Here we are at the quarterfinals. Eight titles remain in the field including all four #1 seeds. Surprisingly, this tournament has failed to produce any very memorable upsets so far. Nor have there been any deep tournament runs by a #7 or #8 seed. The favorites have dominated the rounds so far and if this continues, we might see the final four occupied entirely by #1 seeds.
#1 Steel Panthers MBT vs #2 World in Conflict
Land combat is the theme in this bracket with both titles having made their marks in the wargaming world. World in Conflict enters the round carrying a heavy load of baggage. It’s not a traditional wargame, despite being set in a hypothetical Third World War that takes place in 1989. It is more like an action game cleverly disguised as a strategy game, while SPMBT is a wargame in every sense of the word. SPMBT allows players to model a tactical land engagement in any fictional WWIII world the player creates, using accurate orders of battle and a smooth, almost faultless gameplay system. One thing which has kept World in Conflict going in this tournament for so long has been its popularity and appeal to the mainstream PC game market. But alas, we’re at the point now where a title’s wargaming qualities take center stage. This is where World in Conflict is lacking.
Winner: Steel Panthers MBT
#1 Harpoon vs #2 Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm
Flashpoint is a niche game that will alienate players not used to or interested in the genre. Harpoon was expected to be a niche game, so to speak. Instead it blossomed into a classic wargame that took PC wargames from the fringe and dropped it into the mainstream with a bang. The game is responsible for introducing at least one generation of gamers to the wonders (and frustrations) of wargaming and continues to soldier on flawlessly.
#1 The Operational Art of War vs #2 Red Storm Rising
Closest contest of the round. At the end of the day it came down to longevity. Red Storm Rising was a fantastic game for its time. Unfortunately, it was never updated or improved upon, which is a shame. TOAW, on the other hand, maintains a loyal following and continues to improve as time goes on. If you’re looking to play (or design) an operational-level WWIII scenario, The Operational Art is your huckleberry.
Winner: The Operational Art of War
#1 Command Modern Operations vs #3 Red Lightning
Old school operational-level WWIII game vs a contemporary title that allows players to create any WWIII naval/air concept or scenario under the sun. I speak from experience on that, having used CMO’s predecessor to model the air and sea parts of the conflict my blog is based on. By every yardstick, CMO is even more capable than Command: Modern Air and Naval Operations before it.
Winner: Command Modern Operations