The Tactical Art of Combat - The Next Catch-All Combat King?

By Alex Connolly 04 Apr 2016 9

How close do you like your combat? Perhaps measured at the Atomic level? That's what the newly marshaled Tackom studio are asking with their upcoming effort, The Tactical Art of Combat. Set to be the true successor to Atomic's revered franchise of the past, The Tactical Art of Combat is taking the fidelity of Close Combat and stirring in lashings of larger scale grognardian fare like the Theater of War series and Graviteam Tactics. The type of game that can model bullet penetration and dented track-skirts as well as it can accommodate operational shunting.

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From the official site:

"The Tactical Art of Combat will be an entirely new type of game; the only real real-time tactical simulations are Close Combat and Graviteam Tactics, which are both very different. While we will be recognizably a much enhanced and featured type of Close Combat game, that’s really as far as the comparison will go. The game will feature an enhanced 3D world, real ballistics, physics and beautiful 3D world. Many features will not have been seen in any game anywhere. We are aiming to produce the ultimate tactical wargame, one that will get better with each iteration. This is about making the best tactical wargame or real-time tactical simulation as possible. This is not my game or the developer's game, but OUR game and the community's game.

Two guiding principles are at the core of The Tactical Art of Combat. One; to make a game that has as many options as possible. If you don't like one view, switch to another or lock the view/zoom. Want to dive right in? Have a quick battle, outside of campaigns. Want supply/logistics? Pre-bombardment or airstrikes? Realistic morale levels? Pre-deployment and river crossings? Want to award medals, auto award them, promote units, make your own unit? What can be made an option for the player, will be. The other thing is modding. Unity makes modding hard, but not as hard as has been made out and we can always build game specific editors. While we cannot guarantee this first go, we are aiming for this. This is a game for the community, to finally give a new title worth the name after 15 years, something new and fresh."

• Simplicity of use

• Reinforcements in battle

• Stacking Units

• Real Attacks on Op Layer / Real Counter Attacks

• Intuitive Interface – GUI

• Realistic Battlefield simulation

• Improved AI on both SAI/TAI

• Multiplayer (up to 5-10 per side) [Provisional]

• Civilians – Asymmetric Warfare [WW2 Partisans]

• Larger Strategic Area allowing real movement

• Top Down & Isometric Camera View [Options]

• Zoomed Views allowing for accurate height judgement [Options]

• Scalable Soldier Size

• Role playing aspect. [Medals / Promotions etc]

• Tracers and cannon fire in game.

• Unit Stacking on Strat Map

• Triggers [Booby Traps/Mines/Insurgents/Partisans]

• Pre-deployment of pill-boxes, sandbagged mg/mortar positions.

• Importing of Real World Map data [Mission Planning for Military]

• Options for most things, camera angle, game speed, historical, random, importing own map data, importing unit data, changing units loadout,

• Strat map supports, supply, logistics, harbours, railroads, docks, airfields, bridges, Minefields, commands, roads, cutting supply, communications to artillery, air support, Military Manoeuvre, flanking etc

• Night movement

• Realistic Water 

• Command HQ has radius and effect on Strat Map

• Cross Platform

Heady stuff, if a little awkwardly-worded. It's a noble cause, and certainly one serviced by few. The ambition would be a lot more worrying, had I not taken a peek at the Tackom record. Assembled is a seasoned clutch of developers, of whose collective pedigree can list Korsun Pocket, War in the Pacific, the Scourge of War series and Tin Soldiers as prior experience; names like Matrix Games, TalonSoft, Ubisoft and Treyarch bounce around the resume cache.

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The initial focus of The Tactical Art of Combat will be on the Italian campaign of World War II, specifically Anzio and being Churchill's wildcat in place of a stranded whale. If Tackom make good on their lofty promises, it should offer a fantastically varied strategic suite all the way to the Winter Line. 

The developers are also aiming to go beyond just World War II with their project, doing to real-time tactical what The Operational Art of War did for, well, operational strategy in crafting a system to accommodate theatres like Korea, Vietnam and modern asymmetrical conflicts. Catch-all systems haven't always been particularly successful, but if mechanics and modding stretch far enough, this could be a serious tilt for tactical supremacy over even the Combat Mission range. 

We'll keep you updated on the cycle. Until then, sit tight and don't drink the marsh water.

Thanks to JC of Real and Simulated Wars for the heads-up.

Tags: World War II

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