Strategy and Wargaming News- 10th December – General Staff: Black Powder, Slitherine Next, The Great War: Western Front

Guess who’s back? Back again after missing a few Strategy and Wargaming weekly round-ups of wargaming goodness? At least, there we won’t be lacking in the novelties department. From winter sales to new game announcements, there are many layers to this week’s onion.

General Staff: Black Powder Gameplay Video Released

I’ve done a terrible disservice to Dr. Ezra Sidran by not checking his website in a rush to publish last time’s Strategy and Wargaming News it just so happened he uploaded the first General Staff: Black Powder gameplay video and it’s just absolutely amazing. There are no top-notch graphics (but the maps look fantastic) and no fancy animations. What it has- and has in spades- is a brutal and complex AI that might prove to be the most advanced AI in the wargaming sphere. I can’t do justice to Ezra’s words, so just check the video below and be amazed at how complex the silicon generals act and what kind of logic they follow to make decisions. Assuming there’s going to be the possibility to make two AIs face each other, it will be very interesting to recreate historical battles with accurate Orders of Battle and see how things could have gone differently.

Still, no word when the game might be released, but here’s hoping we can play the game in 2023.


Slitherine Next Schedule

In little over 48 hours, Slitherine will be going live, unfiltered and unabridged on the 13th, and show the world what they have in store for the next couple of months. The lineup is already available, so give it a look down below.

Personally speaking, I’m interested in learning more about Broken Arrow, Headquarters: World War II, and Field of Glory: Kingdoms, the latter more so than any other. Here’s the Twitch link.

Slitherine is running a Winter Sale that will last until January 8th.


Wargame Design Studios Winter Sale

From the 16th of December to the third day of the 2023 year of our Lord’s birth, Wargame Design Studio will be running its yearly Winter Sales. As usual, all games released that were not released in 2022 will be reduced to the price of $29,95 per title. The only games not included are Kriegsmarine and Rumyantsev ´43. If you’re anything like me and your interests lie in the Western Front of the Second World War, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better time to pick some titles up.

Those with deep pockets will get a further 20% discount if they make a purchase of $199.00 or more.

In the meantime, Wargame Design Studios updated nine titles. six from the Panzer Campaigns series- Rumyantsev ’43; Mius ’43; Smolensk ’41; Moscow ’41; Moscow ’42; Rzhev ’42– and all three titles from the First World War Campaigns.


Strategic Command: American Civil War Free New Campaign

After a somewhat rocky launch, Strategic Command: American Civil War is set on capturing the hearts and minds of wargames by offering them previously beloved freebies. This time, after building a game tailor-made to cover 19th-century warfare, the development team decided to port a remastered version of the original Franco-Prussian War campaign, released all the way back almost 250 years ago, in 2013. Interested to know more? Check out the full development update here.


Command: Modern Operations Falklands Out Now

Here’s one of those games that allures me beyond reasonable compression despite the fact that I know very well I’ll never be able to even find the time to learn how to play it. At least, not during the next three decades, until I reach my retirement age. However, just the idea of it is enough to keep me emotionally attached and following every other development. The new DLC will zoom in on the theatre of operations in the Falklands, in 1982, when the frisky Argentineans decided her Majesty’s land was theirs to rule. Foolish decision. Even though they lost, they gave Britain a bloody nose.

The DLC will feature:

  • 13 Scenarios plus 2 Bonus Scenarios including units not present or available during the war.
  • Scenarios designed by a Falklands War Veteran.
  • Management of actual and previously taken out-of-service units. 
  • Air, surface, and underwater combat.
  • Guide your Forces to victory in a multi-sided campaign.

Command: Modern Operations: Falklands costs 19,50€.


Unity of Command: Desert Fox DLC Out Now

Foxes of the Erwin sub-species beware! It’s once again March of 1941 and it’s your turn to lend the Italians a helping hand by leading the famous Afrika Korps, led by the one and only, Erwin Rommel. Agile and aggressive, your task is to push back the Allies into Egypt and Malta, neutralizing their ability to wage war in the Mediterranean. According to the Steam Page, the DLC will bring:

  • 25+ Axis scenarios in North Africa, East Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East
  • Historical 1941-43 Axis campaign, plus two separate alt-history tracks
  • Beautiful new Savoia-Marchetti SM.82 airplane and Littorio-class battleship models
  • A new Fliegerführer Afrika card
  • A brand new music track from Bruno Babić

Unity of Command II – Desert Fox DLC will punch a small 9,75€ hole in your wallet. Unity of Command II was also featured in the Ultimate List of the Best World War II Games of All Time.


Knights of Honor II: Sovereign Released

It’s hard to put into words how excited I was for the release of Knights of Honor II: Sovereign when it was first announced. However, the poor reception it got from the player base and the mild reviews, with most of them accusing the game of trying to be both Crusader Kings and Total War at the same time and failing at both sure put a dent in my expectations. Things like 3D tactical battles with capture points just rub me the wrong way (Rome Total War 2 did that and the backlash was enormous), the battles having a very small number of units do little to show the spectacle of war and units appear floaty and impactless. I don’t know, I might have to give it a go later down the line, when it’s cheaper, just because it’s medieval. According to its Steam page, here are the features:

  • Accessible Grand Strategy – All the depth of religion, diplomacy, city development, and more, with none of the confusion
  • Choose Your Kingdom – Select from over 200 kingdoms across Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia
  • Real-Time Gameplay – The Medieval world comes alive, no turns needed
  • Royal Court – Appoint Marshalls, Clerics, Merchants, Diplomats, and Spies to exert your will across the land
  • RTS Battles – Lead your armies directly in riveting RTS engagements
  • Robust Multiplayer – Join with multiple friends to take on new challenges across the medieval world

Knights of Honor II: Sovereign will set you back 35,59€ or your regional equivalent.


The Great War: Western Front Gameplay Revealed

What I’m most interested in the recently announced The Great War: Western Front is the tactical aspect of the thing. A lot of other games do the grand-strategy bit, but few games have the courage to place players in the mud and grime of World War 1 trench warfare, opting for the most part, to set their World War game in other, arguably more interesting locations of the conflict. The Great War is willing to tackle the issue head-on, so props on them for going down that route and at least attempting to do some justice to the trench warfare side of World War 1. Here’s hoping the team manages to portray the evolution of the war on France from an early war of movement to the meat-grinder stage of the war in 1917 and 1918.

If you want more information, check out this video from YouTuber Havoc that goes to great lengths in explaining his experience with the game.

Dwarf Fortress is Out On Steam

The only game with a simulation so complex that it enables dwarves to spill their drinks on the floor of the tavern, which is then frequented by cats that drink said alcohol, get drunk, and might even die. And the funniest part of this is that the brothers developing the game didn’t actually go out of their way to implement such a thing. It just… happened.

Last week a new interview with the developing team behind Radio Commander: Pacific Campaign was published, just in case you missed it.

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