#1 Steel Panthers MBT vs #3 Janes Fleet Command
Land vs sea in this bracket, as well as two games that have stood the test of time. In this round Fleet Command was handicapped by its lack of depth. Although some independent mods were created for the game by its fans, it cannot compare to the scenario tools and depth that is SPMBT’s trademark. Tactical combat from 1946 to the present day with accurate orders of battle from dozens of countries. Land and air forces. Fleet Command’s superior graphics just can’t compete. Don’t get me wrong, this is a solid game, but when it goes up against SPMBT, Fleet Command comes off as second best.
Winner: Steel Panthers MBT
#2 World in Conflict vs #5 NATO Commander
Difficult bracket. Like the other one in this region, one game’s strengths are exemplified while the other’s weaknesses are accentuated and put on display. For NATO Commander, the minimal 1980s PC era graphics cannot hide the fact there is a very good wargame lurking beneath the surface, On the flip side with World in Conflict, the superior late 2000s graphics and smooth interface cannot mask the fact that WiC is little more than a real time strategy game with a Command and Conquer-like engine as well as a host of other bells and whistles. However, what WiC does have is a compelling plot, as well as taking a look at one of the less common WWIII scenarios: A Russian invasion of the United States. That’s what put it over the top for me.
Winner: World in Conflict
#1 Harpoon vs #3 Theater Europe
Two titles from the 1980s, each one well made. Harpoon, however, goes the extra mile and gives the player enough tools to fight a detailed, realistic NATO-WP war at sea anywhere on the globe. Not to mention the influence Harpoon has had on computer wargaming. Specifically, how it brought the genre into the mainstream. Theater Europe simply cannot compete.
#2 Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm vs #5 Conflict (NES)
There were not many strategic wargames made for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In fact, aside from Conflict and maybe Desert Commander, I’m hard pressed to name any others. Conflict is a gem. It put the player in command of either Blue or Red, two sides equipped with US (Blue) or (Soviet) weapons and equipment. They clash on fictitious battlefields containing cities, water and airfields. A fun game and with the exception of some shady AI features, solid. Red Storm, is PC wargame that covers a hypothetical NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict. It is well-researched and contains a detailed orders of battle as well as realistic modeling of modern combat. Oh, and it also features an asynchronous turn structure that models the OODA loop. Yay!!!! (I hate that term with a passion. Especially when civilian ‘experts’ throw it around like cheap bubble gum to try and sound more intelligent than they actually are.)
I love Conflict, but Red Storm is the superior wargame.
Winner: Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm