Battles simulates the entire Normandy campaign, from the landings to the breakout phase, and includes a campaign game and shorter scenarios of the battle
One of the most decisive campaigns in history began in the early morning hours of June 6th, 1944. Four years after being expelled from the continent of Europe, the Allies were coming back, and with a vengeance. A rebuilt British Army had by its side the most powerful Army the United States had ever put into the field, and they had but one mission, defeat the Nazis and free Europe. Now players can refight this epic campaign on an operational level, with Battles in Normandy.
The graphics are far from spectacular, but certainly certainly do the job properly.
The game simulates the entire Normandy campaign, from landings to the breakout.
Battles simulates the entire Normandy campaign, from the landings to the breakout phase, and includes a campaign game and shorter scenarios of the battle. Players assume control of either the allied armies or their German adversaries, and must obtain the objectives layed out in each scenario.
Battles in Normandy is the latest in the SSG WWII series, that includes Korsun Pocket (The Russian Front) and the Ardennes Offensive (The battle of the Bulge). Battles in Normandy (BiN from now on) uses the same basic game engine and mechanics as the previous entries in this series, so it plays somewhat similar to those earlier efforts. But this game is more then just a new map and situation, the system has been improved and upgraded, and will play better then the other titles in the series.
This game is a hard core wargame, not just your average PC game. Every unit in the order of battle has been carefully researched, and the true effects of combined arms is stressed in this game. Unlike many other games, things like a 'tank rush' simply won't work in this game. You will have to learn to provide infantry support, artillery preparation, check supply status, watch moral, and use your air and naval assets properly, or watch your pretty panzers or allied tanks literally bite the dust.
Right from the beginning, careful planning is needed. The rate in which new allied forces can be fed into the beach is limited, you must choose what you need. If, for example, you bring in a lot of motorized regiments, you better make sure they have fuel, other wise they will spend time sitting in a German prison camp.
Caerful planning is essential to success; cheap tactics like a "tank rush" won't work.
The interface makes executing your tactcss a breeze.
As the German commander, you faced with a number of difficult, and seemingly hopeless decisions. You only have a limited number of AA guns to stop allied planes, and where you place them, and what they defend can be of vital importance. Another problem for the German commander is that his AA guns also happen to be his best AT guns, and they are needed badly to stop the allies, so hard choices will have to be made.
The Allied air force is very large, and can perform a wide variety of missions. Players may be tempted to fly ground strikes only, but this is a waste, interdiction is often far more effective, pinning German formations and preventing retreats and advances. The allies also have the potentially crippling carpet bombing option, but this must be used wisely, and not wasted, as it is only available a limited amount of times, and there is a danger using it. Historically, the US used the tactic at the beginning of operation Cobra, the Breakout phase, and many of the bombers toggled their bombs short, and killed 10% of the attack force. Eisenhower ordered that bombers never again fly over allied formations before bombing, but that they must attack from the enemy sides only.
The game is turn based, and uses standard hexagons, long a common map in war games. Combat resolution depends on a number of factors, including unit strength, terrain, weather, morale, weapons, front or flank facings, and any number of other factors, making the results quite unpredictable. This is not to say that correct tactics won't win the day, but an odd variable may appear, and a battle that should be lost will be won, and vice versa, but don't count on it.
The game map is typical of a theater level wargame, functional and pleasing to view. It is very much a topographical relief map, showing variation in height, as well as terrain types. The units use standard counters, and side screens show unit composition quite cleanly and effectively. There is a complete tutorial, that makes learning this complex game rather easy. The game sounds are good, if unspectacular, but don't detract from the game in any way.
A tutorial makes learning this rather complex game fairly easy.
But making no mistake, this game is definetely challenging to a seasoned vet.
BATTLES IN NORMANDY VERDICT
This is a very effective wargame, it simulates the campaign quite realistically. The AI is far from brain dead, and will provide players a challenge. This game is aimed at the hard core wargamer, and it hits its target audience. Casual gamers that enjoy a challenge will have their hands full here, and pure wargamers will find the game they have been waiting for. Highly recommended.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Succesfully defending Normandy against the Allied invasion with the odds incredibly against you.