Desert Armor: The Gulf War Brought To Life


Putting a modern spin on historical wargaming, Desert Armor will allow players to experience the First Gulf War from either an American or Iraqi perspective. Scheduled for release sometime next year, this offering from LizardScript promises to be a somewhat unique concept; unlike other 20th Century conflicts, especially the world wars, the Gulf War is a topic rarely explored in strategy titles.

Therefore, Desert Armor could arguably create a niche for itself, catering to a fanbase desperate for more diverse gameplay. However, to reach a definitive conclusion, the premise needs further analysis…

The Premise

A turn-based indie strategy, Desert Armor will depict conventional warfare between US and Iraqi forces in the deserts of the Fertile Crescent. Players will operate on a range of maps, all several thousand metres squared in area, making calculated moves to outflank and outwit their opponent.

There’ll also be a multiplayer option; friends able to control a faction each, competing against one another for tactical supremacy. Alternatively, those preferring to play alone can either leave one side to AI or control both sides to replicate historical engagements in graphic detail.

LizardScript also promises maximum replayability, with players being able to change the balance in numbers and physics of battle before playing a map. Thus, Desert Armor should be fun for both newbies and seasoned pros alike, allowing them to further refine their tactical nous the more time they devote to the game. This should hopefully avoid potential tedium by preventing gameplay from becoming too predictable, allowing players to ‘learn on the job’ in a dynamic, challenging environment.

Desert Armor Gameplay

Firstly, as its name suggests, Desert Armor places heavy emphasis on mechanised warfare, with both US and Iraqi forces deploying a range of armoured vehicles in battle. These vehicles will closely reflect those in service at the time of conflict; various historic units, like the M1 Abrams (USA) and the Soviet-built T-62 (Iraq), will be simulated to a high degree of authenticity.

Each unit type will possess its own set of statistics, detailing its strengths and weakness; thus, players will have the information necessary to devise complex battle plans, deploying the units best suited to facing the enemy according to the local environment.

Desert Armor Gameplay

Speaking of terrain, Desert Armor will also give players limited control over the battlefield itself. Before engaging the enemy, you’ll have the option to select either a more ‘balanced’ map, or one closely reflecting the rugged Middle Eastern environment.

Each map has been carefully designed, possessing varied terrain that must be adapted ad hoc if you are to outflank and defeat your opponent. However, the environment isn’t totally at your mercy; freak sandstorms could occur at any time, damaging your units whilst also upending the dynamics of the general environment. Therefore, players should proceed into battle with caution, to avoid being caught unaware should mother nature decide to intervene.

Furthermore, Desert Armor will include a sophisticated command function, allowing players to micro-manage conflict from start to finish. For example, at the beginning of each turn, your first thought will be to command your forces to manoeuvre. However, there will be several ways of doing this, depending on your preferred approach; if you wish to catch your opponent unawares, you could advance rapidly, opening fire before they’re ready to engage.

Alternatively, you could approach your enemy more slowly, if you wish to wait for artillery support before any commencing battle. Either way, it’s vital to assess the situation before making a decision; one wrong move could see much of your armour wiped out, shattering troop morale.


Overall, it is too early to determine how successful Desert Armor will be; until its release, any further assessment would be largely speculative. Nevertheless, with its fairly unique historical setting and complex tactical functions, it has the potential to shake up a somewhat saturated genre.

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