Strategy and Wargaming

afghanistan-11-boxBy Ian Boudreau @ The Wargamer

Now approaching its sixteenth year, the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan is the longest armed conflict in American history, and arguably one of the most difficult to capture in a wargame format. That’s probably why Afghanistan ‘11 isn’t really a wargame, but rather a strategy game about a specific kind of war: counterinsurgency. As such, the game is less concerned with enemy casualty counts and focuses instead of the decidedly fuzzier notion of “winning hearts and minds” as laid out in the COIN theory.

Read on…

steel-division-normandy-44First Trailer Released with In-Game Footage; Multiplayer Streams Coming from EGX Rezzed

Paradox Interactive, a publisher with a robust video division, today released the first trailer made with in-game footage of Steel Division: Normandy 44. Developed by the veteran strategy-game creators at Eugen Systems, Steel Division: Normandy 44 is an upcoming tactical real-time strategy game for Windows PCs that puts players in command of World War II military divisions. Featuring historically accurate units and environments as displayed in Eugen’s IRISZOOM engine, the game allows for battles to play out in extreme detail whether viewed from a broad overhead perspective or while focused on a single unit.

See Steel Division: Normandy 44 in action and envision your own division with the new gameplay trailer.

This weekend, Paradox and Eugen will be featuring several live streams of Steel Division: Normandy 44 from the show floor of EGX Rezzed in London. Multiplayer games will be broadcast featuring developers and show attendees, and game features will be highlighted in a developer stream on Paradox’s Twitch channel. All streams will be available at https://www.twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive, and the stream schedule will be as follows:

  • Thursday, March 30th, 14:30 GMT: Developer Stream with Paradox and Eugen
  • Friday, March 31st , 11:00 GMT: Live Multiplayer
  • Saturday, April 1st, 11:30 GMT: Live Multiplayer

For more information on Steel Division: Normandy 44, visit the games official website.

order-of-battle-kriegsmarineKriegsmarine is the upcoming DLC for the Order of Battle series and it covers the German Navy’s efforts to challenge Allied superiority at sea. From the shores of the Baltic to the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean, you will lead a smaller varied fleet of destroyers, cruisers and battleships, submarines, seaplanes tenders and carriers, as well as Marines units specialized in amphibious assaults.

This DLC marks, of course, a return to naval mechanics. The team has put a lot of focus in expanding the naval aspects of the series with Kriegsmarine, and to best represent naval warfare they implemented several new features. Let’s look at them, shall we?

Read on…

scourge-of-war-wavreAfter the victory at Ligny and at Quatre Bras (even if this latter less decisive), the French have forced Wellington’s Anglo-allied army to a defensive re-deployment at Waterloo. To avoid any interference from the Prussians, the aile droite of the l’Armée du Nord lead by Marshal Groucy is sent, consisting of 33,000 men and 80 guns.

The Battle of Wavre is about to commence!

Get more information about Scourge of War: Wavre from its official product page!

afghanistan-11-boxSlitherine and Every Single Soldier are once again taking the strategy genre from a totally new angle. After the stunning success of Vietnam ’65, the counter-insurgency gaming system create by Johan Nagel is back in a new setting, with a new look and with a monumental list of new features.

As before, you are faced with the task of destroying an ever elusive enemy while striving to win the Hearts & Minds of the local population. You must juggle spending resources to fight the enemy, while at the same time capitalizing on the opportunity to bring civilians to you cause.

You are facing a barrage of obstacles, from IED’s to hidden enemies such as local militia that excel at guerrilla warfare as well as Taliban troops that make their way over the mountains from Pakistan to stifle your efforts. You own casualties can severely damage military progress, while eliminating enemy troops and assisting villages and improving their infrastructure can significantly assist you. You will have many tools to achieve success, from the mighty Apache Helicopter, to Special Forces units which can be used to train Afghan National Army Units, or to hunt down the enemy.

Logistics are also a key factor: defending supply convoys without which troops will suffer and will be vulnerable to ambushes and loss of combat effectiveness is the key to attain a solid victory.

Furthermore a tense political situation grips the country. Unpredictable Political Events can significantly alter the outcome of the struggle and Elections will play a vital role in the mission to stabilize Afghanistan.

With 18 different campaign scenarios starting from the initial actions in Afghanistan to the culmination of American involvement there are tens of hours of counter-insurgency warfare to be played. The game also has an extremely customizable Skirmish mode which allows to consistently alter any parameter of the operation the your liking.

Afghanistan ’11 is available on the Slitherine site and on Steam. Check out the product page for more details.

strategic-command-ww2-war-in-europeSince we released Strategic Command in November last year, our next goal was to keep improving the game, making it better and better.

The first official update – the “Garand Update” – brought a huge amount of fixes and improvements but, even if important, the update didn’t include a very anticipated feature, Multiplayer.

Today, your patience has been rewarded, as the PBEM system has been integrated into Strategic Command and it is finally available!

But the news is not over, because alongside the PBEM, the version 1.02 updates the game in many aspects!

Here are some highlights:

  • fixed the zoom in and zoom out hotkeys, (+) now zooms in, and (-) now zooms out.
  • fixed an Amphibious Transport PROPERTIES screen display error that showed incorrect research level information.
  • fixed a naval path spotting error for when naval units are moved from point A to point B, previously only point B had additional spotting when the move was completed.
  • fixed a Paratroops crash error when dropping prepared Paratroops on some enemy hexes.
  • fixed a right click Transport unit limit display error for when a limit starts at 0 but increases due to Amphibious Warfare research as it was previously not showing the increased limits.
  • fixed a bug that allowed players to deploy Transports above the allowable limits whenever a transport was loaded and disembarked on the same turn.
  • fixed a supply calculation error with linked HQs that did not calculate the proper supply for adjacent units
  • fixed a predicted supply calculation error that did not properly calculate projected supply beyond friendly territory when calculating from friendly HQs.
  • resolved a crash for the ‘commit_unit_last_unit_move’ error
  • fixed a rare RESOURCE calculation error that had some resources remain at a higher strength than they should be at when cut off.

Check the entire changelog here.

You can download the update from here.

Get more information on the Strategic Command WWII: War in Europe from its official Product Page.

afghanistan-11-boxIn this new Feature video we have a look at one of the core elements of gameplay: Combat.

The enemy will be hiding in caves and attack from the shadows. Locating them will be hard, and then you will have to attack with rapidity and precision. Will you manage to defeat them?

Afghanistan ’11 isn’t your standard wargame: if you want to win it won’t just be about eliminating the enemy on the battlefield, but you will need to conquer the Hearts & Minds of the locals by ensuring safety to villages, isolating and eliminating Taliban leaders, training the Afghan army and building and protecting infrastructure.

Logistics and organization will be extremely important as the Talibans, tribal militias and drug lords will attempt to thwart your efforts with sneaky ambushes and terroristic attacks – the enemy plays hide and seek and could be everywhere and only the most skilled strategist will manage to win the war in Afghanistan and help build a modern nation.

Want to know more? Please visit the product page.

afghanistan-11-boxAfghanistan ’11 features a long campaign: players can experience the whole length of the war through 18 unique scenarios. Each scenario puts you in very different situations, and you’ll have to employ different strategies to beat the scenario and advance in the campaign.

But there’s more outside of the campaign: Afghanistan ’11 offers a very detailed Skirmish mode.

You can play on randomly generated maps and set several parameters, completely customizing your game to your liking. You can set geographical parameters, starting conditions, victory conditions, as well as disable or enable additional modules such as Political events and Elections.

You can even disable any kind of turn limit, making your game unlimited and you’ll be able to play as long as you want!

Read more…

panzer-corps-2When we released Panzer Corps six years ago, our goal was to revive a genre by going back to its roots. We worked with Flashback Games and The Lordz Games Studio and with the help of a vibrant community to create a new classic that would start a new era in wargaming. We had goals, hopes and objectives, but we couldn’t possibly imagine the impact this game would have had in the wargaming and strategy gaming communities.

The release of Panzer Corps marked the return of a long-neglected gaming formula, which we knew still had a large and loyal following. Its spectacular success brought an almost forgotten genre back into fashion, it inspired multiple clones and literally gave new life to an entire market.

After over five years of expansions, mods, challenges and tournaments, a brand-new installment of the franchise is ready to take the strategy gaming segment by storm again. This time, with even bigger ambitions.

Panzer Corps 2 is currently in development using Unreal Engine 4, to allow an impressive leap forward in both technological capabilities and visual impact. Hundreds of World War 2 units will be shown with a level of quality and detail never seen before in a wargame.

The move to a fully 3D engine is a natural evolution of the game, but the core gameplay will always remain true to its roots: pay tribute to the classic gameplay of a distant golden age of strategy gaming, refine it, perfect it and use the most recent technologies to enhance these experiences and bring them to a new generation of gamers. In other words, strike the perfect balance between tradition and innovation, both in visuals and gameplay.

Check out the Panzer Corps 2 Announcement Trailer.

We will disclose more details about the game as we move through the development process, so make sure you follow us on the forum and on the Flashback Games site.

crusader-kings-ii-monks-and-mysticsLatest Expansion for Crusader Kings II Takes a Leap of Faith

In a world ruled by fear of the afterlife, the wise person takes good care of their soul. Do good works. Build new churches. Defend the faith against heretics, heathens and the corruption that lurks in the heart of all. But what if there were more to the spiritual world than charity and chants? What if you could unlock the secrets of the universe – or turn your back on God entirely? Are you ready to gamble your eternal soul in Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics?

Monks and Mystics is the newest expansion to Paradox Development Studio’s beloved classic Crusader Kings II. In this new add-on, your ruler has the chance to join religious societies to improve their standing with both humankind and God (or the gods). Join a monastic order and pursue traditional virtues and learning, or seek out the kind of knowledge only available to those skilled in alchemy and astrology. You can even join underground religious cults to weaken the church or pray to elemental forces of darkness to unlock new and terrible powers.

Monks and Mystics features include:

  • Monastic Orders: Special societies devoted to religious learning and pious behavior for most of the world’s faiths.
  • Secret Societies: Assassins, underground religious orders, and devil worshipers operate in the shadows to undermine the established order.
  • Relics and Treasures: Find religious relics, craft masterwork weapons, or commission spectacular jewelry to add to the glory and power of your realm.
  • New Councilor Commands: No more idle advisers, as your councilors can put their skills to work while attending court.

Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics is available now on Steam and the official Paradox store for $14.99, and includes new units and portraits for the English and German cultures.

The bells of the abbey are calling you to serve. The chants of the witches summon you to the coven. Let these songs be the backdrop to your machinations. We are also pleased to release the new Hymns of Revelation Music Pack, just $1.99 on Steam or the official Paradox store. Watch the official Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics release trailer here.