Wargame Design Studio is proud to announce…
That we're releasing the Panzer Battles Demo. You can find the link to the product page at the end of this post. That said before you rush off to download it, I’d like to share a little more on the who and why behind this project.
The release of the Panzer Battles Demo marks the first time Wargame Design Studio has released work that has been fully developed in-house since the team was setup. A lot of effort has gone into the Demo – actually much more than we originally envisaged. This has been a full blown project that has taken close to a year from inception to release. The Demo is being released to achieve a number of things;
- Introduce the game system to new players
- Bring new scenario designers into the team, creating work without overwhelming them
- Test out new theatres, scenarios, nationalities and game systems
- Be Wargame Design Studio’s primary marketing vehicle. We’re hopeful that we will be able to add more scenarios in the future and ask anyone wanting to design new work to use the Demo as a platform.
What’s included with the Demo? We will touch on the scenarios a little later in this post, but very importantly we’re making available the game editors. We have included the scenario, order of battle, unit and parameter editors. In addition we have also included the campaign editor. Please note we have not included any campaign games (other than a dummy one for anyone that clicks through) in the initial Demo release, but it’s there for any budding designers to tinker with.
There are also more nations than we have released in any game before. These can be mixed and matched allowing fantasy settings if anyone wants that kind of thing. If you want the Soviets fighting the Allies in some post WW2 apocalypse you can do it – you just need to design your OB accordingly.
The oft asked question around the map editor – no we aren’t releasing that. That said we expect more maps to work with the demo in the future and look forward to making those available for use in scenarios and the map sub-editor. A few designers have already built additional maps and they will hopefully feature in future scenarios.
We have deliberately included the Campaign editor. This will allow budding designers and players to create what-if scenarios with much more randomness built in. We would love to see more input from the community and hopefully providing the various tools with the free Demo will motivate more people to learn how to build more situations in game.
I’d also like to share a little more on our designers who created the Demo scenarios.
Chris Maiorana from http://thesharpendgaming.blogspot/ designed both August 1943 Bogodukhov scenarios. Chris has been involved in scenario design across a range of game series including Command Ops, Early American Wars and Panzer Battles. Chris has built up quite a nice catalogue of Panzer Battle scenarios using our earlier releases (Kursk & Normandy) and they would be ideal for inclusion as additional content for the Demo – something to consider for the future.
Joao Lima built our first ever Pacific scenarios focusing on the initial fighting on Guadalcanal at Tenaru. Joao has a broad range of credits being involved in several Squad Battles titles including Spanish Civil War, Falklands and Modern War. Joao’s experience beyond World War 2 will be useful in the future.
David Michas is a new designer who hails from Nantes in France. David became involved spell checking all the French place names in Panzer Battles Normandy and has become deeply involved in a range of projects. The four scenarios covering the Battle of Hannut are all David’s work and he has already started researching a range of other France 1940 situations.
I (David Freer) designed the Mersa el Brega scenarios. These will be included in Panzer Battles 3 and will be a great introduction into what that title will be like.
As far as the scenarios are concerned the factor that stands out is the lack of unit density compared to the previously released titles (Kursk and Normandy). In many cases the forces are roughly equivalent both in numbers and quality and players will find some interesting challenges.
The Hannut scenarios are also interesting as the Germans are not technologically dominant. This is very different to later in the war and the German player in 1940 should keep their enthusiasm in check. The French are not the push over you may expect and weapons systems such as the 47mm anti-tank gun are very effective.
Tenaru is also a test of a smaller hex size (125 metres) with lower unit density. We want to see how this pans out as this hex size is perfect for jungle and city fighting. We don’t expect all these experiments to work, but what better way to try different things than use a widely available Demo?
The Bogodukhov scenarios cover a meeting engagement and a river crossing. The maps are surprisingly big and there is a range of different tactics that can be employed. There is a lot more room for units to manoeuvre and we expect some interesting outcomes from these scenarios.
Mersa el Brega, like Bogodukhov is based on a big map. This map gives the impression of a lot of room to deploy and move forces on. Don’t be misled. The salt pans and sand are close to impassable and the number of advance routes are limited. This particular area was probably the most defensible position before Benghazi and if the British had held it with a little more strength it would have been close to impregnable. It’s also worth noting that the German forces are all ‘C’ morale. This is due to the fact that they were new to the desert and were yet to learn the tactics required to be successful. Both men and machines really struggled in this new theatre and vehicles broke down regularly due to inadequate air and oil filters and other unexpected impediments. A month or two later these issues were resolved, but the initial attack by the Afrika Korp shown here was definitely impacted by inexperience.
We’re very proud to release the Panzer Battles Demo and we welcome all feedback.