DOS - 1995
Description of Steel Panthers
One of the best wargames ever made, period.
Since Darren Ingram's review of this masterpiece for CDMag is much more well-informed than mine could ever be, I would like to quote it verbatim here: "Sure, there are other companies out there who can make a realistic simulation, but no one puts it all together like the designers at SSI do. Steel Panthers, their newest release, is not only fun, but it's realistic without becoming overwhelming, and the graphics are gorgeous.
Accurate war sims are often none-too-attractive if not downright ugly, and usually look like a boardgame with cardboard-playing pieces. But SSI has taken a first-rate gaming engine for Steel Panthers and surrounded it by layers and layers of gorgeous SVGA graphics and great sound effects. This is basically a move and shoot turn-based game with an extremely small learning curve. It's possible for a new player to start playing a scenario almost immediately upon loading the game, but there's enough depth to keep learning new things every time you play.
Each scenario lasts a certain number of turns, and points are awarded to each side for accomplishing things like death, destruction and conquest. But the side with the most points is not necessarily considered the winner. If an army wins a scenario by a margin less than 2 to 1, then neither side will be considered the winner. If one army wins by a margin of ten to one then they're considered victors by a decisive margin, and anything in between is just a marginal victory. So not only do you have to win, you have to win big.
The terrain is absolutely beautiful and units are very sharp and detailed. When a tank blows up, it sits there and burns, which is a particularly nice effect after you destroy an enemy column. When a building is blown up it burns as well, and when a large battle takes place, the battlefield is left in smoking, potholed ruins. For some reason, the airplanes don't quite live up to this graphic standard, popping from hex to hex instead of moving smoothly.
Ironically, the biggest flaw in Steel Panthers isn't even in the game itself. The included manual is not organized well at all, there's no index to help find subjects easily, and they had to append a nine-page readme file on the CD to cover all of the stuff that was either wrong or left out. When you get tired of playing the same pre-packaged scenarios, the random map generator quickly whips up a map within a set of parameters that the player sets up. And for those who really get into their wargaming, the map editor lets the player create their own map and battles, so the designers have made sure that the player gets the maximum replayability out of this game.
Steel Panthers is one of those war sims that will appeal to anyone who likes a good strategy game, not just to history grognards. It may not be the most sophisticated game on W.W.II ever devised, but who gives a rip? I haven't been addicted to a game like this in a long time."
If you are a diehard wargamer or a casual strategy gamer with an interest in tactical-level wargames, Steel Panthers is a must-have.
Note: the version for download here is already patched to the latest version (1.2). If you have trouble viewing text in the in-game Encyclopedia, you need to use slowdown programs to run it. See our FAQ for more details.
Review By HOTUD
Captures and Snapshots
Comments and reviews
borg 2018-05-24 0 point
Apparently not version 1.2, contrary to above statement. Version 1.0, and buggy (several bugs).
Found the patch (http://www.wargame.ch/iwc/scen/sp.htm) but it fails when it can't find "SCEN\HOLDER.TXT", which files are missing from this version.
There's a patched *.EXE from Novostar available, but it trashes the campaigns (snow in the polish campaign). So, still looking to upgrade with the SSI patch.
I did get the german patch to work, lol. Don't speak German, but I'm getting by.
pascalh 2018-02-07 1 point
tried to run it under dosbox 0.74 but I obtain an error "no space mouse shape". do you have a solution?
MrSandman82 2016-11-03 0 point
First Strategy game i bought back in the day. Still love the series. Steel panther II i feel is the best of series. But this first one is really good anyway. Just little less everything.
If you are fan of hex based strategy games, i recommend trying Fantasy general aswell, Theres Panzer General for ww2 fans in that serie allso.
I just prefer these old titles over the new games that litter the market with subpar tittles and turns of players of genre.
Mybbex 2015-07-02 0 point DOS version
After all these years..stlill playing this. There are good playable campaigns Matrix Games forums.
Oldfalcon 2014-05-21 1 point DOS version
Before Combat Mission there was SP, a tactical grognard's dream, with scenario building, a huge database, good-enough AI for the built-in scenarios, and excellent graphics for the time. Happy days.
Knökenknecht 2014-02-19 0 point DOS version
Actually playing WW2 TBS games mainly on consoles, SP was the first serious game to fill a hole in the PC sector. Panzer General was for me, as a SystemSoft fanatic, a flop. SP has survived until today with compatibility mods by MatrixGames in the 'Steel Panthers World At War' series.
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