Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies – Review
Follow Genre: strategy, action
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Publisher: SEGA
Platform: PC

Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies – Review

Site Score
Good: strategy is key, good graphics, unique mechanics
Bad: hard for new players, might not appeal to players who have the full game, somewhat unbalanced
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front armies is a standalone multiplayer DLC for Company of Heroes 2. With little knowledge, you can throw yourself into the multiplayer-only gameplay of this famous strategy game as the U.S. Forces or the Oberkommando West. Of course, you can always play the tutorial, watch tutorial videos, read tips or ask the vast multiplayer community that has been built up since the full game released!



The game is originally situated in 1941, the beginning of World War II. With the addition of this multiplayer-only DLC however, this is shifted a bit later in the war. The Oberkommando are made to reflect the German army of late 1944. On the offensive, built around battle hardened infantry and massively powerful tanks. However, at the same time they are facing the challenge of economic collapse, resulting in less resources than other armies.

The U.S. Forces have driven the Germans back across the beaches of Normandy and fought their way into Europe. However, they are fatigued from battle and now face the battle-hardened professional military forces of the Germans. The U.S. Forces are desperately fighting to expand the frontlines.


The graphics are really good in this game, everything looks as realistic as possible and makes you feel like you’re watching a war movie. Explosions are amazing, tanks look incredible, even infantry shooting guns is cool to watch. The game runs surprisingly well, even when smoke and explosions fill the battlefield. It might not be capable to run great on an old pc, but any modern pc should be able to run it on medium or higher without too much problems.

CoH 2: The Western Front Armies


The game is well fitted with language packs and good music. The game supports full audio for up to 3 languages (English, French and German) and interface support for 2 more (Czech and Italian). And while music isn’t the most important factor in RTS games, it’s nice to have some epic music playing in the background while in the heat of the battle.

Sound effects are really good as well, the developers even made a video of them recording actual tank audio for in-game use! Guns, tanks, apc’s, explosions, voice commands … you name it, they all sound great and realistic. You should also pay really close attention to them, when your squad gets ambushed or runs into enemy squads, they will let you know with a popup and you will also hear them shouting. When creating units, they also do this when arriving on the battlefield, letting you know they’re ready for duty!

CoH 2: The Western Front Armies


Gameplay is where it’s at for this game, and there is a lot to talk about! This is of course a multiplayer only DLC, so you can play versus players or bots depending on your skill level. The game is won by simply destroying the enemy base. First, let’s cover some of the basic mechanics, then let’s see the difference between these 2 new factions.

Spawning units is pretty basic, each unit requires a set amount of resources to make and spawn. Spawned units will move to the building they were created from unless a rally point is set, this is useful if you’re pushing up and don’t want to pay much attention to your home base! Of course, you can also cancel production by clicking the corresponding portrait of the unit in the production queue.

There are 3 type of resources in Company of Heroes 2: manpower, munitions and fuel. The game doesn’t require you to have miners, harvesters or any of those things. You manage your resource production rate by capturing points on the map, this is done by simply moving your infantry inside the white circle of the capture point. Enemies can of course capture it back or pause the capturing by moving into the circle as well. If you have a small army, your resource rate will increase in order to help you build your army. If it becomes large, this rate becomes smaller, due to upkeep of your army. Due to a clever mechanic, you can’t just run to the other side of the map and capture a point over there. If you capture a point, you create a “zone” for your faction, each zone must be connected to your base in order to count, so your zone will grow progressively larger as you move further to your enemy and capture more points.

RelicCoH2 2014-07-03 17-09-58-58

Both teams can also use abilities, this can range from healing to dropping artillery barrages on enemy forces. These abilities require prerequisites such as munition, tech researches or command points. Commanders can be selected before the game and each have their unique abilities. Command points can be earned by capturing resource points, killing enemies or simply waiting. Some abilities are toggled, some are timed, and some are a one-time use and then require recharging.

The game also features team weapons. Weapons like heavy machine guns, mortars and anti-tank guns are examples of team weapons. Team weapons can be dropped into the airfield or created by a builder. Team weapons have a certain line of sight, so don’t expect to just drop it in and be safe! When under heavy fire, you can command your crew to retreat. However, team weapons are really large so your crew will simply abandon it, leaving it for the enemy to use.

Heavy machine guns or strafing runs can suppress and pin squads, preventing them from advancing. Suppressed troops will go to a phrone position to be protected, but they won’t be very useful. When the firing stops, your crew can recover and be ready for battle. Being suppressed for too long will pin down your units. In this state, your units can’t attack or move. At this moment, you should decide whether to retreat your units back to base, or use another squad to kill the enemy squad that pins you down. Keep in mind, retreating is better than dying! Squads that stay alive for longer and make more kills turn into veteran squads, making them elite forces that are hard to kill and have a lot of killing power. Also, if units in your squad die or get wounded, you can reinforce them back at your headquarters or heal them with a medic.

Further, there are range mechanics, combined arms, cover mechanics and line of sight. For example, rifles will not be effective at short to medium range, while sub machine guns are only effective at short range. Combined arms is pretty much what you expect from it. Defending units should have a combination of arms: anti-tank, anti-infantry and all-round killers. Having a diverse army is the key to answering to every threat your opponent throws at you. The cover mechanic is pretty simple, units will be better protected in trenches, behind cars, in craters etc. and will be badly covered in open battlefield. Finally, line of sight is pretty much what you can expect it to be. Station a squad behind the corner of a house and you’ll have the element of surprise over enemy troops passing by.

CoH 2: The Western Front Armies

There is however another mechanic that makes this game very unique: snow! Soldiers can freeze to death because of exposure. A blue thermometer means freezing, a red one means warming. You can keep your units safe by moving them in buildings, use personnel carriers or build bonfires. It gets even worse, there are blizzards! While this increases exposure, it limits the use of some abilities like strafing runs. Deep snow and ice also pose problems, be wary when moving a convoy of units across a frozen lake, as it may collapse and send your units to death. Moving through deep snow also makes your units slower, as well as making tracks which your enemies can see.

Now for the difference and balance between the 2 factions!

The U.S. Forces are based on flexibility and upgrades, a variety of unit abilities allows the U.S. Forces to handle threats in more than 1 way. Compared to other factions however, the U.S. Forces are relatively weak, mainly because they don’t have heavy tanks or infantry. Additionally, the U.S. Forces have no need for builders, their base is already fully built at the start of the game. However, units are unlocked by making commander squads. Each building has a commander unit which unlocks units for that building and the next commander squad, if the commander squad dies, you have to make another one in order to access all your units.

The Oberkommando West is an army that combines elite infantry, advanced technology and some of the biggest tanks built in the war. Oberkommando West have some of the strongest units in the game and really feel overpowered once they get their hands onto their big tanks. The Oberkommando West also have a pretty unique base: it’s completely mobile! You start out with a basic military truck, which can be placed near any of your capture points and transformed into various buildings. This makes the Oberkommando West really strong at defending capture points and they’re also very quick to replace troops. Even though they only receive 66% of normal resource income, they’re almost impossible to defeat in later stages of the game.

CoH 2: The Western Front Armies

A big ass German tank!


Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies is a great standalone DLC for players who prefer online battle. It only features all-out multiplayer battles with 2 brand new factions and a handful of new maps plus all the old ones. As a new player, this is very challenging but there are plenty of tutorial videos to be found! However, players who already had the full game might not find this DLC appealing, as it only adds a couple of new maps and 2 factions for a considerable amount of money. Overall, it’s a very fun game that will keep most players busy for a while as they keep trying to find the optimal army balance in order to devastate their enemies!

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Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies – Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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