Peter Robbins1, 12 September 2022
The Quick And Dirty
Its good. To quote Close Encounters Of A Third Kind – “This means something….”
And what I mean by that is there’s something here. It is worth existing; it wasn’t just cranked out for a cash grab. It is not derivative to any great degree. It scratches a very particular RTS and wargaming itch. I place it squarely in-between both. Don’t try to label it and you’ll enjoy it. It is a pretty solid piece of software as long as you kind of run along with its designed pace and it’s mostly click here go there ultra-fast approach. Don’t try and make it what it’s not. It’s not a wargamer’s dreamy Combat Mission simulationist-level WESTOP WEGO slicing up time so granularly you are not really simulating2 combat command at that point format 😀
“It’s as if Ultimate General: Civil War had an illigimate child with Combat Mission and Star Wars Battlefront 2. None of them will claim it as it’s offspring. That doesn’t mean the result is not worth playing. In fact, it’s quite a fun game.”
(Another Gratuitous Self-Quote, 2022)
The slightly-under-$30 US price tag is quite reasonable for what you get. That goes a long way, especially if a click-fest is not entirely your thing. And this goes a bit beyond click-fest, and I’ll try and highlight that in this review. If this game was in the $50+ range, I think I’d likely start to say, “you really need to like click-fest RTS approach to wargaming.” It’s a great casual game to fill in between your more ultra-realistic fare.
If you enjoyed the World In Conflict or Wargame: Red Dragon series of games, or even dare I say Command & Conquer Red Alert 33, then you will very likely enjoy Regiments. Perhaps the closest recent title to it would be WARNO, also by the makers of Wargame: Red Dragon, but it has some unique flair that goes a bit beyond WARNO towards “realistic detailing” that I’ll try and go over in this overall Impressions. I hesitate to call this just “First Impressions” as I’m a little over four hours now and I’ve actually read the manual 😀 which I tend to avoid in quick assessments as I tend to want to give First Impressions from whether or not the interface is intuitive or informative enough to figure out the game without RTFM.
Regiments is a casual play “RTS style” war game (I’ll separate the words for this one), with some unique operational and tactical aids thrown in for a little detail & spice. It’s as if the developer was a fan of Wargame: Red Dragon-style wargames, but wanted it just a little less game-y. And voila, that is Regiments to a “T”.
Now let’s look a little closer.
All of the screenshots from this impressions article are taken from the first Operation of the game, which is titled “Dissonance”. The description of what is going on in the operation is in the first shot below.
click images to enlarge
Here is where you’ll be able to add in some tactical aids by expending what Regiments terms “Operational Authority”, which are basically operational momentum points accrued in previous Phases of play.
This is where you are provided four operations cards and you pick one Tac Aid for each Phase of operation. Their descriptions are self-explanatory. Example : Additional Artillery.
This shows you the spawn zones of a typical phase in Regiments. Notice on the bottom, the unit markers. If its not greyed out, its already in play and does not have to be spawned. Once a unit is destroyed, a timer starts and if its within the confines of the overall Phase timer, you’ll get to re-spawn a unit of the same type. Sure a little game-y, but it comes out in the wash as representing reserves and replacements.
A closer look at the spawned units from above.
An example of a Fast Move in action. This is done with the top left icon in bottom right block of quick unit commands.
Use the “I” key to remove all the overlays occasionally, as there is quite a beautiful simulation underneath this all. Its actually quite striking at times. Well done devs. I find when I remove the interface, I feel more like I’m taking part in a wargame as opposed to an RTS. Also, you can slow down speed to .5 time, or .75 time to also help get this feel overall.
One of my closet favorite helos, The Hind. In action, helping take out enemy tanks in a town we are approaching. Helos are usually a regimental unit, and not a Close Air Support, tactical aid. I like that they allow them to be embedded into the overall mechanized regiment.
I highlight above where you call in Tactical Support. In the above shot you can see Artillery Smoke, Heavy Artillery, and the additional Tac aid we purchased at the beginning of the Operational Phase, Artillery Barrage. When you click on them, you then click on an entrenched enemy or enemy controlled town, and let em’ have it. A timer will overlay the support element, and you can not order anything additionally until that is delivered. The icons go active again once available once more.
A work of art if you take the time to look up close and take the interface off with the “I” key. Its worth doing. You can still click on units and use hotkeys. Figure out a printout of all key commands to help you wargam-i-fy the play through a bit. That and set the time scale to .5 or .75 and you’ll experience it more as a simulationist wargame would play out.
I point out above some of the basic user interface elements.
An example After Action Report, from the end of “Dissonance”: Phase 1.
An example of targeting a unit with the “E” key which calls for an Attack on the targeted unit. Also, just shows off even more nice imagery.
This shows where you can view what Tac Aids you bought with Operational Momentum at the beginning of the Phase of Operations.
This shows you how the phases are displayed as you move forward in an Operation. You are able to re-play any given Operation you wish to, but be aware that if you do, you basically reset yourself back to that phase and have to redo anything after it*.
Showing another phase’s worth of inter phase tac aid options. You’ll see those little markers below the units in this shot. That allows you to expectation Operational Authority to basically call up replacements/reserves to fill in the gaps of any particular units within the regiment that were decimated a bit in previous phases.
In this shot I just show that over time, as you move forward in Phases, your Operations Card are depleted. Some may be pulled that do nothing even, as one of the above shows. This is a nice little modern wargame event card element introduced to Regiments. It works well. Nice touch.
Space Turret Launch Detected! Just showing a bit of nice visuals here.
Showing off Regiments night time visuals. This is a shining area of the game actually. A lot of ambiance during night operations.
Again, night ambiance is quite spectacular throughout Regiments.
Final zone in the final phase of the “Dissonance” Operation. Approaching the enemy controlled reactor zone.
Ok this was a surprise element included during the previous night’s Phase. I started hearing klaxon’s sounding off, alerting of an inbound ballistic missile barrage. This was quite startling to say the least
Total Victory for the “Dissonance” Operation. You’re welcome!
The result of the ballistic missile attack mentioned further above.
Caught an ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) In Flight. Nice pic.
Space Turret Launch #2, because Space Turret Launches are fun to see.
How To Make It Feel More Like A Wargame (In Its Current State)
- Use the “I” key often, to take away the overall overlay interface.
- Use the time scale to bring it down to .5 or .75 speed. That is located just under the overview map top-right of interface.
- Use the “SPACE BAR” to Pause the game often, adjust units more granularly and then with the “I” key play the game as often as possible with the interface all over it. This allows you to look closely at what terrain cover is available, and to concentrate more on using as much recon tac aids as possible to gain intel on the potentially approaching enemy.
What I would Like To See The Regiments Devs Do?
- Open up a STEAM Workshop for Regiments. I beg you, please. Please provide modders all of the information needed to make realism mods for this product. This will go a huge way to broaden your fan base. It’s already a solid title on its own with RTS players, keep your vision of what it is intended to be! BUT, let fans that want more realism hack it into more wargaming fan stardom.
- In the core game, provide a setting to make the units move more close to their realistic speeds. And as a result of that, I’d think the Phase times likely would need to be doubled, likely. Whatever makes the most sense.
- Additionally add in any realism related options you can think up. Just keep on pushing it a bit towards realism IF the user wants it to. This is a great game that deserves a whole slew of different player types.
This is a good casual RTS-style wargame. I recommend it if you are looking for something more casual to play between your more realistic approach wargames. At 30 bucks, it’s a no-brainer purchase. It may not be fully your cup of tea as a hard core wargamer, but it scratches a particular casual itch.
Free Online Resources:
- Regiments Operations Guide by Micrprose, available on the STEAM server here
- Discuss in our forums here
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