more unit images, a wider selection of representations is available. There is also on counter-indications of the type or status of a unit.”

On the graphical side of things, they”have been using the tactical graphics from the pre-20th century titles as a base and adjusting from there”.


Ultimate Admiral Dreadnoughts Massive Update

It appears that after a long period of gestation that Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts is finally working to be something worth your time and money. A major update dropped this past Tuesday and trigger happy shell-flinging admirals can finally find something worthy in this package. What’s new?

  • Map Expanded to include the Mediterranean Sea and a larger portion of Europe.
  • New Nations: Italy, France, and Austria-Hungary are added to the major nations.
  • Task Forces
  • Refit Mode: Now it’s possible to refit ships, either the changes are as small as swapping a couple components or totally replacing funnels, weapons, and towers, this new change will have your ships updated to the latest designs without the need to scrap them and build them from scratch.
  • New Sea Roles: New sea roles added to the previous “In Being” and “Sea Control”, special for the Task Forces, offer more options for controlling strategically your ships.
  • 58 new hulls, including the detailed model of the German Battlecruiser SMS Von der Tann (the game now includes 327 hull variants and 1386 parts.
  • The visuals for Germany and Austria-Hungary 4-inch up to 16-inch Mark 2 guns and 9-inch up to 14-inch Mark 3 guns and new casemate gun models for later tech years.
  • The ability to adjust the width and height of the hull in the design options.
  • New Components for AP/HE shell types: The type of the HE or AP shell can be now customized depending on technology. 

There are a lot of other improvements I don’t have the space to list here but it finally appears that Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts is coming together to fulfill its promise.


A Fantastic Simulation From The Grim Reapers

The youtube channel Grim Reapers create excellent what-if scenarios ranging from World War 2 to the current day sinking of the Moskva. Lovely content.


Warhammer 40,000 Battlesector Necrons DLC

There’s a review coming tomorrow on this one 😉


Panzer Corps 2 On Xbox Pass

If you told me 10 years ago that wargames would be part of a Microsoft live service you’d be met with a suspicious side-eye and a scoff. However, in the amazing world of 2022, Panzer Corps 2 headed to the Xbox Game Pass PC. I’m interested to see if this move will bring enough players in and how well these DLC-heavy games fare in an environment like this and what benefits this has for both the developer and publishing company. Times are a-changing indeed.


Aircraft Carrier Survival Out Next Week

The overabundance of these “survival and crew management” games is starting to tarnish my excitement and hope for new and innovative ideas. Just in case you’re wondering if Aircraft Carrier Survival will be any good or just another taskmaster simulator, we’ll find out when the game releases on April 20th.

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