The Seven Years War by Oliver Keppelmueller  Once again we find ourselves trudging through the snowy landscape with ...

Seven Years War by Seven Years War by

Seven Years War by

Seven Years War by



by


Oliver Keppelmueller





 Once again we find ourselves trudging through the snowy landscape with Prussian grenadiers. Old Fritz is in front, in his old clothes, with a few days of meals spattered on them.

 This game is absolutely amazing in that is a one man labor of love. The fact that one person coded this whole game is almost unbelievable, and he should be given kudos just for this. The game tries to do one better on a 'Total War' game by being historically accurate. Most games this ambitious have a multitude of programmers working on them, whilst little old Keppelmueller toils on alone. Let us see if the game is a stupendous victory or a stunning defeat.

 Just like the aforementioned series, this is a strategic and a tactical game. I was going to say wargame, but it is much more than that. It has wargame elements for sure, but it also has country building. It is almost as if the 'Europa Universalis' series and a 'Total War' game had an offspring. The games is much more to the simulation side than just a game of the Seven Years war. 

 The game was released in late 2015and has been continually updated since then. There have also been two DLCs released for it: a 'Battle Pack' which we will look at momentarily, and 'The Pomeranian War'. The author had some help and the Pomeranian war was actually done by llja Varha. In reality, the Pomeranian War did not include much actual fighting. It was Sweden's attempt to win back some of its Baltic possessions on the cheap, while Frederick was fighting for Prussia's existence. The PW DLC adds the chance to play the campaign as Sweden and possibly try and win back your Baltic empire. The PW also adds the following:


- new playable nation: Sweden
- 5 new campaign scenarios for Sweden, where you may attempt to lead the nation from 1750 all the way through the war, or go for historical goals in the two major operations of the war. Or maybe even restore the empire of the era of great power, ”stormaktstiden”, lost in the Great Northern War...
- two new national policies: Naval invasion preparations and mercantilism
- new nation specific historic events and march music for Sweden
- revised and expanded roster of Swedish military units
- bonus scenario for the French, with historical strategic goal of invading Britain in 1759


 The following pics are form the start of the battle of Kolin from the Austrian side.


 The battles are in 2 or 3D. You can zoom in and out with the mouse scroll. The troops in 3D do not equal an AAA release, but again this was one man's game. The actual battlefields and especially the topography is very good. The AI in the battles is good as far as going after the victory points. The only failing I have seen is that the AI uses it's troops non-historically. More than a few times the AI has charged uphill with cavalry at my Austrians who are steady in line and fresh. It appears that the AI uses its infantry and cavalry interchangeably. Charging into the fray with whichever is at hand. With the battle pack DLC you also received the ability to create your own battles. This in itself gives a big boost to the game and it's replay ability. Hopefully some modders will use this feature to create more battles and maybe some from different wars. I may still get to play a computer game as DeSaxe. The battle pack gives you these historical battles:



 The victor in battle is not just decided by casualties inflicted or taken, but also relies on victory points on the map. You either have to keep control of or capture them. You can see that North America is not only represented in the choice of battles, but also plays a large part in the campaign games, especially if you are playing England or France.

 Just as in other games like this, I tend to play the historical battles, and they are a game in themselves. I am not really a big fan of sandbox wars or battles, to me it usually leads to too many non-historical things happening. Of course to the sandbox aficionado, this is meat and potatoes. So the game has parts that will suit you, whatever your appetite.

 The full campaign game is more like a thesis for a doctorate in economics. The campaign game is so intricate that the game really does need a tutorial that holds your hand while getting the hang of it. There is documentation, and YouTube has a bunch of videos on it, but the average gamer might be put off trying to learn how to use the different nation building functions. It is a bit of a shame, because Mr. K has put a lot of work into it, and it is well worth the extra time to learn the campaign game's ins and outs. For those of us who are not into nation building we can just hand this off to our AI ministers, and continue with our wars. The campaign games are different for each nation and are as follows:









 In the 1750 campaign you are free to try and use any political or military strategy you can dream up before war breaks out. Prussia's need for Silesia and Austria's burning desire to have it returned will cause war to break out at sometime. Then when you add in the colonial policies of England and France you will see the world sitting on a tinderbox in the 1750s.

 The game as a whole is a diamond in the rough. It is uncanny that it is the work of one man, but it still could use some polish on the UI, for example. Mr. Keppelmuller has been continually working on his opus for a while now. I see no reason not to purchase the game with its DLC and be awed by its continued development. Of course, he is working on a sequel of the War of the Austrian Succession (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).


Robert


Game: Seven Years War
Developer: Oliver Keppelmueller





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