This release includes various fixes and changes. Among the most noteworthy are probably the improvements in the WML engine allowing content creators to use filtering in some places more effectively. Besides this some graphics and translations were updated.
So far there are no known issues (besides the stuff listed in the bug tracker). So let's directly head over to the most important features of this new release (at least the most important things that the other devs do want you to know about ).
Important changes and new features
Of course there is also the full changelog listing (almost) all the changes since 1.9.6. A changelog for the most visible changes for users is the players changelog.
Known Issues (might be fixed in the next release(s))
There are no known issues at the moment.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/wesnoth/files/wesnoth/wesnoth-1.9.7/wesnoth-1.9.7.tar.bz2/download (322.3 MB) md5sum
Here is the XDelta for the sources:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/wesnoth/files/wesnoth/wesnoth-1.9.7/wesnoth-1.9.6.tar-wesnoth-1.9.7.tar.xdelta/download (1.9.6 to 1.9.7, 7.1 MB)
Check http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?t=7034 for information on using XDelta.
The Windows package is already available. You can find it on the download page.
The MacOSX package is already available. You can find it on the download page.
The OpenPandora package is already available. You can find it on the download page.
Many of the Linux packages have already been created, and all known packagers have been contacted. Information about where to get the respective binaries or how to get them to work can be found in the Linux binaries page in the wiki. Download links for other supported systems will be available at the downloads page once the packages are created and published.
As a fallback you can also get the sources from http://files.wesnoth.org/ — but you should first try to get files through SourceForge.net to help us save bandwidth. Please get the files from SourceForge.net if possible.
The multiplayer server for 1.9.7 is up and running. This server can be only be used to play with other 1.9.7 users. If you do encounter problems, please report them.
A new add-ons server for 1.9.x is already running. It was started during the development of 1.9.0. If you encounter any problems with content from the add-ons server not working as expected, please notify the content's author — most of them should be here in the Scenario & Campaign Development forum.
If you find any bugs don't hesitate to report them, but please read the instructions on how to post bugs first! Instructions for bug reporting can be found at ReportingBugs. Again, we require your help for finding and fixing issues, no matter how trivial or complicated they are!
PS: Within the next seven days anyone asking when the binary for xyz will be ready will be banned and the post will be deleted. Such questions just distract the developers and packagers and don't do any good, so better not ask them...
Bug reports in the forums tend to get forgotten. You will get better results by following the guidelines and report them in the bugtracker.