It's extremely tempting to simply say Talonsoft's latest entry in the Battleground series is nearly perfect and let it go at that. However, the total experience of playing Battleground 8: Prelude to Waterloo is just too good to let it go without due praise for a series that has gotten better and better as each title was released.
Apparently using every consumer response and constructive suggestion from the legions of fans and coupling that feedback with every positive "lesson learned" from previous titles, Talonsoft has created an immensely accurate, detailed, good-looking game intended to steal hours away from the lives of serious wargamers. The "twin" battles of Ligny and Quatre Bras have never been depicted in a more complete or historical sense as they are here. Both were fought on the same day in history and never before has the player had the opportunity, the ultimate challenge, of recreating each of these battles in tandem.
The maps are absolutely stunning and zoom modes can take your breath away with the attention to and clarity of the terrain and surrounding countryside and towns. Because of the difficulty of coordinating and managing all aspects of two battles that were completely different in approach and intention, an option to play them as separate scenarios is available. The very fact that these two battles occurred just two days before Napoleon's fate was sealed at Waterloo emphasizes the vivid and stark realities of how easily history could have been altered with a few differently applied strategies. This is your chance to change that history and be extremely entertained at the same time.
Any minor (there are no major) flaws in Battleground 8: Prelude to Waterloo are insignificant when viewed in light of the entire presentation and are hardly worth mentioning. The interface is outstanding and easy to use, the sound is realistic and, as mentioned, the graphics are gorgeous.
However, Talonsoft wasn't content to offer up only two major battles -- an interesting mix of smaller scenarios are included that focus on individual actions taken that very same day. Beyond that, an additional three tense "what if" scenarios are available offering even more of a challenge through enforcement of the extreme fog of war feature. As an impressive bonus for the fans of the series, an unprecedented option to transfer your Prelude to Waterloo results to the earlier released Battleground 3: Waterloo is available to revitalize and infuse an old title with excitement.
It's difficult to imagine a more well rounded war simulation package that concentrates solely on specific events than Battleground 8: Prelude to Waterloo. With superb design, nearly flawless gameplay, stunning visuals, utilization of user feedback, and incorporation of a feature resurrecting life from an older game, Battleground 8: Prelude to Waterloo is a war game with style, purpose, finesse, and sophistication.
Graphics: Gorgeous artwork, layout, and presentation.
Sound: Although not usually associated with the stark and sterile depiction of turn- based war games, the sound in Prelude to Waterloo is well done on all fronts.
Enjoyment: If you can't get into this simulation, hang up your wargaming boots.
Replay Value: If for no other reason, I'd want to replay this game because I could. A tremendous feature of the game is the ability to actually record any series of turns within a game or scenario! Save your efforts for discussion and replay with other gamers and enjoy the option to review tactics, strategies, mistakes and triumphs. Multi-player modes include modem, play-by-e-mail, TCP/IP Internet play and null modem options.
Recreation of the battles of Ligny and Quatre-Bras (16 Jun 1815) using the "Battleground"-system. Includes several scenarios differing in size and difficulty. In-game map view can be toggled between 2-D and 3-D perspective. Also, small video-sniplets are included, showing battle-actions. Both, Allied or French may be played by humans.
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Battleground 3: Waterloo , Battleground 6: Napoleon in Russia, Battleground 5: Antietam, Battleground 2: Gettysburg, Battleground 7: Bull Run, Battleground: Ardennes, Battleground 4: Shiloh, Austerlitz: Napoleon's Greatest Victory
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