Forum Overview :: Reviews
Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder by Jacob 04/26/2005, 1:22pm PDT
Hey, i'm at work, and if my boss comes across this sentance, I will probably be castrated, but alas, i gotta give a disclaimer for my shitty grammar, or massive inarticulation/incoherence.

This is the third in the blitzkrieg series. The former blitzkriegs, ..Blitzkrieg (i didnt play),
and Blitzkrieg: burning horizon [you play as general rommel from the invasion of france through north africa campaign].
It uses the same engine with very minor updates, (i swear it promoted "US in winter-gear!" as a new feature) and in a sense is not much more than an expansion pack in the guise of a full game. Since i never played the original,

The blitzkrieg series is, by far, the most realistic ww2 RTS out there. There are no factories that pump out units, theres no ore trucks harvesting.. ore; you got a tank division, some infantry to scout out enemy positions, supply trucks, and if you're lucky, some good artillery. if high command thinks you're doing a good job, they might even hook you up with some much needed reinforcements. Well, i never need them.

There is a slight RPG element in the form of Core Units. Core units recieve experience points, and are upgradable; and unlike infantry or stewert light tanks, unexpendable; especially when you have a level 4 unit that's in a Sherman jumbo tank. At the begining you're given some M3 Stuart light tanks (shit), but once the upgrades are availible, you can make them into Slugger AT guns or Sherman tanks.

--new stuff--

Theres a new element in this game from the previous games, if you complete bonus missions, you get awarded with new Core units; for instance: you kill all the Vicci officers before they get in thier tanks, you're awarded with a self-propelled howitzer for a core unit. The invincible/invisible sniper/scout from Burning Horizon is now at the mercy of infantry, one shot from his springfield, and infantry will swarm on him; this is compared to being able to wipe out a whole artillery battery so i could capture it with a halftrack full of infantry.

Apparently the multiplayer is also alot better, which is a step up from the non-existant MP in Burning Horizon; although it lacks the in-game browser that seems standard now. I heard the first one also has mp support, but i cant verify how it was. As i will explain, this game has a hell of alot of potential for Multiplayer, except in the case of one attribute: micromanagement.


Any piece of armor you ever dreamt about controlling from WW2, and some depricated shit from ww1, is in this game. Even some theoretical ones, i.e the Maus heavy tank; and by doing so, it really opens the doors for myriad strategies. And when i mean any, I'm serious, you can capture enemy artillery; the germs might have the legendary 88mm FLAK AA guns, but what if they were to suddenly get into your hands?

You could have full bomber-support, but its practically useless until you shell their anti-aircraft positions with your artillery. But how are you gonna find them? send in a recon plane to get shot down, or send in a scout whose prey to infantry? Also, you might want to save up for a fighter escort, or move your anti-aircraft guns to the front, because chances are high that they'll call in fighters to intercept them.

King Tigers can take out a swarm of Shermans, but a well placed Wolverine self-propelled anti-tank gun can bring him to his knees. A matilda infantry tank can wipe out infantry, but an entrenched panzergrenadier can shoot one shot from his panzershrek and smash it to pieces.

The fog of war really gives you a sense of danger at every turn. A couple trees can seperate entire armies, allowing for some devistating ambushes. You'll spend a good deal of time shelling a treeline because there 'might' be some PAK AT emplacements there.

I'll just say that the learning curve in this game is pretty steep. Infantry have 5 different positions (march, prone, charge, etc.), artillery have 3 different forms of bombardment (zeroing, support, and regular). tanks can stuck in traffic jams, supply trucks need access to supply depots. Artillery need supply trucks. Armor and artillery have the ability to entrench themselves with sandbags or dirt, which can make it a real pain in the ass for an assaulting force; just as support trucks and thier endless supply of engineers can dig trenches for infantry to do the same. The sparsely supplimented support trucks do alot of the dirty work, and will end up being your most precious unit: they repair armor, disarm/lay mines, rebuild bridges, etc.

The missions themselves are historically accurate, as the game traces all of Patton's major operations. From liberating Polermo (pain in the ass urban fighting) to redeploying troops from the battered frontlines to prepare for the counter-offensive at Bastogne. The current mission i'm on is the continuation of that redeployment mission, where i have to retreat across a bridge and set up a defensive position on my side; but simotamously make an assault on a fringe town on bastone's flank This is mid-winter, so infantry can pass over frozen parts of the river and ambush my armor. This is the same place where Easy Company spent thier winter in Band of Brothers.

After bringing the Krauts to thier knees as Patton's lackies, you can play approx. 10 stand alone missions, which include battles from all sides. i.e Russia defending Stalingrad against the German assault. This is one of the few missions where you do get a generator. Your tank factories will keep generating T-34 medium tanks and halftracks will keep reinforcing infantry from all over the motherland. You really get a feel for the Russian strategy of swarming. You even get to play as a group of german paratroopers that have to capture a russian supply truck from Soviet partisans so they can hotwire a Russian Heavy tank just in time to fend off a Soviet tank assault. The hardest ones are always against the Japanese, whose Bushido code is enough to make each one of thier god-damn infantry indestructable. Strangly, you cant play as Japan; probably lack of voice actors.


The AI is, however, lagging. Albiet they have dead-on-balls accurate artillery to compensate for it (which is reason why theres a huge hole in my wall), the only strategies the computer will use are predictable scripted ones. You play tons of missions where you have to defend a rediculously long line against waves of german tank assaults; compared to the offensive missions where you'll spend 40 minutes ousting infantry from trenches. The AI wont strategically redeploy units when you break its flank. However, once or twice, and a quickload later, when i left my flank undefended, I found 4 panzers destroying my artillery. I'd like the AI to be more proactive, but hey, at least they're not torrents and torrents of low-level orcs rushing my base.

I dont know, but if any other forum henchmen own a copy, lets try to schedule a game.

I'm not big into RTSs, however the last game I played before this was BFME and i didnt have the desire to finish it. I apologize if this seems slightly fanboyish. I havent played Codename:panzers yet, which really would be the only other game that fits the WW2 RTS motif, and would really be an apt juxiposition. Now as i close, i pray that no one reviewed this yet; but fuck you, i spent all this time reviewing it, and i'll be damned if i dont post it!

Blitzkrieg: Rolling Thunder by Jacob 04/26/2005, 1:22pm PDT NEW
powered by pointy