A true grognard's dream, Steel Panthers is one of the deepest hardcore strategy games depicting armored battles throughout the many campaigns of WW II, in both the European and Pacific theaters of war. Taking a top-down, turn-based approach, SSI had players fighting for strategic locations on hex map. The player took the side of either an Allied or Axis power in linked scenarios or standalone battles, depicting campaigns like the German invasion of both Poland and France, Russians fighting the Germans in the Eastern Front, and Allied forces moving from the west in famous actions like D-Day, Market Garden, and a what-if scenario involving a clash between immediate post-war America and Russia... among others.
Additionally, every unit, from heaviest tank to lightest infantry is exhaustively rated in destructive power, ammo capacity, movement speed, protection (all 4 sides of a tank are rated seperately!), even going as far as rating individual unit officers for their combat and troop rallying skills. Also, units in the campaign level up with experience and kills, giving the player a reason to use their forces economically, and not throw lives away if at all possible. Players may also temporarily purchase support units, artillery, and air support to help soften up the opposition.
Eventually bolstered by mission packs and two sequels, Steel Panthers is one of the shining lights in a dying breed of hardcore military sims.