Cohort 2

Title		Cohort 2
Publisher	Impressions
Developers      Edward Grabowski, Andrew Prime
Game Type	Strategy
Players	        1
HD Installable	Yes
Compatibility	All
Submission	John Burns ( Profiled Reviewer

Ah, a game where you get to command one of the most efficient armies of
the ancient world. The Roman Empire was created out of the fighting
prowess of its legions and tactical knowledge of their generals. So
there'll be shocks for those who bear this in mind when playing this
travesty of history. If this game were taken as an accurate re-creation of
Roman Military power then it follows that the Roman Empire would at most
have consisted of one field and maybe a barn, anything more and these
troops would have been unable to defend it let alone conquer neighbouring
fields. Those may seem harsh words for a game produced by Impressions,
developers who produced many strategy games throughout the Amiga's
history. Read on, however, and you'll see why I judge them and this game

The game can be utilised in two ways; first as a stand alone game. This
offers some 16 preset scenarios, letting you take control of various
numbers of troops and over different terrain types - so far so good. The
other option is to use this title as a data disk for Caesar or Caesar
Deluxe (also by Impressions) wherein when battle is enjoined rather than
the only choice being to let the computer decide you can now play the
battle out for yourself. Again a laudable idea and had Cohort 2 been
worthwhile certainly a worthy addition to those reasonably good games
whose lack of such a built in feature was always an oversight in my

Whichever way you decide to use this game is immaterial to the review
since it is the game mechanics and AI which are most at fault, therefore
whether it be a set scenario or random battle in Caesar this game fails.
The first and most glaring error which one will notice in a battle is that
when one of the units in your army makes contact with an enemy army
unit then the whole army stops en masse. Why? What possible reason is
there for them to do so - Answer: None. Such mistakes are due, more or
less, to bad programming, poor play testing and corporate greed.
Programmers can and do make mistakes, fair enough, it is the play testers
duty to report such obvious faults, maybe they did and if so, corporate
greed comes into the frame when a company releases an obviously flawed
game to the public rather than spend some more time and money fixing the
known fault(s).

Okay, rant over, yes I do realise that you can restart your stalled army
by issuing new orders but this must be done to each of the units not in
direct contact and is not only time consuming but frustrating. If you had
set up your army to take advantage of some weakness in the enemies flanks
for instance such a delay can be detrimental to your success in cutting
off, enveloping and destroying their stronger units. If that were the only
problem maybe one could live with it but unfortunately it isn't and the
next is the AI, crucial to a strategy game. Combat in this dismal affair
is totally unrealistic - Take a heavy cavalry unit and send them against
some light auxiliary type infantry troops for instance, Okay so you can
imagine the carnage and destruction your unit will cause and in truth it
does - eventually that is. The game will resolve such conflicts reasonably
well but in its own time it seems. No quick victory for your gallant
cavalry in this game instead you'll just have to persevere with the rest
of the game until eventually the game has decided that the obvious has
happened and your cavalry did win. No surgical strikes allowed it seems
with every contact being resolved it appears on an even par. In this game
cavalry are just a way of getting from A-B faster than with infantry.

I can understand when developers try to make a strategy game easy for the
novice to get into or even simplify some items to make control easier.
Great, but not so great when in doing so it ruins the entire raison
d'etre. In doing so they merely ruin what could have been a good
game and leave you with not much of a game. It merely feels as though
you'll win if you have the bigger army rather than due to your better use
of your individual troops and tactics. Historically the Romans frequently
triumphed over much greater odds due to these factors, something which
isn't mirrored here.

Does the game have any good points?  For me NO, it must rank as one of the
shoddiest pieces of supposed entertainment I've seen. Heck, I'd rather
recommend one of those Strip Poker games than this - they both bore you
after a short while but at least the latter will give you some momentary
enjoyment. Nah, that's unfair there is some enjoyment to be had with
Cohort 2, first there's the enjoyment of anticipation as you unpack the
box for the first time then there's the enjoyment when, after playing, you
consign the contents to the box again - in between the two events there is
nothing but tedium.

Once again Impressions (they really were taking the p**s when they chose
that name) fail to impress. Avoid this game, you have been warned.

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