Although some argue that Eugen Systems’ upgraded Wargame series – with its sometimes subtle additions – isn’t the way sequels should be produced, none can deny that they’ve done a great job offering additional supportive content throughout the games life, however short lived each iteration is.
Our interview with Eguen’s chief as he revealed Red Dragon
Next year, Wargame Red Dragon is entering the playing-field, and many of the series long-time fans will be wondering what – aside from additional content – Eugen are doing to fix the games inherent issues, such as balancing and sync issues that have plagued the series from the beginning.
Although not a simulation, Wargame seeks to emulate the complexity and tactile nature of real-world combat, in the same way that, perhaps, Need For Speed Shift 2 is a racing sim: not simulating real life, but loosely simulating the feeling or experience of something through more superficial means, with more depth than something arcadey.
One of the most attractive, overwhelming, and complex features of Wargame has been the in depth ‘deck’ system which, like a card game, allows players to pick ‘minions’, ‘cards’, or, actually, technology to be used in multiplayer games. This all made Wargame one of the most complex and interesting RTS games in years, quickly snatching up the high-brow players untapped, and not attracted to the more eSports ventures.
Our breakdown of AirLand Battle’s deck system
Without any knowledge on the real-world war technologies of the 70′s and 80′s to early 90′s, you might feel at a loss in Wargame, but the first title’s European Escalation received an additional campaign and ‘comp stomp’ mode at no extra cost to the consumer post release. These allowed players to hone their skills, and AirLand Battle introduced more variety and clarity in the deck system, with incentives to select ‘cards’ pertaining to a single specific nation respectively. These incentives included the allocation of more ‘cards’ per deck, and the ability to use that nation’s most powerful weaponry – the catch was that sticking to a single nation left you with a less versatile deck, but it made it easier for new players to compete.
Now, before Red Dragon’s release, AirLand Battle receives its content update (and not its first), named Magna Carta.
AirLand Battle introduced 10v10, a new game mode which quickly rose in popularity to, perhaps, the surprise of the developer. Featuring only one map, 10v10 was predicted to be chaotic, and less popular than the other game modes, and smaller maps. In practice, however, 10v10 was a much more controlled and orchestrated environment than anyone really expected, which was unfortunate due to the nature of a single map getting pretty repetitive.
Magna Carta extends the rota to three 10v10 maps, all equally balanced without losing too much authenticity of the environments we’ve come to enjoy from the series.
Along with the two new 10v10 maps comes balance changes to the almost 900 units in the game, and 12 new units:
With the 2 new 10v10 maps is included 4 additional maps for 1v1 to 3v3, although the DLC is primarily focused on large scale warfare. Eugen are also recycling one map from European Escalation, the first game in the series, although unlike DICE they’re not charging 14.99 for the privilege.
How it plays
Although the new units are mostly minor, and many will be set in their ways with decks they’ve found to work unwilling to risk losses for new content, the additional German F-4 Phantom II is great for those with the German deck, the second time Eugen have drastically improved a nation deck, previously improving Sweden.
Unfortunately, the DLC only comes with minor value changes mostly pertaining to points and values, and not much under the bonnet. The 10v10 maps were entirely necessary, and I honestly don’t feel as though playing any of the other game modes is as fun as 10v10, but that burned out quickly because of the single map. It’s nice to have a few more units for some of the inherently smaller, or weaker, nations, but I still can’t shake the feeling that playing with the major players of each Eastern or Western force is the best way to go.
That said, it’s a nice close to AirLand Battle, and I suppose Eugen are saving the under-the-bonnet changes for the aforementioned 2014 Red Dragon.
If you haven’t already, I urge you to go ahead and check out AirLand Battle’s 10v10 mode, and if you’re a new player, there’s no better way to get stuck in than to go right into multiplayer. Although the reluctantly created comp-stomp is a nice segway into understanding the game’s mechanics, the AI doesn’t perform the least bit like the community, which will ultimately lead you into the wrong direction. Those looking for a more fun, more chaotic war experience which is, in some ways, more realistic, head for the 2 new 10v10 maps, else wait for the next game in the series which takes Wargame into the early 90′s, adding battleships and amphibious vehicles.
This isn’t British colonialism gone mad, but let’s be honest, some of the Scandinavian nations in AirLand Battle were lacking a little oomph and flare. To that, Eugen Systems introduce a huge content patch, featuring 24 new units and a host of other changes.
Vox Populi DLC, costing 0 of the Queens finest pounds, found its way into the game based on “player feedback.”
The major changes include cooperatively playing the campaign with friends, 5 new maps, and the ability to pick the nationality and units of the enemies during comp-stomps, which should allow for players to brush up on their hypothetical war scenarios, perhaps temping some to stay away from the forums and come up with their own game-plans.
Eugen Systems released major content for European Escalation, which included comp-stomping, and they have a very good track record for supporting their titles.
We’re going to have an inherently awkward time, you and I. You’re one of two people: a hardcore Wargame fan since European Escalation, or you’re someone intrigued by the style, perhaps a fan of R.U.S.E, wanting to know what the game is about. Wargame AirLand Battle isn’t problematic because it’s inaccessible, it’s problematic because it’s so bloody good that covering it in the appropriate detail would make this a very tedious read for most of you. That is by no means a bad thing.
AirLand Battle is the sequel to Eugen Systems’ cold war RTS, European Escalation. The first question for fans of EE who haven’t yet checked out the extensive beta is: “is this just a content patch for European Escalation?” This is a point of contention. Whilst much of the game remains the same in dynamic and structure, the plethora of both aesthetic and technical changes and additions have so far planted massive grins of those who’ve gotten their hands on the game. In short, AirLand Battle improves upon European Escalation in pretty much every conceivable way possible, throwing more than double the content on top of that, as well as what is supposed to be a proper campaign, which is now even playable in multiplayer. Its brilliance renders European Escalation obsolete – that’s how I’ve chosen to look at it.
What is this illusive, under-the-radar release? Wargame is an RTS series that, to some extent, offers exceptional macro-style gameplay that we really don’t see in many RTS games now’days. This isn’t rock paper scissors, and it’s not about sending a few guys onto a control point and defending against three types of units with the only units suited to do so. You won’t see this in eSports bars, and you’ll likely not come across many AirLand Battle posters on your way to South Korea. It’s not without micromanagement, but if you’re a war enthusiast interested in strategy and authenticity, then Wargame AirLand battle is the sandbox RTS environment you’ve been waiting for. There’s nothing like it.
With an increase of over 400 units over its predecessor, bringing the total number of playable units to over 700, AirLand Battle brings tangible choice to the RTS genre. Units are split into their respective nationality, and even their respective decade if you so wish. The units you play with in multiplayer depend on the ‘deck’ (pack of units) you choose, from a range of preset decks for each of the nationalities under PACT and NATO. In short, units are split between PACT and NATO, and then between the nationalities within each strategic arrangement. You can mix and match, or you can stick to a single nationality, and a single strategic type (for example armored, or air) for various bonuses.
Pick your bonus – although I can’t vouch for their strategic relevance. It all feels very academic to me, but it’s nice you’ve a choice.
Bonuses you say? Why, yes. You wouldn’t have over 700 units without any tangible choice. This choice is made evident in the totally essential albeit quite overwhelming deck creation system. Your deck is a little part of you, in game, which is either decided by how you play, or decides how you play. The process of picking which units you want to use in game is made easier by the inclusion of an extensive armory, which lists and displays every single unit in the game, showing variable such as armor penetration for the ammunition, to ammunition types, their ranges, and all of the armour thickness and positioning. The armory serves as a sort of Cold War war-porn magazine, where a little study goes a long way. The best way, however, is to use some of the pre-made decks to see what does what, and what you’d rather use or not use.
As previously stated, you can create your own decks. You can mix it up for choice if you’d like, or stick to a single nationality within the PACT or NATO groups. I personally prefer to get the first bonus by sticking to one nationality: French for NATO, and Russian for PACT. I could choose mobility type for an added bonus, and even the era of the vehicles for another, but I find this superfluous and academic rather than practically useful. Using a partisan deck allows me to use some of the strongest units that nationality has to offer, but some of the weaker nationalities will leave you with some limited tactical choices – but you’ll be allowed more of their unit types.
Be sure to invest in some good anti-air units, though, this is AirLand Battle after-all. The armory is incredibly impressive, and good fun to tinker around with, and the deck creation system has been substantially streamlined – it’s much easier to see vehicle progression, and navigating each line/unit type is intuitive and self explanatory, a far cry from European Escalation‘s convoluted albeit manageable system.
So you have a deck prepared, but what’s it all for? That really depends on what kind of player you are. Wargame AirLand Battle is a potentially fantastic experience in multiplayer, but there are times where community nattering has lead to some underwhelming gaming experiences. In European Escalation we saw the over-use of artillery, rushing with helicopters, and planting cheap infantry in bushes with view to rush with their cheap armored vehicles. I’m happy to say that much, if not all of this has been fixed. Artillery seems so much more balanced. It is costly to keep in service since ammunition depletes rapidly, and its suppression effectiveness is much more apparent than previously, where it seemed mostly used for offensive purposes. There are rarely any artillery spammers, and never any helicopter rushers.
The beta saw a return of a few of these tactics, primarily shoving a bajillion unwilling men into a bushline and tossing their vehicles into the fray, but you’ve now many more options as to how to handle that. For instance, dropping napalm from a plane is a good way to flush out any pesky – however cheap – enemies. You can also napalm roads for a strategic troll, even if there’s nothing on them, knowing the enemy will be using them, which is always fun. It’s no more about annoyingly ineffective t55′s with flamers, you’ve white phosphorous, napalm, and effective artillery to sort out some of the problems that we saw in the games predecessor.
What of the aforementioned problems in this installment, then? AirLand Battle is immensely complex on the balancing side of things, but Eugen Systems have done a phenomenal job at balancing it. It’s far more balanced than EE, but a couple of things seem to have been overlooked – if you can call it that. For example, when a player drops, their units are passed onto another player… the problem is, it seems that only one player inherits the dropped players’ units from the game. In other words, one player inherits all the units from all of the players who drop, rather than giving one player another’s units, and then the next player the units of the next guy who drops. I don’t know if this is intentional or a bug, but it’s problematic when it causes one player to be overstretched in an unbalanced battle.
A second issue I have is with the way that the planes evacuate. You can issue orders to your planes to evac if they’re in trouble, or out of ammo, or for any reason you see fit, but their directional turning arch to get off the map isn’t something you can really decide. Often, they’ll make a considerably larger than necessary directional arch that might take them over enemy AA that you knew was there. They could have gone left instead of right and survived, but there’s no way to, say, drag the direction of their intended evac to avoid known problems. This can be quite trying if you’ve sent out five or so Mig’s to deal with a problem, which they solved, only to inexplicably evac through an enemy AA field because, for some reason, they took a left instead of a right. It’s true that, possibly, you can solve this by directing them to a safer area before you tell them to evac, but we’re trying to move away from micromanagement as much as possible.
No more micromanagement in urban areas is genuinely a relief.
I don’t say that without substantiating my claims – there are examples of how micromanagement has been quelled. The way units are managed in clusters of buildings is one such example. In AirLand Battle you tell units to enter cover in general areas outlined, if a village, by a white grid along the peripheries of the cover. The unit does the rest – maneuvering round to get line of sight, or moving from building to building. You no longer have to worry about which way your units are facing in urban clusters, which is a good thing. It’s also essential.
This means that carelessness rewards the enemy.
The dynamic of combat remains quite similar. AirLand Battle is about capturing the most with as little as possible, generally. You spend points collected over time, increasing with the amount of command areas held, to buy units to strategically take over the map. Supremacy isn’t the only condition for winning, with most games hitting the point limit set by the host, or earning the most amount of points before time runs out. The catch with Wargame is that finishing blows will earn you the amount of points that unit you just murdered cost. This means that carelessness rewards the enemy, which is fairly unique in the RTS genre, at least in this very literal way.
The wonderful thing about Wargame AirLand Battle is that a well structured defense is just as lucrative as a winning offensive. Yes, it’s true that without an offense you can’t hope to capture further points, but if you manage to stand off a large army with very little units, you earn enough points to counter-attack against, inevitably, a very weak one. The exciting thing about all this is that it makes games balanced, and almost never one sided. There are ample opportunities to redeem yourself and go for the win, which means that most players stay with games right until the end. It’s possible to win with a single tank left, if you’re near the point limit, or if the time runs out in our favor.
It’s sometimes funny to have a stack of helicopters ready for a counter attack.
Eugen Systems have done a substantial amount of work to ensure that players are sporting in how they play, but your enjoyment is still determined by the strategies employed by other players. There are formulaic ways to do things, and if you’re aware of them, you’ll employ formulaic responses. This can be a little tiresome given the fact there’s an astonishing opportunity to experiment, but I find that the more I play over time, the less I see of European Escalation favorites returning, with more unique and risky tactics being employed.
Things aren’t all technical, though, you’ll be drawn in by the realistically rendered, totally authentic Scandinavian backdrop of war. Whether you’re zoomed all the way in, or out, AirLand Battle is a beautiful game. Sound is magnificently designed, with the addictive boom and clatter of tanks and rifles surrounding you at all angles. Watching the screen shake up close in tank battles feels authentic and exciting, but AirLand Battle really is a chaos that demands your attention in the overview view.
The addition of 10v10… superficial chaos for the sake of it?
AirLand Battle has the same 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, etc, game types, but this time Eugen Systems have included a 10v10 mode which I was promised to be chaotic. The strange thing is, it isn’t particularly chaotic. If anything, 10v10 is where AirLand Battle most shines. The competency of the players often means that 10v10 matches are brilliantly orchestrated tactical displays, where 10 players all pull together over, currently, a single map, exploiting and counter-exploiting all the tactically advantageous points. Why is 10v10 the best experience? It really allows the added planes to come into their own. On some of the smaller maps, the speed in which the glass-cannon planes intercept often made them sort of throwaway decisions. Interceptors aren’t much use when the maps are too small to actively go and intercept them. In 10v10, among the chaos, it’s possible to spot things coming and plan a viable counter attack. That, and you can’t expect your jets to make it to your target right away, so you have to plan in advance. The massive scale feels much more natural than some of the smaller games, and they’re more tactically enriching and rewarding at times.
If this is overwhelming to you, Company of Heroes 2 will be out soon.
One might argue that 10v10 can be quite formulaic, since points of occupation are sort of obvious on the map. If you’re on the right, you know exactly where you must go every time, and if you’re on the left, it’s the same. The middle can offer some reaction and diversity, but many matches follow a stringent design. That said, it doesn’t weaken the experience at all, because with over 700 variable units you still have to react to what you’re getting, even if you’re trying to do the same thing every time.
For me, 10v10 AirLand Battle is the best RTS experience you can possibly have.
Is the campaign revamp a success?
Eugen Systems aren’t happy with European Escalation’s campaign – that’s no secret. They’ve made a substantial effort to take the Scandinavian region and offer context this time around, with a strategy map we’re seeing a lot more of recently. Not a complete clone of Risk, but with some similarities, AirLand Battle offers a range of campaigns with different objectives, over different amounts of time, along the same Scandinavian region. You start with few units, clicking on parts of the map you want to travel to, clicking ‘Send Orders’ to effectively end your turn and allow your units to act. If you land on a tile with enemy units, you can either avoid battle or go right into it – you can’t retreat at that point.
It’s like an RPG! With genocide and international law! Yay!
Choosing to fight will throw you into the standard Wargame style game, but depending on the strength of the unit on your tile, and the enemies, the victory conditions will change. You won’t start with the specific units you have on your tile, but the strength of the unit on your tile will dictate how many points you have to spend on the preset deck in game. The amount of points you need to earn for victory changes depending on the amount of enemy units on the tile, too.
The campaign features maps not seen in the multiplayer game, so that’s novel, but essentially you’re just doing a skirmish against the AI. If you don’t enjoy ‘comp stomping’, you probably won’t get much from the campaign. Behind all the contextual pomp, it’s essentially a consecutive chain of skirmishes that reset every time, with different variables for each battle. The AI is much improved from European Escalation, but very quickly I found myself just camping the main roads, upon which the enemy AI seemed to just drive back and forth. Playing against AI definitely loses some of the games charm.
Just camping this street, and all streets like it, seems to be the best way to rack up points until the clock runs out. Game breaking?
Upon victory, which is almost always based on the amount of points you have when the clock runs out, the enemy will usually retreat until the game decides you destroyed the entire battlegroup. If so, you’ll likely have to repeat the 20 minute match against an enemy with a smaller amount of deployment points, on the same map. I prefer Total War‘s system of being able to chase a very weak enemy down and automatically fighting the game for you if it’s clearly going to be a victory. You can’t do that here, and that’s annoying because every match is the same: deploy FOV, spend deployment points, go and find the enemy. There’s no consistency, for instance, whilst I get to keep the control points I earned the last time I played it, I have to purchase all my units again, including command vehicles (if I wish to keep the control points I captured), and guess once again where the enemy might be. Setting up all your defenses in this manner, when you planned for an enemy that might have been at another part of the map, is a bit of a pain in the arse – it feels like an oversight.
The campaign is certainly an improvement on the original’s, and it does offer some interesting features such as tactical decisions that show up based on contextual situations. For instance, the PM of Finland stepped down, which caused some variable instability I could or couldn’t exploit. Other, off-screen decisions are also made which I can either allow or decline, which changes the position of units at times. There are also storms which can jeopardize reinforcements. It’s not all about what you do in the battle, though. Picking which tile to send units too, and their reinforcements, is of course of great tactical importance, and you can even bring nukes down on tiles to weaken the opponent. The problem is, everything you do on the campaign map is staggered by battles which really aren’t all that fun. The campaign doesn’t have the depth of something like Victoria II, or a comparable Paradox game, although it looks similar at face value, and everything you do is a means to another tedious and repetitive battle that feels just like another. The AI isn’t intelligent so much as random, and fighting it isn’t anywhere near as fun as fighting in multiplayer.
I know where some of these places are… thank you Millennium series.
Because of this, whilst there is context to the campaign, I don’t really feel like I’m working towards anything important. You’re given objectives, and certain things mix it up a bit, but all this prettiness of GUI and grid-layout merely masks what is essentially formulaic and pre-determined compstomps with decks you mightn’t enjoy. If you enjoy the victory variables and historically contextual tile variables that appear, however, I believe that some of you will ‘get into it’, but on its own I’m not sure it’s quite as grand as Eugen would have hoped. There’s really no way to fix the problem that is AirLand Battle shines in multiplayer.
If you want to fight the AI, you can run skirmish matches which are, this time, included from release. The inclusion of a campaign, which I was very much looking forward to, mind you, seems like a ticked box, which is a damn real shame. It lacks drama and nuance, but it’s a valiant effort when it comes to the tone and context. It’s not something I particularly care about, though, and I don’t plan on punishing them for adding something as an extra. It feels very… irrelevant. However, you can play the campaign against people online, similarly to drop in enemies in other games. Doing this, though, is a sure fire way to distance yourself from campaign progress, once again asking myself: if I want to play multiplayer, why don’t I just go ahead and do that?
Moving away from European Escalation
Things in Wargame AirLand Battle change rapidly. When exploits or balancing issues are talked about, they’re almost instantly repaired. This is a supremely well maintained game, and Eugen System have even taken the trouble to host 10v10 games on their side to prevent issues with hosts being a bit shit. This is their baby, and it’s clear they all care about it. It shows. It’s a superb RTS, and in my opinion remains unmatched in the macromanagement scene. I was worried that planes would be over-powered, but in practice they’re glass cannons that require knowledge and strategy to efficiently strike. Things can go two ways: point fodder, or sharply orchestrated strike. As with everything in Wargame, it’s just a matter of experience through playing.
Visually, technically, and strategically, AirLand Battle is sublime, and any niggles I have with the multiplayer side of things are highly academic. It’s easy to be nit-picky and claim X unit has Y problem, or that A unit is afflicted with B issue. None of that really matters when it comes down to the enjoyment factor. AirLand Battle remains a primarily multiplayer experience, and I expect the campaign will be more of a learning experience. However, the AI plays almost nothing like players seen in the multiplayer, so prepare to relearn once you’re done there. The authenticity, technicality, and scale of AirLand Battle completely blows aside my issues for the campaign, which secures a victory for this series as my top RTS of the moment. I gave European Escalation a solid five stars, and AirLand Battle improves upon it in every single way – including the campaign, although it’s still not to my taste. It doesn’t deserve anything less than the five stars it’s most certainly earned this time around, too.
Wargame: AirLand Battle‘s multiplayer is so good that we literally forgot the game was coming with a campaign component until the press release soared our way.
Eugen Systems promised great improvements over the campaign of European Escalation, but so far this illusive component has managed to avoid our radar. Now, however, they’ve released details of the up and coming campaign mode, and we’ve got them right here:
“Willing to make something very different from the solo campaigns of Wargame European Escalation, Eugen Systems made great efforts to offer Wargame AirLand Battle an exciting campaign, both innovating and fascinating. As you can see on today’s screenshots, you will first handle in this campaign your army and your battle groups, on a huge strategic map representing Europe: ordering movements, asking for reinforcements, but also launching support strikes such as intelligence missions, special forces strikes, satellite spying, bombardment, tactical nuclear attacks, etc…”
A new detail we didn’t know for sure what that the single player campaign can be played… multiplayer, “against another player”.
“The solo part of the game is composed of several new dynamic campaigns, during which you will manage all aspects of the battle. Lead each squad of the Theatre of Operation, and make good use of your reinforcements and strategic support. Each decision you make has an impact on the tactical outcome of battles, and also impacts the evolution of the global conflict!Wargame: AirLand Battle still allows you to customize your own army in solo and multiplayer modes, thanks to the ‘Deck’ system, which is now being enhanced with an integrated ‘viewer’.”
You can purchase the beta now to play a sample of the multiplayer, excluding some of the maps. The deck system is unlocked, but you cannot yet play the campaign. You also get a substantial discount if you own the original Europen Escalation. Check out our past coverage of the Wargame series.
Following our previous article criticizing some of the more intimate matches in AirLand battle, we’ve been looking at the newly released 10v10 matches in the game. Quite simply, 10v10 AirLand Battle is the most fun you can have in an RTS with your clothes on or off.
I was promised a chaotic experience in 10v10 AirLand Battle, but what I got was a slow, controlled, almost simulation like experience where forward planning was the key, and the right deck was essential. Pick your spots, plan your movies, and wait to establish what you’re up against.
The wide open spaces with plenty of room to flank and advance mean some seriously careful planning.
Let’s remind ourselves of Eugen’s word from the initial preview back in February:
“The idea is to have an RTS – it’s not a simulation – an RTS that is… we wanted something very different where it is about thinking, it’s about taking a decision. It’s not an “action RTS,” Le Dressay explained. “A lot of our players say there is a problem with the game: I should not be fast. There is a risk that someone beats me because he plays faster than me? It’s not about this, it’s about thinking, knowing the units, and having an RTS that is extremely rich in terms of mechanics.” The co-founder said that Wargame AirLand Battle is made for people “who’d like to have something of a different flavor” [than the usual rock-paper-scissors mechanics based micromanagement experiences].
10v10 reveals this ethos with crystal clarity. The slow, methodical approach to battle disallows tree-hugging, artillery exploitation, or otherwise less sporting tactical persuasions. Careful memory of the most exploitable areas of the map is hugely beneficial, and the vastness the battleground is favorable to planes - especially Mig’s.
With 10 peoples units following the main highways to the front-lines, protecting that lifeline is vital.
We criticized the smaller games for poorly showcasing the tactical uses for planes. In 1v1 to 2v2 matches, the size of the map and relative use of pockets of infantry meant that there was always something ready to take down that expensive jet. On the 10v10 map, the wide open spaces make for some breathtaking dog-fights, using upwards of 5 planes at once from only one commander (out of a possible 10).
Calling on a Mig to instantly counter-attack some oncoming enemy jets is a real thrill – made even more enthralling by the fact that you know the enemy hasn’t got a crap ton of AA infantry all over the map (because of how cheap and effective they are), due to the sheer expansiveness and area to cover. This makes AA placement strategically important. If an attack from the air got you, it’s because you were too busy with the front-lines, and forgot about some of the weaker areas of the map.
Dropping napalm on a road is an effective way to buy yourself some time, and burn unsuspecting insurgencies.
10v10 is all about establishing the strongest front-line defense, and coordinating with your teammates to hold it – all’s the while sewing up any loose ends regarding the enemies ability to flank round you. You’d think that one breach at any part of the map meant that it was over for your team. Not so: most 10v10 games have been played with a points cap, and given that losing a unit grants the opponent however many points that unit cost, a strong-if-small defensive line can be a very good points sieve.
The primary micromanagement is about moving your front-lines away from enemy artillery.
A slow, methodic but no less exhilarating experience, 10v10 tempts you to throw your best planes into the fray at every turn, but doing so both costly and deadly. You can only bring on so many planes during one match, and the loss of one means that it’s much more difficult to counter an enemy insurgence of jets. The long off-screen cooldown, too, means that calling them on just at the right moment is ever-so vital.
Capturing an enemy base and FOV is a huge blow to the opposing force, with many people surrendering at this point.
Pushing up one of the two flanks is the most common path to victory, with the right flank often the most contended. On this map, you can bring on more units incredibly close to the top left and right control points, which is excellent for front-line defense There’s a catch, however, since often the units you want to send into the middle later in the game will, if captured, come from the top left or right control areas. This means that a concentrated barrage on those locations by the enemy is a very effective means to suppress reinforcements, and weaken the central point on the map, even if you have more control points than they do.
Surprising enemy infantry with some of the cheapest tanks in the game is a fun little way to get side-tracked, but be sure to catch them off guard. If the enemy has recon, they’ll blow you away before you can surprise them.
You’d be surprised just how different 10v10 is to the smaller games in Wargame: AirLand Battle. You wouldn’t think it, but I found them much less stressful, and it was much easier to out-maneuver my enemy. As previously stated, it’s no use relying on the same tactics set by the community for the smaller maps: this is a new feature, and by in large there’s no stencil for exactly how to orchestrate it.
It’s not so important that you talk to your team. Each of you controlling a quality front line is a good key to success, regardless of how well you get on. It’s not a speedy, messy, or particularly confusing experience - it’s clean, methodical, and much more strategic than the smaller games.
If you were thinking about skipping AirLand Battle, the 10v10 game-mode should come dangerously close to making you change your mind. It’s the closest thing the game’s gotten to a simulator, and its slower pace means it’s a slightly more relaxing experience – but only if you’ve applied the appropriate forward thinking.
Let’s hope for more 10v10 maps soon, because the beta currently only offers one. The question now is: is 10v10 a novel little side-game? Or is this more open, tactical experience the perfect battlezone to introduce players to jets. It’s certainly more suited to aerial battle.
To check out what we thought about the new deck system – complete with a tutorial commentary on how to make your first deck, watch the video below:
There are a suspicious amount of cynical tacticians considering how huge and dynamic a sandbox this is. War porn for the masses, so why the cookie-cutter tactics?
Throughout our coverage of Wargame: AirLand Battle, I’ll be bringing you updates on the new features and my impressions of the game right up to release. In this installment, I want to talk about a very generalized impression of the tactics and ethos employed by players to win. I won’t go into much detail about the exact units used, so much as the direction and orchestration of what the community considers to be the perfect win. This is an opinion piece.
You can read my initial preview of the title, written back in Feburary, where we were introduced to the game, and got to talk a little bit about it with the man behind the series, Alexis Le Dressay. Find that here.
Some of you might already have watched my first 1v1 video of the game, which you’ll find embedded below. I think a nice way to begin this piece would be to straighten out a few things regarding this video. Already I’ve experienced hard-core players from the Wargame series criticizing the tactics I employed: “No logical tactics were used”. I won. You can’t get much more logical than that. In all seriousness, the purpose of this video was to bring you an unplanned and completely organic “every-man” presentation of Wargame: AirLand battle. Wargame isn’t just a series enjoyed by hardcore league players, and we’re not covering the title from that perspective. It’s as simple as that. We wanted to jump right in after only a single warm-up battle, and give you what should literally be considered our first impression preview of the early beta.
As stated, we’re going to bring you a 2v2 and hopefully a 10v10 recorded match in the future. None of them will employ the community favorite tactics, and I’ll explain why in a moment. Check out the video below if you haven’t seen it. (Actually, for those of you who criticize my level – whilst that’s irrelevant because it was a first impressions – you should note that we have multiple copies of the games across multiple accounts, and we were already aware of the mechanics and changes from talking to the developer).
On to the topic at hand. My absolutely biggest pet hate in gaming is cookie-cutter tactics. I hate it when MMO players obsess over the most efficient, most perfect builds – and I hate it when an RTS has quite clearly the right way to do things, and the wrong way to do things. European Escalation suffered in atmosphere because it became apparent quite quickly that the best way to win was to forget that what you are playing is a heavily authentic, incredibly beautiful and atmospheric war game. According to the numbers from Le Dressay, EE employed 300 units, whereas AirLand Battle has 700, ish – yet you had to use them this way, and to do things that way, otherwise you were doing it “wrong”.
The number of units at your disposal means that this RTS is the perfect candidate for explorative and dynamic play. If you want to see what happens if you take a risk with a Harrier, or mishandle a Stryker as an experiment, you should be allowed to do that. Units are not essentially rock-paper-scissors, although clearly ammunition types are. League players will of course employ their finest tactics, but the rest of the community should not feel pressured to simply follow the pack. You have all the tools at your disposal to work out exactly how you like to play, and laterally adapt to the tactics employed by your opponent.
If every opponent, or player, is using the same tactic developed by the communities hive-mind, then every game will seem quite drole. That’s a crime when Eugen Systems have given you the tools for such dynamic engagement. Use them. It’s supposed to be fun.
So, onto my impression of what I’ve seen so far.
This is a good example of something I was worried about before the game launched. When EE launched, matches were unpredictable and dynamic. Less units were employed, and more armour was used. Quickly it became apparent that, since infantry comes with armour of sorts, and generally costs around 100 or so points less than armour, it’s more efficient to pump out infantry. Because of this, many people pumped out as much infantry as possible, and simply scattered it around the map, sending men in the meet into the middle. Matches subsequently became a matter of hiding your men in the trees, and sending their transport in as either a scout or a suicide mission. The points for each armoured unit with infantry were so low that the gain for the enemy was negligible, since they would invariably send something in the direction of your own men hiding in the trees, who would recapture the points by destroying that insurgence. How boring.
For the uninitiated, I’m the blue guys on the right. My point score is relatively low, and I am not following the cookie-cutter tactics employed by my other two, very competent companions. A league player would say that I’m playing very badly. Indeed on paper that might seem to be the case, but I flanked the entire match, captured ECHO’s FOV, destroyed his command vehicle, and frightened them into a surrender. I didn’t win us the game, but with the overt sense of threat from the left flank, and my surprise insurgency from the right, the game was ours.
My point is that efficiency isn’t fun. Playing for the win at any cost isn’t fun. Unless you’re league players fighting against each other, I’ve found that you’ll probably be facing the same unimaginative insurgence of infantry units almost every time. Because of the amount of cheap AA infantry on the map, planes are – so far – hardly used.
At this stage in the beta, I’m worried that Eugen Systems haven’t made enough of an effort to stir the pot. I’m perfectly aware that the community are quite happy with the way that they’re playing, and how the game is made, but it’s such a shame to waste potentially endless tactical possibilities on the same dynamic every match. It’s almost a sandbox type environment, and at the moment it seems most popular to simply hide a scout around the enemy base, meet at the middle with infantry, dot a few AA over the place, and then just wait it out. I’m not entirely convinced it’s as intelligent as it is effective. It’s brute force, but there’s no real strategy.
It reminds me a little of how in Company of Heroes, the standard tactic for multiplayer matches was to artillery with the US, and tank rush with the Germans. Those two options were generally the only two methods of securing a win against players who employed that method. If the Germans tank rused, you had to defend and artillery, and if the Americans decided to sit and artillery, you had to rush them with tanks. Of course, gamers didn’t have to do that, but it was up to the imagination and creativity of the opponent. This is a much larger, and more open environment – the possibilities are endless. It’s war porn, and I genuinely feel as though the fun of the Wargame series should come at least in part from creative play, regardless of whether you win or lose.
Many of you will scoff — of course you should do whatever you can to win! — well, winning is great, but doing so of your own accord, with your own tactics, is much more rewarding. I may not play as you’d like, but I have won the games you have watched. What does that say? “Well, you wouldn’t’ win against a league player!” Of course I wouldn’t, but what does it matter? Let’s take it down a notch and fully explore the potential of AirLand Battle in the beta, and stop being concerned with mathematical efficiency.
There is a contradiction in some of the criticism I received; the idea that I left out some of the features. Well, you can’t expect me to play how you want me to play, and still show you all the features. In order to show you everything, I have to play the game laterally, and allow mistakes to be made. It’s silly to say “there were no logical tactics used,” and add “you missed out a lot of features of game-play” in the same sentence. “Logical tactics” are logical insofar as they are meta-efficient within the game mechanics themselves. They’re not logical tactics so much as the use of certain strategies is logical to secure a victory*. I’m trying to have fun; winning is a bonus. That’s been going well for me so far.
(*It’s illogical to put a crap ton of cheap infantry in a bush and then attack face on against an equal force for a long period of time where your victories are negated by your losses, although that seems to be the primary tactic employed. It might work, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it logical. It all depends on the criteria for a satisfactory victory you set yourself. For instance, I’m only happy if I am victorious through my own experiments and methods of winning. I don’t want to adhere to set ways of doing things, I want to engage my brain. In that vein, it would be illogical for me to employ such a tactic since it would damage the quality of the victory. Winning “at all costs,” to me, is crude!)
What am I talking about? Let’s use an analogy. There are two ways to solve a Rubik’s Cube: you can either work it out in your head, or learn one of the many algorithms; “a list of well-defined instructions for performing a task from a given initial state.” There’s a propensity to suggest that ‘logic’ implies intelligence, but in actuality the algorithmic method is only reiteration. Learning how to win shouldn’t be the focus – figuring it out is the fun part.
Whether you like it or not, AirLand Battle is aesthetically authentic, dynamic, and enjoyable. It’s an accessible game, and everyone should get their hands on it. Throughout my coverage, I want to promote the game to RTS players from all walks of life – none of my work is a tutorial, and none of it is about how to win. The truth of the matter is that most ‘pug’ style matches are against people who aren’t strategic geniuses, there is room for some lateral game play… room to… have fun.
I assure you, I know how I am expected to play, but if I am helping to secure victories, you shouldn’t worry too much about it! Let’s have some fun!
PCGMedia are covering the game laterally until the release of the deck system
We’re concerned over the lack of imagination due to community pressure to do things a set way
We find it interesting that you can still be a “bad” player, and win 90% of your games:
Simply because you pick your own units, and your own strategies — be imaginative!
Planes are hardly used due to pockets of infantry AA
Infantry is overused due to the relatively cheap cost:
Which makes games quite drole and tiresome
Playing with friends, and experimenting, is definitely more fun at this stage
There’s a concern that new players will be put off unnecessarily by pressure to work a certain way
The default decks are actually a good thing for the game at the moment, since they force people out of their comfort zone:
Which is a step towards testing the potential dynamic of the game
The term “logic” is apparently synonymous with “my way of doing things”
However, you can still experiment, have fun, and still win:
The community frown upon that, in our experience
Expected future coverage
2v2 recorded match
10v10 recorded match
Once the deck system is unlocked, a full written preview piece on the beta and state of the game
“In AirLand Battle, we went even further into our core principles” – Alexis Le Dressay, Focus Home Interactive showcase, London.
He wasn’t kidding.
In this preview, we run a full 1v1 match, including an introduction. The match was recorded live, and we didn’t discuss tactics before we started. Everything you see here is organic, and you’ll watch as I adapt to Tom’s tactics.
You can read our original preview on Wargame: AirLand battle with an exclusive Q&A with Eugen Systems’ Alexis Le Dressay here.
Please note, the written preview was based on a press presentation; the hands on preview will come after the release of the deck system later in the beta phase. Another video will also follow.
As Wargame AirLand Battle prepares for closed beta, Focus Home Interactive have released a new trailer. The sequel to Eugen System’s Wargame European Escalation is due sometime in 2013.
Check out our exclusive preview for the title here.
“Slip on your anti-G suit and prepare for immediate take off.
Wargame AirLand Battle, the sequel to the explosive real-time strategy game, Wargame European Escalation, today unveils its Aircraft Trailer, which is entirely dedicated to the air forces available in the game.
This spectacular trailer gives us a real air show, with a few of the 150 aircraft of the game leading the dance. Cadenced with strafe-runs ,bombings, flaming engines and evasive maneuvers in a dogfight, this trailer offers a small glimpse at the many new strategic opportunities made possible thanks to the integration of air forces in the game. The video also lets us get a new glimpse at the new maps of Wargame AirLand Battle: more detailed, these showcase for the first time realistically rendered reliefs that will also have a significant impact on gameplay. Connoisseurs will easily recognize some of the aircraft leading the show in the video, such as the fearsome ground-attack aircraft Su-25 “Frogfoot”, the multi-role fighter Mirage 2000C, the interceptor Mig-31 “Foxhound”, or the A-4 “Skyhawk”.
Of course, the aircraft making an appearance in today’s video are only a small selection of those available in the game. With over 150 faithfully modeled aircraft (interceptors, ground attack planes, multi-role fighters, electronic warfare aircraft, etc.), the complete air forces from 12 countries complete the ground forces composed of nearly 600 combat units, with which commanders will be able to freely create their armies!
Something is certain… soon, the skies over Wargame’s battlefields will be set ablaze.”
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Alexis Le Dressay, the co-founder of Eugen Systems, to talk about the sequel: Wargame AirLand Battle at the Focus Home Interactive Showcase in London. We discussed poor tactics employed by players of European Escalation, what they can do to prevent people buying multiples of a single unit, and if there is a fix for ‘indestructible supply trucks’ and rushing with the BMP’s. I’m happy to report that Le Dressay had answers for all of these questions and more.
The closed beta for Wargame: AirLand Battle is coming in “maybe a couple of weeks.”
In AirLand Battle, we went even further into our core principles
What we saw was a beautifully rendered and richly detailed map, similar to European Escalation, but different in that we now have a much more dynamic, three dimensional terrain. On top of that comes new graphical features differentiating the fields with flowers, wheat, grass, and anything else you’d expect in the Scandinavian region. According to Le Dressay, the largest map in AirLandBattle is “4x larger” than some of the maps in their 2012 hit – but this is because they wanted to “potentially create a 10 player map” whilst at the same time trying to stream-line combat, avoiding long travel times and awkwardly sparse micro-management.
This time, there’s also a proper campaign featuring an entirely new non-linear dynamic, allowing the player to play from both sides. Le Dressay expressed a little disdain for European Escalation’s campaign, saying that “the solo campaign mode was a very different experience to the multiplayer game. The campaign was much slower and not very strategic.”
“The solo part of the game is composed of several new dynamic campaigns, during which you will manage all aspects of the battle. Lead each squad of the Theatre of Operation, and make good use of your reinforcements and strategic support. Each decision you make has an impact on the tactical outcome of battles, and also impacts the evolution of the global conflict. Wargame: AirLand Battle still allows you to customize your own army in solo and multiplayer modes, thanks to the ‘Deck’ system, which is now being enhanced with an integrated ‘viewer’.”
The idea is to have an RTS – it’s not a simulation
Included of course is more content, where in European Escalation “we had more than 300 units, and now we have more than 700 units.” Whilst Le Dressay expressed concern over the complicated ‘Deck’ system, he went on to demo the new ‘Deck’ system, with an enhanced user-interface, showing each unit as an upgradable tree similar to an RPG. Another interesting change is Eugen’s views on partisan playing. For instance, Le Dressay stated that many players would only play with units from their country, which ultimately meant that some ‘Decks’ were underpowered. Because of this, subjecting yourself to a handicapped ‘Deck’ allows you more points to spend on units, since some units which do a similar job are objectively better at it.
“The idea is to have an RTS – it’s not a simulation – an RTS that is… we wanted something very different where it is about thinking, it’s about taking a decision. It’s not an “action RTS,” Le Dressay explained. “A lot of our players say there is a problem with the game: I should not be fast. There is a risk that someone beats me because he plays faster than me? It’s not about this, it’s about thinking, knowing the units, and having an RTS that is extremely rich in terms of mechanics.” The co-founder said that Wargame AirLand Battle is made for people “who’d like to have something of a different flavor” [than the usual rock-paper-scissors mechanics based micromanagement experiences.]
IRISZOOM Engine (improved game engine over European Escalation).
750 vehicle and combat units.
Four new nations.
War planes with many different munitions.
A new Urban Combat Interface (UCI) which makes buildings block the field of view of anything behind them.
New dynamic single player campaigns
New Deck user interface and upgrading system
Fallout of munitions effectiveness – for instance, the distance at which point an AP (armour piercing) round will no longer penetrate.
Larger, more detailed and fully realized maps with dynamic terrain.
30 different maps – some from European Escalation.
150 planes (including variations of each class).
We tried to push the feeling of authenticity
Focusing on the terrain, “the landscape – the mineral elements – are in exactly the place in Norway, where we took this geographic blueprint from, to make a realistic place to fight.” The new zoom creates some breathtakingly beautiful landscape shots that quite literally made myself and the guy next to me look at each-other, thinking “I’m gonna’ need a new PC,” so Eugen’s focus on an increasingly realistic game world on a much larger scale has produced geographically vibrant and hyper realistic maps that out-do European Escalation‘s sense of authenticity.
When I asked about any changes to the physics or animations of the title compared to last years, Le Dressay said that “we improved the physics of the helicopter, and we changed the way the cars and vehicles can all together get into each-other, and it’s more… it works better. Otherwise, there are a lot of improvements [to physics and animations].”
On the multiplayer front, Le Dressay said that “we are proposing a 10 vs 10 game. We think it could be massive, very epic. For making this map, we thought how could we make it? But then we realised that: the game starts, and blam! You don’t need to have a map that is so big that your reinforcements take ages, and that there is a lot of boring moments,” implying an emphasis on more instant action, even on the large player games, than European Escalation.
Le Dressay also demoed the inclusion of clarity when it comes to the ability of units to destroy other units. For example: placing a Challenger tank in the open, Le Dressay had a T34, from a hedgerow, attack the Challenger. Because of the poor turret on the T34, at such a long range, the T34 didn’t have a chance to hit. Moving on, we learned that even if the tank did hit (based on chance, as everything is variable) the AP round lost effectiveness about 60% of the distance away from the Challenger tank. This means that the authenticity of the units, position, placement, and the rounds being used is as realistic as could be, despite the title not being “a simulation”.
players were using the supply truck, and they were resupplying the infantry, and it was like a bug
You can now see the effectiveness of your ammo range based on a thickening of the line drawn between your target and your unit. The point where the line thins indicates ineffectiveness of ammunition. Hell bent on ruining the T34′s reputation as a reliable tank of the Soviet Union, Le Dressay showed us that the 85mm round couldn’t even penetrate a supply truck (although there was “about a 16% chance” to do so at that range).
Done with the T34, Le Dressay fired the Challenger and exploded the Russian tank with a single shot, showcasing its superior turret and ammunition. This time round, you can also differentiate between rounds by the color of the round as it’s fired on the map – for instance, AP rounds are visually red tinted.
What we hated in European Escalation, was that you had to move your infantry unit from building to building
I asked Le Dressay if he was aware of “tactic employed in multiplayer regarding supply trucks, and rushing with the infantry BMP’s,” adding “that was almost game-breaking for me,” to which Le Dressay replied “yes, absolutely,” acknowledging the multiplayer ‘exploits’ employed in European Escalation. “I thought it was very boring, because you didn’t understand a thing, it could be very messy, and players were using the supply truck, and they were resupplying the infantry, and it was like a bug.”
Explaining the new way in which urban combat is orchestrated, we’re shown that buildings are now clustered as a group, rather than each specific building in a block of buildings being its own structure.
“When you were using infantry in the city, it was a mess because what happened in the city is – you see those buildings? Every building hid the line of sight… so if your infantry unit is in the building on the opposite side of the closer building, he will be blocked by the other buildings. So when you are playing like this [scrolls out to the large map] where is my infantry? I don’t see the houses. The map is too big. So we had to fix this.”
We’re shown that infantry will now occupy a cluster of buildings, facing the necessary way to fire on targets. This means that units can attack from a 360 degree angle, meaning we no longer have to micromanage tanks at such close range in order to get them within line of sight of enemies using towns to hide. Of course, the infantry can also attack/defend from this 360 degree angle, making it also easier to manage the infantry side of things whilst keeping an eye on the over-all war.
Aircraft in Wargame AirLand Battle are both stored and repaired off-screen, which means they do not dock in, or near, any forward operation base. Each player is allowed up to 9 aircraft, and repairs or resupply (always off-screen) on any aicraft takes “a huge amount of time,” according to Alexis Le Dressay.
“Depending on how many you put in one category it costs more and more.”
We were shown a demo of a Harrier attacking the Challenger with Maverick missiles. The AI is fully independent in terms of the turning arch required for second-runs, but the size of the arch depends on the size, speed, and maneuverability of the plane. There is of course a risk of planes being shot-down by infantry and anti-air who spot them, but players can call back the plane to the off-screen base at a push of a button, allowing the pilot time to try and escape enemy fire. It wasn’t made clear whether or not players can purchase planes if they are destroyed, but Le Dressay explained “you can have up to 9 maximum [aircraft] in one deck,” and unless anything has changed, that means you can purchase units so long as you’ve less than 8.
Tactically, it is “not good to make two passes,” emphasizing the strategic importance on keeping your aircraft alive. The aircraft we saw in the demo was able to sustain one rocket attack, but not a second one, indicating that a close eye on AA ground-troops is of vital importance in this release.
I asked Le Dressay if it was possible to drop napalm on infantry units in forestry, or in a town, at which point the developer did just that. Showing us a napalm drop on a cluster of buildings, a thick foggy atmosphere was created around the location of the strike. Interestingly, this fog and fire blocked the field of view of anything behind it – meaning that anything trying to fire either over, or through, the srike-zone, couldn’t see their targets any more.
I explained that, previously, killing Spetznaz in forestry was very troublesome given the only two real options: the T55 flamer, and artillery. Le Dressay replied “exactly, I remember,” showcasing some of the uses of aircraft strikes on forests, thereby setting alight all of the forest and units hiding within it. likewise, smoke artillery has been revamped, hindering vision much more, providing a greater strategic advantage to your allies for immediate effect and relief.
Le Dressay also shone a light on preventing people from purchasing too many of one unit, ruining the authenticity of multiplayer matches:
Me: “Did you do anything to stop… there are a certain demographic of player who simply purchase all of one unit in their deck – for example artillery – which ruins the dynamic and authenticity of some multiplayer matches, have you implemented anything to stop people doing that?”
Le Dressay: “Yes. Yeah – well, we stopped it, but in a particular way. I’ll show you a new way to create the decks. I believe it will stop this kind of thing. [Le Dressay goes on to explain the earlier complicated deck system, and how it confused people, making it "harder to get into it"] This time, when you purchase a unit, every time you purchase it again the price of the unit will slowly increase.”
This means that there should be no more Apache only, or Artillery only players in Wargame AirLand Battle.
“This time, there is a more dynamic campaign – where you will have to defend, or invade, Scandinavia. We have tried to re-create the strategic elbow… you know… where you are able to [on the tactical map, visually] block the UK, and block the US from reinforcements. So a major offensive from USSR would have been there [points north] with a major army there, and also, perhaps, in Germany [in the 60's and 70's]. So you decide whether you want to play NATO, or Warsaw PACT.”
Talking about the nationalities army division, Le Dressay said “each side, there is roughly 20 different divisions [referring to NATO's use of Canadia, French, British troops, etc,.] Sweden, US Navy, and so on.”
The revamped ‘Deck’ system makes it easier for players to pick and upgrade units. For instance, when you pick a tank – you get a “pack of tanks” which unfolds, revealing its upgrades. “Depending on how many you put in one category it costs more and more.”
“If you decide you want to have a national deck, you need a bonus, because you can only select British [example], so you have more activation points. If you select British, Germany, France, it’s not the same – so it’s not really fair, so you will get a smaller amount of activation points.”
Asking the important questions revealed that Eugen Systems really understood the problems the original game faced. The introduction of 450 new units increases the interest and play-ability of the title phenomenally, but it remains to be seen exactly how players will come to terms with so many units even with the new ‘Deck’ system. This time however I’m ensured the title will have a proper tutorial, and the introduction of pricing units per-type in the ‘Deck’ means that players have no choice but to learn how to play properly. This title was never intended to be an e-sport, but it wasn’t created to be a mess, either, so Eugen have clearly thought long and hard about how to get players thinking more, rather than rushing with luke-warm tactics, or whatever they think is the strongest unit.
The title didn’t seem entirely focused on aircraft battles, and by that I mean that a great many of the improvements brought to the game have been about making the European Escalation dynamic much better. Because of this, it feels as though the title runs the risk of feeling like a mere content patch (albeit with a hell of a lot of improvements), but I’m satisfied for now that there are changes enough to merit the additional cost. There is certainly a lot of new content, but it’s not all about the aircraft. This is probably a good thing. There’s a very “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” feel to this installment, and it seems as though Eugen Systems have put their resources into improving and perfecting Wargame the franchise, rather than taking it in a new direction. This is a good thing, in my opinion, and fans of the series will find it very difficult to object to many – if any – of the new features and tweaks. This is a product of user-feedback, and a success story by and large.
Wargame AirLand Battle reaches closed beta “maybe in 2 weeks”, and releases sometime in 2013.
We loved Wargame: European Escalation, so we’re genuinely happy there’s more to come. Wargame: AirLand Battle takes the game further, introducing more air units (planes!) Although Wargame already had free DLC content, we did expect to see planes patched in at some point, but AirLand Battle is announced to be the successor to European Invasion.
Wargame: AirLand Battle, is unveiled for the first time in this teaser video ! Planned for released for 2013, Wargame: AirLand Battle will bring the series to a brand new dimension. Today’s video gives a glimpse of the spectacular new features to come!
Set around the same time period, AirLand Battle promises to take players to Northern Europe, around Scandinavia. The game will boast ”a total of 150 planes”, from fighters to bombers and electronic warfare planes.
The game will feature four new nations including their vehicles, which includes the original 8, featuring over 750 vehicles and units.
Wargame: AirLand Battle also brings authenticity to the next level thanks to a new weapons system, better handling of fire effects, and a new Urban Combat Interface (UCI) allowing for battle inside cities.