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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Strategy

 

Publisher

Shrapnel Games

 

Developer

ProSIM

 

ESRB

N/A

 

Released

March 2002

 

 

- The only thing missing is the military uniform

- Experienced wargamers will be in heaven

- Makes you learn something along the way

- Complete manual

- Multiplayer

 

 

- May drown players new to the genre

- Much time spent learning how to do everything

 

 

Review: Austerlitz: Napoleon's Greatest Victory (PC)

Review: The War Engine (PC)

 

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BTC Commander

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

Shrapnel Games is known for publishing extremely deep games, and BCT Commander (BCT) is no exception and comes at a time when the subject matter is very topical.  Accuracy is the name of the game Ė the only thing missing is a smart-looking military uniform.

 

Will you need a military education to get anything out of BCT?  It can only help, but if youíre new to the genre it can be quite overwhelming if not taken in small bites.  For example, translate this objective extract from Afghanistan Raid #1:

 

TF BLUE C130s arr FOB VICTOR from H + 70 mins

 

Yes, it is taken out of context, but even in context new players might be left scratching their heads.  Rule of thumb for anything that Shrapnel publishes: Read the manual.  The manual is thorough and exhaustive and explains everything, right down to vehicles stats, how to Defilade, and Engagement Areas.  Making the effort to learn the various commands available and the plethora of menus allows a certain level of enjoyment to be had. (Be warned, learning all there is can take some time.)

 

BCT-1.jpg (59766 bytes)          BCT-2.jpg (50116 bytes)

 

BCT plays out through a mix of real-time and turn-based strategy.  The game can be paused at any time so orders can be issued more efficiently Ė spreading out your forces to effectively squash the competition.  Scenarios are scattered all over the globe (and through recent history) from Korea to the on-going conflict in Afghanistan Ė each has a complex list of mission objectives. (Fortunately, they can be printed out for easy reference.)  Wherever you are, thereís absolutely no fog of war.  Each area is topographically designed, which translates to some as ďa bunch of wavy linesĒ but works extremely well (and is accurate to real life).

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After the initial learning curve, BCT presents a good challenge and is so convincing that if you werenít sitting at your PC in your underwear and eating Cheetos, you might actually believe you were taking part in an honest-to-goodness military exercise.  The units are all real world with a wide variety of US and Russian military hardware to utilize.  And even though the graphics arenít going to poke you in the eye, itís true to life!

 

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If the challenge of the single-player encounters arenít enough (there are nearly fifty) you can match wits against a human opponent.  Get tired of the available maps and you can turn to the Construction Set.  Basically, BCT is a wargamers dream.

 

You may think this a cursory review, but if I was to get too specific Iíd lose most of you. (And I canít reproduce the manual for you to keep up.)  BCT can easily be considered a niche game Ė a game specifically targeted at the wargamer crowd.  Those wargamers will be able to find little wrong with BCT.  (Plus, it runs like a dream on the lowest of the low-end PCs!)  Itís a complex game, but itís a satisfying experience once you get your hands dirty.

 

- Omni

 

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