Your Sinclair

By Cases Computer Simulations
Spectrum 48K

Published in Your Sinclair #19


I have to admit that my heart sank when I finally managed to get Gettysburg, one of he two battles that make Yankee, the new game from CCS, up on the screen. Not because it looks almost identical to Napoleon At Waterloo and Borodino, coincidentally by the same designer. And what's more, it plays exactly the same as these two too.

I guess there's nothing really wrong with sticking to a system that works, but I'm not really sure that it's fair to ask someone to pay out another nine quid for a game that, to all intents and purposes, is identical to ones they may already own.

Those unfamiliar with the two Napoleonic games will find this an enjoyable traditional wargame, but for those of you who are used to complicated hexagon based games, or to some of the recent games such as Arnhem, then Yankee is very basic. The game recreates two battles from the American Civil War - Gettysburg, where Lee's drive on Washington was held up by Union forces, and Chickamuga, where the Confederates halted, for a short while, the Yankee march on Atlanta.

The forces are divided up into divisions, and these are represented on screen by little coloured squares, showing whether they're artillery, cavalry or infantry. The trick, as it has been for Generals throughout the ages, is to exploit the terrain and concentrate your forces for attack or defence. As such, the game accurately recreates the strategic considerations of command.

On the other hand, the battles here feel no different from those in the wargames Borodino or Waterloo, even though, as the rules point out, warfare had changed completely in the intervening 60 years. Unfortunately, it's easy to imagine the same system being rehashed yet again for the English Civil War or Caesar's campaigns.

It's a clean simple strategic game and I'd really have enjoyed playing it - if I hadn't played it a few times already in different guises!