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Taking command of either the Red or Blue army, both sides are composed of 12 individual foot soldiers, each taking turns until one side or the other is wiped out. Each warrior receives his orders through the mouse, and subsequently carries them out, but you only get a limited amount of time to give your orders which adds some pace!

Rather than playing against the computer (which is an excellent opponent, even on the dumbest level) you can play against a friend, either on the same computer or through a modem/serial link.

There are four different battlefields/scenarios for you to play on: King's Bridge, Frontier Outpost, Village Wall and Castle Keep. They are composed of a very small grid (22 by 15 squares) and each square can be occupied by one soldier, obstacle or a dead body.

To help play the game, the map is always on-screen. Humans cannot see out-of-sight enemies, while the all-seeing computer knows what's going on everywhere.

Taking command
Above the game panel is a magnified view of the battlefield. Movement is easy: click on a soldier and his destination. A soldier might not make it though, because the terrain (hills, carts and tables) slows down movement.

Each soldier can attack once per turn. There is an option to let each one attack, then move and attack again: this makes for a faster, nastier game. Four weapons are available: bow, knife, axe and sword. The first three are missile weapons (they can be thrown some distance) and are in limited supply. The sword can only be used when adjacent to an enemy.

Each soldier has their own name and speciality. For example, Bangor Hatchett the Barbarian is a slow moving all-in-one mean machine. Robin Locksley can move quickly and propel an arrow unusually far, but soon succumbs to repeated enemy attacks. Who is where and when is the difference between winning and losing.

The method for forming an attack is erratic. First you click on a weapon, then you have to click on a direction (similar to a compass rose) and the weapon speeds off. Supposing that there's an enemy in range and there are no obstacles, you'll hit him.

The whole system is let down because you can't scroll the screen, make a player move off the view screen or check off-screen for obstacles blocking the line of sight. This makes long-range hiking up or down the screen impossible and long-range shooting a joke.

Look 'n feel
The graphics are quite jolly, with animation sequences for movement, using a weapon, getting hit and dying. There is also a small sword-fight sequence, although whoever was attacked always loses. The sound, just composed of spot effects, fits the game nicely.

The nature of the game makes it difficult for humans to play well and so the computer excels. Each weapon does the same damage (depending on who uses it) and each soldier has a certain number of hit points. The computer will happily leave a target for you to it because it knows you can't kill it that turn, even if every available soldier gangs up.

The game isn't random, which makes it a point-and-click puzzle that is best played against a friend. Medieval Warriors is too simplistic, frustrating when you make a mistake and dull when you work out the correct tactics. Give me Laser Squad any time.

Die Retorten-Krieger

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Bei Merit Software hat man sich das noch gar nicht so alte "Operation Com.bat" geschnappt, die Panzer durch Krieger ersetzt, ein paar Kleinigkeiten geändert - und fertig war das brandneue Strategical!

Wie gehabt dürfen sich zwei Parteien (rot und blau) gegenseitig die Köpfe einschlagen: Jeder bekommt zwölf mittelalterliche Prügelknaben mit unterschiedlichen Eigenschaften und Fähigkeiten, wer am Ende übrigbleibt, hat gewonnen.

Die Auseinandersetzung entwickelt sich erstens auf Rundenbasis, zweitens unter Zeitdruck und drittens auf einem von vier anwählbaren Terrains.

Pro Durchgang darf jede Figur einmal "Ziehen" (Mausklick im Grafikfenster) und einmal angreifen, muß aber nicht. Messer, Schwert, Axt und Bogen stehen zur Verfügung, wobei die Geschicklichkeit im Umgang mit den Mordwerkzeugen (wie auch ihre Reichweite) von Mann zu Mann differiert.

Zahlreiche Hindernisse wie Bäume oder Mauern geben Deckung und helfen dabei, den Gegner auszumanövrieren - Überlegen geht also vor Schlagen.

Ein großes 3D-Fenster zeigt in schräger Draufsicht einen Geländeausschnitt mit dem jeweils aktuellen Haudrauf in der Mitte, alles zusammen sieht ziemlich mittelprächtig aus. Die Kommandoleiste bietet zur besseren Orientierung einen Radar-Raster sowie mehrere Steuer-Icons und Anzeigen; aus letzteren gehen die speziellen Fähigkeiten des gerade angewählten Champions hervor.

Dazu gibt es ein paar FX, die sich verdächtig nach dem Vorgänger anhören; zum Trost ist die Steuerung sehr ordentlich geraten. Die Medieval Warriors werden also ihren Weg machen - auch ein Recycling-Krieger ist ein guter Krieger...

Medieval Warriors logo

I've long since given up protesting about my ruthless treatment in the hands of the AMIGA POWER reviewer selection process, realising that my lamentations were falling on deaf ears. But in this case I reckon the last laugh's on them, because what on the surface appears to be another horrible boring wargame actually turns out quite straightforward and enjoyable. Fun even. Perhaps almost to be the point of being to the Amiga was Rebelstar was to the Spectrum.

Well, maybe that's going a bit far, but Medieval Warrors certainly shows what can be done with 12 warriors per side, a choice of four battlefields, some slick animated graphics, tremendous sound effects and the skimpiest of control mechanisms.

While there is no getting away from movement phases and lists of numbers, they're all painlessly implemented and don't distract from the action, which moves along marvellously swiftly. It's all very 'involving' too. As you're dealing with individual blokes, rather than anonymous battalions and regiments, you tend to feel personally responsible for them - the thought of having to write letters to their mums back home makes you think twice before compromising their safety.

There are a few annoying omissions, though. A pause key, for a start, and some way of ending your turn when you've finished moving and attacking. (As it stands you have to wait for your timer to run out). And you can't hide behind things to sneak up on people. And, in the long run, the game's simplicity is likely to be its downfall. Once you've played the four scenarios to pieces that's it - there's no editor or promise of expansion disks (i.e. it might be happier as a budget game).

But until then you're likely to be hooked, not giving up until you've trashed the computer hollow and showed your chums a thing or two about strategy.