CDV’s Cossacks: European Wars was a RTS game set in the Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries. Players could choose one of several European nations and expand their empires across the continent. Two further expansion packs were released, adding two new nations and larger game maps each time, and all three were finally re-released in a collector’s edition in 2003. The isometrically-angled game featured naval and land combat, resource management, and various strategies and unit formations.
Now a worthy successor to this RTS favourite follows on from the period of its ancestor and moves its focus onto the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th century; from 1792 to Waterloo in 1815. Taking command of one of six nations - France, Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and Egypt - players can marshal forces of sizes comparable to those seen historically - up to 64,000 units. The game uses a new 3D terrain engine, which fills the terrain with flora, fauna and even settlements from which you can harvest resources and recruits. The pomp and pageantry of the era are brought to life with authentic, colourful uniforms, tactics typical of the nations involved and even recreated live action sequences when you issue orders.
With over 150 different units, there’s plenty of variety, and the 3D engine simulates the behaviour of cannon and musket balls. Combat formations and tactical orders have been enhanced, and troop morale and fatigue are simulated for extra realism. But it might not even come to that – many encounters can be avoided by astute and timely diplomatic action, and it is possible to make various treaties and pacts with neighbouring countries on the map, which is based on the actual political topography of the day.
As well as campaigns and battles against AI that are based on actual historical events, gamers can play deathmatches, battles and campaigns over the internet or LAN. Truly an attractive prospect for strategy fans who enjoyed the first Cossacks game, and also for enthusiasts of this exciting and bloody period of European history.