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ZOOM Cossacks
European Wars
$9.95 (Win95/98/Me/XP) (DVD Case) (COSSACKSPR)

Publisher: Strategy First

Blood and Violence

Ratings:

9.0 from threshed.com

                

The Beginning of a New Era

Cossacks is a real time strategy game based on historical events that took place during the 16th-18th centuries in Europe. It concentrates on a time when nations and states were created and demolished, gold was turned into vast armies and the never-ending stream of wars shed oceans of blood. Now's your chance to take charge of huge armies of up to 8,000 units and engage in battles that will truly test your skills as a Master Strategist. If you get into trouble, don't panic, mercenary Cossacks are just a few gold coins away.

Game Features:

Graphics: The game utilizes sprite graphics that allows obtaining beautiful and high detailed pictures, while common drawbacks of sprite graphics (unit animation jitter and lifeless landscape) were overcome due to the new graphics compression algorithm. This algorithm allows using numerous animated movements for each unit pre-rendered in up to 64 orientations (in 256 orientations for vessels), so this provides very smooth movements and turns. Background elements are animated, too: flags flutter at the buildings, wheat rolls in the wind, windmills' fans revolve, waves go over water surfaces, and tides wash the coasts.

Nations: Algeria, Austria, England, France, Netherlands, Piemonte, Poland, Portugal, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Venice. You can also face other communities in single player games; for instance, in campaign for England one should sweep off pirate republics. Each country has its original graphics, economic and technical development peculiarities, military advantages and drawbacks, and unique units and technologies.

Algerian Mosque Military Forces: The following military forces are represented in the game: infantry, cavalry, artillery, and navy. Nations use their unique units along with units similar to other states. Thus, within each nation a player has all military forces needed to wage land or sea war. At the same time each nation's forces are unique as for their features, abilities, and equipment. Units can be arranged into military formations: column, rank, or square. A formation includes an officer and a drummer, and units' abilities increase in a formation.

Technology Tree: The game inventions' tree numbers more than 300 upgrades divided in two time periods - XVI-XVII centuries and XVIII century. Upgrades allow turning quantitative categories to qualitative, and also obtaining some new unique possibilities, units, and buildings. Science development allows increasing resource extraction efficiency, improving units, increasing artillery power and range of fire, improving towers' rate of fire and buildings' durability. Also upgrades allow building battleships, multi-barreled cannons, etc. A sort of uncommon invention is aeronautics. Having invented that, one can launch balloons and reveal the whole map.

Economy: Economy depends on six resources: food, wood, stone, gold, iron, and coal. Gold, iron, and coal are infinite at their deposits, and extraction is proportionate to mine workers number. The main peculiarity of game economy is that all units consume resources, and artillery and handgun shots spend iron and coal.

English Town Hall Historical Battleground: Represented are more than 85 large-scale wars and battles of XVI-XVIII centuries for single game and multiplayer. The most noteworthy are: Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the English revolution, the English and Dutch wars, the War for Spanish Succession, the Northern war, the War for Austrian Succession, the Seven Years War, the Ukrainian independence war (1648-1657), sea wars against pirates, etc. Plus a random map generator.

Military Operations: The game provides an unlimited variety of tactical and strategic methods of land or sea war against enemies. Thus, one can create defense in depth, carry out lingering city sieges, wage guerilla wars, deploy landing forces on enemy shores, shell an enemy with cannonballs, arrange ambushes, stake on a crowds of cheap units or create elite teams of trained soldiers with high-tech weapons, and so on. The game landscape is full 3D, so it is an important strategic element: capturing commanding heights provides with great advantages and often wins a battle; also one can arrange ambushes in canyons.

Game World Physics: Real physics introduces many interesting issues into the game. Thus, units climb hills slower, and they shoot farther at a height. A cannonball explosion becomes much stronger at a rocky landscape because of rebounds, while at a swamp it is damped. Artillery and firearms possess shot dispersion and a probability to hit the enemy by the first shot, etc. The fog of war closes after a unit in some time. introduces many interesting issues in the game. Thus, units climb hills slower, and they see and shoot farther at a height. Artillery and handguns possess shot dispersion and expectancy of hitting the enemy by the first shot; cannonball explosions become much stronger in a rocky landscape because of rebounds, while in a swamp they are damped. Waves rage on the sea, and there are traces in water behind moving vessels.

Algerian Archer Multiplayer Game: Multiplayer game supports up to 8 players via modem, local network, or Internet, and comprises Random Map and Historical Battles modes. In the Random Map mode, players are able to choose map parameters, resources, etc. Also we have developed a random map generator, that (along with vast game variety of 16 rivaling nations with their advantages and drawbacks, and a huge technology tree of 300 upgrades) will make the network game of a long-lasting interest. Historical battles are precise reconstruction of real ones. They are reconstructed up to trivial details, such as real historical landscape and map; enemy troops disposition, stuff, structure and even number punctually coincide with historical facts. In this game mode a player is expected to lead any party he chooses, to carry out the battle, and to confirm or disprove its historically recorded outcome. The historical battles' maps were created by processing real topographical data.

A detailed and comprehensive 200 page manual

English Grenadier

Requirements:


Windows 95/98/2000/Me/XP: Pentium 200 MHz / AMD K6-2 (Pentium II 233 / AMD Athlon or better recommended), 32MB RAM (64 MB RAM), 1 MB Video RAM (4 MB Video RAM recommended), 200 MB Hard drive space, 8x CD-ROM drive (12x CD-ROM drive recommended), Sound Card, DirectX 7, Multiplayer Connection 28 kbps.



Reviews:

threshed.com by Matt "Rewind" Cobb

"There is very little that can prepare you for the experience of Cossacks. The sheer size of the battles is mind boggling! In most RTS games (with the C&C series being the only exception that comes to mind) you only need around 20 workers. Not the case with Cossacks. In one of this behemoth's typical matches you will need around 200 resource gathering units. That's right, around 200 little peasants running around chopping timber, gathering stone, and mining gold, iron, and coal. This would put you near or over the unit limit of AOE, but in Cossacks you have a unit limit of 8000 so it shouldn't be a problem. Almost every aspect of EW is of massive size. Their are 16 different playable nations, 6 different resources, 300 upgrades spanning two time periods, and of course the before mentioned 8000 unit battles. All of the 16 different nations have not only special units on their side, but they also have completely different buildings!

"You would think that the mammoth size of this game would make it a micromanagement nightmare, not so. The game is very well structured so as to minimize micromanagement. The peasants, once assigned a task, rarely if ever need additional orders. When grouped with some of the games variety of drummers and officers your men will remain in formation and won't be captured (EWs equivalent to AOE's conversion). Farms automatically renew themselves without player intervention and the games mines and forest provide an almost limitless supply of resources at or near the players base. All these things help fuel the 8000 man battles."



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