Ever since the awesome Sid Meier's Gettysburg!, I've had more than a fleeting interest in the American Civil War. Sadly, Civil War games that are accessible to those of us who aren't hex addicts are few and far between.
Then comes along Steam's Summer Sale (which is sadly now over) and Tilted Mill's Mosby's Confederacy was available for a couple of dollars! So I thought, why not? Surely it wouldn't be a waste of money?
The sound effects are passable in this game but there aren't actually many of them besides some generic shot firing noises, grunts and groans when soldiers are wounded, and the sounds of horses trotting. Sometimes the sounds end up mashing up over each other which can lead to silence...
The game has a couple of tunes that are based off the era played during the title and map screen. No To Arms in Dixie to be heard though!
Yes, this game was made over two years ago back in 2008, but even then I was expecting more in terms of graphics. Animations are quite robotic, clipping is rampant and detail is low.
The story is based on a real Confederate soldier known as John Singleton Mosby who was very successful in harassing Union troops during the Civil War. North Central Virginia, his area of operations, was known as Mosby's Confederacy, hence the name of the game. Besides the main character and some hero units sharing names with actual historical figures, and the towns being named after towns in Virginia, the game unfortunately doesn't expand on the rich background of Mosby's Confederacy.
The game involves you performing missions against the Union with Mosby's Raiders. You control Mosby and are able to assemble a team for each mission from the surrounding towns. Each soldier you can gain in your squad has various attributes that determines how well he shoots, how sneaky he is, how likely he is to flee, etc. The soldiers can also gain experience which means their attributes will increase over time and they can also get perks too. Sounds a lot like a game of X-COM doesn't it? Well the mechanic is very similar and this is probably one of the better elements of the game.
There are various types of missions you can complete which give you different rewards. You can steal horses, steal munitions, capture officers, kill troops or finish one of the storyline missions. Besides gaining weapons to arm your army (munitions can be used to not only arm troops but improve their weapons) and horses to ride, you also gain Renown. Renown can be used to increase support in the towns which increases the radius for which they can conduct missions. It also allows you to train your soldiers making them more effective in combat. Still sounds pretty fun doesn't it?
Where the game falls down though is the fact it's incredibly buggy and the actual mission segments require hardly any strategy at all. Once I get to the second mission of a gaming session, I'm unable to mount my soldiers on horses; not only that but the loading screens tend to freeze (the only solution being to alt+tab out and back in to refresh it). In the game, the units tend to have pathing issues and when you try to use some strategy by specifying which weapons to use, sometimes the icons get stuck and your soldiers might end up charging to their doom when you actually want to pick the enemy off from a distance. Speaking of which, that seems to be the only strategy that actually works in this since I've found soldiers who are proficient at pistols is not much of a bonus since they have to get closer to use them, which means they become targeted by everyone, which means they die first. The same goes for charging in. You'll find it has little tactical benefit. So the game basically becomes, (1) select group, (2) trot around map, (3) use rifles to pick off any enemies you meet, (4) repeat until mission complete.
The only reason I even gave 1 point to gameplay is because (a) there aren't enough Civil War games around and (b) because of its passing resemblance to X-COM.
If the game actually worked it'd be more replayable. It does have Steam achievements so I did give it one point...
The game has an interface looking like it belongs in the early 90s. The bugs and crashes-to-desktop annoyed me so much that I just couldn't bother trying to play the game anymore. It was that much of a chore.
Score - 4/10At least I only wasted $2 on this during the Steam sale. That's about its only redeeming feature. Oh that and it's an American Civil War game based on the life of Mosby's Raiders.
If you want to get the game, you can get it for cheap off Steam.
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