Take your orders and make way to the frontlines with the release of Holdfast’s most ambitious and biggest update yet. After a year's worth of development, we are pleased to announce ‘Holdfast: Frontlines’ a free World War 1 total-conversion DLC releasing as a show of thanks to our most beloved community.
Frontlines has been completely integrated into the base game, meaning all current Holdfast owners will obtain the expansion at no additional cost by simply updating their game. Similarly, if you do not own the game you will gain access to both Holdfast: Nations At War and Holdfast: Frontlines by purchasing it.
Have a look at the release trailer for this major update.
Those looking to take their first steps in Holdfast, either on the battlefields of the Napoleonic Era or into the no man's lands of the Great War will be able to pick-up Holdfast for a massive 60% off for the 2 weeks preceding the release of Frontlines.
Before taking to the front, be sure to take a read below of all that comes to Holdfast with the release of this major update.
Experience the Great War!
March into the Great War and experience the battlefields of World War One, featuring, new factions and playable classes, artillery pieces, infamous machine guns of the time, grenades, rifles, squads and camps serving as forward positions, additional role-play features, plenty of destruction, 7 unique maps and a brand new game-mode ‘Offensive’.
Whether you prefer shelling enemy footholds, defending trenches at the frontlines, leading squads or supporting your team by constructing defences there will be plenty for you to sink your teeth into.
The 1st World War as the name suggests encompassed the globe, bringing nations into conflict that were previously separated by sometimes thousands of miles. Frontlines features two coalitions that each represent the scale of the war - The Allied Powers and the Central Powers. These factions house within them nations of their own.
The Allied Forces consist of troops from the British Empire, France, Australia and the United States as part of the American Forces DLC. Each nation is represented uniquely and is class specific. For example, the Engineers of the Allied Powers consist only of the good fellows from down under. Currently, the Central Powers are made up of German infantry only, however, we’d love to represent the additional nations of the Central Powers in future updates to continue representing those who took part in this historic conflict.
Fight for King and Country or for the Kaiser! Pick your side and engage in the greatest of wars.
As war tactics and technological advancements developed so did that of specialised roles within the ranks. As is the case with Holdfast: Nations at War, Frontlines will also feature unique classes that offer specialised traits and abilities. The classes featured in Frontlines at launch are Officers, Riflemen, Combat Medics, Artillerymen, and Engineers.
No matter your play style you will be able to find a class that best suits your personal war efforts! Take a read into the specifics of each class below.
Soldiers have always needed leaders, great tacticians, and fearless decision-makers. Officers in Holdfast: Frontlines are more important than ever with the introduction of squad system mechanics and squad camps to provide forward spawn positions for your men. Equipped with a quick-firing revolver, despite having a short-range, officers can quickly eliminate enemy troops at close range in rapid succession if required. Officers also carry smoke grenades with them to provide cover for their squad to advance.
High Command - An officer in command. You are able to issue orders to the rank and file.
Distinguishable - Stand out from the rank and file. You appear differently on the minimap.
Resilient- A strong sense of duty. Melee damage dealt to you by other players is reduced by 15%.
Light Footed - Agile and equipped with a great understanding of the surrounding terrain. You are able to quickly move about increasing your running speed by 7%.
As infantry rifles became increasingly improved, riflemen soon took over the face of battlefields with their sharp accuracy, firing rate and new-found maneuverability with the abolishment of line-formation. These men come not only in large numbers but also pack a punch being equipped with a bayoneted rifle and hand grenades.
Rank & File - Drills, drills, and more drills. Your extensive discipline allows you to receive firearm accuracy and melee damage bonuses from orders given by officers.
Additional score is given for killing or maiming someone while following officer orders.
Guardsman - Duty bound to guard the high-command. You reduce the damage dealt to nearby allied officers and medics by 8% (Stacks 8 times).
Bayonet Handling - Drilled in the handling of bayonets. Charge with a bayonet equipped and make use of your trusty rifle as a makeshift spear in melee combat or detach it from your weapon to gather a 5% increase in firearm accuracy.
Press the ‘T’ key to attach or detach your bayonet when equipping a rifle.
Orderly - Strength in numbers. You significantly increase your chances of surviving shots from firearms at longer distances when engaged in combat as a group.
Following an officer’s order to hold ground will activate this trait.
With the nature of the war, casualties and injured soldiers were ever more prominent and as such required medics to push themselves to their limits in the horrors of the war. The Combat Medic class, as the name suggests, provides medical assistance on the frontlines for those lucky enough to just escape death. Equipped with a rifle for defence and smoke grenades for healing cover, medics can ensure attacks and defences to not falter by keeping soldiers alive.
Medicine - Well versed in the field of medicine. You are able to heal wounded players.
Bandage - Duty bound to guard the high-command. You reduce the damage dealt to nearby allied officers and surgeons.
Distinguishable - Stand out from the rank and file. You appear differently on the mini-map.
With the stalemate of trench warfare, engineers played important roles in attempting to break that said stalemate. Provide your team with important on-the-fly defences, reinforce the trenches or build carryable machine guns and ammo boxes to support your fellow men.
Engineering - Well versed in the construction of military works. You are able to enact various defensive emplacements and artillery.
Explosives Handling - Well versed in the handling of explosives. You are able to carry explosives.
Distinguishable - Stand out from the rank and file. You appear differently on the mini-map.
Utilising Howitzers and Mortars the artillerymen of the time carved chunks out of both man and land. These wielders of such great destruction and power can reign hellfire down upon the enemy, using howitzer shells or mortars. Artillerymen can also provide a large smoke screen to aid allied troops by firing smoke shells.
Artillery Operator - Trained in the operation of various artillery pieces. You have sole ownership over the use of howitzers, mortars and other artillery.
Grants the ability to see where your mortar shells land as well as a range indicator to fire shells with great precision.
Light Footed - Agile and equipped with a great understanding of the surrounding terrain. You are able to quickly move about increasing your running speed.
Artillery was synonymous during the Great War and could quite literally shape the face of the battlefields of the time, both physically and metaphorically.
Frontlines introduces 4 new artillery types - Light Howitzers, Heavy Howitzers, Fixed Heavy Mortars and Heavy Mortars. All pieces come with unique traits that will be better suited to specific scenarios.
Heavy Howitzers feature a slower firing rate but have increased damage and area of effect, perfect for bringing down well defended structures. In contrast, the Light Howitzers are easier to manoeuvre and feature a faster firing rate perhaps more appropriate for targeting infantry.
Mortars offer a way to reach parts of the battlefield usually unobtainable by conventional artillery cannons due to their nature of soaring over the battlefield rather than through it. This unique ability of Mortars make them a nightmare to escape as cover offers little protection. Heavy Mortars require a longer setup time, manoeuvring into position but allow you to position them exactly where desired. Fixed Heavy Mortars require no setup time as they have been pre-placed in specific strategic positions to offer optimal bombardment coverage of capture points and strategic positions.
Given the right crew these artillery pieces, if combined and well organised, can devastate the battlefields of Frontlines and push your team forward to victory!
Arguably the sole cause for trench warfare, the invention of the machine gun changed wars forever. Although making you a target, utilising machine-guns can ensure your teams defensive lines hold and used correctly machine guns can provide cover for advancing charges over the top and cut a way through to enemy lines. Frontlines features both fixed and carryable machine guns constructed by engineers.
Those who take the side of the Allied Forces can expect to use the iconic Vickers machine gun and those of the Central Powers are provided with the dominating Maschinengewehr 08. Pressing the ‘Rick Click’ mouse button while aiming with this gun will zoom in providing you better visibility of the enemy.
Storm trenches, blow up defences and provide support for your team with the introduction of grenades. Genades can be used to break deadlocks with well dug in enemies, provide smoke screens against machine gun fire and blast enemy built defenses and squad camps to smithereens.
Aim a grenade by holding the ‘Left Mouse’ button then release it to throw. Quick throws are also a possibility and can be achieved by tapping the ‘Left Mouse’ button rather than holding it.
With a level of accuracy never reached before, the introduction of rifles changed how wars were fought forever. Their faster firing rate, reload times and compact size make the muskets of the Napoleonic Era feel futile in comparison. Those who are skilled marksmen will be able to eliminate enemies instantly by a headshot kill, dropping the enemy where they stand and ringing out a ‘ding’ that will surely send shivers down the spines of anyone close by.
The infantry class’s rifles specifically come with detachable bayonets that players can swap to and engage in close melee combat should the enemy breach their defences.
With the increased scale of warfare, squad camps provide a way for players to set up forward positions to quickly engage back in combat should they fall victim to death. These camps are placed by Officers and can be spawned on unlimited amounts of times by their squad members.
Should you find an enemy encampment, quickly destroy it using explosive grenades or shooting at it with your firearm to push that squad back to their team’s HQ.
Roleplay has always been at the forefront of Holdfast and its community. Frontlines will be no exception, the release of Frontlines introduces plenty of new roleplay features to bring the war to life. Play rock, paper, scissors with your fellow trench-men, take a snooze on a bed while others bravely fight on, play classical musical instruments such as the new cello, surrender to your enemies and much more.
Can’t decide who’s going over the top first? Why not settle it with a good old fashioned game of rock, paper, scissors. Simply open the gesture menu by pressing ‘v’ and select your desired outcome.
Fought to the last man against all odds? There's no shame in surrendering. Be aware as warcrimes are often committed during these most dire times.
Are the frontlines too much? Have you fallen sick or taken a bullet wound? Head to the medical beds and rest up, the medics will keep you in good health and get you fighting fit ready for battle once more. Players will heal up when resting.
Good soldiers follow orders! March to the front with splendid discipline by using the new ‘March’ gesture. This gesture will shoulder your rifle while still allowing you to march onwards with your squad.
Go over the top! Utilise ladders across the battlefield and in trenches to reach new heights. These ladders can be used by pressing your ‘E’ or ‘USE’ key respectively whilst looking at one.
Bring music to all with the Gramophone. These wonderful music players bring joy to us all during the most harrowing of times. These can be found pre-placed around various locations on maps and feature both songs appropriate to the Allied and the Central Powers
Patriotism runs rampant. Carry a faction’s flag from your Headquarters and make with it to the frontlines! Should you drop your flag and leave it defenceless, the enemy can capture the flag in a display of dominance. You will also benefit from a 10% increase in movement speed while carrying the flag.
Sound the call to go up and over the trenches! The trench whistle is available as part of the officer’s utility selection similar to how a spyglass functions. Select the whistle by pressing the ‘J’ key to send out a signal for your men to charge over the top!
Become the next Mozart with a click of a button. Play tunes together with cellos and pianos creating a beautiful orchestra.
These are only a few of the many new roleplay features you can expect to find in Frontlines. We look forward to seeing them put to good use.
One of the most destructive wars in history, destroying earth, brick and man. Destruction in Frontlines is taken to another level yet to be seen in Holdfast before. The good majority of structures in Frontlines can be brought down to its foundations by artillery.
Take a look at the scale of destruction you can cause in the examples below.
Inspired by WW1 battles, the battlefields of Frontlines feature all of the aspects of WW1 warfare, featuring trenches, rail-lines and trains, bunker systems, machine gun nests, dugouts, impact craters and much more. Holdfast: Frontlines at launch will feature 7 uniquely designed maps all offering different playing experiences and settings for both large scale and small scale battles.
Set in and around a recently abandoned rail-yard within steep snowy mountains, Freurlund pushes players to their limits, battling not only the enemy but also the harsh environment it features. Men can find solace from the steeps down in the rail-yard, the central point of the map, but only for some time, as it will soon turn to a war-torn battlefield as players fight over the capture point and control of a usable locomotive train to shunt troops to and from your HQ to the front.
Once a prosperous town and industrial powerhouse, Marre has been reduced to ruins and has had its land carved out by lines upon lines of boggy trenches. Featuring a central capture point atop a hill, players will battle it out for control of this great vantage point and its surroundings.
Battle over a bespoke mansion set on the coastlines of France. Mansion brings close quarters combat to a whole new level, once inside the mansion players must navigate through it’s narrow hallways and passages to battle within the great hall and capture this important position. Those who may find themselves claustrophobic may prefer to focus their efforts on the town and railway station that overlooks the mansion. Both positions are equally as important to ensuring victory.
A small countryside village that once sat quietly beside its flowing river. This smaller battlefield offers little respite from the war and will quickly throw you into intense small scale combat against your foes. Utilising cover to your full advantage is key for victory on Countryside.
Two opposing trench lines overlook a derelict town within a valley surrounded by barbed wire, mortar craters and bodies. Artillery barrages have left this land for ruin so watch your step and stay alert, you never know what or who is lurking in the rubble.
The Offensive Gamemode
Offensive is a new domination inspired gamemode that requires teams to capture points linearly to progress through the battlefield. IE. You must capture A and B before moving on to C. A ‘tug-of-war’ ensues as both teams converge to capture the same point or multiple pronged locations
Each team will start at an initial Headquarters that is uncapturable and must then head towards neutral capture points sequentially, eventually meeting the enemy in the middle to begin the ‘tug-of-war’.
Forward camps placed by officers will be put to good use as both teams coordinate assaults on the offensive. Capture points back from entrenched enemy units in defense of capturable points through flanking maneuvers.
Should a faction manage to capture all points on the map, they will find themselves the victor through ‘Domination’. Giving those that are on the brink of loss through ‘Domination’ with a fighting chance for a glorious comeback, a 120 second timer will count down before a win is declared through domination unless the team is able to capture back a minimum of 1 capture point.
Good teamwork is integral for victory on the Offensive gamemode. Join a squad and stick close to them to ensure you’re doing your part in the war efforts.
Support Us. American Forces
Featuring the brave fellows of the 103rd Infantry Regiment (2nd Maine), part of the famous Yankee Division. It brings the American Forces to Holdfast, allowing players to fight for the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Those who purchase the American Forces DLC will gain access to playing as the 103rd Infantry Regiment (2nd Maine) Officer and Riflemen skin. They are equipped with the M1903 Springfield Rifle ready to turn ‘No Man's Land’ into ‘Yankee Land’.
Content present in Holdfast DLCs is purely cosmetic. It doesn’t and never will impact gameplay. Your kind generosity will be put to good use and bring this genre of roleplay warfare games which all of us are fond of in the limelight.
Frontlines is not the only new addition to Holdfast. We also spent considerable time re-crafting our environments for Nations At War - The game’s beloved Napoleonic setting to provide improved graphical fidelity and new weather presets. These graphical changes have been made to not only bring the game up-to-date but to also further immerse you within the experiences of Holdfast.
Changing the over 50+ maps that we already have in the game was no easy task, but we felt it necessary to bring Nations At War up to the same standard and quality we’d be setting with Frontlines. The graphical overhaul also introduced new weather presets such as snowstorms, sandstorms, various calm presets and many more, all now also featuring volumetric lighting.
Take a look at the preview sliders below to view the graphical improvements that come with this update.
Players on lower end specifications can now also make use of a spatial upscaling algorithm to reduce graphical settings while retaining some visual quality. Navigate to the video tab in the settings menu to select an upscaling profile that best suits your needs.
250 Player Event Battles
Event and community servers can now support up to 250 players per server! While this player count will not be reflected on official servers, as it remains important to keep gameplay and performance as consistent as possible, those who own their own servers will now be able to accept 250 players onto their servers running the Nations At War game type.
The increased player count means even more Holdfast goodness packed into one server. Get involved in these large scale events by joining the community discord server today! Whether you’re interested in modding Holdfast, hosting your own community events or just wanting to get involved deeper within our great community, the Holdfast official Discord server is the place to be. It is your central hub for all things Holdfast and houses a plethora of channels dedicated to event and game announcements, regiment recruitment, game support, suggestions, history discussion and more.
Our Vision. Holdfast’s Future
The release of Frontlines stays true to AGS’s roots - Forging our Way Through History. It marks the beginning of a new era for Holdfast both literally and figuratively. The development of Frontlines has been well over a years worth of effort and required the expansion of our team to ensure multiple projects could be worked on at once and that nothing would become neglected.
Both Harper and Storey will be joining the team officially as artists to continue their work on Nations At War, Frontlines and a 3rd yet-to-be announced project that is early in the works. We’re most excited to share more about this in the future but for now we’ll leave you with one thing, as can be said with any title we develop, it will have you, our beloved community in mind. Graciously we ask for your patience and know that development of Holdfast will not cease thanks to the expansion of our team.
We’re sure you’ll enjoy this just as much when it sees a release!
We truly believe that the community is the content and our efforts will not stop here. As mentioned, the release of Frontlines is not an endpoint, rather the start of a new era for the team and this genre of warfare roleplay games we all dearly love. This expansion of our team will allow for content based releases to be worked on at a larger scale and efficiency as shown with Frontlines.
We also want to continue providing the tools for our most dedicated fellows to better enjoy the content we create. Our great community of modders have already been hard at work since the first iteration of the Holdfast SDK which is why we plan on releasing ‘Version 5’ of the SDK that will incorporate the new Frontlines additions amongst additional modding abilities. This will allow modders to create their own unique experiences for the game, perhaps even in eras or settings of their own picking.
Multiple competitions based around the updated SDK will also rise giving players the opportunity to get their own creations into the game. We are also committing to introducing additional content throughout this year on both the game’s Napoleonic and Great War fronts. We do most certainly hope that this will keep you just as excited as we are for the future of Holdfast! Keep an eye out for a blog post release in the coming details detailing a development roadmap.
Finally, a thank you from everyone at Anvil Game Studios for your ongoing support, it is invaluable and has powered us on to create new experiences to give back to this wonderful community. We hope you enjoy all our efforts and we look forward to seeing you on the Frontlines after all this time!
Until then, may good health be yours.
- Anvil Game Studios
Refleax, Rycon, Dreas, Wrexial, Walki, Cameron, Jackson, Rejenorst, Harper, Storey, UberJuice & Winston (The Cat).