Steel Panthers это общее название серии тактических пошаговых варгеймов дя компьютеров типа IBM PC. В играх используется оружие со времен Второй мировой войны и до настоящего времени. Первоначально три части игры Steel Panthers разработаны и продаваись компанией Strategic Simulations, Inc. с 1995 по 1997 гг.; дизайн и программирование игр выпонены Gary Grigsby (Гэри Григсби) и Keith Brors (Кейт Брорс). Позднее права на игру были переданы двум самодеятельным группам программистов.
All of the games in the series are quite similar in features and appearance. However, the third part in the original series is clearly distinct in that it offers platoon-size formations instead of the scale of individual tanks and squads of the other installments.
The games offer various modes of play: human vs. human, human vs. AI and PBEM (play by email). The players receive historical military units at the beginning of a scenario and have the option to buy reinforcements with points earned in different ways. The units are then moved on a hexagon grid map similar to a large number of board and computerized wargames. In addition to ready-made battles and campaigns, players can customize single scenarios or create their own campaigns.
The goal is usually to occupy several 'objective hexes' and hold them until the scenario is finished either by completely eliminating the opposing commanders forces or reaching the turn limit.
The game mechanics are basically a streamlined version of the system used by Grigsby's late-80s series of three strategy games for the Commodore 64 and Apple II: Panzer Strike, Typhoon of Steel and Overrun!. The original Steel Panthers series includes the following titles:
- Steel Panthers (1995)
- Steel Panthers II: Modern Battles (1996)
- Steel Panthers III: Brigade Command 1939-1999 (1997)
Rights to the game and source code were later acquired by Matrix Games who developed and released as freeware an improved remake based on the Steel Panthers III engine (but limited to the timespan of World War II):
- Steel Panthers: World at War!
There also exists concurrent development by The Camo Workshop based on the Steel Panthers II code:
- WinSPWW2: Steel Panthers World War 2
- WinSPMBT: Steel Panthers Main Battle Tank (features battles from 1945 to 2020, with 90 different nations to allow for the simulation of a wide variety of different real and hypothetical conflicts)
In 2005 Shrapnel Games took over distribution of SPCAMO's output, handling the distribution of the Windows version of their games. WinSPMBT was released in June of that year as a free download. A CD version with added bonus features was also offered as a commercial product, the first time SPCAMO had charged for one of its games. WinSPWW2 was released on May 15, 2006.
- The Steel Panthers Online website features a full download version (freeware) of Steel Panthers: World at War! ver8.2 as well as an upgrade to 8.4
- The Camo Workshop website Features info and links to full downloads (freeware) of WinSPWW2 and WinSPMBT.
- The SP:WaW DEPOT Features forums where "Steel Panthers: World at War" fans can meet and converse with other members of the community. New scenarios, online and Pbem opponents can also be found here along with many other game related items.
- Shrapnel Games Features download of WinSPMBT, WinSPWWII and purchase of the full version.
- MobyGames' entry for the Steel Panthers Seriesru:Steel Panthers