Tried the game out today with around 200 players on a US official server. This was my first real gameplay session since I had been introduced to the beta last year. Previously I had only been able to test with few players due to my time zone.
I was concerned that the gameplay might not live up to expectation but on the contrary I had a lot of fun.
During play there was consistently around 86 - 96 players per team, the majority of players were public since the game has just been released and the gamemode was Battle only (ie: no respawns until round is won/lost).
First map was strangefields (France vs Austria) which resulted in our team digging in with the use of sapper built earthmounds and horse drawn cannons being placed on the hill and along the road:
The next map was Arabian village (Britain vs France), it became extremely difficult to get the brits out of the compound as they took to the roofs. We did eventually manage to push them out and gain a victory but not before a loss or two.
At first I didn't quite like the Ardennes winter forest map (Russians vs French) but pretty quickly into the first round we had an epic battle where my side (Russians) fortified the hill overlooking the frozen river. Both sides took pot shots at each other from opposing hills with musket and cannon. We lost and won a few rounds. One epic moment involved holding out against french attacks and then charging the enemy's cannons:
The french also charged our positions across the frozen river, sometimes these charges were sporadic and just when you thought that the majority of the army had bee killed another large troop contingent pops up out of nowhere:
We also played on the map Avignon, which was pretty hectic with quite a bit of house to house fighting. Some brits decided to use rockets in order to take out enemy Prussians who had used buildings as cover:
The Prussian team set up a cannon in the market center to blow up buildings and harass us with cannon fire:
The final battle was extremely epic on the map Borodino (Brits vs French this time), we held our ground at one of the redoubts/cannon emplacements:
During the last round the French flanked to our right resulting in our field of fire shifting to the right:
When only 14 of us brits were left and 32 Frenchmen the French team decided to charge the barn which we had just taken at great expense. Some of us ran back to the cannon entrenchments in order to hook up with out artillery units but sadly the round ended (time up) before we could conclude the epic fight.
The french advancing on the barn, they fired a few volleys then charged.
We also played on a few other maps as well as French Farm map and the Paris map (forgot name) and there was some awesome fighting all round, thee were just some of the highlights I managed to get a relevant pic of.