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 Post subject: Rome: Total General.txt
PostPosted: August 30th, 2013, 7:32 am 
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Okay, get ready. With Rome 2 almost upon us, I had an idea.


Rome: Total General

You assume the role of military commander during Rome's expansion. Imagine you are playing Rome Total War but as a single General.

You get given a certain amount of troops at the start of a campaign and objectives (conquer Gaul, for example) and some more specific orders from your superiors (capture a settlement, hold a river crossing, etc etc).

You manage battlefield maneuvers and logistics (supplies, reinforcements, new equipment) building forts, maintaining garrisons, ordering your subordinate officers, diplomacy, scouting, communication, sieges, pillaging, looting, deserters and improvised strategies; but also the politics of the Roman command structure.

To recruit more troops you would implore your superior officer to give you some, or go over his head and tell a friendly Senator/politician (which would obvious piss off your superiors). Alternatively you could take it upon yourself to convince local Gaul/German tribes to fight for you, either through subjugation or bribery.

Conquering a settlement - village, city, whatever - would leave that settlement at your disposal. You might take over a town as winter approaches to take control of their food reserves to keep your army fed.

Incorporating weather and seasonal effects would be critical. In ancient warfare Rain and Snowfall could easily turn the tide of a battle.

You would be part of a much greater picture, so occasionally you might pair up with another general or rush to reinforce. Although maybe that general screwed you over a few years ago so you take your sweet time getting there.

RPG elements such as promotion would be in effect. Of course, your superiors would not wish for you to become *too* powerful. I don't know how you 'win' the game yet, but turning on the Senate and marching your army on Rome when you become very powerful and influential sounds fun.
In general, as you climb the ranks you would gain more autonomy. Perhaps with enough influence you could found your own nation.

Scouting would be very important. Communication with your commanders would be limited and enemies can cut off communication (and you can do the same in turn).

Your 'inner-circle' of advisors and officers would be very important. You would have a personal treasury too which can be used to hire mercenaries, bribe armies and hire better advisors.

I like the idea of a technology tree within your own forces. Romans were great at stealing ideas and every so often your officers might come to you with a new idea which would unlock a technology (perhaps things like those floating bridges for crossing rivers, or extra armour pieces to combat a new threat like British Chariots) or command abilities similar to how Empire:Total War let you 'research' Volley fire.
Rome would also be researching technology but you would have little effect on its progress. Every so often you would receive notification and can put in requests for said technology - new siege engines, stuff like that.


Anyway, this is just a brain dump for now. The intent is to focus on a subset of what Total War games offer and in much greater depth.
Inspiration comes from reading of the exploits of Caesar in Gaul and Subutai in Europe, and the autonomy with which they managed their military campaigns. Total War and Paradox games offer this, but it is all managed from the central capital and is rarely the focus. I like the idea of the general being largely isolated from the home provinces and left to their own devices whilst deep in enemy territory. Mount & Blade: Warband is probably the closest thing I can think of to this, but it lacks the micromanagement that I desire!
Historically war was just as much logistics and careful manoeuvring as it was full-scale battles. Few strategy games seem to capture this and when they do, it isn't a lot of fun.

It wouldn't necessarily have to be Romans; Mongols could work too (and would be way more interesting come to think of it). Colonial America would also work, similar to an Age of Empires 3 setup, in which you rely on regular shipments from your home nation (who are also busy fighting wars back in Europe).

I only came up with this idea whilst eating my lunch about an hour ago so I'll keep adding ideas to this thread as they come. But until then, please, comment away!


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 Post subject: Re: Rome: Total General.txt
PostPosted: September 3rd, 2013, 12:59 pm 
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"RPG elements such as promotion would be in effect. Of course, your superiors would not wish for you to become *too* powerful. I don't know how you 'win' the game yet, but turning on the Senate and marching your army on Rome when you become very powerful and influential sounds fun.
In general, as you climb the ranks you would gain more autonomy. Perhaps with enough influence you could found your own nation."

I saw an Extra Credit's presentation about the second Punic War while at PAX, and was thinking of it the entire time I read this.

Creating awesome stories/histories like that may be reward enough without a speific "win" state? This is actually starting to sound more like Crusader Kings the more I think about it. Galavanting through history with only your legacy to gain.


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 Post subject: Re: Rome: Total General.txt
PostPosted: September 4th, 2013, 8:26 pm 
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As I was reading this I was actually thinking about Starcraft II and it's superficial attempt at something like this. There is a simplistic out-of-game tech tree and very binary decisions for what location you'll attack next or who you'd favor. And narratively, you are Jim Raynor and all you (should) have at your command are the forces in your small fleet. But it's all bullshit fluff really because once you're in game, you can just farm a million minerals and pump out an endless stream of units to go die.

I think the most interesting part of this concept would be keeping your army alive while cut off from reinforcements. In a Total War game, a player will unflinchingly send in his cavalry into a line of spearmen if he thinks it can win him the battle because reinforcing/reproducing a cavalry unit is just a matter of a couple turns. But in a game without reinforcements, losing that cavalry unit means losing so much mobility for future battles or scouting or whatever. Players would have to approach strategy games with more than just the mindset of "win the battle."

And while your soldiers will rank up to be veterans, there'll be less of them with each consecutive battle. By the end you'd have heroic units, but their platoon would have started with 150 and now they'd only be 15.

I think, ideally you would get players to invest the same sort of love and care in an entire army the way they would with a single XCOM soldier.


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 Post subject: Re: Rome: Total General.txt
PostPosted: September 6th, 2013, 2:40 pm 
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I must admit that "Rome II" is one of those games which I'm looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. It looks all too much like they've focused on the shiny graphics and the 'cinematic' quality of the battles at the expense of the actual gameplay again. After all -- who actually wanted to have joint land/sea battles in the ancient world? How many historical occasions are there when this even happened? It feels like something which is cool to put on the back of the box or talk about in developer diaries but that is really pointless in terms of improving the game.

Personally what I want is more depth.

I've wondered about making the "Total War" games into a series of modular mini-games. For my money, the strategic/tactical map system is too limited and I'd like to expand it further into a greater series of levels instead.

I'd simplify the strategic map into a "State" level in which the player made generalised decisions about the economy, diplomacy etc. rather than micro-managing which buildings or units to build. Culture especially should effect how the game plays, with different cultures fighting or governing in different ways. When the player went to war, rather than having it take place on the strategic map, I'd suggest a new "Campaign" level with armies manoeuvring around for local advantage, with logistics and the weather at play. When armies clashed then a "Battle" level that was essentially the same as the tactical map could be used. I'd also have a special "Siege" level where the opposing forces would sit around whilst they used siege equipment, lead sallies, seized outworks and suffered from disease. It would give a bit more back and forth and make it into a proper type of combat rather than just an addendum. When dealing with smaller battles, like sallies in a siege or raids on enemy logistics in the campaign, then there would be a smaller "Skirmish" level to take account (and to really give irregular forces their due). Finally I'd suggest a fun "Duel" level to happen during battles for those colourful one on one encounters that happen in battle between opposing leaders.

(Oddly there is precedent for the latter in Roman warfare; Ross Cowan's enjoyably eclectic book "For the Glory of Rome" has a section on Roman centurions issuing and fighting single combats).

It's not an entirely practicable set of ideas but I think it would make an interesting game. Perhaps it might be better done as something like "Solium Infernum", with its emphasis on boardgame like play and artwork instead of graphics, rather than as an AAA title. I've always thought that more (indie) historical videogames should use period artwork rather than try to create expensive photo-realistic graphics. "Rock of Ages" was very good at this, with its evocative Gilliam-esque graphics.


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 Post subject: Re: Rome: Total General.txt
PostPosted: April 29th, 2015, 1:09 am 
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I put the contents in this website for everyone to get to know, like me.


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 Post subject: Re: Rome: Total General.txt
PostPosted: September 20th, 2015, 9:53 pm 
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I wanted to come into possession of a piece of me.


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 Post subject: Re: Rome: Total General.txt
PostPosted: September 21st, 2015, 1:25 pm 
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orijinalca wrote:
I put the contents in this website for everyone to get to know, like me.


I bet if I compile these random messages into some kind of single document, I might be able to robager some hidden meaning from it.


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