From: Arizona West Coast
Now that I have played a bit longer, some thoughts.
My recent favourite games have been Steel Panthers, JTCS, Combat Mission and Panzer Command. The first two use hexes of 50m and 250m, squad and platoon levels. SP is 2D and JTCS is 2D or isometric 3D. The other two are WEGO squad level full 3D.
They are all very detailed in their inner workings. All except CM let you mod the details. The editors allow small and large battles to be created and have random generators for battles. SP and CM will generate maps.
BA has no generating ability. Everything can be modded but you need to know programming to do the scripting. Something I haven't been able to wrap my old head around.
BA has single tanks and abstract squads with no command structure. Off board artillery and air support are simple and unrestricted.
It is 3D with a look that reminds me of Micro Machines toy vehicles. Animations are very well done. It uses squares instead of hexes.
Simple last man standing scenarios can be made quickly and easily. The maps can be map as simple or as detailed as you like. There is only one elevation allowed above ground level. I think that might change in the future.
ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil
The scale is abstracted. 1 tile range is intended to represent 50-100m. 2 tiles about 200m, up to 8 tiles at about 2km. This may sounds strange but it allows us to get the more subtle differentiations at shorter range without having to make ranges so high you cant see what you're shooting at on screen. This makes it very hard to give you a real ground scale. Maps can be 64x64 tiles at present but there is not really a technical reason they can't be bigger as far as I know but we didn't want to make missions like that.
What this does is that a vehicle can be next to a structure and your unit cannot target it because it has no line of sight, like a 50m game. A few hexes away and your infantry and tanks have less effect or cannot fire at all because of the range to the target like a larger scale. When your best units are on one side of the map and the enemy threat appears on the other side, it seems to take forever to move across the map. In other words, don't leave your weak units unsupported holding a victory point. This is when the scale seems the biggest, crossing large areas.
The gameplay is very good if you like games, not simulations. The AI does a good job of flanking, attacking, and so far for me, in the campaigns, not predictable.
Playing the game is simple, intuitive (after you read the manual and read enough on screen tips), and addicting. It has that "one more turn" feel. A large part of this is the lack of tedium. That may change as the game gets fan contributed battles and campaigns but the simplicity of the design and mechanics will still keep it at a minimum.
The negative comments that I have seen so far are about the puzzle aspect of the included campaigns, in that you have to figure out how to capture/kill/hold for x number of turns to win. I've seen worse but it is there.
Also mentioned is the opportunity fire routine and using shoot and scoot tactics, sometimes combined with unit sacrifice to bleed shots. This is always a problem with turn based games. Slitherine states that they are looking at ways to make this better.
Lastly, although the game is completely modable, it is not user friendly to do so. You need outside programs to view and change the data. I would say that you need higher than average computer skills to do anything worth sharing.
All in all a very good game system for me and my free time at a reasonable price.