DGS Games

Home of the Wargamers Report: Frontline – Road to Moscow

Boggit hit the road to join Slitherine and Matrix at their unveiling of this year’s upcoming hits.  This is the first of his reports from adventure.

Logo_FRTM

Developed by “88mm” Games and Published by Matrix/Slitherine
Screenshots by Boggit

as always, click images to enlarge

The Blitzkrieg thunders East! Upcoming DLC will unlock with new time periods

The Blitzkrieg thunders East! Upcoming DLC will unlock with new time periods

Just released, I first saw this game just a few days ago over at Home of Wargamers 2014 in Italy. Whilst I haven’t had the opportunity to play it, I had the game presented to me, and had the opportunity to ask developer Ionut Georgescu about his debut game with Slitherine.

 

Lots of units add to the variety, which in turn affects gameplay

Lots of units add to the variety, which in turn affects gameplay

 

Visually Road to Moscow might look a little like 2×2 Games’ Unity of Command series, but it’s really a totally different game. Instead Ionut has made an interesting tactical game, set on the Eastern Front between 1941-44, which is based on individual squads, tanks, and guns as the maneuver unit for the game. Although Road to Moscow’s initial release is for the iPad and iPhone, Ionut told me that it may eventually be released on the PC.

 

Help screens make the game easier to get into

Help screens make the game easier to get into

 

So what sort of features does it have? I was initially inclined to write Road to Moscow off as a simplistic app game, but having seen the game I think I was being unfair. We see unit upgrades based on experience/mission success, suppression effects, combat fatigue, range effects, flanking, indirect fire, and multiple objectives, to name but a few aspects. There are a considerable variety of situations to deal with within the scenario bank ranging from trench warfare, blitzkrieg attacks, special missions including convoy ambushes, to dogfighting in the air – yes, some of the missions are based on air only maps – which adds new variety.

 

Early contact! But it looks like the Russians are dug in and will fight

Early contact! But it looks like the Russians are dug in and will fight

 

Scenarios are not limited to one mission, since in-game mission success may unlock parts of the scenario map, and/or add a new mission, which adds further variety. Whilst Road to Moscow ships with some 30 missions, map pack DLC will extend the missions available. New DLC will unlock later periods in the war, and new scenarios are planned for as late as 1944. There was discussion at Home of Wargamers about introducing other playable nations as DLC, which looks like a possibility in the future. (There was also a suggestion of extending the missions to 1945 but nothing has been promised by the developer as yet).

Unusually for what is typically a ground war game, there are all air missions too

Unusually for what is typically a ground war game, there are all air missions too

 

I didn’t come away with the impression that Frontline: Road to Moscow is a hardcore wargame. I can say that it looked a lot of fun, and on reflection was a much deeper game for its type than met the eye. So what market is it aimed at? I did think it was an excellent game for newcomers to strategy gaming, as it struck a balance between accessibility, fun, and some of the detail you’d expect in a more hardcore game. It would also suit casual strategy gamers, but apart from a light diversion, I think its appeal to hardcore gamers is limited.

Where possible flank your enemies. Flanking, and order of attacks can make a lot of difference

Where possible flank your enemies. Flanking, and order of attacks can make a lot of difference

 

“Pauke, Pauke! Indianer!” German escorts intercept to protect their bombers

“Pauke, Pauke! Indianer!” German escorts intercept to protect their bombers

 

Fog of War, and unlockable parts of the map, as a reward for mission success all feature

Fog of War, and unlockable parts of the map, as a reward for mission success all feature


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