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CCS
Ken Wright
1986
Strategy: War
£8.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

77
Rick Robson
Chris Bourne

I knew when I grew up I'd want to play strategy simulation war games like this one from CCS. I spent hours as a wee 'un setting out me little Airfix men on the kitchen lino only for my mum to play Gulliver and tread on all their heads or wash them away in a tidal wave of Flash.

No such problems here for a game in the collectable series that brought you Austerlitz. I say collectable with qualification. Shorties with no braces on their strides and proper war game freaks should find this a sound bet. Those new to square bashing may feel this not only looks like, but plays like, Austerlitz, so you're just getting more of the same.

Eylau is not exactly the most well known and therefore the most marketable of Napoleonic nefariousness, but as a battle it's interesting since the various unit commanders had to take decisions even when they didn't know their colleagues, let alone their enemies' positions. And it's this element that the games tries to expand. You can control your own (ze French) forces totally, quite easy when the whole battlefield isn't much bigger than a single screen.

However, this situation is most unlike a real battle with its lousy lines of communication. So you can choose to order around only certain elements - units of cavalry, artillery and foot solders - leaving the other units to move on their own initiative. Sometimes they'll stumble into disaster, or turn up like the US Cavalry, just in the nick of time! Ultimately, you'll have to take the crucial decisions if you want to force a result, or the simulation, like the actual battle, will veer towards stalemate.

Otherwise everything is fine, and technically very smooth, though I'm sure CCS could've smartened up the graphics. All the keying in of orders will give you a throbbing finger, but somehow this is all part of a strategy's compulsion. One final quibble - how about getting some women into this male-dominated militarism? There's nothing some of us would like better than a good thrashing from Boadicea!

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