Those tactical elements Duffy referred to include the TrueSight system, which gives each unit its own line of sight, more movement options for units including the ability to vault cover, and the introduction of dynamic weather. On that last point, while Relic has shown off wintery effects like snowstorms and breaking ice, Duffy reminded us the Eastern Front which Company of Heroes 2 covers spanned nearly four years and many seasons:
"We're covering the full breadth of the Eastern Front campaign, and only half the war was fought in winter. There's spring, fall, and summer... the weather and the environment had a big impact on both sides. That's part of the narrative experience of the Eastern Front. "
Returning to that graphical drum, there's been some ambiguity about whether or not Company of Heroes 2 will support DirectX 9 as well as 10 and 11, and therefore potentially be compatible with Windows XP. Duffy told us it's proving to be very difficult for Relic to support DX9 as well as 10 and 11, to the point where it might just be dropped. "It's a ton of effort to make work on both versions," Duffy said, "and the install base isn't particularly large for DirectX 9 stuff only."
Company of Heroes 2 is set to attack retail shelves in early 2013.