Commodore User

Operation Whirlwind

Publisher: Ariolasoft
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #21

Operation Whirlwind

War gaming offers a complete break from the usual formats which are handsomely catered for on the C64. There are several scenarios available... but in this case Operation Whirlwind revolves around the capture and retention of a town.

Strategy of everything. You need a complete awareness of your force's capabilities and vulnerabilities.

Armour and infantry need handling differently for they have inherent, distinct weaknesses and strengths. Reconaissance units can be employed to draw the enemy's fire ready for the combat phase. That's one major divergence from an arcade battle; you have to work through five stages or modes instead of the action being immediate. And that doesn't mean you first want to get them over with as quickly as possible either.

Operation Whirlwind

Firstly you either 'dig in' a unit or prepare it for battle; then shift your forces around using a command cursor, taking advantage of cover from woods and gaining as much advantage as possible.

Combat mode swaps the cursor for a hairline cross-sight and allows you to direct fire. Assault or overrun phase provides for no-nonsense close combat or for the engineers to mend bridges. The last phase gives intelligence readouts as to the degree of success of your last manoeuvres. All that counts as one go! Phew.

The scrolling map is very clear but the miniscule symbols representing your forces take some getting used to. Four levels of play should ensure a lasting interest in the game which could well whet your appetite for more sophisticated fare.