Strategy and Wargaming News – 17th July – Task Force Admiral, Company of Heroes 3, Fire&Maneuver

Consistency is the name of the game, so here we are, back on track, publishing the usual weekly round-up of Strategy and Wargaming News. Not a lot going on, but enough to earn a write-up on some of the stuff. With Europe (and especially Portugal) might be in flames, it’s surprising how within Steam’s 1600 games with the tag “simulation“, no one has ever worked on a large firefighting game, trying to protect vast swathes of forest, hose down bushes and save settlements. Fire Commander is coming later this month, but that’s not exactly what I’m on the lookout for. So, if you know a game like the one described above, or you’re developing it, let me know down in the comments! Here’s what Google has for me.

Task Force Admiral Gameplay Impresses and Awes Yours Truly

I’ve had my share of conversations with the developer behind Task Force Admiral, and when he told me the levels of realism he’s striving for, it all seemed a bit too overwhelming for someone who knows as much about the 1942 American Naval Military Doctrine as much as he knows about carpentry. Even visualizing how it would all play out enough to factory reset this poor brain. After watching how the fleet controls work, I can already praise it for having a single window where most of the fleet management is done, after all, you’re the TFA, and not the sailor tasked with washing bed sheets and carrying boxes of ammunition to the deck. Set up the formation and air patrols can be done with a dozen clicks. The graphics are just… chefs’ kisses. It’s pure bliss, it’s what it is. You know what? This one comes first.

Company of Heroes 3 Available for Pre-Order

Company of Heroes 3 is all the rage this week in this small niche of ours. Everybody is posting how great the thing is and how well it cares for history. Me, I’ll be reserving my judgment of it when I get to play the final product because Relic won’t be pulling a fast one on me like they did with Company of Heroes 2. However, if you lack brain cells and really like to give companies your money without reason, Company of Heroes 3 is available for pre-order for the low price o 59,99€ or 79,99€. For taking this gamble you get:

  • Company of Heroes 3 (imagine not getting that one!);
  • The Devi’s Brigade DLC Pack contains legendary cosmetics (because imagine what having a respectful World War 2 game would be like) for the US Riflemen, the M18 Hellcat, the Scout and M8 Hellcat;
  • You’ll also get a Pioneer title and profile border (legendary, of course) to let everyone know you’re an idiot that preorders videogames when there’s no reason to do so.

And if you buy the Digital Premium edition there’s more “Premium” cosmetic DLC. All legendary, mind you.

Company of Heroes 3 is the latest instalment of the series and will take place in a different setting than the previous entries. The first CoH zoomed into the battles of Western Europe, the second one took its guns to Eastern Europe, and now the third will be going down to the sunny Mediterranean Sea.

The lucky ones that have signed up for the CoH-Development Pre-Alpha can, until July 19th, play one of the Operations. After dabbling with it for some time and replaying it twice, I can for certain say “yup, this is Company of Heroes alright”. Now take that as you will.

Wargame Design Studios Official Forums

Fans of the John Tiller videogames can now take solace in knowing that if they wish, they can now use the Wargame Design Studios forums to find opponents, instead of having to scour Facebook for equal-minded digital armchair commanders. The official forum now has a dedicated “Opponent Finder” section, broken down by the games’ series. There are already a couple of players looking for a fight.

Fire&Maneuver Marches Into Early Access

First, I penned this: “call me a bitter pessimistic this week, but I’m not thrilled about Fire&Maneuver at all. First, it has been in development for quite some time with little to no updates and if you recall correctly, this is how the game was supposed to look like:

Now, it’s looking like an uglier version of Pike and Shot and Battle Academy.”

However, after a second look at the Steam page, an attractive price tag (free) and a “very positive” rating from what’s usual scathing crowd is forcing me to hold back my superficial level of disappointment at its graphical changes. How many of those positive reviews are from fans of the channel remains to be assessed. It still looks ugly.

Fire&Maneuver is a title from a large YouTuber called: The Armchair Historian and it’s described as “a unique strategy game made by history buffs for history buffs, wargame enthusiasts, and casual players alike. Striking the perfect balance between history and playability”. Fire and Maneuver has the setting on its side, by the virtue of being one of the few recent games to explore the realities of Victorian warfare at the tactical and strategic levels.

The game’s free version gives you access to a couple of features like custom battles and some strategic campaigns to get a feel for the game. As DLC there are already two available: the Starter Pack: European Armies (this just unlocks a list of seven nations) and the self-explanatory American Civil War expansion, that’s still being worked on. Yes, this is a very confusing model, but I can’t help but applaud the idea of making some things free. If Order of Battle did it nearly a decade ago and it’s still churning out new theatres of war it’s not farfetched to assume it’s a viable business model.

Unity of Command II: Desert Rats Out Now

Is it genius marketing to launch so many desert-related titles during the summer season, or just a coincidence? After the launch of Attack at Dawn: North Africa last month. The pre-alpha of Company of Heroes 3, now it is Unity of Command II turn to indulge its userbase on the iconic scrimmages between the Desert Rats and the Afrika Korps with Unity of Command II – Desert Rats DLC.

With the package comes:

  • More than 20 historical scenarios are based on the British campaigns in East and North Africa during the biannual of 1940-1941.
  • New campaigns

The venerable Unity of Command II is the perfect incarnation of a beer and pretzels wargame to keep you entertained on these hot summer nights. It’s cheap, simple to play and rather challenging.


2 thoughts on “Strategy and Wargaming News – 17th July – Task Force Admiral, Company of Heroes 3, Fire&Maneuver

  1. Hey – whoever wrote this Article can not report accurate and does not even spell check. Bias against company of heroes – which is one of the best games in existence. Fire Him


    1. Hello, Chad. I hope you’re doing fine. If you’re looking for unbiased opinions Strategy and Wargaming might not be the place for you. I’m not a journalist, I’m just a random person on the internet giving my take on things. Also, if you think advising against pre-ordering a game is a bias against said game, you should really consider thinking before writing. Cheers!


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