World War II - North Africa: Halfaya Pass
Posted on 09/16/04 @ 10:09 PM (updated 10/08/04
|# of Scenarios:
||Empires: Retail Release
In preparation for operation Battleaxe, the allied forces sent the 11th hussars to storm the west ridge of Halfaya pass. The Germans had been using the ridge as a supply depot and an anchor to support German Artillery fire. This made Halfaya pass a critical point on the road to Toburk. The 11th Hussars stormed the western ridge and were cut down by German artillery fire and forced to retreat in under 11 minutes.
You now have the chance to take control of this battle from either the German or British perspective in the multiplayer arena, or you can hone your skills against the computer in the single player version of the scenario. In order to create a realistic tactical system the units in this game have been altered. This scenario rewards smart tactical thinking and punishes poorly thought out troop movements. Keep in mind that the normal way you conduct self in a game of Empires will no longer be effective in this scenario.
The objective of this scenario is to capture all of the 5 wells that surround pass, thus forcing your opponent to surrender. For this scenario military units have been severely altered in order to make the scenario realistic. Players are able to choose from a selection of reinforcements every 3 minutes.
Reinforcements are as follows
Light Infantry – 6 Rifleman – 1 British Universal Carrier
Heavy Infantry – 1 Captain – 1 Gunner Team – 1 Flamethrower – 1 Engineer
Tank – 2 Crusader MK III tanks
Artillery – 2 6 Pound MK II AT Guns – 1 25 Pounder MK III Howitzer
Helle Infanterie – 4 Grenadiers – 4 Unterofficers - 1 Gepanzerter Träger
Schwere Infanterie – 2 Mörser – 1 Sergeant – 1 MG 42 Team
Panzer – 1 PzKpfw IV – 1 Tiger I
Artillerie – 1 Artillerie – 2 Fliegerabwehrkanone
In order to successfully defeat your opponent in this scenario you need to make use of both tactics and logistics. Each player receives supplies in the form of oil, ammo and food and medical supplies. Each individual unit has supply levels that can be displayed by clicking on the unit. If a unit that requires oil runs out of oil it will grind to a halt, if a unit runs out of ammo it will no longer be able to fire, if a unit runs out of supplies it will slowly lose hit points. Units can be re supplied through two different methods. If a unit is placed in the general supply zone it will replenish its diminished supplies, if those supplies are available. Units can also be supplied via supply trucks. A unit needs only to be in the range of a supply truck to be re supplied.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
Halfaya Pass is an intensely enjoyable scenario that challenges you to capture and hold five key points, wells in the desert. The player must juggle many different factors at once to succeed, ranging from the supplies (oil, ammunition, supplies) to deciding what types of reinforcements to request. The music adds to the overall aura of the scenario very well.
The ai is a challenge to defeat, and the player must use combined arms very effectively to minimize casualties. As each unit has its own strengths and weaknesses, careful thinking is necessary to request the reinforcement package necessary to overcome some certain situation. The individual supply demands of each unit add a whole new depth to the strategic choices the player must make, these demands are perfectly balanced to be high but not harsh.
This is an imminently creative scenario, taking a battle that is not all too known and throwing in enough strategic options to be able to keep you playing for hours, until you finally emerge victorious (or not). To my knowledge, this attempt at strategy has only been done once before to this sort of level, and it was by this same author: Stalingrad, for Empire Earth. The day/night cycle is done perfectly so as not to be too sudden, but rather to feel incredibly natural.
Map Design: 4
Some people may say that sand is simply sand. Intrepid has shown that a desert is much more than simply plain sand, he not only mixes the small variety of sands well but uses elevation effectively to create incredibly natural sand dunes. There also is a fine scattering of gaia objects across the map, ranging from lonely desert plants to clumps of burnt out vehicles. That as it is, sand may still be sand and does get slightly dull to look upon.
The story is simple history, a short recounting of how the battle came about and what happened. The instructions are thorough enough that no player would be left without understanding that the supplies the units need are very important, and how each unit can get supplies. One nice touch that is immensely helpful to players is that it announces in the objectives box who holds what oases. One thing that was a bit difficult was the reading of the initial history of the battle, as the scenario loads, because the blue of the text does not stand out enough from the background image.
- If I could wish for anything to be added to this scenario, it would be at least the option of retaining corpses for the duration of the scenario; I believe such a move would add a lot to the already fine atmosphere.
- It was probably simply the speed I was playing on, but once the music ended there is a semi-long silence before it begins again.