Computer Wargames

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.

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Carriers at War — Review

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Matrix Games released Carriers at War a few weeks ago. It is a very well done remake of the original. Overall the game will require you to spend a bit of time with the game manual to learn a number of the game mechanics but it will be time well rewarded. If you enjoy WW2 carrier warfare it is a must get game.

The Wargamer has a nice Carriers at War review so we will not bother doing one ourselves. One note, the author of the review, Bill Trotter, has a relationship with Matrix Games, but nonetheless we agree with what he says about the game.

Do not forget to get the v1.02 update.

Carriers at War Now Available

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Well with no pre-announcement or fanfare Matrix Games now has Carriers at War available for purchase. You can order the game by mail or download it directly for $49.99. Carriers at War is a computer wargame of WW2 fleet carrier air and naval operations in the Pacific theater from 1941 to 1945.

See the review.

Coral Sea — An After Action Report

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Matrix Games recently posted an after action report on their upcoming Carriers at War naval game. It is a few pages long and includes screen shots of the game in action.

Jutland Annoucement

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Well some more good news on the naval front.

Storm Eagle Studios is proud to announce JUTLAND, the 2nd installment utilizing our ground breaking Distant Guns 3D Combat Engine!

Set in the treacherous waters of the 1916 North Sea, JUTLAND delivers the most detailed World War One naval experience ever released for PC Wargaming!

In addition to covering the largest clash of Battleships in history, current plans for JUTLAND include many additional North Sea battles and the huge 1916 North Sea Naval Campaign pitting Kaiser Wilhelm’s glorious Dreadnaught Fleet against Britain’s finest.

CEO of Storm Eagle Studios, Jim Rose, said “JUTLAND is the natural next step for the Distant Guns 3D engine. The success of our award winning debut title, DISTANT GUNS, yielded a solid 3D code base for JUTLAND to expand and build upon. Sixteen (16) mile ranges, improved fire control, and the first modern naval architecture are just a few reasons that we are excited about it! Norm Koger, our Chief Technology Officer, has raised the bar again. Our development team continues to deliver an amazing consistency of detail and game experience.”

Projected Release Date: Fall 2007

See a preview of Jutland.

The Best Games Not Yet Published, 2007

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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 2007. There is no guarantee any of these will be published in 2007, nor that they will be any good if they are, but we are ever hopeful. Read the rest of this entry »

A Tsunami of Naval Warfare Games

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The past year or so, especially the past few months, has seen a huge wave of new naval warfare games. First we have two card games, Phalanx Games’Naval Battles’ is a great WW2 game of naval combat and covers carrier combat as well as submarines. Secondly is Decision Games’ second title from their ‘Lightening War’ series, ‘Midway’. Neither game is a simulation by any stretch but both are fun, fast playing and have a nice naval feel to them.

Omega Games redid two older naval games and released them as new titles. There is the WW1 ‘Line of Battle’ and the WW2 ‘Battleship.’ Both titles focus on combat between capital ships but also include smaller vessels as squadrons. Read the rest of this entry »