Gunner, HEAT, PC: a simulation game about modern mounted combat, with special attention to authenticity and fun

That’s going to be a closed casket funeral.

Wow, truly the Dwarf Fortress of tank sims.

I’m quite ambivalent about whether they needed to go into being the Sniper Elite of tank damage in so far brain penetration is modeled.

Hahahaha wow, amazing.

Went ahead and joined the Patreon to get access to the Patreon demo, which has the mission generator. Currently leading a platoon of M1s across a vastly larger map, in search for trouble. Except the AI doesn’t really need to follow roads to avoid forests, so my platoon is somewhere behind me.

Still, it’s only $3/month at the lowest level.

Ohhh, thanks for the tip on their Patreon. Totally pitched in.

I’ve been a Patreon supporter of the game for a year & something. Long enough to have seen two April Fools patches. There’s a T-34/85 tucked away in the game files that they rolled out for those events. Found out the hard way that the 25mm chain gun on a Bradley APC does a really good job shredding WWII rolled-steel armor.

Well this is definitely something I’ll be picking up at some point, it seems.

I don’t know if the Steam demo lets you play the East German side (all of the Russian vehicles are the lesser export versions used by East Germany), but learning the T-55 gunner’s sight is hellish. I have to keep this page open on another device when I play it:

Oh neat, thanks for posting that. There appear to be a number of those guides. Based on the one for the BMP, @sharaleo that protuberance blocking the turret arc seems to be the infrared searchlight (not currently implemented).

Yeah, I was wrong, that is an infrared searchlight, good for a maximum of 400m, and that’s where it is in real life (though it is removable). That isn’t the only strange work-around the main gun causes. Wikipedia says:

The main gun has a dead-zone over the commander’s hatch (between the 10:00 and 11:00 o’clock positions), where the gun must be elevated over the infra-red searchlight to avoid crushing it. When the gun is facing backwards, it prevents hatches on top of the troop compartment from opening.

Well, you know, the world is full of compromises. Is it better to not be able to see in the dark?

The BMP guide is very interesting reading, and I imagine the others are as well (I read the M1 one, which makes that tank seem quite easy to use by comparison, like a video game).

Play the Steam demo as much as you can during June, because the devs said it will be disabled after Steam’s Next Fest ends.

The “Development Team” simply doesn’t have the resources to maintain another public demo/WIP slice. The team is one full-time guy and one part-time guy. Some stuff like art/textures are contracted out, and there are even a few volunteers for small specific things like recording the crew dialog with proper accents (not yet implemented for the Warsaw Pact side, and IIRC they’re redoing the NATO forces as well, especially because the long-term plan is to add West German vehicles).

The limited demo will still be available through their website, and the Patreon supporters will still get roughly monthly updates. But the Steam demo will be gone after Next Fest.

The problem with the old USSR infrared searchlights was the limited view and range. 400m is basically a “Shoot Here” beacon for the very good passive infrared systems used by NATO.

The game doesn’t have the late-80s M1A1 model upgraded with the Rheinmetall 120mm/L44 smoothbore gun, but even the M1IP (and M60A3) in the game with the old L7 105mm rifled gun could easily kill Soviet tanks at 2km once the M833 APFSDS ammo became available. So the infrared searchlights on older Soviet vehicles probably hurt more than they helped, since even the best of them only reached 800-1000m. I think the game does a good job of showing how much it would have sucked to be in a mid-80s Warsaw Pact tank or APC during a night attack by NATO.

To give you an idea of the increasing lethality & vastly greater quality of western tank guns & fire-control systems, the record for a tank-on-tank kill is held by a British Challenger 1, with a confirmed kill of an Iraqi T-72 (a downgraded export version like the East German ones in the game) at 4100m during Desert Storm. The Brits use their own 120mm rifled gun. They also invented the Chobham armor used in the M1 (and pretty much every other NATO tank), and the L7 105mm gun used on the M1IP & M60A3, so they have a pretty good track record for tank & component design. Not surprising a Challenger got a kill at that range.

Rheinmetall recently unveiled a 130mm smoothbore, since tank armor is getting better and France & Germany are trying to co-design a next-generation tank. I can’t imagine how hard that thing will hit. 130mm is slightly larger than a 5" naval gun!

Just grabbed the Patreon build of this, and tooled around in it for a few minutes. The sim definitely has a long way to go to match what we could do in the venerable M1TP2, but the core guts of a good tank sim are certainly there. Looking forward to seeing how this one progresses, and whether or not the creator can walk the accessibility vs. “realism” tightrope between Steel Beasts and WoT.

As a blatant cheerleader and Patreon supporter, I’m glad to see that today they stopped just hinting and released a very broad outline for what will be added prior to the 1.0 release. They have a ton of work to do, but if it all comes together I think we will finally have the spiritual successor to M1TP2:

I got the demo, and while I’m loving it I’m really really bad at driving and fighting and overall situational awareness all at the same time.

i did just read the guide and learned some new tricks.

Don’t feel bad, I’ve been playing it over a year & often still get lost or can’t find my objective until the enemy parks an ATGM or tank round in my turret.

The platoon AI is still a work in progress, so sometimes it works great & you get these awesome battles with 15+ tanks slugging it out. Other times my platoon sits there and lets me be a one-man army, surges forward into obvious doom, or immediately takes off to launch an ambush and they’re scanning for more targets among the burning enemy hulks by the time I catch up.

The big map in the Patreon demo “slice” has been a big improvement & help to my play style. The scenarios have objectives marked & often an order to take them. I like taking my platoon around hills & tree lines where the enemy cannot make visual contact. Then when I hear the shooting start, hit from the flank and have a different line of fire from the main friendly AI force.

I’ve been really surprised how the M2 Bradley is an awesome or frightening fighting machine, depending which side you’re on. The 25mm really tears up APCs and even older tanks from the sides or rear, and having a fast platform with eight TOW missiles zip over to a flank can be complete hell on Warsaw Pact armor attacks.

I had one time where the platoon AI worked perfectly. I was in a M1 and had a 2nd M1 as a wingman. He stayed right with me, fighting by my side until he died.

In another time all the AI ran off and left me. I finally followed the sound of battle and found all the wrecks. Then encountered the remaining 3 OPFOR. Frankly I was more lucky than good in defeating them.

The map in demo is ok. I understand its not supposed to be dynamic, but it really should have more information on your starting position, your line of advance (or retreat), and suspected OPFOR avenues of approach.

Something like what a platoon commander might hastily sketch out on a map, like this

or

Maps like that would be nice, and the target audience for the game would likely grok them. Step 8 of their roadmap, the “Expanded Campaign” sounds like it may have higher-level command structure, but I don’t know. I’d like better control over the supporting units (like "Hold this ridgeline until you take 50% casualties or come under artillery fire, then fall back to here), but I’m not sure how far they are going with that.