FEATURES: PREVIOUS/OTHER GAMES IN THE DAISENRYAKU SERIES
Dai Senryaku VII: Modern Military Tactics (XBox)
and Dai Senryaku VII: Modern Military Tactics Exceed (PlayStation 2)
Dai Senrayku VII: Modern Military Tactics (XBox)
Brought to the US in the mid-2000s by Kemco, this mostly-overlooked title was critically poorly received (average review scores were low, and the reviews usually focused on the total lack of a real storyline in the campaign, the droning, repetitive music, and the minimalist approach by SystemSoft Alpha with regard to the graphics. For the most part the only gamers who took a chance on it were those familiar with the game's link via pedigree with Iron Storm, which to that point was the only US Daisenryaku release anybody could base an opinion around. Even some of these gamers (including myself) were initially put off by the differences in presentation (such as the lack of realtime 3D battle cinemas that Iron Storm had featured); on the surface DS VII seemed to be a disappointment...at first.
What all of those reviews failed to mention (and somehow I don't think even SystemSoft Alpha realized what they had in this at the time) was the amazing depth and entertainment value of the multiplayer and the Map Maker. Up to four human players (or a combination of human and AI players) could participate in a local match, and with (for the time) large scale 64X64 hex maps (industrious players could create their own in the Map Editor, and some VERY nice ones could be made with the tools available) and a maximum unit cap of 50 units apiece, plus the fact that the map was 3D and fully rotatable, zoomable, and tiltable (the effect looks very similar to a nice tabletop board game; the aircraft even "float" above the board at their current altitudes to make it easier to gauge), those who took the time to experiment with multiplayer suddenly found the ultimate party game for strategy fans.
Those willing to play through the Campaign Mode (over twenty missions long) who could overlook the lack of a story were rewarded by a nice bonus unit or two unlocked for multiplayer play after each successful mission. Among these were the Sprut SD tank destroyer for Russia, the Lahatut assault copter for Israel, the FB-22 fighter-bomber and Spooky gunship for the US, and the Trafalgar submarine for Great Britain.
Last but not least was a menu (exclusive to the XBox version, though the same units were either immediately available or unlockable in the PS2 version) which allowed the player to enter codes for even more hidden weapons. The majority of these were Japanese units, but highlights included the US Super Cobra helicopter and the game-breaking "joke" unit, the Cyber Ninja (no you DON'T want to try a match against a player using Cyber Ninjas; it will be a very short contest no matter what faction or units you're using!!!).
Dai Senryaku: Modern Military Tactics Exceed (PlayStation 2)
A couple of years passed before Valcon Games localized a PS2 version of DS VII with the subtitle "Exceed". Though graphically about the same, the PS2 version did have some refinements and enhancements over its XBox counterpart; there were a couple of extra unit types available such as Engineers, and there were needed tweaks to address some things (like the way-too-tough-to-kill infantry from the XBox version).
The most devisive enhancement came with regard to Intercept, a new unit capability that exists in real life among many of the units throughout the game, but for some strange reason SystemSoft Alpha and Valcon only chose to give to THREE units: the Patriot missile system, the Ticonderoga US cruiser, and the Kongo Japanese cruiser. Intercept makes it much harder for a player to simply rush in with aircraft and start bombing or strafing your facilities and ground units. What made this such an issue (it was a concern with my group from day one and has been ever since we began playing matches over a year ago) is that it's VERY hard for other factions, even a heavyweight like Russia, to have a decent and fair chance of winning against an experienced player using the US and Japan (especially the US with all of its long-range units that can bomb you safely with cruise missiles from within their intercept screen). In real life, Russia's SPU-3000 anti-air missiles can also intercept, as can many other ships (both Russian, Chinese, and many NATO vessels), so it came as a mystery to us why the developers had ignored all of them.
Obviously some of us began to wonder when the next US daisenryaku might be released, and whether it would address the balance issues (especially with regard to giving all of the proper units Intercept capability). I researched the internet high and low for weeks to see if there were any cheats, unlocks, or ways around the few flaws my group and I could see. Don't get me wrong, DS VII is still a FANTASTIC game; we'd just gotten to the point where it was clear there could still be improvements made. And yes, I believe Intercept is easily the most crucial feature to balance in the entire game; you haven't fully realized why until you've seen squadron after squadron of high-priced fighters (even those heavily armored A-10 Warthogs) go down in flames trying to get through a strong intercept screen. I've even seen desperate players actually use cheaper aircraft such as helicopters in suicide runs to try to deplete the anti-air ammo of the other guy just to open things up for an aerial advance or to simply get line-of-sight! My friend Scott once sent FIFTEEN Chinese Gazelle helicopter squadrons (10 sub-units apiece) in a single round at my capital, which was ringed by several Patriots and a Ticonderoga in the naval port nearby; ONLY ONE managed to get through, and the few sub-units that were left in it were incinerated by the Patriot's counter-attack (the two or three Patriot sub-units I lost were immediately replaced the next round as it was sitting on a City)!!!.
That was when I learned about and imported Daisenryaku Perfect 3.0 for the Japanese PC. Though it would be months more before my friend Jack Power (the friend I mentioned in Japan; I still haven't yet heard back from him since the earthquake, and he's in my prayers) could translate all of the unit names, terrain, and basic menus for me to be able to play the game via e-mail with him, it was immediately clear that everything that was supposed to now has Intercept. That means Russia and China can be the menaces they'd be in the real world in an engagement. This is one huge reason that I'm so excited about getting a PlayStation 3 version finally announced. At last a competent player using another country just might be able to win against another competent player who's using the US (I LOVE my country, so please don't interpret that phrase incorrectly; I just prefer a balanced game!).
For any of you who haven't played a Daisenryaku game and would like an inexpensive primer in how the series is played, I highly recommend either version of Dai Senryaku VII: Modern Military Tactics. You can find it for as little as a few bucks on Amazon or, if you're very lucky, at a local GameStop.
MY REVIEW SCORE:
Sound: 2.0 (Here's hoping the PS3/XBox 360 version either features the many soundtracks from the PC version or perhaps even custom soundtracks!).
Overall: 9 (Not a cumulative score; obviously for most strategy fans the gameplay trumps everything else!).
ADVANCED WARS 2001 (SEGA DREAMCAST)
For the second game in my weekly feature, I was originally going to do Iron Storm for the Sega Saturn, but since I got permission from Nebelwurfer_42 to do one on his translations for the series, I decided to go ahead and discuss what many folks consider the direct update/sequel to Iron Storm (which I'll cover later on), the awesome Advanced War 2001.
Yes, these are in-game battle-cinema models. If SystemSoft had reached even this level of quality for DSP HD, we never would have heard a peep from anybody about "bad graphics".
Not to be confused with titles from Nintendo's Advance Wars series (which I love and REALLY wish they'd bring to Wii or a future console; can anybody else imagine the fun that multiplayer would be???), Advanced War 2001 is a huge World War II turn-based strategy game that arguably could be the best in the WWII iterations of Daisenryaku so far.
Sporting a massive, branching German campaign (they're the only faction to play as opposed to the three that were in Iron Storm, but this allows for many new possibilities for depth and "what if" scenarios), one of the first true Map Editors in the series (64X64 hex maps that actually seem much bigger), up to 8-player local or PBEM (Play By E-Mail) multiplayer with the choice to play as many participating countries from WWII, and over 2100 real-life weapons (counting variants), Advanced Wars 2001 brought in the 2000s with an enormous bang. Due to several of its forward-thinking features, some might consider it the forerunner of the modern iterations of the series, including the "Perfect" series now on the PC, the PSP, and soon coming to PS3 and XBox 360.
VIDEO: THE FACTIONS
The USA is definitely not the dominant superpower you're used to from DS VII or DSP HD; you have to adapt to having to use different unit types in coordination to succeed. Their armor and infantry are decent but pale in comparison to the German machines, their navy (while I don't know for sure how well this is represented here) had serious design flaws (wooden carrier decks as opposed to the steel of British carriers) that Japanese Kamikaze pilots were able to exploit time and again (I'm not aware of Kamikaze attacks in Advanced War 2001, however). But the USA DOES HAVE perhaps the finest Air Force in the game, particularly in the later stages of the conflict, and by using them effectively you can not only deal out serious punishment to opposing aerial units; you can soften up enemy ground forces up for your "boots on the ground" to finish off. American planes like the Hellcat, the Mustang, and the F-4U Corsair dominated the skies over the Pacific and Europe, and were instrumental in aiding the advance of their naval and ground forces.
It's been said that the German military during World War II was the best-trained and best-equipped that had ever been fielded to that point in history. While it wasn't enough to win a war on two fronts against determined and powerful opponents, for a time it held Europe in an iron grip. Germany is the closest thing you may have to a "modern-era USA" in Advanced War 2001 from a technology standpoint; they have tons of great aircraft, including conceptual/prototype models (even an early helicopter or two). Their tanks, such as the Tiger, Panther, and Maus, are among the most formidable in the game, and tank destroyers such as the Jagdpanther are in a weight/armor class with the tanks themselves. The Wespe and Hummel are two excellent artillery pieces, and perhaps THE most versatile defensive unit in the game is the 88mm Flak artillery, which can tear apart anything that flies over it OR anything approaching from the ground. Their navy features some true heavyweights as well, like the Bismarck and the Graf Zeppelin.
The Soviet Union had its mettle tested by the German invasion force more than any other nation that actually ended up not surrendering; time and again the overpowered Soviets fell back further into their own homeland, burning their own homes and cities so that the Germans would not benefit from them. As the Germans moved ever further into the "Ocean of Land" that is Russia, their supply lines were stretched out more and more...and then the Russian winter struck. As Napoleon's army had learned nearly two centuries earlier, Russia is not a good place to fight in during winter. The German advance was stopped in its tracks, and through savage fighting they lost nearly an entire army at the Battle of Stalingrad. It wasn't long before the German lines began to recede back toward their own homeland, and by then the Soviets had developed many answers of their own to the advanced German armor. It was the beginning of the end of the Nazi regime.
The Soviet Union features a decent air force (their Sturmovik fighter/bombers seem very effective in the demo), an average navy, and some of the best ground units in the game. The T-34 tank is considered by many to be the "first modern tank", and the sheer production numbers of heavy armor that the Soviet Union was able to generate helped to turn the tide of the war on the Eastern Front.
As World War II began, Japan was a scary presence, folks. Their borders at the peak of their power extended further than any Axis power, across much of the Pacific and eastern mainland Asia. Early on they had decisive victories over both British and American naval forces, and their air forces were some of the best and most advanced anywhere. But the biggest thing was the utter devotion their troops had to their emperor, who was pretty much regarded as a diety. Their samurai code would lead many to willingly sacrifice their lives as part of the "Divive Wind" (Kamikaze) in a last-ditch effort to defend their emperor and homeland toward the end of the conflict.
As the war progressed, America in particular was able to match and then outstrip the Japanese in terms of both aerial technology and production. World War II was the first conflict in history where opposing fleets at times never physically saw each other; aircraft and the men who flew them were the "artillery" they threw at each other, as it were. The Zero, the Oscar, and other fighters were common and dreaded sights throughout most of the war, but eventually so many Japanese pilots had lost their lives that they could not be replaced. On the ground, Japan's forces were borderline fanatical in their resistance; the huge ratio of casualties at Okinawa went far in prompting US President Harry S Truman to give the go-ahead for the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His think-tank had estimated that an invasion of Japan would likely yield over a million US casualties, not counting the Japanese military and civilian population.
Japan has a good overall air force, a nice navy, and some of the best infantry in the game. However, their armor is the weakest in the game.
Great Britain faced and survived a nightmare during World War II as German planes and bombers struck their cities and capital time and again. They too might have succumbed to the ferocity of the German onslaught had it not been for the stoic leadership of Winston Churchill, whose famous words "Never, never, never give up" still resonate with Brits to this day. The British forces joined American, Canadian, and other Aliied forces at D-Day, and together they freed Europe from the Nazis.
Great Britain has some really nice fighters and bombers (the Spitfire, the Mosquito, the Typhoon, and the Meteor come to mind), some famous ships (the Hood), and average ground units such as the Cromwell tank.
The battle cinemas occur in all kinds of weather, both during the day and at night (each turn occurs during a specific part of the day, and as dates change so can the weather). At night and in certain weather conditions, units' vision is affected and only certain aircraft can take off.
Unfortunately neither SystemSoft, Sega (who published it in Japan for them), nor any other developer bothered to bring Advanced Wars 2001 to the US, and folks, we missed a true classic. But Nebelwurfer_42 undertook the Herculean task of translating it (among other entries; he also completely translated the MegaDrive Daisenryaku, which I may cover later as well), and his project lasted for at least a year (going by his Translation History) before being completed in late 2010.
ABOVE: Advanced War 2001 brought high levels of user customization to the series.
For anyone here who may be interested in viewing Nebelwurfer_42's awesome work, I have posted a link to his website's front page below. I think once you see it you will seriously appreciate the time and effort he put into doing what normally paid entire localization teams would have to do, all by his lonesome. If any of you still have or can get ahold of a Dreamcast and can find a copy of the original Japanese game (easily doable on eBay), Nebelwurfer_42's site has a downloadable patch with which you can make a full English-language disc of this game, and it comes complete with detailed, easy instructions. I'd like to personally extend my thanks for his efforts on the Daisenryaku fan community's behalf over the years, as well as for his being willing to let me share some of it here with you.
Here is the link:
MY REVIEW SCORES:
IRON STORM (SEGA SATURN)
The third title in my weekly Daisenryaku series feature is Iron Storm for the Sega Saturn. Sega published it in Japan for SystemSoft, but like their own awesome strategy RPG classic Dragon Force, apparently they didn't think enough of it to do an English localization; indeed the military strategy genre had almost never even been done on American consoles to that point. However, fortunately for American Saturn owners, Working Designs picked both of those games up and they are still spoken about with awe by those who experienced them, and both still hold up extremely well.
One of my all-time favorite videogame quotes; it's still as relevant as ever.
ABOVE AND BELOW: The three different opening cinematics (one each for America, Germany, and Japan) set up the atmosphere and tone of the game very well.
Iron Storm was the first Daisenryaku title I ever tried, and I did so only because Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it glowing review scores (again, consumer awareness is key). I was instantly hooked. With over 500 real-life weapons from World War II, massive campaigns for the US, Japan, and Germany, ten "Standard" maps which could be played in multiplayer mode for those who were forward-thinking about such things, and at-the-time awesome battle cinematics (which are admittedly very dated now but can be turned off to expedite gameplay), the depth of Iron Storm never seemed destined to end. I probably spent at least over 100 hours playing through all of the campaigns.
The game also featured certain "special" enemy units to fight among the forces you would encounter toward the end of each campaign. Some were real-life prototypes such as the Japanese Shinden fighter, while others were more fantastical, like the American unit that resembled a soldier wearing a huge exo-suit out of a WarHammer game. Germany featured the Mouse (Maus) tank and a flying saucer equipped with 88 mm cannons that seemed straight out of Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe.
More multiplayer-centric Daisenryaku titles like DS VII would come later, but the AI in Iron Storm, as I recall, seemed very competent compared to later iterations. The German campaign in particular is a nasty exercise in precision and frustration as you try to win battles within a certain turn limit to unlock special "alternate history" branches (something that all three campaigns have to a degree). Plodding your units through the bitter Russian winter (yes, Iron Storm features weather effects) across maps which never seem to end to reach their targets could genuinely test the most patient strategy gamer; aircraft can't fly in bad weather, so you have to depend solely on ground transportation that always seems to be running out of gas. Ahh, the memories...
In summary, if you have an old Saturn lying around somewhere or can still get ahold of one, you owe it to yourself to give Iron Storm a try. It's still the best WWII-era strategy game ever (officially) released for North America, period.
DAISENRYAKU PERFECT 3.0 (JAPANESE WINDOWS PC)
I figured today's news would provide a good opportunity to discuss a game that DSP HD is, in many ways, lifted directly from. Daisenryaku Perfect 3.0 for the Japanese PC is the latest in the "Perfect" series of PC-based Daisenryaku titles by SystemSoft Alpha.
The battle animations in DSP 3.0 are side-view but highly detailed. Here two tank squadrons are going at it (the ones on the right are Abrams; I think the ones on the left are either the British Challenger or its Jordanian model, the Al-Hussein). When a jet flies over and bombs a ground target, the animation literally follows the plane across the screen and depicts the bomb drop above the insert where the ground targets are; the plane's insert then disappears and the bomb(s) come down from above and strike their target(s). Submarine cruise missile launches show the missile coming from the sub, then another insert shows it shooting up out of the water, and then another shows it striking its target. It's very different from what you're likely used to in Daisenryaku games, but it does provide a greater sense of distance and scale to the proceedings.
I thought Dai Senryaku VII: Modern Military Tactics Exceed had a lot of units (it has around 400 or so) until I played DSP 3.0. This game has a whopping 1,400 units and 48 nations to play as; suffice it to say you won't exhaust this baby anytime soon. While I haven't yet determined whether it has any type of campaign mode worth mentioning, it does contain an immensely deep customization system that allows you to add entire production types (nations), add new units (via PhotoShop) and values, make user-created maps (anywhere up to 256 X 256 hexes, which is GIGANTIC as opposed to the 64 X 64 hex maximum in DS VII), set up more than 50 different Rules (ALL of which have made their way into DSP HD!!!), and set up fantasy themes like space or medeival (again, featured in DSP HD as well).
A Screenshot from the Unit Editor.
Fighter aircraft battling in the Space Theme.
Ground forces battling in the Warring States Period (Japanese Medeival) theme.
Strategic Mode (above) factors in things like supply lines; if an enemy cuts them off you lose the benefits/income from those facilities until you can fix the problem. Apparently DSP HD will have a similar mode that can be played, as well as the Normal and Simple (Tutorial) Modes.
The Unit Stat screens are in-depth and practical; all information is there at a glance rather than the multiple screens of menu text you have to wade through in DS VII.
The maps are shown from directly overhead and feature many types of terrain (such as jungle, villages, bunkers, etc) not found in DS VII. The presentation is not as impressive as the nice scalable, rotatable maps in DS VII, but it does grow on you. The music is MUCH more varied, with more than 25 musical selections based on various cultures that you can assign to each faction to give your matches added variety (Let's hope that this feature or custom soundtracks make their way into DSP HD; that stuff in DS VII does get a bit droning after about two minutes!!!).
One major difference in gameplay I had to get used to in DSP 3.0 (a feature which may very well also be included in DSP HD) is that cities only add funds and resources; only your capital can actually build anything outside of the various bases. Army Bases build ground units, Air Bases make aircraft, and Naval Bases make ships. A standard port can refuel/resupply a ship, but can't repair it; only a Naval Port can do that, and the same goes for the other facilities. Also, helicopters like the Black Hawk, which could capture a facility in DS VII after sitting on it for a turn, now cannot do so; instead they carry various types of infantry. ONLY INFANTRY CAN CAPTURE a facility in DSP 3.0.
And capturing can be set to be very different from the instantly gratifying events in DS VII; while instant captures are still possible if you set the match up that way, you can also set it up to take multiple turns to fully capture a holding (essentially, the larger the city, the more time it takes, and it goes Town/City/Metropolis as far as size/income). This means that an enemy can ruin your progress if they're close by and decide to contest your takeover.
Intercept can play an even greater role in disrupting opponents' moves than it does in DS VII, where the USA, Japan, and a few other NATO countries are the only ones that own AEGIS-equipped ships or Patriot anti-air systems. In DSP 3.0, things are much more realistic in both who has Intercept (practically EVERYBODY, and that makes Russia MUCH more formidable than their comparatively neutered selves in DS VII) as well as range. While I don't know if it will make its way into DSP HD, the USA's new CGX-class battleship has ridiculous intercept power and range (like 50 or so hexes if I recall correctly!!!). Advanced anti-air systems like the Patriot, the THAAD, Israel's Arrow, and the Russian SPU-3000 can also intercept ballistic missiles (ANOTHER feature that apparently is also making its way into DSP HD; anybody else seeing a theme here?). Oh yes, and fighter aircraft will also intercept anything that flies within their firing range. In Strategic Mode, your advancing forces will take fire from enemy artillery positioned behind the troops you're moving up to attack. Have fun adjusting to that; no more running right up to somebody and getting the obligatory first shot!
A Temporary Base
There are TONS of new tactical elements in the Perfect series. Mine Layers can lay mines both on ground as well as sea (and Mine Sweepers and their ground counterparts can prevent your other troops from taking damage from them). Also new to the series are Temporary Bases and bridges. Engineers, Construction Corps, and certain Special Forces can repair damaged facilities or make new ones. They can fortify a position, conceal themselves in wooded terrain for ambushes, and other tactics not previously seen. Bridges can be destroyed to prevent enemy movement across them (they can also be captured hex-by-hex, which provides you with an extra hex or two of line of sight around them); conversely, they can be repaired by Engineers and Construction Corps.
Megahex attacks are also much more common in DSP 3.0, and also can be handled much differently from DS VII. First and foremost, you CAN incur damage from "friendly fire" if your megahex attack lands adjacent to your own lines. The main guns of battleships like the Iowa Class (among many other weapons) can fire blindly at unseen parts of the map (you can't do this in DS VII) and inflict damage. And this time around, the USA does NOT have the monopoly on long range weapons as it does in DS VII; Israel's Jericho and the Scud both double the attack range of the US ATACMS at over 20 hexes, and both are megahex-capable. Ballistic and certain cruise missiles are megahex as well, and their range is such that it can take multiple turns for them to reach their targets. Some bombers like the Russian Blackjack can strike enemy ships from about 20 hexes away if they're equipped with the right Pack; that's a SERIOUS game changer when you consider how expensive naval units can be!
All in all, DSP 3.0 is just about everything a person would ever want to see from this series; it's the culmination of several generations of installments and what SystemSoft Alpha has learned from making them. The thought of possibly getting to see a strategy game of this caliber come to the West makes me VERY excited, and I really hope that the announcement of DSP HD isn't far off!
Yep, that's the one. Thanks for refreshing my memory!
Edited original post to reflect this.
Just took a look at that FAQ. Out of curiousity, is that a complete list? There seems to be a lot of standard US units that are missing, the AH-1Z Super Cobra, AV-8B Harrier II, B-52, CH-53, and any of the attack subs. All of which are in regular service.
I assume the Lun is missing? (from the great DSVII SP Mission "Sea Monster").
Saudi Arabia also uses the Panavia Tornado, or at least they did as recently as the first Gulf War.
If they are, could you show them off? Especially the Lun. It is by far one of the coolest units, and the fact that there are very limited photos in existence on this unit makes it all the more interesting. Not to mention, it really is not overpowered because while it is fast, it was moderately frail if you were vigilant. Russia actually plans to resume building this beginning 2012.
The missing US units though, namely the Harrier, B-52, and CH-53 are also what I would like to see shown off. The CH-53 and B-52 missing from DSVII was one of my few (if only) gripes about the game, especially because Germany has the CH-53, which was imported from the US and less than 10% of the total helos in service, meaning that they only field a small percentage of what the US does, yet the US did not get the unit and it is one of the primary heavy lift helos.
EDIT: Thanks for Neoprime666 for refreshing my memory on the Lun's name.
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on these questions, Leatherneck2382. To put it briefly, none of the lists above are comprehensive; there are 48 countries and over 1,400 default unit types in DSP 3.0. The United States and Russia alone each have well over 100 units apiece, which was WAYY more than I could adequately cover in a single sitting/post.
As to your question regarding the Lun, actually it WASN'T in the default units originally in DSP 3.0, but my friend Jack Power added both it and the Sprut SD (the nice wheeled tank destroyer) for me via Photoshop and the Unit Editor. He explained to me that in actuality the Lun is not a ship at all but a gigantic hydroplane (think along the lines of the Spruce Goose); in fact it's so large that it can't take off apparently, so for awhile the Russians tried out the prototype (there's only the one so far as I know) as a rapid water transport. Interesting stuff, especially if they bring the idea out of retirement again to add new ones as you suggest.
Here's the custom unit information Jack made for your perusal:
Not too shabby with that anti-ship range and firepower, I must say (Jack was a walking encyclopedia on not only Daisenryaku but actual military hardware).
The biggest question regarding DSP HD where I'm concerned is just how in-depth the unit editor will be. I believe it will be very close if not identical to the Japanese Windows version with regard to value adjustments (range, armor, stealth, firepower, hit percentage, etc) but the missing piece is if or how a player can actually import or make their own models that don't already exist in the software. Already it's abundantly clear the customization options in DSP HD will be far beyond anything ever done before on console, but I have to believe there are limits in this area; even in DSP 3.0 many of the units you see above are custom creations (drawn and imported from Photoshop as well as setting the values) done by Jack Power.
Whatever ends up happening, I've no doubt that DSP HD will be the definitive turn-based miltary strategy sim of all time when it's released...at least on console. The best OVERALL version (though I lack enough knowledge of kanji to fully take advantage of the Editors myself) may still be the PC version (DSP 3.0) when all is said and done, in all honesty, if only for the complete ability to add and customize without limitations other than your imagination.
Hope this helps somehow!
Yep, this "aircraft" is known as a Ground Effect Vehicle (GEV), its specific wing design is known as an Ekranoplan.
There was a second one that was under construction when funding stopped. It was to operate as a mobile hospital of sorts if I remember correctly. Definitely an interesting piece of engineering. I kind of really hope that they do go into larger production simply because there is nothing really like it on that scale.
Which reminds me, I kind of miss the Pegasus Class warships the USN had operating about 20 years ago. Very cool ships and one (USS Aries PHM-5) is preserved not too terribly far from where I live. Not anything like the Lun, but the Lun reminds me more of an oversized hydrofoil.
Bartini Beriev VVA-14 is an anti-sub version
Beriev Be-2500 is the new one Russia is now working on.
And this is the only version USA have that's planed in the future(guess they learned from the USSR) call the Pelican ULTRA.
Aqualet is what Russia want's to use now.
South Korea, China, Iran, Germany, Australia, Singapore also have some of their own Ekranoplans.
UNITS OF THE WORLD: BRAZIL
Okay, I know it's been a VERY long time since my last new Production Type Feature, and if you've been keeping up with the DSP HD main thread you know it's because Sony put a cap on the number/size of images one can include in a forum post. So here's what we'll do and see how it goes. Jack Power (Mister Samurai) suggested that I highlight maybe a few standout units from a given production type, perhaps adding more as time goes by (even features done in multiple installments could work), and I think that's as solid an idea as anything.
For my first nation I'll be going with our first nation from the continent of South America, namely Brazil. From what I've read Brazil has come a long way with regard to industrialization (unfortunately, often at the expense of rainforests and indigenous tribes) and some speculate that they may be an emerging world superpower in its infancy. From a military standpoint they seem to have several unique and interesting units, but on that front they're still very far from competing with most of the established superpowers. Anyway, here goes.
The Mirage 2000 is a fairly capable fighter and can equip bombs.
The Tiger II is designed around hit-and-run aerial engagements and support for ground forces. Nothing fancy, but possibly useful.
The Xavante is another fighter capable of carrying bombs; it can also be equipped with anti-ground rockets which are primarily effective against infantry.
The AMX is designed as a fighter-bomber, and can be equipped with a 4-hex range attack against ships.
The Skyhawk is probably Brazil's most powerful fighter-bomber; it can carry 10 1,000 lb bombs. Not bad at all for giving your frontline ground forces some needed air support.
The Cougar is one of Brazil's better transport options and can carry a light vehicle and infantry unit simultaneously.
A lightly armed transport copter, the S-70 is of value for its nice 9-hex per turn movement.
The Sea King will help keep Brazil's coastlines free of encroaching enemy submarines.
The Stingray is another really nice sub-hunter.
The Leopard 1A5 gives Brazil a nice frontline grount unit. Not as nice as more recent Leopard models, but not bad, either.
The Patton is yet another holdover from the Cold War era. It can probably hold its own against Soviet armor from that era, but it's far outclassed by the tanks of today.
The Cascavel is a unit designed to engage enemy ground units and infantry. It is named for a species of South American rattlesnake that is both large and highly venomous.
The M113 is a troop transport that honestly should be kept out of any direct fighting if possible; those aren't great numbers against even infantry.
The AAV7A1's usefulness is obvious; it can transport up to 4 infantry units at a time!
The venerable M109 makes a return appearance. Short (3-hex) range and no move-and-shoot capability limit it mostly to a defensive role.
The Astros II offers up some multi-hex capability despite its short range. Best used as a defensive unit if you can keep it alive, I would guess.
Another European import, the Roland is a nice mobile anti-air option for Brazil.
The Greenhalgh has a nice variety of different weaponry against air, land, or sea, though its Exocet anti-ship missiles really stand out for their 6-hex range.
The Inhauma employs Exocets and Mk.46 anti-sub torpedoes (apparently Brazil has something particular against enemy submarines going by how many countermeasures they have against them).
The Garcia is primarily designed as a submarine destroyer, and going by the numbers could be highly effective in that role.
The Niteroi has a nice variety of weaponry at its disposal; still no air intercept though, which seems to be a glaring weakness for the Brazilian fleet overall.
The Newport is a pretty nice transport/assault ship option for naval maps.
Yep, Brazil has itself an aircraft carrier. One could see how using them in an Alliance-styled map could prove useful at least in a support role.
Last but not least is Brazil's lone submarine, the Tupi.
Overall Brazil is clearly not meant for a match against heavyweights like the USA or Russia, but in a match of smaller production types they could provide some interesting options.
Hope you guys enjoyed the return of the Units of the World Feature. I'll try to do more as time permits going forward.