Panzer Tactics Review

If you’re the type of gamer that loves strategy-based games or are a big fan of tabletop WW2 board games like Axis and Allies, you may find a good match in Panzer Tactics. With that said, this game will appeal to a relatively narrow audience as the game can prove to be quite daunting if you’re just looking for fast action. The name of the game here is strategy, and there’s more than enough of it in this game.

PT follows historical war campaigns from three different perspectives: the Germans, Russians and Western Allies during WW2. If you’re a history buff or like this kind of detail in your games, you’ll enjoy the intricate backdrop as PT sets up the battles of these events for you in the campaign mode. Not only that, you may learn something along the way too. Other modes include multiplayer (no singlecart), scenario, and tutorial.

The extensive tutorial could easily be printed as a thick manual all by itself. It leads you step-by-step into how to use your infantry, tanks, planes, ships and a large assortment of support features and game tactics. The good news is that the tutorials are very thorough. Each segment can be seen as a mini-game as you fulfill certain requirements in order to pass. The bad news is that if you miss a point or want to go back and review something during your lesson, there is no way for you to do this. You’ll have to start from the very beginning and button your way through the entire segment to the part you either missed or didn’t completely understand. In other words, say goodbye to the back button.

Once you get through the various tutorials — which may take several hours to really get your gaming skills up to par — you’ll get into the thick of battle by selecting one of three campaigns. The Axis scenario is the easiest one to get into to get you accustomed to the command structure and screen readouts. In this section of the game, Germany is expanding its power by starting its attack on Poland all the way to Leningrad in Russia.

PT is setup so that your upper screen reveals all the maps, status info and animations. The lower screen is where you move your troops and units and also shows battle cutscenes. The battlefield is broken up into little hexagons. Units have a certain range they can move, and ships and planes are able to transport troops or attack. You attack units by moving right next to them. PT goes into some very deep detail as far as unit status, weaknesses, strengths, terrain, and hoards of other information about your army. This alone will keep statisticians and strategy freaks grinning from ear-to-ear.

Gameplay is turn-based and ends when you have positioned all of your forces for placement or attack. You can buy units, recruit personnel and refuel/replenish ammo during your campaign. Since this game is turned based, the real action doesn’t really happen until you go against the enemy in battle. These battles are based upon each unit’s strength and condition as well as how the units react to one another. Artillery is excellent against tanks, but troops can take out artillery and so on. Knowing what each of your units is capable of is usually the key to victory and not just dependent on sheer numbers alone, although that helps. If you aren’t detail oriented, you’ll lose a lot of battles because you’ll miss plenty of useful information that can help you to win.

I was surprised at the depth of this game. If you’ve ever played any tabletop war games, that’s pretty much how Panzer Tactics plays. The action is plodding, but pays off in the battles. Graphics aren’t bad and the animations during the fighting sort of resemble Advanced Wars; the opposing forces face off with each other and the results of the battle are represented by how many troops or forces are left. Terrain plays a big part in this game as you can use forests to hide troops or tanks. Adverse weather changes during campaigns affect troop movements. Nice touch.

The main thing that will keep some from trying this game out is the slow nature of gameplay. If you think of this as Axis and Allies in your pocket, you’ll understand whom this game is geared towards. The interface is a little clunky and the sheer amount of info can drown you when you look at the stats screens. You won’t find balls-to-the-walls action here as the fights only last a mere few seconds, but if you’re the type who loves small details and hardcore strategy, you’ll have a blast.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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