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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
08_ComandsColores
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 5: Rome, from Boards to the Web

Slide 5: Rome, from Boards to the Web

A look at today’s Roman-themed war games finds games borrowing from all of these stages of gaming history. That’s undoubtedly due to the same reasons that have kept filmmakers returning to the Roman era too. The 500 or so years spanning from 27BC to AD476 include global warfare, the one-on-one, gladiatorial combat of the Roman ampitheater (reduced to its grisly basics in computer games like Mortal Kombat), and the diplomatic maneuvering occurring among the Emperors of the Roman Republic and its various enemies. And just as filmmakers have created everything from large-scale battle epics to more intimate adventures and dramas, game designers have created everything from classic old-school military tactics games to MMORPG’s (the forthcoming Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising) that allow us all to be gladiator or slave, emperor or serf. Here are some notable games that take us back to the days of the Romans.