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
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
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.