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PC Game Review

Strategic Command
WWII Global Conflict


Format: PC
Excalibur Publishing
RRP: £24.99
5 060020 474354
Age Restrictions: 7+
Available 20 August 2010

It would seem that World War II is to enthral game makers for a while to come as each year sees another game based on these sad events, so it no surprise that Excalibur Publishing have seen fit to release Strategic Command: WW II Global Conflict, a turn based strategy game.

For all its bells and whistles what we have here is a standard hex, turn based, strategic war game, the sort I used to play with paper maps and small pieces of cardboard many moons ago. Therefore it brought back some nostalgia for the format and a hefty dose of frustration inherent in these types of games.

The game is impressively big which is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The player can choose to play as either the Axis powers or as the Allies, in total you get to play god with the six major nations as well as fifty-eight minor ones on a map which has potentially over one hundred and thirteen thousand tiles. Zooming round the map can be accomplished either by moving the mouse to an edge or by clicking on the smaller map at the bottom of the game. This is okay, but I would have liked the choice to zoom in and out of the map as it was often easy to lose track of your units, or the overall strategic position.

The game comes with a number of options, there are the usual ones dealing with various starting positions, such as whether to included diplomacy, as well as three starting points in the war. The first three mirror the facts of the war and challenge you to see if you too can win from a given position. The game has a final free form where you can choose to play as both Russia and Germany in their joint effort to take over the whole world.

Once in the game the experience is pretty immersive as you move your counters around trying to destroy your AI opponent. Here we come across anther limitation of Hex based games, in that I couldn’t combine units to act together so the idea of Blitzkrieg was a bit redundant as your army attacks one unit at a time. This also holds for all naval and air units, so blanket bombing with a hundred aircraft is also out of the question; it makes over whelming even an inferior opponent difficult.

The game does contain a hints system designed to look like official documents, which is a nice touch even if some of the suggestions were impossible to achieve. The AI seemed pretty good and was certainly no push over.

To get the best out of the game some practice is going to be needed to discover which unit will affect others. My copy did not come with a set of instructions so this was a bit of hit and miss, but after a few hours I was getting the hang of it even it I was still losing.

Of course you don’t have to stick to the game as it is presented as it comes with a full game editor. You don’t even have to play with yourself as Global Conflict also supports Hotseat, email and network play.

For all its frustrations and limitations inherent in a game of this design it still remains an immersive experience and one of the few game I will most probably continue playing even after this review is finished.


Charles Packer

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