The Great Battles of Alexander


Interactive Magic

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Picture 1The Great Battles of Alexander is the first offering in Interactive Magic's The Great Battle Series which features the exploits of ancient warfare's greatest military leaders. The Great Battles of Hannibal and the Great Battles of Julius Caesar are the projected titles two and three in this series. The Great Battles of Alexander (GBA) portrays the development of the Macedonian art of war as originally formulated by Philip II, King of Macedon. It reached its peak during the reign of his son, Alexander III, who, after his conquest of the Persian Empire, became known as Alexander the Great. GBA spans Alexander The Great's entire career from Prince of Macedonia to conqueror of the Western world. The strategic game features ten battle scenarios from Alexander's rise to fame plus a campaign game where you can try to match the strategic brilliance of Alexander as he conquered all of the known world. GBA covers almost every battle fought by Alexander and his army before and during his conquest of the world. The battles illustrate the triumph of the Macedonian system of "combined arms" -led by a powerful heavy cavalry and anchored by a relentless phalanx of spears-first over a Greek hoplite system that had been in place for centuries, and then to its ultimate fruition against the massive, but often out-of-date, "light" armies of the Persian Empire.


GBA's opening screen offers the following options: Start Campaign, Start Battle, Load Saved Game, View Historical Video, Multiplayer, View Tutorial and Exit. When you click the Start Battle button the Choose scenario dialog box is displayed. Here you select the battle by clicking on the battle site you want to play: Chaeronea (338 BC), Lyginus (335 BC), Pelium (335 BC), Granicus (334 BC), Issus (333 BC), Gaugamela (331 BC), Jaxartes ( 329 BC) Samarkand (329/328 BC), Arigaeum (327 BC) or Hydaspes (326 BC). You then select which side you want to control; by either being Alexander or opposing him in the role of Darius, Mennon, Clitus or other military commanders of the age, and then the level of difficulty for the game: Easy, Normal, Hard, or Custom. When a battle begins you choose which leader on the field will be activated first. When a leader is activated he gives orders that allow the units on the field within his command range to move, missile volley, and conduct shock combat. The computer then attempts momentum, which may give him extra command orders. These extra commands come in handy for rallying routing troops or by removing hit points and restoring cohesion to the units under his command. When all the leaders have been activated and have finished their orders the game turn is over and the Game Overview window is displayed. You can play GBA with a friend head-to-head either on your computer (by choosing the Player option for both sides in the Leader Control dialog box) or by going on-line with a modem, over the Internet or on a network.

Campaign Game

When you click on the Start Campaign button you are taken to the opening map for the campaign game where you select Battle to start the campaign to rule the world. After winning all of the battles, you will be given an overall rating. The computer will determine this by how well you kept the provinces under subjugation, how quickly you fought the battles, and how well your armies faired under your leadership. Your individual rating (Alexander the Omnipotent, Great, Strong, Mediocre, Pathetic, or Cretin) will confirm your position as one of the greatest leaders in history, or possibly give you incentive to start another campaign and hopefully improve your standing.

Game play, Graphics and Sound

GBA looks great! From the opening screen to the individual battle sites and the campaign game the graphics are wonderful. The battlefields themselves are crisp and clean. Zooming and scrolling are smooth (and very helpful in planning short-term skirmishes and then backing off and seeing the whole battlefield). The tool bar at the top of the battle screen displays the most commonly used options making the game an easy point-and-click operation. The status bar at the bottom of the screen gives you information regarding the hex your cursor is in, information about any unit in the same hex, which leader is active and how many commands he has in total, and how many commands he has left, and also you are given information about the unit you have selected. There is also a running commentary window giving you instant feedback on the progress of the game. To speed up the game play it is recommended that you turn off the animation options. GBA also allows you to remove dead units from the battlefield which helps you to see what is going on in the game, especially in the larger battles, Gaugamela, for example. As with most games, the first thing I did was to find out how to turn off the music. In GBA the background music isn't annoying but it is constantly there. The ambient sounds and the battle sounds actually add to the game, enhancing the game play.


It is a good idea to run through the Quickstart on page 14 of the manual. The Quickstart tutorial takes you though one round of the battle Pelium and shows you the basics of moving troops and preparing them for battle. As usual in a game of this style whenever I play against a computer I feel at a disadvantage. I am starting the game at one end of the learning curve while the computer is at the other. But I have to admit that after a few battles, most at the easiest level, I started to get the hang of the strategy needed to win a battle and then I began to dream of conquering the world.

Written by Brian Millward



System Requirements:

486 DX100 Mhz or faster (Pentium 100 or better recommended),
Windows 95,
16 MB of RAM,
30 MB of free Hard disk space,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
1 MB SVGA video graphic card capable of displaying 640 x 480 with 256 colors,
Microsoft mouse or 100% compatibles and keyboard required,
Sound Blaster cards and 100% compatibles.


Erudite Software


In North America:

Interactive Magic,
P.O. BOX 13491,
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

Technical Support:919-461-0948 Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm EST

Web site: Interactive Magic
Internet support: Interactive Magic Technical Support

In Europe:

In UK:

Interactive Magic Ltd.,
Gingers Court, 1st Floor,
36a High Street,
Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1HE.

Technical Support:+44-(0)1344-409-399 Monday to Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm GMT

Web site: Interactive Magic UK
Internet support: Interactive Magic UK Technical Support

In Germany:

Interactive Magic,
Dieselst. 66,
D-33334 Gutersloh.

Technical Support:+49-01805-221126 Monday to Friday 6:00pm - 8:00pm Sat-Sun 2:00pm - 4:00pm GMT+1

Web site: Interactive Magic Germany
Internet support: Interactive Magic Germany Technical Support

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