Written by  :  David Ledgard (65)
Written on  :  Feb 09, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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Great game lots of replay value especially with scenarios and ultimate mode.

The Good

Tactics, Forts, Capitals, Alliances, Generals, POW's (returned through trade or capturing a Capital), Rebels (always play expert - captured rebels turn up as reinforcements in the next turn, Rebel Generals are shot!), Terrain, Random events (storm, disease etc.. - greater chance with armies over 30, 50, 100 - 5%, 10%, 15% respectively, so always pin an enemy in difficult terrain if possible, and keep yours out of it) and Maps (World, Europe, America and Asia), plenty of variety. Generals fight better with experience, especially after taking a Capital, go to level 4. They can more their number. Winning at 80% or 90% territory is good, not having to play to the bitter end when you have clearly won. Blind risk, not being able to see behind borders. Historic Generals like Napoleon and Sir Arthur Wellesley (the future Duke of Wellington who beat Napoleon at Waterloo) in India. Read Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books, they give a good view of live for a soldier in India during these times. Connected empire bonus. Split an empire and you reduce their troops saves the old grab a continent and hold it strategy.

The Bad

Early versions of the game had 300 units turning up out of no where, bad bug, had to download fix. Should have auto-save, easy enough with so little data. At least save after you have placed reinforcements not before! Use ALT-CTRL-ESC to get out and do something else, then you can come back to it. 3 Turn Alliances aren't enough especially in scenarios where you are outnumbered. Did Prussia ever attack Austro-Hungary? The manual doesn't explain Tactics (could anyone Email me which tactics they use). I use attack on both flanks for no general and defend both flanks when facing a general. Occasionally surprise attack when facing a far superior enemy, sometimes it works. How does the fort work? Just 21 extra troops? Useful as the AI doesn't attack on parity or below. The AI doesn't redeploy from one front to another, even when facing no threat on one side, and a great threat on the other. Enemies don't ally when you or another player become too powerful. Allies can't assist each other the Spanish and French for example or move over each others territory. No fleets, Napoleon couldn't invade Britain because Nelson sunk the French and Spanish fleets! One power becomes too powerful too soon in many scenarios early, like the Chinese or Dutch.

The Bottom Line

Great strategic game.