Order of War is a World War II real-time strategy game distinguished by its accessibility and simplicity. It’s easy to learn and easy to play, eschewing base building, unit-level micromanagement, and deep economics, but it’s never boring and it offers ample challenge. Although some players may miss controlling unit special abilities during each engagement, your soldiers’ greater autonomy gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the cinematic camera mode, which provides a dramatic depiction of the battle as it unfolds. Order of War doesn’t try to reinvent the World War II RTS or introduce anything new to this well-trodden genre, but it does excel at most of what it attempts, providing a fun and satisfying experience for veterans and newbies alike.
One important reason for Order of War’s simplicity is its scope. You take on the role of a colonel and control units representing whole companies, rather than squads or individuals. As a result, it’s not your responsibility to ask infantry squads to lob hand grenades at the enemy; they can do such tasks on their own. Instead, your focus is on big-picture tactics such as harnessing terrain, positioning, managing reinforcements, and calling in air support. For instance, antitank guns placed on a hill can devastate enemy armor before it closes to attack range, and swamps create natural choke points since they’re only passable by infantry. The same can be said of thick forests–that is, until you flatten them with artillery. On any terrain, outmaneuvering your opponents, specifically flanking vehicles, is vitally important both to avoid their fire and to take advantage of their weaker side and rear armor. Since there is no fog of war to shield your approach from the enemy, you’ll need to use multiple vectors of attack, including artillery strikes and feints, to force your opponent into a weak position. Additional ground forces and air support, such as bombing runs and paratrooper drops, can be purchased from off-map with resources collected from control points, which provide a steady but finite supply of income. Balancing your expenditures, as well as timing air support correctly, is another important consideration in Order of War.