Windows, Steel Panthers, World War 2
|a game by||Shrapnel Games|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Windows, Steel Panthers, World War 2 (WinSPWW2) is another Fans Only buy-for-the-cause recommendation like Shrapnel's predecessor release, Windows, Steel Panthers, Main Battle Tank (WinSPMBT.) The publisher and a community of developers have maintained, improved and revived one of the ground-breaking hex/turn-based tactical level electronic war games.
WinSPWW2 is the later release but the earliest member of the lineage, Steel Panthers, which went through a few versions itself. This title covers the years 1930 through 1946, the earlier date marking the approximate date of the attack by the Japanese on China, the true start of the struggle that evolved into the Second World War. This Windows upgrade is pretty much the same as a version that's been available online for download, except for the extra graphic modes, some documentation and the scenario/campaign editor tool. So it will run in a Window and process the computer's turns while you ALT-TAB to something else (like playing WinSPMBT in another Window, perhaps.) There's also the full screen mode in case you want to make the most of the, sadly, quite dated graphics.
The battles in a campaign comprise assault, advance, delay and defend scenarios -- set on widely varying maps -- and occasionally, to reflect a shifting situation you may have an optional special battle offered, like a pursuit after a victory. Between battles you'll have access to the your table of organization for dropping units from you core, upgrading them and adding support units that will temporarily attach for the next battle.
In addition to the campaigns, the single battle scenarios include a wide variety of situations spanning the entire war, from one entitled "Organized Chaos", a German attack on a small group of the doomed Poles in 1939, to a more elaborate and dramatic situation in the last ditch defense of Berlin against the Soviets in 1945 called "Twilight of the Tigers," to five different scenarios illuminating the horrific fight for Iwo Jima.
So, did the community of developers that worked on this think of everything? Well considering the mature game engine, the extensive and comprehensive unit encyclopedia and battles covering nearly every ground war aspect of that mid 20th century global struggle, you might easily say so. But add to that the fact that they've included "non-historic" alternate flags for the German armies in case of sensitivities and/or compliance with current German law forbidding the exhibition of certain banned symbology and you might have to conclude: absolutely.