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The War College: Universal Military Simulator 3 (DOS)

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Description

The War College is the third and final installment in Ezra Sidran's Universal Military Simulator series of tactical war games.

The simulation's core principle is a departure from traditional turn-based, hex tile mechanics towards real-time rendering of unit movement on accurately recreated topographical maps of historical battlefields. The presentation remains highly abstract, with units represented as colored lines and combat resolved in short text messages.

The game simulates four major historical battles:

The Battle of Pharsalus (48 BC)
In the decisive battle of the Roman Civil War, Julius Caesar meets Gnaeus Pompejus at Pharsalos on August 9th 48 BC. The battle is fought with melee units only. Caesar defeats Pompejus and becomes emperor of the Rome.

The Battle of Austerlitz (1805)
The French army under Napoleon defeats the combined armies of the Russians and Austrians in the Battle of the Three Emperors at Austerlitz in December 1805. Austerlitz is a classic Napolean maneuver battle.

The Battle of Antietam (1862)
Confederate general Robert E. Lee's advance is stopped by the Union army under general George B. McClellan in the battle at Antietam in September 1862. It is one of the major battles of the American Civil War.

The Battle of Tannenberg (1914)
In one of the rare maneuver battle of World War I, the German Eight army defeats a Russian contingent vastly superior in numbers in August 1914.

The War College players control their armies with only a basic set of unit commands (movement, formation and fortification), but need to consider advanced tactical elements such as morale, experience and ammunition. While the terrain influences movement speed and combat efficiency, terrain types are not clearly indicated on the abstract maps. In tradition of the UMS series, combat formulas can be customized.

As the title implies, The War College is supposed to be an educative simulation for tactical study of historical battles rather than a pure game. With the program comes a digital encyclopedia containing basic background information on the four conflicts, complemented by artworks and period photographs. In addition, The War College features a multiplayer mode so that two strategists can compete over modem or local area network.

Screenshots

The War College: Universal Military Simulator 3 DOS Unit details. Important elements include morale and ammunition reserves.
The War College: Universal Military Simulator 3 DOS Tannenberg, overview.
The War College: Universal Military Simulator 3 DOS Unit command menu.
The War College: Universal Military Simulator 3 DOS Antietam, overview. The map can be rotated in 45° steps.

Alternate Titles

  • "UMS 3" -- Abbreviation

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The Press Says

Power Play Apr, 1996 73 out of 100 73
High Score Aug, 1996 3 out of 5 60
PC Games (Germany) Apr, 1996 53 out of 100 53
GameSpot Jun 20, 1996 4.7 out of 10 47
PC Joker May, 1996 44 out of 100 44
PC Player (Germany) Aug, 1996 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Sep, 1996 1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars 20

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Trivia

The War College is a DOS game. Under DOS, software needs to come with specific drivers for each sound card it supports. The system requirements on the The War College box claim: “All soundcards supported.” How so?

Quite simple: The game does not contain any sound effects, voices or software audio whatsoever. Instead it comes with four musical tracks on the CD. Since CD audio is audible on basically every soundcard as long as the board is connected to the CD-ROM drive, the box can indeed claim to “support” all cards.

This soundtrack – midi music transformed into Redbook Audio – is all you hear in the game; and since the total of 20 minutes breaks down into four pieces roughly five minutes in length (one for each battle simulated), you’ll hear it in continuous loops that soon become annoyingly repetitive. There is no option to turn the sound off though, other than removing the CD from the drive.
-Chris (7363) added The War College: Universal Military Simulator 3 (DOS) on May 27, 2007