Tank Crew – Clash at Prokhorovka is aiming to tell pieces of the Battle of Kursk story from the ground level perspective. It’s a new direction for the IL-2: Great Battles Series and it is an opportunity for the team to take a grounded approach to development while simultaneously drawing on the powerful flight simulation foundation that the series has been building up for a considerable amount of time. The latest developer diary shows us that Tank Crew is continuing to evolve and I’m very excited about the new campaign missions coming in 4.001.
Single player excitement
There are still a couple of tanks remaining for the Tank Crew – Clash at Prokhorovka title which means that it will probably be a few more patches before the title is complete and finished. Still, Tank Crew is about to make some very big strides alongside IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte and Flying Circus Vol 1.
This tank simulation is about to get a major boost for the single player experience in the form of two 10-mission scripted campaigns.
Breaking Point is the Russian campaign with the majority of the tank driving focused on the near ubiquitous T-34 tank. Breaking Point see’s the player commanding the third platoon of the 1st Company of the 250th Tank Battalion. As you can see from the screenshots, the campaign is not short on action!
Meanwhile, Last Chance comes at things from the German perspective. Once again this campaign places you in a leadership role as you command the second platoon of the 5th Company of the 2nd Panzer Battalion.
That commanding functionality is part of the big update that the sim is introducing.
Tank Crew players get the three important gameplay elements which the project lacked before – scenario campaigns, player tank and tank platoon commander functionality, and radio messages.
To give orders as a tank commander, turn the autopilot from the driver seat by pressing A key, then switch to the commander station and press ~ (tilde) key to open the orders menu. After that, you can use the cursor to point at a target or place on the ground and choose what to do, i.e. attack it or move to it, and choose who you’re giving the order to – your own tank, entire platoon or a selected tank in the platoon. There are also many commands that don’t require selecting a point or a target – change formation and spacing, speed, turn at various degrees, move forward or backward, change ammo type, fire from stops, while moving slow or moving at full speed, temporary stop, cease firing and so on).IL-2 Developer Diary Update
Apparently the German campaign will see you use a variety of the Panzer tank types including the IV and III.
These image show the enhanced terrain detailing in full view as tanks crest ridges and move into valleys creating some potentially interesting tactical scenarios.
1CGS is clearly still tweaking the experience and, this being their first tank sim, are still looking to find the right balance between historical accuracy and ease of control. Control changes have caused some controversy in the forums recently but I haven’t had a chance to check out those changes just yet. Hopefully, they will be able to find a control scheme or schemes that suit almost everyone.
Following this 4.001 update, Tank Crew will continue to be developed as 1CGS’s third party partner, Digital Forms, continues to build the tanks for the series. The SU-122 and Panzerkampfwagen V “Panther” have both been seen in development and those plus the SU-152 and Sd. Kfz. 184 “Ferdinand” will round out the Tank Crew drivable vehicle contingent.
Tank Crew has taken longer to complete and I suspect that has a lot to do with it being the first in the series. Still, I have high hopes that tank simmers will continue to express interest in the title and that they together with 1CGS and DigitalForms will help influence the series in the future.
As with Flying Circus, we don’t yet know what 1CGS intends to do with Tank Crew in the future or if it even has a significant future right now but at the moment development continues and 1CGS seems like they have no intentions of slowing down.