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Strategy: War
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Blaine
Chris Bourne

The war in the desert was very much a to and fro affair, and by May 1942, it was Rommel's turn to make a thrust for Tobruk, taking in as many allied command points as he could. It looked like a simple sweep from west to east, but it was complicated by a broad strip of mines running the length of the map. The only ways round were at the extreme north and south.

In one player mode, you are Rommel, though you can have two player mode, when one of you plays the German commandant and the other plays the Allied commander. Tobruk's your goal and if you're the Allies you have to defend against invasion while attempting to disrupt Rommels' supply lines and strength.

Control round the single battle screen is by the cursor and movement is in stages - first the Axis forces move and attack, then it's the Allies turn.

The Germans are rather short on reinforcements, but they can strengthen themselves in the three key areas of infantry, armoured fighting vehicles and supply. To benefit from supply, though, every unit must be able to trace a line back to the nearby supply point. Because of this, the supply points must be carefully protected. Once you've supplied your troops you can set up special missions for some of your units, such as attacking a target or clearing a path through a minefield. Depending on what's happened during other stages of the game, you may be forced to hold back your attack because your units took heavy damage or because you're waiting for air support.

Tobruk provides an interesting challenge. The rules aren't that difficult to understand, so beginners won't give up in despair, and there's enough in it to give a good strategic puzzle.