Before getting on to the actual game, I do have a couple of observations regarding the installation and start up of this title. As part of the installation you are requested to enter the product's key code - and where do you find this code but on the disk that is currently residing in the drive which means you will need to copy down this code otherwise you will have to remove the said disk before the installation is completed. Furthermore this key code was one of the longest I have encountered, running to 43 characters. I installed the game on my Vista system (more memory and better graphics support were the main reasons) and initially though there could be problems as my onscreen gadgets remain clearly on view as the program loaded its data and opening screen menu. Fortunately a mouse click was all that was required to remove these objects from the screen.
Napoleon's Campaigns provides three tutorials to help you get started. These tutorials cover the user interface and movement orders; chain of command; and attacking the enemy in this turn-based military simulation. You are presented with a mixture of basic information and instructions in these tutorials but I found that the font size used was rather small causing me to move closer than normal to the screen in order to make it out. The same criticism could have been levelled at the detailed rendered maps but a zoom feature, controlled by the mouse wheel comes to the rescue. While I'm sure experienced strategy gamers, even Napoleon himself, would have no trouble in taking everything in their stride; those less experienced at thus type of game play will struggle and would definitely want more help from the tutorial.
Napoleon's Campaigns spreads itself over the period from 1805, starting with the victory at
The game concentrates on a combination of strategy with the organisation and command of the army under your control. You will need to consider issues of supply lines for both consumables and re-enforcements plus decide which of your generals will take the lead in various battles. Control of cities is vital if you are to make progress and be in a position to defeat the enemy. Each turn covers a one-week period with the computer considering all the relevant data while you sit back and consider your next series of actions. Talking about actions, this is one feature of warfare that is kept to the background as it is conducted behind a shield. At the conclusion of this computer control bloodbath, you are presented with a summary of the results on a display overlaid on the main map - this is warfare as seen from an office many hundreds of miles behind the front line.
For strategists and turn-based game players, this is a title well worth considering. There is plenty to occupy the player as they attempt to defeat a challenging AI opponent. Those preferring more cut and thrust to their game play should look elsewhere. Napoleon's Campaigns requires a Pentium III 1.2GHz processor with 1GB RAM, 1.8GB of hard disk space, 3D 128MB graphics card with support for DirectX 9.0c running Windows 2000/XP/Vista. Pricing has been set at £19.99.
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