My impression so far is very positive. The UI is very easy to use with lots of information presented at your fingertips. There are 2 expandable tool menus at the bottom left and right of the screen that present all the options you need and you can select, move, turn, attack and undo movement of units just using the left and right mouse buttons.
The tutorials are well done and present all the information you need to know to play the game and be successful. I think the graphics are great. It’s like playing a miniatures board game. The AI seems pretty good, even on the easy tutorial setting.
Overall, so far I’d say this is a keeper. I haven’t started a campaign yet so I don’t know how that part of the game goes yet. But there’s nothing I don’t like that I’ve seen so far. It’s very impressive. The only negative is that it costs $30. I can’t say it’s not worth that though if you love games like this.
The other thing I like is that it apparently has a map editor and you can create your own battles and campaigns.
Yesterday I played the first tutorial to get used to the game. It’s got a really nice tactical battle system that I like a lot. Here’s a little mini AAR of my first tutorial battle:
The tutorial gave me the ancient British forces from 54BC fighting the Roman forces of the time.
I start the battle in an advantageous position with my general and core foot on a hill, which provides some combat advantages. However the trees up there will disorder my forces unless they are light foot, which mine are not. So I’m going to need to move them forward. The chariots and light cavalry I want to move out to both sides of the map to prepare to flank the Romans if/when they move toward me. I need to move my slingers forward so they can mess up the Roman javelin chuckers before they can mess me up instead. The screenshot is turn one before any moves are made.
The first thing I do is move my two groups of slingers up in range. The ones on the right concentrate on the javelins on the far right because I want to hit them on their flank with my chariots. My slingers disorder that unit and I hit them with the chariot unit. Here on turn 2 you can see that they broke and that also caused the Roman cavalry next to them to break and run and are being pursued by my chariot unit. Notice that as they flee they pass my foot unit and present their backs for a flank attack which I take advantage of.
Later on turn 2 I have positioned my light cavalry and chariots to hit the flanks of Roman units at the top of the map. I’ve moved some of my heavy foot forward to engage the Roman foot from the side of the hill, which provides a slight advantage to my troops. I’ll need it because these are tough nuts to crack. The other two are engaging their cavalry to the north.
At this point on turn 3, the Roman cavalry I engaged has been hit from the flanks and is fleeing off the map, pursued by my units. To the north, his javelin unit is also fleeing off the map. His core legion units are standing firm against flank attacks. They are very tough.
But by turn 5, repeated flank attacks have taken their toll and the Romans are disordered and wavering. My chariot breaks the Roman foot unit to the south and it flees.
Turn 6 and the rout is on.
Victory is ours. A crushing victory with huge Roman losses and light British ones.