Simulating medieval warfare is this one or two player wargame from new boys ARC. Two feuding princes on a small island have decided to do away with each other, so they've both amassed an army (ranging from 45 to 514 men), decided by each player at the start of the game) made up of cavalry and foot soldiers and decided to go after each other. The objective is simple: Kill the other player's prince before he kills yours.
Once the size of the armies has been decided and the particular island picked from the eight possible, the armies are plonked down and battle begins. There are three levels of visibility - whether you can see the opposing army - from totally visible even though it's on the other side of the island, to only visible when your troops are on screen as well.
There are three zoom-in options too: the first shows your army represented by the prince's banner, the second shows the army represented by regimental commanders, and the third takes it right down to company commander level, showing each soldier.
In magnified mode all the player gets to see is a small area of the map with his troops on, through a small window on the left of the screen. Issuing orders also depends on the level of magnification: regimental orders at level two and company at level three. The orders available vary for the type of troop, but generally include walk, charge and withdraw.
To issue an order, simply select the company or regimental commander, choose the order from the list at the side and then move the silhouetted company or regiment to another part of the small window. The troops then follow the orders (as best they can) and, since everything happens in real time, you can select another commander or issue more orders.
When the two armies meet battle occurs automatically and usually the fight continues until one prince has been killed. At this point no more orders can be issued by either side, but both sides will continue with their last orders until they're either fulfilled or the other prince is killed, and the battle is called a draw. Then it's back to the start-up screen and time to fight again.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The action window has a distinctly Populous-
Playing solo, the game soon runs out of steam unless you pep it up and 'limit set' yourself by giving your opponent loads more troops. Playing against a human opponent is much more of a challenge, especially as you ca data-link two machines (even Amiga-ST) and play a remote opponent. The lack of options and variety, though, will tend to take the edge off of the game sooner than a more involved game would have.
Despite the great presentation there are a few basic parts to the gameplay that let it down. The moving of troops is very annoying as it can be very fiddly to get a particular regiment or company into the place you want: it's all to easy to make a mistake and send them off to the wrong place, only to have to go and do it all again. Frustrating, because everything happens in real time.
It's also annoying that the troops give little indication of when they've completed an order and are ready for the next. The zoom-in feature and the small play window are nice ideas that just don't quite come off. Billed as a game that's "ideal for arcaders who want to experience the wargame phenomenon" it falls between the two being far too limited in both areas.