Factions And Figures: Act Of Aggression

Act of Aggression [official site] is shaping up to be one of the finest traditional base-building RTS games in a good while. I’ve written about why that might be already but the short version is that Eugen, developers of the Wargame series, are returning to and building on the template of their Act of War games. That means near-future military combat with smart strategic thinking and beautiful model-like units. Two of the three factions have been outlined in video form and you can see them below.

First up, the rigid but mighty US Army.

And here’s the Chimera, adaptable but lacking some of the high-level specialism of their opponents.

A video for The Cartel is coming soon. Expect units that hit hard but crumble quickly. And railgun turrets.


  1. Shadow says:

    It’s odd that they went with diverse, perhaps more inventive factions such as Chimera and Cartel, but then chose to slap on the comparatively plain US Army alongside them.

    Nevertheless, looking good. I’ve been wanting to scratch my C&C Generals itch for a while. Perhaps they’ll add proper Russians/Neo-Soviets, if they’re still not against more homogenous factions. The Chinese… I don’t know. I mean, they’d be a suitable addition, but I remember Generals being banned in China due to its portrayal of the nation as an “aggressive power” or somesuch.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, it’s a weird situation to be in where developers have to magic an opponent for the US out of the ground like skeleton warriors or something.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      It’s coz America is too much dominate to change.

    • EhexT says:

      It’s because it’s a “we don’t have the license” Act of War sequel. That means US Army with Cold War equipment doing ultra-specialized inflexible meatgrinding, international special forces with cutting edge current technology (some drones, exossuits, units with multiple modes letting your switch your rock to paper and scissors at will) and an evil future tech criminal organization with a mix of outdated terrorist equipment (aks, rpgs, hinds) and doesn’t exist yet crazyness (fusion reactors, optical camo, railguns, drones everywhere).

      They’re really sticking to their old formula in terms of faction design, which is nice.

      The videos also mention capturing units, capturing banks and refineries, so those are all returning mechanics.

      All in all it sounds like it takes all the Act of War mechanics and adds a randomly placed resource system on top: So expect to capture enemy units (wounded infantry and manned vehicle operators) for consistent money income limited by captures and prison space but is otherwise infinite, capturable Banks for fast money income that runs out eventually, classic CnC style Oil Derrick Refinery money income that runs out eventually and the new resource on top of that.

      • Graerth says:

        There’s quite some videos from a beta weekend and the NDA is quite lax (only US army was in it though).

        Resource-wise there’s:
        Money, comes slowly statically and from Oil fields (refineries) and banks.
        Blue shit (Maybe Aluminium?), used for quite some Tier 1 things, and most things at T2 and T3. Refineries collect this too.
        Red shit, (Rare materials?), Used mostly for T3. Need a special refinery for this.

        Enemy prisoners can be traded for money or other resources (I just remember there was at least 2 different buttons on what to turn them for).

        There’s also power (base buildings need it), I do hope they add a button to turn off select buildings as having Nuke defence go offline instead of something less critical could cause some curses.

        • EhexT says:

          You could burn PoWs for intel (reveal enemy buildings) but lost the money income from that prisoner in AoW – maybe that’s the 2nd button?

          Do you know which of the resources were unlimited in the Beta and which ran out? AoW’s only infinite income was the regular PoW prison income – everything else ran out (fairly quickly). Eugen seemed to like that mechanic since it was in RUSE as well (harshly limited on-map resources, option to spend a lot of money on a slow infinite money source that pays off in the late game).

          • Kollega says:

            Actually, I think I saw in one beta gameplay video that you can trade POWs for a small amount of aluminium or rare earth elements, which is a one-off deal – but I am not sure if POWs in your custody bring in constant cash income like in Act of War or not. If no, then it’s not as reliable a way of getting resources as it was in AoW.

      • Kollega says:

        Yes, the game is basically a slightly more sensible remake of Act of War. The Cartel optical camouflage trooper that appears in promotional materials and the Chimera tactical artillery especially stand out as directly lifted from AoW. But considering how the game implements supply lines, brings back the bank takeover and PoW capture mechanics, and its units seem to have a basic level of independent reactions, it sure as hell looks better than any of the Starcraft clones currently in the market.

    • BlackAlpha says:

      There’s a BMPT Terminator part of Chimera, meaning that the Russians are part of Chimera.

      • Cinek says:

        No, it doesn’t. Russia doesn’t own even a single Terminator. It’s a vehicle operating in Kazakh army.

        • Kollega says:

          I read that on Wikipedia when I went to see if BMPT is a real-world combat vehicle… and as someone who lives in Kazakhstan, I do not exactly understand why a vehicle designed to support tanks in urban environments is needed in a country that is 90% uninhabited steppe and not really in a position for any acts of aggression (title-drop, ZING!). Although perhaps it’s intended for urban fighting at key strategic locations in case of an invasion or civil war… really, I don’t know.

        • BlackAlpha says:

          According to Wikipedia, prototypes were used by Russia. The vehicle is manufactured by Russia. The vehicle’s history lays in the Soviet Union. So, if the vehicle does not represent Russia, what country do you think it represents? Kazakhstan? For real? A UN led peace keeping force containing Kazakhstan but not Russia? If this force contains Kazakhstan, then surely it most likely also contains Russia.

        • BlackAlpha says:

          Also, if you read the Wiki page, you’ll see the reason the vehicle was not accepted into service was because it’s built on an old tank chassis. But the plant who is manufacturing these things is willing to built it on the new Armata platform. So, it seems very plausible that the BMPT will be accepted into service sometime in the future.

    • Shadow says:

      Yeah, from what I read, the US Army is “a shadow of its former self”, Chimera is an international task force created by the United Nations (odd name for a “good guy” organization, almost like Hydra), and the Cartel is apparently a sort of shadowy organization of criminals and corrupt politicians and private executives, born in the US but grown global since.

      China was knocked out of the picture due to the allegedly engineered collapse of its economy, an event known as the “Shanghai Crash”. The Cartel seized a good chunk of China’s industries after the fact.

      • Kollega says:

        You know, on reflection, Chimera’s name may not be indicative of its moral alignment, but it fits its nature perfectly, considering that it’s an international task force capable of adapting its units and tactics to any situation. A stereotypical “good guy name” it may not be, but a name symbolic of the organization’s ethos it most certainly is.

        • BlackAlpha says:

          I don’t think it’s about adapting units and tactics. I think the name is a comparison to how the the mythical creature is constructed, which has the parts of a few different animals. A UN force would contain a bunch of different countries. And so, the comparison is: a creature comprised of different animal parts VS an army comprised of different countries.

          The name does sound kind of dark and evil, though. But maybe that’s a nod to the politics going on in the UN where different countries are trying to undermine one another. Who knows…

          • Kollega says:

            My point still kind of stands, because I did say they were an international task force, implying what you explained in detail. And come to think of it, if we consider the relation of the organization’s name to its UN backers, it’s probably used in the sense of “that which should not exist”. Perhaps the darkness in the name, as you’ve suggested, refers to bickering in Chimera’s own ranks that may leave it unable to respond at a critical moment.

    • MrUnimport says:

      Tom Clancy’s Endwar had a pretty neat thing going, where the Europeans were the fancy futuretech faction, the Russians the primitive-but-hardy types, and the US Army was running around in dorky Land Warrior prototype gear, full of clunky eyepieces, trailing wires, and a general 1990s-sci-fi look. It’s an aesthetic I wish more things would tap into.

  2. SteelPriest says:

    I do miss RTSs where you don’t have to play so far zoomed out that every unit is just a UI icon.

  3. jasta85 says:

    C&C Generals and Zero hour are probably the highlight of base building RTS for me (possible exception being the Dawn of War series). Been waiting for a decent game that can let me relive those moments, and from the small snippets of gameplay here this may be that

  4. Thurgret says:

    I wish they would just stick to Wargame or Wargame derivatives – Wargame isn’t without its flaws, but it’s still one of my favourite RTSes.

    • Shadow says:

      No harm in a little diversification. Especially if they’re sticking within the genre.

    • BlackAlpha says:

      I think they probably hit a creative block. They’ve released the Wargame games quite quickly and they probably ran out of ideas on how to make the next great Wargame. So, instead of creating a mediocre Wargame, they decided to do something else for now.

      Or maybe they just got sick of doing the same thing over and over.

  5. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    Dat font spacing.

  6. Kollega says:

    I watched the trailer a second time just now, and noticed that the game has been pushed back to September 2015. Though I suspect it has to do with the fact that Eugen want to do a paid multiplayer beta and iron out all the bugs and balance problems. Still waiting for the game anyhow… it has been a while since I played a decent, non-Starcraftesque RTS.

  7. farrier says:

    I can’t wait to buy this and then never play it because I can’t keep up with the pace of action, like every other RTS I buy. This says less about RTSs and more about me.

  8. heretic says:

    Those Patriot missiles are not being launched from the launchers, animation bug!