From: Spokane WA USA
OK, after getting SPMBT downloaded, I had the great ^%$*&%$ fortune to find that I was infected - *not* due to SPMBT, note - with three copies of a backdoor (AceBot) and thirty *!* instances of Chernobyl. Needless to say, it was only last night that I finally installed and tried this puppy out...
OK. No sound... my Audigy isn't SB-compatible? No prob, I can live without it. Ooooh, that auto-config'd shortcut *worked*! Let's blow stuff up! US versus Chechnya, yeah, that sounds good... 1972, sure. Late M60s, TOW-Cobras, TOW squads, scout jeeps, snipers, scout teams, a .50 cal... opposed by an HQ unit. Uh-huh. Hmmm, mebbe I should pick the opponents *after* I set the date... kinda wondered about what would happen there, as the Chechen flag disappeared when I went back in time.
OK, less finagling. US vers Czechoslovakia, 2002. 5 M1A2s. One TOW team. Two heavy snipers. And a smattering of Flame Rocket AT squads. *That* was a bit more balanced, compared to the first run - Mi-24s (gee, guess I shoulda bought the Air Defense guys, huh?), BVP2s ("V"? OK, whatever) and OT-90s, updated T55s with ATGMs (so much for balance, huh?), an 82mm mortar team, and an annoying wad of Mech Infantry, AT and RPG teams, some Strela dudes, a couple marksmen... end result: 1 immobilised M1A2. Oh, and a whole lot of destroyed Czechs. Note: that flame rocket will *happily* kill a Hind. The other one retreated off-map after taking a lot of MG fire from the tracks.
Whee! How about a pregenerated scenario? '89, Ivan versus the West Germans. (The first one, I think, at the bottom of the listing of scens.) Lepoards (sp?) and Fuchs and Marders, oh my! Milans, Stingers, Gepards, PanzerGenadiers, Pioneers, Jaeger Squads, M113 mortar carriers, snipers, observers, and Tornados, with a couple HOT-ATGM choppers that show p as reinforecements. Ivan, never one to *under*do it, sends an obnoxious amount of arty (203mm, BM-21 rockets, et *OW* cetera), followed by a bunch of fixed-wing ground-attack *YEOWCH*, paving the way for the Mongol Horde of BTRs, BMDs, BRMDs, BMPs, and some other cans stuffed chock full o' Boris *YEEEK*. Oh, don't forget the historical parade of tanks: T62s, T72s, T80s, all in various models and some with reactive armour. *whine whine whine* You hardly even notice the 4 (probably more) Mi24 Hinds, ZSU flakwagons, SAM carriers, Spetznatz squads. Luckily, Fritz gets reinforcements. Unluckily, you'll wish it was a whole lot more...
That one, I seemed to be winning on points - I think it was over 72 Sov tracks versus 12 of mine, when I surrendered (c'mon, it was 4 AM!), bt they still had a %^&*(ing lot of visible units out there - and I had jack for manuever room and reserves.
So, what's it mean? It's not shabby... can't tell on the AI yet, meself, but it didn't seem to do some of the things I've taken advantage of in SPWAW. Lots of stuff to play with, in the area of hardware and countries. Being a Matrix fanboy, tho, I have to give down-marks for the graphics - I *love* the higher res. I also missed some of the "goodies" like right-click rally-max. Sound? As soon as I get it enabled, I'll see. As I recall, I was a little disappointed with the SPWW2 sound (and graphics/goodies) as well. (Even without installing the Stereo Sound upgrade.)
I'd say, grab it if you want the modern aspects. It's small (even if the FTP is crowded ), seems to be stable (on my box - 98SE reinstalled with regular 98 [I think] and in general weirded out), and, uhm, it's *free*. Free stuff gets a few extra points all to itself... Matrix knows this.
Note: I've not played SP1, 2 or 3 meself; own SP3, but it reliably crashes horribly on bootup, so I've never actually *played* the sucker. Did a lot of Close Combat 2, 3 and some 4, and East Front II/West Front/Rising Sun. A very little bit of (demo) Combat Mission (got me to buy it, tho ), and one try of People's General. This data presented only for the purposes of explanation of my views/narrowmindedness regarding this game.