Empire II: The Art of War


New World Computing

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This is a tactical war game that provides an occasion to prove to yourself and others that you are a great commander and tactician. The game is based on scenarios in which about 30 of them are available from World War II to galley age or palaeolithic. What exactly is a scenario? Well it is in fact a sequence of events which is predefined, such as how many rounds there will be before the end of the battle is declared, what are the conditions for victory, what the weather will be like or when will each side receive reinforcements. Each scenario represents a battle and contains a map with the location for each unit marked. To win a battle you must gain a maximum of points by killing the enemy's units, holding strategic places and so on depending on the scenario.

The game is very complete and has fifteen different types of terrain such as road, desert, sea, forest, and others, with a movement modifier for each type of unit. There are also modifiers for attacking and defending units with long range weapons like heavy artillery. These modifiers are clearly shown on request in a matrix during the game. All this richness of the game gives it a realistic feeling.

The main part of the screen is a window containing a map on which you are working. You can use a cascade of windows containing all the "hot spots" on the map allowing you to directly go wherever you want without scrolling indefinitely up and down your map. The map is very user friendly.

Once you have the game in hand you can also use the "parallel orders giving". Usually the "orders giving" happens sequentially, I play then you play. If you are playing with a friend by modem, or if you simply want the game to be even more realistic you can choose the parallel play mode. You first give orders then your adversary does the same and then all orders are executed simultaneously. Much more anticipation and skill is then needed and makes the game more fun.

The screen resolutions range from 640 x 480, 800 x 600, to 1024 x 768 (which is a little small even with the large font option). The music and sound are good with a great variety of sounds for all the different units. It is very entertaining and doesn't disrupt your concentration.

The game isn't too hard to win, but your name and performances are retained every time you play a scenario so that you can improve yourself next time around or even compare with others. If a scenario seems too hard, you can use a modifier on your own performance from +10 to -10.

The Scenario editor allows you to build your own battlefield and troops from scrap. You can begin with a standard artillery and infantry battle or a medieval battle with crossbows and knights. There is almost one battle scenario of each type on the CD. There is almost no end to your fantasy as you create a heroic fantasy world with elves, wizards, gnomes, and trolls, or a futuristic battle such as in Star Trek. There is a wide selection of icons that are grouped together by style. If you can't find a good icon for unit, you can import a PCX version of your own design into the game using the icon utility. The game is complete allowing you to set the force, terrain advantage, weakness against one unit, and other advantages for the different units. For example, you can create a submarine that only goes into deep sea waters. This has an enormous advantage over cargo ships and leaves almost no possibilities against a plane.

Here's a sample of my own based on Desert Storm. I recreated the desert map from the actual coast of Kuwait and created some big and small missile icons for the SCUD and PATRIOT missiles. All the other units and icons were already available, but maybe I'll create some heavy bomber or fighter of some sort. I also created fixed radars that have a great sighting range. The scud missiles have enormous destruction power with a large variance (not very dependable) and almost no defence against patriot missiles. On the other hand the patriot missiles are only meant to destroy scuds missiles, so they are very strong in attack against them but not in defense, and they are very weak against all the others units. The missiles require magnificent speed that is the same as the range in one turn. Great strength provides great destruction power and a high kill level means that the missile is destroyed on its first attack. On every movement, attack defense has its own sound attach to it; the ones already available or your prerecorded sounds. There is a validation option to check on your scenario for inconsistencies.


This is a very good tactical and strategic game with countless possibilities for scenario creation. The action isn't too long, and sounds and graphics are great with multi-window maps. Its very easy to use but it can become very complex on the battle field.

Written by Frederic zur Nedden



System Requirements:

386 or higher,
Min 4Mb memory,
MS-DOS 5.0 or higher,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Microsoft compatible mouse.

Developers and Publishers

New World Computing Inc.,
P.O. BOX 4302,
Hollywood, CA 90078.
Tel: 818-889-5600
Technical Support:818-889-5650

Web site: New World Computing
Email address: New World Computing Technical Support

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