BACK in the old days, before world leaders who are too wimpish to start a war (good on them), storm clouds regularly gathered over the peaceful plains of Europe. Wars were about as regular as the Olympics and about as casual. The 20th century changed all that. No more popping off to war for a few years and coming home rich and famous. No more letters to The Times complaining that the tea supply had dried up. At last mankind had discovered total war in all its gore.
One man most fondly remembered for giving his country-powered eggs, gas masks, the Blitz, evacuated children, air raid shelters, one rasher of bacon a wekk and Messerschmitt schoulder was Hitler. Now you, too, can stand in the shoes of a man who more than any other in history had a real chance of ruling the world.
Storm across Europe covers the entire war period from the failed Munich accord to the sacking of Berlin by allied troops. The game is divided into periods of three months during which you can manoeuvre your troops and mercilessly attack weakly defended positions causing great loss of life.
Three players are represented by the game: Germany, the Allies and Russia (who presumably were not as allied as the rest of the Allies). This means that up to three people can play with the computer playing the role of any country left over with the exception of Germany, which must be played by a human - the strategy algorithms obviously are not up to beng a despotic fascist. It takes a human to do that.
Naval power is very well simulated. Actually, it is only adequately handled, but that makes it superior to most other strategy games of this type. U-boat fleets will patrol the Atlantic putting paid to the Lend-Lease scheme and troop transports are absolutely vital in the Med.
Every year the production targets for each country must be reset. This includes research, which can increase the effectiveness of all your units and develop new weapons. The penalty for this is resources - the more you spend on research the less you have left to re-enforce your army. What you do here is probably more important than your strategy in the field.
Of course, resources include raw materials, your population and the number of factories, and these come from capturing territory. The real strategy to this game is the effective management of the materials involved, rather than the fighting itself.
The order-giving system is easy enough to understand and use, but it is best to approach the order phase in a systematic way to be sure you do not miss anything out.
Detail is missin on the actual units - only large armiesa and garrisons are taken into account, but this must be considered against the scope of the game. On the whole there is not much scope for cunning Rommel/Monty type tactics, just management of large armies battering against each other. And the only time tactical skills are severely tested is during a waterborne invasion.
The lack of unit tactics makes this not one for those who consider themselves the re-incarnation of General Patton, more a neo-Hitlerite interested in the management of a world domination machine.