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Video Game: Wargame Airland Battle

Wargame: AirLand Battle is a Cold War-era RTS game released by Eugen Systems in 2013, the sequel to Wargame: European Escalation. The gameplay is built around commanding a combined-arms force of either NATO or Warsaw Pact units, choosing your arsenal from a vast array of pretty much every unit fielded by the in-game nations. The game has multiplayer matches from 1v1 to 10v10, as well as a campaign mode playable in 1v1 or versus the AI, optionally with a co-op partner.

The gameplay is similar to that of the previous game, involving ordering your units to capture territory and engage the enemy whilst managing your troops' supplies and ammunition levels, with the addition of the ability to control aircraft. As such, gaining air superiority is a vital part of winning any battle.

The third game in the series, Wargame: Red Dragon has been released, focused on the Korean Peninsula.

This game contains examples of:

  • Attack Its Weak Point: just like in reality, armored vehicles tend to have the bulk of their armor on their forward face; learning how to flank enemy vehicles to take advantage of their weaker side armor is an absolute must.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: In addition to the notes on the first game's page the resource requirements for most MLRS systems and heavy howitzers have been raised to prohibitive levels.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: lots and lots of APCs and IFVs are available to all sides, since all infantry come with transports. This makes for choices: do you take cheap, spammable APCs to maximize the number of infantry you could call in, or do you spend more on expensive IFVs with powerful autocannons but cost as much as some lighter tanks?
  • Bilingual Bonus: each country's units will speak the language of that country—French soldiers speak French, Russians speak Russian, et cetera.
  • Brits with Battleships: Now with the RAF! British armor tends to be very well-protected, but rather slow.
  • Canucks with Chinooks: One of the 'minor nations' added to the game. Somewhat overshadowed by the variety of choice brought by the USA and the USSR, but a viable choice nonetheless with their specialist units.
  • Cold War: Not so cold any more!
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The enemy AI has a habit of being able to hit you quite accurately from artillery across the map with no apparent recon to scout your units; later patches at least ensured that they need line of sight to launch barrages.
  • Cool Plane: The greatest difference between this game and Wargame: European Escalation. Over 100 distinct aircraft units are included - and that's before you get to the helicopters...
  • Crippling Overspecialization: a definite possibility with certain nation-, type-, or era-specific decks. There is no such thing as a perfectly balanced deck, and much of the fun in deck-building is figuring out a specialization you want to play, and covering its weaknesses as best as you can.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: most units' accuracies will go straight to hell when fired on the move, unless they're very well-trained infantry with a CQC-capable squad automatic weapon, or a vehicle with a high stabilization stat.
  • Easy Logistics: to a much lesser extent than most RTSes. Although supplies are abstracted, the game tracks ammunition, fuel, and health (abstracted as "spare parts" or "infantry reinforcements") for units, and keeping supply lines open to support your advance and to keep units' fuel, ammo, and health topped off is a vital part of any game. As a bonus, supply trucks and forward bases can be captured.
  • Gauls with Grenades: Like other nations from EE, France has an expanded roster, mainly to include their new air units. French units tend to hit hard and move fast, but generally have less armor.
  • Garrisonable Structures: one of the main reasons to focus on infantry is their ability to take and hold urban sectors. A properly supported and dug-in infantry force can be nigh-impossible to dislodge and stop an armored charge in its tracks.
  • Home Guard: reserve troops, like West German Heimatschutzen or Danish Hjemmeværnet, are available troop options, for when you need a lot of low-cost troops to hold urban sectors.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: a non-sci-fi use of the trope in that tank guns come in two varieties, HEAT shaped-charge or KE sabot. KE is preferred whenever possible, since it gains substantial bonuses in armor penetration as range to target decreases (representing the tendency for sabot shells to lose velocity and hence hitting power as range increases), whereas HEAT weapons do not benefit from close-range AP bonuses. (The exception is for antitank missiles, which generally have a very high AP value to begin with.)
  • Meaningful Name: AirLand Battle was a contemporary US military doctrine for the use of air and land assets in battle, as is done by the player in game.
  • One-Hit Kill: AirLand Battle adds the French Super Etendard attack aircraft (aka the "Super Retard", or "Super Nintendo"), which carries a single missile capable of one-shotting any ground unit it hits. It's a popular counter to the Soviet T-80U.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: ATGMs travel quite slowly and you could easily make out their progress, but only in comparison to high-velocity cannon rounds streaking across the battlefield. Of course, this is Truth in Television—missiles are slow compared to sabot shells, and whether or not your unit would be able to do anything about that missile trail heading toward them is another story entirely.
  • Urban Warfare: city sectors play a prominent role on most maps, and make infantry an absolute necessity, since urban fighting is guaranteed to be extremely messy for all combatants involved. ATGMs sheltering in a city block will stop a tank charge in its tracks.
  • Poles with Poleaxes: Communist Poland is a playable Warsaw Pact nation, specializing in deadly specialist infantry, including what are arguably the deadliest urban fighters in the game (Komandosi), and high-availability, low-cost aircraft. On the other hand, their armored forces aren't nearly as powerful as the Soviets'.
  • Reds with Rockets: The USSR are in-game as part of the Warsaw Pact, and are the most diverse Warsaw Pact nation.
  • Swedes with Cool Planes: Sweden is now a playable NATOnote  faction, and yes, their delta-winged aircraft get a starring role. Their ground forces tend to be rather odd, but an effective player can get a lot of mileage out of S-tanks and Strf 9040s (which are the most heavily-armored IFVs in the game.
  • Tank Goodness: If a tank was fielded by any European nation in this game's time period, it's probably in here somewhere.
    • As with the prequel, a lot of other units like armored cars, ATGM vehicles or artillery are also available.
  • Videogame Flamethrowers Suck: they do not. Sapper/engineer units and some specialized infantry carry napalm weapons, which are especially deadly in urban fighting and can kill tanks at short range.
  • We Are Not the Wehrmacht: West German forces are included in the game, as with the previous iteration. Appropriately enough, their armored forces are among the very best in the NATO lineup.
  • World War III: A Third World War between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces is the backdrop for battles. Specific scenarios are further explored in the campaign scenarios. In addition, aspects of the war happening outside of the campaign map are depicted as game events.
  • Yanks with Tanks: US units can be fielded as part of a NATO force. They have one of the widest unit selections available to any nation, rivaled only by the USSR.
  • Zerg Rush: the usual method of gameplay for Category C decks, which limit the player to equipment from 1975 or before. To compensate, they get a lot more units than the equivalent Category A deck for the equivalent cost in deck points, and older equipment tends to cost less in deployment points, meaning that it's possible for a good Category C player to swamp the field in low-cost tanks and keep their opponent off-guard through attacks on unexpected axes.
Wargame: European EscalationReal-Time StrategyWargame Red Dragon

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