Fight me, you cowards
The development of Close Combat: The Bloody First has lasted for as long as the war it depicts, but four years after its original intended launch date, Matrix Games’ World War II RTS is due to storm the beaches soon. As well as being the first 3D game in the series, it’s the first that’s been built in publisher Slitherine’s Archon engine, but more interesting is the focus on individual soldiers instead of faceless platoons. I recently tried to get to know them during a brief, whirlwind tour of ‘40s France, Italy and Tunisia.
Read the rest of this entry »
No time to chat
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War is an unconventional 4X game that doubles down on the perpetually gloomy universe’s penchant for conflict by cutting out diplomacy entirely. The Space Marines, Astra Militarum, Orks and Necron are all at each other’s throats, leaving them no time to work things out at the negotiating table. War, then, is Gladius’ raison d’être, with Dreadnoughts, Tankbustas and Necron Warriors spilling out onto the hexy map, looking for a fight.
Read the rest of this entry »
So say we all
During 2004-2006, I probably thought about Battlestar Galactica at least once an hour every single day. Grown-up sci-fi where everyone was at least a bit bad, the space battles felt tangible as well as spectacular and the enemy was as unknowable as they were implacable. And then… well, let’s instead pretend what happened didn’t happen, BSG stayed the BSG we all loved, and some time in the middle of all that we got Battlestar Galactica Deadlock [official site], a ‘simultaneous turn-based’ strategy game that’s all about space battles and space battles alone, and most importantly, missiles do that cool, slow, curvy thing as they fly.
Let’s pretend it happened in 2005 rather than 2017, and this is but a fond look back at a time when everything BSG touched turned to gold. Read the rest of this entry »
Roundheads and bobbleheads
Greying temples? Check. Mortgage? Check. Fond of Werther’s Originals and New Tricks? Check.
Gosh, according to recently issued Home Office guidelines I’m now qualified to grumble about things like soft prison sentences, the inexorable decline in the quality of pop music, and scandalous gaps in the National Curriculum. If I wanted to I could begin a review of the latest Athena-engined wargame by wagging a finger at a state education system that allows subjects of Good Queen Bess II to leave school knowing next to nothing about one of the most traumatic episodes in British history. Read the rest of this entry »
Meet Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum, the galley warfare wargame currently in production at Turnopia, shouldn’t have any trouble eclipsing the competition. To my knowledge, in the forty or so years since home computing and tactical gaming first cuddled up, ancient naval aggro has inspired only one title and that title is probably best forgotten. Read the rest of this entry »
Exciting battles but a dull campaign
The never-ending conflict between Warhammer 40K’s Orks and the greatest warriors of the Imperium of Man, the Space Marines, is an ouroboros that’s already trapped us all inside it. An infinite war, spawning an infinite number of smaller digital wars on our PCs, making sure we can never, ever escape.
Warhammer 40K: Sanctus Reach [official site] is the latest snapshot of the war, a turn-based strategy affair that, of course, pits Space Marine against Ork over a planet that nobody in their right mind would want to live on anyway. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »
Black Friday bargain hunt
‘Tis the season to be jolly vigilant. With the six-week Matrix/Slitherine Christmas sale underway and Steam in the midst of a five-day autumnal tariff squeeze, several excruciatingly expensive wargames are currently just expensive, quite a few expensive wargames are now affordable, and a handful of cheap wargames are doing passable impersonations of gift horses. Prowling the various bargain basements like an extra-grumpy Philip Serrell, these are the deals that have caught my eye… Read the rest of this entry »
Sim and wargaming news
Crisis! Geoff, the retired sailmaker who usually stitches together FP news stories, phoned in sick this morning (housemaid’s knee). We’ve experimented with alternative fastenings – velcro, staples, bulldog clips, ant-head sutures… – but none of them are strong and flexible enough to join this week’s selection of topical sim and strategy snippets. Unless Irma’s ongoing porridge experiments prove successful, I fear today’s column will have to take the form of an index finger inconveniencing gallery. Read the rest of this entry »
Strategic Command 3 beta impressions
I’m glad Strategic Command 3’s camera is a tad myopic. Not being able to see the Panzers parked in Parliament Square… the SS Sturmgrenadiers marching down The Mall… Mosley and Hitler shaking hands on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, means I can push north towards unconquered Scotland with a spring in my goose-step. Read the rest of this entry »