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Austerlitz logo  Format Gold

PSS 24.95 * Keyboard and Mouse

Austerlitz D ecember 2nd 1805 and Napoleon's Grand Armee have called off the planned invasion of Britain due to the threat imposed by Austria, Russia, Sweden and Britain who comprise the Third Coalition. The French march their way into Austria and after winning a series of decisive victories are preparing for yet another confrontation with the Austro-Russian forces.
That is the state of play at the start of this one or two player wargame, one that allows the player to rewrite history as either Napoleon commanding the French or Czar Alexander I commanding the allied Austro-Russian forces.

This is the second of the PSS games designed by Dr Peter Turcan. They differ from most wargames in their attempt to be as realistic as possible - only allowing the player to see the battlefield from the eyes of the Commander-in-Chief.
Once you have decided whether to play as Napoleon or Alexander, take command: the orders you issue are sent by dispatch rider to your corps commanders, who in turn order the divisional generals to move their infantry, cavalry and artillery units. All of your subordinates have their own intelligence and the player is rarely concerned with the decisions made by regimental commanders at the lowest level of command.

The orders you are able to issue vary in complexity from vague commands like 'Soult, attack the Pratzeberg' to things like 'Lannes, at 12 45pm order 3 infantry divisions to defend Santon Hill'. Once you have decided which orders to issue (eight per turn, each turn lasting 15 minuts) the orders are sent by messenger to their destination. Obviously, the further away this is, the longer it is going to take the orders to get through (if they do it all, because riders are just as prone to getting themselves killed as anyone else). And that is the crux of the game, keeping tabs on what your subordinates are doing and reacting to situations, very often before they can actually occur.
Reviewer: Andy Smith

Amiga Format, Issue 8, March 1990, p.53

The last thing you want in a serious wargame is sound, so there is not any. The 3D graphics, however, are great. It takes a short while for the screen to update each time, but the delay is not too bad. There is an option to see the cannons firing, which is a nice touch, but most of the time you are looking at the blocks that represent the various units.

To familiarise yourself with the game system an, indeed, to get used to the tactics used in Napoleonic warfare, you can select to view the action through the eyes of corps commanders and major landmarks - very handy. Though there is only one scenario, it is a tough one to win - especially if you play as the Czar against the computer.

This wargame provides a real challenge. Novices may be better off looking elsewhere, but anyone who wants to play a serious game and is prepared to put in the effort needed to play the game well find it very rewarding. If you liked Waterloo, you will find this a worthy follow-up.