I recently had the pleasure of reading the book Spearhead by Adam Makos. It’s an exciting highly descriptive book detailing the actions of tank crews of the 3rd Armored Division in their drive from Normandy to the end of World War Two in Europe.
His very vivid narrative of individual tank actions will keep you on the edge of your seat. Adam has captured the shear terror of being a member of a U.S. tank crew going up against superior German armor such as the dreaded Panther tank. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in armored warfare during World War Two. It's currently on the New York Times Best Sellers List and available on Amazon.
In 2011 Iron Front was released by Deep Silver, a now defunct game design company. Many of us who were fans of WWII, couldn’t wait to get our hands on it. This game was completely different from other tank games such as World of Tanks. It was detailed and highly tactical in nature. The maps were huge and based on actual terrain from WWII. You could be a German, Russian or U.S. tanker, infantryman or a pilot.
You were able to portray an individual tanker (see image to the right) that could walk around, jump into any crew position and move around the whole battlefield in an open sandbox environment. You also had the ability to create your own missions utilizing the robust editor. This was far from the arcade style of World of Tanks.
I didn’t know it at the time, but one of the reasons this game was so realistic was its game engine that was based on the popular military simulation, ARMA 2. Actually, I’ve become an avid player of ARMA 2 and its current version ARMA 3 for several years.
A few years ago, the ARMA modding community re-visited Iron Front and updated it to the ARMA 3 enhanced game engine. This new modded version of the game was also improved by the addition of new larger maps and the Invasion ‘44 vehicles. When the Faces of War mod was released, the frosting was finally applied to the cake. Faces of War gave us new uniforms, vehicles and maps that would allow a mission builder to create scenarios from North Africa to Guadalcanal.
This is now the state of Iron Front – ARMA 3.
As I read Spearhead, I kept seeing the author’s very descriptive narrative in the form of Iron Front game play. Almost everything he wrote about armored battles could easily be translated into an exciting Iron Front mission. The germination of this ARMA 3 military simulation unit started to take shape in my mind.
My objective in founding this new milsim unit is to offer our members an unbelievable realistic gaming experience. One that captures the essence of WWII armor operations and reflects the actual tactics employed by those heroes operating in the deadly arena of WWII Europe.
Spearhead will achieve this by creating a serious gaming environment where members are part of a highly disciplined team representing Easy Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Armored Regiment, 3rd Armored Division.
All members will be trained to effectively perform their individual duties within a WWII Sherman tank. Each tank has five fighting positions; commander, gunner, loader, driver and bow gunner. You will learn your duties to become an invaluable member of your tank’s crew.
We want to stress one important thing, this is no World of Tanks game. Iron Front – ARMA 3 is a serious military simulation where ALL members operate in a realistic WWII environment attempting to move their way through the actual battlefields of Europe for ultimate victory. This probably won't be your cup of tea if you are an avid WoT player. However, if you are into ARMA 3 and looking for a challenge and something different, we'd love to have you as a member.
When you start thinking like a WWII tanker during missions, we have achieved our goal of providing you with one of the most immersive WWII gaming experiences.
To paraphrase Adam’s Introduction to Spearhead…
Is the world ready for such a Milsim Unit?
There’s only one way to find out.
Shut the hatches.
Tighten your chin straps.
It’s time to roll out.
You can be this U.S. Army tanker