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by: Peffy
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This is a real time strategy game based in the 17th and 18th century. It has been developed by CDV, which previously developed Sudden Strike.

The usual way I play RTS games is to start a skirmish straight away. I then click and learn my way into the game. This strategy didn’t work with this game. I soon found myself swamped with enemy units.

I then decided that testing out the tutorial was a good idea. I found the tutorial missions very informative, with a dialogue box system, which tells you how to do something, and then you get a chance to try doing it yourself or skip to the next step. The tutorials range from being about the basic functions of the game, to battle techniques.

Once I had done the tutorials, I went back into skirmish mode. This time around I fared a little better.

The basic unit you get to start with is the peasant. Peasants are the basic workpeople. They build all the buildings, farm the land and mine. You have to make sure that you have enough peasants, otherwise you will not be able to produce enough food, mine and build!

The basic buildings are the town hall (which produce peasants from), Barracks (which you produce the basic military units from), mines and mills. You then move on to more complicated buildings, such as defense towers, armories, docks and stables.
Resource management is difficult in this game, which is a good thing. You have to balance your production of food, wood, stone, gold, iron and coal. If you don’t get this right, then you are quickly in trouble because you will find it hard to build, and when firing cannons, you need supplies of iron and coal, and if you run out, they simple stop firing. This difficult, does make the game more enjoyable though.

There are several types on map you can play, but many involve water. Combat on water in this game is vital to success. You have to build shipyards on the coast, which you can then build a variety of ships from. The basic ships are fishing boats, which are a very efficient way of collecting food, yachts and galleys. You can then research more hull types at you academy. The battleship is the supreme ship. But don’t go thinking that all you have to do is build up battleships! You will find that the better ships move slower, and therefore can’t respond quickly to crisis. Using the less expensive ships as a firebreak is also a useful tactic.

You can create authentic feeling battles in Cossacks. There are a large variety of units from across the 17th and 18th centuries. You will find that you need a well balanced army to survive battle. You cannot just have thousands of pikemen, as they will get massacred by any enemy muskateers and cannon. Talking about Cannon, there are several different types. You have multi barreled cannon, which fire grapeshot for taking out large numbers of enemy infantry and cavalry. You have mortars and howitzers, good at bombardment of nonmoving targets and you have basic cannon, which are powerful and long range. Cavalry units range from knights to dragoons (a musketeer on a horse). All of the battle units have to be combined to form an effective fighting force.

The graphics of this game are very good compared to other RTS games.The game also uses 3D contoured scenery, which means that placing cannon on a hill really does give you an advantage in range and accuracy. I found the movement of the ships and cannon to be smooth, which can often be a problem on RTS games.

Overall, this is an excellent RTS game which surely rivals the like of Red Alert 2. Good gameplay complemented by good graphics make this an excellent game.





Originally posted: (LINK) (ARCHIVED)

Date of publish: 08.11.2001

Author: Joe

Language of publish: english

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