Napoleon's Last Battle
playable and addictive, Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle
finds the Napoleonic commander deep inside and forces you to take
it be fighting for the Emperor, or doing your best to ensure his
downfall, the game transports you into the era with a seductiveness
that sneaks up on you.
it looks a little complicated, but a few sessions will see you comfortable
with the basic controls and style of the game - then the hardest
part is stopping yourself from reading the manual (it's true) and
learning the in-depth aspects.
it's the depth of play and detail that make Waterloo: Napoleon's
Last Battle such a terrific game to play. It entices you to
learn more about how it works and then you get the almost-instant
results on the battlefield.
your way through the six tutorials is highly recommended as it makes
the 30 other scenarios so much more enjoyable. They range from small
within-Waterloo battles - such as the attack on Hougoumont, or keeping
the Prussians at bay - right through to massive clashes that involve
all of the available armies.
around the battlefield is a doddle - just click and drag your divisional
units' flags (or their commander's) to where you want them to march.
seen on-screen icons make controlling formations a matter of clicking
a button as is giving them orders to force march, charge, withdraw
or hold a position.
screen also has small windows for morale and battle stress levels,
a jump map, scenario timer, a navigation panel, zoom functions and
game speed controls. Despite the wealth of detail available at any
one time, your view of Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle never
gets cluttered and staying focused on battlefield events is not
of this is due to the excitement that builds during the action,
but most of it is due to the graphics of the military sprites and
the terrain you are fighting over.
looks right. The trees, the buildings, the fluttering flags, the
roads, tracks and fields of crops.
you've worked out how to zoom in and out (the manual can help) the
details you can get on the troops is remarkable.
this is not to say that Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle
is the most beautiful game you'll ever play, but it is finely detailed
and copes with six zoom levels - from satellite to extreme close-ups
- very well.
strategy gamers the visual appeal comes from the sense of colour
(60 different uniforms are on show) and movement you get while watching
your troops in action.
march of a French ordre-mixte column on Hougoumont is something
to behold, but nothing like when the British heavy brigade comes
pouring out to smash unwatchful infantry to paste.
is quite a frightening spectacle as the Scots Greys et al
hurtle, swords drawn, towards your unformed infantry who have to
quickly form square. If they can't - they're dead or broken within
real-life power of Napoleonic cavalry is absolutely awesome. Once
you've been caught a couple of times you tend to have a rather panicky
feel when scrolling around the battlefield searching for the damned
are also some very nice aspects to the game that see you having
to take notice of your army's overall morale and the toll Battle
Stress has upon the troops' cohesion and ability to fight.
army loses moral points for every active unit on the map and again
when troops change formation, force march, charge, retreat or fight.
builds Battle Stress and a unit that has done too much will often
refuse to charge, flee from the enemy or rout away completely.
can also occupy strongpoints on the battlefield - usually earning
Victory Points for doing so - and forcing the enemy out of them
can be one very difficult task.
is holding your own against the computer. However, while it takes
a little settling into Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle is
a strategic game that will have you at your computer screen determined
to have one last go at victory until all hours of the morning.
worth an investment of both time and money.