Gamescom 2013: Wargame: Red Dragon
During Gamescom we had the chance sit down with Co-founder and Chief Executive of Eugen Systems, Alexis Le Dressay, to get a presentation for the upcoming Wargame: Red Dragon.
The game will be bringing us to the Asian frontlines of Eugen systems fictive history of a cold war going hot. The Asian front will be fought with both a few old and a few new factions, and will revolve around a story of the Korean peninsula exploding in war and pulling in the surrounding countries in an all-out conflict. The factions will be USA, USSR, China, Japan North and South Korea. Alexis Le Dressay did hint of the possibility of the French being forced into the conflict as well. The time-frame has been moved up a decade; a choice that was mainly made to even out the Chinese faction, because they went through a modernization, and in the 70’s-80’s the Chinese would have been an army setup purely by spamming very cheap units.
The first thing you noticed during the presentation was that the map shown, was of a dry almost desert like area, with one end of the map being a coastline, and a rather large portion of the map being a bay. It was clear we were not in Europe anymore and the amount of water hinted at the possibility of ships.
The new game will bring navies to the world of Wargaming. The presentation included smaller patrol boats, but Alexis Le Dressay mentioned that the range of ships will be much bigger. They are still working on finding out which ships to add, but one thing was fairly certain, carriers and submarines were not going to be included in the RTS part of the game. They would be kept in the turn-based strategic part of the campaign - where you can move them like single units. A good guess would be like battle groups are moved in Wargame: Airland battle.
The campaign will also get updated, with the ability to customize the battle groups. You will also be able to have multiple battle groups engaged in the same battles in the RTS section of the Campaign. According to Eugen Systems, different play modes for the campaign will be enabled based on how popular they are in the current Wargame: Airland Battle.
The engine had to undergo a few changes to handle ships, mainly because ships are much bigger then tanks or other land based units. But it looks really fun to see a patrols ship zig sagging up through a fleet of other boats, without them colliding at any point.
Land and Sea
Also added was the capability for amphibious assaults. During the presentation a number of LAV 25’s (Light Armored Vehicle) happily swam across a river to flank a town. This will surely add another perspective of gameplay, where shorelines are no longer safe from sneaky attacks by your opponent.
With the addition of the new factions including the naval assets of the faction, the total amount of units in the game will be around 1200, some of the new units that was shown in the presentation included: French Leclerc MBT (Main Battle tank), South Korea’s K1 MBT, USA’s MH-60L Black Hawk Direct Action Penetrator (DAP) and the French version of the Tigre Eurocopter Attack Helicopter.
The maps are also improved, mainly in the area of how different levels of terrain are handled. The previous games had clear parts between two pieces of terrain with different evaluations. In Wargame: Red Dragon the terrain flows like in real life, with hills and mountains blocking Line of sight. Making some areas of the map dominated by infantry and light vehicles. Also due to how realistic the terrain is, it will be a lot easier to flank each other and hit those big heavy tanks in the weaker side or rear armor.
The biggest change to the UI comes in a small preview of any unit you mouse over. When you mouse over a unit on the field, you will see a small picture of the unit zoomed all the way in. This is to help players learn the new factions units. Most people have a fairly good idea what the units are on the European front, but when it comes to learning the names of all the new units from the Asian factions it becomes a bit harder. So to help players learn the units, Eugen Systems will add a preview in the corner of the screen.
Eugen Systems is also working on a number of different updates to the engine to allow for improvements to the wargame experience. But until they know what will be possible for them to implement they are holding it pretty close to the west, but when I asked about the chance out getting day and night cycles into the game. He replied that it was one of those things that they are working on to see if they can implement. But it brings several new problems with it, since a night time switch would alter the gameplay a lot and the issues caused by dynamic lighting effects from up to 20 players units would be severe.
Over 500.000 units of Wargame: Airland battle has been sold and Eugen systems have been very happy with the reaction of the players about the game. Alexis Le Dressay was also very happy about the work Eugen Systems has had with its community to keep balancing and updating the game. Most recently the addition of its first DLC containing several new units as well a new game mode, based on the community’s feedback, they are testing a small change to the new game mode to make it even more balanced.
There is no release dates currently set for Wargame: Red Dragon.