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War Review
Battleground : Gettysburg
The game has twelve scenarios and the full campaign
by Scott Udell
Empire Interactive
TIPS: Battleground: Gettysburg

Shot1 he second in their Battleground series, Talonsoft's new Gettysburg lets gamers try to meet or beat the historical performance of either side during those three fateful days in July, 1863 that decided the end of the Civil War. Talonsoft has greatly improved the appearance of the 3-D Battleview mode over their previous release, Ardennes. The rendering of hills, ridges, roads, and even individual farms is very nicely done and appears fairly accurate (to the limits of a hex-based map). A more traditional boardgame-style map is also provided (both normal and zoomed out). It uses either stylized or NATO-style counter icons, but still shows unit facing and formation.

Shot2The game has twelve scenarios and the full campaign. Some of the shorter scenarios come in two forms: historical, where the AI will tend to follow the historical actions, and alternative, where AI actions are more free-form. Unlike Ardennes, Gettysburg does not include a scenario editor. To balance this, the game needs more options for randomizing scenarios (alternate reinforcement schedules, historical weather, etc.). The game sequence is like most boardgames: move, defensive fire, offensive fire, melee, change sides.

Battlefield smoke doesn't play a part in the game, but the spotting rules are fairly simplified anyway. Single or modem players can have fog-of-war, but for the most part, units are Shot3either invisible or everything is known everything about them (name, strength, etc.).

The AI isn't anything to write home about. It plays moderately well on the defensive, but isn't too much of a challenge on the offense. Much of this is because of the design of the game (in fact, of any game that has a map edge). With an inviolate map edge players can unhinge their flanks in some of the smaller scenarios without fear of assault.

Shot4 While modem and null-modem capabilities are included, there is as yet no allowance for play-by-email. However, Talonsoft is working on a PBEM option. In addition, the upgrade will add fog-of-war to hot-seated games and hopefully a battle record/replay function. Despite these small design quibbles, Gettysburg is an entertaining game that does a surprisingly good job at recreating the feel (if not all the details) of the famous battle.
©1996 Strategy Plus, Inc.

Battleground 1: Bulge (Ardennes) W95/98 CD 10/96 $12.95
Battleground 3: Waterloo W95/98 CD 05/96 $9.95
Battleground 4: Shiloh W95/98 CD 05/96 $9.95
Battleground 7: Bull Run W95/98 CD 05/97 $9.95
Battleground 8: Prelude to Waterloo W95/98 CD 10/97 $9.95
Battleground 9: Chickamauga W95/98 CD 01/99 $17.95
Gettysburg Collector's Edition W95/98 CD 09/00 $18.95
Waterloo:Napoleon's Last Battle W95/98/00 CD 03/01 $39.95