Quick Look: Armored Brigade Chechnya Mod23 Sep 2019 0
Fresh off the heels of Spring's “Nation Pack” for Armored Brigade, is the very promising and straightforwardly titled “Chechnya Mod” by user CCIP-Subsim. And similarly to the title’s recent first party expansion pack, Chechnya also delivers new armies and battlefields to Armored Brigade’s growing menagerie of content. Unlike the nation pack however, Chechnya also brings the title’s gameplay up a few years, focusing solely on the Chechen Civil War (1994), and the ensuing First (1994-1996) and Second Chechen Wars (1999) against Russia.
In addition to the change in time frame, another striking element of the mod is the asymmetry of the armies presented. The Russian Federation comes bearing both impressive new tech like the T-90 Main Battle Tank and Brem recovery vehicles, as well as Armored Brigade standby’s like Hind gunships and T-80’s and 72’s. The two included Chechen factions (Chechen Republic, and Chechen Opposition) are both home to some of the game's more exotic as well as lowtech units.
In a game replete with high tech units of every stripe, its oddly satisfying ordering around a mortar mounted to the back of a truck, or a low grade militia company armed with mostly with archaic weapons. The Chechen Republic has an order of battle similar to the Nation Pack’s Yugoslavia and Italy, brandishing a mix of older tech and infantry whose quality ranges from above average to dubious. Opposition forces are saddled with older Soviet equipment and militia units, making them an extreme challenge to play as.
Kalinovskaya and Grozny are the two new maps contained in the mod and they are stellar. Grozny is a densely packed, and claustrophobic urban landscape chock full of bombed out buildings and depleted city blocks. It mitigates the lackluster quality of the Chechen Opposition’s units by making every encounter an up close slugging match, and is a blast to play on. Kalinovskaya on the other hand, is almost entirely pasture, enabling unabated lines of sight from one corner of the map to the other in some places. This map seems tailor made for tank battles, and using the more tank heavy armies of the base game on it is a recipe for epic armored skirmishes.
An interesting wrinkle of these new maps, particularly Grozy, is CCIP-Subsim’s attention to geographical detail. Grozy is littered with landmarks, street names, and locations throughout the entire map. And while zoomed out, it can be a bit of an eyesore with so much text jam packed on the screen, up close it really adds to the immersion and sense of realism with nearly every location on the map bearing a unique name.
Acquiring the mod was painless, and for those wanting to partake in the fruits of CCIP-Subsim’s labor, it's as easy as visiting his post on Matrix Games forum and clicking the link. From there it took me about 10 minutes until I was staring at the main menu of the game. And although still billed as a work in progress, the Chechnya mod feels quite done and is fantastic for those of you like myself, who enjoy Armored Brigades take on urban fighting.
I am especially excited to take Veitikka’s Studios upcoming changes to unit stacking for a spin on these already congested maps. Even for those totally unfamiliar with the Chechen wars, I wholeheartedly recommend this mod to everyone with Armored Brigade sitting on their hard drives.