'Southern Fronts' is the third mission pack for the DLC beleaguered Company of Heroes 2. Although I've avoided all of it until now, objecting to the hundreds of dollars of price gouging going on (and seemingly also at the expense of the superbly talented COH modding community). Nevertheless I chose to buy Southern Fronts because it appeared to feature more missions and maps than the previous two 'Theater of War' DLCs: 'Case Blue' and 'Victory at Stalingrad'. 'Southern Fronts' also costs quite a bit less than the previous two, making me wonder if these DLCs are an ongoing experiment by the publisher in what the public are willing to pay.
So what does Southern Fronts include?
Officially it includes two solo challenges and eight co-op AI battles. However it's worth noting that three of the eight co-op AI battles are simply playing the same maps, under the same conditions, from the opposite side. So the meat and potatoes of this DLC really amounts to five new maps, all of which are playable in co-op and single player. It should be noted that none are playable against other people, in case that is your thing.
The two Southern Fronts single player challenges I found very dull. Those two maps, while new, are almost criminally small. They felt to me like they were the first parts of campaign missions cut from the main game.
This DLC includes no new units or commanders. Southern Fronts is set in 1943, so generally all the commanders and units from the main game are available to play in the missions. Most of the eight AI challenges missions play out like skirmishes for victory points from the main game, occasionally with slightly revised commander abilities or starting conditions.
Southern Fronts does introduce one intriguing new game play feature, the 'Rasputitsa'. This Russian muddy season occurs both in spring and autumn, when large flatlands became extremely muddy and marshy, as did most unpaved roads in WWII. It was a defining feature of many battles on the Russian Front, and I am really glad to see it finally implemented in Company of Heroes 2. Like the snow effects of the main game, it's done well, and because of it, some of the Southern Fronts maps I found memorable.
So is Southern Fronts worth your time and money? If you are craving new maps for single player and co-op, and feel like tackling the logistics of mud(!), then by all means. I was lucky to purchase Southern Fronts when it was considerably discounted (-66%), and I consider it very decent value for what I paid.