Steel Beasts Overview

Guest Contributor Max “Tyco” Hall gives us an introduction to the best modern tank sim…

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Steel Beasts, that tank game that costs like 100 bucks?

Back in 2006, a young version of myself picked up an expensive tank game. I played around with it for a couple weeks and then left it on the shelf. Last year, with the release
of its yearly update, I reinstalled Steel Beasts, and boy am I ever glad that I did!

For the past decade, eSim games’ Steel Beasts Pro Personal Edition (or just Steel Beasts to everyone else) has been the benchmark for modern armor combat simulations. Used by actual militaries around the world, it is a company level simulation of modern tank combat. Although the price may seem daunting at first, once you get past the price tag you will find a simulation that exceeds all expectations. With its detailed unit models and tank interiors, to its incredibly robust mission and map editors, it provides almost endless possibilities for fun. While it may not be the most modern sim in terms of graphics, eSim game’s yearly updates keep the game up to date.

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What’s In the Box?

In its current state Steel Beasts provides a large variety of vehicles players can fully operate alone or with friends (yes Steel Beasts boasts multicrew capability!):

Battle Tanks

  • Leopard 1A5 (DK)
  • Leopard AS1
  • Leopard 2A4 (GE)
  • Leopard 2A5 (DK)
  • Leopardo 2E (ES)
  • M1 (US)
  • M1A1(HA) (US)
  • STRV 122 (SW)
  • Challenger II (UK)
  • T72M1
  • (Export)

IFVs/PCs/Others

  • M2A2 Bradley
  • M3A2 Bradley
  • M113A3
  • M113AS4
  • ASLAVPC
  • ASLAV25
  • NZLAV
  • CV9030FI
  • CV9035DK
  • CV9040B
  • CV9040C
  • Pizarro
  • BTR80
  • BRDM2
  • Bushmaster
  • Centauro

Other Playable Vehicles

  • HMMVV with cal .50 HMG
  • HMMVV with TOW
  • Eagle IV
  • GTK Boxer
  • FISTV (artillery observer)
  • Canadian UAV
  • Swedish UGV

Some of these vehicles like the M2A2 Bradley, M1 Abrams, Leopards and CV90s, have a fully modeled interior. Others, like the Challenger, have only a basic interior. Regardless of interior textures all the vehicles listed have fully modeled fire control sights and systems. Unless you’re commanding, you usually have yourself glued to those sights anyways.

Infanty is modeled too.
Infanty is modeled too.
M1A2 interior
M1A2 interior
Leopard 2A5
Leopard 2A5
Soviet era Night Vision (Can you spot the tank?)
Soviet era Night Vision (Can you spot the tank?)

In addition to the playable units there are a number of other units that can be placed in the mission editor; these range from helicopters, cars, buildings foliage, artillery and
engineering units.

This brings us to perhaps Steel Beasts’ best feature: its map and mission editor. Allowing a scenario designer to not only create their own missions, but to design the map it is
played on, sets Steel Beasts apart from its peers. Included with the game are a large number of maps ranging from Ft. Bragg in the US, to the Fulda Gap, to the deserts of Iraq. All of these maps are customizable and allow a scenario designer to add buildings, roads, and even change the terrain itself. Admittedly the scenery graphics are showing their age quite a bit these days, but eSim has announced that Steel Beasts will be getting a new terrain engine next summer.

Playable area is 6.38 x 6.38 km selected from the larger map.
Playable area is 6.38 x 6.38 km selected from the larger map.

Terrain may not be the prettiest, but it is vast!

Though Steel Beast does not look as pretty as some more modern simulations, it definitely boasts substance over style. The steep price tag may seem expensive at first but you will not regret your purchase.

Max “Tyco” Hall

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