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Decisive Battles of American Civil War Vol. 3 (pc game)
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Solid historical strategy sim
This is an interesting excursion into the world of historical strategy games, and provides plenty of depth and complexity to match the best of the genre. However, it isn't particularly accessible for newcomers and thus is best recommended for experienced armchair generals. As the name suggests, this allows players to recreate some of the most significant battles of the American Civil War and includes scenarios set in Franklin, Atlanta and Nashville. There are plenty of such scenarios to keep you entertained, but the addition of a mission editor is a welcome bonus and allows you to tweak parameters to suit your preferences. In gameplay terms, this plays out in traditional turn-based fashion, with units being moved singly or in groups under the command of a leader and with orders being issued by the player. An unusual feature is the ability to play as a god-like commander, able to control all units, or as an individual leader, only able to issue commands to nearby units, which adds some interesting tactical depth. Another strength of the game is the AI of both the enemy and your own troops, who make intelligent decisions by themselves and provide a stiff challenge. Scenarios play out according to a points system, with points awarded for kills and achieving objectives but are slightly on the short side, although the editor does make up for this. The interface is generally fine, with options easily accessible and which are readily navigated between, and while graphics are basic, they serve their purpose. Although not quite up to the standards of Sid Meier's Gettysburg, this remains an entertaining and highly tactical historical wargame that provides plenty of exciting military spectacle.
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