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View Full Version : The Best Wargame - Steel Panthers WW2 – and it’s Free



Saxon
12-20-2008, 12:28 PM
This is by far the best wargame I’ve played. It is not a ‘first person shooter’. You are the commander of a Battalion (any nation), and control individual vehicles and squads/sections of infantry.

The game is often referred to as WinSPWW2. You can play against the AI or humans, and are able to play designed scenarios, campaigns or generate your own battles.

Here’s a excerpt from an ‘After Action Report’ from one of my battles against a human opponent. It doesn’t get into the mechanics of the game at all, but with give you a feel for the game.

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Major Ennis DSO, of the Royal Tank Regiment, quickly realized the gravity of the situation and led his tanks into the fray around the town hall. He was forced to group over half a dozen tanks in a small area, and prayed the German artillery didn’t zero in on them. Ennis also took a serious personal risk by exposing himself to an Anti-tank gun, but he succeeded in killing some of the crew (despite this, the AT gun managed to withdraw and later put up a very brave and stubborn defense on the far side of the river). The Germans responded with their own armour and in the shoot-out a StuG III hit Ennis’ tank which exploded. No one got out.

http://dc111.4shared.com/img/76863936/84d6ab0c/battle9Turn11.jpg (http://www.4shared.com/file/76863936/84d6ab0c/battle9Turn11.html)

Major Ennis leads his tanks into the critical fight for town hall, moments before he was killed.

Major Ennis is the highest ranking officer to be killed under Col Cross’ command. He first fought with Cross in Italy in October 1943 where he earned his DSO.

Despite this great loss, Ennis’ men fought on, quickly knocking out the StuG III and other armour, but not before losing a couple more tanks. Again the precise Royal Artillery seemed to make the difference and slowly the Germans were pushed out of the town hall and its surrounding buildings.

About 30 to 45 minutes into the battle Lt Shannon of the Royal Artillery spotted a German formation behind British lines. It consisted of a Panther tank, five armoured cars and a motorcycle section. The Royal Artillery were low on ammo, so those few guns that still had a few rounds cancelled their last volleys to save them for possible direct fire. Shannon got off a few HE rounds at the Panther but only succeeded in panicking a few of the nearby armoured cars.

The small German formation behind British lines didn’t pose a large threat, but it could turn into a serious nuisance. Capt Picton’s support company was responsible for the rear, and fortunately he had a wide variety of units in reserve to deal with them. Picton’s response was efficient, and he soon had an ad-hock force closing in on them. However, he was not able to save Lt Thompson’s heavy mortar section which instead of hiding, engaged the Germans at close range and was wiped out by an armoured car.

One of Picton’s six pounder AT guns hit the Panther several times from about 700 yards, but couldn’t penetrate its armour at that range. Despite this, four armoured cars and the motorcycles were all KO in quick succession. The other armoured car later attempted to capture a rear bridge but it was KO in a close assault by some of Picton’s infantry who were waiting in buildings by the road.

http://dc111.4shared.com/img/76864012/238b0ea1/battle9Turn23.jpg (http://www.4shared.com/file/76864012/238b0ea1/battle9Turn23.html)
Behind British Lines. Picton’s men have just KO an armoured car, and now there is only the Panther to deal with, which is surrounded by a wide assortment of units.

The Panther was now alone and although it managed to briefly evade detection some infantry spotted it hiding in some trees. After suppressing it with small arms it was expertly knocked out by Sgt Heart’s Challenger tank with its 17 pounder main gun. The Panther’s commander turned out to be Major Becker, who not only succeeded in escaping the burning wreck of his tank, but also managed to evade capture.

Back at the front, with the town hall under British control, Lt.Col.Cross turned his attention to the ‘still standing’ road Bridge to the East and the crossroads to the SE. Major Baker’s ‘B’ company led the charge to the east, while Capt Gilchrist’s battered ‘C’ company headed for the crossroads in the South East.

http://dc111.4shared.com/img/76864092/eb5284a9/battle9turn19.jpg (http://www.4shared.com/file/76864092/eb5284a9/battle9turn19.html)
Col Cross (in red hex) with Capt Gilchrist on the road 200 yards SE of Cross.

By this time the Royal Artillery had about run out of ammo, and were distracted by the German infiltrators, so with artillery support waning ‘C’ company charged towards the crossroads. Capt Gilchrist led the charge by actually running down the road itself. The Germans attempted to defend the crossroads and Gilchrist’s section found itself shooting its way down the road, and even finished off a few German sections as they went.

Col Cross’ HQ section followed Capt Gilchrist on foot at a distance of about 200 yards. Cross’ jeep, attempting to stay nearby, was destroyed by German artillery as it approached the crossroads. Cross’ driver was killed. This was possibly the fifth driver that Cross has lost in nine battles. It seems to be quite a dangerous job.

http://dc111.4shared.com/img/76864163/1a0fc2c7/battle9Turn21.jpg (http://www.4shared.com/file/76864163/1a0fc2c7/battle9Turn21.html)
Capt Gilchrist (in red hex) at the crossroads.

With a Panther and a couple of StuG IIIs defending the crossroads, Gilchrist was glad of the Royal Tank Regiments support. The Panther damaged a British armoured car, but then Sgt Murray’s Close Support tank got the Panther in the sights of his 3.7 inch howitzer. This Howitzer was primarily intended for soft targets, but the RTR sensibly issued each tank with 4 HEAT rounds just incase. As it turned out Sgt Murray only had 3 left. The first two missed the Panther completely, but Murray’s last HEAT round got a solid hit and clearly damaged the Panther quite badly. Lt Picton’s Cromwell tank was then able to quickly finish off the Panther.

Capt Gilchrist didn’t even pause once he’d captured the crossroads; instead he turned onto the main road and started running east towards one of the destroyed bridges which was his next objective. Gilchrist scored 3 kills during his run down the road, and was awarded a well deserved Bar to the Military Cross he won in July.

By the end of the battle the British had captured 19 of the 21 objectives, and it was considered a decisive British Victory.

http://dc111.4shared.com/img/76864244/b41b8bbf/battle9turn25.jpg (http://www.4shared.com/file/76864244/b41b8bbf/battle9turn25.html)
A & B company in the north are swinging south while Capt Gilchrist’s ‘C’ company close in on bridge objective.

If you think you may be interested in this game, you can read more about it, and see some screen shots here:

http://www.shrapnelgames.com/Camo_Workshop/WW2/WW2_page.html

This game is a fully playable free download, it is not a demo; although you can buy a CD which gives you some extra features.

If you have any questions or comments, fire away…

Churchill
12-22-2008, 07:27 PM
Thanks mate, I'll probably end up downloading it as soon as I'm back from vacation.