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Brigade Combat Team Expansion Set 2: Light Fighters
By Michael K. Robel
 

 

The light fighter expansion set is now available from Shrapnel Games. ProSIM Company has just completed their first release in partnership with Shrapnel Games. You can get it HERE.


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Fig. 1. The Medium Battalion moving into the attack at FT Irwin, CA.


Expansion set 2 expands the terrain and forces available in BCT to include actions at the Joint Regional Training Center (these are identical to scenarios that are provided to the Army at Fort Polk for use in the Forces Command Leaders Training Program). These mark the first appearance of light infantry in BCT as they attempt to keep the armed forces of the People Republic of Atlantica out of the Joint Regional Training Center. These scenarios are somewhat less fast-paced than the armor battles of other scenarios since most of the troops are dismounted. However, you get to feel what it is like to be a speed bump when light fighters face armor.


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Fig. 2. Up close and Personnel: Light Infantry combat at FT Polk, LA (a third world country, if I ever saw one!). Notice the difficulty at seeing some icons due to the map colors.


Another addition will enable you to experiment with the Army's new medium brigades at the National Training Center. There are two battles that pit this still evolving force that may use armored cars instead of the Army's king of the killing field: The M1A2. Fighting these units is much different than fighting those that use the heavily armored behemoths of the battlefield. It requires a different set of skills and application of tactical principles.


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Fig. 3. Slugging it out on the Golan.


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A historical scenario from the Yom Kippur War in 1973 adds some real geographical diversity to the battlefield as you fight the Syrians on the Golan Heights with the Laner Division. However, just on the verge of achieving success, an Iraqi division suddenly appeared. See how you can do against the Iraqis when they are not wearied by 10 years of war with Iran and the Instant Thunder Bombing Campaign.

Finally, you get to fight the 2nd ACR against the Krasnovians in the dust bowl of the National Training Center.


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Fig. 4. The 2nd ACR doing a bang up job on the Krasnovians


The expansion pack also corrects some weapons settings that are incorrect in previous versions of the game. The real excitement is coming with the forthcoming release of the Scenario Editor, which will allow you to make up your own scenarios on the existing maps as well as adjust equipment statistics. This set also makes extensive use of vegetation and this drastically alters the course of a game, particularly at the JRTC. Line of Sight is limited and it is therefore harder to find and target the enemy. Also, the colors tend to hide some icons: Engineer, destroyed vehicles, movement legs, and enemy forces tend to get lost in the green used for vegetation, particularly for the color blind er challenged. This can be somewhat compensated for by playing at maximum zoom level. Dismounted scenarios play much slower than mounted ones, of course, driven by the 3.5 miles per hour speed of infantry. To compensate for this, you can safely play at 8 times real time and still be able to make decisions. Of course, you can slow it down at anytime or use the pause key.

For an armor guy, though, these scenarios tend to drive me a little batty, but if you want a look at high fidelity replay of how light infantry combat goes, these are worth the time and effort. This is a worthwhile expansion pack, well worth the modest price. You can download a free demo of the Expansion Pack HERE.





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Last updated on February 15, 2000
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