Hegemony III - It's not Total War, it's totally war

Tom’s post: http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2015/08/25/heres-whats-on-the-menu-in-hegemony-iii/

If you’ve played a Hegemony game, you know what you’re in for. If you haven’t, Hegemony III is as good a place as any to start.

I just watched the developer’s livestream.

I’m a little disappointed that diplomacy still isn’t better developed, but I like the increased focus on city-building and the alternative victory conditions. For $20 I’ll probably grab it.

I enjoy playing these games for the first 20 or so hours until I realise I’m just grinding the same thing over and over.

This is great. Here are the icons for 3 of the playable factions in the campaign.

The ancients had some sense of humor.

Whoa. I saw this in the Steam Store today (recommended for me, go figure) and my first thought was “What the what?! How did I not even know this was in development?!” Then I came here to post about it and saw Tom’s front page article and this thread. Longbow tried to Kickstart this and it failed? When? This must have been right on the heels of Hegemony : Rome, when people would have been like “I just gave you $30 for the second game, now you want me to pony up for a third?”.

Hegemony : Gold is/was an amazing game. Not for the faint of heart or impatient, sure, but deep and rich once you overcame the learning curve. Hegemony Rome was flawed, especially at release, but still a good game for all that. Hegemony III looks like it’s improved on the system, fixing many of the flaws from Rome and adding some additional depth. I am sorely tempted right now to throw my $21 (loyalty price) at the screen just to support Longbow even though I won’t have time to play this for months.

Take this for what it’s worth but I had it crash on me a couple of times today.

It seems a lot easier to outgrow your economy in the beginning than in the previous games - probably due to the overhead of city improvements. My army right now consists of a single axeman and a single spearman, and I’m still running 25 g in the red every week because I’ve yet to find a mine, and the cost of maintaining trade routes to the food and lumber producing sites is eating me alive.

So picked this up on a whim. Been listening to the History of Rome podcast lately, and I’ve been in the mood for some ancient warfare. The game is ok, but a bit too slow. Maybe things will pick up eventually, but it seems like I’m constantly waiting for anything to happen. The interface and unit feedback aren’t super great either (its all there, just not designed well). I want to give this another shot, but I have a feeling that this game just isn’t going to hook me.

I’ve always felt that this series, despite its qualities, is hamstrung by a basic conflict between its main design principles. On one hand there’s this seamless, sprawling map (and appealing historical theme) that invites you to conquer and expand. But the more you do conquer and expand, the more all the game’s other mechanics (supply, city and unit management, unappeasable AI) combine to restrain you and create a tedious and frustrating mess. You end up feeling like you’re performing empty, automatic actions rather than making interesting decisions. I’ve started Hegemony Gold many times only to give up at the same point where it feels like I’m doing nothing but running a meager force back and forth across my little empire putting out fires. I give up even quicker on the Rome game as soon as I remind myself just how unwieldy the interface feels on the new, supersized map.

I like the aesthetics and the underlying ideas and the subject matter of these games, but I never end up feeling like a conqueror – more like a beleaguered civil servant. I’m sure I’ll buy this one too in case they’ve worked out solutions to the previous games’ problems (and because I honestly do like this dev and want to support them). But my expectations are pretty low at this point.

I thought the first Hegemony was great so I’m always willing to pay $20 to these guys to see what their new game is like.

Like Caesar, you can’t upgrade roads in H3. I thought that was one of the best features of the original so I’m sad to see that it will not come back. However, the new dynamic missions look like they will make the game more than just an expandathon.

Only real gripe from my first impression is the map segues into the overhead stylised form at a lower zoom level than previously. I hardly zoom out at all from my troops before I’m looking at the chess pieces moving around. And who decided the map should be black? Seriously? A black map. Boggles the mind.

This game is hard. I’m three hours in and still trying to expand from my first city Taras.

I had to get a refund but that was my own fault. I assumed that since it used the same engine as Caesar, the requirements would be the same, so I never looked. I finally noticed that it requires an I5 processor (I have an I3) when looking for a solution to persistent CTDs I was having.

Frankly I’m rather pleasantly surprised that Gabe refunded my money. He could just have easily said “Next time read the requirements, Dummy.”

Lesson to be learned here, kids.

Wow! Thanks for that heads up tgb123. I didn’t notice that either, and won’t meet the requirements, so I guess I’m waiting on this until I upgrade my system, probably early next year. Ah well, it’s for the best I suppose as I just bought Pillars of Eternity a couple of weeks ago and still have an enormous backlog too.

I’m concerned there’s something wrong here. I’ve restarted a game several times and keep running into the same obstacles that are, quite frankly, almost brick walls. The combined lack of income, aggressive raiders, and heavily armed pirates that show up in the first few years make me think the early game tuning is seriously out of whack. :(

-Tom

This is the first game I have refunded on Steam, but not because of technical issues. The game is just not fun, and it would take a massive overhaul to get it to the point where I have fun playing it. Plenty of other good strategy games coming out lately, would rather put my money towards them than hold on to this and hope that they fix the problems someday.

The gameplay is basically the same as the previous titles so I don’t think there are any major changes planned.

I’ve stuck with my Taras campaign and have now taken a couple more cities. The scarce resources have forced me to adopt a hit and run strategy where my light troops raid enemy food depots to cut off their food supply. I can then deal more easily with raids that turn up with no food and low morale, executing units I defeat until they have no troops left. The constant cat and mouse of attack and defence is slow going, but so far I’ve managed to stay on the right side of the knife edge which has been very tense. Really enjoying it so far.

This game is pretty sweet. I’ve think I’ve made enough errors in the tutorial campaign, that I’m ready to move up to the big campaign. My main mistake was building too many workers. I wound up with an excess of resources and thus workers, with a deficit of manpower for my troops.

Your choice of which tribe to begin with has a big impact on the game. I started with a bonus in military I believe, but lacked the resources to raise a military. I’m sure I could have done better with them if I tried them again now, but I bailed and restarted with the income bonus tribe, with the added bonus that they have that cool octopi sigil. With their cash I was able to get the resources flowing in and better afford workers for more resources and troops for the initial expansion. I invested too heavily into my economics and resources however, and not enough into more advanced military units. So, when the enemies and raiders started fielding multiple hoplites, I was in trouble.

There are a lot of bandit camps around you in the early game. It seems that these are where the raids spawn from and are definitely worth clearing out. I’ve also not really found much resistance when you actually do that, most of them have been completely undefended. You can destroy the camp if you can’t afford the upkeep cost. I do like that you can’t just upgrade everything in these games. I’m constantly looking around the map trying to figure out what cities really do need to keep their walls, what camps are worth it, what about these bridges? You can’t lock everything down and the bandits seem to exploit this pretty well. I’ve also had bandits and computer take advantage of when I have large numbers of forces already engaged in foreign lands.

As for money, I think the game pretty much requires you to upgrade your mines and vineyards to allow 40 workers. I’ve also had to mostly build the city improvements that increase taxes.

Nearly two years after release and Longbow are still working on this game. A paid DLC has been released, but what caught my eye in particular is the fact the developers have released free DLC which recreates the original (and excellent) Hegemony: Philip of Macedon inside the Hegemony III engine.

If you’ve ever asked why developers don’t just remake the original game with better graphics, well now they have!

A lot of quality of life upgrades have been made as well - if you’ve got this languishing in your steam library now is a good time to re-visit the game.

Did they ever tune the game so there isn’t so much whack a mole trying to keep invaders at bay?