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More Tech Data on "Spearhead"
and a Link to other Tank Simulation Games

A great site to check out: Tanksim.Com
for tank simulation software:

For a review of "Spearhead" on
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(Dated 1998)


The game developer gives special thanks to:

The U.S. Army
The Army National Guard
Ft. Benning, GA
Ft. Bliss, TX
Ft. Lewis, WA
General Dynamics Land Systems

From Chapter 1 introduction in instruction manual:

While Tunisia is unknown to most Americans, Tunisia is familiar with major land battles. Over fifty years ago, this dry, inhospitable terrain was the site of some of the largest tank battles of World War II as English forces under Montgomery battled German forces under the command of the great Desert Fox, Field Marshal Rommel.

The battles in Spearhead take place on seven large maps. Each map is 16 x 24 kilometers and will take thirty to forty-five minutes to traverse at full speed. These maps represent a logical progression moving south by southeast, pushing the enemy forces back to the Libyan border. All of the maps were created from satellite imagery of Tunisia. These maps may also be used in the Mission Editor (ME) to create your own missions. For more information about the Mission Editor, consult the msnedit.PDF file on the Spearhead CD. Each map is unique and offers distinct tactical advantages. Some maps contain terrain features that are too steep for your tank to ascend, while some contain impassable water in the form of rivers, lakes, and ocean shorelines. All maps contain at least two roads-many contain five roads-and two contain railroad tracks.

The physics model programmed into Spearhead takes into account the terrain type. The softer soil types are at the lower elevations and will slow down all vehicles. The higher elevations contain harder soil types, which will result in faster speeds. However, these higher elevations also tend to include steeper inclines, which will also slow down all vehicles. All vehicles will travel faster on roads, although the type of road affects speed and fuel consumption. Four-lane roads are the fastest, followed by two-lane roads, then dirt roads.

Designer notes in the manual:

The M1A2 is the most lethal armored vehicle ever created. This 72-ton beast can hit and destroy enemy tanks on the move from well over three thousand meters (two miles) away with a single shot. During Desert Storm, not a single M1A1 (the earlier model of the M1A2) was destroyed; the few enemy shells that hit the M1A1 bounced off. While Spearhead was designed as a simulation, it is also intended to be a game. Obviously, such a one-sided match-up would not be enjoyable. Also, while the current round of PC hardware can draw an amazing number of polygons, it cannot yet handle the number required to draw sufficiently detailed terrain for engaging enemies three miles away. As a result, we pulled in the clipping plane on our terrain to sixteen hundred meters (one mile), which ensures that you will see the enemies who are firing at you (provided you are paying attention), and makes the terrain more organic, giving you and the enemy more cover. We also modified the enemy vehicles' lethality and armament to give the enemies a better chance and you a more enjoyable game.

The manual's introduction to fictional story line:

Several divisions of Abrams M1A2 tanks, Bradley M3's, and support vehicles are deploying in Operation Removal. Units from the American 3rd Armored Division are moving out of the city this morning in an apparent sweep south and to the east. Joint Libyan/Tunisian armored columns launched a massive attack last Wednesday, moving north through Tunisia. The attack was made after Libya's dictator accused the president of Tunisia of plotting to assassinate him. The Tunisian-banned underground Islamic fundamentalist party, Al- Nahda (the rebirth), has joined forces with the Libyans. Several divisions of the Tunisian Army, apparently sympathetic to the Al-Nahda cause, have joined with the Libyan forces, while the majority of the Tunisian army continues to fight against the invasion.

Until this invasion, it had not been believed that Al-Nahda had infiltrated the Tunisian armed services. Al-Nahda gained more influence in the region when it began to harbor fundamentalist fugitives, beginning in November of 1996 with a Palestinian convicted in the 1982 Pan-Am bombing. American units have yet to engage the joint Libyan/Tunisian forces, but that is almost certain to occur within the next twenty-four hours as the president has publicly declared all diplomatic efforts exhausted. Congressional opinion appears to be split along party lines. The outcome of the impending conflict is far from certain.

The United States fears that the loss of Tunisia could throw the surrounding countries -- which include the already unstable Algeria -- into disarray. This instability could then spread to the ever volatile, petroleum-rich Middle East. The former Soviet Union, still desperate for hard currency, has continued to sell off its arsenal of weapons, giving the Tunisians and Libyans better weapons than those used by Iraq during Desert Storm. The quick response required and the lack of a solid political coalition has forced the United States to act alone.

Unlike the Desert Storm conflict with Iraq, American units have had little time to prepare, and the Libyans appear to be making none of the costly tactical errors made by the Iraqis. Army sources in Tunisia are privately concerned that the Libyan momentum may be difficult to overcome, and rumors of more sophisticated thermal viewers and munitions in the Soviet-built T-72s being used by the Libyans may result in significantly higher U.S. casualties than Desert Storm. Unless the Americans deployed here can stop the Libyan tanks, military experts agree that the capital may fall in as little as four days. Military consultants believe that the current U.S. Armed Forces' deployment strategy indicates an attempt to sweep south by southeast to prevent the Libyan/Tunisian forces from reaching the eastern coast and to force them back into Libya.

The high level of the overall complexity of the "Spearhead" game is evidenced by the instruction manual's index, shown below:



.50-caliber gun 30, 57
12.7 mm gun 57, 62, 65, 66
120 mm gun 26, 33, 49, 51, 54
122 mm howitzer 60
125 mm gun 54
14.5 mm gun 62
203 mm howitzer 60
227 mm rocket pod 58
25 mm Bushmaster gun 55
2S1 60
30 mm gun 63, 65
7.62 mm gun 26, 33, 62
70 mm gun 66
A-10 Thunderbolt 46, 63
Abrams M1A1 2, 37
Abrams M1A2
  details 54
  guise for 18
lethality 2
Afghanistan 63, 65
AH-64A Apache helicopter 65
air cav 46
Algeria 3
ambulance 53
Apache helicopter 65
armored recovery vehicle 57
artillery 45
ARV 57
Audio Options screen 15
audio settings, adjusting 14
battle maps 5­11
  see also map
Bell helicopter 66
BM21-MLR 58
BMP tank 55
Bradley M2A2 tank 38, 50, 55
BRDM-2 62
campaign 16
  audio settings 14
  video settings 14
chase view 28
  finding chat rooms 19
  finding players 19
  local/global mode 19
  options 18
  secured and unsecured 30, 43
  send/whisper 18
Chat screen 30
  commands 32
  display 37
  view 26, 27
combat components 39
Commander's Independent
Thermal Viewer
  see CITV
  CITV 32
  customizing 69
  driver 35
  frequently used 24
  gunner 34
  IVIS 31
  joystick 31, 34, 35
  keyboard 31, 34, 35
  see chat
Commo screen 43
  see chat
configuring game play 13
configuring the keyboard
or joystick 69
connection mode
  dial-up modem 16
  Internet 18
  null/modem 16
Connection Pref's screen 17
Control Config utility 23, 69
  crew position 30
  cupola 30
  driver position 34
  external view 35
  tank commander 30
coordinates 40
crew position controls 30
  controls 30
  view 26, 30
customizing commands 23, 69
Desert Storm 2, 37, 61
designer notes 2
dial-up modem connection 16
DID 30, 31, 34, 38, 48
display types
  CITV 32, 37
  DID 30, 31, 34, 38, 48
  IVIS 28, 29, 31
  commands 35
  position controls 34
  view 26, 28
Driver's Inegrated Display
  see DID
  tank viewpoints 28
  view controls 35
F117 46, 64
FFAR 70 mm gun 66
  chat rooms 19
  players 19
five-ton truck 53, 56
Frogfoot Su-25 63, 64
game fiction 1
Game Options screen 14
game types 16
getting started 16
global chat mode 19
Global Positioning System 38
glossary 75
guise 18, 53
gunner commands 34
gunner view 26, 27, 33
gunner's primary sight 33
HEAT shell 33, 49, 60, 73
Hellfire missle 65, 66
Hercules M88A2 57
HHB machine gun
  see .50-caliber gun
Hind F Mi-24 helicopter 65
Host screen 20
hosting a game 20
howitzer 45, 60
Hughes AH-64A:
Apache helicopter 65
hull down position 31
hull view 28
Hummer 59
internal tank viewpoints 26
Internet connection 18
Iran-Iraq War 61
  display 28, 29
IVIS display
  command overview 40
  commands 31
  hints on using 50
  overview 37
     Commo 43
     DID 48
     Label 42
     Map Tools 40
     Mision Planning 44
     Video Options 47
  user's guide 37­51


Jeep 59
joining a game 21
  commands 24, 31, 34, 35
  configuring 69
  support 23
  commands 24, 25, 31, 34, 35
  configuring 69
  layout 25
Kiowa OH-58D helicopter 38, 66
Kitolov-2 60
Kuwait 61
Label screen 42
LAN connection 16
layout, keyboard 25
Libya 3
local chat mode 19
M110 60
M113 62
  see Abrams M1A1
  see Abrams M1A2
M270 MLRS 58
  see Bradley M2A2 tank
M88 repair vehicle 46, 59
M88A2 Hercules 57
M998 HEMTT 56
Main Menu screen 13
  Carthage 5
  El Hani 6
  Gafsa 7
  Lacroix 8
  Mareth 9
  Mateur 10
  Sidi Ahmed 11
Map Tools screen 40
MAZ-543 61
Mi-24 Hind F helicopter 65
minefield 67
mission briefing 21
Mission Editor 4, 16, 20
mission maps 5­11
  see also map
Mission Planning screen 44
  connection 16
  null/modem connection 16
modified Bell helicopter 66
  multiplayer game
  chatting 18
  connecting 16
  hints 51
  hosting a game 20
  joining a game 21
  starting 16
  using the IVIS 39
Multiplayer Menu screen 17
night vision 26, 30, 31
null/modem connection 16
OH-58D Kiowa helicopter 38, 66
Oshkosh HEMTT 56
password 20
Patriot missle 61
pickup truck 59
Position/Navigation Sensor Unit
(POS/NAV) 38
R-17 61
Radio Interface Unit 39
Red Crescent ambulance 53
repair and resupply 39
resolution, adjusting 14
RIU 39
road types 35
SABOT shell 33, 49, 73
scout 50
  Audio Options 15
  Chat 30
  Commo 43
  Connection Preferences 17
  DID 48
  Game Options 14
  Host 20
  Label 42
  Main Menu 13
  Map Tools 40
  Mission Planning 44
  Multiplayer Menu 17
  Video Options 14, 15, 47
Scud missle 61
sending a chat message 18
settings, changing 13
SIMNET 16, 18, 53
  game 16
soil types 35
Spandel AT-5 missle 62
  designer notes 2
  game types 16
  keyboard commands 25
  starting a game 16
  terrain 3
starting a game 16
Stinger missle 65, 66
Su-25 Frogfoot 63, 64
T54 ARV 57
T-72 tank
  details 54
  guise for 18
tactics 31, 33, 34, 50
tank commander controls 30
TCP/IP LAN connection 16
terrain 3
thermal viewer 26, 27, 31, 33, 51
  see A-10 Thunderbolt
TOW missle 59, 66
location 3
  maps of 5­11
  political situation in 3
  terrain 3
turret view 28, 29
vehicle types 53­67
Video Options screen 14, 15, 47
video settings, adjusting 14
  chase, turret, or hull 28
  CITV 26
  cupola 26, 30
  driver 26, 28
  gunner 26, 27, 33
  inside tank 26
  outside tank 28
  turret 29
voice-overs 73
volume, changing 14
  see A-10 Thunderbolt
whispering a chat message 18
Yom Kippur War 62

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