Sunday, April 16, 2017

Steel Division Normandy 44 - The Road Bend from Hell

A beta for Steel Division Normandy 44 is available through Steam.

I blundered an armored vehicle through the sights of an unseen German AT gun (somewhere in the background). Note the armored infantry dismounting on the right.
This real time strategy war game is from the makers of the acclaimed Wargame series. This beta features two maps and the skirmish mode only. Yet, there is a lot of game time in it.

A German scout aircraft passed by and now my men are booked for something bad. Moving out!
The views and the scope of a single skirmish in Steel Division are stunning. Older players like me are encouraged to play at a pace that suits both their desired level of involvement and capacity to process what is going on. For myself, this is at very low speed and zooming into each individual spot where tactical goodies are being spilled.

This aerial view of the area of operations has nothing to envy from those illustrations in Osprey Campaign books
This other armored vehicle barely escaped the enemy fire.
I could move an infantry squad near the suspected position of the AT gun, but they still were not able to spot it. I am going to need an additional squad to put some suppressive fire while I assault it.

But the computer opponent had other ideas and quickly moved a German squad which caught my second squad moving through the open. Bad spot to be caught at!

My other squad firing ferociously at the Germans.

That armored vehicle, with its MG proved to be invaluable to suppress the Germans while my squad moved out of the open.

Confident that the AT gun was destroyed (or at least its crew killed), and emboldened by the presence of my armored car, I move in for a close assault.
Bad idea. The AT gun was still around, just re-deployed into a place where my infantry could not reach it. A quick shot kills my armored car and my men are left unsupported and short of cover.

Is brutal, this war.



Anonymous said...

I'm also playing the beta on "very slow" (sometimes switching to "bullet time", which basically makes time stop) and I'm really impressed so far.

While the graphics are nice (and I can only set them to "mid" for now, as the game keeps crashing if I change it although my machine should be perfectly fine to run it at much higher settings) the gameplay is very good.

Tactics that should work (suppressing the enemy, flanking, and concealed position with good FOV) really work and it's one of these games where AT guns in a good position are really powerful (unless you don't have infantry to cover them against enemy infantry)

I'm sure I'll never play MP with this (as the speed will likely not be reducable) but the single player (including skirmish) will likely be great

Anonymous said...

Wow it looks great :)
Is there any chain of command (AI controlling the unit) or this is a god mode (controlling everything) game?

And it looks like AI is quite decent.

Chris Ad

JC said...

Thanks gents for your comments.

Anon, I agree with your point that there are a lot of hidden tactical goodness in the game. Unfortunately, many don't get a chance because they play at higher speeds and there is no time for finesse.

Chris, you basically control everything and there is no chain of command. There are leader units whose presence help to keep good order but that's pretty much it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks JC
I'm puzzled why no one is implementing (optional) chain of command. The only real attempt I've came across was Combat Ops.
AI is getting better and better (still sucks most of the time but try to play without a pause and you'll be sucking big time too) and the player has a perfect view of the battlefield and uninterrupted control of the units.

The gfx looks very good, technical realism is there but without ability to turn warefare command reality is a bit like nerds RTS based on IIWW.
And I've tried it. It's just micromanagement hell:/

PS. Does anyone know of a hex based game with implemented chain of command?

Chris Ad

JC said...

Hi Chris,

Yeah, I agree. Have you tried Graviteam Tactics Mius Front? That game may suit you better if you can get past the interface. :)