From the designers of highly successful tactical simulators comes a less successful attempt at a strategy game, covering the major campaigns in north-west Europe from D-Day to the end of 1944.
The program is extremely good value, offering scenarios on D-Day to the fall of Paris, on the race to the Rhine, on Market-Garden and on the Battle of the Bulge, each with between two and four variants including the historical option. (For a real test, try defending against the "Hitler's Dream" variant of the Bulge.) The player is offered choices on joystick or keyboard control, icons or symbols, total or limited intelligence of enemy forces and a handicapping system against an unequal opponent.
The graphics are beautifully drawn, with the screen changing colour three times a day for dawn, half-light and dark, and supply trucks rushing down major roads to reach the front line units.
The playing mechanism has, however, several shortcomings. The player, in the position of commander-in-chief, issues orders directly to each division or brigade in continuous accelerated real-time of thirty minute segments. This is not very realistic. Having no intermediate command means that divisions often get very jumbled, while with up to forty units to control simultaneously it is easy to forget something. Also, since it takes above twelve hours from the ordering of an attack to its taking place, most of the playing "day" is spent doing nothing. From D-Day I took Paris in two campaign months (one month faster than the real Allies), but it took eleven playing hours to do and was about as interesting as watching paint dry.
A game for the military purist, backed by a good historical account in the booklet and suggestions for further reading.