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1066: Shield Walls And Stench Weasels

The bloke that cut-me-up on the A303 yesterday is a STENCH WEASEL, the librarian that never returns my smile is a RAVEN STARVER, and the person that regularly fly-tips at the end of my road is a STINKING TURD. Thank you midden-mouthed web wargame 1066, a week in your company has enriched my abuse lexicon no end.

Not content with commissioning one of the best historical docu-dramas in years  British broadcaster Channel 4 have, with the help of developer Preloaded, accessorized it with a dinky online TBS. Like Proper Wargames, 1066 boasts pre-battle unit purchasing, morale, formations, multiplayer and a skirmish mode. Unlike Proper Wargames, it has stylish cut-scenes and top-notch narration, and uses a ragbag of mini-games in place of dice.

Charging a unit into enemy ranks? Hammer the space-bar Daley Thompson-fashion to add momentum. Want to rattle an opponent and raise your own troops’ flagging spirits? Type the required random taunt (PUNY POTLICKER, FOX BEARD, OOZING PUS-WOUND etc.) as fast as your sausage fingers will allow. Archery attacks are most fun. Get the bow angle or power wrong and you can easily end up bodkinning dozens of your own men.

Behind the fairground mini-games is a simple yet diverting WEGO wargame played on a narrow gridded board. Units can be moved individually or in formations. The Boar Snout and Shield Wall add offensive and defensive strength respectively, but make bypassing impassable terrain like rivers and woods (hard to see on the stark 2D overhead view) difficult. However you choose to fight, you’re guaranteed some memorable scraps, some very tense denouements. If half the Proper Wargames released each year showed as much imagination, style and spirit as 1066 the genre would be in a far healthier state. Disagree? You would, you ILL-BORN FEN RAT.

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Tim Stone

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