Sunday, January 1, 2012

Steel Armor Blaze of War - Soviet Combined Arms in Afghanistan

The game: Steel Armor Blaze of War
The scenario: quick battle, T-62 platoon (player) supporting armored infantry platoon vs mujahideen infantry (computer). The Soviet-Afghan War.


Armor, the decisive maneuver formation to be used in mass against NATO's best. Here used in penny packets against these barely fed fanatics. I am in command of a T-62 tank platoon, supporting Soviet infantry forces in a sweep operation.


View from the commander's position. The loader is visibly focused.
It was to be the quintessential cake walk. The enemy may have some anti-tank weapons, but it was infantry ... And the terrain was open.

Our comrade infantry men were in front of us and quickly got into contact. Our fire support can't be delivered through them, so I steered my platoon to the right in order to gain an open field of fire against the enemy positions in front of our infantry. 

The view from the gunner's sights. Two BMPs and our infantry (red dots) still block our field of fire against the enemy in the far background. We are moving to the right at full speed.

Now with a clear field of fire, shooting everything we have. We could barely see the enemy.
Our fellow infantry men (red dots in the distance) moved very swiftly and it was hard to keep a good angle to support them with fire. In this image, we were starting to steer into a path parallel to the infantry's axis of attack. But it was too late, we are now too separated from them.
The quick battle ended too fast (I forgot to extend the duration during the set up) and despite heavy infantry casualties, we scored a victory. The following screenshots are from the detailed AAR.

The mujahideen had prepared trenches for this desperate defense in the open. Note some of them moving forward from their positions. 
This BMP has been shot at by low caliber weapons and survived. The one in the background is a different story. Note the mujahideen  HMG in the left.

This was a catastrophic loss. Could not find out what took out this BMP.

Cheers,

8 comments:

gabeeg said...

How would you rate the level of simulation on this title...pretty good or war arcade?

JC said...

Hi gabeeg,

It is hardcore and fully scalable for weapon systems and damage (fully featured, detailed hits in one of the screenshots). Some things, like markers and the obsessive "capture the flag" gameplay, the icons and indicators I could live without.

Documentation of the game is remarkably bad.

Cheers,

Dimitris said...

Nice overview JC.

Are there any Beast-of-War type setups (raiding villages, running over people etc.)? What about destructible buildings?

JC said...

Hi Dimitris,

Meh! That would be extreme gore! :)
The quick battle system is very similar to the one in "Achtung Panzer". So, you are kind of limited on what you can set up in the scenario editor. I think that buildings are destructible (seen a BMP tore down a compound wall somewhere), but I will have to confirm.

Cheers,

JC

gabeeg said...

Thanks for the info JC...Eastern European/Russian games are almost as a rule awful in the documentation department it seems.

though I am not a big 3D game fan...I do like 3D sims...if that makes sense (it really doesn't...but I'm complicated) :) I may have to pull the trigger on this one.

JC said...

Hi gabeeg,

New entry about this one is up.

Cheers,

Jomni said...

To see the one that killed the BMP, press the crosshair in the lower right of the screen.

You think the tanks would easily punish the insurgents but you can't hurt what you can't see. Most of the time I can't see these guys and some hidden RPG or recoiless rifle would just take me out.

Jomni said...

Just to confirm. Buildings are indeed destructible and I think the infantry can occupy them.

I played both sides of the Iran-Iraq war campaigns already (and lost) but the terrain is mostly arid farmlands and small villages.