Share This Article

The Operational Art of War, Volume II: Modern Battles 1956-2000, Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 16 MB RAM, $45, Talonsoft Software.

The Operational Art of War, Volume II: Modern Battles 1956-2000 (Windows 95/98 CD-ROM, 16 MB RAM) is available from Talonsoft for $45. This follow-up to Operational Art of War, Volume I: 1939-1955, moves the successful combination of strategy game and game design engine to the second half of the 20th century, including the Korean War and the Arab-Israeli wars, as well as “what if” scenarios involving NATO versus the Warsaw Pact. The scale of operations can range from company to corps, with a realistic emphasis on command and organizational structures. TOAW II offers many ways to organize all the available information. Like its predecessor, this game does an excellent job of simulating the dynamic nature of modern warfare, emphasizing flexibility and quick thinking.

The graphics and sound are excellent, with both 2-D and 3-D modes–in 3-D, the detail gives the impression of table-top miniatures. Several video sequences also add to the mood. E-mail, network, hotseat and Internet playing options are available. A huge database of equipment for major and minor powers is provided, as well as a system for decision making and event planning, including such factors as nuclear and chemical weapons and even weather.

As with the earlier TOAW I, this is a fairly complex simulation and design system and will take some time to master, but once it is mastered, TOAW II is almost limitless in the challenges it can offer and is highly recommended to any wargamer.

Michael Breen