Eagles Strike

 

After Vietnam and the WWII Pacific, John Tiller turns to Northwest Europe for another Squad Battles title. Eagles Strike sports over 50 scenarios, including three campaigns, covering the GIís battles from Normandy to the end of the Reich. Unlike earlier games in this series, this one serves up lots of armor, from halftracks to heavy tanks, and an equally mind-boggling array of anti-tank weaponry. The focus is still on the ground pounders, but youíll have to be able to handle the iron monsters on offense and defense if you want to succeed. Play the Allies or the Germans, and fight against the savvy computer or friends via email or the Internet. If thatís not enough, you can use the included maps and expanded maps for your own scenarios too.

 

 

Description

Eagles Strike is a Squad Battles game, with units representing individual leaders, weapons teams, and squads of up to a dozen men. Each weapon is accounted for, and squads can pick up and drop items as a result of combat or your decisions. An elegant and sophisticated mechanism simulates both wear and tear and ammunition depletion, and the game accounts for range, visibility, armor protection, and terrain effects in a way that is historically accurate and which encourages historical tactics. The turn-based system with opportunity fire and optional full fog of war balances realism with playability and preserves play by email utility.

 

 

Unlike some simulations, you wonít need to devote a good chunk of your life to mastering the game mechanics. Nearly everything is mouse driven, with an extensive system of hotkeys and menus for all game commands. You can customize your experience with four different map views, including a new 3D mode that shows the tactical relief of the battlefield for more effective planning. You wonít need a monster machine to run the game, either. Its attractive 2D graphics and superb maps run well even on laptops and older machines, as long as you can run Windows 98 or later; Windows 95 is not supported due to DirectX concerns.

 

 

What makes Eagles Strikes so compelling is the way it neatly captures the ebb and flow of a WWII tactical battle, without overwhelming you with minutia. Armored vehicles are easier to kill from the sides and rear, assault guns have to pivot to bring their guns to bear, and infantry needs to pass morale checks before assaulting tanks, so you get the full spectrum of essential detail. Your enemy is not the game system; the mechanics are simple (not simplistic), and easy to learn. Itís the effective employment of those mechanics that is the challenge. Thereís plenty of chrome, too, though. You get all the different small arms, heavy weapons, indirect fire support, air strikes, naval gunfire support, and armor you could hope for, plus parachute and glider landings, several types of mines and obstacles, smoke, illumination, and radios. Itís all easy to employ, too, thanks to the ultra-clear maps and visually striking ďcounterĒ style unit markers.

 

Central to the Squad Battles game system is the idea of leadership. Your NCOs and junior officers are critical parts of your force. The most heavily armed squads are useless without someone to rally and inspire them. Youíll learn the true value of individual heroism as you watch your sergeants and lieutenants rally a pinned squad and assault the last enemy pillbox, or inspire a machine gun team to hold off an enemy attack. Leaders also are necessary to call in support; learning when and how to use artillery and air strikes that can easily smash your own forces as well as the enemy is key to success. Few games teach the value of leadership as well as Eagles Strike; if you ever wanted to see how useless a bunch of leaderless troops are, just lose all your platoon leaders early in a battle!

 

 

In addition to the stand-alone scenarios, you can also play three campaigns, tracing the course of a particular leader through a series of battles. As long as your alter ego survives, you can proceed to the next encounter. The more you use your leader, the more points he gets, but the more chances you have of losing him to a stray bullet or shell, thus ending the campaign. The campaign battles can also be played separately, for even more gameplay value. The scenario editor allows you to build your own battles and campaigns, using the wide variety of included maps and subsets of maps.

 

Scenarios:

(From the game documentation)

 

No.†† Scenario†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Author †††††††††† Date†††††††††† Location††††††††††† Size††††††††††† Time

††††††††

01††††† A Ranger Challenge(Easy)††† WBW††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Omaha††††††††††††† Small††††††††† 30 Minutes

02††††† A Ranger Challenge†††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Omaha††††††††††††† Small††††††††† 30 Minutes

03††††† Pointe du Hoe-Landings††††††† WBW††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Pointe du Hoe††† Small††††††††† 1 Hour

04††††† Stuck!†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Les Droueries††† Medium†††††† 1 Hour

05††††† Tanks in Trouble-Easy††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Dog Green†††††††† Huge†††††††††† 4 Hours

06††††† Busy Bosses†††††††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Pouppeville††††††† Medium†††††† 45 Minutes

07††††† So This is Hell†††††††††††††††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Omaha††††††††††††† Medium†††††† 2 Hours

08††††† Good Soldiers, All††††††††††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† La Fiere††††††††††† Small††††††††† 45 Minutes

09††††† Hell to Pay††††††††††††††††††††††††† BM††††††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Cauquigny†††††††† Small††††††††† 30 Minutes

10††††† Hitting Utah†††††††††††††††††††††††† LM†††††††††††††††† 6/6/44†††††††† Utah†††††††††††††††† Medium†††††† 1 Hour

11††††† Bullets for Breakfast†††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 7/5/44†††††††† Poterie Ridge††† Small††††††††† 30 Minutes†††††††

12††††† Towards St. Lo††††††††††††††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 7/13/44†††††† Le Carillion††††††† Large††††††††† 2 Hours

13††††† Barkmannís War††††††††††††††††† BM††††††††††††††† 7/27/44†††††† Le Lorey††††††††††† Small††††††††† 30 Minutes

14††††† Stopping the Panzers 1††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 8/7/44†††††††† Mortain†††††††††††† Medium†††††† 1 Ĺ Hours

15††††† Stopping the Panzers 2††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 8/7/44†††††††† Mortain†††††††††††† Medium†††††† 1 Ĺ Hours

16††††† Midnight Express†††††††††††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 8/25/44†††††† Montelimar††††††† Medium†††††† 2 Hours

17††††† Merli the Man††††††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 9/3/44†††††††† Bruyeres†††††††††† Small††††††††† 1 Hour

18††††† A Deadly Squeeze Play††††††† WBW††††††††††† 9/7/44†††††††† Ger-Mortain Rd Large†††††††††† 1 Ĺ Hours

19††††† Fire on the Flank††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 9/10/44†††††† Arry, France††††† Medium†††††† 1 Hour

20††††† King Sugar to Anybody!††††† WBW†††††† †††††††9/16/44††††††† Siegfried Line††† Small††† ††††† 45 Minutes

21 †††† Hot Action at Groessbeek†††† JR†††††††††††††††† 9/17/44†††††† Groessbeek†††††† Small††††††††† 30 Minutes

22††††† 2nd Omaha†††††††††††††††††††††††††† JR†††††††††††††††† 9/20/44†††††† Nijmegen†††††††††† Large††††††††† 3 Hours

23††††† Bloody Black Forest†††††††††††† NS††††††††††††††† 11/16/44††††† Hamich†††††††††††† Small††††††††† 45 Minutes

24††††† Ham Sandwich††††††††††††††††††† NS††††††††††††††† 11/18/44††††† Hamich†††††††††††† Small††††††††† 45 Minutes

25††††† 100 Men††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 11/30/44††††† Lindern, Ger††††† Large††††††††† 45 Minutes

26††††† A Race to the River††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 12/1/44†††††† Linnich††††††††††††† Medium†††††† 1 Hour

27††††† King of the Castle††††††††††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 12/7/44†††††† Burburg†††††††††††† Medium†††††† 2 Hours

28††††† The Quarry††††††††††††††††††††††††† NS†††††††††††††††† 12/15/44††††† Bilstein†††††††††††† Medium†††††† 1 Ĺ Hours

29††††† Bouckís Brave Little Band†††† JR†††††††††††††††† 12/16/44††††† Lanzerath, Be††† Medium†††††† 45 Minutes

30††††† Those Green Devils††††††††††††† JR†††††††††††††††† 12/16/44††††† Malmedy, Be†††† Small††††††††† 45 Minutes

31††††† Kampfgruppe-Tactics††††††††††† JR†††††††††††††††† 12/19/44††††† Stoumont††††††††† Large††††††††† 3 Hours

32††††† One Bloody Night†††††††††††††††† BM††††††††††††††† 12/20/44††††† Cheneux†††††††††† Medium†††††† 45 Minutes

33††††† Hassamount Farm†††††††††††††† BM††††††††††††††† 12/20/44††††† La Gleize††††††††† Medium†††††† 30 Minutes

34††††† Fear in the Fog††††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 12/21/44††††† Foy, Belgium†††† Small††††††††† 30 Minutes

35††††† Glider Goodies†††††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 12/27/44††††† Bastogne††††††††† Small††††††††† 45 Minutes

36††††† Trapped!††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† WBW††††††††††† 01/20/45††††† Vosges, Alsace Small††††††††† 1 Hour††

 

CAMPAIGNS

 

Grawolf (5 battles)†††††††††††††††††††††††† NS††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Long Hot Summer (5 Battles)††††† WBW

Company Commander†††††††††††††††††† NS

 

Article by Robert Mayer