Battle Group Commander: Episode One is designed by Gary Bezant, former member of the British Army and designer of the controversial ProSIM title, The Falklands War: 1982 (also published by Shrapnel Games). Episode One allows players to step into the boots of a Battle Group Commander (imagine that!) and fight a Soviet-style enemy in the Salisbury Plain Training Area of England (analogous to the NTC in the US). No word yet on whether steaks will also be involved.
A Battle Group is a British Army term for a battalion-sized formation that brings together armor, infantry, artillery and other assets into a combined arms team.
Powered by the Air Assault Task Force engine, Battle Group Commander: Episode One gives players everything they've come to expect from a ProSIM title. Players can command units individually or by company in pausable real time. Detailed weapons modeling allowing for individual weapon destruction. Terrain that is derived from real world digital elevation mapping. Intuitive GUI. Aggressive AI that uses a variety of operational plans for great replayability. Realism and playability, the dream of every wargamer, all found in Battle Group Commander: Episode One.
What's most exciting though about Battle Group Commander: Episode One is the episodic nature of the series. Priced at a very affordable $14.95 and available as a direct download, it is a perfect way in these challenging economic times to enjoy quality wargaming without breaking the bank.
Episode One contains four scenarios and supports both single and multi-player gaming. As a standalone product new players can enjoy the simulation, with a detailed web-based tutorial, streamlined yet comprehensive electronic manual, and pre-set scenario planning. Veterans of ProSIM games will find that although made more noob-friendly, Battle Group Commander: Episode One boasts all the detail you're used to. Nothing has been "dumbed down", and in fact owners of Air Assault Task Force (or the older Armored Task Force) can install Battle Group Commander: Episode One and gain access to all the units and the map found in the new title!
So, not only is Battle Group Commander: Episode One an exciting standalone digital wargame that hearkens back to days of the cardboard microgame (big gaming for very little money), it's also the equivalent of an expansion for owners of Air Assault Task Force or Armored Task Force! A win-win for both new and old fans alike!
Future episodes in the Battle Group Commander series will feature British operations in other settings and situations. Later this year another series will launch, March To Baghdad, whose episodes will cover Operation Iraqi Freedom.
For more information on Battle Group Commander: Episode One please visit its official product page. Please note that since this is an episodic release there will not be an official demo for the title. To experience the engine it is based upon please download the demo for Air Assault Task Force, found here.
Battle Group Commander: Episode One is available for Windows and only as a direct download. It is priced at just $14.95.