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Cossacks: Back to Pub

Do you like Cossacks? Right, then you could win a crate of vodka

The long-awaited follow-up/expansion pack in the Cossacks series, dubbed Back to War, is due out next Friday October 18th, and to celebrate that fact, developer/publisher CDV is planning to give away a crate of Russia's finest vodka, despite our pleas for them to give it to us instead (worth a try). So, you might reasonably wonder, what's so special about Cossacks: Back to War, what's so special about Stolichnaya Cristall Vodka, and why should I care about either?

Well, Cossacks: Back to War is special because it's both a standalone title and an expansion to the original game, offering the best of both worlds to players both new and old with 100 new single-player missions and a host of new multiplayer options. Stolichnaya Cristall Vodka is special because it's distilled through carbon granules made from the wood of Russia's native birch, creating something so exceptionally competent at getting you pissed that God himself is after a crate. And you should care about them because if you want to win the vodka, you need to be ranked number one in Back to War's online ranking system at 11:59pm on the final day of the competition's four-week run, from the 18th through till November 15th. If you are, you get the vodka. 12 bottles.

"Although Cossacks players don't need an incentive to compete to the highest possible standard, we thought it would be nice to offer our first winner something to celebrate with," said Terry Malham, president of CDV, before hiccupping nervously. "The great thing is there will be no losers - those that fail to claim the UK crown will have nevertheless enjoyed one of the finest real-time strategy games ever published. What better runners-up prize than that?" Well, what springs to mind is some sort of visit to a Russian wh[snip -Ed]. Hiccup.

Cossacks: Back to War is due out on October 18th, priced £19.99.