Waterloo (Mirror Image) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Mirror Image
Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #71


Not a new Cinemaware train simulation, but probably the best wargame I've yet to see on any micro. This re-enacts the historical turning point in Napoleon's career where the Duke of Wellington guided the English to victory.

In many ways, Waterloo will be especially attractive to the more advanced player. All orders are given to you to your subordinate Commanders who then scurry off to the divisional Generals who in turn will execute the orders upon the various battalions of infantry, cavalry, artillery units and so on. It's at this level that the communication barrier breaks down and commanders will override your order under the pretence of better local knowledge, or just out of pure cowardice.

As with the real life job of a commander in the field of battle it's not just the troops' movement you have to be concerned with. Supplies need to be hauled from one side of the field to another. Seeing as the radio wasn't going to be invented for another couple of hundred years all communication is forwarded by runners. This means that your orders, if they reach the general, often take quite a while to be carried out from the moment they're issued, so a lot of planning ahead is required.

Unlike similar wargames the commanders' view of the battlefield is limited to the position his camp is. So like the real thing if you want to see more you're going to have to pack up your kit bag and move, often taking risks through the battlefield. Unit view is also very limited for this reason. Often the indication for how well or bad a unit is doing comes through verbally and can be out of date or inaccurate.

The 3D graphics are every bit as good as UMS with the addition that they're coloured. But owing to the complexity and attention to detail in takes a few seconds to draw up each screen.

Units can be selected by clicking on them with the mouse pointer, or by issuing a verbal order through the keyboard, although a nice yes/no system works round some of the more tedious parts of the game. If you should feel that you are being kept in the dark by the enemy and your spies at the start of the game you can select an option which will print up the opposition's battle messages, too, making life a little bit more revealing.

Although moderately complex, Waterloo is surprisingly easy to get into and guarantees playing stints of several hours a time. Highly recommended.

Mark Patterson