THE RACE for the bridge at Arnhem was one of the more daring strategies of World War Two. General Montgomery conceived the plan of a rapid advance across Holland with paratroopers dropped behind the lines to capture the vital river bridges.
Forty years on CCS has conceived the not-so-daring plan of simulating the enterprise in a series of five scenarios culminating in the full-scale battle, Operation Market Garden.
Long-time specialists in wargames, many of which had little merit, CCS seems finally to have cracked it. Arnhem is one of the finest computer wargames we have seen, a blend of complex strategy, historical authenticity, and simple, swift operation which will have fans returning for more.
The playing area scrolls over a map of the roads and terrain towards the final bridge. Units are moved in turn, and have an abstract form. You can call up reports on their strengths and efficiency, and issue orders which will be continued on subsequent turns unless cancelled.
The attention given to realism includes the formation of individual units, which can travel fast in condensed form or slowly in open order. The condensed form equates to a column of tanks, for example, which can take advantage of a road for speed but is hampered in combat.
Provision is given for one, two or three players. With three players one player commands the Germans, one the Americans and one the British forces. An introductory scenario can be completed in an hour, and consists of capturing the first bridge at Eindhoven. A full map is provided with a comprehensive booklet.
At the end of the game an assessment is made of your success. If you have failed to advance swiftly you fail, but you may be granted victory any- way, as it is possible to do well enough to make the outcome inevitable.
Wargames of this sort are not for the impatient, nor for the complete novice at strategy. But for those who enjoy simulation wargaming, Arnhem is one of the best, and captures the problems of maintaining a swift advance along narrow country roads remarkably well.