brief review of the game and its sequel, "Barbarian Invasion"
have never been a computer wargamer
but have on occasion played the odd computer game, which I have enjoyed
these can almost be numbered on the fingers of one hand.
games are in order of their computing appearance: Zork, Uukrul, Castles II,
Space Hulk, Dawn Patrol, Diablo II and Rome Total War.
Zork, which I never finished, was a puzzle based text game, which
made you use your imagination. I
was particularly good at this because I didnít even have a computer but
used an experimental thing we had in work.
Uukrul took me almost a year to complete, without cheating. Uukrul
was a puzzle based dungeon game and although simple by todayís standards
is still fun to play and can be downloaded from the web.
then moved on to Castles II, which lasted me a couple of months but was a
strategic and tactical game. It
also allowed you to game with little figures.
Space Hulk was quite nerve racking and certainly challenging to play.
Dawn Patrol was a clever little game of WW I combat and I use to
unwind before dinner by shooting down a few of the Hun.
Both the latter two games I played on and off on my old 386 until I
gave it away and upgraded. With Diablo II I actually made it down to the
bottom level and after slaying his minions confronted Diablo.
I kept it up until I got fed up with Diablo doing me in, I tried
again with the female archer but got fed up and quit.
I then had a long break . . .
Total War is my type of game, strategic map movement and tactical battles. I
played first as Julii, which is difficult, then Brutii and Scippii which are
easier. The Carthaginians took a
couple of false starts to master and the Seleucids were tough at first but
proved a good army with their cataphracts. The Germans were the hardest to
play. Firstly if you intend to
play, donít cheat as this will spoil it, the game is money based and with
it you can build up your cities and infrastructure, your armies and bribe
your enemies. There is a cheat
available to boost your money, do not do it because it will destroy the
balance of the game. The hard
nations to play are those that grow slowly, they never have enough money.
The best way to get money is to loot cities, even your own.
It doesnít matter where you start, if you can get into
, you have it made. You may have
to do some defending but the rich cities, which grow well, are worth it.
I was almost wiped out as the Germans but I packed my bags and got to
with a small army and about 40,000 in debt.
Equally any of the Romans are best to try this although
is also good and doesnít get reinvaded.
Diplomats are good at the start, go around selling map information to
who ever you can, after a while the opposition run out of money and you can
dispense with them.
are also good but train them up before setting them against a faction leader
or a faction heir. The game is a
good one and more accurate if you play a Roman Faction.
The three main Roman Factions also get missions from the Senate that
add to the colour and pressure. Faults
with the game, some of the other nations can get un-historically achievable
results, some have some silly troop types and the Egyptians are out of sync
and far too archaic in troop type. Nasty
so and soís to fight though as they just keep going.
The trick to beating them is to seize
, which is always lightly garrisoned. Bribing
whole armies to stand down is also a bit silly.
Overall though a fun game, and I was almost packing it in when along
came the add-on, Barbarian invasion. This
uses the same map with some changes. I
first played as the
of the West and watched as my Empire fell apart.
My second attempt was much better and I was in the final stages of
re-conquering the whole Med coastal area when the computer told me I had
failed. It was AD 476, which is
the year you must meet your objectives by.
A felt a bit cheated as I could have won if I had known the date was
is hard and highly recommended. I
then started playing the vandals which, start without homelands.
The Vandals have proved pretty simple, my tactic get into
then expand out. This game is
perhaps a little tighter than the last.
I have not found any major glitches.
Bribing is not as easy, which is good, but barbarians can destroy
cities and really go for you. Again,
a good game with many hours of play.
back to computer