This game promised much. A link-up between Russian über-developer Oleg Maddox of IL-2 Sturmovik fame’s 1C Company, and hardcore US strategizers Battlefront. Years in development, it promised to be the greatest payoff from the end of the Cold War since Rocky beat Ivan Drago.
Theatre of War - available now from www.battlefront.com for $45 - simulates small-scale WWII European ground combat, stretching from the invasion of Poland in 1939 to the fall of Berlin. It’s dripping in WWII hardware porn, all manner of lovingly modeled tanks, guns and infantry teams detailed down to the penetration factors of their weapons and the thickness of their armor.
Missions are combined into campaigns that let you command Polish, French, UK/US, Russian or German forces throughout several battles. Every soldier, driver and gunner is individually detailed, with stats for everything from marksmanship to leadership skills. Survivors of battles gain experience and decorations that improve their performance for the next outing.