Game of the Week, February 26 to March 3

 

Hi everyone,
Would you believe we are up to our fourth "Game of the Week"?!?

This week’s title is a move to a completely different environment.

The Game of the Week is Panzer Battles: Battles of North Africa 1941.

Battles of North Africa 1941 is the most recent release in the Panzer Battles Series.

This is a new 4.02 version and requires a clean installation.

Version 4.02 is a Full Installer only, no patch from prior versions is available. The latest game build is available now in your store account on the WDS website for existing owners. You will have to uninstall any previous versions and then install the latest to be up to date.

I (David) have a soft spot for this title as it is the last one I personally developed. Battles of North Africa 1941 probably has the broadest range of scenarios we have ever released in a 20th Century title. There are 117 scenarios covering a range of actions in the Mediterranean in 1940 and 1941.

  • Operation Compass, Dec 1940; The Battle of the Camps - 5 scenarios
  • Operation Compass, Jan 1941; The Battle of Bardia - 3 scenarios
  • Operation Compass, Jan 1941; The Battle of Tobruk - 5 scenarios
  • Operation Compass, Feb 1941; Beda Fomm - 5 scenarios
    • Beda Fomm; variable scenario - 3 scenarios
  • Unternehmen Sonnenblume Mar 1941; Cyrenaica - 9 scenarios
  • Siege of Tobruk Apr 1941; Tobruk - 8 scenarios
  • Greece Apr 1941; Corinth Canal - 1 scenario
  • Operation Brevity May 1941; Egypt/Libya Border - 8 scenarios
    • Operation Brevity; variable scenario - 3 scenarios
  • Unternehmen Merkur May 1941; Crete - 25 scenarios
    • Unternehmen Merkur; variable scenario - 4 scenarios
  • Operation Battleaxe Jun 1941; Egypt/Libya Border - 10 scenarios
  • Operation Crusader Nov 1941; Egypt/Libya Border - 28 scenarios

At 117 scenarios there is sufficient content for two releases and the German airborne landings in Crete could have been a standalone title. This breadth allows a range of varied situations.

Battles of North Africa 1941 includes the aforementioned playable scenarios, 24 reference scenarios and a further 3 variable scenarios ranging from 6 turns to 90 turns in length. As listed, representative operations from December 1940 through to December 1941 are included with a good mix of small (battalion/regiment), medium (division) and large (corps) engagements.

Included are 8 Master Maps covering Greece, Crete and Libya and Egypt. The North Africa map contains over 1.23 million hexes. 55 sub maps are included. For scale, the North Africa map area is over three times bigger than the map included with Panzer Battles: Battles of Normandy.

8 Order of Battles cover the evolving 1941 force mix for each side. The represented Allied forces include the British, Greek, Indian, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Free French, Polish and Czech. The included Axis forces are the Italians, Libyans, Wehrmacht, and Luftwaffe.

Battles of North Africa 1941 was the first Panzer Battles title to be specifically designed using variable victory point objectives. This allowed the scenario designer to set victory points for a location that could change over time. With the fluid nature of the desert actions, this allowed us to reward players for taking or holding locations within historical timeframes. For example, in the Operation Brevity scenario, the British will receive 15 victory points per turn for holding Sidi Azeiz Airstrip (hex 83, 48). The victory points are only awarded for game turns 9 to 24. Anything before or after this period will be zero. Historically, units from 7th Armoured Brigade held the airfield over this period before retreating in the face of German counterattacks. With the variable victory points as set, the Commonwealth player is incentivised to push hard for this distant objective. We found this approach allowed us much more flexibility in rewarding player actions and allowed some interesting permutations in the included variable scenarios.

There is also an interesting breadth of engagement types and combatants. We are not aware of many games that detail the Italian involvement with the depth of order of battles included. The inclusion of German Airborne landings in Greece and Crete (Unternehmen Merkur) are also a contrast to the other desert operations. Many of the desert battles in 1940 & 1941 were fought before the more static battles of 1942, where both sides entrenched themselves behind massive minefields to slow the pace of battle. Subsequently, Battles of North Africa 1941 is a game of movement.

We included a lot of historical documentation and notes with this title, you can review each by clicking on the images below.

Please note - the planning maps are 550MB - be aware before downloading.

We also published a range of blog posts specifically discussing this title. A whole series explained the research and design process for game and scenario creation in Maleme, Crete. You can see the summary blog post here, with links to the ten dedicated posts.

There was also a descriptive blog entry covering both variable victory points as well as how to use the various units in a battalion. This is a great primer on the various facets of game play in the Panzer Battles Series.

There has been a wealth of books covering the fighting in the Mediterranean in 1941/1941. Following are some representative books for anyone that would like some more background on the various campaigns. You can click on the book images below to be taken to the Publisher or Amazon, if applicable.

Informational

 (PDF download on click)

Now for video content:

The Mack has multiple videos relating to this title. See his channel here.

Real and Simulated Wars had a preview and gameplay that you can watch below.

SmartWargames also has some content, but it is also several years old. You can view that below.

Following are some in-game screen shots of what to expect. Each image can be clicked for a full-sized view.

 

Again, the latest game build is available now in your store account on the WDS website. If you have any issues, please reach out to our Help Desk.

If you don’t already own this title, what are you waiting for? You can buy it directly from the dedicated product page.

We would love to get your feedback on this title, please do post at our dedicated forums with your overall impressions.

We hope you enjoy this week’s, Game of the Week. Like all WDS titles, there is a lot of game play included at a very attractive price.


12 comments


  • Jules Verne

    Incredible title, cannot recommend enough. IMHO best of the panzer battles series, combined arms is crucial.


  • Claymore

    Recommended. Especially the Crete scenarios. Get it if you have not already.


  • Jens L

    Excellent wargame in a very excellent series. In my opinion the best ww2 serie. I hope, hope for more titles. I love that you can follow practically the entire first years of the war in the desert through this game.


  • Rich Hamilton

    @T G – to your question, yes, being applied to all titles, all series. But please keep in mind it is a long, slow process – this AI development road. It is all custom and unique to us.


  • Michael J Behrens

    Excellent game, already own it but would buy again.


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