One of the most exciting new features of Steel Division 2 is the Army General, the single-player turn-based Dynamic Strategic Campaign mode, which recreates some of the most important battles of Operation Bagration.
We have been hard at work to make the Army General an excellent experience for both newcomers and fans of our previous games: authentic and fun, with tons of units, interesting combat, exciting objectives and a gameplay flow that makes sense. But game development is an ongoing process, and never stops!
As you know, we wanted to take a bit more time to ensure that Army General and Steel Division 2 will blow you away.
In this dev diary, we’ll give you an detailed look at our brand-new Army General. To make it even more kick-ass, we’ve also made a Let’s Play video that takes an in-depth tour of this game mode, playing through the fourth campaign – Baranovichi – as the mighty Red Army.
Watch the new Army General Let’s Play video here.
Revisiting Army General
Army General merges the familiar real-time tactical battles with a turn-based strategic campaign where you command dozens of authentic battalions across a select number of days (each turn is half a day). At Steel Division 2’s release, we will include four different campaigns, with both sides playable.
In our example campaign, Baranovichi, we play the Red Army. It is the 3rd of July, 1944, and the Wehrmacht has finally received enough reinforcements to not only make a stand but to start pushing back. The Soviet objective is to hold Stowbtsy and capture Baranovitchy, while the Germans will try to counterattack to reopen the road to Minsk.
The different types of battalions at your disposal are modeled on real-life units: from heavy-hitting Guards tank forces to ad-hoc Kampfgruppe, or nimble and fast-moving partisan troops. Each battalion comes with action points which are used to move or assault enemy positions or to perform other actions such as digging in or deploying anti-air units. The game will tell you exactly how far a selected battalion will be able to travel, for instance. Normally, these points replenish each turn. Units without any action points left can easily be surrounded, routed, or destroyed.
Each battalion has different strengths and weaknesses, and selecting them, you can view a wealth of statistics, including the subordinate companies. For instance, you can check their Combat Value across different categories, such as Melee, Armored, Artillery, and others details. Each unit shows different values, which depend on the quality of the units employed.
Attacking an opposing unit allows you to select if you want to do battle – taking you to a tactical battle – or if you want the AI to handle it. The type of battle (both Conquest variations, as well as Breakthrough mode with the new defensive structures) depends on the actual location of the units, if they are deployed, and if they are entrenched or not. Before entering the battle, you can see above each battalion in which combat Phase they are able to join the battle.
Apart from the overall polish (look at that shiny new campaign map!), we have put in a lot of time to make Army General fun to play, while at the same time not making it too abstract. Streamlining the experience is important, especially as we felt that we needed to have the right balance of showing you the most relevant information while not becoming too overwhelming or confusing.
For instance, in the latest version of Army General, we show the unit’s strength directly on the map. We also have a super-detailed Order of Battle, listing all the battalions, their subordinate companies, all the way down to the real-life number of tanks and manpower. We have also included a Casualty List.
Another element we made sure to get right is the Autoresolve mechanic (allowing the AI to do your battles for you). We are not only featuring an automatic Autoresolve (you click, the Combat Values of each battalion is compared, and the engagement is concluded) but also a neat semi-Autoresolve. This mechanic allows you to select which units will participate in each phase, with the battle unfolding phase-by-phase.
Reinforcements now take an important role during a campaign. At the top of the screen, you can see which forces you can call upon, their Command Point cost, and when they become available. You receive Command Points each turn. Reinforcements will be able to be deployed at different points on the map; these can be captured towns, cities or railway stations.
Tactical Battles are different from the Skirmish battles you might be accustomed to. For instance, the economy is different. Tanks and anti-tank forces cost 3 requisition points; all other units cost 1 requisition point. Each battalion features 50 requisition points per battle phase. Also, the deployment menu now represents the units per company.
What’s happening next?
The Beta is coming on May 29th and will be non-stop, all the way to launch day! We haven’t revealed the content of the Beta, but it will be big. VERY BIG. You will hear from us very soon!
Do you want to get in and have a chance to play Steel Division 2 ahead of the launch? You can if you pre-order the game on Steam or visit our pre-order store. Also, make sure to check out the Steel Division 2 newsletter. You will hear from us soon!