Computer Wargame Review
Overview/BackgroundThis simulation covers operation Market Garden, Bernard Montgomery’s audacious plan to break into Germany in the fall of 1944.
ManualsBoth online and hard-copy documentation are provided. This is very useful for a beginning player.
SystemThe system is not very transparent. The display is very fluid – a single map sheet that is easy to comprehend. The lack of transparency is more than made up for in the variety of options and the ease to which a player can figure out the game’s user interface. I hardly had to refer to the manual, leaving me free to concentrate on achieving victory. The computer will handle the movement based on what the player orders – either the quickest route. The scenario editor and map maker are okay, although it is difficult to modify the order of battle.
Game FeaturesSingle-player and two-player network play are supported. This game is limited to the operational level, but does very well on that front. There are variable adjustments in reinforcements and supplies to either challenge a more experienced player or to help ease a beginner into the game. The user interface is much easier to understand than it is in Market Garden `44 – it is intuitive and easy to grasp. That makes it easier to get to the heart of the matter: Seeing how well you match up to the top commanders on the scene. Everything on this simulation works well.
Lessons LearnedFor the Allies: This game does not give you many breaks. Again, bad luck will kill an operation. There is no room for error. A marginal victory was achieved in one run through a scenario. Nice in the simulation mode, but in the real operation, anything less than a decisive victory probably would not have cut it. The entire plan was going to either be a huge masterstroke, or a huge blunder. There was no middle ground.
For the Germans: A conservative approach will probably be good enough. The key is to just delay the Allies. They are on a time-critical mission. Attack cautiously, but firmly, and the battle will be won.
SummaryRealism is not compromised in making this simulation user-friendly and easy to operate. In fact, the simulation’s ease of use makes it easier to do what a real commander would be doing: Concentrating on winning the battle as opposed to figuring out how to call in an air strike. The game will run on some older computers, but it performs best when the computer’s specifications are well in excess of the minimum. This game is highly recommended for a beginning wargamer. It is also a superb choice for anyone who has an interest in airborne operations, the European Theater of World War II, or both.
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