Aggressors: Ancient Rome

I know this title has been mentioned at least a couple times around here, but with it releasing August 20, seems a thread is warranted.

Turn-based, good attention to historical detail, combination of grand strategy and 4X, with the historical scenario leaning grand strategy and the randomized maps more towards 4X. You get fairly detailed battle reports, and there are lots of factors to try to control in order to win battles, but no control of in-battle tactics. Looks to be very moddable.

I was not chosen for the beta, so I have no first hand knowledge, but I’m optimistic enough to say a definite first day purchase for me.

Slitherine’s Beta Gamplay and Discussion

Forum containing several Dev Diaries

Interesting. Seems like it will be very difficult for it to set itself apart from all the other existing and upcoming Rome game.

He had me at turn-based.

I really wanted to get into the Beta, but this was the first one I missed in a long time. Day One purchase for me as well.

@jpinard In terms of marketing, yeah, I would be concerned in their shoes. It does come out before Imperator Rome, though, so the hype for that game may get sales from people waiting for that one.

For me, though, it looks vastly better than the competition. In addition to being turn based and not battle tactics focused, it looks closely tethered to the realities of the time period, but allowing tons of choice when it comes to playing actual and alternative history.

Of course, the biggest unanswered question will be the quality of the AI. And the second biggest question will be the quality of the documentation.

Being Slitherine, I wouldn’t worry about the quality of the documentation.

From what I’ve seen the biggest difference is this being fully turn-based and combat abstracted. It could almost be an Ageod title, except the interface doesn’t seem as unweildy.

I’m very interested in this, but tiles? Ugh. Particularly hard to swallow after playing the sleek, hex based Gladius.

The map is ugly as hell. No sale!

I’m also in the beta and I haven’t played it as much as I should have. Tomorrow’s the last day of school so I should be able to rectify that shortly. I doubt I can say any more than that as I assume there’s an NDA.

It’s Slitherine, I don’t think they are worried about competing. People who like their stuff are going to buy it. They have their niche market.

I would have agreed until I got Gladius, manual is useless for that game.

I think with Slitherine/Matrix documentation like the software varies quite a bit in quality being dependent on who the actual developer is.

New Dev Diary is up:

Trade Routes

This Let’s Play gives a ton of information about different aspects of the game, WAY beyond anything I found prior.

Documentation appears stellar. Appears very deep. Extreme levels of customization. Lots of focus on non-military aspects. Some of the game mechanics look very different from other games I have played.

Thanks for the link. Much more Civ like than I expected, but looks excellent. Barring negative reviews, I will buy it the first week.

Yay Das! Love him so!

And wow does this look good. REALLY good.

I’m pretty interested in this. 4x games that aren’t civ and don’t ape it 1:1 are very tempting for me, though i do see some features that seem like cruft.

Seems to me that the historical Mediterranean is more like EU and the random maps more reminiscent of Civ. yet this game is much more grounded in the basics of population, and the supply of each individual resource, citizen state of mind, and so on.

Graphics are not pretty, but relevant facts are so easily at hand. And conflicts appear to occur over meaningful things – whether you own those two mines or not really matters. It’s not just some buffoonish personality that dislikes your for some arbitrary reason. I also really like the tech tree system where things need not always be the same, and you do not need to make the tree visible.

They kind of remind of the style in the Eador games. A bit baroque, but serviceable.

If that promise actually is delivered… that’s a happy dream after 20+ years of playing Civ games where that’s the deal.

On the other hand, I find the game prone to generate “anachronistic” and unplayable setups, like Germanic tribes appearing in an arid plains region. Would be “Germans” adapt and become something else, or they would just be gimped pretty much by design as their “forest fighting” bonus would be irrelevant?

I am not sure I love random tech trees, as you can get a very crazy roll that busts the game, but they’re certainly better than fixed tech trees, which are quite repetitive. Are those trees the same (random or not) for all players?

In terms of ensuring replayability, I do very much prefer a system like that of Stellaris, where you ‘draw’ possible discoveries/technical advances from a given set of ‘pools’ or ‘topics’ directly relevant to gameplay (governance, economics, etc.), while enforcing some sensible/logical dependencies between discoveries.

There’s some odd (or anachronistic) features, like the policies enacting handouts to increase population growth. That kind of sounded to me like granting public transport discounts to families with several kids.

Dev Diary - Infrastructure

I really like the sound of this. The developer sees city (and countryside) manual building as the exception. The default is that locals “follow their natural growth and use their resources where needed.” Thus less repetitive micromanagement. But quite a range of things that you can intervene to do, once you have researched them.

The implication is that I had it exactly wrong about the DasTactic video. He refers repeatedly to his always falling behind in the economic side of the game, and I was thinking to myself, “Well, duh, you are building and moving military units with hardly a thought to what your cities are doing.” But, in truth, those messages he is getting about being halfway to a military superiority victory so early in the game… this tells me that he is intervening far more in his city affairs, as compared to the AI, in that he keeps diverting their attention to building units. His competition is doing well in terms of population and economy by leaving their cities alone on a higher percentage of turns.

This sounds great to me. I love the building part of 4X games, but the convention of building seems to have lost its way. Not only in its repetitiousness, but in its sense that you always have to be building something, whether you need something particular or not. I realize that that is the moment my Civ VI games get abandoned, when I am rotating through empty building queues, not really having anything pressing to build. This really magnifies the empty stretches of the game.

Also, according to the Dev Diary, DasTactic is doing a preview tonight at 8 pm CEST on their Twitch channel.