2019 End of Year Update – Part One

Hi All,

Looking over the past year, we have been a little ‘irregular’ in keeping you up to date with what we’ve been working on. To remedy that we’re going to give a year-end update spread over the next couple of blog posts. Today’s post will cover updates and upgrades.

Looking back at what has been achieved this year has been pretty crazy. Working closely with the John Tiller Software (JTS) team, it was decided to update the whole of John’s catalog with improvements to code, graphics and where possible new content.

This process was started back in December 2017 with the first Panzer Campaigns Gold release for Smolensk ’41. All the Eastern Front games were well advanced, and those titles were all updated by March 2018.

The first round of Civil War Battles updates was also released in June 2018 with three titles bought onto the newly released Campaign Petersburg code base. New features included all new hand painted maps, 3D units and an overall graphical improvement.

We had a hiatus for the remainder of 2018 as the focus moved to new titles with Panzer Battles North Africa 1941, Japan ’45 and the massively expanded France ’40 taking precedence.

With the end of 2018 and the release of the latest Panzer Battles title behind us we were able to focus on getting further upgrades out again. Wargame Design Studio (WDS) focused on Panzer Campaigns, Panzer Battles and the Civil War Battles set. Rich Hamilton at JTS coordinated the remaining game series.

At WDS we managed to release the remaining ten Western and Mediterranean Panzer Campaign titles updated to Gold status. There were also ten Civil War Battle titles to be updated and all have now been released. A lot of credit to the Old Banshee team led by Frank Mullins for the huge effort required to update all the artwork. Another unsung hero was John Ferry who volunteered to (without truly knowing!) update every order of battle in every game to allow the new regimental artwork to appear in all its glory. The WDS team also managed to update all four (including the Demo) of the Panzer Battles titles with all the new features that were included in North Africa as well as new content.

The JTS team have not languished this year either. In just the last month, updates for the Early American Wars and Squad Battles series have been released.

Early American Wars saw all four games; Campaign 1776, The War of 1812, The French & Indian Wars and Mexican American War receive a complete overhaul. A lot of new content was added including new scenarios, code changes, new 2D graphics by Christopher Osterlund as well as Frank Mullin’s painted 3D maps.

Below are a few in game shots (all following shots can be clicked for full size);

Squad Battles was a huge undertaking with all sixteen (!!) titles updated at once. Mike Amos did sterling work upgrading all the 2D & 3D graphics as well as including Ed Pacito (Richie61) top down artwork. This was all a huge amount of work considering the breadth of periods these games cover.

Here is a selection of shots from a few games;

You can get all the aforementioned updates including the newly released Early American Wars and Squad Battles updates from the JTS site here; JTS Updates Link

Looking forward, there will hopefully be one more series updated before the end of the year. The WDS team have been hard at work bringing the five games in the Modern Campaign series up to the same standard as the Panzer Campaigns Gold releases. Like the Gold releases it’s intended to include all Volcano man scenario packages, rules changes from Panzer Campaigns as well as updated map and unit graphics.

The graphics update has been another big job, as none of the various images had been created before due to our prior ‘narrow’ focus on World War 2. Though only five titles, we have three different theaters to cover; Europe, the Middle East and Korea with different protagonists. This has expanded the required artwork and has been one of the biggest time sinks.

Currently two games, Korea ’85 & North German Plain ‘85 are completed, and this is what will be included in each update;

Korea ’85 has all new 2D and 3D graphics, unit cards and updated game interface. The scenarios included are the original base game as well as the Chinese intervention expansion pack bringing the scenario count to 155. We’re very happy with how this update has come together and here are some sample screenshots of the map and various units;

Here are the unit cards for the North Koreans, Chinese and South Koreans. I am trialing using a black and white background that is coloured when selected. Examples are below. Kudos to Jison from whom I stole the idea! Please note that this is all work in progress and there may be some changes before release;

North German Plain ’85 (NGP ’85) has been completed before Fulda Gap ’85 and Danube Front ’85 as it will provide a lot of graphical content for those titles. NGP ’85 includes the base game, the two official expansion packs including AFNorth and Berlin as well as the ‘Ich bin ein Berliner Campaign’ by David Gillies (Sgt Fury). Like Korea ’85 here are some screenshots and unit images;

Here are the American troops (again with the black and white and an example selected unit);

Here are some 'minor' NATO partners, Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands. France is also shown (it was not part of NATO);

The British and West Germans are well represented;

And finally the Warsaw Pact troops, with East Germany, Poland as well as the Soviets;

The remaining three games are currently being worked on. One thing that people will hopefully be happy with is that we have permission to include Aaron Vandenberg’s (Tazaaron) Bolt from the Blue mod for Danube ’85. This is probably one of the most heavily played scenarios in the Modern Campaigns series and we will be very happy to include the latest 5.3 version.

All going well, the Modern Campaign updates should be out by the end of the year.

In our next blog post we plan to preview some of the new titles were currently working on.

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