Atari User


Author: Bob Chappell
Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: Atari 400/800/600XL/800XL/130XE

Published in Atari User #24


War gamers will welcome this latest simulation from those acknowledged experts in the genre, Strategic Simulations. Although it has been available in the USA for about two years, it has only just reached these shores courtesy of US Gold.

The program allows you to re-enact some of the most bitter warfare of modern times. You control the combined US and South Korean forces against the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese army.

The single display is a message area below a detailed map of the particular terrain where the action takes place. The map can be scrolled in any of the four cardinal directions and is used to move your forces and direct operations.


The documentation refers to the game as Nam (the original US title) and clearly describes the rules for playing. There are six historical scenarios to choose from, each of which can also be played as a non-historical (randomised troop deployment) episode.

Each scenario can take from 15 to 30 turns to play and each turn is divided into ten consecutive phases. Most of the play involves moving a large square cursor around the map.

In the observation phase, the cursor can be moved on to friendly units to reveal their characteristics (firepower, range, assault factor, movement potential, armoury and strength). You can also dig in units in this phase.


Next, artillery and airstrike impact areas are targeted, following which the enemy fires at all your units that are in range and then moves its forces.

After this, your troops can move and fire at the enemy. A second exchange of fire then takes place, followed by the artillery fall phase in which the earlier plotted targets are struck.

The final phase shows the comparative state of both sides, with points being gained for the number of units eliminated. A victory indication is also given - questionable, minor, major or decisive. At the end of each complete turn, an opportunity is given to save the game.

The graphics are clear and adequate and sound effects are used to good effect. The simulation is easy to get into and the documentation is both lucid and detailed.

Vietnam is a program that should appeal to the dedicated wargamer and anyone who likes games that require a liberal dose of strategic planning and thinking.

Bob Chappell

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