I’ve put hours into this now. Hours. It’s probably one of my most-played iPhone games and I’ve not even got the full version yet. I spent a long, long time trying to get a medal on the fifth Free Play mission, which requires you to capture every base within thirty turns. Winning the game wasn’t hard, but doing it within thirty turns – and making sure I’d captured all the neutral bases before finishing off the enemy – was very tough. I kept finishing in thirty-two or thirty-three turns, but couldn’t get it down any further.

Until, somehow, I managed it twenty-three turns. I think I shouted out in my victory and may have punched the air. I seem to remember having to explain to the wife why I’d startled here.

The most important thing to do when you need speed is to make sure you’re constantly moving troops around. On a time limit you can’t afford to keep troops in reserve behind your front lines, no matter how tempting it is to leave some defenders just in case the enemy breaks through. Also, if you know you’re going to lose a base to the enemy, you’re better off retreating before they arrive, so you’ve got more men available for a counter attack. And you really have to make good use of the power ups that you’ve been given and not leave them in reserve until it’s too late.

It’s brilliant game and I’m definitely going to get the full version. I’ve been planning on finishing off all there is to do in the Lite before buying it, but I’m not sure that’s wise. It seems sensible on the surface, but the Lite version is getting very hard indeed now and I really don’t want to find the full game a pushover when I get to it. It might be better to have both and swap between the two. (The Lite version features content not in the full version, by the way. I think the Free Play mode in the full version may be closer to a Skirmish mode than the mission-based structure of the Lite, but I’m not sure.)