Battleground 4: Shiloh
Review by Alfred Giovetti,
Price $59.95 - $49.99
Genre: War game
Release: August 1996
Developer: Talon Soft
Music: Bobby Horton
Producer: Jim Rose
Publisher: TalonSoft, PO Box 632., Forest Hill, MD 21050-0632
Phone: 410-933-9191
website: http://www.talonsoft.com
requirements: Minimum Requirements for BGS You will need at least a 486dx 50Mhz PC with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95(more RAM required). You'll also need at least *7-8Mb* of free RAM and a video card that supports SVGA resolution (640x480@256).

History: It was Grant, commanding the Union Army of Tennessee, and Buell leading the Army of Ohio against Johnston commanding the Confederates. The battle took place northeast of Corinth, Tennessee with the Union army of Grant with the river at their back and Johnston attacking. Thereafter, a church named Shiloh in the center of that battlefield would be remembered for a very long time.

Company line: Battleground 4: Shiloh returns TalonSoft's critically acclaimed Battleground series to the age of the American Civil War! A spectacularly rendered battlefield highlights this momentous and bloody struggle, which some have called the beginning of the end for the Confederates States of America. Battleground 4: Shiloh covers the two days of April 6-7th 1862, where the Confederate Army, commanded by Albert Sidney Johnston, launched a bold surprise attack against Grant's Union Army. Lavish attention to detail, gorgeous graphics, and full color re-enactment video blends into an exciting extravaganza of true Multimedia entertainment!

Plot: You can take the role of Confederate or Union forces. The game concerns itself with three battles, Shiloh on 6-7 April, 1862, Wilsonís Creek, Missouri on 10 August, 1861, and Prairie Grove, Arkansas on 7 December, 1862. The battle includes an 80 turn campaign option which may take an entire weekend to resolve.

Artificial intelligence (AI): AI can form up its troops and put up a good conservative defense, but is pretty bad on offense because it seems oblivious to battle objectives. Unit placements and reinforcements can be random as in the hot-seat version or historical as you prefer.

Interface: Control of units is improved over previous games especially in the planning and movement of troops. Screen display shows the battlefield at the top with two rows of eleven vertical command icons suspended over the battlefield on the left. At the bottom of the screen the active units are displayed along with the intelligence of how the battle is progressing.

Graphics: The graphics are very attractive with greens and browns accentuating the blues of the units and water. The trees and textures are rich and attractive. The screen zooms and still appears attractive in close view with pictures of little trees and buildings. Units are shown on a bed of blue or brown gray with details allowing you to tell their function, like the cannon units and gunboats that look like what they are.

Voice actors: Full motion video sequences of re-enactors help move the battle along.

Music score: The music of Bobby Horton is appropriate and fitting for the use in this product. It is a wonderful soundtrack.

Sound effects:

Comparisons: Strategic Simulations Groupís Battle of Shiloh for the Commodore 64 which is now a little out of date.

Multi-player: You can play play by electronic mail (PBEM) and two people on one computer with fog of war options.

Help: A 48 page manual and online help summarize events leading up to the battle and the results of the battle so that gamers will not be lost.

References:
Scott Udell, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 71, October, 1996, pg. 69, 4/5, (80%-90%).
William R. Trotter, PC Gamer, volume 3, number 10, October, 1996, pg. 192-193, (84%).