Panzer General (and later whole "General" series
) is a classic turn-based
strategy game based on tabletop hexgrid wargames. In campaign mode, player assumes the role of german commander and fights in a series of historical and fictional scenarios (including invasion of Great Britain, German victory in Stalingrad and even the attack on US soil). The novelty during the time of the game's release was not only the long (and in some cases, branched) campaign mode, but also the ability to reuse his troops from previous scenarios. Those units gained experience and carried it from battle to battle and could be upgraded with so called "prestige points", given to the commander for destroying enemy, claiming cities and ending battles in as few turns as possible.
Single missions can be played on both sides--Axis and Allies. Another interesting feature is the multiplayer mode PBEM (Play by e-mail), which enabled matches between players thanks to then-yet-to-be-realised power of the Internet. Incredible achievement for a game released in 1994.
Campaigns and Missions
The game offers 5 campaigns and 38 single missions.
- Poland (1939) - from Poland, through Norway, France, ending with fictional landing on English soil
- North Africa (1941) - North Africa and Middle East.
- Barbarossa (1941) - from the crossing of the Soviet border to Moscow.
- Husky (1943) - from Allies landing on Sicily to the end of the war.
- Kharkov (1943) - from the German eastern spring offensive to the end of the war.
Reviews and Awards
Panzer General scored very high in its reviews. The game was praised for its interesting campaigns and their features, nice visuals (especially the animations shown during the fight between two units) and won the acclaimed Origins Award in 1995 for "The best military or strategy computer game".
Panzer General gained pretty huge popularity in Polish gaming community which started to grow in early '90s. Because of that some polish newspapers wrote negative articles about it, as couple of veterans and historians were offended by the campaign scenarios set in 1939 and by the ability to play as German ( read: EVIL ) forces.