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Posted on Aug 3, 2018 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

“Panzer at 2 O’Clock!  Fire!” Battle Fleet 2: Ground Assault Computer Game Review

“Panzer at 2 O’Clock! Fire!” Battle Fleet 2: Ground Assault Computer Game Review

By Rick Martin

Battle Fleet 2: Ground Assault Computer Game Review. Publisher Mythical City Games Price $19.99 (available for PC and Mac)

Rick Martin

Passed Inspection: Excellent graphics, music and sound, easy to run and play, solo mode or play against others, great value for the money, skirmish and campaign modes

Failed Basic: a little too “arcady” for some players, no infantry support, computer AI is a little too accurate with its attacks, sometimes unbalanced in solo mode, too many rare tanks show up too often, at this time only American, British and German tanks are included

Back on August 5th of 2014, I reviewed the excellent Battle Fleet 2 which simulates ship to ship combat during the Second World War. The players control one or more ships (from destroyers and frigates to battleships and aircraft carriers) and fight epic sea battles between American and Japanese forces. The player can play head to head against a human opponent or in a campaign mode or against the computer. That game has been upgraded and is even better than it was four years ago.

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Now, the same designers have come up with a World War 2 armor version of the game utilizing much of the same game engine and delivering much of the same high quality, nail biting game play!

I speak of Battle Fleet 2: Ground Assault which is available on STEAM for PCs and Macs.

Instead of ships, you have access to a full range of German, British and American tanks and assault guns including, but not limited to, Pershings, Shermans, Stuarts, Stugs, Hetzers, Panzer IIIs, Panzer IVs, Tigers and Panthers (oh my!). Each tank is rated for armor thickness and slope, high explosive and armored piercing weapon values, speed, turning radius and other values.

I played the PC version of the game so this review is pretty much Windows centric. The minimum system requirements are as follows:

OS: Windows 7 SP1 or newer
Processor: Core 2 duo 2.4Ghz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: 512 MB Video Card
DirectX: Version 9.0
Storage: 500 MB available space

Steam lists the Mac minimum requirements as:

OS: OS X
Processor: Core 2 duo 2.4Ghz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Graphics: Integrated Graphics 512 MB Video Ram
Storage: 500 MB available space

The STEAM page for Battle Fleet 2: Ground Assault lists the following features:

“Battle across the Western Europe campaign with new campaigns coming later this year.
Build your army from 20 different tanks, each one unique to each faction, with different armor, guns, mobility, and hit locations.
No grids! You can move anywhere unlike most turn-based strategy games.
Choose between High Explosive or Armor Piercing shells to do the maximum damage to your enemy.
Aim for different sides of a tank to maximize your chance of penetrating their armor.
Utilize recon planes to reveal enemy locations or airstrikes to target dangerous tanks.
Tank commanders gain experience with each Campaign battle.
Play the strategic single player campaigns, random skirmish mode, full cross-platform multiplayer, or even hotseat multiplayer.
Use artillery to protect your lines in campaign battles.
Deploy Strategic Command Cards to surprise your enemies with special actions like deploying mines, sabotage, enhanced aiming, airstrikes and more!
Battle Fleet: Ground Assault features full 3D models of WW2 era tanks.
VR Support for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality coming soon.”

Ground Assault, like its predecessor, is very easy to learn and a challenge to master.

After picking what type of battle you’d like – either against the computer in an instant action, creating a scenario, a campaign game or against other human players, you see the terrain from a three quarter perspective which can be turned and zoomed to give you a view of the battle field. For this review, I played some battles in Europe both on the beaches of Normandy and in Germany and Norway as well as battles that I thought were in
North Africa but were in fact in Southern Italy.

The graphics are pleasant and perfectly atmospheric. Some areas of the battlefield are darkened out until you move units in to the area. The terrain is fully destroy-able and, at times, it is advantageous to destroy trees or buildings in order to deprive your enemy from using them as cover.

The tank modeling looks good except for the occasional disappearance of tracks which is a small annoyance but in no way takes away from the game play.

After either being assigned your tanks or picking them, they are placed on a battlefield from a multitude of theaters of conflict. Simply click on the unit and the unit’s name and amount of hull points represented by a bar is brought up along with options to view the statistics of the unit and an option to move and/or shoot.

To move the tank, simply click “move” and then point the arrow in the direction you want the tank to move and set how far you want the tank to move. An option allows you to pick the tank’s final facing after the move.

Most tanks have an option to then either move again or to shoot. To shoot, click the “shoot” option and point the guide arrow in the direction you want to shoot and then set the range to target. Some assault guns don’t have a fully rotatable turret so you’ll be limited to shooting in one arc to the front of the vehicle. Setting the range is something you’ll have to get used to. Some range rings are laid out so you can kind of see whether a target is over 1000 feet away or under 1000 feet. This is where practice makes perfect but learn fast as the enemy artificial intelligence is almost preternaturally good at finding the range to your tank with the first or second shot. This can get annoying. Also make sure to click the option to use either armored piercing or high explosive rounds.

Unlike in the nautical version of this game, tanks don’t have multiple gun turrets as ships do. It’s more difficult to bracket in a target as you can with a ship.

When tanks get hit, the game has very nice and accurate damage models. Some 20mm shells may simply bounce right off that gigantic Tiger tank while a good old 76 mm round may cut right through the armor and cause the tank’s ammo to brew up. Explosions are spectacularly represented as are other visible damage such as damaged guns, tracks or smoking engines.

You go through the same process for each tank, truck or anti-tank gun in your formation.

At the end of the battle, combat results show how well you performed.

The game is a blast to play but it does have a few dents in its armor. As of now only vehicles such as tanks and trucks and anti-tank guns are represented. So far, I have seen no infantry to make life difficult. This may be fun but it is very unrealistic.

Also, when playing a random battle, rare tanks such as the Pershing show up with far too much frequency. This has unbalanced a few battles I’ve participated in. It may be fun to play with the big boys but they show up far too often.

Anti-tank guns make a great addition to your forces but once set up they are immobile. There is no crew to help reposition the gun and this severely limits their functionality.

These few dents in the armor not-withstanding, this game is so much fun to play for some fast World War 2 themed action. It’s not for everyone and it certainly doesn’t try and be the accurate World War 2 tank simulator but for fast arcade style action, it can’t be beat.

Armchair General Rating: 89 % (for PC version)

Solitaire Rating: 5

About the Author

A college film instructor and small business owner, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal and real estate professions, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting and is an avid World War I and II gamer who can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!

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