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Slitherine Next 2022 – Releases and Updates

Slitherine has been very busy lately, their four hour “Slitherine Next 2022” livestream on December 13 covered a lot of ground including new and upcoming releases, plus some updates to their current games. There is even more in the works than they covered here, so I’ll happily spruik my most anticipated title as an added bonus. Slitherine are renowned for releasing deeper games, so how could I do less than dig a little deeper when covering them? Each game has a timecode link to the discussion in the livestream so you can jump right into it.

First up is Master of Magic, the recently released remake of a 28-year-old classic covered here on Roundtable Co-Op to our great delight. This was a very faithful adaption of a classic that is a lot of fun to play in the modern day thanks to the combination of deep mechanics and asymmetric balancing that has been harder to find in modern games, and the fresh coat of paint really helps. There’s a fine line to draw between being faithful to its roots and updating it with more modern mechanics and they strode the line quite well imho, such as by going from square to hex based combat but not putting in a real time combat system.

Next up is new content for both Warhammer 40,000: Gladius and Battlesector – both are getting Adepta Sororitas, or Sisters of Battle expansions to provide more variety in gameplay to play as and play against. Purging heresy in the emperor’s name with holy flamers has never been so… hot. Obvious puns aside, seeing the sisters in Gladius and Battlesector are a great addition to two already solid strategy games, the grander scale Gladius and the more tactical scale Battlesector.

Still in Sci-Fi and hot, we have lava planets being added to Starship Troopers: Terran Command by The Aristocrats in a 2023 DLC – “It’s a Lava planet, a bug planet!” as our government news presenter might say. Previously reviewed here on Roundtable Co-Op, Starship Troopers was a fairly solid RTS but needed a little more to make it great.  The roadmap shows substantial effort being put into the game with multiple free content updates and 2 paid DLC in the first year.  The setting really does deserve the best so it’s good to see the game getting extensive support like this.

Referred to only briefly in the livestream was the upcoming in-house project Stargate: Timekeepers. Any fellow fan of the series should also be keen on this story based tactical game.

The last of the Sci-Fi goodness is coverage of the much-needed love Distant Worlds 2 has been receiving from Code Force. I’ve been having trouble sticking with this game despite there being so god damn much to love in it, the patches highlighted in the Slitherine Next video show that it’s definitely worth giving another shot. I’ll try to get a “state of the game” review done, seeing how it is 9-months after release, but I’ve been following the updates and have seen a lot of good fixes, changes, improvements and additions so I’m very hopeful.

Moving onto historical violence we have Ancient Arenas Chariots being developed in-house by Slitherine. This tightly focused game will allow you to customize your own chariot (I’m already sold) and race it in arenas around the ancient Mediterranean.  Consisting of a mix of top down and 3d view in a turn-based format, the game looks to be very strategic while also trying to maintain a faster pace.  A very interesting niche you don’t see developers try to fill.

Field of Glory: Kingdoms by AGEOD is the follow up to Field of Glory: Empires. The game features asynchronous multiplayer, more factions than the previous game and Field of Glory II: Medieval integration. This is a very niche game with very niche features and it’s one of the things I love about Slitherine, that they’re willing to push games like this that appeal to smaller audiences.

Further on the horizon and not covered in the stream, but still in the historical violence category is the amazing looking Rule the Waves III developed by Matrix Games, makers of the most ludicrous(ly amazing) game I’ve ever played, Command: Modern Operations.  I’m very much looking forward to getting my mitts on this, especially given the letdown of Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts which is the only other game to try letting us design our own old warships recently. I’m hopeful that the lower (but still more than ample) graphical level will allow a deeper and more refined product that we can really sink our teeth into.

Also in this era we have Headquarters WW2 from Starni Games, a turn based tactical strategy game with several campaigns and skirmishes set during the Battle of Normandy campaign. Of particular interest to me is the troop management where you keep your troops between battles and level them up and even the crew members inside vehicles are tracked (I’ll stop with the puns I swear…). There’s not much info yet, but it looks worth keeping an eye on especially as Starni Games’ Strategic Mind series of turn based tactical strategy games were very well received.

To round out the upcoming releases we return to the modern day which has been quite exciting lately itself and thankfully Slitherine has that covered too with Broken Arrow. A term referring to an accident that involves nuclear weapons or nuclear weapons components but does not create the risk of nuclear war, with the USMC vs. Russia and it looks glorious. We’ve had a number of games in the large scale real-time tactical strategy genre, but they’ve been quite flawed. Here’s hoping Steel Balalaika and Slitherine can bring a better result, units phasing through buildings has really held me back from enjoying similar scale games like Regiments. Broken Arrow will feature the most modern technology, plus older long retired stuff like the M60 tank and experimental tech that never saw largescale production or even the drawing board, duking it out on very large, detailed maps with substantial unit customization.

Slitherine has been pushing out a steady stream of hits lately, and it looks like we’re in for a very good 2023 too. Now if you’ll excuse me, this high human has had enough of the high road, it’s time to go low – almost as low as you can go. To about dwarf height actually. Some knife ears are long overdue for a genocide in Masters of Magic, and I know just the race to make it happen.


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