Steel Panthers

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Steel Panthers
Steel Panthers Coverart.png
Cover art from the first game in the series
Genre(s) Tactical wargame
Turn-based tactics
Developer(s) Strategic Simulations
Matrix Games
Camo Workshop
Publisher(s) Mindscape
Strategic Simulations
Matrix Games
Shrapnel Games
Creator(s) Gary Grigsby
Keith Brors
Platform(s) MS-DOS, Windows
First release Steel Panthers
1995
Latest release Steel Panthers: Main Battle Tank and "Steel Panthers: WW2"
2018
Steel Panthers: World at War! SPWAW shot 01.jpg
Steel Panthers: World at War!

Steel Panthers is a series of computer wargames, developed and published by several different companies, with various games simulating war battles from 1930 to 2025. The first Steel Panthers game was released in 1995, and the most recent update was released in 2018 and is still updated regularly (yearly).

<i>Steel Panthers</i> (video game)

Steel Panthers is video game released in 1995, and is the first game of the Steel Panthers video game series.

Contents

Players control individual tanks and vehicles from a top-down perspective, on a map with a hexagonal overlay. Infantry are mostly in squad/section (8-12 men) sized units, but some units, like snipers, can be controlled individually. The whole force under a players control would typically be Battalion sized, but may be as small as a Platoon or Company, or as large as a Regiment/Brigade.

The games are turn-based and are played against the AI or other humans via email or hotseat.

A turn-based strategy (TBS) game is a strategy game where players take turns when playing. This is distinguished from real-time strategy (RTS), in which all players play simultaneously.

Gameplay

As with other tactical turn-based wargames, the game features realistic military control, with the smallest common units being squads, up to a brigade sized force. The player takes control of nearly every aspects of warfare around his soldiers, from simple ammunition usage, to the morale, disposition, and command-chain of his troops.

The game features: packed single-battle scenarios and campaigns (either branched or linear), single battle generator, campaign generator, and long campaign generator.

All of the games in the series are quite similar in features and appearance. However, the third part in the original series is clearly distinct in that it offers platoon-size formations instead of the scale of individual tanks and squads of the other installments.

Platoon Military unit size, usually composed of two of more squads or equivalent units

A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads/sections/patrols. Platoon organization varies depending on the country and the branch, but typically, per the official tables of organization as published in U.S. military documents; a full-strength U.S. infantry rifle platoon consists of 39 Soldiers or 43 Marines. There are other types of infantry platoons, depending upon service and type of infantry company/battalion to which the platoon is assigned, and these platoons may range from as few as 18 to 69. Non-infantry platoons may range from as small as a nine-man communications platoon to a 102-man maintenance platoon. A platoon leader or commander is the officer in command of a platoon. This person is usually a junior officer—a second or first lieutenant or an equivalent rank. The officer is usually assisted by a platoon sergeant. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer.

The games offer various modes of play: human vs. human (hotseat or online), human vs. AI and PBEM (play by email). The players receive historical military units at the beginning of a scenario and have the option to buy reinforcements with points earned in different ways. The units are then moved on a hexagon grid map similar to a large number of board and computerized wargames. In addition to ready-made battles and campaigns, players can customize single scenarios or create their own campaigns.

Hotseat or hot seat is a multiplayer mode provided by some turn-based video games, which allows two or more players to play on the same device by taking turns playing the game. The term was first used as a reference to playing a PC game and trading seats with the other player, but the mode dates back to early 1980s arcade games. A notable example of games that use this mode is the Heroes of Might and Magic series, which allows up to 8 players to play locally on the same computer.

In computer science, artificial intelligence (AI), sometimes called machine intelligence, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans. Colloquially, the term "artificial intelligence" is often used to describe machines that mimic "cognitive" functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as "learning" and "problem solving".

Play-by-mail games, or play-by-post games, are games, of any type, played through postal mail or email.

Series history

The Steel Panthers series includes the following titles:

<i>Steel Panthers II: Modern Battles</i> 1995 video game

Steel Panthers II: Modern Battles is video game released in 1996, and is the second game of the Steel Panthers video game series.

Rights to the game and source code were acquired by both Matrix Games and the Camo Workshop.

Matrix Games is a publisher of PC games, specifically strategy games and wargames. They are based out of Epsom, Surrey (UK) with subsidiary offices in Arlington, Vermont, Milan, Italy and Edmonton, Alberta. Matrix Games/Slitherine also own and financially support the online game reviewing publication Wargamer.

Matrix Games developed and released as a freeware a remake based on the Steel Panthers III engine (but limited to the timespan of World War II), Steel Panthers: World at War!

Reception

Steel Panthers was named the best wargame of 1995 by Computer Gaming World , PC Gamer US and Computer Games Strategy Plus . [1] [2] [3] The editors of PC Gamer US called it "easily one of the best tactical simulations ever developed for the PC." [1]

Steel Panthers and Steel Panthers II were named, collectively, the 62nd best computer game ever by PC Gamer UK in 1997. [4]

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References

  1. 1 2 Editors of PC Gamer (March 1996). "The Year's Best Games". PC Gamer US . 3 (3): 64, 65, 67, 68, 71, 73–75.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. Staff (June 1996). "The Computer Gaming World 1996 Premier Awards". Computer Gaming World (143): 55, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64, 66, 67.
  3. Staff (November 2000). "A Decade of Gaming; Award Winners of 1995". Computer Games Magazine (120): 56–58, 60, 62, 66, 68, 70–76.
  4. Flynn, James; Owen, Steve; Pierce, Matthew; Davis, Jonathan; Longhurst, Richard (July 1997). "The PC Gamer Top 100". PC Gamer UK (45): 51–83.

Literature