Strategy Games News Bulletin - July 10th 2020

By Joe Robinson 10 Jul 2020 1

Apologies for another disruption to service the past couple of weeks. In case you weren’t aware, I was off on Paternity leave as my wife gave birth to our second child. It’s fine, I’m not tired at all. My first week back has been oddly slow in terms of news - some stuff that we could have covered during the week like Manor Lords, but the rest were minor updates which we’ve summarized below.

I’ve spent a fair bit working on other exciting projects - Steam’s new ‘News Hub’ project is underway, so we’re hoping to pipe out content directly into that. I’ve also been going through our archives (as you do) and thought I'd try giving some older pieces a second lease-in life. When some of these pieces first went live we were only a fraction of the size we are now, so every now and then I like to see if these pieces resonate with the newly expanded audience.

Meanwhile, in strategy games...

Manor Lords Announced

One of the more exciting announcements from this week was Manor Lords, is a new medieval city management/sim game that’s coming later this year that not only looks gorgeous, but also features a real-time tactical layer that looks like it was lifted straight from Medieval: Total War (but made in Unreal).

The city-building aspect is going to be grid-less and free form, with historically authentic mechanics powering most of the games systems (taken from 11th - 15th Century sources). For example, fields need ploughing by Oxen teams. I remember when Strongholds 3 went ‘free-form’ with its castle placement - it wasn’t as good as the team thought it’d be, which is why they’ve gone back to a grid-based system for Stronghold: Warlords. Will be interesting to see if Manor Lords can pull it off better.

This is being made by a guy on his own, so when it releases it will be in Early Access, and current estimates are that it will be there for up to two years. The initial builds will include the core City-building and management gameplay, AI opponents, diplomacy, one map & infantry battles.

Fantasy General II Launches Free ‘Prologue’ Campaign

Fantasy General II is a turn based strategy game released last year where you’re put in the shoes of a charismatic tribal leader looking to unite all of the clans and invade the neighbouring empire that’s oppressing everyone. The campaign has some persistence features as well as some branching outcomes, but is otherwise quite linear.

fantasy general 2 prologue

We enjoyed the game, but the base version doesn’t have a lot to it other than the main campaign and some skirmish play. The Onslaught expansion added more but it’s still a game with limited replay-value. To help newcomers try it out for themselves, however, Slitherine have created a new ‘Prologue’ campaign that’s available for free.

It’s called The Curse and is a short, procedurally generated campaign where you choose one of three Heroes and embark on a quest. It was released as part of the company’s 20th Anniversary celebrations.

Tropico 6 Free-to-Play Weekend & New Expansion

Everyone’s favourite dictator is making himself available for free over the next few days.. Kalypso Media announce a free-play weekend on Steam for Tropico 6. This comes as the game’s third DLC pack - Lobbyistico - is released.

This is a smaller pack that adds ‘Corruption’ mechanics and lets you invite faction leaders into the government as lobbyists, with new buildings, traits and tracks.

Strategy Game Updates & Patches

Total War: Warhammer 2

The latest beta for Total War: Warhammer 2 has been causing some issues since it’s release last month, and Creative Assembly have finally revealed when some of the more pressing issues are going to be fixed.

According to this tweet, a new update to the Nutz ‘n Boltz Beta will go live on Monday 13th. If all goes well, the patch will go to the live build the week after.

Astra Exodus

This indie 4X strategy game from Slitherine just got a major (and free) content update. The developers have introduced a ‘Battle Simulator’ which will allow you to do skirmish-style fleet battles, there’s also a Quick Designer that will let you build ship designs right from the main menu (with everything unlocked) and these designs will appear in the main game and Simulator. They’ve also added hotseat multiplayer, along with new heroes, maps and galaxy content.

Jon Shafer’s At the Gates

This interesting (if underdeveloped) historical 4X strategy game has been updated to Version 1.4 which finally gives some love to the diplomacy systems, as well as fixing some of the more common crash bugs. I think it’s clear that this game isn’t going to get the full attention it needs to be truly special, but we thank Jon for any additional work he does choose to give the game.

That's all we've got for you this week - enjoy your weekends!

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