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The front in Normandy is collapsing - can a handful of Tigers save the day?

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Feeling like a bit of WW2 tank action, I decided to fire up Steel Fury. To be precise, my Steam version, modded with the excellent Japanese Community Mod. This is available here... https://wikiwiki.jp/pzfr/Steel Tank Add-on  ...complete with links and installation instructions (Edge does a fine job translating the site).This is based around version 2.2 of the Steel Tank Add-on (STA 2.2) and is a good free alternative to the donationware ITM mod (itself based on STA 3.4 - I have installs of SF for both).

The JCM adds many new theatres, tanks, troops and missions to vanilla SF, including some unique to this mod. As well as the British A-13 and Centurion Mk.I...

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...and the German super-heavy E-100...

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...there are some 'fakepanzers' which I understand are from a Sony Playstation Panzer game, like this 'E-79'.

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Scrolling through the JCM's long list of missions and campaigns, I decided to go for one that's included in the JCM's own mission pack - 'N158 Highway', with Tigers defending the locality of Cintheaux in August 1944, as the Germans struggled to prevent the Allies breaking out from their bridgeheads.

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The mission briefing doesn't tell me a great deal. I've got two Tigers lined up on the N158 with another apparently independent tank, off to my right, and another, covering our left. There are also some grenadiers in the woods north-west of Cintheaux.

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I decide to push my panzers out to the right, in the hope of reaching a hull-down position on the edge of a low hill, commanding the enemy line of advance.

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We'll be out in the open, but I hope better able to take advantage of our Tiger's long-ranged 8.8cm guns. A bad idea as it will turn out - this is 1944 and there are some enemy weapons more than capable of killing a Tiger.

Panzer, marsch!

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...to be continued!

Edited by 33LIMA
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wow..... geeeee.... All in Japanese. How can i deal with it? You say Edge does a fine job translating the site . How can i do it? i am not familiar with Edge

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If you use Google Chrome, it will translate from Japanese to English for you (it did for me, anyway - the translate button is on the top right).

I often play a few missions of Steel Fury as  break from combat flying. It is a great tank sim, I think the best I have ever played. Downloading the bits and pieces to upgrade it is always a bit obscure, though, the sites are usually in Russian or (now) Japanese. I have the STA add-ons up to 3.32, and all the seasonal weather mods.

It would be great if we had a dedicated download section for Steel Fury and STA here at CombatAce, and maybe a forum too.

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Edited by Gatling20
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Nice pics, Gatling! Yes Edge has a 'translate this page' button too, easy-peasy. The JCM is a great way of getting a comprehensive package with the minimum of fuss.

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Edited by 33LIMA
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Meanwhile, back in Normandy...

...we haven't yet reached our intended fire positions, when there's a warning on the net of jabos - enemy fighter-bombers. Time for the tank commander to duck inside the turret and close his hatch.

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We're still not there when first one, then many more Shermans come racing over the low crest we were trying to reach. I'd gambled on this not happening - and gambled wrong.

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This being the British sector, I'm looking for any with the long and deadly 17-pounder gun. But all these Shermans seem to have seventy-fives. We start picking them off, but they don't stop and seem determined to close the range, or at least find some cover to their front.

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After some increasingly frantic gunnery, the Tigers have stopped the onrush in its tracks - literally.

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After a final scan of the horizon ahead...

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...I decide it's a good time to complete the advance to our planned fire positions.

Once there we halt and tank commanders pop up from under armour, the air threat not having materialised. We're joined by a few hardy grenadiers.

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The crest is almost invisible here and I feel very exposed. But I've no time to do anything about it. Another wave of Shermans crests the horizon. I duck into the cupola and  through the forward episcope, watch my gunner open up on the nearest tank.

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We seem to be hitting but not stopping the Sherman. I drop back into the gunner's seat and take over the shoot.

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Again we punish heavily the advancing Shermans. They seem more resistant than I was expecting to 8.8cm. AP and most seem to need several hits before finally lurching to a halt. In return I'm aware we're being hit too, but everything still seems to be working.

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All that changes when yet another group of Shermans comes into view. These look different. Sure enough, they are Fireflies, the ones with the dangerous 17-pounders.

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I clobber the first one then switch to the next. Before I can finish him, I'm heavily wounded and for me, the battle is over (the STA 3.4/ITM mod lets you play on even after this, but not the STA 2.2-based JCM). We've been overwhelmed!

Nothing for it now but to review the battlefield!

...to be continued!

Edited by 33LIMA
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This is me...or rather, this was me, as at the end of the mission (which continues, so I may be hit again). I've been well and truly plastered with hits, including one from an APDS round. Which one finished me off, I don't bother checking.

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At least two Fireflies are still in action...

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...but we got several of the others...

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Closer in, the battlefield is littered with knocked-out Sherman 75s.

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There's also a troop of Churchills which I hadn't noticed, like this one which is immobilised but still shooting.

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As for our Tigers, all four are lost. This one was my number two...

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While these two were on either flank. from the large craters, they look like the victims of an air attack which I didn't notice, closed up and in the heat of battle.

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SF missions can have variable elements so I'm looking forward to playing this one again - but with different tactics.

Even if you've got the STA 3.4 or ITM mods, a second install with the Japanese Community Mod is a must have, IMHO, given the distinct content. If you like Steel Fury (cheap on Steam and Gamersgate) and haven't got either...what are you waiting for?!

Good hunting!

Edited by 33LIMA
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