Colonial Conquest (SSI/US Gold) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Colonial Conquest
By Strategic Simulations Inc
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #44

Colonial Conquest

For the price of this American award-winning game, you get the opportunity to lie, cheat, bribe, spy, subvery, backstab, threaten and bully your way to global domination.

Inspired by classic board games such as Risk and Diplomacy, the game casts you as an empire builder in the turbulent times of the 1990s. You take the role of leader of one of the six major powers and attempt to guide either Britain, France, Germany, Russia, France, Germany, Russia, USA or Japan to victory in one of three scenarios against a mixture of human and computer opponents.

The standard scenario begins with the powers trapped within their own borders, but soon the world is full of armies and navies as the powers build in strength. The first targets are the neutral countries, particularly those that make up Africa and India. These can be used to provide the necessary funds to build the forces to attack the other powers.

The game is played in a series of turns representing the seasons of a year with winter being the most important as this is when you can build your reinforcements. In a standard turn, the powers move in a set order and can move any of their armies to adjacent territories (The world is divided into 131 of these territorial), order navies to convoy armies anywhere in the world, attempt to subvert a minor country and cause a coup, fortify a territory against enemy attack and send out your spies to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your enemies.

Combat isn't just a case of the bigger force winning and takes account of the terrain of the territory and strength and training of the opposing forces. For example, the British troops are the best trained and are a fearless fighting force but cost three times as much as the equivalent Russian rabble.

Each power poses a different set of problems both in their location and cost and strengths of their units. German units are reasonably strong and are about average to buy but are hemmed in by France and Russia making war almost inevitable. Computer opponents will take a single attack as a declaration of war and will fight you whenever and wherever they can until you either buy them off with economic aid or defeat them. Nine different computer levels ensure that you will always have a challenge.

Human opponents pose a different problem, not only are they fickle and intelligent, they may also scheme behind your back while you're entering your orders! In fact, the game allows any backstabbing, cheating and dealing except watching another player enter his moves.

The game's other scenarios are set in 1880 and 1914 with the powers spread throughout the world making war almost unavoidable! The object of any game is to gain victory points by taking territories and winning battles although you can also lose points by losing battles and land. The target you must reach for victory can be set at the beginning of the game (along with the computer opponent levels) to either 500 points for a short race for the neutrals game to 1500 for a long way to the ultimate game where total domination is your only aim.

Colonial Conquest is not only the first game to mimic the atmosphere and intrigue of games such as Risk and Diplomacy, but actually improves the format by providing intelligent and ruthless computer opponents and a game that may quench your thirst for power!

Tony Hetherington

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