Some mad Italian General is running amok in Eastern Europe apparently - how do all these loonies get hold of armies, eh? So it's time to call in the cavalry and, erm, that's you that is. Applaud Software's latest, coming via the Islona label, is this turn-
Each battle is strictly of the skirmish-
Just which units you have to control depends on the scenario. At the start of each mission you're given an objective and told which troops are available to you, possible just a couple of chaps with rifles or maybe a couple of tanks. Then it's down to using your bestest warfare tactics to achieve your objectives.
Now then, using your bestest warfare tactics in Mobile Warfare is a little unrealistic. Not that it actually matters much because both sides are fighting with the same rule book, but you can't, for example, move a tank through a bush.
It sounds a bit ridiculous, but once you're aware of these little quirks they can be used to your advantage, like the little quirks could be used to your advantage in Dune II, which Mobile Warfare bears a passing resemblance to.
If you've got limited firepower in a particular scenario then a good tactic is to get your units into a position where the enemy can only attack you from one side. It's your basic tactical thinking really, innit?
The combat then. Each unit (bloke, tank, helicopter, whatever) has a set number of movement points that can be used during its turn. Suppose a tank's got four. It could then move forward two steps and have two attacks on any adjacent enemy unit. Or it could move forward one step and have three attacks (armour permitting) on an adjacent enemy.
Notice how the enemy units have to be adjacent? Good, that's because there are no ranged weapons in Mobile Warfare. All of the combat between units occurs when they're next to each other, and I don't mean diagonally either because there's no diagonal movement inMW.
Each battle is strictly of the skirmish-type in that you only ever have a handful of units to control...
You can, however, call in airstrikes form time to time. Your ability from time to time. Your ability to do this though is limited by two factors - the scenario and whether you have the funds to afford one. In most scenarios you're given a set amount of cash and a barracks where you can 'buy' a variety of units (think of it like your construction yard in Dune II or Command and Conquer) decide which unit you want (the porkier the unit, the more expensive, natch) and the thing pops out.
It's making and using the right mix of units that's the key to success in MW. Every unit has what the designers call a 'best target' which is the target it's most effective against, like helicopters against troops, and a 'worst target', like riflemen against tanks. Getting the right unit to the right place all the right time is what this game is all about.
You're never in the position where you've got too much money to spend on unit, but by the careful use of nurses to heal soldiers, and technicians to heal tanks and so on, you can make your limited resources stretch a long way.
You occasionally get the chance to replenish your coffers during the battles. If you see a small brown chest on the screen, get one of your units onto it as soon as possible as it'll contain money and you don't want that to fall into enemy hands!
In essence, this is what Mobile Warfare is all about and it's not half bad either. It's nowhere near the quality of something like Dune II but the designers have come up with some interesting scenarios that provide a good challenge.
It's simplistic and limited but actually very addictive. There aren't enough scenarios to keep you playing for weeks but you can create your own little skirmishes where you decide which units face either other and their relative strengths, which is something I suppose.
There's no game save option. A password is given to you every other level, which does create its own problems as it's a little annoying to get through a scenario by the skin of your teeth, only to have to go back and do it all again because you messed up the one following it.
It's not a huge problem though, so if you fancy a pretty awful-