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John Bethell
Strategy: War
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rachael Smith
Chris Bourne

This is the sort of game that gets a lot of flak from people who see it as nothing more than exploitative bad taste. In fact, Falklands 82 is a serious wargame and its intentions are undoubtedly honourable, which only raises the question of why a simulation of contemporary history is considered tasteless when a Simulation of the mud and blood of the Somme isn't.

You play the British, against an Argentinian micro, in a strategy game that concentrates on land activity. But the task force is still an important factor as it supplies both reinforcements and the aircraft carriers, Hermes and Invincible. You start the game by allocating fifteen ships between the task force's protective screen and land gunning. Then It's to a map of the island and a decision which of four landing spots you'll choose as your beach head - it's wise to bring in the SAS or SBS to provide intelligence as they can reconnoitre a five sector radius without committing you to a major landing.

After that it's a question of occupying, or being the last to occupy, the ten tiny towns of those windswept rocks. And though you can have a crack at landing at Port Stanley, the concentration of Argentinian troops is likely to make it your final objective. Unless you use the Recce option carefully, the first you'll know of the Argentinians is when you bump into them, though at turn twenty any remaining pockets of resistance will be revealed. The shape of the island presents problems of bottlenecks forming, and you'll need to plan carefully for terrain, particularly if you're to have the long range gunning of the artillery. Fog and rough conditions can rob you of air and sea support, but if they're fit for you they'll also be fit for the Argentinians. In that case you hope your Harriers can see them off.

And that's it in a nutshell With its single key entries, using initials for the options, it plays smoothly, though what seems like a large amount of Basic means annoyingly slow responses at times. The instructions claim that the British are white and the Argentinians black when in fact the Brits are blue and the Argies red and yellow - and to confuse things further British units under command flash red and yellow too. Though it's done away with grid references it still plays rather 'blockily'. In its favour, though, it has five levels, the easiest of which is a good learning mode and the simplicity and relatively small scale of the game could make it ideal for newcomers.


Banner Text

Hush - here's the Special Boat Squadron, landed at Uranie Bay on the Berkley Sound for a quick look around. You know where those Argies are now but you'll also have to find a way to keep them alive.

"Where's Port Stanley?" "I don't know, Ollie." It's here, and as the capital is likely to be strongly defended you'll need to keep strength in reserve and make sure you can get your guns in range.

Here's the unit under control with it stats: Aggression Factor is attach strength, DF Defence ditto and both are used to calculate combat, while MV Movement allowance and RG Range - most units have to be next to each other.

Here are the standard options for you forces, Land is only necessary for the initial beach head - no two pronged attacks - while Recce is for SBS and SAS only. Move leads to a separate N/S/E/W menu and Pass is for those who prefer Master-mined (boom, boom)!

General news appears here. Not 'Our Heroic Lads Blast Argies' but what's happening at sea and incoming plane raids, plus Yes/No questions about air and gun support.

Next stop on our tour of the historic Falklands is San Carlos Bay, the historical landing stage. Will you choose it? There's a long yomp ahead and a lot of ground to clear first.