For hardcore military fans only
This really is an antique from the days of gaming yore, and while it introduced some interesting elements to the military strategy genre, it now stands as more of a curiosity than an actual playable game. It is certainly ambitious however, and attempts to simulate virtually all kinds of warfare, from ancient battles to futuristic ones, and with real-world situations like the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Waterloo available for re-enactment. The game allows players to control most aspects of the battles, from customising the field of war itself, to the units involved and the scenario details. Combat is played out on map screen which is now incredibly crude and which simply uses text to represent names of units rather than any form of visual icon. Battles can range from small scale encounters to massed assaults covering an entire theatre of war but due to the game's age and limited graphics, there is little sense of the epic nature of these historical feuds. The game does score slightly higher in the degree of strategy that is required, with the many units and scenarios offering plenty of opportunities for different tactics to be tried out. Things are rather marred though by the awkward user interface, which makes the game more frustrating than it ought to be, while there are also several omissions which prevent it from being a truly universal simulator, including a lack of naval warfare. UMS spawned a number of sequels which improved on the basic idea, including War College, but the series remains one for the hardcore sim enthusiast, so if you number yourself amongst the number, you may find some enjoyment here. However, everyone else is better off with Panzer General or Empire Deluxe.