July 19, 2018
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Strategy First
Strategy & War
Release Date

World War II Online
August 7, 2002 | Tim Morgan

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At the helm of the Opel Blitz.

Being a part of the backbone
The most convenient way to shuttle troops back and forth is with one of the vehicles the game allows you to drive. These trucks and half-tracks are the fastest thing on the ground, rolling through terrain at speeds up to 70 kilometers per hour. Trucks are also useful for towing anti-aircraft and anti-tank guns around.

The controls of a truck are very realistic, allowing one to operate a complete manual-shift transmission. It even simulates the half-track’s separate brake and clutch system. Of course, trucks are deplorably unarmed, and must use their unmatched speed to their advantage.

Towing around the big guns
Because of the spawn limit system in WWIIOL, not everyone can grab a Panzer IV and rush Dinant with a fleet of hundreds of heavily armed tanks. WWIIOL imposes spawn limits on choke points based on some constants and the tactical situation at the CP itself. Because of this, tanks are usually in short supply, and mortars and other high-caliber guns take the limelight for fire support.

These guns are towed to the field after being hitched onto a truck, after which they are deployed, the truck scurrying to safety. Two people can man the gun: a commander who keeps up situational awareness and provides range data, and a gunner who carefully aims the powerful weapon and plans a target’s impending doom.

The anti-aircraft guns are wonderfully realistic and can be immensely satisfying when picking off the big birds like the He-111 carpet bomber. The anti-tank guns, when used in conjunction with the range finding features the commander is offered, can provide — with a little skill — one-hit kills without using ranging shots, never giving away the position of the gun to the now-destroyed offenders.

The treaded terrors
The heavy metal in this game is the tanks and armor-fighting vehicles, which can support crews up to five people. Driving tanks is a slow and deliberate process. The most efficient way to drive a tank is to move intermittently, periodically stopping to hear the battlefield and to allow the commander to unbutton, peeking his head out of the top. Obviously, these sorts of pauses should be kept brief in duration. This extends trips between cities, and like many vehicles of this game, makes tank driving an act of patience.

Tank gunning works like mortar gunning, by first adjusting the sight, and then taking the shot. Like AT guns, tanks can fire up to three kinds of ammunition, from high explosive to armor piercing shells. Tank guns are powerful enough to take out entire crews, and the cabin even fills with smoke after multiple consecutive volleys — a very nice touch. But, completing the circle, a well-trained sapper can take down the mighty tank — if he or she knows where the weak points are on the armor.


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