PLEASING UPDATE: Ah, I got the wrong end of the stick. I have two of five missions to play with. There's actually going to be one for each faction. That makes this 350% more exciting!
Ooh, I love a bit of Men Of War: Assault Squad, and now I have a bit more of it. Two new (as yet unreleased) skirmish scenarios have been dropped into my grasping hands by the chaps at DigitalMindSoft. Plenty more on this, below.
So what is it? Well, it's a two-map DLC that will arrive at some point next month. Both maps put you in a defensive position which must be defended for half an hour against increasingly ludicrous waves of enemies. Let's take a closer look.
The first map is Seelow Heights, is a pastoral European map in which the Germans take on a massive Russian assault. Both maps have some entrenchments around a small hamlet or farmstead, and these are already manned by allied NPC forces. They have some mobile guns and machinguns set up, and they could fight off the first few minutes of enemy attacks on their own. However, once you get past around seven or eight minutes, they begin to collapse, and it's down to you to halt the advance. Both maps have three outer capture points, which you will lose, but need to recapture and hold if you are going to keep your requisition flowing.
Seelow Heights is a particularly beautiful map, with an abandoned train on one side, and a few remote buildings out in the distance. It's also heavy on foliage, so both your guys and the enemy have plenty of undergrowth to wade through. I haven't quite reached half an hour yet, so I look forward to seeing how silly it gets. At ten minutes I had enemy aircraft divebombing me and getting down to crash onto their own troops, as you can see below.
I was defeated at about fifteen minutes in on my first solo play, and I definitely need to have a go at it co-op, so that someone can cover the other flank. It's a huge battle, where you're getting attacked from three sides, and keeping track of that on your own is a real challenge. Of course it helps if you rustle up some super-tanks, like this Panther...
The second map, Tobruk, sees you playing a British forces out in the desert of North Africa. The battle here takes on a similar dynamic, with a three-pronged German assault on your position. Things are a little different, of course, and not least because you get some superb British units, such as this Bishop mobile howitzer. Look at it!
Anyway, Tobruk is a much more spartan map, as you'd expect, but it demands a similar attention to defensive routines. The German tanks are absolutely ruthless, and soon allow infantry to rush in and take the outer capture points. Both these maps are quite tight, but perhaps a good tactic will be using the landscape either side of the map to your advantage. I notice they have been artfully crafted with ridges and bunkers that could be to your advantage when trying to flank the main enemy advances. God knows what you'd actually need to hold the enemy off on this, but I'll continue to fiddle with different formations of tanks, mobile guns, and infantry support.
Both these maps are a brilliant taste of the true battlefield simulator nature of the game, allowing you to throw in all kinds of units, from solo-snipers to serious tank-killers. The sheer number of units on the field at any one time is great fun. And they're a tough, tough challenge. There's no confirmed pricetag on this yet, but 1c say it will be "something in between 5-10€" for five maps in total. One for each faction. I can't really say that I expect this to be a vital addition to the Assault Squad package, but I do know that I will be play both scenarios with chums the coming weeks. Released for free they would have been an exquisite bonus, as a paid DLC they're simply a pleasingly meaty option to have. Which explains why I am nerding-out the length of this article.
CO-OP UPDATE: I had a game of this with Dartt last night, and it doesn't get any easier. I think we held on for about 25 minutes in the end. This is a picture of the first time we were crushed by a wave of enemy heavy tanks: