Strategy and Wargaming News – 23rd July – Fire Commander, WWII Online: Chokepoint, Sea Power

The third week in a row, uh? I’m very proud of you, dearest reader, for sticking here for so long. Who would have known? This week we’re all in for a treat. The past seven days have been rather busy! With things happening on a daily basis! From the battlefields of Germany during the Cold War to Lovecraftian menaces emerging from the depths of the sea. Let’s jump straight Into the Breach.


Into The Breach – Advanced Edition Out

Hey! Fantastic news! There have been some previous mentions of the Advanced Edition of Into the Breach coming out in July and it finally arrived! Here’s what’s in it:

  • 5 New squads & 15 new squad achievements;
  • 7 new Vek, 3 new Psions, and 10 new boss battles;
  • 12 new missions and 3 new bonus mission goals;
  • 4 New pilots and 10 new random pilot abilities;
  • 39 New weapons and equipment;
  • 2 new music tracks from Ben Prunty;
  • A new Unfair Mode;
  • 7 New Languages- Arabic, Thai, Swedish, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, and Latin American Spanish.

This new content is totally optional, so if you haven’t played the original experience I highly recommend it. The cost to use equipment has been reduced to encourage player experimentation. New in-game mechanics like the KO effect, and cracking tiles (if a tile is destroyed, so is the unit standing on it, unless they fly). The new squads are cheaper, and I’ve already unlocked most of them with the spare coins from previous campaigns.


Gunner, HEAT, PC! Release Date

The technically impressive GHPC! finally has an Early Access release date: September 6, 2022, and it will cost you 29,99$US, but during its first week the game will be on a 10% discount. This is going to be a substantial change for the team after having worked on the game using Patreon as a means to sustain the game’s development. If you happen to be one of these early supporters there’s nothing to worry about, as “Those who have donated $25 or more over the lifetime of their subscriptions will receive a Steam EA key”, “we will be emailing those Patrons, both active and inactive, to confirm they are able to access the keys once sent. On release day, emails with those keys will go out”.

Here’s a handy roadmap of what to expect during the Early Access stay:


If all of this comes to be, then it’s feasible that the geriatric but industry favorite Steel Beasts Pro PE will finally face some competition. GHPC! turret is aiming high, so hopefully, they won’t overshoot their target but after more than a decade without a decent entry into the genre, aspiring tank commanders are in need of a treat. After spending some time with the demo way back when the fundamentals are solid, with realistic physics, detailed damage modeling, and the tanks being meticulously recreated to imitate their real-life counterparts. Now all that’s left is a good videogame around that.


Fire Commander Out Next Week

Last week I pledged you to let me in the know if fire-fighting games are a thing. The disappointment was inevitable. At least Fire Commander will be out on July 27th. And is there a better time- and marketing- to release a game like this during one of the hottest summers ever recorded, with raging fires all over the world? Sometimes the stars align just right. Here’s what’s going to be on it:

  • Several different classes of firefighters;
  • Over 30 missions;
  • Experience system with unlockable skills;
  • Rescue vehicles and a fire station;
  • Story and side missions;

Grand Tactician: The Civil War (1861-1864) Patch 1.07

The Grand Tactician team keeps on working, polishing, and fine-tuning its American Civil War grand strategy title. After a big Economy Overhaul on the previous patch, the new 1.07 focus on the killing machines of the era that were missing in action. Here’s what’s new:

  • Gatling and Coffee Mill (or Agar) guns for the Union, and 1-pounder Williams gun for the CSA, are rapid-firing short-range weapons with also a considerable impact on morale on the receiving end;
  • Machineguns (Union) and Confederate Guns (CSA) projects allow the production of these weapons and the 12-pounder Iron Napoleon;
  • Four new military reform projects for both sides to simulate the gradual development of tactics during the early war: Artillery Reform, Cavalry Reform I-II, and Supply Reform.
  • The modding tool is out (Excel) and can be found in the game’s install folder, under \ModdingTool\, and allows players to modify and export many of the game’s data files, and even create their own custom scenarios.

WWII Online: Chokepoint Is a Thing

Note to self: never go down the rabbit hole of soon-to-be titles, otherwise, this article may never end. The critter’s hollow was so deep I found WWII Online: Chokepoint being developed by the same team that created the 21 years old WWII Online. Other than a terrible name, seriously, who decided that chokepoint made sense? If anyone from the team finds themselves reading this, here are a couple of new names you can choose from, free of charge: WWII Online: Hitler’s Last Supper; WWII Online: Coming for U-tah; WWII Online: Anything Other Than Chokepoint Would Be Better.

Since some of the readers might be younger than WWII Online, let me set the stage for you. See, in 2001, MMOs and especially 3D games were kind of a big deal, especially because these were hard things to pull off decently. However, WWII managed to carve itself a niche by having hundreds of players fighting simultaneously on their servers, probably becoming one of the first multiplayer tactical shooters to ever exist. Fast forward two decades and the market is a whole ‘nother different beast than what it was. The fascination with World War II is long gone and there are a lot of other well-established videogames competing for the highest rank in the tactical shooter hierarchy. Hell Let Loose, Post Scriptum, and Squad are chief amongst them.

The game is not looking bad, but it sure as hell isn’t impressing either. Let’s wait and see, it might not be coming out for a while.


Commandos 3 Is Going High Definition

Another one I had no idea it was a thing. Hopefully, the team behind it won’t muck it up like they did with the previous two games, but hopes aren’t necessarily riding high. A quick glance at the steam page for Commandos 3 – HD Remaster displays a very slim catalog of features: “includes reworked 3D models and textures built from the ground up, improved controls, refined UI, and beginner-friendly tutorials and hints”. That’s it, all that’s left are rose-tinted spectacles and the daydream this will finally be a stepping stone for Commandos 4, or 5 if you consider Strike Force to be the fourth one. Man, looking back at Strike Force now I realize it was quite the predicament, but 14-year-old me loved it from beginning to end.


Phoenix Point Complete Edition

XCOM’s less successful cousin is finally complete, two and a half years after it came out. Julian’s Galop venture to adapt his ideas into the modern post-2011 XCOM had some… inconveniences. The launch didn’t go over well, with crashes shutting down systems and performance issues. Phoenix Point was also one of the first titles to go down the Epic Games Store exclusivity route after successful crowdfunding, angering expectant fans that would swiftly dismiss having another launcher on their PCs. Some problems with the game’s difficulty spikes and overall lackluster soldier progression meant that PP trudge the line between being a failed XCOM rehash or an interesting experience that was not being explored to its full potential.

Snapshot Games didn’t throw out the towel but decided to stick with their title and slowly improve it with constant patches and DLC. The launch of this Complete Edition marks the end of the line for the title, after more than a dozen big updates: “Hastur will be our final official update for Phoenix Point, and we thank our ONE MILLION PLAYERS for being on this journey with us”. With this final free update, Steam Workshop is finally implemented, so the player can keep breathing new life into the game.

The trailer shows you everything there is to know, just mute it first, because that dubstep song is just too 2011.


Hard West II Release Date

The supernatural meets XCOM sleeper hit of 2015 Hard West new entry is arriving in just two weeks’ time, on August 4th. The aptly named Hard West II will continue the demonic themes of the first title, this time around you’ll be chasing down the devil himself in order to retrieve your very soul, after what appears to be a failed attempt at robbing the gold-packed “Ghost Train”.


Sea Power Gameplay Unveiled

A chunky size of Sea Power: Naval Combat In The Missile Age gameplay was hidden in plain sight on Youtube! There’s no voice-over or explanation of what’s going on, so try and make sense of it yourself, you lazy critter! One thing I can safely say, graphically it’s undeniable that it looks very impressive. I’m not sure what’s up with that engine, but Cold Waters also looked fantastic, and it is clear that the same engine is being used here.


Cities: Skylines Celebrates 12M Copies Sold

Paradox’s coined the best city builder ever made and it shows. After 7 years out in the wild, Cities: Skylines is celebrating 12 million copies sold. Average this to 25 buckaroos a copy and it earned 300 million real-world doubloons. If VG Insights and Wikipedia are to be believed, Cities has long dethroned SimCity 4 as king of the genre. With an active player base of nearly 20 thousand concurrent players and 93% positive reviews, Cities is a game-defining genre that proves good games will succeed, no matter what the current trend is. After EA gutted SimCity, Colossal’s Order classic is the game all others will be compared to.

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