Preview - Battles in Time (DOS, 1995)

For about 20 years, QQP's president and chief designer Bruce Williams Z. has been toying with the concepts that are being built into Battles in Time, a strategy wargame for everybody – not just for wargamers – that will take its players through battles throughout the past in order to train them for a battle in the future . . .

Near the end of the Thirtieth Century, humanity has achieved a peaceful, global society. War, and indeed the memory of war, is absent, and all records and weapons and tales of battles have been destroyed or concealed. But when an enemy force arises that DOES remember war, the peaceful leaders of Earth turn to a new technology – Time Travel – to save them. They send their greatest thinkers into the past to relive a variety of styles of warfare. The one who comes back with the greatest knowledge of tactics and weaponry will be the leader of the armies that will defend the peace and tranquillity of the planet. You will be one of those sent back . . .

Variety is the keyword here – you'll lead prehistoric tribes, armed only with crude spears and stones; you'll do battle on the fields outside Rome, in the American Civil War, on the familiar fields of Europe in World War II, and in the Napoleonic era. Each will require very different strategies to win, and each will very thoroughly represent the styles of warfare appropriate to its period, both on the strategic and tactical levels.

Battles in Time, possibly the most ambitious wargame project in years, will have dozens of features never before seen, all geared to a friendly, fast-playing wargame with unprecedented variety in strategic styles.

The game will present battles in two modes: The strategic display is the large map, used for moving entire armies. Judicious use of not only hidden troops, but "camouflage" units that are essentially dummy decoys, will mean that intelligent use of reconnaissance will be vital in Battles in Time.

The game will really shine, though, in tactical mode. The display will resemble an overhead view of a tabletop miniatures wargame – a beautifully graphic, fully animated one, of course! Clicking on troops will reveal tons of information, presented in clear colorful icons. A quick glance will reveal all movement options, including HOW SAFE each one is – likewise, attack options are shown complete with the degree that you will damage each target if you should choose to attack it! All of this will aid the harried general, and make for an almost "chess-like" strategy, with a lot fewer question marks than many wargames.

Designer Williams describes combat as "Rock-Scissors-Paper," to emphasize the blend of abstract and specific strategy elements. At a given range, a bazooka will invariably destroy certain types of units, for instance – with the exception of the possibility of missing targets at extended range, all combat results will be preset, moving the game more towards the realm of "pure strategy," and making for cleaner gameplay.

Each tactical battle will be comprised of one, two, or three exchanges of move-and-fire, depending on the number of units involved. The side with the greatest relative losses loses the battle and the position. Furthermore, any battle with a 4-to-1 opening odds is considered a closed case, automatically going to the superior force. These elements will greatly increase the speed and fun of play – no long drawn-out and pointless battles; each will be quick and decisive, insuring not only greater speed but greater variety, since play will take you to (potentially) dozens of different types of tactical battles in any given turn. Tactical battles will also feature many types of terrain, much of it changeable – bridges can be blown, buildings in the cities can be demolished to clear a path for moving forces, and more.

Battles in Time, due out soon from QQP, promises to be a collection of new experiences for the die-hard wargamer and casually curious strategist alike.

Download the demo for this game