Steel Division – Superb

Written by Phil on . Posted in Battle

I purchased Steel Division a few days ago. I think it’s superb. I have all the Wargame franchise and found them to be too quick and just another click fest but there is more to them than that I know.

Steel Division plays differently to these earlier games and one of the best features for me is “Bullet Time” which of course, slows it all down and lets you think and manage the battlefield. Tactics really work. You have to use your recon and support your tanks with infantry and artillery. You can just rush in but this never works, you just get torn apart. I think it looks great and I love the control system.

The one thing it has done for is to go back to the original Wargame European Escalation. I can now do well in that particular game because the basics are taught well in Steel Divisions tutorials and I simply carry it over.

Tactics really work. You have to use your recon and support your tanks with infantry and artillery. You can just rush in but this never works, you just get torn apart. I think it looks great and I love the control system. The one thing it has done for me is to go back to the original Wargame European Escalation. I can now do well in that particular game because the basics are taught well in Steel Divisions tutorials and I simply carry it over.

I have started the campaign which is engrossing and you are forced to take your time and really consider your moves which is exactly what I am looking for in these type of games.

The dream would be to have the concept of a game like Command Ops executed with the graphical layout and controls of Steel Division.

I can only dream.

1967 Downtown Alpha Strike – CMANO

Written by Phil on . Posted in Battle, Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations

I missed out on all the Harpoon games and have tried the demo a few times but I always got lost and found it hard to do any task within the game.

I have had Command Ops / Modern Naval Warfare for well over year now. I have put in about 35 hours in total so far but most of this time has been taken up by completing the tutorials (which are very good).

This mission takes part in 1967 during the Vietnam war. You have to plan and implement an Alpha strike against 2 targets in and around Hanoi. This, of course, all took place during Operation Rolling Thunder.

Alpha Strike

An Alpha strike is typically a large strike representing a “deck load” of aircraft, i.e.,the amount of aircraft that can be brought to the flight deck, armed and launched against a high-value target. This will generally amount to about half of the aircraft aboard and will comprise aircraft from all squadrons on board and are also referred to as airwing-size strikes. The other half will normally have been recently recovered aircraft and will be parked and prepared for their next mission on the hangar deck below the flight deck. During an Alpha strike the carrier will remain into the wind and at General Quarters with a “ready deck” to recover any aircraft returning to the ship with battle damage. During the Vietnam War an Alpha strike also meant that the target of a strike was specifically taken from a target list maintained by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as such required JCS authorization.

Unsurprisingly this is quite hard to coordinate in a such a dense area of SAMS and AAA. However, the interface in CMANO makes this task a lot easier than I thought.

So far I have only set up the missions and now find I’m ready to launch. Here goes!

Final Blitzkrieg

Written by Phil on . Posted in Battle, Combat Missions

Combat Missions was one of those games that got me into all this tactics and strategy malarkey. Recently i downloaded the Final Blitzkrieg demo and it did not disappoint. So much so I am now saving up to buy the full game. 

The Battle Of The Bulge is the most interesting period of time of World War 2 for me. I think of the bitter cold the harsh and steep terrain the troops had to fight in and it sends shivers up my spine. 

A good ground appreciation is vital before you start making tactical decisions in this game. If you can control ground and in areas block enemy movement you can really have some great successes and it’s for this reason I particularly like this version of Combat Missions. The maps in some missions are open and undulating with plenty of woods for cover and buildings scattered about to add even more interest. All this with a few tanks and some infantry makes for some great battles. I find myself grinning from ear to ear at some points in battles. 

In one mission I was up against a Sherman tank at very close quarters against my Panther 2. Whoever could turn there turret first was in for the first vital shot. Through gritted teeth I’m saying “Come On!” “Come On!” We destroyed the Sherman and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Can’t wait to get stuck into the full game.

WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs Tiger

Written by Phil on . Posted in Battle, Latest

Another tank sim I had no idea existed until about an hour ago. This was released in 2008 and it’s made by the same guys who did Steel Fury Kharkov 1942. The lineage of these games can take you all the way through to Graviteam Tactics Mius Front. I’ve been having a blast commanding the Tiger against Soviet forces in the German campaign. Not as complicated as Steel Fury but tactics are still a must to get anywhere.

If you get your hands on it, you need to do a couple of things to get it running in Windows 10. Nothing complicated, just add  2 dll files to the game directory and run the exe in Win xp 2 mode. It runs really well on Windows 10 without any crashes and very good fps.

If you need any of these files I will be happy to send them on.

Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa

Written by Phil on . Posted in Battle, Latest

Today my wife ran her first full Marathon. 26.2 miles in the bag. This of course has nothing to do with one of the battles that took place during WW2 that literally changed the world and still has repercussions to this day. There is a tenuous link so please bare with me. I was in Chester today (the place of the marathon) and while my lovely wife was running in the sunshine I had a few hours to spare. I found myself in a second-hand bookshop and found this little book on sale for a couple of quid. It caught my eye because I have recently purchased Decisive Campaigns Operation Babarossa. This was recommended to me by a proper war gamer, Chris from The Sharp End Of Gaming (check out his great blog) many moons ago.

op-barbarossa

 

I have gone through the 14 video tutorials and have worked my way tentatively around the UI. My forays into Hex gaming are not extensive and I dived into the deep end with Gary Grigsbys War In The East recently. I do enjoy them but I do find them hard.

The first thing I liked about Decisive Campaigns was the decision-making process. This aspect of the game gave me great pleasure. The reports after every turn press all my buttons. Data and lots of it. I suppose and this is just an initial thought is the skill to use this data to your advantage. The layout and the way this is all presented provides a wonderful experience to me the new player of these games.

I’m having a lot of fun playing this and find myself going back over the tutorials with enthusiasm I haven’t experienced in a long time since I started playing games like Command Ops. Different games I know but both providing many years of pleasure into the future.

This Operational Level warfare is fantastic.

 

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