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Panzer Corps Wehrmacht, from Matrix Games or Slitherine

Panzer Corps Wehrmacht

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Panzer Corps Wehrmacht has been given the wrong name. With all the fanfare and countdown that Matrix and Slitherine Games has created around the release of this game, in my opinion they choose the wrong name. This game should be called Panzer General 2011. For those that may not remember, SSI (Strategic Simulations Inc) released a computer game for general gamers (though it was a wargame) in 1994. This game took the industry by storm with its easy to learn game system and fast playing scenarios. The scenarios offered in the original Panzer General had just the right amount of challenge to entice either new strategy gamers or experienced strategy gamers to keep going to the games end. A quick play of Panzer Corps Wehrmacht offers a game system that is easy to learn with scenarios that offer just the right amount of challenge.

Those players who are familiar with the original Panzer General will feel right at home with Panzer Corps Wehrmacht. These players will feel that they have found a long lost friend. Those players who are new to the system, will feel that they have found a new friend that is simple to play but difficult to master.

Panzer Corps Wehrmacht is a game for the experienced or new strategy gamer. As the original Panzer General introduced many new gamers to the world of strategy games, the new Panzer Corps Wehrmacht will do the same for a whole new generation of gamers. Are you a student of World War II? Do you think you can outfox Rommel? Feel that you can beat the vaunted Panzer Corps? This game is for you. If you remember Panzer General from SSI, you have a handle on Panzer Corps. Panzer Corps allows you to play as either the Axis Forces in Poland, Norway, Greece and France, or play the Allied forces in these campaigns or try your luck at D-Day.

The game has five levels of difficulty from Sergeant (easiest) to Field Marshall (hardest). This is selected when you first decide whether to play a campaign or a scenario. First select the side you want to play, whether Axis or Allies, then select the level of difficulty for the upcoming game. Three other boxes are also included on this screen and they control Weather, Fog of War and Supply.

Weather changes the ground condition on a dynamic basis and can affect your movement and combat capability. Supply affects the use of fuel and ammunition during movement and combat and a unit that is out of supply cannot engage in regular combat. The Fog of War affects the sudden appearance of enemy units during combat or ambushes during movement. These attributes can be turned on and off individually at the time of scenario selection.

The game contains six campaigns from the Tutorial; 1939, the early Blitzkriegs; 1941, Operation Barbarossa; 1943, the Eastern Front or 1943, the Western Front. The central icon, labeled 1939, will allow you to play the entire war from the Invasion of Poland, through the three-part Invasion of the United States. Played at the easiest level, you can triumph, as the Axis, over the entire world and establish German precedence over its enemies.

The Tutorial campaign is a good place to start playing this game. This campaign gradually introduces the the player to the game mechanics. You start with an Infantry only scenario and then progress through Infantry and Armor, Aircraft and scenarios where you, the commander will be required to deploy your available forces before starting movement and combat. Victory, in all scenarios, is predicated upon the capture of objectives. Objectives in a scenario are indicated on the map with flags indicating the ownership and objective cities are outlined in gold. Other objectives are also important, as they provide the owner with additional prestige points, that can be used to purchase additional units and pay for replacements and updates to existing units.

To purchase additional units, you need an open unit slot and the necessary prestige points. To determine if you have an open unit slot, hover the cursor over the purchase button in the interface and a box will come up showing how many open slots there are available. The number of slots determines the extent to which your forces can be expanded, where if the only criteria is the prestige to purchase, those scenarios where your prestige is extensive you could overwhelm your opponent by sheer weight of numbers.

In addition to playing either the Axis or Allied side in a solo game against an Artificial Intelligence, there is a “Hot seat” option where you can play against an opponent on the same computer. As another alternative you can play on Slitherine’s Play By E-Mail server, though you must register your copy of Panzer Corps on their website.

An editor is included for the user to create his own scenarios, as well as modifying the existing scenarios by changing equipment lists and other settings. A “modding” option is also present so that, as stated, “you can do the same things we can do”.

Also included with Panzer Corps is a library of weapons that are included with the game. This library is nicely laid out and provides the gamer with some very nicely detailed information on the weapon in question.

What I especially liked in the library were not only the descriptions but also the drawings of the weapons. In these cut-away line drawings you see some of the internal layout of the tank. The line drawings are especially well done and the library as a whole only adds to the immense enjoyment that Panzer Corps provides to gamers.

Summary

This game has all the possibilities for re-fighting the historical battles of World War II included in the 26 included scenarios and the “Custom” option which will allow the user to play scenarios created by other player through the editing functions. If that isn’t enough, there are expansion packages that are available at a very reasonable cost. I can recommend this game not only to the World War II aficionado but to the wargamer as a whole as it can introduce a whole new generation of gamers to the wonderful world of wargaming.

A great time was had over-running the world as the axis, as well as, beating the Germans into submission in the various campaigns as the Allies. As a grognard, if I were rating games, Panzer Corps Wehrmacht would get a 10 out of 10 and if I were to name the game, I would call it Panzer General III 2012. Those who are familiar with the original Panzer General will feel right at home with Panzer Corps and those new to the game will find a whole new genre of game to enjoy. Panzer Corps is a “Fun” package with a capital “F” that offers hours of playing time, and even more hours of gaming enjoyment. Happy Gaming!!

Available from Matrix Games or Slitherine Games

Boxed Edition – $49.99

Download Edition – $39.99

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