Strategy and Wargaming News – 11th March- Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy, Distant Worlds 2, Wargroove 2

Can’t a cat be left to do honest work? My wet food stipends are dependent on the amount of news published weekly, and for the past few, publishers haven’t been nice to me. Not to dissuade you from reading this post, but in case you’re interested, Total War: WARHAMMER III is free to play this weekend.

The Lamplighters League Looks Amazing

The developing team behind BATTLETECH and Shadowrun is putting together a pulpy turn-based combat (with real-time stealth) globetrotting adventure about sneaking, stealing, and shooting, not too dissimilar to the adventures of a popular hat and whip icon, Indiana Jones. The Lamplighters League is going to be a character-driven story where players control a team of unique misfits against the totally not-nazis from the Banished Court.

No release date has been announced.

Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew

Stealth strategy extraordinaire Mimimi Games have successfully visited the Sengoku Jidai and the Wild West with Shadows Tactics: Blades of the Shogun and Desperados III, respectively. Now the team is taking their talents unto the Golden Age of Piracy with Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew. As a cursed pirate, you’ll be fighting against the Inquisition with a specialized crew of plundering bandits equipped with supernatural abilities.

Unlike the previous games, there’s going to be little hand-holding and a lot less linearity. You’re free to explore the Caribbean, from exotic islands, cursed locations, and shanty pirate towns, each will have adventures waiting. The crew you take for each mission will be totally up to you, and The Red Marley, your flagship, will serve as a base of operations and safe haven to lick the wounds and count the doubloons after every adventure.

No release date exists as of right now, but it is set to launch in 2023.

Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy

The venerable and steady companion of every World War 2 armchair general, Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy will reach the Matrix Games store later this month, on the 28th of March. Nuno wrote, on his list of the Best World War 2 Games of All Time, that CMBN is “The only franchise that can hold a dimly lit candle to Mius Front” and that “In [t]here, there’s a slice of tactical warfare for everyone and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better alternative in the realism department”.

Is this the first step taken by Battlefront to finally bring their classic to the wider audiences of Steam?

Distant Worlds 2 Massive Update and DLC

On the 16th of March, the peaceful Ikkuro and mischievous Dhayut will arrive in a distant world near your galaxy. These two new unique factions come right after the massive Aurora update, released just a couple of days ago that upgraded the engine and brought massive improvements to the game’s performance. Add to an updated AI, expanded Fleet Templates, and several improvements to the ship-on-ship combat and Distant Worlds 2 is well on its way to becoming one of the best space games ever made. Here’s what the Ikkuro and Dhayut DLC will bring:

Ikkuro Unique Features

  • Harmonious Utopia Government focuses on happiness and increases immigration, recreation, and medical capabilities
  • Bonuses to Damage Control, Plague Curing, and Troop Recovery
  • Consensus Diplomacy means they are slower to agree to treaties, but value long-term relationships more
  • No access to Bombardment weapons
  • Biome Shaping facilities replace the default Terraforming Facilities
  • SF27 Organic Hull (best self-repair of all ships), Fusion Beams (increased rate of fire beam weapons), Splinter Pods (longer range assault pods)
  • Larger Colony Ships
  • Special exclusive Leader and Ambassador traits focused on happiness, diplomacy, and growth
  • Special conditional events Respect for Life, Secrets of Life, Protection of Life, and Disharmony reward non-aggression and colonization, but punish war, bombardment, and extermination
  • Larger than usual Colony Ships and improved suitability across most planet types

Dhayut Unique Features

  • Surveillance Oligarchy Government focuses on sensors and adds a unique Internal Stabilization intelligence mission that reduces war weariness and corruption
  • Bonuses to Hyperdrive Research, War Weariness, and Ground Attack Strength
  • Special Enslavement Control Facility improves the Slavery Population Policy
  • Special Terminal Operations Center Facility improves success changes on difficult Intelligence missions
  • Access to two special Intelligence Missions: Influence Empire and Capture Base:
    1. Influence Empire allows them to shift the relationship of two other empires relative to each other
    2. Capture Base allows them to take control of another empire’s space station
  • VelocityDrive Hyperdrive (fastest hyperdrive in the galaxy)
  • Larger Monitoring Stations
  • Special exclusive Leader and Spy traits focused on counter-espionage, slavery, and assassination
  • Special conditional events Disinformation and Network Effects mean succeeding at Deep Cover missions makes the target like the Dhayut more and succeeding at any of the more difficult Intelligence Missions gives them a bonus to other missions against that same faction for the next year
  • Their paranoia leads to periodic purges of disloyal members of Dhayut society

Read my preview:

Workers and Resources: Soviet Republic Back On Sale

After some troubles with a DMCA takedown notice in relation to the “realistic mode”, Workers and Resources: Soviet Republic is now back on sale at Steam.

Wargroove 2

Chucklefish’s endeavors are quite fascinating. Their games always seem so enticing, yet they consistently fail to live up to expectations: Starbound, Pathway, and the titular Wargroove. All these games looked amazing, with incredible pixel art that screams unending adventure. Time after time, again and again, everyone failed to deliver a satisfying experience. Starbound was buggy and unfinished for years, and the promise of unlimited worlds to explore was undermined by every world looking like the previous. Pathway, a rogue-lite Indiana Jones failed to have a satisfying progression and combat, getting dull fast. Wargroove was the less egregious, and mostly managed to replicate the Advance Wars experience to a tee, but didn’t keep my attention for long.

No wonder it was the first of its catalog to get a 2 on the title. A new adventure, set on the tropical shores of Aurania, will see players lead a cast of new commanders in battles spanning across land, sea, and sky.

No release date has been announced as of yet.

Cities Skylines II

The best city sim of all time Cities: Skylines is still one of Paradox’s most-played titles, nearly a decade after it came out. While the title is still having an envious run, a successor was announced. Will it be able to dislodge its older sibling, now powered by hundreds of thousands of mods?

No release date or further details have been announced about Cities: Skylines II.

Crusader Kings 3: Tours and Tournaments

Medieval RPG meets Grand-Strategy Crusader Kings 3 is opening new avenues to explore your character’s chivalrous nature with their big new expansion aptly named Tours and Tournaments. Create an entourage and decide upon a route. Visit your vassals and meet them in person, either to be nice or to shake them down for every shekel they owe. Create and take part in tournaments to win prizes and hone your skills as a mighty warrior. Organize grand weddings and bestow your vassals with honors, while allowing your knights to specialize.

No release date has been announced.

Flashpoint Campaigns: Southern Storm Update

A 10-page PDF of changes is enough of a statement of how large this free update for Flashpoint Campaigns: Southern Storm is:

  • A new scenario called “Cross Checking” has Canadians facing off against the Soviets;
  • A new campaign accommodates 4 new scenarios, also featuring the Canadians;
  • Updated weather files to allow for some systems to take advantage of the starlight on moonless nights (yes, really);
  • Fixing PBEM++ connectivity errors;
  • Changes to morale loss;

And a whole lot more you can check out here. The document ends with the OST team acknowledging they’ll be working on updating the game’s engine for years.

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