Archive For The “Features” Category

First Look at Strategic Command: WWI

First Look at Strategic Command: WWI

Mike Colello, 5 December 2019

Armchair Dragoons takes a first look at Strategic Command: WWI from Matrix Games

Fury Software released their first title in the Strategic Command series in 2002 and have been going strong ever since. Released on December 5, Strategic Command: WWI is an updated version of the original SC: WWI grand strategy game. Those familiar with the classic version will immediately notice a big change in graphics. Not just a visual update, the game now uses hexes instead of tiles.

Click enlarge most images in this article

You can choose to use either 3D or NATO type counters on the map. The game is mod-friendly so it is also possible to create your own counters and maps. In fact, a quick trip over to the Matrix Games forum shows that there is already at least one mod, The Blue Max 2D Counter and Map Mod by IronX that does just that.

And speaking of options, there are plenty to choose from. At the start of a game, even one in progress, you can change both Basic and Advanced settings, although some options can only be set at the start of a new game.

 

The game also allows you to set friendly controlled Major Powers to AI-controlled if you wish. For example, if you want to just play as Britain you could set the other Entente powers to AI-controlled. It is even possible to switch sides if you wish. You can change these settings at any time during a game, a feature new to this version of Strategic Command: WWI.

 

SCWW1-First-5

As the game progresses you will have to make important strategic decisions that could affect the outcome of the war. When a Decision Event pops up you now have the option to minimize the Decision box and look around the map before choosing a response. Each Decision Event also includes historical notes that you can review.

 

 

SCWW1-First-7

Another new feature in this version of Strategic Command: WWI is the ability of Destroyers and Torpedo Boats to lay mines. Caution is advised, however, as laying mines in certain strategic locations could actually trigger an event with other nations.

 

 

SCWW1-First-6

Also as you would expect from a World War I game, Entrenchment is possible for infantry and cavalry units. Trenches can have up to three sides (which is recommended) and will receive defensive bonuses if attacked from one of those sides. The game will even default to which sides should be entrenched based on the proximity and location of enemy units.

 

If you are familiar with the classic version of this game or have played any of the other titles in the Strategic Command series, you will feel right at home with this version as most of the basic gameplay is the same.

Other new features to this updated version of Strategic Command: WWI include new unit types (ANZACs, Colonial Corps, Mountain Corps), an Enhanced Fog of War that shows the limits of a unit’s spotting range, Dynamic Movement which allows you to re-select and move units with unused Action Points, Naval Cruise movement which allows naval units to move quickly over long distances, and Land Convoys in addition to Sea Convoys. The AI is also rumored to be much improved.

If you are familiar with the classic version of this game or have played any of the other titles in the Strategic Command series, you will feel right at home with this version as most of the basic gameplay is the same. And newcomers to Strategic Command: WWI need not worry. The Strategic Command games are not overly complex and are easy to learn. Strategic Command: WWI’s complexity is on par with games like Panzer Corps and Order of Battle. Strategic Command: WWI also includes and excellent manual that comes in at almost 300 pages. Additionally, three strategy guides are also included that cover the three campaigns included with the game.

The three campaigns included with Strategic Command: WWI are:

  • 1914 Call to Arms
  • 1914 Triple Alliance (where Italy joins the Central Powers)
  • 1917 Fate of Nations

Strategic Command: WWI also includes the same features as the previous edition including: Supply Rules, Partisans, Diplomacy, Weather effects, Research, Production, and Reinforcing.  The new version also supports Single Player, Hotseat, and PBEM++ Online modes of play.

Stay tuned for more as we dig further into the game.


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Saturday Night Fights! 10,000 Orcs & an Ice Cream Truck!

Saturday Night Fights! 10,000 Orcs & an Ice Cream Truck!

Fun fact: the first known appearance of the word “orc” in the English language is in a William Blake poem, decades before Tolkien.  So here comes a goofy, fun, fantasy-focused fracas.

 

Don’t forget to check out the all-new Saturday Night Fights sub-forum on our site, where you can see what’s coming up and throw your outrageously-large hat in the ring to join the fun.

 


Thanks for reading!  We’d love to have your feedback either in the comment area below, or in our discussion forum.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

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Adventures in Napoleonicisms: Eggmuhl Battlefield

Adventures in Napoleonicisms: Eggmuhl Battlefield

Jim Owczarski, 20 November 2019

We perceived, through its whole breadth, this battlefield rising gently in an amphitheatre. The summits of the hills were crowned with fine forests; the valleys opened before us, bare enough, but cultivated and separated from one another by hills of slightly marked feature. There was the valley of Eckmühl (running from south to north), up which wound the Ratisbon road, and there was that of the two Laichlings, separated from one another by a small wood… — General Jean-Jacques Germain Pelet-Clozeau, April 1809

If your hobby is visiting battlefields, you spend a lot of time reading first-hand accounts, studying period maps, and badgering academics trying to see the story on the ground.  You rebuild the battle in your mind, often moment by moment, and try to bring to order an event that was by its very nature disordered.  It can be a disheartening process.  As I have written elsewhere, many of the Napoleonic battlefields I study are all but lost.  Those of which traces still exist have often been significantly altered.  Not everything, I suppose, can be Borodino or Waterloo.

In April 1809, though, General Pelet marched with the Emperor to what would soon be known as the battlefield at Eggmuhl and stood at the heights near the village of Lindach.  His description, quoted above, is among the most famous of any Napoleonic battlefield from any contemporary source.

And that view is still there.

Eggmuhl-LINDACH

A panorama.

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Saturday Night Fights! Back to Aspern-Essling. Yes, Again.

Saturday Night Fights! Back to Aspern-Essling. Yes, Again.

Cyrano & Panzerde go back to the bayonets and continue their game of Aspern-Essling.

 

Don’t forget to check out the all-new Saturday Night Fights sub-forum on our site, where you can see what’s coming up and throw your outrageously-large hat in the ring to join the fun.

 


Thanks for reading!  We’d love to have your feedback either in the comment area below, or in our discussion forum.  You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

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Classic Articles: Revisiting Mystara and the BECMI D&D Game

Classic Articles: Revisiting Mystara and the BECMI D&D Game

Brant Guillory, 14 November 2019

On #TBT, we bring you the occasional classic article – an older review or analysis piece we wanted to rescue

This started as a set of pics for a personal inventory of the RPG collection.  It turned into about half of the collection – this isn’t even all the TSR stuff! – but I wanted to at least get a some of the collection archived.  Once I had the pics, though, I figured it was time to share some pics and commentary on the Mystara collection.

As an aside, for folks who are really interested in Mystara, you should check out the Bruce Heard episode of the podcast we recorded at a previous site, wherein we ask about his background with Mystara, and get a few good inside stories from the glory days of TSR.

Mystara, for those that don’t know, was the expansion of the game world that was first introduced in the X1 module that accompanied the expert-level set of the original no-prefix D&D, starting around 1981.  As the rules grew from basic to expert to companion and beyond, the rules series became known as the BECMI series.

Mystara-X1

How many of us started our adventures here?

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Gamers for Cures 24-hour Marathon 2019

Gamers for Cures 24-hour Marathon 2019

Brant Guillory, 10 November 2019

The Gamer’s Armory hosted their annual 24-hour board game marathon event over Veterans Day weekend again this year, with the proceeds benefitting the Gamers For Cures charity The Turner Syndrome Society.

Over a hundred gamers cycled through the marathon, which included a massive game raffle, table prizes, and a lot of caffeine.

You can still make donations to the cause at this link, but it’s too late to get into the raffle. (FWIW, I dropped my tickets pretty evenly across Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea, Last Hundred Yards, Founders of Gloomhaven, and Front Toward Enemy.)

If you’re around central North Carolina next year, make plans to check out this awesome event in mid-November.

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