Computer Games

Take Command a satisfying replacement for Sid Meier’s Gettysburg

So I finally installed Take Command: Second Manassas (TCSM) after many delays. I really loved Sid Meier’s Gettysburg (SMG) and I have been looking for a replacement for it for a while. To be honest the graphic content is not really far off its venerable ancestor but it is a satisfying game that seems to capture ACW tactics in a visually appealing way.

Some interesting features are that the battlefields seem to be bigger and therefore you are actually expected to use Road Column movement! In SMG column movement was just a way of breaking your troops unless they were reinforcements. TC: SM introduces couriers that actually ferry orders between the general and your command. That’s a really atmospheric touch.

One thing that is a bit disappointing is that barriers on the battlefield do not seem to interact with the troops in a decent way. During the tutorial I lined some troops up behind a wall, which was relatively easy, however later they decided to concentrate their fire to their left and therefore the unit AI wheeled the line left putting straight through the wall rather than anchoring on it. Apart from breaking the illusion this also gave me a UI headache as I could not easily tell whether the AI had opened itself to enfilading fire or not. Since the unit seemed to retain its defensive bonus I assume this was only graphical compromise but I would be annoyed in a tighter balanced scenario if I could not easily see that a unit had broken cover.