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Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online): A Short, Bloody History of Roman War Games

Posted January 21, 2011 to photo album "Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online): A Short, Bloody History of Roman War Games"

As The Eagle’s battle scenes demonstrate, the Roman Army was one of history’s most effective war machines. Legions of gamers, both in board games and online, have tried to emulate them.

Slide 1: Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online) - A Short, Bloody History Of Roman War Games
Slide 2: Managing Risk
Slide 3: Dungeons and Dragons Suit up the Player
Slide 4: The Birth of Multiplayer Online Games
Slide 5: Rome, from Boards to the Web
Slide 6: Getting on Board with Conquest of the Empire
Slide 7: Re-Conquest of the Empire
Slide 8: A Never-Ending War with Commands and Colors: Ancients
Slide 9: Ostia and the Politics of War
Slide 10: Ancient War Made Modern with Rome: Total War
Slide 11: Getting War Right with Rome: Total Realism
Slide 12: To Roma Victor Goes the Spoils
Slide 13: The Mod of War - Mount and Blade
Slide 10: Ancient War Made Modern with Rome: Total War

Slide 10: Ancient War Made Modern with Rome: Total War

For both PC and Mac, Rome: Total War, in the words of its publisher, Creative Strategy, is “an epic-scale strategy game that invites you to experience the grandeur, glory and brutality that was ancient Rome.” Encompassing both real battles and fictional ones occurring between 270BC and AD14, Rome: Total War requires players to not only marshal armies but also assassins, mercenaries, traders, and even families. (In a nod away from contemporary sexual politics, only the male members of a family can be controlled by players.) Highly acclaimed when it was released in 2004, Rome: Total War brings the strategy genre from board games to the computer, adding sound and image that enhance the battleplay. Writes, Steve Butts in IGN, “The plaid pants on the German spearman, the rivets on the Legionnaire's armor, the crests on a hoplite's helmet -- the details here are well beyond the standard for the genre… When you see a group of infantry charge into one another and start swinging swords around, well, it's hard not to get wrapped up in this local scene and forget, if only for a second, that there's an entire battle raging all around you. And: “From the simple cheers let out by your victorious units to the full on battle cry of those crazy German ladies, the sounds of your men on the battlefield add a lot of life to the conflicts. Your own general will even give a surprisingly fitting speech as a prelude to each battle.”