Sequel to the original Universal Military Simulator of 1988, this release continues the game concept of its predecessor and allows the player total control of nearly every aspect of a battle.
In the original program, three scenarios are included: Invasion of the Allies in Normandy 1944, Battles of Alexander the Great in 334 B.C. and Napoleonīs greatest battles at Trafalgar, Austerlitz, Borodino and Waterloo.
Also included is the UMS Planet Edition which lets the player create their own scenarios.
UMS II: Nations at war, it's the sequel of Railbird's UMS (Ultimate Military Simulator) from 1988. I'll say it right away; give UMS II a chance only if you loved the first part. They added almost nothing in the second one, but let's concentrate on those novelties so that you know what to expect from the sequel.
First of all, the gameplay remained equal - the command phase for moving and setting the status of your units, and the battle phase for executing commands in turn mode. The interface is worse than in the prequel in my opinion. The battle goes on according to the equation which was changed from the original UMS, so now you can set the importance of each variable. There aren't any army/map/scenario design tools so the possibility of making changes to the battle scenario equation is lost.
But UMS II is not a battle simulator such as its predecessor. It's more of a campaign simulator, where you can fight against many opponents on large maps. These include ships, diplomatic postures, special squares (cities, ports, etc), supplies, production and recruitment centers. This gives the game some aspects of empire management. You can choose to build extra fortifications for a city, amply a port, recruit more troops or invest in production and recruitment points. There is also the possibility of a diplomatic victory so if you spend too many production points on building units, you will be defeated. The AI has been enhanced in this game, and you can now configure how the soldiers will attack and defend. A big improvement from UMS where you could only choose "Attack left flank" or "Attack center".
The new units that UMS II features are ships. Nothing too creative about them though; they are like any other unit, but with a marker that appears over the sea. There are also supply lines, but since I can't say anything good about this innovation, I won't say anything at all. Sounds? No thanks. As for graphics, colors are a nice and welcome addition. The transition from black and white to 16 color EGA mode is one of the true improvements of UMS II.
A superior sequel to Rainbird's Ultimate Military Simulator (UMS), UMS II: Nations at War features improved campaign mode, and much more control over units. Veteran wargamer M. Evan Brooks defends the game against critics in his synopsis: "this simulation was more detailed. If at first you don't succeed, fail, fail again. Coverage ranged from the campaigns of Alexander the Great to World War II's D-Day. Often rated by magazines as one of the worst wargames ever designed; this was probably uncharitable. Yes, the computer was horrendously slow, and yes, it did make less than marginal decisions, the fact remains that it did not destroy one's hard drive and had some interesting design concepts." Definitely worth a look from hard-core wargamers, although noone should expect it to be another Empire.
People who downloaded UMS II: Nations at War have also downloaded:
UMS (a.k.a. Universal Military Simulator), War College, The (a.k.a. Universal Military Simulator 3), Wargame Construction Set 3, World at War Series (a.k.a. Operation Crusader, Stalingrad, D-Day: America Invades), Wargame Construction Set 2, Warlords, Uncharted Waters 1, Universe
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