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Letters from the Front

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The tank was invented 22 years prior, during the First World War, with developments happening in France as the war went on. Tanks of the First World War were very basic as the automotive industry was very primitive at that point.

As the war progressed into 1918, there was a breakthrough in tank design which came in the form of suspension which was developed by an American engineer which allowed tanks to cross battlefields at greater speed.

As the war came to end in November 1918, the doctrine of tank warfare changed as the world entered peacetime and armies started to find ways to not make the same mistakes as those made during the First World War. Armies developed a new doctrine which made the tank a part of combined arms. In addition to helping out infantry ground units, tanks filled out the space that was left by the cavalries of previous wars, including World War I, provided mobile artillery support, and were adapted for different roles.

Throughout World War II, the Allies and the Axis forces were developing tanks prior to the start of the war with Germany having the stronger tanks which outmatched their opponents in their campaigns across Western Europe in 1940.

As the Germans crossed the Belgian border, their primary objective was to tie down the French and keep the French away from those units breaking out of the Ardennes Forest. With the French now tied down and their flank exposed, the Germans now were able to push through to their main objective, the English Channel which would encircle the Allies and destroy them. For the Allies, especially for the French, the plan in Belgium was to prepare a long defense at Gembloux, west of Hannut so the French sent two armored units ahead to Hannut to delay the German spearhead and give time for the French to dig in.

After the Battle of Gembloux and Hannut which would become the first major tank battle of the Second World War, the French retreated into Lille where they delayed the Germans during the Siege of Lille and was a key part of pulling off the evacuation at Dunkirk.

PANZERSTORM

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After two weeks on the market, Battlefield V is entering into its first Tides of War chapter and its first big patch. The Tides of War is Battlefield V’s live service and each new chapter will further along the Second World War as it happened in real life 79 years ago with brand new theatres of war like Greece and new armies entering the conflict.

It hasn’t been a very good start to the Tides of War Live Service since DICE delayed the update by one day. DICE had to hit the ground running but instead, they fell over and hit their head which doesn’t look good when you’re releasing your first post-launch content for a game that has already had enough trouble as it is and failing to release your expansion on the day of doesn’t look too good but we are now underway and the Live Service has begun.

This first chapter of the Tides of War focuses on the early aspects of the Second World War with the German blitzkrieg racing across Western Europe towards Britain and the Channel ports in “Fall Gleb,” the German invasion of Western Europe. It brings a load of new content like a practice range and some new weapons, but most importantly, it brings a new multiplayer map called Panzerstorm. Panzerstorm is inspired by the Battle of Hannut, the first major tank battle of the Second World War before the war reached the heights that it did in 1942 and 1943.

Panzerstorm is the largest map to date in the map rotation and it is specifically built around tank warfare and around the gameplay surrounding tanks. The map has huge open fields and pretty huge distances from capture point to capture point. This map is dedicated to tankers and pilots and not so much for infantry since it has a huge focus on vehicles.

There are some fun spots to play around as infantry and you can fight back against tanks but you won’t find much here if you’re mainly an infantry player. You’re going to be outmatched and outgunned by enemy pilots and enemy tankers, it can be a little disheartening to play as infantry on this map. You can twist the map to your playstyle if you’re infantry but you won’t get much out of it.

PRACTICE RANGE

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Along with the Panzerstorm map, Overture brings a practice range. The practice range makes a return from Battlefield 4 where it was last seen.

The practice range is exactly what it is. You can practice your aim, you can use different weapons and learn each recoil pattern and you can practice how to use an airplane if you’re lacking in that department. The biggest disappointment of the Practice Range is that it is limited to novice players who are just starting out. It’s practically useless to me since the practice range doesn’t have what I want: it doesn’t have specializations for planes or doesn’t have specializations for weapons and I hope DICE adds not only this but more things in as the Tides of War continue.

This first post-launch content is decent at best. The road has only just begun and I hope that DICE sees the promise that Battlefield V has with this service and their idea of starting the base game and this first expansion pack off in 1940. The road from here is endless and there are many different paths that one can take from this route. Let’s hope DICE recognizes the opportunity here and act on it. This is a good start to a promising journey.

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