While that settled in the heat of the Cold War WARNO (in check) in Early Access is always evolving, may also evolve Steel Division 2 looking forward to new content from the same developer Eugen Systems. He brings Blood Feud in Transylvania an extensive expansion that is interesting for competitive play as well as for single player and co-op. The theme is the summer of 1944, when Romania changed sides in the face of the Soviet onslaught. This led to fighting between the once allied Hungarians and Romanians, each supported by German and Soviet units respectively.
|Experimenting with the new divisions is extremely fun.|
The new divisions
Six fresh playable divisions invite deck building. You fight with them and the new units in the campaign as well. As usual, the gameplay experience is enhanced by voice acting in the units’ native language. All the details would go beyond the scope, so here is an overview of the most important things about the ke three Romanian and Hungarian divisions:
The Div. 8 cav. Purtata has powerful scouts, including snipers. There are strong infantry recruits comparable to German Panzergrenadiers and fanatical Guardsmen. You only have two tanks, but one of them is the new Zrinyi II. The assault gun has 30 HE rounds with a range of 2km against soft targets and fights tanks with 22 105mm HEAT rounds. Combined with the 105mm of frontal armor for just 70 points, the Zrinyi II instantly became one of my favorite units. The Romanian anti-tank gun Resita is the best in the game, plus you’ve got Hetzer and a new tank destroyer. The division is also well positioned in other respects.
What the Division 9 Infantry relies on above all is already in the name. With two automatic rifles and hand grenades, the new 14-strong infantry Echipa Asalt is powerful at close and medium range. Unfortunately you only have one card. You have Panzer IV, Stug III and various anti-tank options at your disposal. You cannot compensate for the weak air defense due to the lack of good fighter pilots. The division is therefore more suitable for aggressive players in 1v1.
|Romanians against Hungarians on the battlefield in the campaign.|
The Corpul 6 Territorial is a former reserve unit that gains access to Soviet units, mostly in the B phase (after 10 minutes). For example the very powerful T34/85 obr.1944 with a range of 2 km. There are new border troops in the infantry. They’re only 9 men, but they only cost 20 points and have three automatic rifles – perfect for mid-range. You can spam the Recruti. The anti-aircraft defenses include the powerful new Hotchkiss ACA Dubla.
The 2nd Pancelos is an armored division that can draw on strong infantry (though not en masse). For tanks you have Turan variants, Panzer IV, Tiger and Panther. Another highlight is the anti-aircraft defense with a total of six Nimrod (self-propelled anti-aircraft guns) that are also effective against infantry, including a slightly cheaper variant.
The blocking association Kessel is a mix of Hungarian and German units. Several cards of the expensive special unit Brandenburger belong to the infantry. Among the tanks is a map of the well-armored Stug IV. The division, which is interesting in itself, is not that easy to play. The options for a range of two kilometers and against heavy tanks are somewhat lacking, and the artillery is also manageable.
The 25th Hadostály is an infantry division that can draw on several maps from the new and good infantry unit Hegyivadász. As for tanks, there are several Zrinyi II, T-34 and Panther. You can only fall back on strong German units in the C phase (from minute 20). The anti-tank defense is well placed and you can bring a lot of artillery, which is ideal for 10v10.
|The introduction takes the form of text, speakers, video sequences, historical images and maps.|
After the flare-up of conflicts between Romanians and Hungarians, you lead either as General Avramescu the Romanians or as General Veress the Hungarians, who want to conquer Transylvania, into battle. The armies meet at Turda. You can set the level of difficulty and you can also play the campaign in co-op with friends or against other human players.
Steam deck check
The game start time is longer than on PC. Despite the community layout for the keyboard and the ability to pause in single player, I prefer to let the tanks roll with the mouse. But I’ve been dreaming of an “app” for a long time. I finally have it in the handheld mode of the Steam Deck! I can browse the armory, create divisions, and analyze the replays stored in the cloud from the comfort of the road or on the couch. Everything is still legible for me, if necessary you can use the zoom function of the Steam Deck.
With the Romanians you must hold the city of Medias and conquer Turda. The reverse is true for the Hungarians. The campaign has twenty rounds each and is relatively compact in terms of the size of the map and the number of associations and is therefore also very suitable for casual generals to play through.
With Romania you initially have hardly any anti-tank options and only a bomber fleet, while Hungary would like to “bolt you away”. This makes the first battles, until you can field more and more reinforcements, challenging. I then made my life easier by entrenching parts of my units and gaining access to bunkers, which are extremely useful in battles against tanks. Massive mortar use also helps. As the campaign progressed, I was able to increase the pressure on the Hungarians and achieve breakthroughs. With the Hungarians, on the other hand, you should advance as quickly and deeply as possible because of your initial superiority, before the strong support forces of the Romanians make it difficult to advance.
|Coordinate your units on the map and choose targets for attack.|
The new divisions are particularly exciting for the currently well-balanced, competitive multiplayer. They fit in very well there. Due to their different design, you can try out different tactics. With the Hungarian infantry units, you have to factor in the slow trucks.
The compact and well-made Army General campaign “Turda” invites you to play through. And with Oarba, there’s an interesting new 2v2 map that’s free for everyone. Whether you want to play against the AI, co-op, PvP (1v1, 10v10, campaign), Blood Feud in Transylvania is an excellent expansion for any Steel Division 2 player.
- real-time tactics
- For advanced and professionals
- Price: 14.99 euros
- In one sentence: Strong expansion for competitive players, single and co-op players with interesting divisions, new units and an exciting, compact campaign for Hungary and Romania.