Strategy Gamer Weekend Bulletin - August 30th, 2019

By Joe Robinson 30 Aug 2019 1

We’re back with another round-up of the week’s strategy gaming news. You know there was a point where I was worried that I’d struggle to fill this column with interesting news items, but it speaks to the health of our beloved genre that there always seems to be plenty to talk about. There's also probably plenty I've missed, so apologies for that!

Meanwhile, in the world of strategy games...

Total War: Warhammer 2 The Hunter & The Beast DLC

Total War: Warhammer 2 is getting a new Lords Pack on September 11th, which will give the Empire and Lizardmen faction a new Legendary Lord each. Both new Lords will be playable on the Vortex campaign map, with the Empire’s Markus Wulfhart especially getting some interesting new mechanics since he’s leading an expedition far from the Empire’s territory.

There’ll also be a free patch dropping at the same time - you can read all the details on both in Total War’s official blog post.

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock ‘Season 2’ kicks off

Battlestar Galactica Deadlock’s newest DLC is now out, kicking off the second ‘season’ of expansion content with Resurrection. This new premium add-on introduces a brand new story-campaign set after the events of the main game and the ‘Season 1’ DLCs, as well as new ships and squadrons to play around with.

In addition, the game has received the free ‘Command’ update, which brings more quality of life fixes including multi-ship selection and an overhaul of the bullet system. Black Labs go through the changes in a blog post, and also lay out their road-map for future changes, which include larger fleet sizes. Be still my beating heart!

We’re still working on our review of Resurrection, so stay tuned!

Two Point Hospital - New DLC & Free Weekend!

Speaking of DLC, Theme Hospital successor Two Point Hospital just received a new content drop of its own. The ‘Close Encounters’ premium expansion adds new locations set in a new town, new illnesses and mechanics.

The base game is also free to play on Steam this weekend, if you haven’t tried it already.

Paradox Awakens from Summer Slumber

Summer holidays in Sweden sound ridiculous based on the amount of time they have off not doing important things giving us regular dev diaries. It’s ok though, everyone’s back now.

Europa Universalis 4’s recent dev diary show that the team’s attention is currently focused east - the 1.29 ‘Manchu’ update will be overhauling how Ming and the ‘Mandate’ behaves (among other things) to make it a more rewarding experience. The European overhauls are still coming, but those are targeted to drop along-side the next premium expansion which seems to be coming next year. We’ll also be getting the 64-bit upgrade with the Manchu update.

Meanwhile, Imperator: Rome has been pushing out diaries since the start of August looking at various aspects of the impending 1.2 ‘Cicero’ Update. The most recent one can be read here but if you’re still interested in how this game is evolving I suggest you read up on all of the August diaries, as 1.2 is looking to really shake things up.

Imperator Cicero

Oriental Empires Three Kingdoms Out Now

Oriental Empires is a historical grand-strategy game (4X, turn-based) that’s been plugging away since its formal release in 2017 (and I think it was in Early Access for a bit before that). It’s arguably been covering ‘The East’ before it was cool and has a pretty decent reputation on Steam - we certainly enjoyed it, at least.

The game’s just received its second piece of DLC which introduces a brand-new campaign set during the Three Kingdoms era. One can wonder whether they started this before or after Total War announced they were doing the same thing, but to be honest Oriental Empires is a pretty decent strategy game that stands-out in its' own right. We doubt that their own take on this period is going to win them any special accolades, but it gives us an excuse to remind you guys that this game exists and is worth checking out.

Oriental Empires: Three Kingdoms is available to buy now for $9.99

Stronghold Warlords New Gameplay Trailer

You know it’s funny - I had a great chat with the guys at Firefly when I saw them at GamesCom the other week. We spoke a lot about Stronghold: Warlords, their vision but also the legacy of the series and how it’s evolved over time. It didn’t occur to me until after I got home that I wasn’t actually shown any gameplay. Oops!

It’s ok though - looks like the team have also headed out to PAX West this year, and have dropped a new trailer with plenty of new gameplay snips for you to check out.

Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game Released

Just a final reminder that Asmodee Digital’s Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game has left Early Access and is now officially released on Steam. Xbox One, PS4 & Switch versions are planned to arrive sometime in the Autumn, but for those happy to take on Sauron at your desk can jump into the game now.

It’s an adaptation of Fantasy Flight Games’ physical ‘Living Card Game’ of the same name, and has gone through quite a journey in Early Access, switching business models several times. It’s a pretty interesting PvE experience based around a Hearthstone-like card game, and we’re working on our review which we’ll try and get to you as soon as we can.

The base game is $19.99 and comes with Eight heroes plus a large selection of additional cards to use to create your deck. I’m a little unclear on the specifics since I’ve been playing the game through several versions of monetisation, but you should start with a basic deck to use in the game’s core campaigns. Additional cards from the base-set are unlocked either using ‘Fellowship’ (an-game currency that can only be earned through playing), and some cards get given to you as quest rewards.

If you buy the first (and so far, only) expansion The Shadow’s Fall (Normally $9.99, currently half price), you get an additional four heroes that come in their own ‘pack’ which we believe includes other cards. You also get a new campaign and some new mechanics.

That’s all we have for this week - enjoy your weekends and let us know what you get up to!

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