Storm Across Europe


Title           Storm Across Europe
Game Type       Strategy
Company         SSI
Players         1-3
HD Installable  No
Compatibility   1.3
Submission      Thomas Wold Hansen (thomaha@ifi.uio.no)

Review
Storm Across Europe is a classic strategic war game simulating the second
world war in Europe and northern Africa. The game has three players; the
Germans, the Allies and the Russians. The Allies and the Russians can be
computer controlled. The game map consists of 223 land areas and 8 sea
areas which gives the game a lot of strategic opportunities.

The game has several scenarios. You can start the game in autumn 1939 (my
favorite), spring 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943 or 1944 - don't remember the
season for those last years. You also have the opportunity to adjust
strength levels, efficiency levels and industry levels. You also have the
possibility to randomize the start location for population and raw
material levels for a really non-historical game.

The players are given total control of their nation's war effort. The
German player gains limited control of the usual German minor countries at
predefined times. You can allocate the use of your nations resources -
population, raw materials and industry between research and production as
you see fit. Each nation has a research level for each unit type in the
game. This level has a major influence on how well that unit type behaves.
Troops fight better, ships also get better at finding the enemy, aircrafts
get better range, transporters can transport more troops and so on.

The war is fought at army level. Each army consists of strength points in
the following groups: Infantry, mechanized, armour, paratroopers and
tactical air. Each army also has an efficiency rating which determines
how rested and well supplied the army is. The naval forces are divided
into fleets, escorts, submarines, transports and amphibious transports.
Fleets are the primary naval surface units and can be assigned either to
patrolling a sea area, ground support or convoy raiding or defense
against raiders. Escorts protect ships in transit and the lend/lease
routes. Submarines are assigned to a sea area and will try to find and
attack any enemy units moving through. They also sometimes assist the
fleets during surface combat and defend against invasion attempts.

The strategic air forces are assigned to airfields and consist of bombers,
fighters, rockets and atomic bombs. Bombers can perform industrial bombing
or try to bomb enemy airfields within range. They also have an important
effect on sea battles if they are assigned to an airfield bordering a sea
area. The fighters can be assigned to escort bombers on a mission or
perform fighter sweeps. They will also protect industry and airfields
within range of the enemy bombers. There is also an anti aircraft unit
which has some limited effect. The rockets and atomic bombs are used
against enemy industry, but you can not build them before you have a
sufficient research level.

 This game is one of my absolute all time favorites. Despite having owned
the game for about eight years I still play it from time to time. The
manual is also very good. Having said that this aging game has a few bugs.
The computer players cheat a lot, especially the Russians. They get a lot
more paratroopers than it is possible to build - you can only build up to
9 of them, yet they manage to loose between 30 and 40  on several
consecutive turns. They also sometimes get armies in territory you
control, which are impossible to attack. These problems only occur with
computer controlled players. There also seems to be a problem with the
Italians in Africa. They never recover any efficiency, despite the sea
lanes being open. Save files can also get corrupted and the game does
crash irrevocably from time to time. Although this does not happen very
often, it is wise to save often and keep at least two different save files.

The only visual effect in this game are the army symbols which to some
extent reflect the composition of the army. If the army only consists of
infantry, you get an infantry symbol, if it has mechanized troops you get
a mech symbol, for armour the armour symbol and so on. All areas get the
color of their owner and if it is not clear terrain, it gets a symbol
marking this. Fortifications look like barns. The sound effects are by
default turned off, and that was a clever move by SSI.

To play this excellent oldie on my A1200, I have to disable my Blizzard
1230IV and boot with Kickstart 1.3. There are no such problems on my A500
1.2.







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