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View Full Version : Rome Total war.. a simulation or a game?


Nv40
04-17-05, 12:51 AM
Recently got a copy of Rome Total War , because i really liked the experience with my first RTS game which was BFME and still play it a lot. RTW is a great game too , so i saw no reasons to not pick it too.however one is more like an arcade fun game and the other looks more like a fun simulation game. My questions is.. About how accurate is the "realism" of the game combat tactics.

How close is the combat tactics in RTW to the real life ?

Will anyone with expertise is hand to hand medieval sword/arrows and spears combat in the real life will be able to pick the game and very quickly win all the battles? or the game is just game and you need to learn the way the programmers codec the AI of the game , and that usually factions with greater numbers and experience win ?

Not sure why ,perhaps there is a reason , but i saw in the game ,in one battle ,how a big fresh batalion of pikemens ,with *very long spears* ,were defeated very easily by a smaller group of general body guards with armed simple swords/shields and horses. And i see no reason for something like that to happen ,unless my pikemens were incredible stupid , because the advantage of the very long reach of their weapons is enough to impale any soldier or horses that comes fast at your direction. in simply words in any battle anyone that can hit you first have a clear big advantage againts you. Thats why any batallion of well trained ARchers are responsible of more kills than any other faction in a battle. Even though there is armor and shields that can reduce the effectiveness of archers ,and thats not including the weather but with pikemens in the other hand , they are close enough to the opponents that they can strike the enemy whenever they want and at the same time keep the enemy at distance unable to reach you. So i always believed that the more effective way to atack pikemens were using archers , or perhaps well trained soldier on the ground using big swords and shields ,but never cavalry because the horses are an easy target for spears. and if the cavalry tries to Ride throught them at insane speeds ,the chances they will end impaled with a spear are very high ,the gravity will do it all and the pikemens only needs to secure their Spears on the ground and wait for them.

Another time ,my batalion atacked an enemy from the rear ,by surprise while the enemy was busy fighting with another of my battalions in the front . in ANy Combat strategy book that will be called a complete ownage.. but guess what? The enemy survived the atack and both of my battalions were broken very easily a moments later. :confused:

I will like to know is if is usefull to research about real world tactics to be more sucesful in the game ,or if doing research helps nothing and this is something more about test and retest how the "reality" works in the game.

Interestingly the RTW engine ,was used in the discovery channel to re-create Historical battles. Its a really great game ,still give me some ideas of how it is ,being in a massive scale medieval war .but i really think that if the game AI were as close as possible to the real thing it will be far more impresive the game. Now if anyone here find me some facts of the game where it shows that the word -realism- was Law in the game for the developers and not just used at times to provide fun gameplay ,then my hopes to be playing the game for a lot more time ,(not just months but years) will be higher if the game is indeed a realistic combat simulator . :)

Im a big fan of simulation games ,and the more attention to realism is used to create the game ,the better. Perhaps thats why i like so much Lock-On ,where the Russian developers even simulated in their Su-25 planes ,some of its weakness that pilots needs to workaround when flying those old jets . every plane physics and most weapons "feel" diferent ,is not only beautifull graphics with diferent names ,but the physics,and behaviour are diferent..not all missiles fly in the same way (like in some flightsims where the only thing that change between diferent weapons and planes is the textures ) and that is awesome when so much accuracy it is done for a game. :)

Shamrock
04-17-05, 12:55 AM
I can say this.

The History channel used RTW, for simulating famous battles. Specifically, the show Command Decision. You chose the correct tactic the historical battle really used. And to simulate the correct battle tactic, they would show you how it was done, IN ROME: Total War! :D

Nv40
04-17-05, 01:16 AM
I can say this.

The History channel used RTW, for simulating famous battles. Specifically, the show Command Decision. You chose the correct tactic the historical battle really used. And to simulate the correct battle tactic, they would show you how it was done, IN ROME: Total War! :D


YEah.. i saw some battles in History channel ,rewriting the story ,to recreate the most famous battles where they used the (engine) of RTW. However that still does not says me alot of the (game) ,because those may/may not be completely scripted a demo made for the History channel ;)

What will be awesome is if they just loaded the game ,placed the soldiers more or less in the same places ,using the same tactics of the historical battle and the result was the same. :)

A really good test could be to recreate a very big historical battle using exactly the same tactics againts the same opponents.if you get again and again near identical results ,then that at least will be good enough to calm some of my needs for realism. :) if using the same tactics the results are diferent ,then that will show the game is more arcade than realism. :(

BTW... the graphics of RTW engine seemed a way more polished in the History channel presentation. not sure if it is only me , or that indeed is just an example of the quality we will see in a sequel of the game in the future.

edit..
just another question.. is there any way to play again your saved games? not just to load an watch them like a video ,but to play at any other day the same battle over and over at a later time with diferent strategy ,but where the enemy choose the same tactics ,that way you can compare the effectiveness of every plan of battle. :)

Nv40
04-17-05, 12:20 PM
LOL!!

I dont know how to call the atached replay of one of my battles. The only comparable thing is to see a basketball game where the first 3 quarters of the game my team is behind by 60 points,and the remaining quarter i manage to win by a hair .. hehe :D

Here is my last custom battle.. :)
Any RTW player interested to see how i "won" this battle .. this is a must see. lol! :D a perfect example of why killing the enemy general and its body guards is far from "winning" the battle and how never give up ,even when so many things go wrong. when i discovered that i wasnt "winning" at all ,just because killed their general and many of their best calvary units ,my remaining units fighting were 3 againts 11 very strong units of the enemy most heavy infantery. if you see the replay , focus on the Rome calvalry and archer units , the units i control . just unzip the file in your replays folder and load it in the game for replay . After seeing this i can atleast confirm that when you replay a battle the enemy not always use the same tactics because i have diferent recorded games where i always do the same but the end results are night of day of diference even if you have a good strategy.This one is the worst result i have seen using my war tactics that most of the time works very well. hehe.. i think the lesson learned here is to never give up ,even when so many things go wrong ..hehe.. until you have at least 1 men standing ready to fight for the honor of his country. :D

stncttr908
04-17-05, 02:25 PM
Time to reinstall it...

DaveW
04-18-05, 02:52 PM
The AI is much better since the latest patch. Earlier versions did a few dumb things. For example, you could easily kill a barbarian warband defending a town with velites or archers. They would just stand in the town center and get shot to death. Now they will charge your missile troops if you bring them forward.

The coolest thing about RTW is how sometimes you can win a battle, despite being vastly out-numbered. Tactics and troop veterancy is everything. Its so cool when your battle hardened triarii hold out against hordes of barbarians as your cavalry flank them and attack from the rear, then suddenly they all panic and you cut them down like dogs.

This sort of thing never happens in a traditional C&C RTS. With C&C you can count how many enemy soldiers there are, count how many you have, and predict the outcome of the battle 95% of the time.

jnd3
04-18-05, 03:19 PM
I had a couple of battles where 300 Romans trounced 1000 Gauls. There's the basic rock-paper-scissors aspect that they've had since Shogun (cavalry beats missile, missile beats infantry, infantry beats cavalry), but it's modified by unit type, morale, experience, terrain, weather, general, etc.

I'm not certain, but I thought the enemy AI adjusted somewhat to whatever tactics the player uses. I've replayed battles with different tactics (after suffering defeat) and the AI has behaved differently in every instance (at least as far as I can tell).

nVidi0t
04-19-05, 03:10 PM
There are many variables in Rome.. the land, the location, placement of generals, unit experience and most importantly how you use the units. It's not simply "this beats that". I have routed a top level General's bodyguard by just charging a large amount of peasants from the flank as a shock tactic.

Nv40
04-24-05, 08:42 PM
I had a couple of battles where 300 Romans trounced 1000 Gauls. There's the basic rock-paper-scissors aspect that they've had since Shogun (cavalry beats missile, missile beats infantry, infantry beats cavalry), but it's modified by unit type, morale, experience, terrain, weather, general, etc.

I'm not certain, but I thought the enemy AI adjusted somewhat to whatever tactics the player uses. I've replayed battles with different tactics (after suffering defeat) and the AI has behaved differently in every instance (at least as far as I can tell).


Very nice! :)

Thats the info i was looking , its the way it should be INMHO always in the real life ,so i was not happy with the idea that the battles were just arcade ,and that i was wasting my time with the game. and that all the developers only cared was to make the game "fun" to play. :)

As a matter of fact ,have some good news after testing some units againts other ,using diferent tactics ,but with same soldiers. So my discoveries after testing how "realistic" the game is ,when using real life tactics is that the game is more or less ok. :)

my results were..
In a custom small simple game ..just 1 vs 1. i used 130 Pikemens with -very long- spears in palanx formation waiting for the cavalry(the computer AI ) to come. againt 108 very well protected soldiers in horses.I knew there is no way calvary could defeat those units ,unless the infantery were completely idiots (very low veterancy with poor morale) and the calvary were indeed masters in the battle with very high levels of experience. when the skills are more or less even.. Pikemens almost always wins. even if they are a little bit outnumbered or have less experience ,when there are big diferences in the experience ,it is possible for calvary to win if they have a lot more experience.

NOw it comes the good thing.. After testing several times ,the same battles but with diferent units. THe rules completely change if you ambush the enemy. THe game really cares about where you are ,and where is the enemy. If you outflank the enemy or atack him from the rear , your advantage its quite dramatic. For example used the original group of (130) pikemens.. level 5/6 againts generals roman cavalry (108) and increased their level of experience to God like levels like ~ 22/12 . the end result was always the same that my infantery was always crushed in just a few seconds ,thanks to the abismal diferences in Veterancy ,the enemy was too powerfull. Ok this is possible ,when you have Masters againts idiots..


but though about a diferent tactics ,and added a small low level unit to my side of ~50 calvary soldiers. which was also crushed very easily with my pikemes, until i began to atack by surprise enemy from the rear ;) ,when they were busy atacking my soldiers . ANd for the first time the enemy lost the game ,thanks to my ambush.it was still dificult ,took me so many replays to do it ,because again ,my pikemens could only last for about ~5 seconds before routing. and by the time my calvary reached the enemy it was my only unit alive. So it was necessary to atack the enemy from both sides near at the same time.

"Won" the battle but with only 7 soldiers remaining.. againts 3 of the enemy. :) So the game "Realism" actually is quite decent after some testing. after seeing my custom battles , my conclusion is that if you have your soldiers strategically placed in the right place and the right time ,you can win any battle in the game or online play even if you have the less skilled players , if you have the better tactics. Still some tweaks could be added to te game..

So in summary..
You can have the best Units in the entire game ,with the highest experience with the better equipment ,you can even outnumber the enemy but if your tactics are not as good as the opponent ,there is a big chance you will not win the game. albeit ,There is nothing new here , this is the way it is in real life , this is realism ,but is very nice to confirm by experience that their developers dedicated some time to poslish the game for better realism.