When You Are Ill, You Play


I've been most of the weekend home-bound, with a stupid cold/cough that won't let me go, and feeling pretty miserable.

It was a good time, thus, to rescue my favourite games and install them in my less-than-brand-new laptop and play in the sitting room, while cudling my cat and watching some movies.

Thus, I rescued from oblivion Praetorians, Chariots of War, Gates of Troy, Centurio, and Rome:Total War (not in that particular order, actually, but, well... Also, I feel bad enough to ask you to search their webpages yourself, sorry)

Let's go in that particular order (which is memory, not preference):

  • Praetorians is a RTS game where you are one of Iulius Caesar's legati (generals), through several missions, during the War of Gaul and the Civil War. You also play a legatus of Crassus in his particular catastrophic Eastern campaign. Things I like about this game is the feeling of being there you sometimes get, plus action, when happening, is really thrilling, specially the siege missions (both the ones where you gotta take a fortress or where you gotta defend your camp). The battle system is comfortable (similar to Warcraft, but you don't get resources, instead you occupy towns, and people is there slowly growing over time, which simplifies things), but not quite realistic, particularly because troops don't run away (most of your units will stick fighting to the death, which is particularly frustrating, specially with cavalry, because you know they could get away easily... grrr). The units aren't particularly realistic, and cohortes are of 30 units, while alae are of 12, where you will need a fairly big scenario to complete a 10 cohortes legion, so you don't really have great battles, but brief combats... It's cool, anyway, and artillery rocks ;) I didn't really played a lot to this one this time, because I had the others, and it requires a fairly constant attention, which my brain wasn't ready to provide...

  • Chariots of War, one of my favourites, indeed, simple yet thrilling. It's a turn-based strategy game, which is easier to follow when your brain's gone jelly; I started a Complete Campaign as the Kushites, and so far I am virtually master of all the South Nile: problem is I gotta get out of there by fighting Egyptians and other tribes, and resources are scarce once you venture far from the river... It's actually harder when you start on a corner, because no matter what you do, all your neighbours end up hating you, hehe...

  • Gates of Troy it's the continuation (actually a patch, enhanced version of Sparta) of CoW, and it's so much better in many things: you get ships and navy battles, better diplomacy and trade, and finer control over units, plus fighting grounds are huge in comparison: still, it's pretty Greek-centric to me, when I like to play as so many Asian cultures, sigh. I played one of the big campaigns with the Romans, who start from Illiricum/Epirum, and actually managed to win, with lots of cheers and whistles... Next time I'll get the opposite corner and play the Persians... ;-)

  • Centurio is an old DOS game where you start in Italy and gotta get the whole Roman Empire, provice by province... It's kinda fun, specially because battles are based on morale, and you generally have little control over it, beyond the local neighborhood of the general, who has charisma and voice; it's descriptions are a bit silly, and it's diplomatic system is, well, silly, but it's fun, and if anyone knows how to finish a chariot race, please tell me!

  • Rome: Total War, well, I have Shogun: Total Wars and it's Mongol expansion (I have lost the first CD, grrr...) and I liked it quite a bit, specially some Mongol cavalry missions... Could be better, but it's okay. R:TW, however, is nonexistant: I have yet you find a computer that has enough graphical support for it: I would sacrifice some graphics and play the rest of the game, I don't need the uber-super-trooper graphics, damn!

Well, also managed to read a bit, and study even less... My brain is still, basically jelly, and I feel like... you better don't know...

Anyway, what about you? Do you have any opinions on those games, do you have any srtategy games of your own into your favourites? I'd love to get one of these to let me script it somwone to simulate some battles, it would make writing The Lybian and Revolt! so much easier and fun! hehe...

Lastly, also watched some Jamie Oliver programs over the TV, (you have his webpage in www.jamieoliver.com), he's absolutely brilliant, and a delight to watch: direct, simple, effective, and fun to watch and learn! You'd really like to taste my Caesar's Salad now that I know how to do them (yum!)... Completely superb.

Well, that's all, happy Summer (Bealtaine and that, Samhain for those in the South, hello over there!) and take care...



Megumi said...

Don't get the new Ancient Wars: Sparta game. According to my co-worker (who reviewed it for IGN) it's terrible. I also heard 300 for the PSP is bad. @_@;

Excalibor said...

Thanks for the advice, Megumi... I don't think I would get any of those anyway, Windows is just for playing to me, and I don't think I will invest in a more powerful PC just to play the new games, unless it's really justified (I enjoy good graphics, but they cannot be the only thing, nor so important as not to be able to run the game in a low-graphics mode! Damned 3D)

My next inversion will probably be in a Nintendo Wii, I'm longing to play the new Zelda... :-) Besides that, I'd like to get Ultimate Spiderman for the GameCube, Spiderman 2 is really cool to play, and I get to know New York fairly well without the 6,000 miles trip over the seas... Cheaper, indeed!

Do you have any favourites of your own? I got Cossaks, Europa Universalis and other strategic games, but they are either too hard for me to enjoy (enemies are impossibly big, or resources are impossibly low to have a good start; or I am just plain silly, which is a possibility I won't discard, anyway) or their game concept is not of my linking (for example I like but cannot play for long Imperium, or Imperium II --haven't gotten the III-- because of the way the game develops... Maybe I'll get more patient and learn to enjoy 'em...)

thanks for your comments, hope everything is going well... Laters!