Cossacks: European Wars

by: Peffy
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Name: Cossacks: European Wars

Genre: Real-time strategy (RTS)

Developer: GSC Game World (ukrainan)

Publisher: CDV Entertainment (Europe), Strategy First (North America), Russobit-M (Russia), Zoo Corp. (Japan), GSC Game World (digital)

Language: English (additional languages: French, German, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainan)

Platform: Windows PC

Release date: 27.11.2000 (Russia), 30.11.2000 (Germany), 30.03.2001 (Europe), 24.04.2001 (North America), 14.09.2001 (Japan), 26.08.2011 (Steam)

The Game

The game allows becoming aware of historical events’ large scale. Thus, grandiose battles of up to 8000 units may be conducted on single or network game maps. The game contains much historical data, and the full version will include a spacious encyclopedia about wars, battles, nations, technologies, armies, and units having been used in Europe in XVI-XVIII centuries.


Algeria, Austria, England, France, Netherlands, Piemonte, Poland, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Venice. You can also face other communities in single player games; for instance, in campaign for England one should sweep off pirate republics. Each country has its original graphics, economic and technical development peculiarities, military advantages and drawbacks, and unique units and technologies.

Historical backgrounds

We have represented more than 85 large-scale wars and battles of XVI-XVIII centuries for single game and multiplayer. The most noteworthy are: Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the English revolution, the English and Dutch wars, the War for Spanish Succession, the Northern war, the War for Austrian Succession, the Seven Years War, the Ukrainian independence war (1648-1657), sea wars against pirates, etc.


Economy depends on six resources: food, wood, stone, gold, iron, and coal. Gold, iron, and coal are infinite at their deposits, and extraction is proportionate to mine workers number. The main peculiarity of game economy is that all units consume resources, and artillery and handgun shots spend iron and coal. Thus, it is not enough to spend resources for buying soldiers, cannons, or vessels. It is necessary to possess some economic potential in order to maintain your army and support its battle-worthiness. Exceeding your scope results in famine and army riots. Also:

  • you can sell, buy, and change resources at the market;

  • prices can change depending on the amount of resources at the market.

Technology tree

The game inventions’ tree numbers more than 300 upgrades divided in two time periods – XVI-XVII centuries and XVIII century. Upgrades allow turning quantitative categories to qualitative, and also obtaining some new unique possibilities, units, and buildings. Science development allows increasing resource extraction efficiency, improving units, increasing artillery power and range of fire, improving towers’ rate of fire and buildings’ durability. Also upgrades allow building battleships, multi-barreled cannons, etc. A sort of uncommon invention is aeronautics. Having invented that, one can launch balloons and reveal the whole map.

Military Forces

Following military forces are represented in the game: infantry, cavalry, artillery, and navy. Nations use their unique units along with units similar to other states. Thus, within each nation a player has all military forces needed to wage land or sea war. At the same time each nation’s forces are unique as for their features, abilities, and equipment. Units can be arranged into military formations: column, rank, or square. A formation includes an officer and a drummer, and units’ abilities increase in a formation. Also there are:

  • ability to use foreign mercenaries via your diplomatic center;

  • two cannon fire types: cannonballs and grapeshot;

  • howitzers, mortars and multi-barreled cannons.

Military operations

The game provides an unlimited variety of tactical and strategic methods of land or sea war against enemies. Thus, one can create defense in depth, carry out lingering city sieges, wage guerilla wars, deploy landing forces on enemy shores, shell an enemy with cannonballs, arrange ambushes, stake on a crowds of cheap units or create elite teams of trained soldiers with high-tech weapons, and so on. The game landscape is full 3D, so it is an important strategic element: capturing commanding heights provides with great advantages and often wins a battle; also one can arrange ambushes in canyons. It is also possible:

  • to conduct grandiose sea battles;

  • to capture unprotected enemy peasants, artillery, and some buildings.

Game balance

Each nation has its own peculiarities of economic and scientific development, and different military advantages and drawbacks. However, there are no second-best as for military balance, so all nations have equal opportunities. Just find advantages of your nation and use them well – and here is you victory! One can become aware of nation peculiarities while playing tutorial game, single players missions, and campaigns. Another game balance feature is that defensive consumes much less resources than an assault. So a small lead in development cannot give a player an obvious advantage over his rivals. Also:

  • stone walls can be destroyed only with artillery or grenadiers;

  • cannons feature direct fire and cannot hit targets behind obstacles;

  • howitzers and mortars possess plunging fire and can hit targets at different heights and behind obstacles.

Game world physics

Real physics introduces many interesting issues into the game. Thus, units climb hills slower, and they shoot farther at a height. A cannonball explosion becomes much stronger at a rocky landscape because of rebounds, while at a swamp it is damped. Artillery and firearms possess shot dispersion and a probability to hit the enemy by the first shot, etc. The fog of war closes after a unit in some time. introduces many interesting issues in the game. Thus, units climb hills slower, and they see and shoot farther at a height. Artillery and handguns possess shot dispersion and expectancy of hitting the enemy by the first shot; cannonball explosions become much stronger in a rocky landscape because of rebounds, while in a swamp they are damped. Waves rage on the sea, and there are traces in water behind moving vessels. Also:

  • the fog of war closes after a unit in some time.


Multiple convenient and already habitual hot keys and control possibilities are included to the game interface. Thus, with SHIFT-clicking can assign a working schedule for peasants and a schedule of objectives (or a march rout) for military units. With CTRL-clicking one can assign a rally point for units being created. Double-clicking a unit selects all units of this type within sight. Using hot keys one can select different unit types, group or regroup units, go to a particular building interface, choose units’ behavior modes (attack, hold position, patrol), choose towers’ fire modes (hold fire, hold fire if friendly is in hitting zone, attack always). Also:

  • information panel allows you being aware of finances, resource expenditure, etc.

Single player game

A single player game comprises Single Missions, Campaigns, and Random Map mode. Missions’ and campaigns’ scenarios recreate real historical situations, while a player has freedom of choice to achieve the goal. Objectives are varied from habitual development (your town building, defense and fortification, resource extraction, territory exploration, forming armies and front lines, etc.) to mission accomplishment with limited forces. In the Random Map game, players are able to choose landscape type and the map, resources, adjust the random map generator, etc.

Multiplayer game

Multiplayer game supports up to 8 players via modem, local network, or Internet, and comprises Random Map and Historical Battles modes. In the Random Map mode, players are able to choose map parameters, resources, etc. Also we have developed a random map generator, that (along with vast game variety of 16 rivaling nations with their advantages and drawbacks, and a huge technology tree of 300 upgrades) will make the network game of a long-lasting interest. Historical battles are precise reconstruction of real ones. They are reconstructed up to trivial details, such as real historical landscape and map; enemy troops disposition, stuff, structure and even number punctually coincide with historical facts. In this game mode a player is expected to lead any party he chooses, to carry out the battle, and to confirm or disprove its historically recorded outcome. The historical battles’ maps were created by processing real topographical data.


The game utilizes sprite graphics that allows obtaining beautiful and high detailed pictures, while common drawbacks of sprite graphics (unit animation jitter and lifeless landscape) were overcome due to the new graphics compression algorithm. This algorithm allows using numerous animated movements for each unit pre-rendered in up to 64 orientations (in 256 orientations for vessels), so this provides very smooth movements and turns. Background elements are animated, too: flags flutter at the buildings, wheat rolls in the wind, windmills’ fans revolve, waves go over water surfaces, and tides wash the coasts.

Special effects

Following FX are used in the game: smoke, explosions, fog, buildings’ burning, particle systems, water waves and flashes, traces in water behind moving vessels, splashes and ripples in water from cannonballs and splinters, etc.

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