The Micro User1st September 1987
Published in The Micro User 5.07
Without mentioning names, but there seems to be an awful lot of megalomania about these days. If you're that way inclined yourself, then this computerised war game should prove satisfying.
You take control of a military campaign, and pit your wits against one to 15 other players. As you might expect strategy, shrewdness and downright double-dealing are all important!
Altogether there is a choice of 10 maps. Most of them are fairly familiar - Europe, the USA, Great Britain, London - while others, such as Galactic and Near Earth, provide futuristic settings.
On the whole, they are clear, detailed and colourful. Land masses are green and sea areas blue, with a combination of shades and colours to indicate different types of terrain.
At the start, players choose the year in which they want to play, anything from 1000 AD to 9000 AD.
So, if you want to go back to 1066, call yourself King Harold and risk getting nuked in the old eyeball, that's your privilege.
Both conventional and nuclear weapons are available though you can opt just for the former if you abhor nuclear weapons, or nukes as the program calls them.
The next step is for each player to choose a symbol. Having done that, he must pick a power centre (or city) on the map which will then display his particular symbol. Unfortunately, some of these symbols do not stand out clearly which can be very confusing.
Following these preliminaries, the play proper begins. Each turn has four phases in which a number of options may be actioned by careful use of menus and sub-menus. Deployment of forces is clearly the first priority, though you cannot exceed the revenue you have been allocated.
Conventional forces consist of land divisions and ships and, if you have chosen that option, nukes, too. Clearly, it is important to have an effective combination of forces wisely distributed among your power centres.
By using the scrolling window bottom left of screen, you can examine the map in detail. A variety of letters, numbers and symbols gives data about the position, capability and strength of opposing forces as well as your own.
Moving your forces is one of the most interesting features of the game. By using this facility you can occupy or leave your current position and, more importantly, engage the enemy. Ships and divisions can be moved in convoy or separately. Nukes, however, cannot be moved except, by their own rocket power.
Launching nukes is one of the most enjoyable and often the most disastrous aspects of the gameplay. Once you have convinced the computer that you want to launch a missile - and you are asked twice - the countdown begins.
As soon as the missile is launched it appears on the map. Using the cursor keys, you must guide it towards the target. Fortunately, the nuke can be aborted at any moment before impact.
Should you follow your decision through, however, the strike has a devastating effect on the target area, indicated on the map by a black square - no radioactive wind in this comfortable scenario.
If you like war games or would like to have a bash at one and have plenty of time at your disposal this game should prove enjoyable. But unless you have distinct schizophrenic tendencies and are prepared to take on more than one role,