Besides a new graphics engine (which is still a work in progress), there very interesting new features. The one I will showcase today is the possibility of adding civilians to the battlefield. In this custom-made scenario, I command a platoon of mechanized infantry (3 Bradley IFVs) and our mission is to gain a foothold on a tiny town which is controlled by insurgents.
The new feature in the scenario editor allows the player to add a third faction (green) which can be neutral or hostile to the traditional red and blue factions. In this case, the green faction are all unarmed civilians, which are roaming inside the town. I did set the civilians to spawn within the confines of the town and then walk out towards a safer place.
|The terrain is a desert plain with very sparse cover but tiny depressions here and there.|
|The trees and buildings of the town are seen in the far background. We are 2 km+ from the objective.|
|The TIS shows some civilians and vehicles inside the town, but the range is too high to figure out if these contacts are hostile or not.|
|The view through the gunner's sight, without TIS.|
|We continued our approach towards the town, very slowly. At a certain point we dismounted the infantry, but they came under small arms fire immediately so we mounted them back. The range from the town is 1 Km+|
|This picture is to show the range to the town. Close for the shells, still far for the infantry we are carrying.|
|Those HE shells are highly effective against infantry, but they lit everything that can burn.|
|The moment of truth: infantry is ordered to dismount and advance towards the town. Tense moments right here, trying to provide effective over watch.|
|Ah, the tricky urban terrain! You watch for any speckle of red in the TIS. This insurgent (or what is left of him) was in a keyhole position within the town.|
|An insurgent carrying an RPG has just been neutralized.|
|The infantry, slowly making it towards the town. Many buildings in the town are ablaze.|
|Finally, a modest foothold is gained.|
|An then is our turn to enter the built up area. The infantry around gave us a sense of security.|
|Although we don't plan to clear the town, we completely rule a portion of it.|
|An insurgent is about to be dispatched. Note the complex, keyhole-rich type of built up area we are in.|
|In complete command of this part of the town. We call it a day and prepare to stand firm.|
|A final picture.|
It would be great if the civilians in Steel Beasts ProPE 3.0 had some sort of normal survival instinct in their path finding routines. I am not sure if this can be set in the scenario editor, but they we walking around calmly no matter how intense the fire exchange was.
All being said, I'm really happy with this new layer of tactical goodness added to the simulator.
3 infantry casualties, 29 insurgents killed, 3 technical vehicles destroyed. No civilians were harmed.