|A Schutzen company (right) and a light panzer company (left) deployed near the town of Watte. Note the size of the units: platoons and sections (weapons sections).|
Panther's game engine (Command Ops Battles from the Bulge, Conquest of the Aegean, Highway to the Reich) so far have simulated warfare at the grand-tactical/operational levels. The recipe for success was a game engine with no hexes, continuous time and modeling forces beyond the usual weapon systems and effects. The game engine features a fully dynamic command and control system that simulates order delays, attached and detached units and overburdened HQs. On top of all this wargaming goodness, a logistics system accounts for every gallon of fuel spent and every shell fired. A lot of things going on, yet most of it is automated and ran by a strong artificial intelligence allowing the player to intervene when he finds it adequate.
The appeal of a game with a purely tactical scope including all the goodies discussed above is great. But the task of "going tactical" is not trivial. This is not just a matter of throwing smaller units in smaller maps. Almost every aspect of the inner workings of the game engine is being revised, modified and tweaked to simulate combat between smaller forces.
The maps will represent smaller chunks of terrain but will be more detailed. The effects of a more detailed terrain model on lines of sight, gunnery and troop movement is being worked on right now.
|An intermediate zoom of the same map above, this time at a scale of 8 meters per pixel. Plenty of real estate for combat.|
|This is how the traditional Command Ops movement grid looks like for the map shown previously. The resolution of this grid is 100 meters and movement speed in shown in gradients of grey (black is fast movement, white is slow movement).|
|This is one of the candidate movement grids for Legends of the Blitzkrieg. With a higher resolution (30 meters in this case), this grid is more adequate than the previous one for simulating movement of smaller forces.|
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