PSS has published a number of wargames over the last couple of years, some of which have been pretty good, and some of which have been downright diabolical.
So Battlefield Germany came as a more than pleasant surprise. It is, quite simply, the best game I've seen yet from PSS, and very possibly one of the best five wargames I've ever seen on the Spectrum.
Battlefield Germany is a simulation of combat between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces in central Germany. Either one or two players can participate: if only one is playing, then the computer takes the opposing forces, whichever the player chooses not to be.
Most of the screen is taken up with a tactical map, showing a detailed section of the whole playing area. This is divided up into hexagons, each of which is 30 miles across. Marked on the map are various terrain features - forests, hills, urban areas, mountains and so on. Also shown on the map are the units of each side. Each hexagon covers a lot of ground, so up to four units can occupy the same one. The top unit only is visible, and the presence of others in the same hex is indicated by dots on that unit - up to four.
The units have on them very clear icons showing what type they are - infantry, mechanised infantry, amour, armoured cavalry, airmobile troops, paratroops or mountain infantry. Which side they are is shown by which way they face.
Above the map is a message strip which is used to display game information - what turn it is, what the relative victory point score is, whose turn it is presently and what phase of the turn it is.
To the right of the map is a smaller, strategic map which shows the whole playing area, which runs from Denmark in the north to Switzerland in the south, and as far west as France. Small coloured dots on this map indicate where forces are located.
Below this strategic map is a display area. This shows what units are in the hex being currently inspected, their combat strengths, their type. supply level and units designation and nationality.
To move a unit, you place the cursor over it on the tactical map, hit the select button, then move it to wherever you want it. To attack, you use the cursor to select who will conduct the attack and which adjacent enemy unit they will attack.
Graphically it's superb. It's easily one of the best looking wargames I have ever seen.
Play is smooth and challenging, and I am certainly looking forward to sitting down to a long session with this one.
If PSS can repeat this, then I for one am going to be well chuffed.
Reviewer: Gary Rook
A magnificent simulation of a fascinating topic. Graphics are excellent and gameplay is challenging. Buy it.