Saturday, March 29, 2014

WinSPMBT On Sale & Patched

After a few years of waffling over this game I grabbed WinSPMBT during Shrapnel Games current sale. It isn't a huge sale, but every little bit helps.

The tutorial is not quite 73 Easting, but pretty close

Graphically, this game shows it's roots as the descendant of SSI's original Steel Panthers DOS game. I believe years ago I had the modern warfare predecessor of this game. Nonetheless, the game and engine has seen over a decade of constant work and, for the type of game it is, I have the impression that all the rough edges have been worn off and it's extremely playable. The game was also recently patched to version 8.

Ultimately, what attracted me to WinSPMBT is the breadth of conflicts it can simulate. The game contains OOBs for 92 countries, from 1946 to 2020. If you want to simulate battles during the 1990 Transnistria War, you can. The game has a full set of editors allowing you to do just about anything you'd want to. I'm interested in creating some scenarios exploring less well-know recent conflicts, and I think this is going to be an easy tool to do that. It'll never be as attractive as even Combat Mission: Shock Force, but it makes up for that in sheer utility and playability.

I've only played the tutorial mission so far, but it seems that there's a lot of depth to the engine. I think it'll be fun to mess with when I'm not mentally up for something more complex. If you aren't ready to shell out for the game, there is a completely free version available. Be warned though, it only handles screen resolutions up to 800x600.