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Review - Flashpoint Campaigns - Red Storm

Flashpoint Campaigns – Red Storm is all about the Cold War that turned hot in the 80s and puts you in command of a NATO or Warsaw Pact Battlegroup in Germany. The game itself originated from a previous title called Flashpoint Germany, released back in 2005 by Simulations Canada, a veteran of grognard board-wargames since 1977. Flashpoint Campaigns – Red Storm (FPC-RS) focuses on combat and manoeuvre on a tactical rather than an operational level. The initial release comes with 20 scenarios and 3 campaigns, that pit players against each other via PBEM, Head-to-Head, or Slitherine's game server or just oneself against a quite competent AI. Alternatively you can just watch the bloody action and tension of post-WWII combat of an AI vs. AI slugfest as it unfolds on your screen, highly recommended to test user made scenarios as well. In-Game time can range from a few hours for a quick battle to half a day. Players also have the option to fight through a campaign of linked scenarios for NATO or the Warsaw Pact.


Game Data & Map
The forces available in FPC-RS represent a range of units of the Warsaw Pact, the US Army, the West German Army (Bundeswehr), the British Army of the Rhine (BOAR) as well as Canadian units. The main map covers an area of 20x15km and hex tiles each represent 500m. Hexes are rated for cover and elevation, which in turn affects combat and other game aspects such as visibility and rate of movement.Bild4

All major units and their equipment, from the late 70s to the mid-late 80s, are present from squad to battalion level (Warsaw Pact forces up to brigade level) and the equipment and forces database can easily be modified without any special knowledge using an off the shelf text editor like Notepad++ (http://notepad-plus-plus.org/). All information can be accessed and modified using Excel or any software that allows editing of .XLS files. The OOB and TO&E database, as well as the counter, vehicle and units graphics, can be modified and in theory (though I haven't tried it out yet) one could re-create even WWII tactical battles à la Panzer Leader (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2639/panzer-leader)!


The terrain hex graphics I have to admit appeal perhaps only to Grognards and boardgame enthusiasts. The hexes are stylized terrain tile graphics that bring back memories of boardgame map boards and earlier conflict simulations of the 90s. However, the maps themselves and the terrain tiles can be modified too. There's already a mod available for the existing battle maps that came with the original release. The counters and units are represented by vehicle silhouettes or standard NATO symbols. One of the greatest features of FPC-RS is the built-in map creation utility which, together with a freely available program, allows for integration with Google Earth.

Interface & Game System
Giving orders to the troops is a piece of cake. A simple right-click on a unit opens the orders menu. Multiple units up to and including a whole formation such as a tank company for example can be highlighted, selected and orders then issued to them. The available set of orders for a unit/formation includes – movement (deliberate, hasty and assault stance), on-call and various bombardment missions for artillery (including counter-battery), air-strikes and more. Once the orders are issued they are, depending on the actual C3 (command, control, communication) level of the formation, modified by the Electronic Warfare factor in effect, executed. Because the system uses a WEGO rather than an IGOUGO turn sequence, orders of both sides are executed during the combat and movement resolution phase simultaneously. During the execution phase, the system uses the OODA (observe, orient, decide, act) loop (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop), a concept applied to the combat operations process



Conclusion & Rating

Wargames, or as I prefer to call them, CoSims, in my opinion should be fun to play, paired or even combined with realism, and FPC-RS does just that. Granted, the outdated terrain hex graphics need some update or re-working, which will most likely be done by the community of CoSim enthusiasts anyway. However, the main attractions are not only the innovative game system, including the application of the OODA loop to the game's mechanic, but the ability to modify existing scenarios/campaigns, OOBs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_battle), TO&Es (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TO%26E) and the weapons systems database itself. The AI, depending on the user-selected game environment settings, does a credible job, but playing against a human being is far more interesting and challenging.


Wertung 80

Graphic 6
Sound 6
Usability 8
AI 9
Game Fun 9




Genre: Hardcore-Strategy
Publisher/Developer Matrix Games / On Target Simulations
Release 09.10.2013



38,99 Euro+tax 
Download Version



System (Minimum):

CPU 1.4 GHz or faster (can use multi-core)
Hard Drive Space: 0.5 GB
OS: Windows XP or better with DirectX 7 or higher
Min Resolution 1024 * 768, 64k colors
Video Card DirectX 7 compatible or greater
Sound Optional, DirectX 7 compatible
Internet Connection for Multiplayer PBEM++












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