Battleground 8: Prelude to Waterloo, CD-ROM release in TalonSoft’s Battleground series for Windows 95, $54.95.
Designed as a prequel to Battleground 3: Waterloo, Battleground 8 returns to the Napoleonic era and Emperor Napoleon’s last two battles before his defeat at Waterloo: Ligny and Quatre Bras, both fought on June 16, 1815. Players again have the choice of leading either the French army or the Anglo-Allied army and Royal Prussian army of the Lower Rhine in determining the fate of Europe.
Prelude to Waterloo shares or improves upon many of the same rules and options as those featured in earlier Battleground games. One unique addition is the extensive use of Napoleonic-era tactics such as deploying skirmishers, leading cavalry charges and forming squares. Unlike many earlier TalonSoft titles, the valuable Battleground 8 player’s guide includes a modest historical overview of the combatants and events leading up to the battles of Quatre Bras and Ligny. Successful campaigners have the option of transferring the results of their battles into Battleground 3: Waterloo. Prelude to Waterloo’s video sequences and soundtrack are not entirely satisfying–almost boring when compared to at least one earlier TalonSoft title, Battleground 7: Bull Run. Nonetheless, Battleground 8 offers historically accurate wargaming and integrates itself well with earlier TalonSoft products for lengthened campaign play.