Tiny Troops

Title		Tiny Troops
Game Type	Combat simulation
Company		Vulcan
Players		1 or 2
Compatibility	All
Submission	D.J.

 On a planet far, far away, the insectoid inhabitants have battled
themselves into near extinction. Their world cannot sustain the effects of
the constant warring. But rather than strike up a peace they decide to
continue fighting, somewhere else. Like Earth! Thankfully these tireless,
cute, insect warriors are minuscule and have no intention of subjugating

 You play a general and must select a company of troops from a limited
roster. These start with just infantry but soon escalate to grenadiers,
sappers, tanks and flyers (amongst others). Having configured your squad
you are transported to a battle field on Earth. These are top-down, quasi
isometric views and take various, delightful forms; an English garden,
complete with Gnomes, a train set, the seaside and so on.

 The interface is mouse driven. You select individual troops or groups of
them and may move them through several waypoints to a destination. Or you
can instruct them to attack a particular enemy, taking the shortest (but
not always the safest route). You can put them on guard duty and set the
size of the area they will monitor. There are selections for formations
(squares, lines, echelons) but I found that these were awkward and that
individual troops get lost behind barriers on route.

 The computer enemies can be ruthless and impatient but once you
understand their strategy (or lack of it) play often becomes a matter of
mopping up as opposed to fighting real scenarios. I found that setting up
defensive positions and luring small squads of the enemy into them, was a
good way to prepare for an attack. Superior numbers as opposed to tactical
innovation was the key to most victories.

 There are some damned tricky scenarios and some wonderful graphics and
sounds. On the down side I found the mass maneuvring to be clumsy and to
afford no benefits over doing it yourself. The AI presents a pretty flat
challenge. A little more attention to a smarter computer foe would have
paid rich dividends for individual play. There is a two player mode, with
a split screen, which gets cramped but allows for greater challenge.

 This is a great addition to any serious military sim collection, even if
it is just to lighten up your life a little. It is also a good
introduction to the genre for newbies.

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