Holiday Shopping Guide 2011: PC Wargames
The list for historical wargamers sure to make their holidays bright … with firefights.
Since you’re reading this on Armchair General, chances are you’re probably interested in in wargames or have someone on your gift list who is. There are dozens of great wargames published every year and the difficult part is deciding what not to buy. They run the gamut from small-scale tactical games in which players command just a few squads to globe-spanning grand strategy games where players command the fate of nations. Turn-based or real-time, ancient history to modern warfare to, yes, sci-fi and fantasy—if you can imagine it as a wargame, it likely has been done. Here are a few intriguing selections from this year’s offerings.
Beer & Pretzels games are a staple of wargaming. Light games intended to be fun and not overly complex, they sometimes scratch an itch when nothing else can. Shrapnel Games’ World Supremacy (read our review here) is a game designed to be fast and fun, but more than that, it was designed to be moddable. Several mods have already been created and it’s not unreasonable to expect more in the future. Fast and fun, it’s a good time without all the complexities of diplomacy or logistics. Players build armies and fight. Sometimes that’s all a gamer wants.
Games covering World War One can be found, but they aren’t as common as history buffs of the period would like. At the start of the year Battlefront.com released Strategic Command: World War One (read our review here) and if you’re looking to give a game that covers the period, look no further.
Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy
Truly a thinking-player’s wargame. The return of the Combat Mission series to the battlefields of World War II France after a few modern-era games for CM was welcome news to long-time fans. If you’re not familiar with the game, check out this first-in-a-series video of tactics within it, presented by Armchair General.
King Arthur: Fallen Collection (read our review here) is a fantasy-themed strategy game set during the time of King Arthur. Mixing Arthurian legends with solid role-play and strategy, the game allows players to game both small tactical skirmishes to large strategic ones.
Slitherine Ltd recently released Panzer Corps (read our review here), a remake of the classic Panzer General. Panzer Corps is a great introductory game for newcomers to the wargaming genre, and it is a nice, light wargame for players seeking a diversion from more complex games.
Fans of John Tiller will immediately recognize his name. He is well known in the wargaming community as a prolific creator of many classic titles. His most recently release in the Panzer Campaigns series, Tunisia ’43 (read our review here), unfolds in the deserts of North Africa as the name implies. Rommel is sandwiched between the inexperienced Americans in the west and the weary British in Egypt, as they slowly grind away at the Afrika Korps. Tunisia ’43 is a classic wargame where the emphasis is not on graphics but on the underlying gameplay and historical accuracy of maps, units, and combat power.