Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front Gameplay Review

I'm playing Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front, a military real-time strategy game by Graviteam.

Sequel to Operation Star and Achtung Panzer, the game features a turn-based operational mode where units are moved around a strategic map and a tactical mode with real-time battles. There is a focus on realism, with historical orders or battle, topographically accurate maps, and true-to-life communication and ballistics. There are two campaigns (with different start dates) that can be played from either side, plus randomized or hand-crafted quick battles. There is online play, but IP addresses must be known beforehand. The interface gives a lot of information (paths and orders, line of sight, a radial right-click orders menu, a list of all units) but is confusing for new players. The operational mode is fairly basic (comparatively), with the main mechanic simply to move troops around and trigger battles. However, generals can prescribe reinforcement strategies for each unit. Most of the game is played in the real-time battles, where deployment positions and initial orders are given first. Units can be instructed to fire at will, halt, delay, defend, fire in a specific direction, move, march, fast move, covert move, recon, attack, assault, or defend; most of these orders can be further customized with specific formation and movement properties. The command level prevents spamming orders (it is essentially a cool-down timer for orders) and requires more careful planning. Units are modeled realistically, with morale, ammunition levels, communication support, stamina, and varied conditions (suppressed, panic). There is no micromanagement in the game, as actions such as choosing specific targets and taking cover is done automatically by the tactical AI. Off-map artillery and aircraft can be called in, and the enemy AI is varied in its approaches. While Graviteam Tactics: Mius-Front prides itself on realistic brutality, an obtuse interface makes it less accessible to more casual strategy gamers.