Firstly, we would like to thank everyone for the support we have received since announcing the formation of the team in August 2016. The response has been extremely positive and with the release of the patches for Panzer Battles Normandy & Kursk, showcase the improvements we are bringing to the series.
We are on plan to release the Panzer Battles Demo soon. We have just added all the top down graphics for all nationalities and are just awaiting a final scenario to essentially complete all the content. The latest version of the Demo will go to our play testers over the New Year and we will have a burst of testing for a month or two and then a release hopefully before the end of March 2017.
The following content is confirmed in the Demo;
As previously mentioned, David Michas, The Battle of Hannut – France 1940 will showcase two scenarios covering the fighting on both May 12th and 13th. These scenarios highlight the fragility of the German Panzers where even 47mm anti-tank guns can dominate the battlefield. (Note - All images are clickable for full size)
Chris Maiorana is building two scenarios covering the fighting in the Bogodukhov region in Russia in August 1943. The fighting, just after the Kursk battle was both desperate and fluid with each side trying to overwhelm the other, in many cases from the march. Soviet Guards units will be opposing German SS and Wehrmacht formations.
In North Africa, David Freer has designed four scenarios for Mersa Brega, the first battle the German Afrika Korps were involved in. There are two different scenarios with the historical forces and a hypothetical situation where the British have additional armour assets. There are also AI versions of both these scenarios intended to be played from the German perspective. Mersa Brega was the first blooding for the Germans but also the beginning of Rommel’s North African reputation. The fighting was extremely hard in what could have been an impregnable defensive position.
The last battle to be included in the Panzer Battles Demo is Joao Lima’s Battle of the Tenaru River. Joao has included both historical and hypothetical scenarios with the hypothetical assuming the 5th SNLF Battalion reinforced Ichiki’s force rather than being landed further along the coast of Guadalcanal. These scenarios are a test for us as we are trialling 125 metre hexes rather than the more standard 250 metre for these smaller battles. We want to get some idea how this works out as it may support some concepts we have for urban and jungle fighting in future titles.
All together that makes 10 scenarios that will come with the demo, though there maybe a few more if we feel that player vs AI versions are required based upon testing.
We expect to have the first DLC (downloadable content) sometime after the Demo release and the first one will hopefully contain the four Getting Started scenarios from Panzer Battles Kursk and Normandy converted to work with the Demo. We are planning a second DLC pack that will contain some of the excellent scenario work done by Chris Maiorana using Panzer Battles Kursk. These scenarios will also be converted across to work with the demo so there will be no need to own Kursk to play them.
Work continues apace on Panzer Battles 3. We now have testing underway on scenarios set in the desert as well as Crete.
The master desert map has had a substantial addition to allow us to add another complete campaign/set of scenarios. At last count we expect to have up to eight distinct battles/campaigns included with the game. The orders of battles have been done for all of these but only three operations have had scenarios designed for them to date.
Much of the graphics have been done, which has been a huge task in itself. Currently we are working on completing the top down graphics based upon Ed Pacitto's (Richie 61) excellent work.
Here is a sneak peek at one of the first day scenarios in Crete with the Fallschirmjaeger landing at Retimo and facing off against the Greek and Australian garrison.
Below is a look at another scenario in the desert, showing some of the top down graphics. Also note this is the current iteration of ‘soft’ terrain in the desert showing pools of water after a cloud burst.
We have also been working on a new series of updates for the Panzer Campaigns series. The updates will include all new map and unit graphics as well as the full integration of Ed ‘Volcano Man’ Williams Alternate scenarios. This will hopefully give new life to this well-loved series with a more modern graphics look as well as the most often played alternate scenarios.
To date we have completed 5 titles (Moscow 41, Moscow 42, Kharkov 42, Kharkov 43 and Smolensk 41) and are currently working on Rzhev 42. Our plan is to finish all the Eastern Front titles before moving onto the desert/Western Europe. The pace is not particularly fast as it is a bit of a filler while having a break from other tasks. Mike Amos has sent through some alternative 3D graphics and we will be looking at considering them for inclusion over the New Year.
Here are a few screen shots from the Panzer Campaigns work done to date. Please note everything here is work in process and subject to change (for example many of the sidebars have not been updated).
The German drive to Kalinin from Moscow ’41 during mud weather
A Soviet breakthrough, January 22nd 1942 from Moscow ’42
Here is the Soviet 28th and 38th Armies preparing to launch the Northern pincer attack to capture Kharkov from Kharkov ‘42
And finally, below is some detail from Rzhev ’42 showing the Soviets massing around the German salient
As you can see we have a range of projects underway that will keep us very busy in 2017.
We wish all of you that have an interest in our work a safe and happy holidays and we look forward to sharing more in the New Year.