|★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ GAMESLIST ★ THE BRIDGE OF ARNHEM (c) CCS ★|
This is the first wargame on the Amstrad by Cases Computer Simulations (unless they have been particularly quiet in the past) and they've picked a difficult subject with which to kick off. 'Operation Market Garden'is one of the most difficult subjects from the last war anyone could try to simulate. In late 1944. Montgomery's plan was to liberate Holland in one great push, thereby opening the road to Germany — and beating his rival Yank generals to it to boot. Because of the country's geography, there were a series of bridges leading roughly eastwards towards the Rhine, which held great strategic importance. These, Montgomery suggested, could be taken by air before they were destroyed by the Germans. Thus began one of the most complex and ultimately ill-fated Allied offensives in the latter pari of World War Two. There were five bridges to be taken by British and American paras; the furthest of these was at Arnhem.
The game features five complete scenarios offering differing complexity by their relation to the whole campaign. Up to three players (American, British and German) may take part. Alternatively only one player need play, taking responsibility for the Allies whilst the computer plays the Germans. Each scenario is designed to be completed in a certain number of turns and each turn is divided into three phases. The phases allow motorized (or any mechanical) units to move and enter combat twice as frequently as their non-mechanical counterparts. Combat between two adjacent units is automatic but movement depends on terrain.
The display is of a scrolling map type with the usual information windows present. Units are displayed only by symbols until they enter combat, when a slightly more explanatory icon takes their place. Information gathering is not really that necessary as there is no limited intelligence feature and you can only move over whichever parts of the map are relevant to your scenario.
Units are given full identification (which as far as I can tell, is accurate) and orders may be given when the cursor is above them. Reports may be accessed at this time and they reveal details of a unit's strengths and weaknesses (in game terms) and tell vou whether that unit has attacked or not. Units'potential combat effectiveness can be accurately calculated from this information because the game itself seems to employ relatively simple techniques for fighting. This is a good feature on a beginner's game and that. I feel, is what this game is.
There are problems however. When moving units, the cursor doesn't let you plot where you like and then tell you your move is impossible, if you break any rules. It assumes that you know what you are doing and automatically places the unit whenever you run out of movement points. In other words you can't pick up the playing piece and then decide where to put it down. The display is also very poor. The map is legible but scrolls appallingly. Combat is slow if units far apart are given their orders together. And the stacking display is non-existent, often causing confusion by its absence.
Arnhem's packaging is really quite good, with appealing art work, a well printed and laid out instruction book, complete with interesting historical notes. It is really spoiled by the atrocious display and the speed of combat resolution in complex scenarios. If you can put up with those faults the game itself plays well (once you are familiar with its one or two quirks) and could provide a sound, if unimpressive, introduction to wargaming.
CPCrulez[Content Management System] v8.7-desktop/cache
L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.