There are people of a certain kind who will play any game which is set in World War 2 and has hexagons at least once. I am one of them. Thus it is with excitement I tell you that Second Front, a tactical, turn-based WW2 strategy wargame from studio Hexdraw and publisher Microprose, will release on January 31, 2023.
Second Front will feature a laundry list of the best stuff in this genre, but emphasizes a competitive AI combined with a strong scenario builder. The AI is to be emergent, allowing it to adapt to player actions rather than to be set for any given scenario. Second Front will also focus on breadth of units, with 40-some infantry units of unique tactical function and 216 pieces of equipment from tanks and vehicles to mortars, anti-tank guns, and flamethrowers. It'll launch with American, German, and Russian forces.
That might surprise you, because this one has flown mostly under the radar, but it has been in development since 2018, and is one of the revived MicroProse's first-announced titles. Suffice to say it's the kind of game for fans of Advanced Squad Leader, with a delightfully big manual already on Steam.
Second Front will have 48 distinct scenarios included, with famous fights like "the Stalingrad Factory District, Borisov, and Korostychiv." But it's really selling the scenario editor. "Second Front includes an editor to not only create and share custom maps but also complete campaigns. Players can then share their creations with the steam community - making Second Front an infinite tactical sandbox experience," says the developer.
The devs are definitely focused on that depth of customizability and historical fidelity. One screenshot shows some 25 types of American tanks alone. It's also modelling ballistics and shots, sure, but also interesting mechanics like unit fatique over time and a variety of destructible terrain.
Second Front will be on Steam for its January 31, 2023 release. Post-release updates will add multi-turret tanks and vehicles alongside radio equipment for squads. You can find out more on Hexdraw's Second Front website.
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Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.