Real-Time Hot: Wargame Airland Battle Dated, Beta

By Jim Rossignol on April 26th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.


Named in what appears to be a bid to play with search engine terms, Wargame Airland Battle is now available to those who pre-order. The sequel to the simply excellent European Escalation will appear on the 22nd of the marvelous month of May, and until then there’s a beta going on. Eugen explain: “The early access Beta gives an exclusive and immediate access to the ‘Destruction’ multiplayer mode, with the first 4 playable maps and pre-made army decks for all 12 nations of the game. Enough to plunge happily into the battle before everyone else, and participate in the last online tweaks before the official start of the conflict next month!”

Recent battle-zooming trailer below. It’s fancy.

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37 Comments »

  1. aperson4321 says:

    I am dissapointed that RPS have not written more about Wargame Airland Battle.

    Eugen keeps on delivering and producing the most innovative games in rts (or more accurately “real time tactics genre” (RTT)). Yet there is written very little about Eugens games in general.

    RPS you are the best games news site, but please stay ahead of the curve in the RTS genre too. you got more articles on old retro RTS like StarCraft than you do on the real innovative games.

    Eugen got this rare puritan design mentallity when it comes to games. They want thinking to be what decides the victorious and nothing else. Yet they stop their games for being too complex and “grognar”. If you got some RTS experience from before then you only need to spend 5 min to read the manual to play their games. Eugens games are more accesible than even Dota2.

    The small community is because you have to think alot in Eugens games. The games can be very unforgiving and demanding.

    (Rant done, sorry for all the spelling mistakes)

    • meloncrab says:

      I remember playing Act of War and having a lot of fun with it.

      • RedViv says:

        I remember playing Act of War, but less than watching its FMV cutscenes.
        Truly gaming needs more of those.

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    • dontnormally says:

      If I hadn’t checked the comments, I would have had absolutely no idea that this was an RTS.

      Nothing about that trailer even hints at being an RTS.
      What the hell were they thinking?

      After going to youtube on my own and finding an actual video with actual content of the game, I have to say it looks fantastic.

      • Bishop says:

        The intro says “Remember it’s a Real Time Strategy Game!”

    • Warskull says:

      It sounds like you played act of war. Could you perhaps give me more information on how they did with it. I picked up RUSE and it was an excellently designed game, but Eugen made the fatal mistake of working with Ubisoft. The release patch ended up turning on a steam feature where it would only match you up with people from your download region. Steam how an insane amount of download regions so they splintered their player base into over 100 tiny groups that couldn’t see each other. It then didn’t get patched in a timely manner (most likely due to Ubisoft) and rapidly killed the game. You just couldn’t find games. Some download regions, no one would be playing the game. I feel Ruse would have been a great game if you could actually play it online.

      Did they repeat this mistake with Act of War or does the multiplayer actually work with it?

      Was Act of War like Ruse? What was so good about it? Could you describe how it played a little. Could you also go into a little detail about airland battle?

      I think part of why Eugen’s games have small player bases is how badly they have been hamstrung by Ubisoft with RUSE.

    • JarLoz says:

      I feel your pain man. Wargame: European Escalation is still the best cold-war rts game out there, and among the greatest of it’s genre. Wargame: AirLand Battle will propably be even better, but nobody will notice it.

      If some of you are interested in why these games are so important, I wrote a little thingy about the first Wargame on my blog.

  2. Didden says:

    Suddendesireto mergewords thatnever normallygo together

    • Malkara says:

      Amusingly, ‘AirLand Battle’ is an actual term used by the US Military.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirLand_Battle

      • Thurgret says:

        Despite that, it still sounds silly.

        Brilliant game, incidentally.

      • Bhazor says:

        Same with Warfighter. Yes it’s real and yes that makes it even dumber.

      • Shadowcat says:

        Barmyarmymen of Warfightergameface Airlandseasky Tweetlebeetlebottlepuddlepaddlebattlemuddle

      • finbikkifin says:

        The US military is all about jamming words into each other. I’m just surprised they didn’t call it AIRLABAT. Then this game would have been called WARGAM: AIRLABAT, and the player would be COMWARGAMAIRLABATPLAY.

  3. meloncrab says:

    Nice choice of music!

  4. rockman29 says:

    Would people recommend this series for someone who mainly sticks to stuff like classic C&C?

    I’m kind of scared to dip in in fear of getting something I don’t understand at all, maybe there is a demo?

    • Thurgret says:

      Absolutely. The game strikes a very fine balance between being a thinker’s game while still being very accessible, and not straying into the territory of impenetrable á la some of Matrix Games’ offerings, or indeed how Paradox games often come across.

      Feel free to add me on Steam (name’s Thurgret) if you want to ask specifics.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      It makes a lot more sense than the bonkers unit balance of shite like Starcraft.

      All the units to do what they are obviously built to do. Detailed stats are availabe after a brief mouse hover.

      It makes tactical war gaming pretty darn easy.

      My only bug bear with this game is that I like to zoom in and watch the tanks and then I’m missing out on vital information from higher levels of zoom.

      • Thurgret says:

        In AirLand Battle, you now get unit stats by clicking on the unit name at the bottom of the screen (also when in the unit deployment menu), and you can move your mouse on from there to look at other stuff too while you review stats. It’s a pretty neat change. There are more detailed descriptions on particular requirements or quirks of weapons, too — e.g. need to be stationary when firing, guided, radar-based, kinetic, HEAT, and so on.

      • wodin says:

        They should have an option of a separate window where you can also watch the action zoomed up..maybe abit bigger than mini map size..

        Watching the beta lets plays though still haven’t convinced me it isn’t standard RTS clickfest game underneath. Also Helicopters..wow..pointless..everyone that got sent out was shot down as soon as it went near the enemy…seems the AI doesn’t know how to operate a heli..

        • rockman29 says:

          I was thinking exactly that, a little picture-in-picture window would be cool for this type of game. Even Total War also.

      • dmatch says:

        My suggestion here is to save the replay. I too love zooming in to watch the great action that takes place. Unfortunately that isn’t a good idea if you wanna win. So I save all my good games and devote some time to rewatching them in close-up shots.

    • P.Funk says:

      You’re never going to learn anything if you only want to play things that you already understand.

      And if you do find yourself hopelessly confused, thats what “Lets Play!”s are for.

  5. Hanban says:

    Any word on the singleplayer in this game? I found it to be a bit lacking in the previous one.

    • Thurgret says:

      Very little so far. Using AI to fill in for other players is presumably a given in the regular multiplayer mode. A ‘dynamic campaign’ is also due, which can be played with up to one other person, or alone, and against AI or other players, as you wish– apparently. Best guess I have is that it uses some sort of strategic map, though I honestly couldn’t say for sure; Eugen haven’t mentioned much about it yet.

  6. DyingTickles says:

    I’m curious about the skirmish. If this does deck building like EE did, I’d like a skirmish-specific deck. The single player only held my attention for a few missions, and the multiplayer was too difficult. I love RTS (or RTT if you want to get picky) games, but I’m not necessarily good at them. That’s why I love skirmish modes and have been addicted to SupCom: FA for years without growing bored. EE would have been amazing if the skirmish mode was more fleshed out and would give points to unlock more cards and deck options like the true MP portion did.

  7. mehteh says:

    I was interested until I noticed the “requires activation to play” on Steam. sigh, more DRM probably like the last Wargame. Also, does this game still have a level up system. I hate RTS games with RPG aspects that favor long-time players

    • Thurgret says:

      Yeah, it does.

      To offer a counterpoint to that, with European Escalation, I was wallowing in stars by just a few levels in, and had my deck filled out within a matter of a few games, but then spent hours and hours of play tweaking and tinkering with that, incrementally, as the stars became available. I’m only level 30-something now, and have pretty much all that I want on the NATO side of things available, and a lot of Pact stuff. I really, really liked the deck system, and the way it’s intended to work in AirLand Battle looks pretty cool, too (you get bonuses for nation specific decks, ones restricted to certain eras, and ones representing specific battlegroups e.g. motorized, mechanized, armoured, airmobile, marine).

    • dmatch says:

      To add to the point about the stars (rpg) element. If you play the campaign it also gives you stars and at a fast pace I might add. So within no time you can have nearly all you need unlocked to play online successfully.

    • a1ml3ss says:

      The deck building is done much better in this – all the units are available for every player from the off, you have a set number of points which you spend on units of each category – recon, support etc – and you can get bonuses – either advanced units, or more numbers by choosing bonuses for decks – units of a particular division type, or nationality etc.

      I love this game (and the very few i can find that play like it), but i don’t have the hours to plough in to it to be a good player, but you aren’t discriminated against by your “xp level” like you were in the original. I’m even on the winning side every now and then…

  8. SuicideKing says:

    Is it on Steam? I’m uncomfortable paying directly to websites.

  9. WinTurkey says:

    These are the guys who made RUSE, that WW2 RTS where you move around little poker chips on a battlefield mock-up only to zoom in and transition from mockup to actual fight, it was fun to boot.

    Yeah, the beta is fantastic so far, shame about the lack of publicity, really hope the game does well.

  10. a1ml3ss says:

    I think its interesting that this doesn’t appear on the Flare Path – I know its not as mega-grognard as other games (though I think it is really – its just that its also instant fun if you don’t want to bother making sure the optics of your recon units are exceptional rather than just very good) – but I saw a review of Company of Heroes II on there and this game has much more thinking time than that as far as i can tell.