Expandalone Alone: Company of Heroes 2 Ardennes Assault

By Alice O'Connor on August 13th, 2014 at 8:00 pm.

Good old green moonlight.

The last we saw of Company of Heroes 2 was multiplayer expandalone The Western Front Armies, but what about people who prefer single-player? Don’t they deserve expandalones? Aren’t they inherently more alone? Hold your horses and hang onto your butts, dear single players, as Relic today announced Ardennes Assault, an expandalonealone for CoH 2 seeing US Forces fending off Germany’s Oberkommando West during the Battle of the Bulge. Sure sure, 18 new missions, great, but also: troops are persistent across the campaign.

Those two armies are, of course, the ones added in Western Armies, so this is giving them something to do in single-player. Rather than paraphrase, here’s wot the announcement sez:

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault will feature three entirely new Companies to choose from within the US Forces, each with their own unique Officers and play-style. Players will see their decisions and actions reflected across the Ardennes landscape in this dynamic new single-player campaign. Player choices are crucial as every decision will not only impact the story but also their Company with upgrades and Veterancy carrying over from mission to mission. With limited soldiers under your command, you must manage their lives and well-being effectively or risk losing that Company for good. Will you lead your Company valiantly and emerge as heroes?

I enjoyed the persistent progression side of Dawn of War II an awful lot, so I’m glad to see Relic playing with that idea a little in its parent game too. We don’t really have anything of the game to see beyond three screenshots, though. Relic planned to host a livestream today, presumably to announce the game, but it came out as 15 minutes of a placeholder screen with occasional keyboard clacking, giggling, muttering, and the Steam error sound. What a strange game this is.

The aloneexpandalone will hunker down on Windows on November 18th. Have two more pictures:

Barricades and possible bears.

As announcement screenshots go, this seems a bit rubbish. This was one of their top 3?

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24 Comments »

  1. Elmarby says:

    So am I right then in supposing that after the Western Front Armies failed to include the Commonwealth troops, they are again left out? They do realize the Battle wasn’t just the 101st holed up in Bastogne and Bradley, Patton and Hodge’s boys fighting to relieve them?

    In John Cleese voice: What has 21st Army Group ever done for us?

    • Captain Joyless says:

      Oh give me a break. Not only were the Allied forces there overwhelmingly American (like 95% of the regular forces were American), American deaths exceeded Commonwealth casualties by a factor of 100.

      21st Army Group happened to contain all the Americans north of the Bulge as well, simply because they were cut off. Even it wasn’t even majority Commonwealth troops during the Battle.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      I’m hoping they’re saving the Commonwealth for another expandalone – perhaps North Africa?

    • GenBanks says:

      I wish people would stop with the “people should pay more attention to the [insert nationality] casualties of WW2!” debates on the internet. It’s exhaustingly boring.

      You could be more positive about it, like “hey, Brits were fun in CoH1, I hope they come back in CoH2!”
      Except Brits were really annoying in CoH1.

  2. killias2 says:

    “I enjoyed the persistent progression side of Dawn of War II an awful lot, so I’m glad to see Relic playing with that idea a little in its parent game too. ”

    You know, it’s funny. Despite being a big fan of DoW2, I never got into CoH at all. I tried a few times. Most recently, I tried CoH1 again after the sequels release (and the sort of unenthusiastic response to it). I don’t know what it is. I just can’t get into it.

    And it’s not the setting either. Lately, I’ve been on a big Unity of Command kick.

    • SpacemanSpliff says:

      Every time I try to play COH2 my brain demands WH40k.

    • Bobka says:

      I feel much the same way.

      My two cents: CoH places a heavier emphasis on cover and directional positioning of units, what with front/rear armor, setup times on many weapons, etc. From what I recall, none of that stuff matters as much in DoW – you make your units and throw them around, and they do their thing. Also, I feel like CoH has a lot more obstacles that get in the way of infantry movement but get crushed by vehicles later in the game, something DoW doesn’t really have much of, at least to my recollection.

      Basically, DoW is all-around smoother flowing and looser, whereas CoH feels constricted and brittle (someone who prefers CoH would no doubt choose other words – they’re both good games for what they do, but they’re different).

      Also, maybe it’s just my imagination, but I feel like counters are more effective in CoH, and you can be utterly obliterated by the wrong enemy units in a way that doesn’t quite happen to the same degree in DoW. Maybe that’s just misinterpretation, though.

  3. kevmscotland says:

    As a fan of CoH1, I just can’t get into CoH2.
    I can’t even specifically put a finger on what it is about the game that bothers me but I just can’t seem to bring myself to love it like I did the first.

    • Rolento says:

      Yeah me too. The last time i played, it was too focussed on artillery. I missed capturing areas and hunkering down with defences….

      • David Bliff says:

        Are you talking about multiplayer? Have you tried the expansion? Because the current popular OKW strategy generally relies upon setting up a front line to defend until you can get super heavy tanks in the late game. If single recommend you get some friends to play with as well, since communication is hugely important

    • Vandelay says:

      I had a good time with the single player and enjoyed the 2 or 3 multiplayer games I played, but didn’t really find myself playing it much. It is probably just because I wasn’t playing with friends (which is the only time I really play multiplayer,) although the negativity about the balance also put me off really getting into it.

      The main issue I found though was that there wasn’t really much improvement over the first, whilst the additions that were there were poorly done. The cold mechanic was more of a nuisance than anything else and the inclusion of persistence and DLC commanders in the multiplayer, whilst making negligible difference, also were unwanted. The line of sight fog was a really good change though.

      I keep thinking I probably should give it another go, although I don’t feel much inclination to pick up the previous expansion.

    • BehindYou!!! says:

      I think that is due to strange menus and UI. Even in main menu mouse feels sluggish and unresponsive. The game itself runs smooth but there is definitely something wrong with interface and mouse integration.

      • Werthead says:

        The UI for CoH2 is huge and takes up about a quarter of the screen, which is a lot more than CoH1′s ever did and for no real reason.

        There seems to be an old and honourable tradition of RTS sequels employing less intuitive and more cumbsersome interfaces than their predecessors. GROUND CONTROL and HOMEWORLD both had awesome, minimalist interfaces and their sequels buried half the screen under redundant, permanently-on UIs. Pointless.

    • Werthead says:

      Agreed. Part of it for me was that the EASTERN FRONT mod for CoH1 was hugely popular and I really liked how they handled the Soviets in it. CoH2 just felt a lot more cumbersome and awkward in how it did it. CoH2 also put more emphasis on the story and characters than CoH1 did, and Relic didn’t do a great job of making the story or characters that interesting. There’s also the problem that the game felt more like an expansion pack for CoH1 than a new game in its own right.

      I can understand the problem Relic faced, especially given the complaining about how radically different DoW2 was compared to DoW1, but with CoH2 it felt like they went in the opposite direction of being far too conservative in their changes. The game didn’t even look that much better, which after six years was a bit strange.

      I liked CoH2 well enough, but when me and my friends hook up for some WWII multiplayer, we still fire up the first game. The original CoH seemed to hit a sweet spot in balance and gameplay that none of the expansions nor the sequel seemed to match.

  4. Rolento says:

    So is this a free expansion or paid for? An Axis/German campaign would also be interesting – the Battle of the Bulge would be a perfect setting….

    • Volcanu says:

      I agree. Especially with the idea of unit persistence. Would be really interesting to have to balance making progress without eroding your armoured spearheads prior to achieving a breakthrough, in a German campaign. You’d have thought there was arguably a bit more scope for a campaign involving the ‘offensive’ force too, given that most of the American missions would be more defensive in nature – at least until the counterattack phase.

      Actually the “Battle of the Bulge” game on iOS is surprisingly good in the above respects….

    • Rich says:

      Paid for, surely.

    • kio says:

      This is Sega we’re talking about, here. Of course it won’t be free.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      How about another expandalone with the Battle of France? Geez I’m a sucker for these things.

  5. Volcanu says:

    Well that’s my hope for a DoW III announcement kicked down the road again….

  6. SuicideKing says:

    Player choices are crucial as every decision will not only impact the story but also their Company with upgrades and Veterancy carrying over from mission to mission. With limited soldiers under your command, you must manage their lives and well-being effectively or risk losing that Company for good.

    That’s a lot like Wargame.

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