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Missing games & manuals

Most wanted

These games have either a particular historical interest, or look innovative for their era :

Games :

  • Legionnaire (aka “Legionnaire 1979“) by Chris Crawford (Commodore PET, 1979)

This is the second game by Chris Crawford, self-published in 1979 with around 200 copies distributed. The 1982 re-edition by Avalon Hill is well-known but that version is so different it is basically a different game. Very high historical value.

  • Battle Cruiser Action by Mytopia Gameware Institute (Apple II, 1981)
  • Stellar Action by Mytopia Gameware Institute (Apple II, 198?)

Those two games are very early instances of tactical games on PC. A nice anon’ managed to locate the manuals, but the games themselves seem lost. I contacted the developer (Frank Heffner) who told me he lost his copies in a flood, so no point to contact him anymore. According to him, Battle Cruiser Action shipped less than 500 copies (including 200 in UK), and Stellar Action 250 copies.

  • Battle of Gettysburg by Softwride (Color Computer, 1982). Incredible find by LanHawk from the CRPGAddict blog

This “Coco” game may be according to the ads and to the manual the first real-time tactics for Coco, and given it was released in 1982 one of the first real-time tactics on PC in general.

  • Hannibal by Richard Bodley-Scott, published by Molimerx (TRS-80, 198X)
  • Triumph of Rome, by Richard Bodley-Scott, published by Molimerx (TRS-80, 198X)
  • Admiral Graf Spee, author unknown, published by Molymerx (TRS-80, 198X)

The British company Molimerx released several wargames, some of which are now lost. The two first ones are of particular interest as they have been designed by Richard Bodley-Scott (of Field of Glory fame). I contacted him and he does not have them. The last one may have been an exclusivity of Molymerx, the New Zealand & Australia branch / partner (“it is complicated“) of Molimerx.

The first two games may or may not have been released on BBC Micro.

A very early space combat game, possibly a Trek73 clone.

Games whose manuals are lost, and they cannot be played without it :

  • Crusaders by Simon Ford, published by Molimerx (TRS-80 and BBC Micro, 198X)
  • William of Normandy by Simon Ford, published by Molimerx (TRS-80 and BBC Micro, 198X)

Two more Molimerx games. They are not playable without the manuals, as they are fairly complex simulations. William of Normandy in particular is not about the landing but the diplomatic preparation of it, which makes it pretty unique.

  • DDay-Invasion of France by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
  • Battle of the Bulge : St Vith by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
  • Battle of the Bulge : Bastogne by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)

Those three games may take the second position after Tanktics in the “first computer wargames ever released” category, depending on when exactly in 1980 they were released. They are also the first games by David Landrey (of Tactical Design Group fame). I have not been able to contact David Landrey. You need the manual to play them, as the game expects you to respect the movement rules yourself, and to tell it which units are in-supply or out of supply according to the manual.

  • Hyperspace Patrol by Synergistic Solar (TRS-80, 1982)
  • Hypergate Centurion by Synergistic Solar (TRS-80, 1982)

Synergistic Solar has released a string of innovative games, especially given the constraints of the TRS-80. Those two games received rave reviews, but they are not playable without their manuals, and said manuals are lost.

  • Bez MX, by Bez-MX (not a typo !), (Apple II, 1982)

A turn-based artillery game with real-time elements, it is sometimes listed as a RTS precursor.

  • Delta Squadron by Nexa Corporation (Apple II, 1982)

A turn-based Death Star trench-run game that visually looks waaayyyy more advanced than 1982, it is impossible to play without its manual.

  • War by Adventure International (various platforms, 1982)

The only wargame published by Adventure International, it would be great to play it. I asked Scott Adams and he gave me a good lead that may take time to go through, so if someone has it…

Games that I have, but I cannot play as they are in Japanese. I don’t have their manuals either, and they would need translation too.

  • Moritan no Battlefield by Enix Corporation (PC-88, 1982)

The first game by Enix and, possibly, a precursor to Advanced Wars. It sure looks like it.

  • Combat [konbatto] by Koei (PC-88 (I think ?), 1982 (probably ?))
  • Battle of Normandy [Norumandî Jyouriku Sakusen] by Koei (PC-88 (I think ?), 1982 (probably ?))

Two early games by Koei (then Koey) in BASIC. Edit : LanHawk found them, but I am still looking for their manuals.

Minor games

Games :

  • Starblazer, by Ark Royal Games (Color Computer, 1982)

Briefly appeared in the catalogue of the wargame specialist Ark Royal Games. Given the name, it may be arcade, but I would love to check.

  • Battle of the Bulge by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X)
  • Battle of the River Plate by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X)
  • Convoy by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X
  • Task Force South by Stellar Services (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
  • Crusade by Venn Software (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
  • Trenches by Venn Software (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
  • Die Haendlertrilogie by Wicosoft (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
  • Shiva Inferno by Red Shift (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
  • Fall of the Third Reich by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X) See below
  • Armor Car by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X) See below
  • Mount Suribachi by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X) See below
  • Middle Earth by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X) See below
  • Panzer by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X) See below
  • Blitzkrieg by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X) Found by Porkbelly. Two players only so no article incloming. Those 6 games (and 2 more) were released by Dynacomp as part of a compilation called “Battlefield!!!“, with some standardisation (no more arachnids, it is all “infantry” & “armor”) Sometimes, game history is hard to piece together. See below :

Some games I found in one list or another, sometimes (for the C.P.S. games) in two different lists ! I am not even sure all of them are wargames.

Manuals :

  • Zendar by SubLogic (Apple II, 1982) Sent by Porkbelly
  • Max Command by Rockroy (Apple II, 1982) Sent by Porkbelly. In French amusingly
  • The Final Conflict, by the Hayden Book Company (Apple II, 1982) Uploaded by Hoeksmas

13 Comments

  1. baud baud

    > Battle of the Bulge : Bascogne

    you’d have a better chance if there wasn’t a typo in the name (though Bascogne is a nice pun in French)

  2. Porkbelly Porkbelly

    [quote] Nice to have : MIG & Messerschmitt by 4-D Interactive System (1980) [/quote]

    BrutalDeluxe has the cassette preserved for the Apple II.
    I’ve been able to load the wav on MAME.

    More interesting to collect the manuals for this set. Still looking for the RAF manual.

  3. I’ve been uploading my collection of SSG and SSI manuals and extras. Some I own and scanned myself, others I’ve found elsewhere (including Archive.org itself).

    I have a couple from your list if you’re still looking for them.

    https://archive.org/details/@jklas

    • Thanks very much. Operation Apocalypse being there is great. I had the manual, but I could not upload it because, I can say it now, someone selling the game on eBay sent me a scan of the manual only on the condition that I do not upload it nor tell anyone where I got it from until he sells his product, which he still has not. So I won’t be checking this particular product on eBay anymore.

      RDF 85 is welcome as well, I was looking for it just yesterday (as part of my coverage of Germany 85) and you uploaded it … today.

      Great, really !

      • And I had missed Bomb Alley, Computer Air Combat AND S.E.U.I.S in the uploaded archives you provided !

        From what I read, I need to update part of my review of Computer Air Combat, not having the complete manual but a samizdat version for pirates made me write some incorrect things about clarity of the rules and immersion !

        • So glad you found some useful things in the uploads.

          I had considered starting my own site to house these, but opted to use a platform already in place, kind of well-known, and where I didn’t have to spend time with site maintenance.

          I hope people won’t have to go through so much trouble to find this stuff scattered across the Internet as I did.

  4. Happy to say I just snagged the manual for Computer Conflict on eBay. A personal holy grail for me. That was one I thought I’d never get.

    I’ll post a link once I have it in hand and have scanned it.

    How would one tell the difference between the 1st and 2nd edition of Warp Factor just based on the manual? I do have a WF manual, but no idea if it’s 1st or 2nd. Does the 2nd edition actually say that in the manual to make it clear?

    • Beautiful for Computer Conflict !
      So for the Warp Factor, I am not sure whether there was 2 or 3 editions.

      What I know for sure :
      The initial edition had :
      – “Star Trek” looking ships on the cover
      – Black background for the reference card
      – The Alliance and Klargon ships are thin, and Star Trek like really
      – Mass of the alliance dreadnought : 1.5
      – Missile loadout of the imperial fighter : Type 1 drone + Type 2 drone.

      The final edition, called 1.1 on the diskette, had :
      – Generic ships on the cover
      – White background for the reference card
      – Alliance and Klargon ships fat and ugly
      – Mass of the Alliance Dreadnought : 1.33
      – Missile loadout of the imperial fighter : 2xType 1 drone.

      It is POSSIBLE, though unlikely, that the changes happened in two steps, because the 1.1 edition was only announced in the Summer1983 catalogue, but the assets displayed were changed in the Spring 1983 catalogue (so there could have been a 1.0 edition with the new assets – again, unlikely).

      It is quite probable that the manual did not change between the two editions, too.

      • I jumped ahead in my uploads and just put up everything I have for Warp Factor.

        I can see where this could get confusing. The full manual I have has a 1980 copyright. But the manual errata I uploaded has a 1981 errata.

        Can’t be sure that some of what I have is simply a mix and match and not the original grouping of pieces. But what I have is now available.

  5. Happy to say that Computer Conflict has been scanned, cleaned-up, and uploaded.

    https://archive.org/details/computer-conflict

    Kind of an odd manual… the instructions for the two sides are split horizontally in the middle of the page across the manual… Rebel on top, Red on the bottom.

    Never figured I’d be able to find this manual and happy to have it. I’ve seen a PDF recreation of it, but never the actual manual until now.

    • Hey, that’s great. It feels strange to see this particular artefact of 40 years ago. Computer Bismarck is older, sure, but it was also more popular.

  6. Porkbelly Porkbelly

    Sent you a couple of Apple manuals for Zendar and Max Command.

    I vaguely recall the Xitron/Dynacomp titles originally for the Northstar Horizon. I think there were eight games in total and all ended up being ported and combined into one game called Battlefield!!! I have an Apple II disk for that somewhere but no manual.

    Also you mentioned War by Adventure International being their only wargame. Not so!
    I’m guessing you already noted and discarded (it needs 2-4 players) but Conquest of Chesterwoode is the other, I have TRS-80 disk and manual if you like.

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