Full metal Planete

Title		Full metal Planete
Game Type	Strategy
Players		1-4
Compatibility	All
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

This was a forerunner to games like "Battle Isle" in that it brought "sex"
to the strategy game. Arguably unlike "Battle Isle" though, FMP didn't do
this at the cost of tactical depth. In the game, you and your opponents
are trying to mine as much metal from a planetoid as you can, within your
24 turns. In practice though, this is best achieved by annihilating the
opposition with the range of combat craft in your possession. These
consist of tanks, super tanks, and attack boats, although other
non-fighting vehicles, like barges, crabs (carrier vehicles) and weather
hens (able to build tanks and carriers, and forecast tides) are also

The game world is viewed from above with an optional hex overlay. Control of
the various functions is well implemented, and there are handy features on
the map screen that display, for example, tidal effect, and the fire zone
generated by your offensive units at the click of an icon. The sound is
appropriately clunky and metalic, and there is even a simple art program
you can use to design your own flag. The AI of the computer controlled
players is quite limited. It doesn't plan as such, it just analyses the
situation on a turn-by-turn basis and then quietly executes it's
decisions. As Kirk Douglas once said, "You can't teach them sacrifice."
and this is often their undoing. Be careful though, the AI may not be that
clever, but within it's own limitations, it doesn't make mistakes - The
rest of us frequently do, and if you've set the time allowed per turn to a
reasonably challenging setting, the computer will often give you quite a
run for your money. In FMP your alloted movement is fully transferable,
so you could, for instance, move everything slightly, or alternatively
pull off some stunning attack strategy by using all your movement on one or
two vehicles. To further accentuate this possibility you can hoard your
movement points (up to a fixed amount) and then when you have sufficient,
attempt a game winning masterstroke against your opponent.

To actually attack anything though, you'll need to have 2 armed vehicles
in range of your target. This may not seem very realistic, but it does
create a very challenging game. Additionally, all areas that are in range
of the 2 (or more) vehicles may not be entered by the enemy on his
turn.... unless, that is, they make use of the "second arrival" manoeuvre.
Basically this allows you to enter a protected zone providing your very
next move destroys the vehicle or vehicles generating that zone. It sounds
complex, but actually the gameplay hangs together beautifully.

Where I used to work, we had an Amiga for generating titles on a video
editing suite, and every lunchtime for months, four of us, plus spectators
would sit round the 1084 monitor needling each other and desperately
trying to pull off some spectacular strategy. There is an armchair General
in everybody, and given a fair chance this game will happily prove that.

I'd recommend Full Metal Planete to pretty much anybody, it may not be
quite what the average strategy fan is looking for; there are less units
in the game than the in Battle Isle games, and the purpose is actually
collecting metal rather than specifically conducting offensive operations
against your competitors - but the combat is done superbly. It's about
planning, seizing opportunities and working quickly under pressure. There
is almost no luck involved, you take the credit or the blame yourself, and
the computer doesn't cheat.

Category list.

Alphabetical list.