Written by  :  woods01 (163)
Written on  :  Mar 05, 2001
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars
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The best hotseat computer war game.

The Good

This is an amazing game to play with another person "hotseating" at the computer from the company that nows war games best, SSI.

The game is basically a hybrid strategic-tactical game of WW2 in Europe. The game touches on grand strategic elements of the war like bombers, diplomacy, convoys and special weapons developments while the combat involves a lot tactical play. Air power is a bit abstract but ground fighting is fierce and more detailed than your usual "Civilization 2" style battle but not as hardcore as some games.

As supreme leader you have to slow down your fast moving tanks or risk stretching your supply lines. Circle your units around the enemy, cut off his supply and you can completely oblitate it! Terrain and fortifications can be used to create bottlenecks which become bloody slugfests. Diplomacy and weapons research all factor into battles. A skillful (and lucky) German player can delay the entry of Russia and America for a long time past their historical entries, or they could be in against you in 1940.

A nice touch to the game is that special units are named after famous WW2 generals like Patton and Rommel. These units are different than regular ones and have ratings approtiate to the commander they are named after.

The computer is an adequate opponent, good to learn against, but the game thrives when you have another person in the seat next to you. Dirty tricks are all available to each side. Perhaps things are not going as well as you like in Russia? Well then use diplomacy to get Spain to join your cause or perhaps the Spainish will have to face the might of your armies? Want the British to help fight in Russia? Invade Persia via Egypt and have Monty battling for control of Kiev.

Game has nice if unspectacular VGA graphics, its really only a map so there isn't a lot to look at. Making up for this is an excellent array of sound effects of dive bombers, machine guns, etc. to spruce up combat.

The Bad

There are some minor bugs and the game patch is needed not only to fix them but to add some game balances. It changes a few unit strengths and most importantly allows you to rebuild sunk transports.

You cannot rebuild destroyed naval units (apart from transports). What this means is that if the German player cannot conquer Britain when it invades it will never have a second chance as the Allied navy is so much larger it can afford losses. While this is historically accurate, if its 1944 and you've steamrolled the continent, the German player should logically be able to crank up the fleet a notch.

The Bottom Line

WW2 fans who want a balance between grand strategy and tactical play should give this a try. Its like a grander view of Panzer General.