I remember when I was younger playing a WWII (possibly WWI) strategy game, that I'm pretty sure was for Windows 3.1 but it may have been an early Win'95 game, and a big chunk of the main screen was a map of Europe. I feel like I got it on a PC Gamer cover disk, but have been unable to find it for years. I feel like the UI was composed of win32 widgets, but I'm not 100% on that.

The one thing I am confident on, and yet has never borne fruit in my searches is that it played Handel's Sarabande in D Minor (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-qHtYfktiQ) as a MIDI file for the music. Feels like one of those details that might trigger a memory for someone but is probably not written down in any coverage (should any exist) of the game.


Having checked the dates of PC Gamer I suspect that was too late, so it would have been a different UK magazine. Possibly PC Format, having just viewed a few photos of the disks and one of them I immediately remembered.


5 Answers 5


Could it have been Winwar II 2.0 or 3.0? I used to play it on Windows 95, but I remember it having a very distinct Windows 3.1 feeling to it. It was basically a computer version of the board game Axis & Allies, except it started earlier (before the initial Axis expansion), you could also play France and Italy, and attacking neutral countries was more integral. I never liked to listen to music in computer games, so I couldn't say if it had the music you describe.

enter image description here

There was also a WinWar II 4.0 some years later, but it didn't have the same Windows 3.1 look and feel and it was more of real-time game than turn-based.

enter image description here

  • I tripeed over Win War II yesterday and the little launch dialog struck me as being very familiar. It definitely wasn't 4.0, and screenshots I've seen don't look quite right based on my memory, but they do look very close. Need to try and find some copies to run on my Windows box to test!
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented May 10 at 12:40
  • @MattLacey I'm pretty sure I only played 3.0 and 4.0 based on the screenshots I have seen. But maybe it was 2.0 or even 1.0 that you played? The website I linked to for the 4.0 version seems to have screenshots and even downloadable games for all versions, if you want to check them out.
    – jkej
    Commented May 10 at 14:21
  • 1
    @MattLacey Archive.org appears to have a copy of version 3.0 and the downloads on this ancient AngelFire site still seem to be there.
    – IMSoP
    Commented May 11 at 17:52
  • Fired up 2.0 and 3.0 on my Win 95 machine last night and don't think it was this. Feel like the gameplay was much simpler.
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented May 23 at 9:06

Possible match for Civilization:

  • Early 90's, multi-platform including PC
  • Large map of Europe covering 75% of screen
  • Plays Handel's Sarabande in D Minor as a MIDI track (PC version)

Not a WWI/WWII strategy game as such, but a strategy game nonetheless.

  • Good shout, but I think it was a lot more low-budget than any of those games. Get the feeling it was a one man band kind of effort.
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented May 9 at 13:18
  • @NoelWhitemore Why on earth are you writing these suggestions in the comment section to an answer??
    – pipe
    Commented May 10 at 2:57
  • 1
    @pipe I'm just putting the suggestions out there as I haven't spent more than 10 seconds researching the games, just looked at some screenshots :) Commented May 10 at 11:32

Here are two shareware games that I found:

Fields of Battle

Screenshot of Fields of Battle

The Great War: 1914-1918

Screenshot of The Great War: 1914-1918

All images courtesy of MobyGames.

  • 1
    I browsed on there but missed Fields of Battle. Those factory icons look familiar. Going to dedicate some time to trying these tonight
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented May 13 at 8:49

I believe you're thinking of the shareware game World Empire IV, which was a popular turn-based strategy game for Windows 3 and up. The objective was to obliterate all your opponents and take over the territories within each continent one by one. The game had a Risk-like interface. As long as you had more than one army in a territory, you could command it to attack any neighbouring enemy territory, continuously (choosing Attack (slow) or Blitz (fast forward)), with a 50/50 chance of the enemy or yourself losing an army, until either the enemy or yourself was exhausted. Every territory produces additional units at the start of every turn for its current owner based on its population.

enter image description here

This screenshot shows Asia, but as you can see there are passage territories (marked by red arrows) that link adjacent continents (i.e. Europe), much like Risk.

  • Another good shout, but I recall there being a few more buttons on the UI, and I don't recall other parts of the wolrd being in there. I tripped over WinWar II earlier and that looks similar but don't think it's right.
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented May 9 at 17:06

I don't know if it's the game you're looking for (it might be too old), but I have fond memories of playing World War II in Western Europe by W R Hutsell (and the sibling American Civil War game).

  • No, it definitely made more use of Windows widgets :(
    – Matt Lacey
    Commented May 10 at 12:40

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