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.

14 thoughts on “2019 End of Year Update – Part One

  • Great news, i am curious about the Middle East title and if is going to receive some extra love.

    Could be great see a new MC title, i allways want see serie covering the war after a few weeks with more presence of 2nd and even 3rd line units with a more “dirty” fight and new allies in both sides… this or China invanding Japan hehehe.

    Cant wait to see what new titles are in waiting in the trench, maybe made a big buy is going to be excesive easy.

    Thanks for the info a good luck.

    • Hi Xaver,

      All the MC titles will be upgraded. I’m doing Middle East last as it really has unique graphics for units. There was some crossover in the other four titles but none in the Middle East title unfortunately.
      Unfortunately, we are not working on any other MC titles currently beyond these updates, but that said we hope they revive interest in what is a very good series of games.
      As mentioned, we will give more insight on what we’re working on currently in the next blog post.

      David

      • Yes, Middle east is a pain in the ass, you cant use art from other titles BUT at least if someday “Armored Battles” arrives you are going to have the art done for Europe, Asia and Middle east.

        MC is a serie with al ot potential but sometimes WWII is like a black hole and eats to much interest when we talk about armored combat.

        Next post is going to be very interesting cant wait to read it.

        Thanks for the info.

  • I just un-installed and re-installed all my PC titles to another PC hardware update. Took a long time, activating all those license keys! But well worth it, since all the PC titles are now GOLD!!! So how about my Japan ’45, when is it GOLD? Just kidding. Bad one, it already is.

    So really excited to see the GOLD magic being applied to my MC titles, of which I got them all of course! The work folks are doing for the old titles is spectacular and really have the PC (and now MC) user very grateful. Can’t say Thanks enough!

    Really enjoying Japan ’45, very surprised getting a new PC title! Also looking forward to further PB titles. The PB Demo really wet the appetite for the things to come.

    Keep up the great work and to you folks responsible for GOLD, your gold!!!

  • Great job.
    I have some comments about Polish camo. In the units’ cards presented, you used the “raindrop pattern 58” camouflage similar to the GDR camo (the color scheme was different, the same pattern). Can you correct the cards of Polish units and use camo “mora”, which was used much longer in LWP? Ed “Volcano Man” used the right camouflage for Polish troops in his mods: Modern Campaigns: North German Plain ’85 (080201 v. VII). I provide a link to a reliable source of information about camo in the armies of many countries:
    https://camopedia.org/index.php?title=Poland#Polish_Camouflage_Patterns_of_the_Communist_Era_.281944-1989.29
    The HQ Army and HQ 16th Tank Div cards represent officers in modern uniforms, not from the Cold War era. Regarding OOB of Polish units: in Poland the T 62 tanks and BTR 60,70, 80 armored personnel carriers were never used in the army. T 54-55 and T 72 tanks of various versions were used.

    • Norbert,

      The mora background is now included. No promises, but we will see if we can get some better period officers. As far as all OOB values, we have to leave that to the individual designers. We don’t plan to change their work. We have included the OOB editor, if you feel change is needed.

      David

  • Hello!
    I am impressed by the whole team’s work on the new version of Modern Campaigins. Thank you!
    I have a few more comments about the morale level of Polish units in OOB. I think the morale level is a bit low. In the case of parachute units (1AD) should be level A, the same for the “Blue Berets” division (7th LD) and 1 assault battalion – a special unit (strike-diversion) (morale A). For reconnaissance units and for units transported by helicopters, the morale level should be B. For linear units (armored, mechanized, the morale level should not be lower than C). In the case of reserve and Territorial Defense (OTK) units, morale can be determined at level D. Polish parachute and marine (7th LD) units underwent very murderous training and were perfectly trained to fight. They were the best formations in Poland at that time. The elite elite was the 1st Assault Battalion, which repeatedly won first place during exercises and competitions of the Warsaw Pact. If you can correct the OOB under the morale of Polish troops, it would be great.
    Thanks again for all your hard work and … don’t stop there! 🙂

  • Not a new title exactly but at some point it would be good to see the Modern Battles Quang Tri 1972 demo currently only available for touch apps released for play on PC, with the options for the various 2 player modes available for other JTS PC games.

  • Looking forward to the updated modern campaigns. One point on the unit cards – the Canadian is wearing a UN beret, which would not be accurate for NATO in Europe in 1985.

    • Thanks Dave,

      The Canadian beret has been corrected. I have a number of uniform experts who have been highlighting issues. I may not correct them all, but this was an easy one to fix.

      David

      • Thanks for the rapid response. I also am pretty sure the C7 rifle wasn’t actually in service in 4CMBG until 1987. Before that it was the FN C1. I know Wikipedia some other sites say it entered service in 84 but my checking of anecdotal posts from vets indicates 1987-88. Still looking for some more concrete evidence.

        • I found an article in Military Review from November 1986 which reported 4 CMBG was just starting to receive C7s. So I figure it was some time in mid to late 1986.

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