Legions Of Death (Lothlorien) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

Legions Of Death
By Lothlorien
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #40

Legions Of Death

The Punic wars between ancient Rome and Carthage are the subject of the latest offering from Argus-controlled Lothlorien.

Unfortunately, it is also another attempt to popularise wargames by swamping the game in icons. In fact, the game has so many icons you need the chart supplied on the back of the inlay card supplied on the back of the inlay card to find your way through them! To make things worse some icons have different meanings depending on where they appear in the chart. Perhaps the icons need icons to help them find their way!

Underneath this sea of icons is a map of the Mediterranean showing the empires in conflict.

Before battle can begin, you must define not only your selection of ships and their crew type, sails, archers, number of marines and whether they have sails, a boarding platform or archery tower but also the number of cities you must take, gold you must collect and ships you must sink to win the game!

Each turn you can use any or all of your ships as they attempt to pillage the opposing cities, grapple and sink the enemy ships and win the way by controlling the seas.

The ensuing war can be played either against the computer or a human opponent. However, if you play your C64 you're at an immediate disadvantage as you play Carthage the historical losers.

To add to your problems, all your ships begin the game in your ports leaving Rome initial control of the seas, so don't be surprised if you suffer a few early losses.

The Romans also seem to attack in packs so you must ensure you don't leave any lone ships for them to prey on.

Your choice of ships determines your strategy which will lie somewhere between a small elite fleet that will have trouble policing the whole of the Med and a large weak fleet that seeks safety in numbers.

It is ironic that the icon system that is supposed to make the game easy to use actually spoils it with a simple move command requiring eight joystick presses!

This slows the action down, particularly the need to move a cursor around the map at a snail's pace.

The Punic Wars are an ideal subject for a wargame as the naval conflicts between ancient warships was unpredictable. However, the game sets the action at too grand a scale as you move entire fleets around oceans and loses this feeling of ship to ship action as the units become dots on the screen rather than arrow firing, ramming, warships.

Potentially a good game that has been spoilt by trying to be too user-friendly!

Legions Of Death will attract its own cult following, but once again the masses will ignore the fascinating hobby of wargaming.

Tony Hetherington

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