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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 11: Getting War Right with Rome: Total Realism
Rome: Total War was a massive hit, but as its popularity grew, serious gamers began to criticize its casual approach to the history of ancient Rome. The original developers had always admitted to adding fictional elements in order to simplify gameplay, but one portion of the community that grew up with these games desired something more. Enter Rome: Total Realism, a “mod,” or series of modifications, that can be downloaded by owners of Rome: Total War and which tighten up the historical record. The mod was created by a team of 14 programmers who, according to UGO, “makes significant revisions to two areas of game play: the setup of the factions and their armies, and the establishment of control over newly conquered territories. Gone are the three quasi-independent Roman families and the meddlesome Senate; Rome operates as a single military and political unit, as it did in history. Rome's initial territories are more compact — you'll have to fight the other Italian tribes for control of the peninsula before you take on other groups — and their armies are different, too, as the standard hestati, principes, and velites mix things up with spear and javelin based Italian units. As a result, until you build up your power base, you'll be using the hoplite units that comprise many of the Greek armies. RTR's developers ditched the Britons from the playable faction list as a historically irrelevant group, and replaced them with the Illyrians, a people whose centrally located starting position (between Italy and Greece) gives RTR a completely different strategic dynamic than the original game. Finally, RTR replaces the Egyptians… with a more authentic Greek style military, putting the new faction, called the Ptolemaics, on par with the Seleucids, Greeks, and Macedonians.” Phew! Like the original Rome: Total War, there are multiple expansion packs that add new battles and conflicts to the mix.