Countless games tote the genre of real-time strategy but few really feel all that strategic. Many times in some of the other games in this genre you just focus on building just a few types of units and then sending them off into battle without a second thought.
I mean where is the strategy in that?
Company of Heroes always felt like it required more thought and actual strategy when dealing with unit composition and tactics. It’s a more mature real-time strategy you could say and here’s why.
Also, if you haven’t pre-ordered Company of Heroes: Campaign Edition
for Mac, grab it now or read on and maybe it’ll sway your opinion.
The whole structure of how you play in Company of Heroes just seems far more in-depth and exciting to me than the regular types of strategy games you play where you have to have to collect resources, build an army, and then send your army to completely wipe out the enemy to win. Company of Heroes, however, still does give you that option but it’s not nearly as fun as outwitting your opponents. Essentially, when you face off against the enemy it’s not about completely destroying your enemy but more so about destroying your enemy’s ability to fight.
Instead of how most RTS’s start out where you generally turtle up in your base until you have an adequate amount of units to go storm the enemy stronghold, Company of Heroes has you leave the relative safety of your base to go and capture the resources that you’ll need to build up your forces. You not only have to capture but hold these points and have them connected to your territories to continue benefiting from the increase in resources. This opens up tactical options to build a forward operating base so you can reinforce your forces out in the field and not having to wait for reinforcements to come from all the way from your main base if you’re getting hammered. Really gives you a lot of think about when moving out and taking points because you also have to take into consideration how you plan on defending that point and what would happen if the enemy was able to split your territories in half.
The control point system works great here because instead of having to go attack a fortified enemy base it brings the battle to the battlefield as you fight over control points as opposed to a lot of back and forth base defending in a lot of other RTS’s. This, by no means, shouldn’t prompt you to build some base defensives but generally the main battle won’t be at your base during the single player campaign.
Unit Positioning and the Unit Usefulness
Unit positioning is huge in when coming up with tactics in Company of Heroes, especially with its cover dynamic. You really got to think about where you are placing your units or what direction they happen to be facing to be the most effective. Generally a good rule of thumb is to always find cover for your infantry but even then there are counters to that because if you’re in cover and the other guys decide to throw a grenade or mortars your position to hell, you end up actually taking more damage because your squads are all clustered together behind a wall. I simply also can’t stress the importance of properly position your machine gun teams and anti-tank guns since these units require set up time so it’s best to have their field of fire in the optimal position or else you’ll end up getting flanked and waste precious time trying to reorient your guns and that’s IF your troops manning these weapons survive. This sort of unit positioning even affects armored units in the game because depending on which direction you to choose to attack
In the other RTS games that I’ve played like Starcraft 2 or Warcraft 3, there has never been anything this complex when thinking of the position of your units. Sure, it’s better to have the high ground or have control of a choke point in those other games but shoot a siege tank or a dragoon from any direction and it takes the same amount of damage, whereas if you face a tank in Company of Heroes towards incoming fire it takes far less damage than they would if it were mooning the enemy with its ample bottom.
All the units themselves feel like they all have a purpose and are not completely useless because to build a good army you have to have a mix of units to counter what may happen out in the field. You can’t just build tanks and rush the enemy because even a couple of smart rifleman squad with sticky bombs can decimate tanks if used properly so you’ve got to back up your armored support with anti-infantry units. Compared with say Starcraft 2 where you generally mass just a few types of units depending on what strategy you chose in the beginning and stick with them. I mean how many times have you seen a Mothership or Ravens used in Starcraft 2.
Dynamic Game Play
The game play hardly ever seems stale for me when I played because once a game gets going things are liable to change at a moments notice and you have to be more adaptable and think on your feet. In one moment you could have the upper hand and control a huge chunk of the territories, then all of a sudden the enemy could make a push and cut a swath through the middle of all your territories thereby cutting off all the resources and potential reinforcements to those area not connected, THEN it could flip flop again.
Company of Heroes is simply a more dynamic RTS. You always have to be on your toes because if you make a mistake, the enemy will punish you for it but it can still be recoverable for you.When playing a game of Starcraft, it gets a bit tired after playing a while. Don’t get me wrong though it is a fun game at times but generally when playing a specific race you have a set number of strategies you can open up with and if it fails then essentially you’ve lost and games can be decided sometimes within the first 5-15 minutes. Personally, I enjoy the long drawn out battles because it requires more thought on what you need to do next in the scenarios presented in the single player campaign.
I’ve only given a couple reasons as to why I think Company of Heroes is the greatest strategy game ever in the sea of generic real-time strategy games. And even though the multiplayer isn’t available for Company of Heroes: Campaign Edition, playing against expert AI players in the single player campaign is pretty challenging and very satisfying if you manage to outwit them in battle. The single player is well worth since you’d be getting all 3 games and because some of the scenarios it puts you in really makes you think, especially on expert mode and you might even learn a bit of history while you’re at it since these missions were based on real operations in WWII.
Want to get the game now? I’ll just leave this link here
then and don’t forget if you pre-order from GameAgent you’ll get 10% off.
Agree or Disagree? I want to hear about it in the comment!