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  Review by
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(Norman Nutz)
 
Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!

War of the Lance
1990 Strategic Simulations, Inc.
By David Landrey & Chuck Kroegel

 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the sixty first issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (Street date: April 12th, 1990).
 

WAR OF THE LANCE
US Gold/SSI, C64 24.99 (disk only)

 

ollowing the Great Cataclysm, dragons have been banished from Ansalon, in the kingdom of Krynn, for more than a millennium; people are beginning to take their now-peaceful existence for granted and security has become lax. And so it is with little effort that Takhisis, Queen of Darkness (and villain of almost every Advanced Dungeons and Dragons scenario) and her new ally, Highlord of Neraka, muster draconian forces and taste victory in their first battle with the armies of Whitestone (he's the good guy). Krynn's in the poo once again! Are you person enough to face the challenge of battle and drive Highlord back to the Khalkist Mountains from whence he crawled?

War of the Lance (WOTL) is a one or two-player game with either a friend or your computer commanding Highlord while you look after Whitestone. Each campaign lasts six years (thankfully not in real time, but actually thirty game turns), during which time both players engage their armies in battle to conquer enemy territory. While bloody battles are being fought, champions quest for magic items to help your cause. Alternatively, you may dispatch diplomats rather than soldiers in an effort to gain alliance with other countries.

WOTL can be won in two ways: by having more points than your enemy at the end of play or by destroying his central nations.

Once you've selected who's playing whom, you choose either Campaign -- the start of the war when Whitestone has no allies; or Scenario -- further into the war when both sides have allies and Highlord has several conquered nations to brag about. There then follows a number of options allowing you to alter strength of units, lost-units replacements, alliance percentages (how willing a country might be to join you) and combat effectiveness.

Play consists of several phases, which include Message, Quest, Diplomatic, Movement, Recovery, and Combat (possible on land, sea or in the air) -- and players take turns at each. All phases are complex, highly detailed and require much thought if a winning move is to be made, but then isn't that the basis of all good wargames?

WOTL was designed by David Landrey (also responsible for the award-winning Gettysburg and Battles of Napoleon) which explains its depth, professionalism, attention to detail and intricate strategies.

A particularly refreshing feature is that the whole game comes on one, double side disk -- there's none of this 'Insert disk 12, side C' confusion which has been far too prevalent of late.

I should stress that even though you may have enjoyed other SSI/AD&D products, don't go rushing out blindly to buy this one. You might be disappointed: it's their first 'Wargame' and as such lacks the graphics (limited to icons flashing around on a basic, but scrolling, map), sound and visual effects featured in Pool of Radiance or Champions of Krynn. Having said that, WOTL might be a good introduction to wargaming. If you like the Dragonlance scenarios, and pretty pictures don't make or break a game for you, then you're half way there.

 
Atmosphere 79%
Puzzle Factor N/A
Interaction 78%
Lastability 81%

Overall

80%
 


If you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

Assorted Screenshots

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (7 Mar 2010)
Only the first of above screenshots existed in the original review.

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