A challenging tactical wargame set in World War 2 based on the old title Steel Panthers.
Pros & Cons:
winSPWW2 or Windows Steel Panthers World War 2 is a tactical wargame set in World War 2 based on the old title Steel Panthers. The game comes in freeware and commercial versions. The differences between versions that impact the game experience are, the ability to play at up to 1600x1200 resolution instead of being limited to 800x600, tournament play, opportunity fire filtering, PBEM capability, direct support and off-map artillery, and timed objectives. The experience with the free version is nearly identical to that of the commercial one.
Success in the game depends on using terrain effectively for line of sight and cover and a knowledge of the different weapons available in the game. Early in the war before effective anti-tank capability is available to infantry tanks such as the Pzkw I are very good against infantry. Later in the war picking infantry with some anti-tank ability is important. Another important tactic is to use flank or rear attacks against armor when possible. This is very important when fighting Germany with the USSR since Soviet armor has poorer optics when compared to Germany. A final consideration before a battle is to notice what type of situation it is. Assaults, meeting engagements, and defenses have an impact on how support points before battle should be used.
Players that want an additional challenge can play as a nation with a weaker force pool such as Italy or India or choose a level that limits points for upgrading and repairing units.
The game offers a long campaign which can be set to have up to 200 battles and allows the player to choose the start and end dates of a campaign. Before starting a campaign the player uses points to create a core force which will be used throughout the campaign. Surviving units become better as the campaign progresses so it is worth retreating if fighting will result in too many losses. The current version offers 863 scenarios and 24 shorter campaigns in addition to the long campaign which allows the player to select from fourteen different nations.
On smaller resolutions it can be difficult to see the entire battle clearly in larger engagements. The game was developed some time ago so the graphics are somewhat dated but the latest update for the game was in 2020.
Additional content for the game can be found here.
winSPWW2 was reviewed by Gizmos Freeware on