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Old 09-15-2021, 07:13 PM   #1
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Icon14 M1 Tank Platoon II

Hello!

I am new to this forum but am a longtime tanksim player.

Recently, a neighbor gave me two old desktop PCs that he was about to discard. One of them is a 1999 IBM Aptiva with a 475 MHz processor. I cleaned it up and installed Win98, a Voodoo2 3Dfx card, and M1 Tank Platoon 2!

Itís a trick getting a decent game port compatible joystick to work correctly. It seems my really good USBCH 3D Pro Extreme will not work with this machine.

Just wondering - has anybody here ďbeatenĒ M1TP2? Completed all campaigns, training, etc?

I bought it when it came out but did not give it a chance. My computer was running XP at the time and I didnít have a 3Dfx card so I couldnít really get into it.

Well - now, Iím motivated! Iím gonna beat this thing! PC runs, 3D works, joystick works, REDCON-1!!!

Has anybody got any tips?
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Old 09-15-2021, 09:23 PM   #2
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Default Welcome aboard!

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Old 10-01-2021, 04:08 PM   #3
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Icon14 Update

I just returned from extensive travel and just now got a little time in with M1 Tank Platoon 2. I also got my good USB joystick working with Win98. The old gameport joysticks aren’t of sufficient quality to work with this game. Just like in Steel Beasts, a good joystick is a requirement!

All basic training missions complete! Working on the advanced NTC training missions.

I’ll post my progress as I play this simulation. I hope to beat the whole thing before the end of October.
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Old 10-01-2021, 08:40 PM   #4
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This MPS game fares quite OK on Win10 using dgVoodoo and DXWnd. Gameplay is a little aged though. Gunship! has better tank AI actions but of course, you cannot fight there in the tank. Good Luck and give us your take and impression.
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Old 10-01-2021, 11:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Polak2 View Post
This MPS game fares quite OK on Win10 using dgVoodoo and DXWnd. Gameplay is a little aged though. Gunship! has better tank AI actions but of course, you cannot fight there in the tank. Good Luck and give us your take and impression.
Yes, I looked into DXWnd and trying to get it to run that way but it was just too much. Plus, I only have Win7 on my best desktop. I will probably do it on my next PC.

And - coincidentally, I have been watching YouTube videos of Gunship! That title is also tailor-made for this PC so I can foresee buying a copy on eBay eventually as well.

The fun of this project is actually having a 22 year old computer to play the old game on. I had a lot of fun cleaning the PC up, re-pasting the CPU heatsink, installing a new CMOS battery, installing the 3Dfx card and even adding an “IBM blue” case fan to keep things cool in there.





I will definitely keep you guys posted. I’ll be working my way through the campaigns.

Last edited by RetroGamer; 10-01-2021 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 10-02-2021, 05:27 AM   #6
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Cannot argue with the draw of nice and warm nostalgia memories.
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Old 10-02-2021, 04:06 PM   #7
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I only add that the manual is really very well written and gives nice and interesting overviews especially in the subject of doctrines, strategy, and tactics of modern tank units. Application of all of that in the game rather in question.
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Old 10-07-2021, 01:44 PM   #8
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Default M1 Tank Platoon 2

Yes, I was in a Bradley Mech Infantry Batallion in the Army. I went through an NTC rotation as an M3 Scout Platoon Leader. We worked alongside the M1 tanks just as depicted in the game.

And, yes, the manual is very accurate. However, I havenít figured out how to do bounding overwatch, for example, in the game. I donít think thatís even possible.

Yeah - the manual is describing tactics that canít really be used in the game.

Some stuff is inaccurate. The OP Orders for example. The mission statement should be one clear sentence.

No problem, this one is a keeper. Iím going to take care of the win98 machines that can run this masterpiece.

I completed all training and beat one campaign. 4 more to go.
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Old 10-07-2021, 02:37 PM   #9
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And, yes, the manual is very accurate. However, I haven’t figured out how to do bounding overwatch, for example, in the game. I don’t think that’s even possible.
Yeah - the manual is describing tactics that can’t really be used in the game.
It is clearly evident that the project was to be continued into M1TP3/Gunship! and in fact already in Gunship! one can see how the AI tactics evolved. It is such a shame that this was cut short and unless current MPS does something it was all for naught.

Watch this clip from Gunship! just for a little glimpse of better tank AI they made then:


We perhaps never know what was on their drafting boards when M1TP3 got canceled.
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Old 10-10-2021, 05:53 PM   #10
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Ö.. and unless current MPS does something it was all for naught.

We perhaps never know what was on their drafting boards when M1TP3 got canceled.
I have heard Microprose is being resurrected. They would be smart to complete Tank! But, even if all we will ever have is M1TP2 and Gunship! Thatís good enough for me. I do remember everybody being mad at Hasbro for canceling Tank! It doesnít seem that long ago - boy, time flies.

Iíve beaten 3 of the 5 M1TP2 campaigns on ďEasyĒ setting. The game is a lot simpler than the manual led me to believe. I actually think the intimidating manual scared me away from giving the game a chance when I bought it 20 some odd years ago. That was stupid on my part because this sim is fantastic.

Gunship! and another Creative Voodoo2 card for SLI mode sounds like good Christmas presents for this retired soldier and the recently brought out of retirement Aptiva PC!!!

Iíll let you guys know when Iíve beaten every mission. I donít think itíll take much longer.

Once I do, I might replay it on a harder setting.
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:13 PM   #11
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Your posts are inspirational to me.
And I too have very soft spot for some of the old simulations.

Although I prefer to try to work them on the modern systems (and sometimes that makes me want to cry!). Still, I am of the opinion that modern hardware with all the associated horse power gives the right environment to experience old games without worrying about FPS and all that performance stuff. I realize that 3dfx drivers for Voodoo cards gave some of the games very special flavor, but I am not sure if that is really the case or that was just that we were awestricken with then what you would consider better graphics or we simply did not know any better.

I run M1TP2 on Win10 64 on dgVoodo2 glide wrapper and with some help of DXWnd configuration program. Sounds may be complicated but it is really not.

Be as it may, I leave you to your old Aptiva as long as it works for you.

About M1TP2 in general: I have recently scoured the internet and recovered an entire wealth of old articles, tactical guides, and quite nifty modding tools. I gladly share that with you or anyone interested. Unfortunately, just like you were a little disappointed with the game vs depiction of things in the manual, I was also saddened to discover that a rather primitive terrain and perhaps simplistic gameplay gave me no deeper satisfaction I was hoping for in reviving this game.

By no means do I say this to discourage you from exploring this tank sim. To the contrary, I am as you see very eager for any news of your exploits and experiences which maybe I had missed. So keep on posting your story and perhaps we can find more fun and entertainment in this old Microprose gem.
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Old 10-11-2021, 12:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Polak2 View Post
Your posts are inspirational to me.
And I too have very soft spot for some of the old simulations.

By no means do I say this to discourage you from exploring this tank sim. To the contrary, I am as you see very eager for any news of your exploits and experiences which maybe I had missed. So keep on posting your story and perhaps we can find more fun and entertainment in this old Microprose gem.
Thanks, Polak2!! When my neighbor was about to toss those old desktops, I explained to him that PC gaming peaked right around the time those machines were sold. Back in the late ‘90s developers were producing great programs for desktops. Mechwarrior 2, Earthseige, The Armored Fist series of tank games, etc. Not being a gamer, he kinda just laughed and said, “take ‘em. Just wipe the hard drives.”

It was really fun wiping the drives, cleaning the hardware, replacing the broken CD-ROM drives, and reinstalling everything!!

Regarding M1 Tank Platoon 2, I noticed the gunnery is very similar to the original Steel Beasts which I also have installed on the IBM Aptiva. Sometimes, I’ll do the gunnery range in Steel Beasts, then jump into M1 Tank Platoon 2. I programmed my joystick to operate the same in both sims.

I’ve also got iM1 Abrams installed as well as all 3 Armored Fist sims.

I was in a Bradley Mech Infantry Natl Guard unit when all these tank sims came out so I was really really into it. The ones below are the most significant to me and I’ve got them all installed and running.

M1 Tank Platoon, 1989 - classic sim. Played it for hours, great manual.

Armored Fist, 1994 - Everybody expected this to be a sequel to M1 tank Platoon. It was kind of an arcade type sequel and if you have a gameport joystick with a hat switch, you can manually target enemy tanks and make it more realistic. I’ve beaten all 47 missions dozens of times. This game runs better in DOSBOX than it ever did in true DOS with mechanical joysticks. This is one game that I intend to get an advanced programmable joystick and HOTAS controller and tear through the entire game once more without ever touching the keyboard or mouse.

M1 Tank Platoon 2 - 1998

Steel Beasts - 2000

T-72 - 2005. A great Russian game that the Steel Beasts community (foolishly) rejected. This begins the new era of WinXP and above sims. I’ve lost all interest in anything that came out afterward.

Hopefully, Gunner, Heat, PC will be good. I will need to get out my new computer for that one.

Anyway, absolutely - stay inspired, keep those skills sharp and those PCs running fast!!!

Last edited by RetroGamer; 10-11-2021 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 10-11-2021, 05:38 AM   #13
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@ RetroGamer
I see you are familiar with all modern tank simulators are one can possibly be.

Your military job background from you have recently retired makes it not perhaps so much automatic or obvious, but rather very interesting as you have a really good feel backed by the experience to draw good comparisons, conclusions, and opinions on how those games and simulations adhere to the reality.

For me as having no such experience but just some familiarity with tank simulations I put the original Steel Beasts1 on the top of the stack. Despite some simplifications in the terrain and graphic, in general, the AI, terrain, graphics, editor, and gameplay (including multiplayer) was of the most intense and engaging and still, some 20 yrs later, are fondly remembered and revered. I know, that the Steel Beasts Pro PE which came in the second iteration of that brand was, and perhaps still is, more superior although SB1 holds in my heart and memory a very special place.

I also submit to you all that SB1 is still as playable and it was and it is the most perfect tool to acquire some basic modern tank experience with the bonus of being able to be as realistic as any without military background may wish to have.

You @RetroGamer are in a very interesting situation as you are a professional able to distinguish the true value of learning about tanks from fiction. I suggest that we continue this conversation and maintain contact over here.
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Old 10-11-2021, 01:05 PM   #14
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I also submit to you all that SB1 is still as playable and it was and it is the most perfect tool to acquire some basic modern tank experience with the bonus of being able to be as realistic as any without military background may wish to have.

You @RetroGamer are in a very interesting situation as you are a professional able to distinguish the true value of learning about tanks from fiction. I suggest that we continue this conversation and maintain contact over here.
Hey, Thanks! I don't want anybody to think I am more than I am. I was in the National Guard and was activated for Desert Shield/Storm but I didn't retire from the guard. I did, however, recently retire from my job, which involved computer forensics.

My unit went through an NTC rotation in 1991 and it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. There was not a thing fun about it. I was worried sick that one of my guys was going to flip a track (we were M3 Scouts and moved at night), fall off a cliff, have an accident, etc. etc. We were sleep deprived which, frankly, is very dangerous when operating heavy machinery like M3 Bradleys. I was also worried that any laziness on my part would get men killed. If I didn't pay attention to every word, it could cost lives. No fun there, LOL!!

We trained in real simulators called the M-COFT and U-COFT. (Conduct Of Fire Trainer) It was a mockup of a Bradley gunner and commander station and was taken very seriously. The graphics looked just like M1 Tank Platoon but the operation was just like Steel Beasts.

Anyway, I think that's why I like Armored Fist 1994 so much. It's not super realistic, but not a total kids arcade game either. You are correct, Steel Beasts is the gold standard for tank and mech gunnery. It is very realistic. M1 Tank Platoon 2 is realistic in that you have to constantly stay aware of where you and your other vehicles are. Almost too realistic...kinda stresses me out again, LOL!

Computers are great devices for keeping the mind active. Part of the fun for me is getting them ready, running diagnostics like memtest, Prime95, 3DMark, scandisk, etc to thoroughly stress each component.

I'm still working on completing M1TP2. Thanks for the feedback! I'll keep you guys posted!!!!
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Old 10-11-2021, 03:06 PM   #15
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I'm still working on completing M1TP2.
Indeed we should try to stick to the M1TP2and try to explore all and any aspect of its gameplay.

For good or for bad alike.

What I mean by saying "for good" is that we may discover something in the gameplay of M1TP2 which wasn't known to us before, and for "bad" if this discovery will lead us to establish that the game was not really finished as purported in the manual or guides.

I hope that we persist in this task and hopefully, we can gather other members of this community to join and enjoy this trip into the past with us.

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