Tin Soldiers: Alexander the Great Review (PC)
The greatest warrior of the ancient world was undoubtedly Alexander the Great, the young King of Macedonia. In his short life time, this man led his armies on a series of conquests throughout the ancient world, taking him from northern Greece to the gates of the Indian sub continent. His seemingly invincible armies swept from the earth the greatest empire yet seen, the Persian armies of Darius. In this latest offering from Matrix Games, you can relieve the campaigns of the great leader of Macedonia, and re fight the battles of the past.
Each unit is as completely accurate as possible, and the attention to uniform detail and weapons is outstanding. The manual, which is on the game disc, includes extensive historical details, and is quite comprehensive. Even though it is long, it is well thought out and cleanly illustrated, so learning to play the game is made much more simple then you would see in many games.
Tactical combat is a strong point in this system. The AI takes into account unit facing, moral, leadership, formation, and any number of other important variables during combat resolution. Historical tactics will work if employed correctly, and its important to understand the make up of your forces, and the capabilities of your enemies. Alexander's army was basically a foot army, that relied on classic Greek tactics of foot soldiers trying to overwhelm a flank, but he added his own flourishes to combat. Alexander used his personal cavalry body guard, called the companion cavalry, as shock troops, and he often tried to break an enemy with a well timed charge in a flank or against a wavering unit. Being a young man, he would sometimes lose his head in battle lust, but it never cost him on a battle field.
The flow of the campaign retraces Alexander's historical path, which begins with his father Phillip's death (or murder, depending on the historical source). Young Alexander must first subdue the Greek city states, many of which have no intention of following the Macedonian King, whom they consider to be a bumpkin and barbarian. As Alexander defeats these city states, his lust for combat and conquest increased, and he came upon the idea of attacking the Persians, just as they had attacked Greece in times past. Alexander soon finds himself in Asia minor, taking on the Persians in battle, but as in all campaign games, you must pay attention to what provinces provide needed gold, and where best to engage the Persians, who are no push overs in battle. You must not lose your best units in combat, or you will be defeated by Darius, and the game will be lost.
The sound quality of the game is excellent. The sound track fits the game mood perfectly, and when the units clash in battle, appropriate melee sounds are heard, making it all quite a bit of fun. Since this game uses a relatively simple game interface, its easy to play, easy to navigate, and players will spend the bulk of their time playing, instead of fighting the game system.