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/
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.
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-