Cossacks II: Napoleonic Wars, which came out in 2005, was an engaging strategy game that let you relive the pomp and circumstance that was Napoleonic combat. Huge formations of men stately marched around the countryside, only to be cut down by withering gunfire. There’s actually much more to it than that, as the game abstracted the feeling of conquering entire swaths of the European countryside quite well. Cossacks II: Battle for Europe repackages that game and adds in some new content. But, at the heart of it, the experience is pretty much identical to that of last year’s game.
To be fair, Battle for Europe is a stand-alone expansion, which is how the developers managed to turn it around so quickly. So in addition to the content from Napoleonic Wars, Battle for Europe adds several new nations that you can play as, such as Spain and the Rhine Confederation. Aside from the new nations, Battle for Europe includes a slew of new missions and maps and some improved artificial intelligence. But when you get down to it, there aren’t any significant game-changing new features or upgrades to the core game.
Like Napoleonic Wars, Battle for Europe offers several different game modes depending on your play style. The skirmish mode lets you battle it out in a number of historical battles, including Waterloo. Meanwhile, the battle mode is like a real-time strategy game, as you get to construct various buildings, gather different resources, and then raise regiments to go off and conquer villages on the map, which feed you more resources. Then there’s the Battle for Europe mode (not to be confused with the game’s name). This introduces the turn-based strategic layer that lets you conquer the map of Europe one province at a time, and this is mainly where you’ll get to see the new nations in action. However, these new countries feel just like the older ones in many ways, and so their introduction doesn’t do a lot to the overall game.