Answering as best as possible.
This is a reference image.
I have indicated a few things in the image.
The town for instance. The specific image of the specific building is not specifically vital. It is mostly it is a building location of a given type. And yes, the terrain is destroyable, but to my knowledge, it has no game effect.
Note the wrecks on the map. They are removable if a good order unit wishes to expend movement to do so, the wreck is then removed from the map. Otherwise they persist.
Note the injured personnel. It's kept to a logical level, no gore. But when units take casualties, you get to see them.
I think the vehicle renderings are very good myself. But you won't be able to claim that they are the equal of box art from Dragon models. But they don't need to be that detailed. No they are not cartoony. And I don't think the overly pretty 3d graphics in games like Theater of War count for much considering Theatre of War is a game I wouldn't want if it was free.
The Aircraft is an animation. Generally you plot where you want a strike, the game handles the animation fly by though. Artillery fire looks like artillery fire.
The game is turn based, and as you can see, the selected unit will be given a radius of potential movement options. You get to mouse over the terrain and the options change as the mouse moves. Plus you get the option to move slower and more stealthy as well as more stable for firing and this too is graphically indicated.
To answer your questions directly within my abilities.
How big are the maps?
As wargames go, the maps are modest in size. I think that they are comparable to Close Combat or Combat Mission ie not so large. You won't spend a lot of energy scrolling.
How well is suppressive fire modelled? Can you deploy smoke?
Suppressive fire is modeled superbly. The map also warns you of 'suspect' locations with a ? symbol. The gamer has to decide on whether to hit the space or not though.
Smoke is not currently used. I have heard a lot of talk on this topic. Seems odd without it, but I have yet to suffer without it. Now in Steel Panthers, no smoke would be insane.
Do you have access to mortars?
Yes in fact your on map arty is likely your most prized asset. Well I think so.
You also have anti tank guns, mobile arty vehicles, rockets like the Sherman Calliope. But the big stuff is usually off map assets.
What's the unit you command? Platoon, company, battalion, brigade etc.
Individual vehicles and squads or weapons teams.
Is morale modelled? Can your squads break and retreat if given a pounding?
Yes you pound on a Tiger tank and even if it isn't killed you can rattle the crew and they can decide to bugger off if in real life that made sense.
Base morale is 100, every time someone is effectively trying to kill you, it reduces morale. Gain veteran status, and your morale ceiling rises. Lose enough morale and they will just leave the field.
Morale is regained through NOT being shot at and can take a little or a lot of time based on how much is needed to be regained.
What about logistics? Can your units run out of supplies? How do reinforcements work?
You can run out of supplies. For instance anti tank charges are finite for infantry units. The game does have reinforcements that can arrive in some battles. Arrival can also be conditional.
Can units lose 'skill' as casualties are taken and soldiers replaced?
Units gain status from successfully killing the opposition. It opens up new skills options. I have not witnessed loss of status from being refitted in battle through things like the medic function.
What's modding like? Can new units be added? New scenarios created? Can AI files be modified? Is the game flexible enough that it can be essentially turned into a different game by modders?
The game is wide open as far as modding is concerned. I have seen guys making brand new vehicles the first week the game was on sale. Can't be too hard (beyond me though
). I have even seen people doing Pacific theatre stuff. I am not aware of the game having any real limits actually.
How does the campaign work? Is progress dictated by your actions or does the campaign progress historically?
The campaigns are scripted (I think that's the right way to say it). Because of this, the game gets harder and harder as you progress through a campaign. As it is scripted, the AI tends to not act randomly. That doesn't mean it is easy to predict. It just means it won't make totally pointless actions.
Plenty of players have reported that some of the later battles can be damned hard. If you want a challenge, the game can deliver it.
Like chess, if you play poorly, you can expect to lose.
And just when you think you know the game, then you play a multi player map, and some human hands you your butt on a platter