Roman games

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Roman games

Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Thu Jan 30, 2003 9:03 pm

Salvete Romani,

I didn't really know where to post this topic, but I decided to post it here to create some activity ot the Collegium Militarum and also because it involves the Roman legions and a lot of historical features about them (it might have been posted on the Collegium Historicum, but it fits in here perfectly I think).

A lot of videogames concerning the Roman Empire are relaesed from time to time. Recently, I read an article about a new game "Rome: Total War". And even though it looks great, you have to ask yourself if by playing videogames such as these, the audience won't get a wrong picture of the Roman Empire.

Probably, many historical features of the game are untrue (e.g. I read in the article that you wil be able to attack Rome itself). It also involves alot of tacitical thinking because you control a legion of 5,000 men, including the use of elephants and horses. The article says that you can move through the Roman Empire, but this might also cause some historical problems.

I would like to know if any of you have something to say bout this or maybe wants to promote a really great Roman game (a board- or a videogame).

If any of you would like to read the article, click the following link.

http://gamesradar.msn.co.uk/previews/default.asp?subsectionid=176&articleid=64850&pagetype=2

Valete bene,

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Postby Anonymous on Wed Jun 09, 2004 11:13 pm

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Other games

Postby Anonymous on Wed Jun 09, 2004 11:21 pm

Lets see if i can remember of another games depicting Rome:

Centurion: Defender of Rome

Rome, 80 AD

Praetorians

[Great Battles: Alexander] not about Rome, but is part of the series
Great Battles: Hannibal
Great Battles: Caesar

Praetorians
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Postby Curio Agelastus on Thu Jun 10, 2004 12:57 am

There's a game with quite a lot of potential by Paradox Entertainment - its name escapes me, it was about politics in the Republic. It was quite good, albet somewhat bug-filled.

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Roman Computer Games

Postby Aldus Marius on Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:54 am

Salvete amici!

In my collection are:
-- Centurion: Defender of Rome...by Electronic Arts, 1990
-- Rome: Pathway to Power...by Maxis Creations, 1993
-- Caesar...by Impressions Software, 1993
-- Caesar II...by Sierra On-Line, which bought out Impressions, 1996
-- Cohort II...by Impressions, 1993

The first three I got even before I had a computer to play them on!

Centurion: Defender of Rome is a sweet little game involving warfare, gladiator fights, chariot-racing and military and Provincial administration. Of course I liked the raising, training, equipping and deploying of Legions the best. You can decide whether your taxes will be Tolerable, Irritating, or "Bleed Them Dry", or how much you want to bet on your favorite charioteer. There's a natty little theme song that I never got to hear until I played it on my current machine, my faithful Lappie not being blessed with a sound card. The graphics are decent, even impressive when you realize how old this game is. Over a decade later it still retains, for me, its original charm. And the best part? --My copy fits on a single floppy...this was back in the days when all you needed to rule the world was a 386! >({|;-)

Rome: Pathway to Power is even more fun, and has more sophisticated graphics: You start out as a slave trying to escape Herculaneum before the volcano blows, and picking up needed supplies along the way. You fetch up in Rome, bet on a few dice games or gladiator fights, and hopefully raise enough money to bribe the Praetorians at the Imperial palace to listen to you when you inform them of a plot against the Emperor. You may get a commission into the Legions if the plot is averted. Further adventures take you to Britannia, Egypt, and back to Rome where you may be able to win the crown yourself!

The various versions of Caesar are basically Rome's answer to Sim City. You star as a Provincial governor, tasked with building a capital city and four outlying towns in your Province, plus the roads and waterworks between them. You jump-start industries, engage in trade, and defend your walls against the occasional barbarian tourism. The game is so detailed that even the effect on your cohorts' morale of having their Standard nearby is accounted for. Your performance is rated annually by the Senate in four categories, including Peace, Prosperity, Culture and Empire; promotion and transfer to a better (but more challenging) Province may follow. This is the game I pull out if I do not have to be anywhere for the next week.

Cohort II is basically a wargames simulation published as an add-on to the Caesar games. I haven't tried it, not really being a wargamer and having only gotten it for completeness' sake.

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Postby Marcus Pomponius Lupus on Thu Jun 10, 2004 1:36 pm

Salve Mari,

Rome: Pathway to Power was a great game indeed, a lot of fun, delivering a message to someone in the public baths, while you're there, someone takes of his toga and gets in the water, so that you can steal his toga, great stuff :D

I only had some problems with the military missions, things were horribly chaotic and I barely had any control of my troops. I remember that I passed the mission against the barbarians, I think, by leading my troops one way, make sure they got in a fight and then sneaking inside the camp from the other side with my centurion on a sort of covert mission 8)

And the elections, they were actually exciting, bribing people all the way to consul !

Aaah, sweet nostalgia
Vale bene
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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Thu Jun 10, 2004 3:54 pm

Salvete

Games on Rome I have...

Caesar III - my only computer game, in which I could use some help getting to the next level after quaestor. I'm preoccupied on my PC too much as it is to really get into a computer game.

Board games

SPI's old "Punic Wars" is the best. The game system is simple, clean and very playable, and it leads to interesting situations. Covers all three wars, with the second naturally being the most interesting, but the first is difficult for the Romans so it has its own interesting side.

SPI's "Fall of Rome" was voted the worst game ever! Rome cannot lose this one because they have too much money and can always buy off the barbarians.

GMT's "Rise of the Roman Republic" covers the Samnite Wars, Pyrrhus (the best scenario) and the opening phase of Hannibal's invasion of Italy. I had trouble at first in the Samnite Wars getting Rome to win any battle, until I learned the game system.

GMT's Caesar in Alexandria (part of the Great Battles of History series). Caesar is not going to lose this one. The naval component of the game is interesting, and carrying Cleo rolled up in a rug is a nice touch.

TSR's "Julius Caesar" is a solitaire board game on the conquest of Gaul. Too one sided, Caesar is not about to lose here.

West End Games' "Imperium Romanum II" begins with Marius and Sulla in 88 and goes through several scenarioes up to Justinian in 540. Some of the scenarioes are weighted too much in favor of one side or another I think, but it has several scenarios and some are good.
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Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:30 pm

Salvete Romani,

there are also a lot of other games (mostly strategy games) that includes not only Romans, but also Greeks, the Egyptians, the Minoans, ...

One of the most famous series has to be the "Age of ..."

Currently, these are available:

Age of Empires
Age of Empries: The Rise of Rome (expansion pack)
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings
Age of Empires II: The Conquerors (expansion pack)
Age of Mythology
Age of Mythology: The Titans (expansion pack)

To view them all, click here.

If this kind of game really interests you, I'd also like to recommend Rise of Nations. (more info here)

In my first post, I mentioned Rome: Total War and as it seems, it's shaping up mighty fine. The sheer size of the armies you can command alone is very impressive. The game has already won several awards and that with it not being finished yet. For more information, as ever, click here.

I think I'm going to buy it as soon as it's out and definetly after I'm able to buy a new computer. Perhaps some sodales wouldn't mind battling with me across the internet when I've got the game? :wink:


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Postby Gnaeus Dionysius Draco on Thu Jun 10, 2004 6:05 pm

There is also a Risk of the ancient world. I saw it in a toy store a few weeks ago. For those who like Risk, definitely worth checking out. My only qualm with the design was that it included Germania with present day German borders as a region... But I don't expect many more errors to be made.

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Postby Anonymous on Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:02 pm

Salve Piscinus,

I'm not sure which one the quaestor level was.

If it was the Mediolanum with the Carthaginian invasion, then there are a few methods I use.

At the beginning, any migrants you get will more than likely be savaged bt the wolves. They usually give up after a while. The best method of dealing with them is not to use prefects, as they are useless. The best ways of dealing with them are either military units, or by building gladiator barracks (they kill wolves great).

The way I usually build my city is by turning it into grids. I build each block so that it can fit 9 spaces, 3 x 3. 2 rows of three plots, a fountain in the middle of the empty rows, and two gardens on either side, with a road all the way around. The first reservoir I usually place at the right bit of the higher up part of the lake, just below where the rock wall bit comes down from the corridor. I use a diagonal pattern, leaving every second block empty, so that I can fit in schools, markets, theatres etc. I make grid blocks of 3 x 3 of these sorts of blocks, with an empty gap around the outside with two roads and one row of empty space. This I use for aquaduct access. At each corner of the 3x3 grid block, I place a reservoir. This usually takes care of water supply. Also, don't worry about hospitals too much...usually, doctors clinics do the trick, as well as an occasional barber clinic.

Where there is a sort of alley of raised ground, clear it of vegitation, then at the very top of it, build a wall about four lines thick (maybe more). Then train a few javelin divisions, and a legionary division. Also, build temples to Mars and hold festivals in his honor. Hopefully, eventually, you will be given the guardian spirit of Mars. This should take care of the first invasion. Once you have a few divisions of javelineers, when the next invasion of Carthaginians comes, begin the next section. If they come down anywhere on the left side, move your javelineers up the alley and up the stairs there onto the raised platform. Then, form your legionaries up behind the wall (usually near the stairs). This way, the javelineers can pelt the invaders, while the legionaries provide support. This usually ensures low casualties, and gives you the ability to trade more weapons and ore (keep at least 3 of each in your warehouse for emergencies). If the invasion comes from the right side, (as soon as you can) remove the vegetation and so forth from the raised-ground corridor on that side, and build right the way down (at least 14 rows of wall). Then in the area next to the corridor (on the right side), clear an area all the way down the wall, so that if the invaders break through the blockade, you can continually belt them with javelins.

Eventually, however, you will have to build the full amount of men. I usually go for a mixture: three javelin, three legions. I also make sure I build a military academy, as this makes all the difference to the effectiveness of troops. Also, after a while, you will be asked to contribute troops for service in the empire. At first, you can usually get away with sending just one unit, so send a legionary unit. If you win, you get to build a triumphal arch. This sort of thing will usually set you on the straight path. When the time wears on, and you have excess employment, start building towers on the walls. It may weaken them to an extent, but it also provides you with guards for the walls, as well as an artillery piece on the tower.

Well, there's a fairly in-depth overview for you. Hope that helps.

Vale bene,

Trajan
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Postby Anonymous on Tue Jul 20, 2004 4:21 am

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Postby Curio Agelastus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:34 pm

Salvete omnes,

Has anyone played a game called Pax Romana, by Paradox Entertainment? It's about politics in the Res Publica. You take control of a faction, and basically try to increase the prestige, auctoritas, dignitas and income of that faction. I found it quite interesting, although difficult to get the hang of some parts of it.

Bene valete,
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Postby Quintus Servilius Priscus on Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:48 pm

There is also "Legion" one of the Games from Slitherine:

http://www.slitherine.co.uk/index2.htm

Their other games are Arena, Gates of Troy, Spartan, and Chariots of War.
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Postby Anonymous on Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:50 am

Here, a small test-game,

BBC-History: Gladiator, dressed to kill game
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/ro ... ator.shtml
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Preview of Glory of the Roman Empire

Postby Tiberius Dionysius Draco on Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:43 pm

Salvete Romani,

I've recently downloaded a demo of the game Glory of the Roman Empire, this is my preview of the game.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Glory of the Roman Empire

The tutorial mode was the only playable option in the demo version. Your first mission instructs you on the basics of the game such as how to move the camera and getting the basics of your settlement running. Building a few houses and the essential farms is enough to earn you victory in your first mission.

The learning curve in the tutorial was pretty good, introducing more features of the game step by step and never really overloading you with information.

The game itself focuses mainly on keeping your citizens happy and your economy healthy. While your citizens' needs are low in the beginning (wanting bread or sausages instead of regular flour/meat) you can "upgrade" their houses by increasing their "prestige". Altars are a good way to do so as well as gardens.

One of the key buildings in your settlement is the Tavern. There is a handy option to listen to the gossip of the people that frequent the tavern and is an easy way to learn what your people want.

The tutorial was over after about 6 missions and I had only brushed the surface of the game. Overall it looks promising, but I there were several things that annoyed me.

Buildings have a circle of influence. Everything in it will be affected, but if a building isn't in it, the owners will complain and you'll need to add another Tavern for just one house. I was however rather limited in the demo version and perhaps this is less of a problem in the full version.

I've had problems with one specific citizen complaining that he didn't have enough acces to the altars while in fact there was one located in his backyard and one right across the street. There were also times when my people complained about the lack of bread in the city, while there were unemployed people living next to an empty bakery. If only I could've dragged them there myself.

Being the governor of your settlement means you just manage the buildings and trade, you can't interact with the citizens themselves and when you do manage to get hold of them they rarely have anyting useful to say.

There is also the military aspect of the game which is negligible because you can't control your legions. You provide everything they need (weapons, training, housing) and when the enemy invades, they'll march out themselves to combat them. While this assures you can keep focusing on your city's economy I would've welcomed a break from it.

Nothing bad can be said about the graphics or the sounds, they both fulfill their job nicely. There is one special feature that might interest some of you though.

You have the option of playing the entire game (in-game text, voice overs) in Latin. I tried playing it for a while and it was fun. The pronunciation was a bit weird at first, but it was all very fluent and seemed real.

Conclusion

Graphics: Very nice though a little more detail on the citizens wouldn't have hurt.
Gameplay: Managing your city well and getting a notification that your people are happy is heartwarming. However, the gameplay might feel repetitive after a while.
Sound: It does it's job though nothing spectacular. The ability to play everything in Latin however adds to the mood of the game and is very well done.
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