I’ve always been a sucker for ancient Rome, so I’ll play them on Monday - fun or not. I don’t think I have much of a sense of the race balance yet (only four in the demo after all), but the Egyptians seem VERY strong.
As for my old machine, like I said, the demo runs fine on 700. I miss a lot of the detail, so I’ll install it on our good machine, too, just to check it out. Our 2.4 GHz machine spends most of its gaming life as my wife’s NWN MP platform. (My days are too busy keeping house and looking for work for me to sneak up there and devote my days to gaming, and the Mrs. wins the “whose games need more power” battles.)
Nice to hear that this is available. Hopefully they can work the balance out in a patch or something. Even if they don’t, RoN is so fast that it may supplant Age of Mythology as my lunchtime game of choice.
The Romans are cool, they just run out of steam by the later Ages. But you have so many options. You can slow down time, like suggested above, or just lock it at the Medieval or Gunpowder era.
I found Conquer the World to be a good way to take your time and learn each Age. I took the Romans from the initial conquest of Germany and France (which I insisted on calling Germania and Gaul) where my legions and catapults smashed and burned whole cities to the ground, to the fall of Russia with cannon and musket, to the end of the game when I nuked the hell out of the Mayans.
Every few turns you go up an Age and there’s a limited tech tree. Typically you have to conquer the enemy capitol(s) within 90 minutes and if you have armies in adjacent territories you get handy reinforcements. If attacked, they have 90 minutes to kill you or 15 minutes to take out your capitol (in a small unfortified township). Anyway, Conquer the World is a great way to learn the ropes and savor each Age without the balance skewing mentioned above. I can’t believe how refreshing this is, and how tired a story-based campaign now feels by comparison.
I’m really impressed with warfare. The game rewards you for using your General (he can make troops invisible, entrench them, or create false “decoy” troops) and sending a force of mounted horsemen into the flanks can be devastating. Tactics change dramatically when you reach the modern era and watching tanks, Apache Helos, and bazooka infantry pound enemy positions while bombers circle overhead and cruise missiles strike into enemy troop buildings is just thrilling.
Sounds like Conquer the World is an extension of the dynamic campaign in Warlords Battlecry 2. It also sounds shorter timewise, allowing you to play through it in a couple nights. Is that far off the mark?
It’s close. It has some nice touches like extra resources and special cards you win which you can play to give yourself advantages in certain battles. There is also positional play in that adjacent armies can provide you with reinforcements. The downside is that you can only advance one Age in each battle, and that Age is the same for two consecutive battles. Tom likes this but I don’t.
I’ve been playing the beta for a while, and the final for about a week. I’m not reviewing it for anyone, so I feel free to say that I think the game is totally great.
I’m not sure where Bub is getting his info. There’s no tech tree in the Conquer the World campaign and I don’t see how tactics “change dramatically when you reach the modern era”. You get oil and airpower with the Industrial Age, which is the last big shift before nukes come into play. Otherwise, there’s a pretty consistent line of unit counters throughout the ages. Also, the scenario goals are a bit more varied than he implies. When you propose to attack a territory, it tells you exactly what kind of scenario you’re going to be playing.
It’s not like that. If you start monkeying with the default settings, and there are plenty of them you can monkey with, some nations will have their advantages minimized whereas others will fare better. The differences among the nations are subtle and a good player will have no problem minimizing any disadvantages or pushing national attribues to his advantage.
When we play at Shoot Club, there’s a five minute comtemplative pause as everyone mulls over the list of nations in light of the game settings. It’s not like Age of Mythology where everyone’s quickly ready to jump in with his favorite god.
Yeah, I love the feeling of permanence you get with the cities and how stout buildings are, especially with some of the lumber mill researches. I also love how a coordinated attack/siege pays off. The defender can’t repair buildings under attack (unless he’s those wily Koreans), so he has to sally forth to fight the sieging army.
Have you guys discovered the joys of spying and commandos yet? Hoo boy, is it a pain in the ass being on the receiving end of those guys before you’ve figured out how they work.
I just finished a lunchtime game with the Germans and I see what you mean by subtle differences, Tom. As opposed to the fast start of the Egyptians, Germany seems to move slow and steady until those resource production bonuses really start to kick in. By two thirds through the game, my armies were moving so fast and upgrading so quickly that I was two ages ahead of my opponent.
It’s too soon for me to tell if the races really play differently (Age of Mythology’s big strength), but it’s an improved form of subtlety - a lot better than AoE’s +2 gold/-5 food/big Horses model.
Now to try the Brits and Bantu.
And I’m with you on the spy/commando thing. That sniper shot is a doozy, and bribing a powerful unit can turn the tide of a close battle. Still got to get the hang of generals. I find decoy very helpful, but I haven’t given the others much of a shot yet.
It’s a shame that the demo has no real sea maps though - naval warfare is best part of some these RTSes.
I meant the research tech tree within the RTS portion. It’s a manageable window into what you can do during each Age, and a great way to learn the game.
I’m finding that your combat tactics need to change during almost every Age. This goes far beyond simple unit counters and “rock-paper-scissors” tactics. Pre-Gunpowder you’re best bet is to melee with archers and slingmen behind the fracas (melee units on Attack, missile on Defend) but once you get Gunpowder you’ll do much better by using the line formation, ordering your men to stand their ground and having your General order Forward marches or Entrench. Later, as mechanized infantry takes the field, melee tactics work better again since tanks in a line and out of range won’t help you and are easy prey for Bombers. Yes, you get Air Power during the Industrial Age but I’ve found it can be all but ignored until you can field bombers and missiles.
which is the last big shift before nukes come into play. Otherwise, there’s a pretty consistent line of unit counters throughout the ages.
Once you get to the Modern Age you get devastating air support and your tactics do change dramatically. What else can you say when suddenly a single unit, the cruise missile, lets you make a small city an easy capture? (Until they counter it.) Sure, you can still use formations and fling troops at each other (making shrewd use of counters) but it’s much better to use your air power to soften up the enemy. Particularly missiles to take out defensive structures and troop generators. Then send in your army and take cities before the enemy can mount a defense. It’s a complete change in tactics and how you wage war. Helicopters can also be used to distract and lure enemy tanks away from cities, but I suspect this won’t work against humans.
Also, the scenario goals are a bit more varied than he implies. When you propose to attack a territory, it tells you exactly what kind of scenario you’re going to be playing.
I only encountered the two I mentioned above (90 minute “take out the capitol(s)” and “attack/defend capitol for 15 minutes”, but I’ve only played one Conquer the World campaign to conclusion, so far. What others are there?
EDIT: Just started one with the Aztecs and I found “Field Battle” as a scenario goal (you get an army, you take the army and defeat the enemy army and a couple buildings). I think I didn’t see this one because I didn’t fight any barbarians in my Roman campaign. I went straight for the Greeks that time. The unclaimed barbarian lands don’t seem to last very long in Conquer the World.
I meant the research tech tree within the RTS portion.
You mentioned a tech tree in the context of going up ages in the campaign. Still, how is the library a tech tree? I see four areas of research with no branching. But if that’s your idea of a tree, okay…
I’m finding that your combat tactics need to change during almost every Age.
Interesting, since many of the differences between units from one age to another are simply an increase in hit points or attack power. The unit interaction doesn’t switch up substantially until the Industrial Age. You could argue the Gunpowder Age gives everyone ranged attacks and has an impact on cavalry, but I don’t see combat tactics changing with every age.
It’s a complete change in tactics and how you wage war.
Right, and it comes in prior to the Modern Age, which is why saying “tactics change dramatically when you reach the modern era” doesn’t make a lot of sense.
I think I didn’t see this one because I didn’t fight any barbarians in my Roman campaign.
Sounds like you didn’t even play the campaign. The scenario varies based on whether there’s an army present and how developed the enemy territory is. There are tactical army vs. army battles with no building. I don’t see how you could have missed those even if, as you say, you never attacked a neutral territory.
Two consecutive turns, battle or not.
Wrong again. The later ages last more than two turns. Have you even played this game?
And I’m with you on the spy/commando thing. That sniper shot is a doozy, and bribing a powerful unit can turn the tide of a close battle.
Commandos are also good for softening up buildings or taking out supply wagons or artillery. I love the little guys.
Still got to get the hang of generals. I find decoy very helpful, but I haven’t given the others much of a shot yet.
Generals are also good just by virtue of the fact that they give units in their radius a substantial armor bonus. Check your unit panel and you’ll see +x in the armor display. This number increases as you improve your generals. You don’t even have to mess with their powers to make them worthwhile.
It’s a shame that the demo has no real sea maps though - naval warfare is best part of some these RTSes.
I wouldn’t say naval is the best part. Like many RTSs, it can be kind of peripheral. Bruce hates it and will whine incessantly unless I turn off naval maps – even then, he’ll complain if there’s any water on the map.
But Rise does something very clever with navies. During the early ages, they’re almost entirely useless against land targets, including docks. It’s really hard to shut someone out of the seas prior to, say, the Gunpowder Age. And it’s really easy to build Fire Ships, essentially suicide boats, to completely trash someone else’s navy if you don’t feel like doing the whole naval sideshow.
Of course, once the Industrial Age rolls around and you need that oil out in the ocean, it’s a different matter. One of the most, erm, interesting maps has no land-based oil. So by the time you hit the Industrial Age, you have no choice but to fight for control of the seas.
I was embroiled in a fight over Europe and Asia, and I never took a territory below 3 in power. Seems the scenario choice is tied to the numerical value of the territory and the presence of an army or reinforcements.
Are there other scenarios? I asked you to name them and you only mentioned army vs. army. Is that what you meant by “a bit more varied”, one additional choice? So there’s the 90 minute take out the capitol, the 15 minute no building (for the attacker) version, and the army vs. army (and limited buildings)? If so, I only missed that third version in my campaign. Once I learned you can take an entire empire by taking out the home territory, I made that my goal.
There are scenarios where you have to take out the capital. There are scenarios where you have to last 90 minutes. There are scenarios where you have to capture any single city. There are scenarios with multiple opponents. There are scenarios with allies. There are attacks on encampments. There are army vs. army scenarios. There are barbarian rallies. There are combinations of the above.
Look, Mr. Six Farms Per City, I’m simply pointing out one of the things you have wrong. Perhaps you should play the game a bit more before holding forth about it?
But it really bugs me when press guys haven’t really played the games they’re talking about. I read this kind of junk all the time in reviews, where it’s painfully obvious the “reviewer” just played a couple of hours before splashing out some half-assed comments, many of which are flat out wrong.
At any rate, I don’t know whether Bub’s reviewing RoN, so it shouldn’t matter. But I read stuff like “the Romans run out of steam by the later ages” and can’t help but wonder what he’s talking about.
I got my ass handed to me when I tried to fight in gunpowder or enlightenment with ancient/classical/medieval tactics. I mostly use infantry, which fared OK against cavalry when engaging individually before gunpowder. In gunpowder, the only way to win against cavalry with infantry is with a line and holding position, otherwise, your light infantry will get chewed up by the AI too easily. An entrenched line in a good position is really hard to shift. That such things actually matter quite a bit is simply great.
By the way, has anyone found a good way to heal large units? I wish there was a command for “select all wounded” so that I could garrison only those units that actually need healing.
I see. I’m being accused of premature “holding forth” here. Fair enough. I’m just playing the game at this point and reporting what I’m seeing. I am reviewing it, but I’ve got plenty of time before deadline to make sure I’ve got all my nit-picky facts straight. I’m not at the point where I could review it yet. I don’t even have a manual! So I’m only reporting what I’m seeing. Maybe if you could refrain from the constant ad hominim attacks we could have a discussion about the game we’re both playing? Past experience indicates this is too much to ask.
The six farms thing was from a similarly rude discussion we had back in April. Re: the beta. How tactful of you to bring that up now.
Anyway, let me echo Bruce’s comment earlier: It’s a great game.
The game must have something–I’m generally bored beyond belief by RTS games,but I’ve been playing the demo to RoN,and I had three hours evaporate this evening before my eyes.The ‘civ’ elements make it seem as if there is a lot more meat here than with most RTS,but it may be an illusion.
I have yet to win the demo on moderate,but my latest game was close run,decided by the criminal Richard the Lionhearted’s use of nukes as a prelude to invasion.I agree with all who laud the demo-it’s better than most full games.