Aggressors: Ancient Rome


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.


I can totally relate to that. I played a lot of Civ VI hotseat with my wife, so at least we both had someone to fill in those gaps :)


I am in the beta test and still covered by the nda so I can’t say much. I will note that in the beta I have been impressed at how rapidly the game has improved. The game designer has been very responsive to criticism and has swiftly eliminated game problems. I enjoy the game and it is definitely one I play a lot. It reminds me in design philosophy of the old SPI game, Punic Wars, except that you can play any of 19 nations and the whole Mediterranean and the Near East is the combat ground, and, of course, endless more chrome.

Random maps and easy modding tools I think will ensure replayability for a very long time. A true Grognard’s sandbox and wargame construction set.


I am really excited by the gameplay mechanics they describe in the diaries, but then they post pictures of that map…


Is your complaint the accuracy or the graphics?


It is weird that both Athens and Agrinion are on the Peloponnese.


Dammnit, this is gonna be a day one purchase for me, isn’t it?


One of the things I found really interesting in the DasTactics random map video was the siege mechanism. He was talking about surrounding a city and starving it out, but it turns out that you simply move even just a single unit around the city, transferring ownership of all the neighboring tiles, and then keep your unit adjacent. A very small city (2?) capitulated right away, the size 4 capital took a couple turns longer and first dropped a size, but then capitulated.

First of all, I think this may result in a more realistic set of military options. It never struck me as right in Civ that you could hole up in your city and kill off attackers with bombardment and a ranged unit, with little concern for food and water. Nor did the surrounding unit mechanism seem right. I think Civ was always intended to force you to take the fight to your city tiles, thus some bonuses to some units fighting in city tiles. But that is not how the game really works… Looks to me as though in Aggressors, defenders have to battle for their cities, although I am pretty sure that they will be able to develop some level of mitigation for loss of resources.

I was also interested in how the cities and even a settler deserted without a fight, and how that matters more in this game. In Civ, units heal magically, given a little time. In EU, armies heal out of the manpower pool, but the manpower pool refills magically, given time. But in this game, the units heal out of population (and other resources, too) and so is truly consequential. So avoiding a battle can really be a plus, rather than just some abstract experience to “level up.”

Which reminds me, I also like the sound of the training options. Looks like these are at least as important as level ups, although unit accomplishments also come into play. Which strikes me as more realistic and interesting.