TLS -DESERT STEEL TANK LEADER
- TITLE: Desert Steel Tank Leader (third offering in the
Tank Leader series)
- PUBLISHER: West End Games (WEG); effectively closed down
- SCOPE: World War II Armored Tactics African Theatre
- WEST END GAMES VERBAGE:
- GAME BOX VERBAGE: Desert Steel recreates the desperate
battles of the North African Theater during World War, with an emphasis on
command, control, and communications of platoons and companies.
- YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): 1989.
- Design and Development: Peter Corless
- Original System Design: John Hill with Guy Hail
- Editing: Jeffery Briggs and Douglas Kaufman
- Editorial Director: William Slavicsek
- Art Director: Stephen Crane
- Graphic Design: Kevin Wilkins,
- Graphics: Rosaria Baldari
- Production: Stefve Porpora
- Playtesters: Charles Asbronsen, John Franklin, Robert
Pruden, Len Quam, Tom Vickery, and Sam Weiss
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2
- WGA COMPLEXITY SCALE (1-10): 4
- TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): Standard scenarios (5) 1-2
hours; Advanced game scenarios (10) 3-6 hours.
- MAP SCALE: 150 meters per hex
- UNIT SCALE: Platoons and companies
- TIME SCALE PER TURN: 5 minutes
- NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: 10; varies per scenario.
- PARTIAL ARTICLE LISTING: Click
- GAME INVENTORY: 480 5/8" die cut playing pieces, 90
formation and strike cards, two player aid cardstock sheets, 7x18" track
sheet, two 22 x 17" unmounted map; three six sided dice; one counter
tray with lon-on lid; 32 page rulebook.
- WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: No known history as an Avaloncon/WBC
- PBEM TOOLS:
PBEM OPPORTUNITES: Contact Wargame
Academy if interested.
WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: (My experience is limited to
Eastern Front Tank Leader) John Hill's philosophy exhibited in Squad Leader
is also on display in this series. Command, control, and communications (C3)
is the pivotal factor in the design. Similar in scale to Panzerblitz, command
card are utilized to determine tactical initiative- who moves first and how
quickly a formation responds to changing situations. Similar to Squad leader,
factors such as unit rating, morale, sighing/hits are factors in combat. Other
elements are utilized such as command range, vehicle radios and other factors
have impact on play. The total system successfully simulates how the Germans,
often with inferior numbers and quality, were able to consistently challenge
their battlefield opponents. The maps are modified by scenario by visibility,
season, contour, dominant terrain, and urbanization. However this is hard
for the human to visualize. Mapboard customization capability in the Squad
Leader vassal module, should prove beneficial, in addition to the ability
to add additional mapboards.
WARGAME ACADEMY GAME TOOLS: Plan is to improve the existing
vassal modules using capabilities similar to the Squad Leader modules.
- A VASSAL module was found in
the listing [Eastern Front Tank Leader]; but none specific to the sequals
[Western Front and Desert Steel].
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