Commodore User


Author: Mark Mainwood
Publisher: Arc
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #76


In 1588, Spain was the World's superpower. With massive wealth brought across the Atlantic from the Caribbean, and an army that was widely regarded as the toughest and most efficient in Europe, few could stand in its way. It was certainly the only power that would consider an amphibious attack on a well populated and modern country, England, over 1,000 miles from a home port.

Spain was a Catholic country led by King Philip II whilst England was under the control of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I. Usually Phil was a fairly tolerant sort of chap but when Elizabeth killed the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots he had to act. So, what do you do when someone you've never met before gets killed? Right, you send out a massive Armada to invade a country.

As in Waterloo, also programmed by this team, you can play the way from both points of view. If you choose to play the English you take the role of Lord Howard, the Spanish commander is Medina Sidonia. You have control over the whole fleet and it's up to you to secure victory for your country; the English also have control over the coastal stations.


The commands are entered in plain English statements, not the standard pseudo-menu options that appear in most strategy games. What's more, Armada has an extremely advanced parser, allowing you to enter some very complex commands. The only problem is that the user must get used to the syntax and this can take quite a while considering that one turn consists of up to thirty commands.

A three-dimensional picture of your view is presented on the screen, so you can see where the coast and enemy are relative to yourself. It's worth mentioning that, although the game has been well researched, there are a few important features missing, for example, you can't use fire boats and you can't commandeer enemy ships.

There is no sound whatsoever in the game - a nice nautical tune would have enhanced the often lengthy wait between goes.

Compared to the previous Arc wargames, Armada is more a new scenario than a new game. Then again, it's a hard task modifying an already successful game system.

Definitely release of the month for people who have experienced and enjoyed its predecessor.

Mark Mainwood

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