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Video Game / S.W.I.N.E.

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S.W.I.N.E. (or, to give its full name Strategic Warfare In (a) Nifty Environment), is a small quirky RTS game originally released in 2001, and the gameplay precursor to the serious-if-shortlived Codename Panzers series. The basic plot of the game is that the Pigs' military under General Irontusk overthrow the old Republic, and then invade the Rabbits. A lot more thought was put into the gameplay.

As of Christmas of 2006, the game became freeware and can be downloaded from the image caption. In 2019, a HD remaster was announced under the banner of Kite Games and some of the original developers, along with enthusiastic fans.

The Pigs have German Accents and the Rabbits are French. This has some clear implications.

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S.W.I.N.E. provides examples of:

  • Abandonware: During Christmas of 2006, Stormregion made the game free, releasing one last bugfix for it in tandem with the announcement. Stormregion itself has gone defunct. This remained the case until it saw a remaster released in 2019.
  • Abnormal Ammo: Mortars and rocket launchers may occassionally shoot things other than the typical rounds (such as carrots or acorns). The change is purely cosmetic, however.
  • Artificial Stupidity: In the campaign, computer simply waits for your units to appear, and then blindly charges at them. If it ever makes any deeper tactical move, it's a scripted event.
    • It's not entirely stupid though; in missions where you have to defend a certain location, enemy scouts will try to flank you and make a dash for the objective, failing your mission if you don't take them down quickly. Also, in the harder pig campaign, the enemy rabbits tend to have more mobile patrols, which sometimes try to recapture objectives after your army has moved to a different location, and sometimes converge on the location of an engagement and try to attack your rear lines.
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  • Awesome, but Impractical: Air strikes cost money that could be spent on additional units or upgrades.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Rabbits are peaceful and democratic, but if forced to, they can fight as well (if not better) as Pigs.
  • Big Bad: General Irontusk, an obvious Expy of Hitler.
  • BFG: The Rabbits' Moving Fortress class unit is even named 'BFG'. Moving Fortresses launch giant, slow-moving shell that deal massive splash damage.
    • As far as proper units go, this and being a Mighty Glacier is the shtick of the Mortar units. Short range, high firing arc (so it hits the top armor of units instead of the stronger front armor) and high damage make it into a faction-shared heavy tank.
  • Blood Knight: Many vehicle drivers act like this in their soundbites when given orders, being very eager to get to fighting. This changes though if their HP goes into the red - at that point they become extremely cranky and sometimes refuse orders (although, in gameplay, they never actually do this).
  • Boring, but Practical: Basic tanks and scouts may seem uninteresting, but are in fact the most useful units in the game.
  • Carnivore Confusion: In one of the inter-mission cutscenes, two Pigs are shown sitting by a campfire... with a plainly visible piece of bacon on a stick over the campfire. Granted, the Pigs in question proceed to blow themselves up by absently tossing a grenade into the fire along with the firewood, but the implications are... disturbing, especially in light of a combination of female pigs' litter sizes and Irontusk's speech in the Pig campaign's opening crawl about an impending famine if the nation does not conquer fertile lands soon hinting that the Pig nation might be facing an overpopulation crisis...
  • Civil Warcraft: Happens only once, in the first mission of the Pigs' campaign, where player leads National Pigs Army against forces loyal to the Republic.
    • Also happens courtesy a bug during the Rabbit campaign, where the Pigs call in some rocket launchers, and someone likely forgot to set it to spawn the Pig version.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Multiplayer. Maximum resources, no bombers, unlimited fuel and ammo. What you did with those resources was entirely your call.
    • Multiplayer armies also tend to be composed entirely of mortars with barrels retracted and rocket launchers in salvo-fire mode - the logic being that if the enemy engages the mortars first, the mortars' massive armor keeps them alive long enough for the rocket launchers to Macross Missile Massacre the enemy into ash; if the enemy ignores the mortars and goes straight for the rocket launchers, the mortars stick out their barrels and add their BFGs to the equation. At least one clan webpage derided the use of any combat unit but these two as the mark of a noob.
  • Continuity Nod: The two campaigns sometimes share maps - the first mission of the Pig campaign appears as the penultimate mission of the Rabbit one (and even still has the Pink October tank factory intact), and the Pig missions where you take over the Rabbit nation's mines and oil fields are essentially a reverse of the Rabbit missions where you liberate them.
  • Cosmetically Different Sides: Averted, but just barely. While most units are functionally identical on both sides, the Pigs' main battle tank has slightly more firepower and top armor, while its Rabbit counterpart is faster and more fuel-efficient. Each faction also has one unit with no opposing counterpart; the Pigs have a Heavy Tank while the Rabbits have Tank Killer vehicles.
  • Death from Above: Air strikes, artillery, rocket barrages.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Using the more specialized units, like Mortars and Tank Killers. They're really good in some situations and poor in others; getting used to exploiting their strengths can result in stronger armies than those with a primarily generalist composition.
  • Disney Villain Death: Both averted and played straight. The game doesn't dance around depicting the deaths (and corpses) of the characters who populate the units, and even shows the Player Character getting shot by a firing squad if they fail a mission in the Pig campaign, but it's played straight by Irontusk when his airship is shot down, likely due to Irontusk's lack of appearance in the game.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Averted. Almost every unit can shoot while moving, which is an important gameplay mechanic: strong but slow units may have problems targeting and/or hitting a fast-moving enemy. The only unit which has to stop in order to fire are artillery.
  • Dual Mode Unit: Basic tanks, Mortars, and to an extent Rocket Launchers. Tanks can dig in, trading mobility for protection, Mortars can retract their barrel, trading their (considerable) firepower for even better protection, and Rocket launchers can fire off five inaccurate saturation shots, or a single well-placed one. Artillery units also have to switch to stabilized mode to fire, and marching mode to move.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. In order to remain effective, your army needs a supply of ammunition, fuel and armor repairs, which come in the form of trailers that you haul around with unarmed and unarmored tow trucks. All supplies are finite and expendable, and a lack of supplies can cripple or disable an army. However, it's still somewhat in play - while it makes sense that all the units can run off the same fuel, it doesn't matter if the ammo trailer is resupplying an autocannon-armed scout car or a rocket launcher, they all pull from (and consume the same amount) of ammo.
  • Everything's Messier with Pigs: Referenced in insults directed towards them by the Rabbits.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Rabbits are France, the Pigs are Germany. It's not even subtle. In fact, the first Pig mission is pretty obviously the end of the Weimar Republic.
    • Only in the English version. In the original Hungarian, both sides are talking without accent.
  • Faction Calculus: 2 factions; slightly subversive Rabbits vs slightly powerhouse Pigs.
  • Fishing for Mooks: Command cars and scouts can do this particularly well, either by running into enemy vision range, turning around, and running away with enemy units in pursuit, or else by getting visuals for artillery to attack and thereby force the enemies into getting a move-on. A move-on that will, if you set things up right, see them drive into a line of your tanks and get cut down. In fact, one of the Rabbit cut-scene videos explicitly shows a command car using this tactic.
  • Funny Animal: The Rabbits and Pigs.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The title, of course.
  • Geo Effects: Fairly subtle. Trees, walls, buldings, hill crests, etc. can obscure vision and many destructible and non-destructible obstacles can impede unit movement. Also, the fact that all wheeled units have turning radii means that obstacle-dense areas can be particularly hard for them to navigate as compared to tracked vehicles. Finally, the pigs' heavy tank has a special ability designed to pretty much exploit Geo Effects; it simply ploughs straight through anything destructible, allowing it to launch surprise attacks from forests, cut shortcuts, etc.
  • Glass Cannon: Artillery, rocket launchers, Tank Killers.
  • Only Mostly Dead: If a unit's hitpoints are reduced to zero, it turns into an immobile wreckage, that can still be fully repaired and restored. However, one more hit and the wreckage is irreversibly destroyed. Also, command cars, trucks and trailers avert this - they just get destroyed immediately.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: This is what happens when you have all the units in the game voiced by large hams.
    • And, indeed, an entire faction of literal hams.
  • Healing Factor: All units except for tanks and mortars (the two types of units which are actually used for tanking, incidentally) can be equipped with repair kits that slowly regenerate their HP to 60% of their maximum whenever it falls below that amount. It's much slower than conventional repair trailer usage, but unlike trailers, it can be used repeatedly and indefinitely.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Rabbits during the Pig campaign, as well as the loyalists you take out during the first mission.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: General Irontusk doesn't appear at all over the course of either campaign, but his voice does show up at the end of the Rabbit's campaign, where his airship is blown up by ground troops in mid-air.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Tank Killers' raison d'etre. Whilst they can be used like normal rocket launchers, pounding enemies from behind a line of tanks, they're also capable of acting in groups of their own, using their range, speed and auto-repair system (if equipped) to stay alive while picking off enemies. This tends not to work very well in spaces with narrow confines though, as their turning radius is quite wide.
  • Hurricane of Puns: EVERYWHERE.
  • Infinite Supplies: Averted completely. Units have limited ammunition and fuel, that needs to be replenished. In later missions, you have no chance of survival without vehicles towing supply trailers. Even supply trailers run out eventually in the longer or more intense missions, and you need multiple trailers to see you through.
    • Usually played straight in multiplayer.
  • Initialism Title: Though what exactly the initial stood for wasn't revealed until around 2008 on the long gone Stormregion forums when someone asked what "S.W.I.N.E." stood for, and a developer responded.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Inverted. During instances where you have to hold a specific point, if a single enemy unit gets to it and you don't have a unit there to block the capture, the enemy will capture the point and you'll instantly lose. As a result, it's always a fair idea to just park a light tank or something next to the flag you need to defend, in case a scout manages to slip through or bypass your defenses.
  • I Shall Taunt You: See Pre Ass Kicking One Liner.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Basic tanks.
  • Killer Rabbits: An entire army of 'em.
  • La Résistance: The troops still loyal to the Republic of the Pigs. Until you take them out in the first Pig campaign mission, anyway.
  • Lucky Translation: "Irontusk", when translated into German, becomes "Eisenhauer". While this leads to serious issues with the Fantasy Counterpart Culture aspects of the game, it is amusing - it's a complete coincidence.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Rocket launcher units can fire many rockets in one salvo, at the cost of reduced accuracy compared to their standard piecemeal fire mode, and at the cost of expending their ammunition stores more quickly. Large numbers of rocket launchers in standard fire mode, or Tank Killers with their guided missiles, can also achieve this.
  • Made of Iron: Units in SWINE take a really long time to die. It's done intentionally to give the player a chance to micro manage.
  • Mirror Match: The first Pig mission pits you against the few loyal Republican troops still remaining. They use the same units you do, being Pigs themselves.
  • Mook Chivalry: In the rabbit campaign, enemy offensives generally consist of well-spaced waves each of 4-5 units at most in one go, which are relatively easy to destroy in detail as they come.

  • Point Defenseless: Averted. Anti-air turrets can and will shoot down your helicopter or bomber if they come too close, removing them for the rest of the mission. The Rabbits also have static defenses, which amount to tank and artillery guns stuck on concrete platforms, albeit with the direct-fire tank cannon doing mortar-grade damage.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Every single unit drops one when they auto-attack an enemy.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: Performed by way of the trailers, which are towed by tow-trucks. They all do a seperate task: The repair trailer fixes units, the Ammo trailer replenishes their munitions, and the fuel trailer refuels them. Knowing which ones will be important and managing how much you dole out is a major part of the gameplay - as all three trailers are finite. Mostly averted online, where there was a switch for infinite ammo and fuel.
  • Shout-Out: There are a couple - the Pig Artilleryman's "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?", for instance.
    • As well, in the German version of the game, the Pig's Heavy Tank is called the "Elmar Fudd". The puns are not limited to just the English version.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In the Rabbit ending, Irontusk is fleeing on a zeppelin, ranting over loudspeaker about how he'll return and "squish you like some kind of worm". Cue a Rabbit rocket tank blowing the zeppelin in half with a single shot, shutting him up for good.
  • Spiritual Successor: Codename Panzers took many of SWINE's gameplay tropes, and distilled them, resulting in similar gameplay but a vastly different setting (Comedic Faux-WWII for... actual World War II.)
  • Stone Wall:
    • Mortars, which are normally Mighty Glacier units with their high offense, become this when they retract their turrets. They're still slow, and now have no offense, but are incredibly tough. So much so that elite mortars in retracted mode are completely immune to conventional (non-nuclear) artillery, tanks and light vehicles of the same level; only elite rocket launchers, other mortars, bombers and moving fortresses can damage them at this point.
  • Tank Goodness: There is no infantry in this game, and would have to wait until Codename Panzers to show up.
    • Tanks, but No Tanks: However, there are only three or five actual tanks, depending on how you look at the Mortars - in fact, a pretty fair amount of the game's units are wheeled.
  • Trope Codifier: Codified the Real Time Tactics sub-genre in a time when most RTS games were still following the lead of Command & Conquer and Starcraft.
  • Veteran Unit: Units gain experience from dealing damage to the enemies and can acquire "veteran", later "elite" status that improves their stats. It also changes their looks, adding more bling, applique armor panels, and kill markings while also making the unit look more used and worn-out. Even ostensibly unarmed units like command cars and mine layers can gain experience from the damage dealt indirectly by their air strikes or mines.


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