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|11 JUN 2012 at 11:28pm|
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Posted In: Articles : PC Game Review
Publisher: Matrix Games/Slitherine Studios
Developer: Western Civilization Software
Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear! is a tactical-level computer game based on the Academy Games board game series designed by Uwe Eickert. Each unit represents a squad, weapons’ team, or vehicle. This game is from Western Civilization Software and is distributed by Matrix Games/Slitherine Studios. I first heard of “COH” (Conflict of Heroes), the board game, from the boardgamegeek.com site; so I was familiar with it. COH: Awakening the Bear! is set between1941 and 1942 during the battles of Operation Barbarossa, when the German Juggernaut turned on its former ally the Soviet Union.
My system isn't the most muscular in terms of graphics card capabilities, I was happy to see there was a Pixel Shader 2.0 option available, and most of my screenshots are taken using this option. I was able to run it at my desktop resolution (1600x900) and did not experience any performance issues. I chose the “3D Chits/Counters” instead of the “3D Sprites”, partly because the landscape doesn't seem to fit the sprites. The chits standout better, so when you move a unit into the woods they're still visible. You might like the 3D sprites, and the ability to switch to either option is nice.
The Game Options, Mechanics
The mechanics of this game involve using APs (Action Points). These allow you to move your men, fire, rally, entrench, etc… You have different rule options, such as: “Fog of War”, “Variable Action Points”; (you can get the 7 APs per turn or the die roll variation), “Difficulty for the AI”, “Foot Cautious Movement” (it allows you to press “CTRL” when moving, which gives you a better defense than moving without it), “Random Quality of Units”, and “Action Points Rules” (which can be “Classic” or “Persistent” APs).
“Classic APs”, which are from the original board game, keeps the AP values of your units hidden. Bear in mind though, when you DE-select your units you lose remaining APs for that unit. Persistent APs don't have this problem. In classic to de-select a unit you have to press the “Escape” key (ESC). An interesting feature is the “Dice Camera”. I didn't try this, mostly because I don't have a webcam, but it allows you to roll your own dice in a bowl with your web camera capturing the result for the game—sounds nice for those multiplayer games. Yes, there is multiplayer and it has a LAN option.
The game has many scenarios, although there is no campaign. They are: “Three Tutorials”, “Awakening the Bear Scenarios” (all based on the board game version), “Frontier Fire Fights (battles around Ukraine during Operation Barbarossa), and “The Commanding Heights” (battles around the Crimea). You can also play custom battles (which can be created using the editor) and a point-based scenario "Partisan Road"—where you can buy the units to play the scenario.
At First You Don't succeed, die and die again...
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