Cossacks: European Wars is a real-time strategy computer game. It resembles the popular Age of Empires/Age of Kings series of games, with a few key differences.

It allows the players to choose from a variety of nations, each with subtle strengths and weaknesses. Like the title suggests, all the nations are European, unlike Age of Empires which spans the globe. Also, the time period is much more focused -- it covers two "Ages": the 17th century and the 18th century.

Cossacks definately lacks the polish of AOE and AOK, unsurprising as the game was developed by a Ukranian company without the resources of Microsoft backing them up. This game will be a frusturating experience for anyone not already familiar with RTS strategy games, and AOE in particular. That said, it introduces many innovative game play elements and stunningly beautiful, detailed and historically accurate artwork.

Some of the significant differences in play between AOE and Cossacks:

  • The game allows (requires!) the players to build up many more units; up to 8000 at once.
  • The addition of formations, groups of units controlled by an officer, make the large number of units more managable. Formations are much more useful and important in Cossacks than Age of Kings.
  • Cossacks has 6 seperate resources -- food, wood, stone, iron, coal, and gold, making resource management a much larger part of the game.
  • Conversely, your peasents pretty much take care of themselves; the tedious farm rebuilding element of AOE is absent.
  • The availability of mercenaries -- units for hire -- available quickly and beyond a players technology level.
  • Units and buildings are extremely easy to capture; a city will need walls or troops deployed everywhere to protect against raids.

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