Strategy Gamer Weekend Bulletin - August 2nd, 2019

By Joe Robinson 02 Aug 2019 3

Welcome to our latest weekly summary of strategy news stories that you may have missed over the past week. One of these days I'm sure there's going to be a week where I'll struggle to fill the page, but so far it hasn't happened and there's plenty to catch up on.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away...

Starborne: Sovereign Space

While there’s technically news to report on here, I mainly just wanted to drop an FYI to remind you guys this game existed. We covered it a couple of years ago, but Starborne has improved a lot since that time and they’ve just brought a new server online for their ‘Alpha 9’ test that’s running at the moment.

This is an MMORTS that’s free-to-play but is more about providing a rich sand-box experience than it is about getting money out of players. It compares itself to EVE Online a lot, which is fair, but as far as business model goes it actually has more in common with what Auto Chess and its ilk is doing. You start off with a small holding in the middle of a vast galaxy of players and NPC factions. You’ve got to build fleets, develop your HQ station and then build more and/or conquer your neighbour’s outposts. Players can get together to form alliances and there are also coalitions and empires.

It actually seems pretty neat so far if you’re willing to put the time in to nurture it. Like EVE ‘time’ controls everything, and while you’ll be speeding through things at the lower levels, it’ll start to take many hours, if not days, to build higher level ships and buildings. Check out the official website here if you want to learn more and/or try out the Alpha for yourself.

Phoenix Point Delayed

If you’ve been patiently waiting for Julian Gollop’s X-Com successor, I’m afraid you’ll now have to wait a little bit longer. Word has travelled through the ‘vine that the game has now been delayed even further to December.

The only consolation we have at the moment is that the developers plan to drop Backer Build 5 on the former launch date of September 3rd.

Total War Three Kingdoms Dynasty Mode

I don’t really get the ‘why’ of this, but I guess it’s more of a tech demonstration more than anything else. Total War: Three Kingdoms players have more than the first Chapter Pack DLC to look forward to next week – the game is also getting a free new game mode called ‘Dynasty Mode’.

In another wonderful display of 'Things Nobody Asked For', Dynasty Mode is an arcade-style horde mode where you must control three heroes against waves of enemy troops. Because reasons. The characters are more powerful than even their Romance counter-parts, and can be upgraded as they fight. Enemy heroes will appear every few waves to try and stop you, and you have to fight on as long as you can. There’s an FAQ with everything you need to know, as well as a trailer.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms 14 Announced

You may think Creative Assembly are being all hipster with a game set during the fabled ‘Three Kingdoms’ era of China, but in many ways a lot of their inspiration has probably been drawn from another franchise – KOEI Tecmo’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This is a historical strategy/simulation series that’s been going since 1985 and has now announced it plans to release the 14th iteration.

RTK is essentially what you get when you take something like Civilization, Total War and/or a Paradox game, except it was made by an Asian studio instead. There is a clear difference in the approach to conceptualising and making a strategy game, and it offers some wonderfully unique (and at times, bonkers) gameplay. It’s due out on PS4 and PC sometime next year, and you can check out the official website here. 

DOTA Underlords & Teamfight Tactics

It wouldn’t be a weekly update without some Auto Chess-related news. DOTA Underlords continues to iterate on its design, with the latest update addressing feedback over how players rank. A new tiered ranking system has been introduced, as well the as the option to simply play casual instead.

In other Auto Battler news, Teamfight Tactics has been confirmed as a permanent new game mode for League of Legends. Riots’ own take on Auto Chess is also going through iterations and updates, but the numbers have more than proven to the devs that its worth keeping around.

Lord of the Rings Card Game Delayed

Asmodee Digital dropped a note earlier this week stating that the planned release for the Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card game has been delayed till August 29th. I was probably going to review this one myself, so this is actually quite useful as I’ve got Age of Wonders: Planetfall and GamesCom to work on this month as well.

LOTR Card Game

Acram Digital Board Game Sale

If you’re interested in picking up some digital board games on the cheap, Acram Digital are doing a sales event from today through to August 5th on their modest catalogue. This mainly consists of three games:

  • Eight Minute Empire
  • Istanbul: Digital Edition
  • Steam: Rags to Riches

Although there is a fair amount of DLC for each. The company s also working on a digital adaptation of the legacy board game Charterstone, due to next year.

That's all for this week's news update - if you see any other strategy news you think deserves to be shared, let us know in the comments!

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