Strategy Games News Bulletin - December 6th 2019

By Joe Robinson 06 Dec 2019 0

Strategy gaming news has been a bit sparse over the past couple of weeks, although for understandable reasons - last week the madness that was Black Friday consumed all, as people seemed to care more about cheap games than new games, and this week saw the final release of the long-awaited X-COM successor, Phoenix Point. You can read our review if you haven't already although the tl;dr is that we enjoyed it, but the strategy layer is better than the tactical one right now.

I've been playing a lot of Imperator (see below) and a game called Crying Suns, which I'm going to try and review myself before the year is out as we missed it when it first came out. It's a rogue-like with a real-time tactical layer that's quite challenging, but it's pretty cool so far.

Meanwhile, in strategy gaming... 

Battles for Middle-Earth Reforged

Now that I come to write this up, I can’t actually remember how I came across this, but essentially Battles for Middle Earth 1 & 2 were pretty decent RTS games from over ten years ago.

A new non-commercial fan-project is looking to revive those games, titled Battles for Middle-Earth Reforged. It’s going to use a new engine to recreate the game with modern tools, tech and graphics.

You can check out the project’s official website, as well as a document outlining their global plan.

Imperator: Rome 1.3 Livy

Just in case you didn’t notice, the 1.3 Livy update for Imperator: Rome is now live, and you can read the patch-notes here. This patch further improves the game, making significant changes to how families work, a new mission system, as well as a basic supply system for armies based on the Food mechanic from 1.2. This update also comes with the Punic Wars Content Pack, which is currently free. This adds unique mission trees for Rome and Carthage primarily, as well as other visual niceties.

The game is also free to play until 10pm CET on December 8th, if you’ve been unsure what to make of the game before now. We’re currently putting 1.3 through its paces and will report back in the new year, but I can already say this is a far superior game than when it first launched.

Stellaris: Federations Confirmed for 2020

Stellaris: Federations is the next big expansion coming to Stellaris, and it was announced at PDXCon this year. They were specifically quite coy about the release window, neither confirming nor denying either a 2019 release, or a 2020 release. This made be suspect that 2020 was likely, there was just a small chance that perhaps they could get it out last minute.

Those hopes have been dashed, however, as in the November 21st Dev Diary the Game Director confirmed that the expansion was targeting an early 2020 release. This could mean we see it by the end of January, but you’ll need to wait to find out more information.

Xbox Games Pass for PC New Games

Meanwhile, the Xbox Games Pass for PC library is about to get even better from a strategy gamer point of view. A total of eight new games are listed as ‘Coming Soon’, three of which might be of interest to readers:

  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Europa Universalis 4
  • Faeria

In other news, it was widely known that Phoenix Point was going to be hitting the Game Pass for PC service, however Snapshot have recently announced that this is now going to be delayed due to some unforeseen complications with the certification process for the platform. You can read more about it here.

Total War: Warhammer 2

Last week there was the announcement of the new DLC for Total War: Warhammer 2 - The Shadow & The Blade. This week we’ve learned that the free update that will accompany the expansion will give us a new Bretonnian Legendary Lord in the form of Repanse de Lyonesse. She buffs any peasant units in her army, as well as improves armour piercing and attack for infantry in general and she never flees battle.

And the rest…

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

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