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Times Digital Download: Company of Heroes 2 – the Ardennes Assault
September 12, 2018 | 7:12 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan
The Ardennes Assault is more challenging, but enjoyable at the same time.
 
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World War II for America began at Pearl Harbour. December 7, 1941: A date, which will live in infamy.

Although they viewed the attack on Hawaii as an unprecedented success, the Japanese were afraid that in provoking America, they had woken up a sleeping giant, and filled it with a terrible resolve. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s call of Americans in their righteous might fighting through to complete victory struck a chord with many in the US, as they committed their full might to joining Britain, France and the Soviet Union in their fight against Adolf Hitler’s rule against the defenceless.

By 1944, the Allies had orchestrated the biggest amphibious troop landing on the beaches of France, using their air forces and naval fleets to land hundreds of thousands of troops as part of the Normandy Landings, had liberated France, and were now pushing their way into the heart of the Third Reich.

The Ardennes Assault expansion pack for Company of Heroes 2 puts gamers among the American troops that led the liberation of Western Europe during World War II. The events of the Ardennes Assault run in parallel to that of the main game, which saw Soviet troops first absorb, and then repel the Germans who committed the irreversible blunder of invading the USSR: General Winter had defeated one conqueror in Napoleon, and now he was banishing a second in Hitler.



The single player Ardennes Assault is a standalone feature, which means you don’t need to have the main game to run this one. There are many key differences between the Soviet and American campaigns: Soviet generals specialised in overwhelming the enemy through the force of sheer numbers, which was reflected in-game in the form of quick production time and low cost. Players could therefore gain access to a steady stream of reinforcements if needed.

Yankee soldiers rely more on their armour, and players will need to be careful early on in the game, using cover and moving tactically to out-think the enemy. The US faction as a whole tends to have tanks that can pack quite a punch, but their infantry are worse off as compared to Soviet, German, and British forces.

What makes the Ardennes Assault more challenging, but enjoyable at the same time, is that American soldiers are seldom reinforced in this campaign. Players choose from four companies: Able (Airborne), Fox (Rangers), Baker (mechanised) and Dog (support), each of which has its own advantages. While the US Airborne can call in for paratroopers to drop in and fighter aircraft to gun down the enemy, Baker Company can ask for tanks to be brought into the battlefield to turn the tide of the battle. Steady how you go, though: German troops on the Western Front are just as brutal as their counterparts on the Eastern Front, and a seemingly innocuous mistake can undo several hours of precious gameplay.

German soldiers that retreat now move to the next German strongpoint and reinforce the garrison there. Ardennes Assault is a much tougher proposition over the 18 missions you play, but it’s a lot more fun because each obstacle overcome is a small victory, spurring you on towards the next one.

From the time your troopers step onto Belgian soil, they’re, for the most part, on their own. Soviet infantrymen knew that the tanks and heavy artillery were on their way, but with the Allies engaging the enemy all across Western Europe and Scandinavia (and the Americans bogged down against the Japanese as well) there really isn’t much to go around. Yes, High Command has taken care of you, but for the most part, you’ll need to take care of yourself.

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The Short and Skinny

Name: Company of Heroes 2 – the Ardennes Assault

Genre: Historical RTS

Produced by: SEGA and Relic Entertainment

What it’s about: While Soviet forces fight against Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich from the East, American forces have finally landed on European soil to help liberate the Allies from the Nazi jackboot, and you’re the one commanding them.

Where to buy: Amazon, Steam, Company of Heroes website, Games Planet, Geekay Games, Souq.com

Platforms: PC, Mac OSX

IGN Rating: 8.4/10



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