Graviteam Tactics is a game that used to be called Achtung Panzer, but after some sort of nonsense involving the old publisher, they had to change the name when it went on Steam. Or something. I don't know the specifics.
But it's a good game. More people should know about it. It's not very accessible and the UI is confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it's a good time. Though I'll admit, after nearly 25 hours so far, I still don't totally know what I'm doing. That speaks partly to the game's depth, but also how to the lack of transperancy regarding mechanics.
At its most superficial level, it's kind of like a Total War game set in World War II. But it's a lot more of a sim than Total War is, and the design intent is very different. The Ukrainian fellows who made Graviteam Tactics are well known in sim nerd circles for their tank simulators, at least one of which used to be on Steam but doesn't seem to be any more and I don't know why. Their obsession with WWII and tank damage models served them well for making a game of a grander scale, where you command little germans or little soviets in squads and weapons teams, and whose lines of communication and chain of command you must manage as you order them to march onwards towards the slaughter. After a battle in this game, one can find the battlefield littered with meat. Manflesh, to be exact.
You have a bird's eye view of the happenings, starting with the turn-based operations map where you move companies of men and tanks around, check their supply and tell them where and whom to attack. Once a battle commenses you get dumped into the planning stages of the real-time mode, where you set up your little soldiers and give them their opening orders. Opening orders are important, because they have no command cost and allow you to set up your plan and watch it unfold. Your squads and teams for the most part work on their own, though you can of course order them, but they decide on their own behind which trees to take cover, when to shoot and when to hit the deck -- you have no control over such precise details. The best you can do is tell them a general location to move to and a general direction to concentrate their fire. There is little micromanagement in the game, and you are even disuaded from trying to micromanage, as giving orders costs you command and the more into the fire your men get, the harder it is to command them. It's a neat little system, but it isn't readily apparent when you start the game up. It took me more than a few games--and reading more than a few game guides, of which, I might add, there are scant few--to know what the hell the blue bar at the top of the screen meant and why it would change when I tried to order my half-dead, panicking engineer squad to suck it up and advance into machinegun fire (which is a terrible tactic, by the way).
Between battles you can manage your men, splitting up their squads and allocating ammo and fuel for vehicles. It's a fun a little management game, and is pretty simple. You cannot build units in the game, so what you start with is what you get, though there are usually reinforcements showing up on certain turns and whose arrival and availability you are well informed of.
Operations are dynamic and different each time you play, with the possibility of fighting over the same town or the same hill across multiple battles, each side taking and subsequently losing the objective over the course of one or two in-game days. It gives the game a fun, fluid and unpredictable narrative that enhances replayability.
In addition to the operational campaigns, you can also play individual battles with units from force pools on any part of the included maps. What's kind of lame, though, is that you can't set it to have the computer generate the enemy force, so you always know exactly what the enemy has right from the get go. Major bummer for me.
BUT IN CONCLUSION: it is a solid game that deserves more press and more people talking about it.