Conquest of Japan
Conquest of Japan uses an enhanced version of the Micro Miniatures engine. The game invites the more unusual approach of viewing the battlefield from afar rather than using the zoom function to monitor troops from a close up perspective. Generally, the individually uniformed troop units (very nicely differentiated by the program designers) are colorful and easily recognizable when mingling with other troops (happens a lot) and the overall effect is fairly pleasing to see.
The game reminds you more of a complex type of tug 'o war than the intended struggle for land supremacy. Control is at the small unit or individual soldier level, activated by a simple mouse click. Computer AI seems considerably improved over former games in the Micro Miniatures series and turning control of a unit over to the computer can be done with an expectation of reasonable results. As warlord, you and your formidable single enemy, start the game with five cities each that are instrumental in the eventual supply and build up of armies. Only five armies can be created with an option to combine two small forces into a larger one and the ultimate objective is to take over your opponent's cities and be recognized as the all powerful shogun. Not surprisingly, the action takes place on an island (Honshu) which does impose some restrictions on the expanse of the game world.
Conquest of Japan is actually a rather simple game with a focused agenda. The simplicity arises from the fact that this conflict could ostensibly be between any two factions, Japanese samurais or not. Not many outside events influence the on-screen actions and the level of strategic planning and tactical maneuvering is complex and realistic enough to garner interest from even expert war gamers. The game is quite an improvement over earlier Impressions war game efforts and provides interesting and unusual game play.