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Panzer General 3d Assault

  by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson


  Operation Market Garden

I spent three of four hours with a late beta this past weekend, diving into the Operation Market Garden scenario, as well as trying my hand in a campaign. A tutorial is included, and the manual guides you through the movements step by step, a great aid to getting your feet wet. I found the gameplay involving and interesting, and discovered early on the importance of recon and intelligence! I found the interface effective and relatively intuitive.

Single Scenario
Single Scenario Interface


As you can see, selecting an individual unit causes the unit placement on the map to be highlighted in yellow, with your movement options highlighted in green. For motorized units travel distance is determined by terrain, ability, damage, leadership, and type of unit. Air units can travel great distances, obviously.

Command Interface

The screen above shows most of the control interface, which varies depending on the type of unit selected. In this case I have paratroopers selected, and my current options are patrol, entrench, or camouflage.

Unit Attributes
left Half of Unit Card

Right clicking on a unit brings up the Unit Card. In the case above I have selected a fighter-bomber unit. The green dots immediately below the image indicate that this unit has taken no damage. The yellow dots to the right indicate that the unit has no attack ability or movement ability left in this turn. If some of the movement and attack dots were green, that would indicate usability.

The icons at the bottom of the card display the unit's statistics, and the higher the number, the better the rating. From left to right are the Hard Attack Rating, then the Defense Rating, Air Defense Rating, Attack Range Rating, Soft Attack Rating, Air Attack Rating, Spotting Range, Move, and Ammo Supply.

Click to continue




Those Air-Lift Conundrums

The only puzzle I was left involved the use of paratroopers. For the life of me I couldn't find a way to get my paratroopers moved the required distance. The game seems to limit movement to 18 hexes, and that simply isn't enough distance to get from the base camp to appropriate positions across the Rhine. I didn't read the manual exhaustively so I may be missing something on this one.

Strategic Map
Strategic Map

While in the game you can also select a strategy map view. If you have "fog of war" turned on you won't gain any information that you shouldn't have, like the position of hidden German units or units occupying towns where you don't have any troops or Intel.

One example of careful thinking in interface design appears when you move to target an enemy unit. A cursor appears over the target, with numbers on both the left and right side.

Attack Reticle

The number at the left represents estimated friendly losses; the number on the right indicates estimated enemy losses. The figure is not guaranteed, and can be altered by special abilities or unknown factors. After the attack battle results are indicated for both sides. This simple method gives you a quick way of assessing risk factors vs potential benefit.

Naturally, Panzer General 3d Assault has multiplayer abilities, and up to four people can play over a LAN, via TCP/IP or using the Mplayer service. Panzer General 3d Assault has already gone gold and will soon be on a shelf near you!

Download the demo by clicking HERE

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Last Updated September 27th, 1999

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