Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Achtung Battlefront!

Elsewhere I am reading comments from very smart people saying that Achtung Panzer Kharkov 1943 (APK43, by Graviteam) is a breakthrough war game. Although I reckon APK43 as the best 3-D tactical war game experience I had since Combat Mission Beyond Overlord/Barbarossa to Berlin/Afrika Korps (by Battlefront), in my agenda APK43 scored just two inches short of becoming a classic. One inch for the lack of multiplayer. Another inch for the lack of a map editor. But Graviteam fired this shot from a mile away, so let's keep things in perspective.

Graviteam came out of nowhere and kicked down the chits and board of a game that Battlefront has been playing solo since the year 2000. And did so in such a humble, un-assuming and polished way that will double the shock to Battlefront. Pay attention to the words "will" (is Battlefront aware of the new competition? Will Battlefront admit it publicly?), "humble"/"un-assuming" (compare to Battlefront's relationship with their old guard fans) and "polished" (do you remember the sorry state and horrible review scores Combat Mission Shock Force got upon release?).

And speaking of the old guard Combat Mission fans, I'm sure they will tear APK43 into pieces. And I'm not saying this with a negative connotation. Their analytical talents and knowledge have no apparent limits.  Also, keep in mind that even after all this years, they continue to do so with the very Combat Mission itself! Sometimes these fellows are like an old elementary school nurse I had back in Argentina: she would shake you like hell to make you spit that marble choking you. I take it like though love. Unfortunately, Battlefront takes it like sexual abuse.  

Competition propels progress. So here is hope that Graviteam's success will continue to release  more tactical goodies. And that Battlefront will reckon there is serious competition out there, and do what needs to be done with their upcoming Normandy war game. Because this time around, a Combat Mission Shock Force painted with WWII lacquer may not be enough.



Olav said...

Amen brother!

You mirror my recent thoughts here m8..

Anonymous said...

Intriguingly, not a word mentioned in any of the CMBB/CMSF/TOW2 forums at Battlefront.

Not a peep.

You would have thought it would trigger some sort of comment by someone...



JC said...


Thanks for your comments.

Long time no see! :) Happy New Year, man.

Yep, exactly. They have some tough restrictions about posting anything about other games, though.


Seydlitz said...

Been wondering this on my own why there hasnt been a word mentioned over at BF. I own all of the TOW series games. I think AP could best be compared to these. But AP is doing the job of handling Infantry so much better. Havent touched TOW since the release of AP. Generaly the AI in AP is one of the best Ive seen so far in a wargame. I think AP is really groundbreaking and I hope it will get the attention it deserves so that this concept will develope into a nice series.

Johan said...

I'm a hard core simulator fan, it's been a long time since I touched a map based wargame. But I think I will have to try out AP now, to see what the fuzz is all about. I see it is very reasonably priced too!

Seydlitz said...

Johan. you wont regret it and for just $ 16 its really a bargain.

Anonymous said...

@ Hartford

In fact, someone talked about Kharkov 43 in the ToW 2 Koursk 43 Battlefront forum. And that guy was quickly and politely asked (by 1C) to go talking about Kharkov 43 somewhere else.

Alexander said...

Don't forget that AP was made by merely 4 people. All the money from the sales goes to publisher though. And ToW is made by more than 40.