Company of Heroes 2: British Forces Expandalone Coming

Focusing on the eastern front was a novelty for Company of Heroes 2 [official site], shifting away from the Brits and Yanks – who are hardly underrepresented in WW2 games – to the Red Army and their own fight with the Axis forces. You can’t keep Brits out for long, though. They get everywhere. Sooner or later, they’ll pop up and demand “Oi Ivan, gizza Bacardi Breezer, two WKD Blue, and oh yeah Sharon’s been sick in your borscht pot.”

Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces will bring us rabble into the fray on September 3rd. Costing £9.99, it’ll be another standalone multiplayer expansion, not requiring the base game. A big update for all versions of CoH 2 is coming too.

The British Forces pack will represent we Lobsterbacks with 15 units and six commanders, and also bring eight new multiplayer maps.

Folks who buy British Forces will be able to play as Tommy and chums in multiplayer, including against players who own other versions of the game and on maps not included with this expandalone.

It’ll launch alongside “a major design upgrade” for all CoH 2 games, which Sega and Relic say “will greatly improve the overall balance of all five factions featured in Company of Heroes 2. The game also features animation and visual improvements to most infantry units in the game, which further increase the authenticity of Company of Heroes 2.” Good-o!

Sega will offer a 20% discount on British Forces to folks who own any Company of Heroes game, but only if they pre-order. You know what we say about pre-ordering round here.

28 Comments

  1. BlackeyeVuk says:

    People still care for this game?

    • David Bliff says:

      It doesn’t have a hugely active competitive scene but there are always games to be had, and it’s a much more interesting strategic game than when it first came out. Playing with an organized team is some of the most fun you can have in an RTS these days

    • subedii says:

      Um… yes?

      I mean it hits around 5000-6000 simultaneous players a day.

      I’ve heard a couple of devs say now that a good way to rough-work the overall daily player numbers is that it’s usually 10x the simultaneous count, which puts it at around 50,000 – 60,000 people playing every day.

      By comparison Starcraft 2 (probably the biggest RTS in the world) is currently hitting around maybe 100,000 active players (split between WoL and HotS).

    • kevinbakon says:

      I registered on this site to say, yes, I am STOKED for this. It’s a great, great game. The franchise is one of my top 3 favorites ever.

    • Hunchback says:

      It’s still one of the best RTS ever made, mate. It had a rough start but it’s quite awesome now and deserves much more love than it’s getting. Mostly thanks to rotten, out-dated Steam reviews, i suppose…

  2. emotionengine says:

    Not to be a killjoy, but I wonder how many people are actually, genuinely, thoroughly excited about this. Good to see devs supporting their product long after release but seeing yet another announcement for a CoH 2 expansion/DLC/pseudo-spin-off/whatevs just reinforces the feeling that this series has long overstayed its welcome. Come on Relic, give us something new… preferably something that has a “Dawn” in its title and ends with the number three.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I’m still waiting for an actual sequel to the original Dawn of War, never mind your number three.

    • David Bliff says:

      CoH2 almost certainly sold loads better than Dawn of War 2 ever did.

      • BathroomCitizen says:

        I don’t know if that may be true; there’s a thing to consider too – Dawn Of War 2 may have attracted a lot of folks for its Last Stand mode, which got pretty popular back then.

      • Volcanu says:

        Heresy!

        According to Steam Spy DoW II has sold 2.3m versus 1.4m for CoH 2. I imagine thats pretty accurate for DoW II as at the time THQ went under they stated that the DoW series had shifted in excess of 7m units.

        With its add ons, DoW II has sold over 5m. Which is pretty damn good for a PC only title in a genre like RTS

    • Lengle says:

      I did read a few days back that Sega have registered domains for Dawn of War 3, so it’s definitely in the offing. I just hope Relic have learnt from their “experiment” into what I guess was an RTS/RPG hybrid in this early Dawn of War 2 games. Retribution sort of brought back some of the base build and stuff.

      Also, I still really enjoy COH2. The Ardennes Assault campaign was really good fun and had just enough replay value that I played through it a number of times. I’d really recommend it.

    • P.Funk says:

      Yes, give us something new, preferably something familiar and old!

  3. jacko says:

    Alpha of this had quite a big following, changes up the meta quite a lot. Product for the people still playing, not to attract new players (though one can hope). I still enjoy CoH, I mean what other decent competitive modern RTS is there on the market?.

    • Hebrind says:

      I saw one the other day, it was a bunch of little blue power-armoured dudes running around blasting these nasty aliens (“Zarg” or something), and also thrown into the mix were these shiny chaps with lightsabers for arms. Looked like a lot of fun!

      …. Apologies, couldn’t help myself :P

      But seriously, StarCraft II is fun. It’s a very, very different kind of fun, granted, it’s very fast indeed compared to CoH and CoH2 which are comparatively sluggish affairs. CoH games are thinkers’ games, moreso than SC2, concerned more with placement, facing, (destructible) cover and timed abilities like grenades and artillery strikes, rather than SC2’s near-instant feedback, static maps and abilities which happen as soon as you hit the button. But there’s a satisfaction of playing it that you don’t find many other places.

      I love both games, but the best of the lot was always CoH 1. CoH2 is good, but it doesn’t feel quite as magic as CoH1 did. And Starcraft is just frickin’ nuts 99% of the time. All of ’em are worth a play.

  4. Kollega says:

    The trailer video was actually pretty impressive… but the actual game always sounded pretty unappealing to me. I heard it wasn’t very well-balanced originally, has thinly-disguised microtransactions in it, and worst of all, has dealt away with tank traps and sandbags, when for me most of the fun in CoH1 was the chance to play positional warfare with your own dynamic position-placement.

    So instead, can anyone tell me if the trailer has an actual recording of Montgomery’s speech, an actor reading a real speech, or an actor reading a fictional speech?

    • David Bliff says:

      Tank traps and sandbags and barbed wire are indeed pretty rare in online play now. But the game is at least mostly well balanced and is less blobby than the original. Micro transactions were a part of it for a while but not anymore. There are commanders you really have to buy if you want to use but they’re not pay to win

    • Hunchback says:

      There are still sandbagas, mines, tank traps, fortifications and all that jazz in the game. It’s actually a WAY more complex game than most people initially believe it to be. Way more complex than any other RTS anyway.

      If you really wonna see what the proper game is like, watch some high-quality casts on youtube of pro-play. I personally enjoy GeneralsGentlemen, they are kinda cool and really know the game very well.

  5. SuicideKing says:

    Lol @ alt-text.

    Field Marshal Montgomery’s speech was pretty badass though.

    • subedii says:

      Leaving the historical speeches aside, Relic always does a phenomenal job with the voicework for its RTS games. Not just the sheer quality of the dialogue, but the volume (er… amount) of contextual voicework is crazy. I can’t think of company that does it better.

      Made it all the more disappointing when Space Marine came out Captain Titus had all the range and passion of an unenthusiastic brick. I mean take that performance alongside someone like Paul Dobson playing Captain Gabriel Angelos and there’s no comparison.

      • Volcanu says:

        Yeah Mark Strong pretty much phoned that one in.

        Paul Dobson’s Gabriel Angelos is phenomenal. God I wish my voice was that rich, sonorous and manly….

        • subedii says:

          I would listen to that man read a phonebook.

          I’m not even sure how much of a joke that is.

        • Alegis says:

          And his brother and the others are amazing as well, I love this video:

      • David Bliff says:

        The variety and volume of voice work goes beyond just making the game feel AAA: with CoH2 I can identify which kind of unit is shouting that they need help and what kind of help based on the specific voice I hear, and I can tell what direction it’s coming from

  6. merbert says:

    My Two Cents :

    CoH 1 is my favorite RTS of all time, bar none.

    CoH 1 is easily one of my favorite games of all time. It’s 8 years old and I’m still playing it regularly.

    What makes it so good imho?

    In a word….Relic.

    Their ability to balance units is sublime and unequaled in the (RTS) gaming world to date. (relax potential flamers, we’re deep into “imho” territory here)

    They made units that you care about. You WANT to save their lives when they’re coming under fire.
    They made intelligent A.I. that shouts out reliable sit reps from the battlefield.
    They made the all important, never seen before CoH1, retreat button….inspired.

    But perhaps most tellingly of all (and this is where those C.U. Nx Tues in SEGA got their, as always, ham fisted paws all over it and fucked up a perfectly working template from the first game) they made each squad DURABLE…..Christ, what a relief!

    In RTS terms, the staple is the (imo) boring and bullshit, rock-paper-scissors effect of “churn out X number of these to defeat Y numbers of those”……yaaaawn….but in CoH1 they decided to break the mold and give these tiny teams a fighting chance, NO MATTER what they went up against. They weren’t necessarily going to be instantly pulped if they encountered a tank….granted, in that scenario, their odds weren’t great, but they most likely had at least 1 anti tank weapon and if given smoke cover from a friendly mortar, they might be able to hold it in place while you brought reinforcements in….it was brilliantly constructed game play.

    I REALLY wanted to love CoH2….but I’ve gone back to it on 4 occasions since it’s release (and yeah, I even bought the add on packs), but EVERY time I bounce off it for the following reasons;

    1. SEGA – they fuck up every game they touch imo. They’ve no finesse, just deep pockets and an established brand name that suggests (to them, at least), if our names attached to it, it’ll sell, so just get it out there. (and please don’t bother with the “most of it was made by Relic and SEGA just took it over after THQ went down the jax….SEGA had it a looooong time before it was released…and they tweaked what wasn’t broken….again, imo)

    2. They put a Pop Cap in place that makes every battle VERY frustrating when combined with point 3 below. You now have a “StarCraft-esque hot key to produce units” scenario that was never the case in CoH1.

    3. Units no longer have durability. A mortar and HMG team from CoH1 could give and take a reasonable pounding before being wiped out. When I play CoH2, you might get a brief bleat of “we’re in trouble!” before BOOM! they’re gone, and now you have to churn out a new batch….which takes fricken AGES by comparison to CoH1.

    4. Everything seems to move sooooo sllllooooowwwwly in CoH2. In the original, things had a perfect balance and flow to them….everything seemed to take an appropriate amount of time to get where it need to be.

    5. Graphically, despite the intervening years between 1 & 2, there is, imo, a regressive step in the aesthetics.

    6. The Command points system from the original was really exciting, with attributes that made a genuine tactical difference to the game, depending on the circumstances, whereas the new command points tree is….well….really boring and ineffectual by comparison.

    Look, apologies for the long winded rant….but I’ve needed to get this off my chest to the gaming community for a LONG time now. IF you had the patience to read through, thank you.

    TL : DR…. CoH2 is bollox.

    • rev0luci0n says:

      This exactly! I loved the shit out of COH 1, only RTS I’ve played competitively and spent a few years trying to reach levels higher than my abilities, some people are just too damn good at it.

      I had high hopes for COH 2, but found I’ve enjoyed playing more of the single player campaign compared to multiplayer for these exact reasons. If only the original team could have solely worked on the sequel, the possibilities..!

      • kevinbakon says:

        At launch, I was disappointed with CoH2 as well. It was fine, but it was missing some of the magic of CoH1. However, the western front expansion won me over. It shook up multiplayer in cool ways. Its campaign was way more interesting than the Soviet one. I appreciated the commander unlock system. My only wish is that they had more commanders available for the new factions. It’s a year later, and there’s only about 5 each. Overall though, I like CoH2 better now than CoH1 after their 2 new factions came out. The British broke a lot of the fun that made CoH1 great by adopting standard RTS conventions. Their turrets were not as vulnerable to flanking. Their defensive style accommodated turtling a little more. The game also still had wonky problems like sandbag walls to block bridges, or that map with the two bridges that always turned into an artillery grind for two hours.

        I am hoping that the new Brits fit in better to the game than they did in CoH1.

    • GenBanks says:

      Very well said. It’s hard to put your finger on what exactly is different about CoH2 vs 1, but there’s definitely a flow aspect. And I actually prefer the graphics in CoH1… Everything seems more flat and somehow less interactive even though the technology is probably better on paper.

      That being said, I only played about 44 hours of CoH2 (a small fraction of the time I’ve probably spent on CoH1 since it came out, before steam recorded my hours played) and I’m looking forward to this expandalone. May try to get back into things ahead of its release.

    • lich0 says:

      2.
      I don’t understand this one. CoH1 has a pop cap system that is far worse than in CoH2. The amount of units you can field is tied to the amount of control points you own. Losing ground to your opponent puts you in a disadvantage not only in terms of tactical options and initiative, but also limits your numbers. This mechanic promotes snowballing, and I’m glad Relic gave up on that idea.

      3.
      Oh but they have, especially when utilizing cover. Taking out a HMG or a mortar team with fire arms takes a long time, though they do die pretty quickly to explosives and fire form certain vehicles. A lucky shot from a howitzer can wipe out a whole section of infantry, so you need to put more attention to your units and spread them out.

      Though its isn’t very different when you get shelled by British artillery. Vetted PzGrens in CoH1 could walk right through enemy infantry leaving a trial of dead bodies behind them, and the short barrel pz.IV would wreck heavy weapon teams, and AT gun crews.

      4.
      Everything seems to move sooooo sllllooooowwwwly in CoH2. In the original, things had a perfect balance and flow to them….everything seemed to take an appropriate amount of time to get where it need to be.

      The difference in movement isn’t that noticeable to me, and capping points is a lot slower in vCoH which makes the gameplay less dynamic. Less capping, more fighting.

      5.
      Have you tried running it on anything above low? CoH2 is the best looking RTS up to date. Visually it surpasses vCoH in every way and I really have trouble understanding how anyone would fail to see that.

      6.
      At first I thought the same, but after several hours of playtime I don’t find the commander system to be significantly worse, thought I would agree it feels a bit lacking in comparison to vCoH.