Wargame: European Escalation

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Wargame: European Escalation
Wargame European Escalation Boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Eugen Systems
Publisher(s) Focus Home Interactive
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Cloud (OnLive)
Release date(s) February 23, 2012
Genre(s) Real-time tactics
Mode(s) Single player and Multiplayer

Wargame: European Escalation is a real-time tactics video game developed by Eugen Systems and published by Focus Home Interactive, released on February 23, 2012. It is set in Europe during the Cold War, most specifically in the years 1975–85 with alternate history scenarios portraying open war between NATO and the Warsaw pact.


Wargame's playable factions are the Warsaw Pact, which is subdivided into the Soviet Union, Communist Poland, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia; and NATO, which is subdivided into the United States of America, United Kingdom, France, and West Germany. Players can choose various units from the four subfactions of the side they are playing on, unlocking new units or improved variants as they progress. In all, there are 361 historical units recreated in Wargame.

Each country has its own arsenal of units, reflecting their military doctrine.


  • USA: America is NATO's generalist. America's units differentiate depending on age; although their helicopter branch is generally superior to that of its NATO allies, American units are generally more expensive and more modularly armed ready to fight in all kinds of Skirmishes to long-term super battles.
  • France: France's combat doctrines were forged in the constant colonial wars of the 1950s and 1960s, giving priority to light units. French vehicles are both accurate and fast, but very fragile. They are at their best performing fast strikes, ambushes and hit-and-run tactics, but aren't strong in head-on engagements.
  • United Kingdom: British vehicles are opposites of the French ones: they are heavily armored and armed, but very slow, and are at their best in a defensive situation. In contrast, their infantry benefit from fast troop transports and support vehicles.
  • West Germany: Traditionally equipped with downgraded US Army vehicles, Germany has now caught up with its allies at the beginning of the 1970s. Fielding modern vehicles of its own, they are usually quite good but with obvious downfalls. However their Panzergrenadiers are among the most heavily armed infantry units and are regarded as some as the best close-ranged units.

Warsaw Pact[edit]

  • Soviet Union: Relying mainly on swarm tactics and cheap yet effective tanks, it relies mostly on its tank formations and vast array of artillery units to break the enemy front. USSR also use heavily armed and armored helicopter units.
  • Poland: Poland's equipment is mostly borrowed from the USSR arsenals, but counts more on its elite infantry units rather than its armored formations. Equipped with the fastest troop transports available in the Warsaw Pact, they are very mobile and are able to attack or redeploy quickly.
  • Czechoslovakia: Except for tanks and helicopters, the Czechoslovakian army had its own arrays of vehicles, based on its national military industry. With excellent artillery and air defense units, and among the best special forces, it is well suited to support players of other factions.
  • East Germany: Like Poland, East Germany is mostly using Soviet equipment. Relying mostly on heavy infantry formations, it is also the keeper of most the Cold War's heated border, the Iron Curtain. Therefore, East Germany had developed a lot of dedicated recon and intelligence gathering units.

Solo Mode[edit]

Wargame's solo mode is divided into four individual campaigns called "Operations", two for each faction. Each are unrelated and chronicle scenarios based on actual events that came close to triggering open war between the two superpowers.

1975 – Brüder gegen Brüder[edit]

National People's Army soldier Werner Weinhold successfully defects to West Germany, leaving two East German border guards dead in the process. East Germany demands Weinhold be extradited to answer to the double murder, Bonn however, refuses to comply. Tensions rise along the Iron Curtain, before a break out of hostilities between East and West Germany occurs in Grafhorst, eventually pulling the British into the conflict as well. The Anglo/German forces rally their forces, before dealing a counter-offensive to the East Germans, and eventually the Warsaw Pact too, with NATO reinforcements.

leaves two dead East German border guards in his wake, gunned down while they tried to stop him from defecting. This event arouses tension along the Iron Curtain, with East German authorities asking for the soldier to be repatriated, eventually leading to war between West and East Germany.

1979 - "Fatal Error"[edit]

The SALT I agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States calms East/West tensions, but two years after the signing of the treaty, the Soviets increase the number of tactical nuclear missiles in East Germany, after leveraging a flaw in the agreement. The crisis leads to the signing of the SALT II agreement, however U.S. Congress refuses to ratify the agreement when it is revealed that a Soviet combat brigade has been deployed to Cuba, it's intentions unknown. In this context of renewed tension, a NORAD technician runs a test that detects several Soviet nuclear strikes. Not realising that it is a simulation, NORAD detects what it sees as an all out nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. To make matters worse, the whereabouts of President Jimmy Carter remains unknown, the decision to retaliate rests on Zbigniew Brzeziñki - although the attack is still not confirmed. 2,200 Soviet missiles are now tracked, yet nobody has even tried to contact the Kremlin directly. The US decide to fire their ICBMS back, but the fault is rectified a few minutes afterwards. The missiles are destroyed in flight, however it is too late to stop the conventional attack with engagements occurring all across the Iron Curtain.

1981 – Dabrowski's Mazurka[edit]

Fearing the rising popularity of free union Solidarnosc (a.k.a. Solidarity), Polish head of state General Wojciech Jaruzelski orders Martial law in Poland. When miners from the Wujek mines in Katowice answer the declaration of Martial Law with a strike, paramilitary militias and army units are sent to break the strike by force.

Played as Warsaw Pact, this operation places the player in the position of a Soviet commander faced with a Polish uprising against Jaruzelski's regime and its Soviet allies. Inspired by the Polish revolution, Czechoslovakia quickly follows Poland's example and defects to NATO, driving Europe into a new full-scale war.

1983 – ABLE ARCHER[edit]

November 1983. NATO organizes a multinational military exercise called "ABLE ARCHER 83". The timing couldn't have been worse; after a year of rising tensions between the USA & USSR, the Soviet leaders believe "ABLE ARCHER" to be a smokescreen for an actual NATO attack on the Warsaw Pact.

Played as NATO, this operation sees NATO's Fulda Gap front dissolving before a full scale Warsaw Pact "preemptive" attack.

1984 – Wasteland[edit]

Wasteland takes place in the days following a nuclear war that has wiped out most European cities. The player assumes the role of a former Soviet special forces (Spetsnaz) commander who gathers Soviet and NATO survivors on a quest for revenge as he fights from Poland to the Netherlands to reach a secret military base.


There are currently 4 free expansion packs:[1]

  • New Battlefields
  • Conquest
  • Commander
  • Fatal Error


Wargame uses an improved version of R.U.S.E.'s IRISZOOM engine. It features large maps up to 800 square kilometers in size, which can have up to 100 million scenery objects. It gives the player the ability to zoom in and out and to get, in an instant, from a large commander's view to a ground view closer to the combat.


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 81%
Review score
Publication Score
GameSpot 8.5/10

Wargame: European Escalation, has received generally positive reviews upon release, with a Metacritic score of 81%.


On August 10, 2012, a sequel, Wargame: AirLand Battle, was announced with a release scheduled in the spring of 2013. Like its predecessor, it is set in the Cold War period of 1975–85 but focus the NATO–Warsaw Pact war in Northern Europe, notably in Scandinavia, along with the addition of the player's own air force.[2]

Wargame: Red Dragon was announced in 2013 and released in April 2014. Set in Asian theater of war, it includes units from the 1990s and introduces naval forces.

See also[edit]


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