Faithful poster and contributor Darth Roxor got a chance to play Warhammer 40k: Armageddon. He was so moved by the content of it that he felt the need to write up a review.
At first glance, Armageddon looks like your typical Panzer General game. You have your hexes, your multitude of units in squads of various types and sizes, a top-down view on the strategic map, etc. But the game also brings some additions to the formula, and I honestly can’t say that any of them are very good.
Perhaps the biggest difference, which also influences a lot of further negative aspects of the game, is the lack of the soft/hard target distinction for units. Everything just has a single defensive value simply called “armour”, which is also why the overall damage model is different as well. To do any harm, an attacker’s weapon must cause more damage than the armour value of the defender – the damage roll has many factors to it, such as the cover level of the enemy, the line of sight obstruction provided by certain hexes, the unit’s inherent accuracy, the loss of accuracy per tile, the armour piercing value of the weapon and the amount of shots a unit fires when it attacks. There are a lot of somewhat vague variables at work here, and they lead to a ton of rather unnecessary randomness that can influence the attack roll in both ways and lead to hilariously unexpected results.
Gearbox's Remastered verision of Homeworld 1 & 2 is due to be released on February 25th. This version updates the games to allow for easier installation on modern operatings systems and includes some graphical improvements.
As for the field of battle itself, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the AI is a giant leap forwards from the rather predictable opponents offered up by previous Total War titles, (it still prefers the mass forward rush) but there’s definitely been some improvement. Siege battles in particular work well, with the computer army willing to search out weaknesses and gaps in your defences, and apply the correct units to those situations. The ability to set up barricades to block off vulnerable zones gives a welcome extra level of strategy to city fighting, while added graphical bells and whistles such as dynamic fires caused by errant flame arrows and plumes of smoke and dust from shattered fortifications give the chaos impressive cinematic sheen.
On the campaign map dealings with opposing factions are far less head-bangingly frustrating as they were in Rome 2. Diplomacy is far less arbitrary, and although the vultures are quick to circle as soon as you leave yourself in any way vulnerable, you don’t get the level of constant, enthusiastic yet pointless betrayal that blighted the previous game. Alliances can even stick this time around. As the Saxons, I had a healthy trading partnership and military alliance with the neighbouring Jutes, which persisted nicely through forty turns of gameplay. They even helped me out in a couple of nasty scraps. It would be nice if this continues going forwards; previous Total War games have wasted time developing in-depth diplomacy mechanics only to have every single faction stab you in the back at the earliest opportunity.
Keen Software House, the developers behind Space Engineers, has announced the new game in their Engineers series, Medieval Engineers.
About Medieval Engineers
Medieval Engineers is our second game about engineering and construction. The first one was Space Engineers and it is still doing very well.
Medieval Engineers is inspired by real medieval technology and the way people built architectural works and mechanical equipment using medieval technology. Medieval Engineers strives to follow the laws of physics and real history and doesn't use technologies that were not available in the 5th to 15th century. Players build cities, castles and fortifications; construct mechanical devices and engines; perform landscaping and underground mining.
Medieval Engineers brings three major upgrades to our VRAGE engine: structural integrity, natural landscape and Physically Based Rendering.
That Which Sleeps has had another update on its Kickstarter. Most of it goes over the current development process, but a new Agent is revealed and some new features regarding coastal towns.
Development Progress Map, Map, Map - the map has remained the priority since our last update. After nailing down the technical specs we began a back and forth with our artists to generate the kind of cartographic aesthetic that the game demands - after some miscommunications we decided that having an integrated Map Editor tool was definitely a necessity to ensure that the map stayed on track and came out looking the way we wanted it to. While working with the artists we also made a lot of progress on the necessary overhauls for the eventual integration of the stretch goals, allowing us to begin the laborious process of updating the many data types that got modified.
The Good - A Map Editor soon to be released which has a robust set of features for sharing your creations with fellow map makers. We continue to increase the flexibility of the engine when it comes to dynamic terrain generation and the additional functionality promises new fiendish ways to bring about your return. We've integrated several of the stretch goal features that are related to dynamic generation and are three weeks ahead of schedule with our coding timeline. Event Assets and GUI Assets are starting to come in on schedule.
The Bad - Map Assets are four weeks behind schedule, resulting in a significant delay to the Map Editor. The decision to tie the scenario viewer to the new map engine lead to a resulting delay as well, meaning we still don't have beta usersreviewing assets though we are at critical decision points. Unit Assets have yet to start coming in which are the highest priority after the map.
All in all things are looking good - the quality of what we're receiving is very high and though the delays to the map have been stressful the results have been increasingly rewarding. The map is taking a large percentage of our time but it is where you spend 95% of your time in the game, making sure we capture the feel and functionality properly is worth the extra effort. The March Beta timeline is on track.