A is for Alphabetised wargame, sim, and site news. Now and again, assuming I can persuade Austerity’s Blackburn Cirrus Bombardier engine to perform the miracle of internal combustion, I spend a day or two scouring Simulatia and Grognardia for stories with the potential to fascinate, startle, cheer, dismay or amuse. Those stories are then dehydrated, alphabetised and delivered, via articles like this one, to people who’ve got better things to do than plough through puff and platitudes.

B is for Bally promising

Sometimes it feels like devs/publishers add an extra D to a beloved 2D wargaming series, not because it needs it, but because they can. Armored Brigade strikes me (and Veitikka Studios and Slitherine, happily) as one of those titles where an additional dimension would really earn its keep, especially when combined with the clean textures and simple lighting visible in the above vid. AB2 just shot into my Top 5 Most Wanted Games with the vigour of an explosion-tossed T-72 turret.

C is for Condor 3 fairly imminent

A sequel to what is generally considered the PC’s most realistic gliding sim is less than six months away. Condor 3 screenshots have yet to escape into the wild, but judging by the predicted 500% increase in HD footprint (I think I’m right in saying the Slovenian venue won’t be larger) they should be easy to distinguish from these when they finally appear. As Chris Wedgwood from the Condor Team explains in the above interview, weather and thermals are one of the areas where non-graphical progress should be most obvious.

D is for Don’t judge a boat sim by its graphics

Free Nautis alternative, Bridge Command, the only simulation I know of that comes with pdf tide tables, has gained some interesting features in recent months. Although the visuals remain as archaic as ever and the new towing and ‘hull nudging’ capabilities are restricted to multiplayer, solo users can now take to the water in a tug fitted with azimuth thrusters.

E is for Egyptian expedition

How many War and Peace customers will be nostalgic fifty- and sixty-somethings, I wonder. Based on a respected 1980 analogue wargame revamped in 2020, this new Napoleonic offering has attracted some criticism for launching without an AI capable of playing all thirteen of its scenarios/campaigns (work on expanding the solo-able selection is ongoing), but most early adopters seem content. My first foray, a clumsily orchestrated Egyptian invasion, took place last night and is unlikely to be my last. I’m already warming to the game’s wiriness, pace, and aesthetics.

F is for Foxer full?

Last week, using cunning meteorological manipulation, Cornerite a_monk managed to pack an astonishing 86 Airspeed Horsas into the LZ pictured above. Roman suspects this is the location’s maximum capacity. Is he right?

G is for Gundam game

Unusually, I don’t have a retro shooter on the go at present. Instead I’m gunning, missiling, and smiting my way through the five-mission Gearbits demo. An indie third-person shooter in which your customisable clodhopper can take to the sky for short periods or glide around close to the ground, it’s well worth a try if you enjoy diversions with quirky movement mechanics, abundant targets, and varied missions.

I is for Italian instalment

The latest instalment of Combat Mission to trundle from the TARDIS-like LST we call Steam powered one of my favourite play-by-comment CM games. Hands up who remembers the time Colonel ‘Croesus’ Cresswell (Robert Duvall) led a “ragtag band of Allied treasure hunters, deserters, and lotus eaters” deep into the hollowed-out heart of Mount Montaretto.

M is for My most exciting gaming moment of the week

If you’re an ordinary football fan, the news that your team has just suffered a 6-0 league defeat, generates downheartedness and probably a dash of shock. If you’re a Das Football Boot player (It’s not too late to join this season’s wolfpack) such news produces genuine fear. The team rolling the dice for U-53 (my DFB Type VII) this year, Eastleigh FC, were thoroughly trounced last Saturday. As I’d entered this home match with a cocky Caution setting of 0 all six conceded goals qualified as potentially fatal depth charge attacks. I checked Gateshead’s score times (these determine whether you’ve been damaged) with heart in mouth…

…And breathed an audible sigh of relief when I realised that, though Coastal Command Liberators had dropped dustbins o’ doom either side of us, none had detonated sufficiently close to split our pressure hull.

P is for Portugal 1922

I wonder if Alcock and Brown are as obscure in Portugal as Coutinho and Cabral are in the UK? The first men to fly across the South Atlantic don’t have a game dedicated to their epic endeavour yet. However they do have Jorge Rosa’s Portugal 1922, a free game-adjacent learn-em-up incorporating some nicely made models and animations.

Q is for Quick tea card

Appropriately, Roald Amundsen appears in Brooke Bond’s 1973 set ‘Adventurer’s & Explorers’ a card before his rival Robert Scott shows up. The famous Norwegian pole conqueror was living in a pretty cottage near Oslo at the time of his 1928 disappearance. That cottage, now converted into a museum, can be explored by anyone with a VR headset thanks to super Steam freebie Roald Amundsen’s House.

R is for Rise of the White Sun competition

Warlord Era TBS Rise of the White Sun exits Early Access in less than a week. To mark the occasion Maestro Cinetik has given me three Steam activation codes to give away. “Give away!” I snorted “Not on your Nelly! Cornerites expect to work for their freebies”. The RotWS screenshot above and this one look, at first glance, identical, but actually aren’t. Send me (tim at tallyhocorner.com) a list of the eight differences and I’ll put your name into the virtual hat from which I’ll pick the code winners on Monday.

(((Competition now over. The codes went to Cornerites with email addresses beginning hs, ri, and dw)))

S is for Shadow Gambit is Mimimi’s swansong

Like many I was saddened to read that Mimimi are calling it a day. Dominik and Johannes cite inadequate revenues and young families as the main reasons they are winding up the studio that gave us the superb Shadow Tactics, brilliant Desperados 3, and adjective-TBC* Shadow Gambit. Grumbling about devs prioritising their kids and partners would be grotesque, but a little bit of me wonders if Mimimi would have earned far more moulah from a Commandos-4-in-all-but-name than a stealth tactics title with undead buccaneers at its core.

* I’ve not tried it yet.

V is for Valorous volunteer sought…

…to install and play Glorious Storm’s demo, then share their impressions here. The concept – fictional Napoleonic real-time battles sparked by forces colliding on a simple strat map – catches the eye, but the trailer makes the AI look rather wooden.

X is for Xpect to lose lots of Shermans

“Brilliant! I am loving it!”, “Great fun. More please!”, “You have a lifelong customer”… Added at the tail-end of August, The Troop’s first campaign seems to have hit the spot. Inspired by the exploits of the decidedly THC 8th Armoured Brigade, it puts the player in command of a “persistent battlegroup of units that improve in ability as they gain experience”. The real 8th Armoured Brigade faced seriously stiff opposition in Normandy (During 25 days of combat they KOed around 86 German tanks and SPGs at a cost of 124 of their own tanks), and, from what I hear, the campaign isn’t afraid of reflecting this.


  1. I didn’t spot a Download Demo button on Glorious Storm’s Steam page; perhaps it was only available during the Steam Strategy Fest.
    Nevertheless, I was able to get it via SteamDB (1.4GB download for 4.4GB of diskspace):
    The Install button is in the top right – it should launch Steam and begin the download. A useful site, SteamDB sometimes has working links to demos that aren’t available on games’ Steam pages.

    • itch.io-grade tech demo at the moment: no readme or manual to tell you what to do; only setting is for master volume.

      I suspect it’s intended for Azerty keyboards; camera movement:
      Z – forwards, S – back, Q – left, D – right
      (so if you’re used to WASD, only back and right work as expected; no option to change)

      • Needs at least one, probably two, thorough goings-over in terms of bug-fixing and user friendliness to be worth trying as a demo. (Current demo reports itself as v1.4, which seems to be the last update from early September).
        My first run yesterday to check that it worked and figure out some of the camera controls took 3 minutes. I later completed my first battle and, despite only having guesswork on my part, fairly comfortably turned around an inept start to win. Total time played: 19 minutes.

        The above camera controls for the 3d view are all I’ve discovered so far: I can’t turn it, pitch it, or raise it from the ground. Accordingly, I pressed the change viewpoint text and, after some hiccups, got a top-down view with units represented by icons.
        There is a unit-purchase box overlaid on your starting position – THIS NEVER DISAPPEARED; even after spending all the money I couldn’t click on units hidden beneath the ‘Buy Infantry’ or ‘Buy Cavalry’ buttons!

        Your starting cashpile is 5000 thaler; IIRC infantry cost 100, cavalry 300 and cannons 500. I bought mostly cavalry, some infantry and a cannon; I’ve no idea if there’s a unit limit as the bottom of the screen fills up with IR (infantry regiment) and CR (cavalry regiment) squares.

        While I’m figuring this out, the AI spits out a load of units and sends its’ formations to pen me in my ninth of the map (it’s not a large area). They don’t assault my starting zone, which is in the lower right. A couple of enemy units manouvre around my right, and I can send enough to outnumber them: left click to select, right click-and-drag to move and orient.

        The force I sent gets massacred; time to try a few buttons in the bottom-right panel. Henceforth units engaging the enemy will be in line formation. Pressing the muskets icon seems to make infantry units fire, a blue bar on the right of the unit icon refills to presumably indicate reloading.

        I commit another gaggle of units to my right. A couple of volleys decimates the enemy. Then I move cavalry units on top of the remaining enemies and mash the crossed sabres icon.

        Then it’s rinse and repeat as I sweep across the enemy from right to left. I think the opponent bought 4 cannon at the start and parked them in front of his general. My guess is that they used up their ammunition and wandered off. After the slaughter, I have 50-odd men remaining across several units to his 21. He does give me a bit of a run-around and manages to repel a couple of charges, but eventually numbers tell: victory, meh.

  2. Ouch! A potentially wallet-damaging instance of A2Z…To my shame I do not own CMFI but a Steam release allows me to rectify that. I somewhat bounced off Armored Brigade, despite really liking the idea – maybe the move to 3D is what I need to appreciate it better. And lastly, I have Condor 2, but am a sucker for updated weather modelling, so that will probs be a purchase too.

  3. I’ve gotten a ton of fun out of Armored Brigade. Hopefully the 3D move doesn’t impact the ease of modding—I believe there’s a pretty solid WW2 mod out there, and I did some mapping myself.

  4. Shadow Gambit: Cursed crew has a demo on steam. It is the tutorial and three missions iirc.
    It is, once again, great. But perhaps the easiest and most approachable one from mimimi. Ideal start point for fence sitters.

    • The news of Mimimi packing up… I feel like I should apologize to them for waiting to buy and play. Had I known… and it is of course obvious that buying earlier and at higher price is better for the producer… I had no doubts, their kind of game was what I wanted more of, but I was happy to see someone making these games, making them well, and I took it for granted. “They’ll be around,” I thought.

  5. Very excited to see Armored Brigade 2. Was very interested to try the first one, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet. I wonder how much of the existing TOO and map can be drag and dropped into the new one.

    I also laughed when I read the “3d just because they can” line and made a bet with myself that it was Close Combat before I hit the link.

    I do love CMFI. I think it has the most interesting balance of armored vehicles: Italians with captured pre-war tanks, Americans with halftrack tank destroyers, Luftwaffe with late-model close support Pz IIIs, and a host of highly inaccurate, slow, but massive artillery pieces (including naval guns). Plus the long sight lines of the maps really encourage careful scouting and getting a view from the ground.

    • AB1 is absolutely worth some time. The elevation maps are pretty high-resolution (10m x 10m or 30m x 30m, I forget), so you’ll have to spend significant time in the ‘what can I see from here’ map mode, or using the Command Ops-style drag-a-line-to-see-terrain profile tool, to develop a sense for the undulations of the map.

      Once you get past that, it’s an engaging experience.

      • Even if I haven´t touched AB1 for a while, I would second this. But not allowing to re-configure controls was a grave mistake. I don´t remember what key binding bugged me exactly, but I distinctly remember it was annoying. The LOS tool, maybe.

        That being said, I liked the game a lot. The scenario editor was powerful and easy to use, too. The tug-of-war `campaign` mode on historically accurate terrain was an interesting idea, but I also created a couple of scenarios on my own, which were only narratively connected and not mechanically. If I had a wish, the option to create a Panzer General-like campaign, with a classic true/false tree with units or just requisition points carrying over and giving players a way the share them, would be on the top of my list.

        As it was, stand-alone scenarios had to suffice to tell the story of a pre-emptive russian strike by land and sea to prevent Finland´s allegedly immenent accession to NATO.
        That did not age so well, I´d say.

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