Strategy Game Articles 1996 - March 2001


This Page: Strategy Game Articles 1996 - March 2001.
Category Archive: Articles from 1996 to March 2001 ONLY! Does not include news.
Chronological Archive: Articles and news from January 2001 to Present.
Popular Sims: Collections of articles, files and links for one game (do not include news).
Article Database (NEW!): Eventually, all articles will be in this database.

Strategy Game Articles 1996 - March 2001:
R e v i e w
Age of Sail II - Close to the Knacker's Yard
Armed with a new engine, new graphics and a better idea of what gamers want, Talonsoft and Akella have sortied out in an attempt to rule the cyber seas as Britannia ruled the salt ones with Age of Sail II. The question is whether the gaming community will greet it as it would a Nelson or subject it to the fate of Admiral Byng, shot on his own quarterdeck to “encourage the others”?

P r e v i e w
Armored Task Force Alpha Technology Release
ProSim's Armored Task Force (ATF) is the planned successor to its Brigade Combat Team (BCT) wargame. In its final release form, ATF promises to deliver a number of graphics, gameplay, and AI enhancements.

Only the graphics enhancements are actually present in the Alpha Technology Release, however. Join James Sterrett as he gives us a preview of this early, stability-testing version of one of the most realistic wargame simulations for the PC.

R e v i e w
Combat Command 2: Danger Forward
Combat Command 2: Danger Forward is a new and innovative grand tactical computer wargame that focusses on the simulation of airborne and amphibous operations on the World War2 Western Front. Join Peter "Zhukov" Pawelek as he gives you a tour of this COMBATSIM Top Pick award winning wargame.

I n t e r v i e w
Joel Billings of 2BY3 Games
Joel Billings speaks with COMBATSIM's Peter "Zhukov" Pawelek about his new company 2BY3 Games, cofounded with Gary Grigsby and Keith Brors, and about the state of the small-scale/independent computer wargaming industry in general.

F e a t u r e
Indie Corner: Wargames
Join our newest contributor, Peter "Zhukov" Pawelek, as he examines some of the exciting developments from independent/small-scale computer wargame publishers.

R e v i e w
Space Empires IV
There's a light side and a dark side to Space Empires IV (SEIV). The light side is that it's a cracking good game - so good, in fact, that after I spent until 7AM playing it, thinking it was still only 2AM, my wife and I agreed to put it into the category of "Games So Good I Deleted Them And Gave the CD To My Wife So I Could Eat And Sleep". It's a fun, addictive, well-designed game.

R e v i e w
Sudden Strike
According to our reviewer Steve MacGregor, Sudden Strike, is an RTS wargame that may just ruin your social life. Join Steve as he tries to explain to you why, despite some minor flaws and faults, Sudden Strike has that elusive Ingredient X that raises it above the mass of digital dross that skitters over most wargamers' hard drives like so much meaningless static.

R e v i e w
Squad Leader
Although too late for our Canadian friends, Hasbro kicked off the U.S. Thanksgiving season in fine fashion. With Squad Leader, they have delivered a turkey big enough to make even the stoutest table groan, See how we carve up the carcass in our review.

R e v i e w
Close Combat 5: Invasion Normandy
The latest iteration of the Close Combat series takes us back to the hedgerows of Normandy, where the first game was set. CC5 covers the Utah Beach landings and the battle for the Cotentin Peninsula, using very much the same real-time squad-level tactical battle engine pioneered in the first game and the same campaign system present in the last game. Join Nelson "Admiral" Hernandez as he reviews CC5 and makes a rather dire prediction about its potential future.

P r e v i e w
Squad Leader
When you change one of the world’s most popular games in a major way, the limb you just climbed out on can creak ominously. Let’s see which way the wind is swaying Hasbro’s projected Squad Leader.

P r e v i e w
Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business
Politicians work from fund to fund but mercenaries' work is never done. Thus, after liberating the country of Arulco in Jagged Alliance 2, heroes for hire are called upon again to defend it from a threat from neighboring Tracona in Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business. Will a slimmed down version of this game work?

I n t e r v i e w
Squad Leader Producer Andy Mazurek
Hasbro's Squad Leader is controversial and it's not even out yet! Jim Cobb speaks to Producer Andy Mazurek about this WWII man-to-man combat sim.

R e v i e w
Dark Reign 2
Putting together an RTS is a fine art, especially since there is so much competition in the genre. Nelson "Admiral" Hernandez puts Dark Reign 2 in the “good effort” category but as he explains, it falls short of the best games because it fails to break any new ground and set itself apart from a number of other games that offer the same experience.

R e v i e w
Shogun: Total War
Although the game is "Something borrowed," something new", Shogun uses a mix of modes on a little-known subject to create a benchmark in strategy games. Check out the first successful marriage of historical strategic and tactical play.

Shogun: Total War

R e v i e w
Combat Mission
Combat Mission is a tactical-level wargame set in Northwestern Europe in the period from the D-Day invasion to the surrender of Germany. It incorporates two innovative concepts--a 3-D battlefield and a simultaneous movement system. As Nelson Hernandez explains, this combination offers superb realism and great replay value to make Combat Mission without peer.

Combat Mission

R e v i e w
Armies of Armageddon: WDK 2K
Click to Proceed Armies of Armageddon (AoA) is a turn-based squad-level tactical combat game and construction set developed by Boku Strategy Games and published by Shrapnel Games. "Admiral" Nelson Hernandez examines this surprisingly entertaining strategy game.

Armies of Armageddon: WDK 2K


Click to Proceed Michael Robel examines the Brigade Combat Team Construction Set. Fresh from the front is Shrapnel's and Prosim's Brigade Combat Team(BCT) scenario editor. This editor gives you the power to edit and create weapons, vehicles, and units to modify existing or make new scenarios.

BCT Construction Set

R e v i e w
Horse and Musket
Click to Proceed Horse and Musket, by Boku Strategy Games and distributed by Shrapnel Games, is a study of the art of war in the 18th century. The player can play either side in the solitaire scenarios, but the instructions usually recommend a human or computer player. Network and hot seat play is also supported.

Review: Horse and Musket

Strategy Gaming  R e v i e w
  By Michael K. Robel     Brigade Combat Team
LOGO Brigade Combat Team (BCT), by PROSIM, is one of those products that come along from time to time as a result of the developer fooling around in his garage. In this case the developer is US Army Captain Patrick Proctor who has come up with a dynamite product that portrays modern land combat in a fashion worthy of the most expensive Department of the Army simulations.

Brigade Combat Team
BCT Expansion Set 2: Light Fighters

Strategy Gaming  R e v i e w
  By Michael K. Robel     TACOPS Verson 3.0
LOGO Veteran wargamers and newbies alike can rejoice, because TACOPS is once again available to the average consumer. Be a US Marine, or a member of a foreign military force to play the game, and displacing publishers from Arsenal to Avalon Hill, it is now finally available from


Strategy Gaming  P r e v i e w
  by Ted Watterston     Close Combat IV
LOGO The Close Combat series from Atomic Games has remained popular with strategy gamers. The first three releases were published by Microsoft, but this coming release will be published by SSI and return to that incredible contest of wills known as the Battle of the Bulge.

CC4 Preview

Strategy Gaming  P r e v i e w
  by Martin Turewicz     Combat Mission
Performance While tank, air and naval combat simulations are reaching new heights these days using incredible 3D acceleration, it seems that the "classic" wargame of tactical land combat is forever stuck in a highly abstracted, turn-based hex-grid environment. Fortunately, there is hope.

Combat Mission

Strategy Gaming  R e v i e w
  by Maurice Fitzgerald     Force 21
LOGO Releasing a hit game that garners top honors from almost every gaming e-zine and print publication is no mean feat, but following that up with a couple more hits is what truly proves that you are a force to be reckoned with.

Force 21

Strategy Gaming  P r e v i e w
  by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson     Panzer General 3d Assault
LOGO A couple of years back Panzer General II appeared, an excellent follow up to a very successful war/strategy game by SSI. Now Panzer General is brought into the 3d world, but with a signficant shift in gameplay style.

Panzer General 3d Assault

Strategy Gaming  R e v i e w
  by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson     Battle of Britain
LOGO The Battle of Britain was a decisive struggle in our century. TalonSoft's latest wargame recreates the strategic aspects of the conflict, and allows you to get down and dirty with the small details.

Battle of Britain

Strategy Gaming  R e v i e w
  Steve Reynolds     Alpha Centauri
SMAC Sid Meier presents the next evolution in strategy games, with the most compelling gameplay yet. If you are a fan of Civilization I or II you’ll see a lot of resemblance here, but this is the most addictive release yet!

Alpha Centauri

Strategy Gaming  R e v i e w
  Bubba "Masterfung" Wolford     Close Combat III

The third installment of the classic Close Combat series doesn't just give you a couple of new Russian time zones to fight, bleed, and die in. Try an enhanced user interface, improved AI, loads of new weapons and the welcome reinstatement of the Commander Persona feature. Join Bubba "Masterfung" Wolford as he gives you a bird's-eye view of all the hits and misses in this classic real-time strategy game.

Close Combat III

1998 Top Pick   A w a r d s
     Hardware and Software Top Picks
Best of '98

Maurice Fitzgerald sums up the strategy and shooter scene in 1998. Here also is our earlier article on audio and video boards and game controllers.

Best of '98

Strategy    R e v i e w
by Maurice Fitzgerald    Axis and Allies

Twenty years after the concept was first being worked out as a board game, Axis and Allies now finds itself a new medium, the PC. After a shaky start, the Hasbro Interactive release is beginning to catch on.

Axis and Allies

Strategy  Preview
by Maurice Fitzgerald   101st Airborn in Normandy

In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, the volunteer paratroopers of the 101st Airborne were handed one of the toughest assignments of World War II – to parachute behind enemy lines, at night, before the morning invasion known as D-Day.

101st Airborn

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