Iron Warriors: Yours For Shrapnel

Three ways to ensure your tank game vanishes without trace in Western Europe and the US: Set it during the Yugoslav wars of the early Nineties. Fill it with Russian driveables. Give it a silly title. T-72: Balkans On Fire (later renamed Iron Warriors) sold like stale buns west of Beograd when it launched in 2005. A bit of a shame that, because it’s actually a rather solid armour sim. It’s certainly worth the paltry £1.49 Steam are currently asking.

For the price of a posh loaf of bread or a controlling interest in an Icelandic bank you get three steely steeds – the T-72, the T-55 and the T-34 85 – spacious deformable battlefields, plus decent ballistics, AI, and damage modelling. What you don’t get is 3D interiors, intuitive key assignments, or the chance to crush Zastavas full of ethnic cleansers, but at this price who cares. Sim bargain of the year so far!


  1. Heliocentric says:

    God’s sake man! I’ve just gotten 2 games on steam today, and now you want me to get more? I might as well try and get a job at valve for the discount! I could bribe them and still save money over all… [/wait]

  2. Xercies says:

    Does it have extensive mods bettering it, I think that’s the sign of a quality mod which has a big community bettering the game all the time.

  3. dadioflex says:

    “God’s sake man! I’ve just gotten 2 games on steam today, and now you want me to get more?”

    Heh. I got Darkstar One, Ghost Master and the Peggle pack off Steam and tried GOG for the first time with the Messiah/Second Sight pack and all for about half the price of one new game at retail.

  4. Pascal Leduc says:

    Tank sim?


  5. Tim Stone says:

    Xercies: There’s a few mission packs floating about and a replacement UI, but that’s about it. Considering the T-34 and Sherman are already in, I’m surprised no-one attempted a WW2 conversion.

    Having played a couple of missions this afternoon I’ve been reminded of the sometimes ropey framerates (possibly curable through options fiddling) and, on the more positive side, the lovely debriefs with their individually-labelled shell impacts. In my last mission my little T-34 was killed by a single T-72 shell that went clean through the turret at about the level of the gunner’s head. Grim.

  6. Azazel says:

    Iron within, iron without?

  7. Richard J says:

    While I remember – Steel Fury is going fairly cheap in some Games at the mo. It’s surprisingly fun, and really brings out how much the God-awful ergonomics of the early T-34 took away most of its theoretical advantages.

  8. Warduke says:

    Thanks for the heads up. Sold!

  9. pepper says:

    I love tank sims, i still need to get the Tiger VS T-34 someday, and this first perfectly in the same line, i already looked at it a few times before.

  10. Heliocentric says:

    Augh! This is as bad as resident evil 5. Bloody tank controls… [/assumption]

  11. Cigol says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I’m sure it’s deserving of its budget price so I’m not expecting anything earth shattering, but it’s always nice to find a bargain.

  12. Fat Zombie says:

    That’s pretty good. I’ll have to try the demo to see how it runs on my ancient system, mind, but since it’s from 2005 I have a possible chance.

  13. pepper says:

    It can be quite heavy zombie, i havent found the advanced configuration controls yet, even though its mentioned in the manual.

  14. Hi, I am a panzer says:

    Tim: I’m considering getting one of the tank sims that was published by Lighthouse just before they went under. Have you tried any of them (Steel Fury and T-34 vs. Tiger)? If so, which would you recommend to someone new to the genre (well, I played Sherman M4 on the Amiga, but that’s it)? I played the Iron Warriors demo, but it seemed a bit too complex…

  15. pepper says:

    Well, i think all there games are too complex, what tank is featured in Iron warrior demo? The T72 is rather easy to control, although you need to keep the manual with you, the T-34 is a bit harder, but if you get a kick out of controlling the systems in a simulator way then its fun. For me it is, you just need to get over the slightly barren landscape(denser forrests would be nice).

    T-34 VS Tiger looks harder, atleast that is what i have been able to see from the footage.

    Here are a few reviews from tanksims, it might help you, you could always ask for clear answers on there forums:

    link to

    T-34 VS tiger:
    link to

    Steel Furry: Karhkov:
    link to

    I hope this helps you.

  16. Tim Stone says:

    I am a panzer: Steel Fury is superior to T-34 vs. Tiger in almost every respect (no MP though). If you struggled with Iron Warriors, you might find it a bit of a handful though.

    Have you tried tank combat in Red Orchestra? Much of the fun and the flavour of a tank sim, but a fraction of the controls and the complexity.

  17. pepper says:

    Forgotten HOpes 2, a modification for BF2 also has quite a nice tank combat, although i wouldnt buy BF2 for it since the current version lacks diversity.

  18. Tim Stone says:

    Basic Iron Warriors keys/processes

    Starting from cold:
    E – ignition (keep it pressed for a while)
    Up Arrow – throttle up
    B – release parking brake
    A – go into first gear

    (Crude) gunnery procedure
    F6 – switch to gunner station
    LMB hold+move – moves barrel + sights
    Mouse Wheel – zoom sights
    S – Turn on SUO Fire Control
    R – load round
    SPACE – Fire

    Switch round types with B and N
    Round types:
    BPS = sabot (basic anti-tank round)
    OFS = high explosive (good against most things except tanks)
    BKS = hollow charge (excellent against armour. Its arcing trajectory means it’s a good choice for targets barely visible over ridges)
    UR – guided missiles (kills everything. Keep reticle on target during missile flight)
    P – Coaxial MG

    Other useful stuff:

    Unless you intend to use the trial and error approach to gunnery, you’ll want to adjust your sights before each shot. In the T-72 this is easy (Just place the ^ at the centre of the reticle over the target and RMB to range-find and auto-adjust sights) In the T-34 and T-55 the process is slightly more labour intensive. (Press LCtrl+w, then use U and I to move the targetting line up or down the relevant reticle scale. Each ammo type has its own scale, with AP usually on the left. The scale numbering 10 = 1000m, 20 = 2000m etc.) Whatever method you’ve used, after adjusting put your target under the tip of the ^ in the centre of the reticle, before firing.

    Q – Fire MG
    X/C – change reticle colour
    F11 – map toggle
    F9 – external camera toggle
    1-0 – give instructions to driver while at gunner/commander station
    T – ask commander to point turret at biggest threat
    ,. – smoke dischargers
    PageUp/PageDown – Additional sights including night-vision
    F5 – driver station
    LMB/RMB – operate steering levers while at driver station (highly recommended)

  19. Andrew Dunn says:

    I would buy a game called Steel Furry, if only to marvel at the depths humanity can sink to.

  20. Aftershock says:

    @Azazel: Damn right. I was extremely excited when i saw the link in my RSS. Very disappointed.

  21. Mo says:

    So is this going to run on my MacBook booted into Vista on the lowest setting?
    (2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA GMA X3100)

  22. Azazel says:

    Snap. I have a fully painted 3000pt Iron Warriors army languishing in my cupboards.

    Chaos Space Marines plus ordinance weapons? GW must’ve been mad!

    I laughed myself all the way to the victory shop manys a time.

  23. James Allen says:

    Reviewed it…meh:
    link to
    Its sequel, however, was much, much worse:
    link to

  24. Serondal says:

    You want an good tank sim that gives you access to a wide range of tanks in a pretty realistic setting? Try playing WWII Online now know as Battleground Europe. They have a lot of different tanks from 3 different forces, French British and German. It is possible for more than one person to control a single tank, one being gunner, another driver, and a commander. The damage is realistic, your crew can be killed and depending on which crew man is killed different things can happen. Also you play with planes, ships, and foot troops fighting along beside you. The ground troops can ride on your tank, though this is pretty dangerous, a shell that doesn’t punch through your hull can still send off enough shrapnel from your armor to kill everyone riding on that side :P The way they have the game set up now you don’t have to wait so long to get into combat. I normally play with a Vickers tank which is a light tank, almost armored car, with a heavy machine gun for its main gun, very nice for defending other larger tanks piloted by people who know what they’re doing :P I actually managed to shoot down a plane that was dive bombing a friendly tank with a rifle once! Very cool game, but also VERY hard.
    link to

  25. Roman Levin says:

    This might have been worth the money and the time if it had anything like sane loading times for the kind of graphics you get.

  26. me, ehem. says:

    Got this one a while ago when I saw it on steam. I tried the demo when it came out and was a bit underwhelmed, but I can’t remember much now…maybe I ought to give it another try. Kind of odd about the lack of “advanced configuration” on the steam version.

    For those interested in WWII tank simming, take a look at at GOG – only 9.99 USD and has a couple of active mods for it.

  27. Will says:

    Wow… the hopes and dreams of a dev studio, neatly packaged and costing less than some bars of chocolate that one can buy. To imagine… people came to work and worked on this full time, for months and months. All the while wondering, “Will this sell well?”, “Will people enjoy this game?”, hoping.

    For less than BREAD, that can be bought!

  28. Heliocentric says:

    Because i bought this i don’t need to kick a kitten today. So overall its not so terrible.

    Later i’m going to go to a charity auction and and buy all the art and lock it away. I’m such a bastard.

  29. pepper says:

    Mo, i think it will run on lowest settings, maybe even medium, when i turned it down a notch even the amount of polygons on the exterior model got changed. So it can run on slow computers.

    @Will, yeah my thoughts to, and somehow it still feels like its just a little more then a tech demo for a opensource engine.

    I do find it very enjoyable though.

  30. I am a panzer says:

    “Have you tried tank combat in Red Orchestra? Much of the fun and the flavour of a tank sim, but a fraction of the controls and the complexity.”

    Yes, and I love it. That’s why I am interested in a “real” tank sim. Thanks for your response (also thanks to you Pepper). I think I’m going to try Steel Fury. It’s pretty cheap, so it’s no disaster if I don’t like it.

  31. Catmacey says:

    I downloaded it from steam but it won’t run. It plays the video then crashes. The steam forums are next to useless. Anyone got any ideas?

  32. pepper says:

    Catmacey, do you have any crash reports? What version of video drivers do you have? I presume your system meets the general requirements?

  33. Catmacey says:

    Hi Pepper.
    My system is up to scratch, I’m running on a AMD 4600 (2.6Ghz) with a Nvidia gtx260 with the latest drivers. The games gets to “Graphics initialization…” then bombs. Windows error show problem with core.exe. module I updated the divx codec as mentioned on the steam forum but it made no difference.

  34. pepper says:

    Odd, maybe your drivers are to new for the game? Are you running XP or vista?

  35. Tim Stone says:

    Catmacey: Found this in the readme. It might be your problem –

    “10) If the game doesn’t start, check that Morgan Multimedia Stream Switch (MMSwitch) codec is not installed on your computer. If it is, uninstall it (the codec is usually installed in the Program Files directory as file). You can simply delete the file.”

  36. me, ehem. says:

    If this gives anyone the urge to try the other end of armored gaming pricing, head over to $150, but the same thing a bunch of militaries use for training.

  37. Catmacey says:

    Hi Tim,
    Perfect thanks. I had morgan stream switcher installed. It was in program files and in windows/system32 so I renamed the .ax file and it works. Thanks for your help. Guess I should have read the readme…

  38. jonfitt says:

    For $1.49 I’m in. I was thinking about tank sims not that long ago.

    Are there any other recent ones worth a whirl?

    I’d rather cold-war era+, but this looks nice: WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs Tiger. Anyone tried it?

  39. jonfitt says:

    Oops, I see someone mentioned T-34 vs Tiger earlier. It seems from the review of Steel Furry, that it’s the better of the two games.

  40. pepper says:

    Yeah that’s my thought too, although steel furry doesnt look too bad.

  41. Nate says:

    Ever since I read Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde, I thought the 90s Balkans would be a great environment for a video game. I tried to sell the idea to a dev friend of mine– he very politely explained to me why that was never ever going to happen.

  42. pepper says:

    To many wounds to rip open. Which isnt good for sales. Offcourse a mod can always be developed. For those that play Battlefield 2, try the Point of Existence mod, it places the German’s together with the Americans against the Ukrainians. With i think mostly the same army as the serve’s could have had.

  43. AbyssUK says:

    Help me I bought peggle and peggle nights.. 6.99 for both on steam during the weekend.. i haven’t stopped playing….. i need sleep… must kill unicorn!

  44. Serondal says:

    Telling you World War II online (Battleground Europe) Is the best tank Sim you’re gonna get when you consider that you’re fighting against all human players! You can command a Tiger, a Matallida, a borrowed Sherman, all them tanks you love to command over a realistic land scape full of trees hedge rows hills and forests.

    I don’t know any other tank game where you can have a crew of all players either, I may be wrong. But I played once where I was the gunner and another player was the commander/driver. Can’t tell you how exciting it was when he heard a tank but I couldn’t find it with my sights until finally BOOM be blow up and the game zooms out to show there was TIGER right next to us hiding in the tall grass . It’s gun was literally an inch from our turret I don’t know how I missed it.

    I mean this is so realistic you have to turn off your engine when you’re in ambush mode because you can hear the tank’s engines from REALLY far away and their tracks make a ton of noise when they’re rolling. Angle of impact, armor thickness, location of crew, engine, gas tank, shells ect all come into play. You can be tracked so that your tank can only go in circles, damaged so badly that you can’t even fight back, but if you still manage to limp back to friendly base you can leave the tank and not get points taken away for dieing since the tank can be repaired! VERY detailed I’m telling you guys. It still has an active community last time I checked and is still getting updates.

    What other game can you load on a paratrooper plane in England, fly across the channel and jump out of the plane in the middle of a hugh battle, land in a back alley way, capture a command post thus limiting where the enemy can spawn and allowing a place for friendly ground units to spawn in, turnin the tide of battle whilst doing so and then when you die do it all over again! I guess you could do something similiar in planet side but this is much more realistic.

    Of course you could also spend 2 hours trying to attack a town only to get sniped 30 times before you can even see the enemy that’s shooting at you, but that’s all part of the fun. you have to learn to be sneaky, use cover, and spot enemies before they spot you.

  45. pepper says:

    Problem with WWII online is that it is rather pricey for a game. Although i think most subscription based games are. Most of those features you talk about are in many tank sims. So if one is mainly interested in tank simulators then Kharkov or T-34 VS tiger would probably be a better idea.

  46. Serondal says:

    I think you can play WW 2 online for free but you can’t gain any experience, which would limit what all you can do of course. The difference between it and the tank sims you mention is that you are playing in a real world setting that never sleeps, you’re not playing a single mission or a certain campaign you’re in the middle of a living breathing war that is constantly being waged even when you’re not there. You never know what to expect AND you’re role is just part of the over all combat, making you feel like you’re really a part of the war going on. You can let some infantry ride on your tank in between combat zones or shot down an air plane with your machine gun and know that too was another player :P You can even sink boats if you’re fighting near rivers (trust me I know, I got sank by a few tanks when I was focusing on naval combat)

  47. pepper says:

    You can play free for 14 days:

    Once your free trial is over, you must purchase an activation key for $19.99USD to keep playing. Included in this charge is 30 days of game play. Following your first 30 days, a recurring subscription is required to continue play. The standard subscription is $14.99USD per month.

    Im not saying its not a interesting concept, but if someone soley wants tank combat then i think there are better games to choose, offcourse thats what demo’s are for.

  48. Serondal says:

    After looking at reviews on T-34 vs Tiger looks GREAT, and it is made by the same people that made the OP game in question. Of course I don’t think you can get T-34 vs Tiger for the same insulting small amount of money :P

    In both offers the graphics are vastly better than ww2 online so I’ll have to agree with Pepper here and advise against it until what you REALLY want is massively multiplayer tank combat. Also the point of exiestence mod for BF2 is freaking awesome as someone else suggested,.

  49. pepper says:

    With Forgotten hope, had some good tank combat in the Alam halfa sector, those pesky panzer know what dying is!