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    The Ancient Art of War

    Broderbund’s The Ancient Art of War is a granddaddy of turn-based strategy games.

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    The Ancient Art of War is a computer game designed by Dave and Barry Murry, developed by Evryware, and originally published by Brøderbund in 1984. It is generally recognized as one of the first real-time strategy or real-time tactics games. Play The Ancient Art of War online!

    The Ancient Art of War game description

    The Ancient Art of War is a real-time strategy game based on the very basic elements of war: unit types, formation, and strength. The game is set in ancient battle-style times before the use of gun powder, consisting of the three basic unit types of that period: the light armored but fast ‘barbarians’, the heavily armored but slow ‘knights’, and the ranged ‘archers’. A fourth non-combatant unit type is also available: ‘spies’, which is only available under certain campaign rule settings.

    The game consists of different scenarios to choose from, each with a different geographical setting, difficulty setting, visibility setting, and victory condition setting. Some settings may be subject to change by the player.

    Gameplay is represented in two major areas:

    • The first is the tactical/political map, which visualizes geographical and terrain elements from a top-down perspective. Here the player can coordinate, position, reinforce troops, and also command them to attack, defend or ambush enemy troops in a real-time setting. Time may be set to pause, faster or slower to make battle plans easier.
    • The second is the combat screen where one group of soldiers fight another group of the enemy. A squad consisting a maximum of 14 soldiers will fight according to their set battle formation and will act only on the player’s real-time battle commands (e.g. attack, forward, retreat, etc.).

    The difficulty levels are represented by eight opponents, which include the Greek goddess of war Athena, a stereotypical Russian-Soviet commander named Crazy Ivan, as well as the historical characters Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Geronimo, and Sun Tzu as the hardest opponent. Each opponent has a different fighting style of combat and strategy.

    The game also comes with a construction set which allows the player to create own campaigns: From the story, rules to the map editor. In this game editor, the player can also tweak troops to the player’s liking, such as default troop formations.

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