Paradox Interactive has a number of grand strategy titles under its belt and March of the Eagles is another addition to this collection. Set during the Napoleonic Wars the game was originally intended to be a sequel to AGEOD Napoleon Campaigns it slowly took on a life of its own during development.
Due to the setting play focuses on the major European powers of the era which includes the likes of France, Ottoman, Sweden, Russian, Great Britain and others. Players will make the key decisions as they lead one of these factions through war, economy and diplomacy, a comparable offering to other grand strategy. While you have a core number of victory conditions some of the factions have their own options for victory which can alter gameplay significantly and introduces an interesting dynamic into the single player games. Each of these games will take just over 5 hours, or 15 years of in game time.
Domination is the name of the game in March of the Eagles with France claiming dominance over land and Great Britain having control over the sea. This then ties in with the coalition system at the heart of gameplay which allows nations to team up but can only be established by the dominant power. This domination is tracked in the game and based on certain game provinces, generally players are better off targeting their closest rival first though, depending on their starting nation.
One interesting approach is the ideas mechanic which while they function like typical technology trees can actually be gained from losing battles to keep games more balanced and less of a game about momentum. This impacts everything from combat to finance so multiple strategies can be employed.
This excels in the multiplayer arena as good decisions are rewarded more than brute force. Multiplayer is also particular exciting as experienced players will understand the different objectives that each nation needs to achieve, making for a great tug of war. Unfortunately this experience is generally restricted to playing with a group of close friends due to the length of time a game can last.
March of the Eagles is a good entry level game for those seeking to get a grasp of the grand strategy, although a few AI inconsistencies and strange behaviour will make it frustrating for veterans.
- A grand strategy game that simplifies the formula.
- Play as one of many powers with their own objectives to win.
- Research new technologies through the idea system, even if you’re on the retreat.
- Short 15 year games that can be completed in over 5 hours.
- Support for massive multiplayer games.
Review Platform: PC