Looking for a Cold War Pokemon RTS? Wargame: European Escalation!

Title Looking for a Cold War Pokemon RTS? Wargame: European Escalation!
Author Tom Chick
Posted in Game reviews
When March 6, 2012

As an erstwhile wargamer -- Wait, don't go! We're going to talk about real time strategy games, I promise..

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Good review -- it sounds like an interesting game, but probably not for me if so much of the unlocks require multiplayer.

On an unrelated note, your framing of the game as a Cold War Pokemon RTS immediately evoked another weird mashup. Looking for a feudal Japan Pokemon grand TBS?

Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition


I'll echo your recommendation. Great game with a lot of character. There are some rough edges (load/unload of infantry for one), but it is a game that gets better and better as I understand more about it. I hope the game gets the success it deserves.

Interesting to hear your perspective, Tom. I've been having a lot of fun (ahem) with the game, though my regular embarrassments in MP suggest I still have a lot to learn.

I agree with the huge variety of units being key to the game's appeal, especially in MP. Obviously there's the 'hey cool, did I just spot tank X' factor, but there's also something of a Dominions 3 effect. In Wargame, just as in Dominions, there are quite a few units that are
clearly under- or overpowered relative to their peers, but that still leaves lots and lots of units that are situationally
useful. So the beauty of MP arises from picking out something that suits your playstyle, seeing how that interacts with everyone else's dream
rosters, and going back to the drawing board to come up with a New and Better Combo.

I also agree the inability to earn stars from skirmishes is a flaw with the game. For once I'm playing mostly MP, so this doesn't affect me, but what about people who prefer SP?

terpsicorei, you can unlock quite a bit of stuff via the campaign too, especially if you're persistent enough to go for optional objectives.

I had enough points after 1 of the 4 mini campaigns (just 5 missions I think) to build both a NATO and Pact deck. There is plenty of room in SP to unlock most things.

I was actually at Point Alpha in the Fulda Gap on a trip to Germany last year. I just wanted to share that. It was pretty neat to stand in a tiny American outpost and imagine a roaring mess of Soviet armor come rolling through the valleys. No offence to the Blackhorse Regiment, but the guys in that outpost would've been so incredibly screwed.

What's the pacing like? Can you pause it and issue orders? My father was really into the Combat Mission series for a while but got a little tired of the sheer amount of time it took to plot turns. I think a semi-realistic RTS wargame with a very forgiving pace would be right up his alley.

Where would this fall between Company of Heroes (he didn't like) and Combat Mission?

Closer to Combat Mission, although it is definitely real-time is no pausing. Pacing is pretty slow, but once a battle starts you need to keep your head in the game. I would call the pace slow but probably not "very forgiving."

So what you're saying. Is that the North Vietnamese Army. Has broken through ... In East Germany?

And that’s where the unfortunately named Wargame: European Escalation
will eventually get its hooks into you: as an almost grotesquely
detailed catalog of Cold War hardware.

And right there I knew it was going to be a good reivew. :D

If the worst thing about the game is the name then it can't be too bad. But really that name is really, really terrible. They must have broken the war game name generator with that one.

NVA = Nationalen Volksarmee (East German army).... But I'm sure you knew that.

Interesting review. This game is definitely one of my favourite. I like how it uses the engine that RUSE used. They are both great games.

Sounds great, but does it use the same horrible Ubisoft online-authentication system?

This game isn't published by Ubisoft. So, no, it doesn't use the same system.

Ha...haven't heard someone mention Mech Brigade ever. Still have mine in the box. And remember Red Lightning?? Have two copies of Gulf Strike, the map version in the closet. Hope this strikes the same cord. Good review.