Martin Wheeler
Strategy: War
ZX Spectrum 48K

Angus Ryall
Chris Bourne

I'm supposed to be nice to CCS because they've invited me to lunch at the Ritz - but in fact they didn't have to bribe me, because I actually like War 70. The great thing about it is that it takes in both the strategic and the tactical, by operating in two distinct phases - in the first, you regroup and move your armies, and in the second you fight battles with individual armies against each other. This is a two-player game, which some might call a bit of a drawback; unlike some other wargames it is difficult to play on your own as a purely military exercise. Once you're playing with someone else, though, it becomes quite a teaser. The game starts off with the 'Campaign Map Scenario'. This is a map of two countries, showing their capital cities, eight other cities, and the roads that connect them. Each side has nine armies/groups, and there are 32 locations on the map where the armies can be. Each player moves his armies around the map using a set number of moves, attempting to engage (or avoid) the enemy. Once the enemy is engaged, the game switches to its battle sequence. Each location has its own battlefield map, which shows trees, rivers and buildings: I moaned a lot last month about the poor standard of graphics in games like Confrontation, and the battlefield maps in WAR 70 are certainly an improvement on that, although still pretty basic. The battle runs horizontally, and features a bizarre method of moving pieces - you have to type in the co-ordinates of the location you want the piece to move to. I found that after a hard night's reviewing my eyes just couldn't handle this, and I had to keep checking the screen with a ruler! Apart this obvious shackle, the battle moves fairly smoothly; each army (at full strength) has eight units, of four different types. Each unit has a certain number of men in it, and the number of men killed determines when a unit goes 'out of action' (they're effectively strength points). The game benefits from having a concrete objective - the control of your opponent's capital city - and is almost as good as Red Shift's stuff I It was apparently runner-up to Battle 1917 in 1983s 'Cambridge Awards' (that's the bash I got to go to at the Ritz) but deserved to hands down (CCS must be laughing all the way to the bank).

Verdict: clear layout, and a nice mix of overall strategy and close tactics. A pussycat.


Not Rated