Computer Wargames

Close Combat – Wacht am Rhein — Now Available

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The latest Close Combat computer game is now available from Matrix Games. It is a remake of the original game with updated graphics and features.

Matrix Games and Strategy 3 Tactics are proud to announce that Close Combat – Wacht am Rhein is now available for purchase. Based on the classic Close Combat – Battle of the Bulge, Wacht a Rhein brings all the classic Close Combat game elements together with a massive new grand campaign, improved art, and a variety of new features to create an experience true to the original series but much improved.

A Wave of New Naval Warfare Games

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Well it has been well over a year-and-half since we did our first naval wargaming review in our A Tsunami of Naval Warfare Games article. At the time we were surprised at the number of new naval titles that had been released. Even more surprising is that the trend has continued.

Modern Naval Battles
Modern Naval Battles

A couple more card games were released. GMT Games released Pacific Typhoon, a simple card game for 3-7 players (it plays better with more players rather than less) that covers naval combat in the Pacific in World War Two. In a unique twist each player plays both the Allied and Japanese sides. This allows for lots of backstabbing as players vie for leverage to help ‘their’ side win. A new publisher, DVG Games, released Modern Naval Battles – Global Warfare. This is an update to the original 1989 game and includes the material in that game’s two expansions. MNB-GW covers naval warfare during the Cold War, Falkland Islands War, and Post-2000 era. Neither of these games are a simulation but both are interesting, fun games. Read the rest of this entry »

Panzer Command: Kharkov — Review

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Panzer Command was an interesting tactical WW2 computer wargame. It was based on miniature wargame mechanics yet took advantage of the computer for fog of war. The Wargamer has a nice review of Panzer Command: Kharkov the latest game in the series.

Heroes of Stalingrad — Video

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Heroes of Stalingrad
Heroes of Stalingrad

Matrix Games posted some videos of the upcoming computer wargame Heroes of Stalingrad based on Lock ‘n Load Games’ Lock n Load WW2 board wargame. Overall the game looks interesting and appears to be even more of a direct port of the board wargame than we initially thought. Hopefully the AI will be good enough for a challenge.

Heroes of Stalingrad

Lock n Load: Band of Heroes

Combat Mission: Shock Force – Marines Announced

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Battlefront announced a new add-on for Combat Mission: Shock Force.

We are proud to officially announce Combat Mission Shock Force – Marines, the first expansion to Combat Mission Shock Force, one of the most detailed and sophisticated tactical ground combat simulations available. Shock Force – Marines is the first of several planned expansions of the Combat Mission contemporary warfare setting.

This first Module, adds a significant number of new formations, units, weapons, equipment and vehicles for both the US and Syrian sides, as well as brand new missions, maps and an all new campaign. General game engine improvements (such as Tactical Artificial Intelligence improvements, tweaking cover values and so on) are included as well, although they will also be made available to all existing Shock Force customers. This ensures that everybody plays by the same rules and experiences the same basic gameplay.

Panzer Command: Kharkov Released

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Matrix Games quietly released Panzer Command: Kharkov. This is a World War Two, tactical, computer wargame. It is an update to the original Panzer Command: Operation Winter Storm game from two years ago.

I have only played the training mission so far but it looks like a minor update to the original game. PC: Kharkov now has smoke but some of the same movement and AI annoyances still seem to be present. But I will provide more details once I have had more time with the game. The original PC:OWS was a solid game; It had some issues but was enjoyable. PC: Kharkov will probably be at least as good.

The Wargamer has a preview of the game.

If you enjoy World War Two tactical wargames you should give it a look.

Get the 1.01 update.

[Updated: 28MAY08]

Patton Drives East Announced

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Battlefront announced a pre-pub offer for Patton Drives East, its upcoming expansion to its Strategic Command 2 grand strategy game series. Unlike previous expansions, PDE takes SC2 into one of the great hypothetical conflicts of World War Two — What if the U.S. Army, led by Gen. Patton, had attacked Russia? Patton Drives East is scheduled for release in May.

[Update 8MAY09: Patton Drives East is now available.]

The Best Games Not Yet Published, 2008

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With the New Year upon us we thought it might be interesting to present the games we are most anxiously awaiting in 2008. Our 2007 prognostications did pretty well so we thought we would try it again for 2008. There is no guarantee any of these will be published in 2008, nor that they will be any good if they are, but we are always hopeful.
Read the rest of this entry »

Jutland — Preview

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JutlandThe Wargamer has a short preview of Storm Eagle Studios’ upcoming Jutland game based off of their Distant Guns engine. In addition to the landmark battle, the game features scenarios that take place before and after Jutland as well as hypothetical scenarios. It even includes Zeppelins! This is looking like a must get game for all naval gamers.

Combat Mission: Shock Force — First Look

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Battlefront released its new modern-era, tactical combat game Combat Mission: Shock Force. The game is the successor to the excellent Combat Mission World War Two titles. It improves upon those games in almost every way and if you have played any of the earlier titles you will feel right at home with CM:Shock Force. You will need to spend some time with the manual even if you are a veteran of the earlier titles because there are a number of new elements to the game that are not readily apparent.

The game includes a new real-time option as well as the traditional turn-based system. I still do not like the real-time option because no matter how good the AI is it still does dumb things. In addition, even with pause, you cannot be everywhere at once. This is not just an issue with command but simply in seeing the action unfold. With the turn-based system you can always see what happens. In real-time mode you often miss things while you are occupied elsewhere. Moreover, the highest realism setting, annoyingly, removes your ability to issue orders while the game is paused. Real-time does not equal more realistic for a tactical wargame.

Minor issues aside, if you like the subject matter you will enjoy the game and CM:SF does introduce some seldom seen concepts in wargaming such as unit specific spotting. Hopefully they will redo the WW2 titles with the new engine soon.

The Wargamer has a nice After Action Report and review of the game.

The v1.03 update is available.