Company of Heroes 2’s Western Front Expansion Out Now

Company of Heroes 2‘s main point of differentiation was that it took the original game’s blend of bombast and squad tactics to the Eastern Front. What is it that therefore sets apart this new multiplayer-only standalone expansion, when The Western Front Armies does as its name suggests and replaces cold climes, Russians and Nazis with grass fields, Americans and yes still Nazis?

The expansion came out yesterday, and perhaps the answer is to be found in the live action launch trailer embedded below.

I thought, for one brief moment of hope, that the two living soldiers were going to lay down their arms in recognition of the monument to suffering that surrounded them. Since they did not, I’d say that the Western Front Armies’ point of differentiation from every other military game – other than the syntactic weirdness of its name – is that it embraces the same gloomy recognition of the inherent futility of war as the other Company of Heroes games.

That and the great explosions.

Since the video above didn’t show actual in-game footage, you might want to hop across and watch some of the previous trailers. To play the expandalone itself will set you back £15. It includes eight new maps, and includes access to Company of Heroes 2’s original multiplayer.

From this site

34 Comments

  1. BooleanBob says:

    Psst – be careful what you say about “expandalone”, Graham. I’m pretty sure its origins lie within the hivemind. The puns are coming from within the house!

    I was really hoping Relic would take us on a trip to North Africa with their first expanda- expansion. There’s always next time, I suppose. But I can only agree it seems a touch regressive, especially seeing as CoH1 is still with us (thanks to some nice, generous work by the devs in patching it across to Steamworks.)

    I wonder whether this is an attempt to finally dislodge the last of the prior game’s reluctant fanbase into the sequel’s multiplayer – inject to some new (old) blood into the matchmaking pool. Gamereplays generally shows more activity on the former’s hub after all.

    • DarkLiberator says:

      Well they’ve definitely succeeded in getting new players. Also the new patch finally fixed the lag issues I’ve had for awhile now and nerfed a few things.

      Also has a nice amount of custom maps in workshop for those who don’t want to buy for new maps.

    • Chuckleluck says:

      I was a doubter at first, but now I really enjoy the expansion. Aside from the improvements COH2 made, the new factions don’t really play much like the COH1 counterparts, or the eastern front counterpart in Germany’s case. The Oberkommando I’d say are closest to Britain from COH1, of course with mechanized Nazi flair.

  2. Neutrino says:

    WWII wasn’t fought between the Allies and the ‘Nazis’ any more than the Battle of Britain was won by the Conservative Party (British ruling political party of the time).

    WWII was actually between the Allies and the _Germans_. Isn’t rewriting history to avoid upsetting people’s delicate sensibilities great!

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Although at the time, Germany was a totalitarian state meaning that the Nazi party had complete control of all facets of society, including the Wehrmacht. All branches of the Wehrmacht were deeply entwined with the Nazi party – military leaders also being largely senior in the Nazi Party. All soldiers, whether personally members of the Nazi party or not had to swear an oath of personal allegiance to Adolf Hitler. Even military uniforms were all emblazoned with the Nazi party emblem. Although formally the SS were in fact the personal army of the Nazi Party whilst the rest of the armed forces remained technically separate, the entire Wehrmacht was, for all intents and purposes an extension of the Nazi Party.

      That is my understanding of the situation at least. If anyone knows better I’d be intrigued.

      However, more to your point, it would seem to me to be unfair to label all soldiers of the Wehrmacht as Nazis; there most certainly were soldiers serving in the Wehrmacht who held no regard for the oath they were made to swear and who had little choice having been conscripted in the first place or who enlisted out of patriotic duty.

      So when combating German forces specifically, I suppose you could say the Allies were fighting either the German army (Wehrmacht) or the Nazi army (SS), although as a whole, the 3 forces involved in WW2 I think were the Allies, the Soviet Union and the Axis Alliance.

      • Neutrino says:

        After being democratically elected in 1933, Hitler and the Nazi party enjoyed the support of the overwhelming majority of the German people at the outbreak of war in 1939 and well into the war, (up until it was obvious they were going to lose oddly enough). Yes Hilter was sectarian and totalitarian, but that was evident from the start of his political career and did not stop the Germans from deciding that they wanted him as their leader.

        Interestingly, in Britain the 1935 general election resulted in the election of a ‘National Government’ (Conservative majority) and the next general election was not held until after the war in1945 (which Churchill famously lost), so in some sense the war caused a certain totalitariamism over here too.

        The extent to which Churchill and Hilter had the suppport of their respective populations seems quite balanced (at least at the start of the war) so the fashionable characterisation of the Nazi’s as oppressors of the German people who enslaved them and forced them to act against their will (almost like aliens taking over the country) is nothing less than a blatent and distasteful reinvention of history.

        • mukuste says:

          “Democratically elected”, my ass. If you think being put into power by means of intrigues and terrorist measures constitutes being “democratically elected”, then I don’t know where your understanding of democracy comes from.

          The NSDAP and Hitler did have considerable support in the population, yes. But the events leading up to the “Machtergreifung” were anything but a democratic process.

          • Neutrino says:

            The Nazi party won the November 1932 election. In the tossup between a coalition government and Hitler being made Chancellor there were indeed machinations, but in politics there always are. Fundamentally though the Nazi’s came to power by virtue of being the largest democratically elected party.

            The term ‘Machtergreifung’ denoting a ‘seizing of power’ is now deprecated by many historians for that very reason.

          • Bull0 says:

            The question is whether the democratic process can be considered a true expression of the will of the German people at the time when you factor in all the intimidation and whatnot perpetrated by the Nazi party. At any rate, you plainly have an agenda here, which undermines your point dramatically.

            The whole thing is a bit semantic, anyway – the Allies fought with Germany to remove the Nazi party, rather than to destroy/otherwise dissolve Germany, so calling it a war between the Allies and the Nazis seems fairly appropriate.

          • Neutrino says:

            The Nazi regime was not politically all controlling until much later, _after_ the 1932 election. So implying that they won the 1932 election because they were an all controlling regime is clearly a circular argument.

            If I have an agenda it is to replace comfortable fallacies with hard reality.

          • Bull0 says:

            I didn’t say they were all controlling, I said they carried out a campaign of threats and intimidation. Are you trying to pretend that’s not the case?

            I think your agenda is to push an unreasonably harsh judgement of the German people of the era, for presumably nationalist or anti-German reasons. Quite possibly anti-European, are you by any chance a UKIP supporter?

          • Neutrino says:

            The Nazi’s did terrible things, but you raised the issue of whether the election they won was a true expression of the will of the German people at the time. The point about them not being all-controlling was in response to that, since there is no evidence to suggest that them winning the election was not a true expression of the will of the German people.

            On the one hand you seek to highlight how terrible the Nazi’s were, while on the other hand suggesting I have an unreasonably harsh opinion of the Germans! Since the Nazi’s were actually Germans, and a Nazi policy was the path that Gemany as a whole chose, that strikes me as contradictory.

            Let’s just be honest about it shall we? Germany started a war, it was horrendous, they lost, they’re not like that nowadays, let’s move on.

            But moving on does not mean pretending that what happened didn’t happen. The trend of pretending that Germany was somehow ‘taken over’ by this unthinkably evil and unstoppable political machine (that had nothing to do with normal German people), which then enslaved Germany and forced them to war when they didn’t want to go to war, is exactly the kind of crap that prevents future generations from learning the lessons of that past, and for that reason it needs to be pointed out for the rewriting of history that it is.

          • Bull0 says:

            “The point about them not being all-controlling was in response to that, since there is no evidence to suggest that them winning the election was not a true expression of the will of the German people.”

            Evidence like the campaign of threats and intimidation that you keep refusing to acknowledge? No, I’m not conceding any kind of point to you, no, I’m not moving on.

            The rest of your comment is bullshit, my whole point is that tarring all Germans with the same brush as the Nazis because in your opinion the Nazis were democratically elected doesn’t hold water because they got themselves elected through threats and intimidation, so in what way is it contradictory? There’s no logic there at all.

            You are a UKIP person, aren’t you? You talk like one. All that shit about Germany being enslaved and forced to go to war against their will – nobody said that, for fuck’s sake. We’re just saying you’ve got the wrong idea about them being fairly elected. Get a grip. If you’re upset about what you perceive to be revisionist history, revising it yourself and then trying to ram that down peoples’ throats is a funny way of showing it.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Yes, the Nazi party was elected into power and so you can certainly say that a significant portion of the populous would have considered themselves members of the Nazi party (they were elected with a third of seats). I’m not suggesting otherwise. However, for those who were not Nazi supporters, life was indeed trickier as time passed. Unlike in Britain or the US where there would have been plenty of opposition supporters, there was no opposition party in Germany. On taking charge, the Nazi party purged government of political rivals, insinuated key Nazi officials in positions of power and instituted laws to preserve their position of power, whilst employing their paramilitary wing as state police (eventually the Gestapo).

          Certainly, many German citizens supported the Nazi party and welcomed the public reforms as they were desperate for change. For those who were not supporters, the Nazi party placed themselves in a position to intimate and suppress and through instatement of law restrict personal freedoms and freedom of expression as they saw fit, incarcerating anyone that spoke out against them.

          Your original point seemed to me to be that the German military and the Nazi party were distinct enough that the military shouldn’t be referred to as Nazis. My intention above was to partly agree (Many combatants would have not been Nazis) but also disagree, in that the military was so much an extension of Nazi power that the cross-reference would be acceptable, despite individual personal opinions (which were often repressed in any case)

          • Laurentius says:

            Let’s not kid ourselves, German population ( and among elites too ) support for Nazi regime was overwhelming. No other totalitarian regime seize such control over whole political and social life and with such ease and such quickly and with such little expense of using terror and violence.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Absolutely, I think that’s down to a combination of factors – not only was opposition repressed but their propaganda machine was epic and much of the atrocity we associate with the party today was well hidden. Added to that, the recent history of the country meant that the German populace was desperate for change and desperate for economic recovery. The quality of life for most under Nazi control must have been much improved over the disastrous preceding years. But yes, I agree.

          • wengart says:

            There is an assumption that electing the Nazi party into power was wrong. They were repeatedly elected into more power for a few years during which a newly formed deomcratic system repeatedly failed to do anything positive for the German people. Like there is an assumption that we make that democracy is clearly the best thing when that isn’t true.

            Point was the Nazi part of the 1930s and the Nazi party of the 1940s aren’t really super equivalent and the German people didn’t vote in the Nazi party on the basis of invading Russia and setting up deathcamps for undesirables.

          • MrUnimport says:

            Mein Kampf was written in the twenties. While it doesn’t advocate war with Russia or death camps, it sure isn’t sunshine and daisies either. Germans who supported Hitler were either supportive or tolerant of his racial ideas.

      • Fry says:

        Excuse the pedantry, but Wehrmacht does not mean “army.” Wehrmacht was all three branches of the German armed forces of the time – army (Heer), navy (Kriegsmarine), air force (Luftwaffe).

        When actually deployed in a combat zone, the Waffen-SS was technically under control of the Wehrmacht. Whether it could be considered part of the Wehrmacht is somewhat debatable.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          This response come a little late I apologise. Pedant-ism not at all a problem; you are quite correct. I was hoping that structure would have been clearer from my earlier paragraph but I see I did not explicitly state as much.

          Anyway, regarding the relationship between the SS and the Wehrmacht, my knowledge is hazy but I was under the impression that although the SS operated as part of the Wehrmacht they something like a private army of the Nazi party. Thus the command structure was separate from the rest of the Wehrmacht and operated almost in parallel to the Heer.

    • 2helix4u says:

      Yeah, this is a problem as old as WW2 games and its always been pretty stupid. Although to be fair if I remember right in CoH1 it was the Wehrmacht not Nazis although I think you could get a nazi SS talent tree, maybe the propaganda one?

      Shame they’re adding the two most boring teams possible, woulda preferred practically any other nations, or if you’ve gotta have the yanks add the Japanese.

      e: CoH2 was an odd game, me and my friends played an enormous amount of CoH1 while the sequel was… the exact same game and engine but slightly clunkier and way less balanced on release.

      • Chuckleluck says:

        As others have said, I sadly doubt that the Japanese will make an appearance considering SEGA. And if you revisit COH2, I’m sure you’ll find its much more balanced since release.

    • WinTurkey says:

      Correction, it was the Allies fighting against the Axis.

      We’ll never see nips in a CoH game as long as SEGA is publishing, but it’s perfectly reasonable to expect an Italian faction to make an appearance.

      • Neutrino says:

        True, but my point is that only with Germany do we now choose to characterize their involvement in the war as the actions of the ruling party instead of the country as a whole, and the reasons for doing so are as distasteful as they are transparent.

    • dE says:

      Collective blame is the tool of warmongers and terrorists. Please don’t subscribe to such old fashioned ideologies.

      • MrUnimport says:

        What about collective responsibility? The important thing is not that we blame the Germans of the last generation but that we understand what they were seduced by, how to recognize it, how to inoculate ourselves as a culture against it. It will likely never be stamped out. To acknowledge that many Germans wholeheartedly supported Hitler is to acknowledge that the Nazis were humans, after all, and thus it is our responsibility as humans to ensure they do not rise again, in any form, in any place.

    • wengart says:

      It really isn’t a rewriting of history. Most of the Nazi/fascist language originates from American propaganda during the war. Frank Capra’s Why We fight has a 42 minute section on Germany that is titled “The Nazi Strike”. In the film they rarely say Germany did something. They say the fascists, or the nazis, the Fuhrer, or Hitler.

      With a large German American population they couldn’t really paint “the Germans” as the evil like they could with the Japanese.

    • bigdirtydave says:

      Dear ‘likely chilling in a modern western styled government ran country, with limited understanding of how the world outside your box works’

      My grandparents told me it was pretty much nazi party or done. They had a few neighbors down the street hung for being very vocal against the nazi party . Another German friend of mine commented that his grandparents were in the Hitler Youth, and they were pretty much made (adults influencing kids) to go around and beat up kids in other youth groups.

      A lot of Africa is controlled by demons who have little popular support, but have no qualms of brutalizing the nay sayers. In the narco trafficing areas in south america, the drug lords are pretty brutal. Do something about it and your mom/brother/dad/sister/girlfriend has their head served to you on a plate. Do you really think the population at large in North Korea is in support of the angel running that country? When you graduate from video games, join something akin to the peace corp; it will adjust your world view dramatically. Then talk. It’s a jungle out there and thank your lucky stars you live where you live and can enjoy the video games you do. Was it a war against the Germans, yes. Was it a war against Nazi’ism, even more so. Otherwise Germany wouldn’t be Germany anymore, it would be New Brittain, New ‘merica, New Russia, and New France (and i’m not talking about the controlled space you history buffs, I’m talking complete erase of culture which has happened billions of times in Human history already. Not many remember the Illyrians? lol).

      As for Coh2, I wish the game wasn’t so bland. I want to like it so much (80 bucks invested so far), but it lacks the crisp punch vCoh has.

  3. Chicago Ted says:

    Rather than retreading the same ground again, I’d have liked to see Marines vs. Japs
    Hell, or Brits vs. Italians

    • Bull0 says:

      Yeah, you’re right, that would be quite fertile territory. Setting up jungle ambushes or carrying out coastal raids, etc.

    • farrier says:

      I’d also like to see Pacific Theater fighting in the CoH style. Men of War lets you battle US against Japan, but the sheer amount of clicking required nearly gives me an anxiety attack every time. And yet I keep re-installing it…

  4. Erithtotl says:

    Ok, about the game….

    I played all the single player of the original game, and much multiplayer, as well as the ill-fated Company of Heroes Online.

    With 2, I lost interest in the single player after a few missions (I found them slow and plodding), and the lack of rankings, ladder or anything similar in multiplayer also lost my interest. I know I am never likely to rank super highly, I just like to see some sense of my progress and the quality of people I am playing.

    Has that at least been improved?

  5. Papageno says:

    This doesn’t have a single-player campaign, does it? It’s just multi-player units and maps, right?

  6. rewardingpanel says:

    visit site was an odd game, me and my friends played an enormous amount of CoH1 while the sequel was… the exact same game and engine but slightly clunkier and way less balanced on release.