We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

The most complex WW2 strategy game is coming to Steam

Gary Grigsby's War in the East 2 is a dizzyingly detailed simulation of the Eastern Front, and it hits Steam December 9

A map seen in War in the East 2 showing Russian air assets with colour-coded labels.

Folks have been playing WW2 games since long before Call of Duty appeared on the scene. Traditional wargames have handled bits and pieces of the war for generations now, and PC wargaming represents what you might think of as a separate evolutionary branch of increasing complexity over time, and in that light, Gary Grigsby’s War in the East 2 sits at the top of the food chain. After launching on the Slitherine online store in March, it’s coming to Steam December 9.

As you can probably tell from the screenshots, War in the East 2 isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s an obsessively detailed simulation of the entire 3,000-mile Eastern Front in World War II. Beginning in 1941, it runs through four years of conflict at a rate of one week per turn. You’ve got to manage your forces on the front lines, of course, but War in the East 2 also involves a massive logistics simulation, as well as both sides’ air forces.

There’s a lot to do, and it can be daunting to start out with. Fortunately, publisher Slitherine has also created a full-colour manual that explains each component of the game, detailing the phases of each turn and how to navigate its many, many menus.

It is 520 pages long, and it’s on the heavy side. Here’s my copy:

The 520-page hardback manual for War in the East 2.

For all that, however, War in the East 2 isn’t as hard to actually play as it initially looks. Among its many updates over its predecessor, War in the East 2 includes options to automate as much or as little of the game as you’d like, and many seasoned vets recommend leaving the management of the air war and elements of the supply system to the AI for your first time out.

Generally speaking, when games Slitherine publishes come to Steam, players who have purchased them on the Slitherine store will also receive a new Steam key in addition to the serial number for the web store version. Slitherine confirms with us that this will be the case for War in the East 2 as well.