Generally favorable reviews- based on 183 Ratings
May 30, 2013I resubmitted this review in order to clarify something very important.
This is more of an expansion (stand-alone) to the original than it is a new game. For comparison though here are the differences between this game and the previous one.
EE is European Escalation; ALB is Air Land Battle.
-Campaign: EE had a very basic level structure. Level 1, then etc. ALB has a 'civilization' like campaign (minus civilization management. Only units).
-Units: There are at least 350 units in EE. Note though that these are limited to mostly ground units and
helicopters. ALB adds aircraft which is a massive new depth to the game. It consists of 750+ units.
-Multi: EE had up to 4v4 battles. ALB has up to 10vs10 and the campaign is multiplayer (1v1 only).
-Progression: EE had a command stars unlocking system. This system allowed players to purchase units with stars earned from multi and SP. ALB has stripped away this system. My opinion on this is in the review below. There is still a level ranking system in ALB for multiplayer (to show how long you've been playing).
Hopefully this covers most questions. Back to the main review :)
The massive depth of units and and attention to detail will astound anyone who takes the plunge. The game's updated engine can either give players a great amount of detail when viewing from afar (easy to read icons and a clean presentation) while showing off the firepower of your armaments in frightening detail when up close (from spinning death falls to plummeting planes. On the vehicle side the engine delivers. There are a few corner cuts here and there [in particular the infantry] but you'll not focus on these for too long). There is a lot of information to take in too that can be quite helpful. Unit statistics (showing how good a unit is at doing whatever job by detailing what weapons do what and other useful statistics like how good is the unit at spotting other units). All of this leads to exciting battles that involve a great amount of micro-management and positional planning.
In the game you will create a stack of units built in a deck system. Each side has a standard amount of activation points. The more of a single type of unit you add to the deck the higher the activation point cost is (to the total activation points). When you select a specific unit type you can either select the trained version (which is more accurate and less prone to morale loss in combat) but you end up with less of that unit as a whole for deployment. You can specialize your deck to be specific to one nation (nations make up each side of the game) which gives you more activation points as well as specialize in a specific type of deck (armored for example allows you to use a prototype tank and more of the tank class uses less activation points in total but then you cannot bring as many infantry out as before).
The game's units are called up via deployment points which you earn by holding capture zones (while in the normal RTS battle game). Spending points at specific intervals can either lead to the one unit that pushes you forward or the unit that merely fails to provide the needed kick into the game. On the campaign map this is even more important a decision as units that level up in rank (which gives them better stats and basic abilities) will keep their rank till they die. Once dead they will have to be reinforced with standard new units.
There are many systems at play that you constantly will need to keep a thought on. From suppression tactics to morale, from ammo counts to basic repairs and the like. The game does a good job of telling you when a specific unit begins to run dry (normally highlighted by icons near the unit name). So you'll never be caught without ammo unless you're having to watch a number of war fronts at the same time (which is when things get hairy).
The massive depth can also be its downfall in a sense. The current system allows players to use any units in the game in a deck system (no unlocking). Some view this as a crutch but personally I feel that it does level the playing field. However the problem with this is that new players will find the list of units and possibly be scared away by the depth. Don't panic! I recommend you specialize your deck in a specific nation to limit the view of units so that you can figure out what each one does (skirmish skirmish skirmish).
The other downside to the systems in place is that there isn't a fluent tutorial (basic tutorials cover deployment/capture zones, movement, airbase use and resupply) but it isn't as comprehensive as it may need to be. This means that there is a learning curve to the game that isn't gentle.
A tough RTS with great rewards.
Let me know if you enjoy this review. Have fun on the battlefield all of you.
Mail: RandomMaster@ymail.com… Full Review »
Jun 5, 2013Great tactical strategy game with a really nice scale.
Wargame Airland Battle is an awesome strategy game because it features something that not many games like this have but which, in my opinion, greatly increases the fun a really good scale!
In WAB you fight on really large maps and thus, the units have a somehwat realistic shooting and viewing range. In this game, a normale tank shoots at about 500m range and not like 30m compared to other strategy games.
This allows for much more and deeper strategies because flanking and movement becme much more important and more fun and rewarding! Overall the game just feels better and more realistic just because of this gameplay element.
The next thing is, the units have a good damage output and armor/health. In this game, your heavy battle tank can shoot down a light tank with one hit instantly while getting nothing themselves. That means, that there is no more spamming of little units that are able to kill any foe, just if you bring enough of them. You have to be very careful what you are attacking. Again, this leads to the player needing to develop more and deeper tactics in the battle and makes the game feel more realstic and more rewarding.
The last thing that is really nice about WAB is the huge (and i mean HUGE) amount of different units that are in the game. You have not only many different categories of units but in each of them you have a wide selection of them. And they all differ in the many nice features and stats that each unit has, making them useful and giving them the right to be there and not being just for the numbers...
Graphis are nice as well, the units are very detailed and sharp when you zoom in to the maximum and trees, plains, towns and so on look nice as well. The Sound is good as well, the firing sounds nice and are what you would expect from your units.
The mediocre campaign is no really big deal because WAB is designed to give intense tactical battles in multiplayer or skirmish which works really well.
Overall, this game is what i have waites for because i really like the more realistic games with a big scale and often critical damge that unis are able to dish out because this is much more intense than the somewhat lame short range stand-offs like in your c&c...… Full Review »
May 29, 2013Wargame Airland battle is not for you if you measure skill in an RTS by APM and build orders, its not about eco and production. In fact, there is no building of any kind other than one stationary supply unit (FOB) that can only be placed at the start of the game. Airland battle is named after the NATO war plan for the 1980s, which involved many small highly mobile hit and run strike forces and heavy air support. This is very well characterized in game.
Every unit is mobile, there are no stationary weapons emplacements, everything can drive or fly under its own power. There is no entrenchment, this game does not portray a stagnant fortification based stalemate, it is of columns of rolling tanks, fast attack IFVs and helicopter born special forces.
Combat is... unforgiving. Each unit is marginally intelligent and has a simple target selection algorithm which does solve some of the annoying gripes common to this sort of genre. There are a plethora of factors and stats for each unit, based on their real-life performance. The game does a very good job of sticking to realism, but knows when to drop it for balance.
Multiplayer is intense, and frankly one of the best I've played, SP is not as amazing but still can be quite fun, especially later on.
If you like a realistic armchair-general-war fiction-tactical military shenanigans, then this is the game for you.… Full Review »