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Posted on Jun 8, 2007 in Electronic Games

Theatre of War (pt.4) – Command & Control

Jim H. Moreno

The briefing screen again shows a new tactical map with the most current orders.

We order our riflemen forward to man the guns.

Of course we also order the armored car forward. The blue command line shows an active movement order.

Moving out!

First-person view from the riflemen storming forward towards the guns. They will be valuable to ensure defense of the crossroads.

The advancing riflemen with the armored car in the background.

Almost there…

We order the soldiers to man the guns with crews of three each. Just in time! In the background, enemy tanks already rumble forward!

But just in time, we also receive reinforcements! A heavy tank breaks through the trees on the right flank, in perfect position for a cross-fire against the assaulting German tanks.

The heavy tank carries an extremely heavy caliber gun. It cannot fire often (only perhaps twice a minute), nor does it fire accurately over longer distances, but the pure mass of the shell packs enough punch to literally make the welding on the enemy armor break apart upon a direct hit – penetration or not.

The German tank platoon counterattacking!

First person view of one of the soldiers now manning the AT guns, looking towards the approaching enemy tanks in the distance.

Of course first the guns need to be rotated into the right direction.

Fire!!

Meanwhile the heavy tank engages the Germans from the side.

The Germans stand no chance. Each impact leaves a big crater and a disabled tank. Some german crews flee even after a near-miss.

It doesn’t take long and the combined fire from the anti-tank guns (to a lesser degree) and the support from the heavy tank (to a bigger degree) break the final German armored thrust. The mission ends – victory is ours!

This concludes the four-part series of tactical guides based on the Training Missions in Theatre of War. The fourth part combined all the elements from the previous missions and required the player to adapt them to an ever-changing battlefield, while keeping an eye on the overall situation, his own forces, and the enemy.

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After successfully completing the four training missions, the player will be far from a master tactician, but should have a foundation of some basic tactics to further build upon during the game’s main campaign missions. Most importantly, he should understand by now that Theatre of War is not a simple clickfest game. While certainly not a full-blown ultra-realistic battlefield simulation either, it does require more thought and strategy to win than just to point and click. The excellent visuals, the fine role-playing elements and the genuine physics engine help creating a unique immersive simulation of world war two combat beyond a mere action game.

Martin van Balkom
martin@battlefront.com

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