Preview from NextLevel Gaming

by: Peffy
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Date of publish: 24/10/2020 14:11 CET

All right, who here knows whom a Cossack is? I am referring to the historic sense, of oh lets say, the Napoleonic era.

The Cossacks of the frontier had to live in constant fighting trim, 24 hours a day. It was reflected even in their clothes. For example, among Line Cossacks (living along the border line in the Caucasus) daggers were provided even for women and children. Men were supposed to carry a lot of fire arms all the time, and even babies were carried in a special hood behind the back to have hands free to fight back in case of sudden attack. They were most used as cavalrymen

So why name a game after these people from this time period? Firstly, they are an impressive historical group, and second the Russian army and Napoleon, need I say more. Now let us move on to the game itself.

On the field of combat you have control of your troops as they work, move and fight as units. The key to success, after all, is working together. When you take your troops into combat make sure their moral stays high enough under fire or they will scatter in all directions, making one big mess. But I am getting ahead of myself talking about combat; first we need to march your troops to their places so they are ready for combat. Be warned, marching your troops in formation lowers their energy level, and if they run out of energy they start to loose moral, even as they march, so if marching them make sure you put them into a appropriate marching formation. Now that they are in place to enact your will upon your foes, make sure that you set them up in a good formation to take full advantage of their skills and the enemies weaknesses. Now lets talk about shooting and fighting your enemies, I know that’s what you’ve been waiting for.

Before you start shooting free will, just remember, firearms of this era do not have a quick reload option; you will have to wait for your troops to rearm. This can be a pain, but it can also give you an advantage if you know when the best time to fire upon your opponents is. You can also have your enemy fire at one group of troops then why they attempt to reload flank them on both sides with some fast moving cavalry. Not only do you have firearms but you also have different types of troops to contend with and plan your attacks based upon. Each unit type has different stats, including cost, maintenance for things like ammunition, long range damage and melee damage. A strong army is a balanced army that can adapt and respond to different situations and conditions.

However, outright crushing your opponents to a pulp is not necessary and may be too costly to your side, many missions can be won not by killing off your opponents but by capturing and holding strategically important locations, forcing the enemy to withdraw their troops. These locations include things such as major road intersections and city centers. Of course your opponent knows this too and will do their best to protect these locations, so be ready for the heaviest fighting around these important locations. Don’t just march your troops blindly, as I found out on my first mission there are guerilla troops that will soften your numbers if you move to fast through areas such as woods and cliffs. Also along the way to the big prizes you will engage smaller troops sometimes guarding nice side goals that can boost your resources, for instance, capture a farm and get food, or a small village may grant you some gold, so it may be worth your time to capture these minor locations before going on to fight for the big boys, but that’s a decision you’ll have to make.

So what have you gained from your hard earned conquest? Well as your general becomes more experienced on the field of combat he will gain more stats and the ability to command more troops, allowing you to take on bigger targets with greater rewards. Just remember you only have one general and one major army under his command so make sure you plan your attacks wisely, however the good news is each side has a powerful historical general commanding their troops.

Now that I’ve told you a little about your general, what about your grunts? Well, not only does your general gain experience from combat but so do your troops. As they turn from green rookies into harden veterans they will become more and more powerful and useful to you. You will find that battle plans will change to use and protect your most seasoned troops while you may be willing to sacrifice a new regiment or two.

So now that a battle is over, lets talk about the “world map”. The world map consists mostly of Europe, with a few neighbors thrown in for fun. Each nation has one general commanding their troops and can only make one move a turn. However you can also build up the defense in any of your territories, assuming you have the resources, so that if those locations are attacked you have a better chance to repel the onslaught. Before you attack an enemy nation make sure that your general has the firepower to challenge their defenses, and that their general doesn’t crush you on the next turn.

While in the world map view you can not only engage in combat and build up your fortifications but you can also engage in a little diplomacy, negotiating deals with foreign powers. Diplomacy is useful for a multitude of things, including: acquiring recourses, territory, non-aggression pacts and so on.

Now that I’ve told you all about combat and the world map, don’t forget everything has a cost. You will have to keep track of a lot of different resources in this game, ranging from: coal, gold, iron, slat paper, and more. It’s a lot to keep track of and to make sure you have flowing in, that’s why the diplomacy and the conquest are so important, and it’s hard to finance an impressive army without an equally impressive infrastructure to support it.

In the end, strategy is key in this game: balancing resources, diplomacy and tactics on the field of battle will all be necessary to win in this game.

If you have any comments/questions or anything you would like to see in the final review let your voice be heard on the forums.


Written by Daniel Comer


Source: NextLevel Gaming [source link | archived site]

Original date of publish: 21.03.2005

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