Saturday, June 23, 2018

Graviteam Tactics: Tielieketi Incident - A Lesson in Light Infantry Tactics

And the Oscar for war gaming company with highest rate of fire and marksmanship goes to ... Graviteam!



Seriously, I barely scratched the surface of Black Snow and ... Bam! Another DLC knocks my door. Come on in, I always have time for Graviteam's bountiful supply of virtual places to war game. The next day, I had to open the door again for a patch fixing some glitches and bugs.



I don't know what is Graviteam's secret sauce, but they are expedient, diligent and effective. Although this is a Graviteam Tactics: Zhalanashkol 1969's redux, the pace of releases and updates has no match in this peculiar niche of games.



The content of this DLC is identical to the Zhalanashkol 1969 DLC for Operation Star. But all the content was brought to the latest Mius Front standards.



The graphics are the most obvious improvement, followed by the increased accessibility of the user interface (in comparison to Operation Star, Mius Front feels more at home for me). The 3D map looks richer, with seemingly more detailed elevations and underlying terrain. There are also some updates in the orders of battle and the reinforcement schedules.




The conflict portrayed in this DLC is a border incident between the USSR and China back in 1969. Besides the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, Mao had also other great ideas like risking a full blown war with the Soviets. The chosen spots for this showdown were as remote as nowadays eastern Kazakhstan.



I started playing the campaign and it is impressive how the Graviteam's engine can portray both huge and small operations. I was playing one battle this morning and I swear I've participated in airsoft matches with more people than the ones shown in the virtual battle. Yet the virtual battle was fluid, entertaining and challenging. The screenshot above shows how spread my own troops were and from it you can predict how I had to better keep my combat patrol act together.

For some reason the area of operations reminds me of the Malvinas/Falklands Islands.



This DLC in particular is all about light infantry. On the one side, the Chinese, masters of light infantry tactics, show up and move at speeds that will derail your always undermanned defensive plans. On the other side, the Soviets, keen on offensive warfare, find themselves frequently in the defense without the firepower they wish for. Tanks become available at a later stages of the campaigns, but the terrain is sometimes prohibitive for armor action.



And by the way, Steam is hosting a huge sale for Graviteam. Make sure to check it out.








Cheers,



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thx JC, for posting.

I’m an avid Steel Beasts-gamer.
Now that Graviteam started to cover the SB-timeperiod, post-WW2 armoured warfare, should I look into Graviteam as well ?
Iow does it something (really) different or (really) better than SB ?

And off-topic, RE your post on MilOps:
To my surprise, the screenshots showed the Ardennes 1940, which I believe is rare in a game.
Do you know any other simulators that cover Belgium 1940, esp. the crossing of the Meuse near Dinant or tank battles near Flavion & Gembloux ?

NB at the SB-forum, I got already some feedback, but maybe you could add something ?
http://www.steelbeasts.com/topic/12241-any-sims-or-boardgames-covering-the-1940-battles-in-belgium/

Many thx,

Koen

JC said...

Hi Koen,

I think that with the Steam sales going around now for Graviteam, it's relatively cheap to test the waters.

Graviteam has just a few, very localized theaters of operations for post WWII:

Steel Armor Blaze of War, which covers an operation in the Soviet-Afghan War and an operation in the Iran Iraq War.

Graviteam Tactics Operation Star and the two DLCs: Operation Hooper (Angola, Cuito-Cuanavale district), Zhalanashkol 1969 (the same content as in this post with the older Graviteam engine.

Better than Steel Beasts: true simulation of infantry-armor cooperation, awesome physics engine (real traction simulation), lighting effects, including old generation active IR illumination systems.

Worse the Steel Beasts: can't use a joystick, limited amount of maps, narrow scope of historical conflicts.The user interface can be challenging to figure out due to the bad documentation.

As for France 1940:

John Tiller Software France '40
John Tiller Software The First Blitzkrieg
Assorted scenarios in The Operational Art of War IV
WWII Europe by Schwerpunkt Games

Chers,

Anonymous said...

Thx !
Koen