Steel Beasts Pro
Personal Edition
March 12, 2006

By Marcel “Skybird“ Hoell

Page 6: Vehicle Park


We are at the part of the program where you will learn what vehicles are available to you. The crewable vehicles come with complete and detailed 3D interiors of very good quality. Right now the summary of the list reads like this (Nationalities mean the countries that are producing the vehicles):

A) Crewable vehicles:

US: M1A1, M2A2, M3A2, M113, M113MICLIC, M113 Engineer, HMMWV, FIST-V.

German: Leo1A5, Leo2A4, Leo2A5.

Australian: Leo1AS (dual magnification sights for the gunner in day view, no thermals); ASLAV-25 (the Australian version of the LAV-25, with thermal view and the auxiliary sight for the 25mm Bushmaster); ASLAV-PC (personnel carrier version with a flex mount cal .50.); ASLAV Command (artillery response time bonus); ASLAV Support (fuel tanker). However, the Australian vehicles have (so far) no 3D interiors and are driven via the standard interface you got used to from SB1, they were packed in late and surprisingly, due to late arriving demands by the Australian army.

I surely miss the probably three best battle tanks in the world, the latest incarnations of the Leo2: the A6 variant, the Challenger 2 and the A2 variant of the M1.

Later (free) add-ons will make either the T-72 or the T-80 playable, too and who knows what this dedicated community of SB can do!?

B. Non-crewable vehicles:

Russian: T-72, T-80, BMP-1, BMP-2, BTR-80, BMD-2, BRDM-2 (with/without AT), Ural truck, Hind Mi-24.

US: HEMTT (Cargo and Fuel), M113 (Medic, TOW, Command, Observer), HMMWV TOW, M901, MT-55 bridgelayer, LAV-25.

German: Jaguar ATM, Biber bridgelayer, Marder-3, Mercedes truck (2 versions).

Others: YPR-765, Piranha, ASLAV Medic (Australia)

T-55s and T-60s, already modeled, are confirmed to be included in a later update. I’m sure that more vehicles will be added to these updates.

Did I miss something? Maybe. But the list already is mouthwatering, isn’t it. Please understand that "AI only" does not mean "red faction only". You can create missions where your friendly forces are made up both of Western and Eastern equipment as well.

So far it is only the Reds showing up with air support, the infamous Mi24 Hind. Blue has no gunships and no dedicated anti-air units, so you need to deal with the Hinds with tank cannons and tank MGs. They are not invincible; the key is to see them early (which can be difficult). If you let them linger around they really will chew up your platoons pretty badly, and quickly. A mission designer of course is free to make red equipment available for the blue side as well. Why not line up your Abrams and Leopards with a flight of Hinds? Perhaps we will see Apaches or Tigers in the future. But for the time being I for myself will prefer the Hind to be left out of missions, or used as lightly armed reconnaissance flights only. They also are not simulated with a realistic flight model (which is not needed for the purpose of the sim), so the way they maneuver sometimes looks a bit odd and definitely is not physically correct. Purists may complai but I book it as a minor thing only.

There always has been some minor requests for fixed wing units such as the A-10 or the Su-25 but I think the developer will stick to his policy and leave them out completely. It simply does not make any sense for a sim with a focus of interest like SB to include fixed-wing tank killers – because tanks can do little about them. Modern tanks have no real potential to counter air threats of this caliber all by themselves, and I cannot see much fun in riding your Abrams and then getting blown up by a flight of Frogfoots that just happened to stroll by, while you are unable to do anything about it, neither by tactical planning, nor by trying to fight them. SB is no complete war simulator, but focuses on mechanized ground warfare. If enemy planes were included, then so would friendly planes, and their battle would take place away from the mechanized cavalry anyway. The decision not to include planes makes sense, and is very reasonable, in my opinion.

Next: Page 7: Game Logic


System Requirements (Recommended specs are in parentheses.): 1.5 (2.5) GHz CPU; 256 (512) MB RAM; 64 (128) MB, DirectX9-Capable Graphics Accelerator (GeForce 3 class or better); 1.6 GB available hard disk space; Free USB port; Mouse; CD-ROM; Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP with Service Pack 2 installed. (Steel Beasts will NOT run on Windows NT.); Microsoft DirectX version 9.0 (or better) installed; For better playing experience, a sound card and joystick are recommended.

****** Updated regularly ******  

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