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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 9: Ostia and the Politics of War

Slide 9: Ostia and the Politics of War

Set in First Century, A.D., Ostia, by Pro Ludo games, is a boardgamer for ages 12 and up that focuses not on warfare but on commerce. Players work the Roman equivalent of the construction and public works businesses, importing goods from abroad, trading them with other players, and trying to land deals with the Roman Senate. But, as the game’s advertising copy warns, “The needs of the Senate change from year to year… Will you be clever enough to become a favorite of the Senate?” In a review at RPG.net, Shannon Appelcline praises the game, writing, “Ostia is also somewhat notable because it's one of the few logistical games that I know of that's got relatively deep gameplay, but still plays in just over an hour. In both its mechanics and its components, Ostia is quite compact.” But, he says, the game is best played by friends and not rabid competitors. “It really shines as a social game, to be played by people who enjoy talking with each other and engaging in group gameplay.”