Finally, a faction that has its priorities straight!
Type: Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Genre: Strategy, Tactics
Publisher: Slitherine Ltd.
Release date: 31 Aug, 2020
Combat Mission Shock Force 2 launched on steam with updated versions of three DLCs for the original game, NATO Forces, British Forces and Marines. Out of these three, the British forces are the ones closest to the US army found in the base game, as they use similar vehicles, equipment and tactics. It’s also the DLC with the largest number of new levels, and there’s still a lot of new vehicles and equipment here.
The New Units
Like with the other DLCs, you can see a complete list of all the new equipment and units on the storepage, and anyone who knows their way around British military hardware can tell what’s on offer here. From the heavily armed and armoured Challenger 2, to the light Scimitar reconnaissance tank. Most of the vehicles have direct counterparts among the US vehicles that are already in the game.
While most vehicles here have counterparts, the devil is in the details as they say, and some of those details do make a difference, particularly when it comes to the armament of the IFVs, where the Warrior on the British side has a heavier gun than the Bradley. There are also a few things worth watching out for, like for an example the artillery observation vehicles, which is supposed to do exactly what the name implies, but also has a dummy gun mounted on it, to make it less obvious for the enemy what kind of vehicle it is. But a carless player might also mistake one for the other, and send the wrong vehicle to engage the enemy. Still, most of the vehicles are functionally almost identical to their US counterparts, which is most noticeable with their main battle tanks, the Challenger 2 and Abrams.
The US forces also get a new truck. That’s not going to make a big difference, but it’s a nice extra. The Syrian side on the other hand gets nothing.
It should be noted that the British armed forces really had their priorities straight when they made their tanks, as the crew of a Challenger 2 can make tea without leaving the tank, a luxury that not all tank crew from other nations get. This is sadly not modeled in game.
The New Missions
30 new levels, as well as a full length campaign makes this the largest of the DLCs in terms of level count. And luckily the new missions are quite good. Most of them play out in a similar way to those in the base game, to match the similar force composition of the British, but many of the new levels feel slightly better than those in the main game. It’s not a big difference, but enough to be noticeable.
The campaign actually feels a bit easier than the original campaign, possibly making it a better candidate for a first campaign for someone who is new to the game. It’s still no pushover, but the odds feel a bit more stacked in your favour, with maps that play more to the strength of the attacking British forces than the defending Syrian force.
This is a hard DLC to rate. On the one hand there’s a lot of new vehicles and levels here, on the other hand most the new things are functionally variants on what was already in the game, making it the DLC that changes things up the least. It’s still good, but more so than any other DLC this is for those who want more of the same, or are just huge fans of the particular faction (in this case the British).
People with more knowledge about military hardware than me will be able to tell me how wrong I am about the Challenger 2 being functionally almost identical to an Abrams, because of some specific thing, but as someone with limited knowledge about military hardware (but a love for tactics games), the difference between most British vehicles, and their US counterparts really do seem quite small.