Halls Of Montezuma

Publisher: Strategic Studies Group
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Zzap #51

Halls Of Montezuma

Following such titles as Carriers At War, Battlefront and the magnificent Europe Ablaze, Halls Of Montezuma brings us nearer the present day with an incredibly extensive battle history of the United States Marines Corps.

Based around the Battlefront/Battles In Normandy game system Halls deals in units of roughly battallion size with three divisions available. Like Storm Across Europe, this size naturally dictates the scale of the battle but also allows for a mid-level of command with both high level stratgy and low-level tactical operations needing to be taken into account throughout.

Halls contains eight scenarios, tracing the Marine Corps' battle-scarred history - this includes the 1847 assault on Mexico City, Belleau Wood in 1918, Iwo Jima in 1945 right through to the battle for the city of Hue in South Vietnam.

Halls Of Montezuma

With SSG games, at least the presentation is there to start with, and the menu system is easy enough to use. Play is smooth-flowing and a lot faster than in Typhoon. The ground features may lack detail but it's all very clear, precisely laid out with fluid scrolling. The map is most welcome (take not, SSI!).

Strategic play is stronger in the earlier scenarios - after the Second World War technology moved ahead dramatically. The time of the Korean War proves the best era with the weapons of post-war and beyond (includng the first widespread use of jet fighters).

The clash of technology from different scenarios is the most interesting of matches but using the Warpaint and Warplan construction set utilities new scenarios can be born from the imagination or the pages of SSG's own magazine, 'RUN 5'.

Halls Of Montezuma

If you're expecting a Typhoon Of Steel-type level of play you'll be disappointed. The action is placed at regimental and battallion level and can be regarded as a lot simpler than the comparable SSI title. Fortunately, Halls provides a better insight into the bttle as a whole (the higher strategic level) - the eight sccenarios providing more depth although the involvement in each battle is marginally less than in Typhoon. A solid, well-structured and presented wargame covering multiple eras with competence.


Presentation 82%
The manual covers the Marine Corps history in considerable detail and instructs in a readable enough manner.

Challenge 75%
A moderate challenge increasing in difficulty the more modern the scenario. The scenarios may be similar in structure but provide enough variety.

Authenticity 78%
The implementation of the game scenarios and order of play is as faithful as could be imagined.

Overall 78%
A good computerised account of the Marines Corps and its star-spangled history.