Age of Rifles
Written by Shigamoto   
Tuesday, 28 December 2004

Age of Rifles was released in 1996 and went by without much notice. The game is highly underrated and few people have actually heard about it.


As you might have figured out this game is about warfare and the battles are set from 1846-1905. There are a number of campaigns, for example the Civil War, Franco-Prussian War, Mexican American War.  All of the campaigns are historically accurate, or nearly.


There are also several scenarios involving, the British, French, American, Confederate, Union, Zulu, Russian, Chinese, Japanese forces. The missions are set in different environments, forests, savannah, jungle and snow. Each mission has different objectives that you have to hold when the scenario ends. Usually the objectives are different key positions, a mountain, a bridge, a village, but they can also be military bases.


Playing the game is much like playing any other turns based strategy game. The forces are shown in an isometric perspective. There are mainly three types of forces, the cavalry, infantry and artillery. They are usually divided into divisions, which are divided into units. The units are the ones you are moving around on the map. Each unit have their own ability depending on their training and weapons. Units with better training generally win over units with lack of training.


Movement play a crucial role in the game. Occupying the roads on the map and moving units along them is the best way to go.  If the units have to move uphill or in damp areas they will be slowed down. Placing units on hills gives them better firing positions


When a unit attacks the enemy you will get a battle report. They are extensive and tell a little more about the details of the battles. Not only the numbers of casualties but also a little story, very nice. 


Age of Rifles features pretty advanced AI. Some nations forces are more offensive than others. Some nations choose to withdraw when overwhelmed and regroup. Other opponents try to lure your forces into ambushes and other tough positions.


A problem in the game is that the way you move units have to be refined. Sure moving each individual unit work in smaller battles but when you have about 50 units moving each one is a real pain.


Im actually very surprised that this game is so extensive. There are so many different nations, forces and environments that there are weeks of fun ahead. Age of Rifles can also be played through E-Mail. 


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Developer: Norm Koger, SSI (Strategic Simulations)

Website for game:

Publisher: SSI (Strategic Simulations)


Cost of Full Game:  N/A




Tested on:
Pentium III Mobile 850 MHz, 384 MB RAM, Windows XP


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