CivFanatics turn based strategy/4X Preview 2012

A new year has arrived. And now we're sitting here, asking ourselves what we can expect from it. We know, definitely not the next Civilization part. But what else? What does the year 2012 offer in the area of turn based and 4X strategy? This preview here should give you a short overview about everything which will be relevant this year. We hope you enjoy reading it :grinning: .
Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai

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Like every part of the “Total War” series, also the latest part will get a (stand alone) expansion, called “Fall of the Samurai”.

Unlike the expansion for the first Shogun title, it’s not centered around the invasion of the Khans, but is placed later in the timeline, around the end of the 19th century.

So the title is also meaningful, Fall of the Samurai is about the end of the traditional Japanese warfare, and will introduce more western technology into the Shogun universe. To be specific, firearms and artillery is mainly meant. Also other new features like railroads, harbor besiegement and interactions with close armies, which are not involved in the battles, will be introduced. Else you can expect the usual things needed for an expansion: A historically accurate map with the shogunate supporting and imperial clans of this time, intruding western empires, new models, and an enlarged map.

We don’t know yet, if the change from swords to firearms will be as interesting as the base game, but we’ll see somewhen in 2012 (no release date announced yet).

Homepage

Announcement at PCGamer

Discussion thread at TWCenter

Discussion thread at TotalWar.org

Our own discussion thread at CFC

Victoria 2: A House Divided

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Last year Paradox Interactive announced the add-on ?A House Divided? for its game Victoria 2. A

House Divided focuses on The American Civil War and the events leading up to it, the add-on features a new start date 1861, to go along with the original 1836 starting point. Many new game play features other than the simple change of politics and borders have been added. These include. The ability to manufacture wars with other nations, new ways to civilize and become an equal match to the European Nations, invest in other nations to increase their ties with you, a deeper political system with new national focus options and new political reforms, and A new system of popular movements that can be appeased or suppressed, but if ignored, will become the revolutionaries of tomorrow. This game is slated for release January 24th, 2012, though Paradox has said that this date may change.

Homepage

Developer diary at ParadoxPlaza

Preview from the E3 at ParadoxPlaza

King Arthur II

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The King Arthur series is basically Total War in medieval Britain with some fantasy and role play elements. You’re playing the patron saint of the series, trying to defend your empire against evil fantasy creatures, which are invading Britain. Due to the fantasy component of this game, you’ll also be able to command flying units like demons in the battles, and you are also able to perform magic spells on the fields. There is also a strategic point there, because spells require some time to cast and the magicians can be interrupted, so you might want to hurry if you see your enemy beginning with one.

The magicians again might not necessarily be normal units. The role play part of the game leads to special characters like the Knights of the Roundtable on the battle fields.

If a fight is over, there are sure also several things to do on the campain map. There is a background story, diplomacy elements, and troops have to be recruited.

You’ll soon be able to see how this plays, because the game will be released on January, 10th.

Overview at ParadoxPlaza

Preview at IGN

Preview at Gamespot

Preview at Destructoid

Crusader Kings II

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Crusader Kings II is a real time, pausable, map and character grand strategy game with RPG elements by Paradox Interactive set during the middle ages. Unlike many grand strategy games where you are leading a nation to great conquests, Crusader Kings is about creating a powerful and lasting feudal dynasty. As such it has a strong focus upon individual characters and you play as the current living leading member of your dynasty.

There are thousands of characters in the game including many historical people, their spouses, children, extended family members, generals, courtiers, councilors, priests and others.

Each character has their own strengths and flaws in the form of traits and stats, which can make them invaluable members of your royal council or a bastard offspring to pawn off to a safe appoint to a prestigious position in the Church. The stats of the parents affect those of their offspring and marrying well genetically is as important as marrying to create alliances and gain more titles and land. You can also name your own children when they are born. Every character also has their own ambitions which can range from wanting to get rich, marry well, to usurping their liege or murdering a family member.

Relations between countries has been replaced with relations between characters. If the actions of your dynasty have managed to sufficiently anger another character, he may declare war upon you or at least plot against you. Characters with positive relations to each other will be more likely to come to their aid or support their heir when the father dies.

As a Lord of any rank (you can start the game with various ranks, such as Count, Duke or King) you will have your council of advisors (which you have complete control over) who act as agents who can aid in various matters such as the construction of regional buildings, spying, technological research, military training and religion.

War in Crusader Kings II will work differently than in other Paradox games, with dice rolls being replaced by tactical decisions made by commanders. A commander of a higher martial stat will access to more tactics and be more effective. Your army will form into three groups, the left and right flanks and center groups. Depending upon the troop composition you may want to balance out your forces yourself (each type of unit has its own strengths and weaknesses, archers are good at range but poor in melee, etc). In order to seize an enemy province, you must first lay siege to the castle and starve or assault the defenders out.

As per the title of the game, the crusades are featured in the game as well. The Christian lords of Europe always have a Casus Belli (justification for war) against the heathens, pagans and heretics and while they can go a crusading at anytime, there is even more prestige (and possibly safety) to be gained by joining a crusade started by a religious leader (such, but not limited too, the Pope). However, holding lands gained in a crusade will not always be easy as the Muslims have their own holy war mechanic. Your vassals will also want to join you on the crusade, and sending a troublesome lord on crusade may be a good way of improving relations, or removing him as a threat.

As with Paradox’s other games, CKII will be highly moddable and offers many customization options for the message system.

For more information and discussion about Crusader Kings II you can check out the Developer Diary’s, Official Website, and the CKII thread here on CFC. The release date is scheduled for Febuary 7th, 2012.

Dragon Commander

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Dragon Commander is a spin off of a well known series, of Divinity.

Some of you might now remember: That’s a RPG series. Divine Divinity and Beyond Divinity were Diablo like hack 'n slays, wheres Divinity II was a third person RPG from 2009.

So, what are the developers now trying to do with this series? From the official descriptions the usual TBS gamer will come up with one sentence: Steampunk Total War with aerial dragon fights! The world of divinity is a steampunk fantasy world, and the story in the latest RPG was mainly about the mystical dragon knights, humans which can transform into dragons. On this world, a strategical turn based map is applied, and will somehow be mixed with a background story and roleplay elements.

The battles in contrast will be real time, and as it seems they will be sky battles, due to the dragons as one of the main elements in the series, and will be fought against flying fortresses and zeppelins. The battle as dragon should also be familiar to some players, because it was already possible in Divinity 2 and is so an element, which is also not totally new to the developers. There are also special abilities related to the dragon form, like a fire breath, or a disastrous dragon scream.

But also the strategic elements will not be neglected, as things like advisors, tech research and many different factions like undead and dwarfes are planned.

You’ll be able to form alliances between different factions with marriages between you and a princess. It seems that a marriage will here not be forever and eternal, but rather a temporary construct, just for diplomacy, and that you’ll be able to change your bride multiple times ingame.

While not many specific things are known about this game yet, it’s definitely one of the possible highlights in the TBS genre next year, depending on how battle and strategy elements will be balanced.

Release is currently scheduled for the second half of 2012.

Official Dragon Commander homepage

Preview at RockPaperShotgun

Preview at GameInformer

Preview at GBase (german)

Spaceforce Constellations

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This game has not received any real media coverage yet, so it’s a real insider’s tip.

As a space 4X game, most people will not probably first thing of Master Of Orion. While sure in general true, the description overall will some people more remind of some other games: Disciples I and II (as shallow description: Heroes of Might and Magic clone). The parallels are obvious.

You fight your space battles on a separate battle map, on which you and your opponent place each six ships, two rows of three, the “melee” ships (laser) on the front, the “ranged” ships (missiles) and support ships (repair) in the back, and every ship does its actions separately, until then one side has been destroyed. Ships earn experience points after combats, and might be upgraded to different levels.

On the strategical map, you can collect special crystals of different sorts, which allow you to perform special attacks on your opponents, and they might be needed for special game relevant quests.

And that’s currently everything which is known (besides that it looks great for a TBS game). While the Disciples series did not have a big building or diplomacy aspect, we can hope that this part will be much stronger for a 4X game. This game will probably not be a new MoO, but definitely something to consider for 2012.

A release date has not been announced yet.

Homepage, Gameplay, Features, Screenshots,

Legends Of Pegasus

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Another 4X game, with more media coverage, but with less known details.

It’s also Total War like, with a turn based strategy map, but with real time combats. You explore the universe, colonize planets, and build planetary and orbital structures. For the latter, even the position in the orbit should be of importance.

As many of the other games, it’s also driven by a background story, which reads like a mixture of Star Trek - Voyager and Battlestar Galactica: You’ve stranded in a far away part of the galaxy with only two ships, because a wormhole has sucked you in right before earth was destroyed. You’re not fighting the evil aliens and try to figure out what exactly happened.

The rest of this story is meant to be played in the first quarter of 2012.

Gamescom trailer

Preview at RockPaperShotgun

Preview at StrategyInfomer

Team Assault: Baptism of Fire

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And here we have another game, which tries to follow in the steps of some well known series. It sounds like a mixture of Jagged Alliance and Commandos: You are commanding a troop of soldiers on a tactical battle map in the second World War.

Like it is known from such games, every solder will have a custom personality with different abilities. Not everyone is able to use a sniper gun. And there will be sniper guns. And every other sort of gun. And their stats will matter. Every gun will be realistically detailed in the game, with values like penetration and range. So you can’t shoot over the whole map and pierce some armor.

But this is not the only think which will be realistic. Also the turn system will not be constant, but the ability to act will be determined by each soldiers initiative, a sort of morale, which can be heavily influenced by loss of team mates or their own health status.

While this sounds like a great opportunity for a “Save Private Ryan” scenario, the game will initially not come with a campaign, but only with skirmish and multiplayer modes.

We will have to see if this will be enough in the February 2012.

Homepage

Overview at the distributor

Press release of announcement at IGN

Preview at StrategyCore

Masters Of The Broken World

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And here we have another competitor for Kings Bounty in the area of fantasy heroes games.

In Masters Of The Broken World the name is program: You don’t conquer one world, but multiple ones.

Each of these worlds consists of a strategical hex map, and your ultimate goal there is to kick your opponent from this small space isle. You do it via conquering the enemies capital on this world shard, and this happens with battles on a tactical hex map, like you’re used to through the heroes games.

But unlike there, you don’t recruit masses of units, but every unit you see is a single one. And therefore the units matter. If you lose your troll, then you don’t have 998 others.

But battles are not the only thing which keeps you busy in this universe. You also have diplomacy with your 15 competitors, you have to manage your capitals and build new buildings there, and you can fulfill quests if you like. And again, these decisions matter. If you’re tending to the dark side in the quests, and you use many “evil” units, your empire will become dark. But if you’re good, and you use elves and fairies, you will have a light and glorious empire.

So, this game will probably have everything what a fantasy strategy gamer desires.

If this will be as addicting as Heroes, you’ll be able to see somewhen in 2012 (-> no release date announced).

Gamescom Trailer

Preview at Destructoid

Preview at RockPaperShotgun

Xenonauts

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Xenonauts is the game, for which everyone who liked the old XCOM games has been waiting for. So not a first person shooter, but again a turn based tactics game.

So this game is also about a secret alien invasion, shot down spaceships, and brave soldiers, who have to clean up the mess.

You’ll have to fight with your soldiers (again individuals, with strengths and weaknesses) on a tactical map agains the aliens, trying to get as much out of the broken mother ship as possible to guarantee that your technology will further advance.

This will not be easy, because the aliens are damn resistant, and you’ll really have to think about how to use your soldiers. Is a frontal attack really the best thing? Or should you maybe go anther way? You have to consider such things like the penetration ability of your weapons, the different strength of the armor at the front, sides and the back, and you have to take into account that the terrain can be destroyed.

It seems this game will allow some nice tactical battles. Which is needed to compensate that it really doesn’t look beautiful. But hey, that’s the part about which a strategy gamer cares at least, right :wink: ?

No release date has been announced yet, but people who’d like to support this game (it’s an independent developer) and preorder it will be able to play some development builds.

Homepage

First report at Kotaku

Preview at RockPaperShotgun

DevDiary at PCGamer

Jagged Alliance - Back In Action

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Now, this is a true classic, and one of the most expected games in the area of turn based strategy games. With the latest part being from the last millennium, it’s also probably one of the game with the longest waiting time around.

So what can we expect from the newest part?

Strangely not much new. Sometimes, when people talk about classics, they say something like “if they remade the game with new graphics, i would totally buy it.” And this seems to be happening here, it’s a remake of the second part. So you’re still leading your group of mercenaries to free the land Arulco from the illegitimate ruler Deidranna, who tried to kill her husband, the real king, in whose behalf you’re working now.

So far, so old, and so far, so good.

So, what’s new about the game? Sure, the graphics, nothing from the old games can be reused.

…and the combat system. The combat will not be anymore turn based, but rather a mixture of a real time and a turn based system. The developers say that it will allow to combine and coordinate actions between different mercenaries, so that e.g. one can back up another one during his actions. How this will exactly work can probably not yet be described properly. Let’s hope it will work good, because the combat system is critical for the success of this game. It can lead to one of the best remakes ever, or maybe to one of the biggest fails ever. We’ll hope for the former.

We’ll be able to check how it works in February 2012.

Homepage

Preview at RockPaperShotgun

Preview at Gamespot

Preview at Gamefront

Elemental: Fallen Enchantress

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Many people will probably know Elemental. It’s the turn based fantasy game from Stardock, which has been named as one of the potential Civ5 killers at its release.

Most of you will probably also remember, that this didn’t work and that it didn’t have the best start ever. And that as a result of this CFCs prime modder Kael was hired to lead the development of its expansion.

So, what has happened here in the last year? First, the expansion “Fallen Enchantress” will not really be an expansion, it’s a standalone, with Elemental as basis. So you don’t need the base game. But if you bought it in 2010, you’ll receive it for free, as a courtesy of Stardock for the not so brilliant start.

And content wise? A big overhaul. Many things will change. The whole game will become more interesting in different aspects. You will get more interesting things to explore, more to discover, and various dangerous and different monsters. More interesting combats, due to restrictions of your armies. An overhaul of the magic system, so that it matters more, is more powerful and offers more interesting choices in the spells. And the same for the different factions. More diversity. More diplomacy. More of everything. And you’ll now get a campaign. So you’ll not only have the free to play modus, where you work on your goal to conquer the world, but also another modus with a background story and specific goals and quests. And also here someone well known is working on that part, with Jon Shafer, Civ5s lead designer.

So, how does this sound at the end?

Not like an expansion, more like a new game.

It will be thrilling to see what happens with this game somewhen in 2012 (no release date announced yet).

Dev diary

Trailer at PCGamer

First details at PCGamer

Interview with Kael at RockPaperShotgun

Interview with Kael at Gamespot

Details in the Elemental forum

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Origineel Artikel: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=450528&goto=newpost