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Off to war again
This is the original entry in the long-running military strategy series that continued with the likes of Gettysburg and Waterloo. Apart from the poor Napoleon in Russia, most of the franchise is pretty decent and offers much to interest the military history buff. This one gets things off to a fairly satisfying start and would lay down much of the template which later games followed, so you can expect an interesting time if you pick this up. As you might be able to guess from the title, this one is set in World War II, between December 1944 and January 1945 and features over twenty historically accurate missions to play through, each set in the Ardennes forest and the surrounding area. In addition to the authentic missions, there are also some 'what if?' scenarios to try out and even a scenario editor so you can tweak with the pre-made ones to suit your own needs. You can switch between a top-down view or a more detailed map screen for the battles and the gameplay follows the formula for other similar strategy games, with a focus on authenticity and detail. This is a pretty decent example of the genre so whether you're a newcomer to this sort of thing or an old-hand, there's much to enjoy here. The interface is easy enough to pick up, which makes a nice change from some of the more complicated alternatives out there, so you should be able to get your troops off and running without too much difficulty. Gameplay is pretty standard stuff but it's challenging and the various scenarios are generally interesting, while the visuals are up to scratch, making this a good addition to any strategy collection.
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- Battleground 2: Gettysburg Strategy, 1996