The Best Squad Based Tactical Wargame

Written by Phil on . Posted in Latest

The best game I have come across that tries to implement a basic attack by an infantry section (squads for most other armies) has to be Brothers in Arms by Gearbox. The whole game was built around such an attack. Taking these tactics to a larger scale seems to be quite difficult. Combat Missions, it could be argued do a good job but anything larger than company-sized attack’s become time-consuming because of the micromanagement. That’s not a slight on what is a fantastic tactical war-game but just in the context of this overall look at games, it applies. I always find myself coming back to Command Ops but I feel the maps need more functionality and detail.
So what is all this? What the hell am I going on about?
Over the last 5 or 6 years, I have been looking for that perfect war-game, for me and I really mean that in a selfish way. Time is ticking and I can’t make games.

So the question is what do I want?

The List

1. World War 2 or anything up to about 1970.
2. Phases – like Graviteam have implemented 3 or more in-depth phases that really work together.
3. Hands off higher command order system.
4. Logistics. It simply has to be there. You can’t fight battles without out it and it provides so much more to think about and forces you to think so much more about what you are doing.
5. Maps. Great big maps. Small maps for detail medium maps for focus. These maps have to be great to look at. Grid references, contours and lots of detail.
6. Combat support. Artillery, Recon, Armor, and Air. Make these systems really good to use with a great UI.
7. Emphasis on land battles. Don’t try and do the whole theatre. Battalion scale.
8. Detailed equipment with an emphasis on real effective weapon ranges.

And that’s it I suppose. Not much to ask is it? 😉

Longbow 2 – Retro Heaven

Written by Phil on . Posted in Latest, Longbow 2, Retro

Continuing my hate love affair with retro simulations I have recently set-up Janes AH-64D Longbow 2 on my purpose built old hardware PC and managed to get Longbow 2 to work really well. It took me a long time to do because XP is no longer supported, because of that  I don’t have it connected to the internet. So every patch/update/driver I need is all done by relaying a USB pen drive between my two machines. Nevertheless it was all worth it.

I have spent many hours over the last couple of weeks learning this simulation and I can honestly say, hand on heart this has been the most enjoyable time I have had flying and learning in years. The thing is I have never played this up until now. It was released in 1997. I was in my 20’s back then and had a full head of hair. I didn’t have the money to own a PC but I was well aware of Longbow 2 and desperately wanted to try it out as I did with most combat flight simulations. I would go into a shop (we had to go outside to get games back then) and lift the hefty box up and marvel at all the potential complexity of it all.

I am unable to capture in game footage with the old PC and taking screenshots crashes the system. So I have find a way to run Longbow 2 on my more modern Windows 10 system. It’s not an ideal setup because of tedious technical issues but it’s enough for me to get some screenshots and I plan on making a video of a mission or a “how to set it up” tutorial.  I don’t know yet.

In the mean time this love affair goes on.



Tank Warfare – Tunisia 1943

Written by Phil on . Posted in Graviteam Tactics Operation Star, Tank Warfare Tunisia

It is freezing here in the UK and countries that are actually cold and experience this sort of thing all of the time are laughing at us and our ineptitude. I work in quite a remote place on the side of a mountain and as such have been sent home.This weather has now given me time to get stuck into Tank Warfare Tunisia.

Battle Intensity

I have always liked and enjoyed Graviteams stuff but never really got into Mius Front or Tank Warfare Tunisia. I read this post and it suddenly perked my interest again. The first battle I set up was really  intense and reminded me how good these games are. The noise and the high quality visuals are fantastic. In larger battles you can zoom in on local actions where a tank is trying to destroy a threat or a group of soldiers far away from that are trying to take out a well defended bunker. Tank Warfare gives you all this and asks you not to micro manage. That is the key. The AI will do a good job if you don’t fiddle about with it and concentrate on tactics and strategy. The user interface has always been a bone of contention with some people. However if you have a bit of patience and are willing to learn how it all fits together suddenly it will click and you realise you have a powerful tool in your grubby hands.


Artillery in this game has always been quite tricky but I found an old video I made for Mius Front which is still applicable to this that helped me out with that. I completley forgot I  made this and found it through a google search which was a bit odd.

FSLabs A320

Written by Phil on . Posted in FSX, P3D

I have been flying PMDG’s Boeings for many years now and to be honest I was getting bit bored with them.  So naturally a good Airbus simulation is always going to be the preferred option but nothing has been made that is on the level of complexity or detail that has been done by PMDG. That is until FSLabs made this A320.

The Airbus

Every switch, knob, light and system is simulated in grand detail. Even the various computers are simulated. The sounds are fantastic and really add to the immersion. The flight model as you can imagine is rendered in excruciating detail. The outside visuals are not that important to me. For me it’s the systems and then the learning process you have to go through to understand them.

Putting all this together and then flying using the checklists etc is relatively easy but throw in some AI traffic with a realistic ATC system (Radar Contact) and real weather you now have quite a challenge.

This aircraft is an absoloute joy to fly and I am getting a lot out of it.

The price makes the eyes water a bit £99………..ouch!