Titans of Steel - anyone playing?

We may have had a thread about this already, but I couldn’t find it. Anyone try this game? It’s a Battletech-inspired strategy game with RPG elements. It’s basically a revisiting of the old Amiga game that started as a fan project and eventually got published by Matrix. The guy who wrote it used to post on Usenet about it – Heinreich Schmidt or something like that.

Anyway, I was thinking about buying it but was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on it?

Hmm, I’m interested in this but couldn’t find any reviews from sites I’m familiar with. The one review I did find sounds good but I don’t have any experience with that site or that reviewer:


The game sounds promising but I was unclear from the info whether this is a turn based or real time game (looks turn based b/c of the hexes) and also its not clear whether the emphasis is tactics, strategy or both.

Anyone have more info?

Here’s the main English site:


It’s turn-based and it’s tactical. It probably has a difficult interface and a fairly steep learning curve.

Actually, it’s not turn-based, per se. It’s real time sort of in the same way that Laser Squad Nemesis is real time, but you issue orders on more of a rolling basis. Actions take a set amount of time to perform, after which you can order new actions. If it’s anything like the old free version (still available online, BTW), the interface is a bit clunky.

I’ve been playing it a little, and it’s kinda complex, but looks like fun.

I played it a lot two years ago. It’s turn-based, tactical and actually rather good. It also has that very compelling “construct your mech” part, that lets you test your own designs. Much like my beloved Renegade Legion: Interceptor had. The interface is ok and the learning curve is not too steep. Try it. I think you’ll like it.
I was looking forward to the retail version, but somehow it fell off my radar. I’ll go look for it. Thanks for the heads-up.

I picked it up yesterday and so far have only completed the tutorial and managed to get wiped out in my first game, but here are some initial impressions. My comments are based on the European English version, distributed by ‘Just Play’. I picked it uo for £24.99 in GAME.

My first impression on opening the box was favourable, a printed manual in a Matrix game! I almost wore out the thumb and forefinger of my left hand alt-tabbing, during Uncommon Valor. There’s also a .pdf of the manual for people with an aversion to paper. The game has three modules, one where you can recuit and train jocks (why you only get Scots is a mystery :) ), who have attributes and skills, RPG style. The second is factory mode, where you can design new titans or modify the standard modles. The third module is the battle module where you actually get to fight. I haven’t played around much with the first two so the rest of my comments will apply to the battle module.

The graphics are functional rather than edge-cutting; a top down view of the titans on a hex-map, various overlays can be selected to show elevation, hex number, weapon range, firing arc and so forth. Any areas not visible to the active titan is covered by a black shroud. The system is turn based with each titan becoming active according to initiative, similar to the first two X-COM games. Movement is accomplished by clicking on icons at the bottom of the screen or hot keys rather than left clicking on the map, which is used instead to bring up terrain details.

Each turn allows the titan to perform both move and attack functions each of which take a number of game seconds, the amount depending on numerous factors determined by the type of titan and the jocks abilities. Either move or action mode can be set to wait on various events, such as waiting for weapons to recycle. It’s important to get the hang of this or you’ll find yourself scratching your head when nothing seems to be happening. Which brings us to the tutorial, which walks the player through a training course. The tutorial is extremely detailed, perhaps a bit too detailed for experienced strategy/wargamers, but it’s advisable to play through it as there are enough new concepts to warrant it. The actual combat reminds me more of a naval game than, say, a tank game. Each titan has a number of weapons, each with different ranges and they are pretty tough, quite a few hits are required to knock one out, although they can be knocked over (causing additional damage) if the jock fails a saving throw. The game supports hot seat and TCP/IP play in addition to solitaire (or solitary play, as the German designers prefer).

All in all as Mark said it looks fairly complex and it’s deep enough to keep me interested for a while, far more complex than Sierra’s old MissionForce:Cyberstorm for example. I doubt it’s the sort of game to win new converts to TBS games, but probably worth a look for people who like this sort of stuff

I played the old freeware/shareware version a year or two ago for a bit. Loved the mix of character creation, mech creation and ‘team career’ features with random map battles and opposing ranked(?) teams - sort of a mix between a Football sim and Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games. The interface and the pacing of the actual gameplay put me off though. Unintelligable icons mixed with unconventional pacing and concepts had me scratching my head more often than not.

A more polished version (this one maybe?) with a better tutorial would have me coming back but it would be a big investment of time. A good laptop game when away from bigger distractions on a better PC.

Could someone post a link to the shareware version? Thankee. If I dig it, maybe I’ll pick it up.

By the way, is there multiplayer?

What the world TRULY needs is a mechwarrior game using the Combat Mission turn-based engine. OH YES.

What I want to know is how is the AI? The main problem with the shareware version was that it was human-oppo only, no AI. If the single player game is good, I’m interested.

Yes, there’s multiplayer Hot Seat and Network Play, no PBEM, but that would probably be unwieldy given the nature of the turn system.

The AI managed to beat me in the only game I played, but unfortunately it looks like I’ve got a bad CD as the game will no longer run or re-install. I’ll have to delay further comment on the AI, until I get a replacement.

Not quite a CM in space, but Matrix’s upcoming Massive Assault looks interesting, a 3D, turn based, SF game.

Right on!

I’m amazed Battlefront hasn’t licensed this engine for someone else to use. Or have they?


I’m amazed Battlefront hasn’t licensed this engine for someone else to use. Or have they?[/quote]

Combat Mission may be a great game, but it wasn’t a huge seller. My guess is that if you move away from a historical setting to a fantasy/sci-fi setting, you’d see even fewer sales, unless you attach it to a solid license like Battletech.

I’m more amazed someone hasn’t taken this idea and run with it. Battlefront’s engine is pretty ugly and clunky, in my opinion. It’s one saving grace is that it does the job. Imagine the same interface and control, only streamlined, attractive, and with terrific graphics and effects.

Yeah, but then it might not run on a Mac. :roll:

I haven’t played Combat Mission so I really don’t know how that would turn out. But the old Missionforce:Cyberstorm from Sierra was a decent mechwarriorish game if I remember correctly. Too bad the sequel Cyberstorm 2:Corporate Wars simplified everything to make a crappy turn-based/real-time hybrid. The real-time mode was too complex and the turn-based too simple IMO. Too bad the series didn’t continue since I really liked the first one.


Every time I asked the people at FASA Interactive and its successors as the MechWarrior game people, I got the same off the record answer. Yeah, we’d love to do a full-on, turn-based MechWarrior game for the hardcore, but there’s no way it’ll ever get greenlighted. Dunno if that was true or they were just trying to not hurt my feelings (me being one of those who has always dreamed of a full-on, sanctioned computer version of MechWarrior (RPG plus full tactical combat).

Well the thing about combat mission that I think would make it an excellent model to base a mech game on is that instead of “I go, you go” it has a “we go” turn based model… you plot your intended actions, side 2 does the same, and then everything goes into motion for a minute. Good reactionary AI ensures that units that encounter each other respond intelligently. I like that. It’s like playing an RTS that pauses for orders every 60 seconds and gives you plenty of time to think.

Considering that Battletech is a much smaller scale wargame in terms of units on the map (lances are 4 mechs, instead of being columns of tanks and troops - although you can have those too if you’re a glutton for dice rolling) the pace of the game would be a LOT faster. You’d be dealing with 10-20 units on the map in a moderately large battle per side, so it’s not like in Combat Mission where you’ve got to manage 100 little dudes every turn.

Ah yes. But it could be. And wouldn’t that be beautiful?