strategy

Dungeon of the Endless explains its genre mashup in new trailer

Patrick Carlson at

As a roguelike, Dungeon of the Endless gives players more than one way to die. But it's also a mix of squad-based exploration, tower defense, and RPG-style upgrades, so there's also more than one way to stay alive, too. The game's newest trailer shows how these different genres work together to make the game cohesive.


Mordheim: City of the Damned brings turn-based strategy to a doomed city

Tom Senior at

This passed me by somehow, but it's still worth a mention. There's going to be a Mordheim game! Mordheim is one of Games Workshop's more obscure Warhammer Fantasy spin-off projects. It's a turn-based strategy game set in a city obliterated by a magic meteorite. Precious fragments of said meteorite, called Wyrdstone, have drawn bandits and adventurers from every corner of the world. Giant rat-men face off against heroes of the empire, Elves, pirates, mercenaries, Witch Hunters and chaos demons. It's like the end of the Hobbit, except the armies are 1000 times smaller, and prone to incurring terrible injuries and mounting psychological damage from battle to battle.


Crusader Kings 2: Rajas of India out next week, alongside giant update for all players

Phil Savage at

Crusader Kings 2's patch notes are usually an amusing catalogue of historical rebalancing. As of the next free update, for instance, "hordes will be more prone to head in the 'right' direction", and "becoming infirm will abort self improval ambitions". But, aside from the mild titillation of minor AI tweaks, the patch will also make more dramatic changes to the game. As of its release on March 25th, the map will be revised, the performance optimised, and the modding scene given a home on the Steam Workshop.

Also on March 25th is the release of CK2's sixth expansion, Rajas of India, which - as the title suggests - adds the sub-continent of India. You can find more details of this paid-for addition through Tom's preview, or by watching these highlights of a recent Paradox stream.


A new RollerCoaster Tycoon PC game is in production, say Atari

Phil Savage at

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile was announced recently, and - judging from its chilling reveal trailer - will be the sort of game that sincerely wants you to "HYPE YOUR PARK". I know, I'm sad too. Fortunately, there's hope, and it comes in the form of an Atari tweet. Alongside their promotion of the upcoming phone/tablet/phablet version is news that a new "PC experience" is also in production.


Age of Wonders III's Theocrat class revealed in new footage

Tom Sykes at

Theocrat is a word which here means "Dude who is in with God". It's also a word that means "Dude with healing powers, who can 'cleanse the land of supernatural beings'", which I'm pretty sure was a superpower left out of my school's edition of the King James bible. The Theocrat, you see, is one of Age of Wonders III's new leader classes, a deceptively benevolent-seeming chieftain who is nonetheless a bit of a warmongering zealot (providing you choose to play them this way, of course). Triumph Studios have shown off how the Theocrat operates in a new nineteen-minute video, which you can see below.


Banished photo essay: 25 years of farming and surviving harsh winters

Ian Birnbaum at

The town of Dolothia was established when five families were unceremoniously banished from a nearby nation. The exact circumstances of this banishment were never explained to me, and I didn’t press the issue.

After The PCG Herald heard about the town’s struggle to survive in the wilderness, I was dispatched as a field reporter to document its early years. What I found was a harsh reality where 10-year-olds work fields in driving rain and snow, a bad harvest kills families, and a single misstep leaves the town frozen during winter. In the end I was embedded in Dolothia for 25 years, chronicling its struggles and triumphs in photos and timelapse gifographs. This is the life of a Banished town.


Horizon review

Richard Cobbett at

There's irony in the fact that 4X games like Horizon are about forging forward into the future, but are always at least spiritually caught back in 1996, in the shadow of Master of Orion II. Horizon more than most is in that game's shadow. Its—being polite here—retro graphics, clunky UI, and general lack of polish set a poor first impression that never blossoms into something that lives up to either Master of Orion II, or other attempts, like the mighty GalCiv 2.


Citybound, an offline and moddable city-building sim announced

Patrick Carlson at

With Citybound, designer Anselm Eickhoff has a simple goal—"to do something crazy." A 21-year-old computer science student in Munich, Germany, he originally set out to make an alternative to SimCity, according to a story at Gamasutra. Citybound will be browser-based and run offline, with moddability as "a priority, not an afterthought," according to Eickhoff's dev blog.


Frozen Endzone dev diary: Letting off Steam

PC Gamer at

Mode 7 Games, creators of Frozen Synapse, share an update on their progress with Frozen Endzone.

It’s been a while since we last checked in about our progress on Frozen Endzone, so here’s an update.

The beta release went well: from a financial point of view, things are ticking along nicely with the game generating around twice as much revenue as Frozen Synapse did at an equivalent stage.

Tropico 5 beta registration now open

Emanuel Maiberg at

El Presidente, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, has opened registration for the Tropico 5 beta. If you think you’d be a good leader of a banana republic, you can register for an opportunity to test the game early on publisher Kalypso’s website.


Banished review

PC Gamer at

I killed a lot of people in Banished. I saw them born and I watched my decisions kill them. Stripping the land, building homes, and planting vast swaths of crops seemed like a good idea, but things got ugly when a hard winter set in. Firewood stockpiles were meager and the distance to new trees was too great to keep up with demand. Then tools started to break, and I don't know what happened to all the iron but there wasn't any for the blacksmith, so folks just did the best they could, which wasn't very good at all. From there, the colony didn't take long to spiral down into my own private Roanoke.


Total War: Rome II Beasts of War DLC's new units anger community

Emanuel Maiberg at

The Creative Assembly has released the Beast of War DLC for Total War: Rome II. It costs $3 and adds seven new units to the game, like Celtic Warhounds and Camel Cataphracts, but some players are angry that the units are not as new as they may appear.


Company of Heroes 2 adds new server system and map in Aftermath update

Patrick Carlson at

Multiplayer lag is the primary enemy of Company of Heroes 2's new Aftermath update. Launched yesterday, the RTS's new features boast an improved server system that should bring a better, more stable experience to the online battlefield, according to developer Relic Entertainment. Aftermath also includes new combat balancing, a community-made map, and a more efficient surrender mechanic.


Total War: Rome 2 update adds new elephants, more Epirus units

Phil Savage at

It seems like many of Total War: Rome 2's pre-launch updates have been of the "oh no, why is everything on fire?" variety. If that fire hasn't entirely been quelled, it is at least only lightly smouldering now. Hence this latest update, which focuses on features: specifically, elephants. A new African elephant model has been introduced to complement the pre-existing Indian elephants, allowing for more geographically appropriate elephantidae placement.


The Last Federation is procedurally-generated grand strategy by the creator of AI War

Phil Savage at

The prolific Arcen Games is following up last year's excellent Bionic Dues with a new tactical grand strategy. The Last Federation isn't the name of some fatalistic Next Generation fan-fiction, but rather a space-based strategy/tactics hybrid set in a simulated procedural universe. You take command of a small mercenary fleet, exploring a solar system containing eight alien races, and attempting to unify its survivors into a solar federation.


Civilization V: Complete Edition released in the US, will capture the rest of the world on Friday

Phil Savage at

Right now, the Humble Bundle has a pretty fantastic deal on some Sid Meier favourites. But for those just interested in Firaxis's most recent 4X strategy, the Civilization V: Complete Edition might be a more feature-rich bet.

No, not the Game of the Year Edition. That didn't feature either of the expansions. And no, not the Gold Edition. That didn't include the most recent Brave New World. This is the Complete Edition, offering the main game, both expansions, and all the DLC packs.


The Castle Doctrine review

Patrick Carlson at

I've just left my wife and kids home alone so I can rob one of my neighbors, John Gordon Buffington. I bring a backpack stuffed with tools: some sturdy clubs for smashing windows, a saw to hack through wood paneling, and because my part of town is full of clever and dangerous people, water to short-out the security system and some drugged meat to fling at any guard dogs I run into. I expect I'll have to deal with more than one angry pit bull before I can break into the Buffington vault.


Total War: Rome 2's giant Patch 9 improves AI, performance, and balance

Phil Savage at

When it comes to these iteratively improving patches, the change-lists can bleed into one big mass of "everything is better this time, again". Patch 9 for Total War: Rome 2 targets improvements to "performance, unit behaviours, unit balancing and much more," which seems suspiciously familiar to the summary of every patch that came before. Skim over the lengthy details, though, and you'll see that this is a substantial and wide-ranging update.

There are plenty of performance updates, targeting campaign performance and battle-screen framerates. The AI has received plenty of tweaks too, with pathfinding and battle logic seemingly the focus of CA's tinkering. Also in the patch notes... well, a bit of everything really.


Age of Wonders III trailer shows rogues and their bearded dwarven succubi

Patrick Carlson at

At heart a two-faced schemer, Age of Wonders III's rogue leader class seems to attract the best kind of people. Demons, thieves, and killers are some of the resources on hand for players walking a darker path in Triumph Studios' upcoming turn-based strategy game. We get a glimpse of some of the rogue's more underhanded tactics in a new trailer introducing the class.


Oxide's engine tech demo throws thousands of starships into strategy battles

PC Gamer at

New independent studio Oxide Games wants to reshape the way strategy games are built. The five-man team—mostly ex-Civilization V developers—is building a new 64-bit 3D engine called Nitrous, with a focus on adding some technical muscle to new turn-based and real-time strategy games. The aim, according to the studio, is to help developers add massive scope to upcoming games.