Strategy and Wargaming News – 5th February – Steam Next Fest, Broken Arrow, Nuclear War Simulator

Every week I attempt to dislodge Nuno from playing the latest mind-scrambler in order to pen what’s late and great. This week has been especially convoluted since here at Strategy and Wargaming we’re very expectant and hopeful that, sometime during the following days, Petroglyph will be amicable enough to send a carrier pigeon with a The Great War: Western Front preview key. He won’t stop refreshing Gmail. In the meanwhile, the show must go on and the good news won’t stop lining up to face the pen.

Steam Next Fest Next Week

Vacant wishlists will be provided for, when hundreds of new demos go live during the up-and-coming Steam Next Fest, starting next Monday, February 6th. Strategy and Wargaming hotelier, Nuno, is anxious to try Xenonauts 2, USC Counterforce, The Great War: Western Front, Dredge, and Broken Arrow.

Broken Arrow Demo Coming

Hopes of Broken Arrow being a more grounded and clickfestless version of Wargame will be tested when the Steam Next Fest finally arrives next week. A small slice of cake consisting of one playable scenario from the single-player campaign will be playable for the duration of the event. Fingers crossed that Slitherine’s most anticipated title of 2023 doesn’t disappoint, nor confuse complexity of gameplay with “big unit pool with percentual differences amongst them”.

To let you in on a little secret, Nuno has gotten early access to the demo and the dark circles of continuously replaying the same mission all over are an indicator of how much he’s enjoying the game, then good news will follow when he’s done penning his first impressions.

Any grievances should be addressed in the form of structured feedback.

Panzer Battles Updated

A successful transition from the hands of the late John Tiller to the talented team behind Wargame Design Studios labour is continuously bearing fruits, with their less loved but still amazing series Panzer Battles getting the 4.01 treatment. Bug squashing, Dynamic Toolbars, and the Roaming Mode* are these patches’ highlights.

(*Roaming Mode is a feature that has been in the game engine for many years but is often overlooked. When activated it allows you to use your mouse to skim around the battlefield, viewing the contents of various hexes without having to click on each one. The unit information is also updated in the Hex Info Area as you move around).

Nuclear War Simulator Out Now

Nuclear War Simulator is not a toy, but a serious simulator!”, two people shouted! “Ok, but it is so serious, where are the mutant botflies, the 5 feet cockroaches, and the ghouls? I guess it isn’t that realistic lol”- I assertively replied- “Checkmate”.

Despite the lack of mutants and unforgivable omission of the Brotherhood of Steel, Nuclear War Simulator still manages to be quite believable and captures the more boring outcomes of what a nuclear conflict has gone hot would look like: attack plans, true-to-life payload deliveries, the number of casualties and even the possibility of seeing if your own human would survive the first moments and the aftermath of the whole radiation poisoning ordeal.

It will set you back 29,99€ or your regional equivalent.

Company of Heroes 3 Answers Community Feedback

Complain about the quality of Company of Heroes‘ latest iteration (to come out later this February) and you have no one else to blame but yourselves.

Relic took every criticism the community had to throw at them straight on the chin and answer accordingly, making promises to fix all that was wrong. The main complaint fell under the “graphics not good”. The lack of a proper light pass, two renderings, and map bugs was to blame and have been properly addressed. Those that experienced poor sound quality had their in-game options changed by an out-of-control bug.

Xenonauts 2 Gets New Demo

XCOM‘s lesser-known surrogate is stepping out of the shadows, after a development cycle longer than a twin’s elephant pregnancy. Wanna be Xenos exterminators will be able to play through the first moments of the game’s campaign. Xenonauts 2 demo will begin shortly!

Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts 6-Month Plan

Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts is now scrambling to put out the community’s fiery reactions with the announcement of their 6-month development plan. More hulls revamped weather graphics and spotting systems, and performance optimizations make little effort to tackle the grievances players have against the 1.0v of the game.

Phantom Brigade

The fact that Phantom Brigade existed for nearly four years, and flew completely under our radar is downright disturbing. What’s this? A turn-based and real-time tactical RPG with big mechs that plays similarly to Frozen Synapse? I guess we’ll find out how good it is when it finally gets rid of its Epic shackles later this month when it comes to Steam. The game will be available for everyone to try later this day when the Steam Next Fest goes live.

Open TTD New Version

The Freeware title Open TTD reached its 13.0 version yesterday. It’s one of the largest updates in recent years and a lot of new features are to be found:

  • Variable interface scaling at whatever size you want (not just 2x and 4x), with optional chunky bevels for that retro feel. This includes better automatic scaling when using HiDPI or mixed DPI setups.
  • Direct access to NewGRF/AI/GS settings from the new game window.
  • Various small tweaks and improvements to several windows.
  • NewGRFs can now provide engine variants that are shown hierarchically in the purchase list.
  • Multi-track level crossings to keep road vehicles from stopping in the middle of the crossing.
  • Custom league tables for GameScripts.
  • More natural rivers get wider as they flow downstream.

Command: Modern Operations War Planner Free DLC

I’ve given on in trying to understand what the hell this free DLC even is. Give the video above a look if you want to know more about this.

WARNO Unit Traits

Ask Nuno what he thinks about WARNO adding new units and he’ll shout at me how “Broken Arrow is the greatest thing since World in Conflict, miss me with WARNO. Begone!”. But the news is news, and news needs reporting.

Eugen’s OUDINOT update added new units and traits, basically adding modifiers to units: the reservists will take more suppression in combat, leader units grant veterancy levels to units all around, resolute ones take less suppression in combat, and so on.

It’s fair to say Nuno’s assessment of the state of the game is totally clouded by the fact that in a single sitting, he played the same Broken Arrow mission three times in half-speed because “that’s just… *chefs kiss*, the way to play it”. I think the game is coming around just nicely, but then again, I’m a cat.

Second Front Out Now

The venerable Second Front finally came out this week to mild critical acclaim, with Strategy and Wargaming, Tally H- Corner, and Barreldrill writing mostly positive things about Jo Bader’s darling World War 2 tabletop of yore simulacra.


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