'90s strategy king MicroProse is back with a Cold War blend of wargaming and RTS

Set in 1989 Germany during an imagined Warsaw Pact invasion, Regiments puts you in command of extended real-time fights between Cold War forces. It's a hybrid of RTS and tactical wargame that breaks from the traditions of both genres by being singleplayer only. Regiments puts a particular emphasis on dynamic, multi-day battles that let you reactively call for reinforcements. 

I looked at Regiments last year, when it was in open beta, but it launched this week—and developer Bird's Eye Games and publisher MicroProse have brought it a long way since then.

Regiments is laser focused on an interesting and unique singleplayer experience. These kinds of realistic-conflict, high fidelity RTS games more often try to be everything: Balancing singleplayer scenarios, multiplayer, and even campaign-length mechanics. Regiments knows it just wants to be a good, well-balanced singleplayer wargame.

It has a plotline-driven campaign with four large and three smaller missions, all multi-stage battles. Then there are four skirmish game modes, each playable on one of 19 maps. That might not sound like a lot, and I have a feeling that first impressions are going to make Regiments end up criminally underplayed among strategy enthusiasts parroting a refrain for "more content." The trick is that single "battles" in Regiments are historically-informed, multi-day affairs divided into active and passive phases.

As you progress through each day of a fight in real time, you're pressed to take as many strategic and tactical objectives as possible before night (or before the enemy forces you to take a moment and regroup). During that lull in the fight you, as commander, have to manage what limited resources your regiment has and call in specialized detachments from other regiments to fill the gaps you need. You might call in more infantry as an armor regiment that needs to hold ground, for example. It's a rhythm that should resonate with any military history enthusiast.

Regiments forces you to take to heart the unofficial US Marine Corps mantra of "Improvise, Adapt, Overcome." Not enough core battle tanks? Take high ground and use anti-tank missiles against enemy armor. Enemy has air superiority? Change to a narrower attack so your limited anti-air can flourish.

To that end, Regiments has a pretty broad 100-some unique units spread across six factions (USSR, USA, UK, East Germany, West Germany, Belgium). Every faction but the UK has 3-5 unique regiments to play as, and a dozen or more task forces to call in as reinforcements.

If you're a UK fan, don't fret, as the dev says that "fully integrating the forces of the British Army of the Rhine and adding support for motorized & air-assault infantry remains our priority mid-term goals in the months to come."

You can find Regiments on Steam for $30, 15% off until August 23rd, and on its official MicroProse website.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.