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Gaius Baltar

Storage Now

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Recently my family went through a traumatic period that was precipitated by the sudden death of a family member. In the aftermath of this event I was tasked with organizing and determine the eventual distribution of some of the personal effects. It was during this activity I stumbled across a blue plastic storage tub of mine that had been placed and forgotten in a back bedroom for several years. Opening up I rediscovered my collection of Total War installation CD's from the various early versions of Medieval, Rome and Medieval II TW. I had several copies of each including a "battle pack" with a copy of everything. The cardboard boxes and inserts were in perfect condition. I browsed the collection and curiously, felt nothing, no excitement, nostalgia, or anything. I carefully placed the boxes back in the tub and sealed it.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down and reflected on the history, my history with these items. Starting in 2002 and most importantly with the purchase of Rome TW in 2005 as I was spending a great deal of my free time at the computer playing and mod testing these games. One of my greatest escapes was late on a weekend night to open up a siege battle and take a large city from a well-armed, determined opponent. The sense of interest and excitement however, are gone. Contrast this with the early spring and summer of 2005 when I literally was glued to the computer marching large armies across Europe. It was a different time for me personally as well. As a consultant I was at the top of my game, pulling down a six-figure salary, buying the latest and best computer equipment and calling my own schedule. The TW gaming series was decadence I could afford and relished. I was younger and had more energy, oh those were the days.

The was no dramatic point were I lost interest in the game, this just evolved over a period of time, likely beginning with the bugged release of Empire in 2009. This was reinforced by the equally botched Rome II TW fiasco. I am still waiting on a Carthage scenario that matches the screenshots from the advertisements.

But I think really it is the basic aspects of the game-play, march forward with your infantry and pin your opponent, hit him in the rear with cavalry, rise and repeat. Despite the various changes in the game engine this is the basic scenario and this has not changed at all. I have played many thousands of battles and hundreds of campaigns and I guess there is nothing new here for me to experience. The recent changes to the campaign scenarios, such as manipulating family trees and placating rebellious generals was only a brief respite, my interest has always been on the battlefield. There is nothing more here for me to experience.

Last night I uninstalled my copies of Rome TW and Medieval TW, for the last time. Rome II TW was next. I spared Empire TW solely for the naval battles, which at this point is the only thing that interests me. Note that all of these are Steam related and on my older computer which is now my gaming computer. I will likely never install Steam on my newer computers as well. It is time to move on.

This leaves my fascination with TWC as the last remaining vestige of my time with the TW series. Originally I came here for the mods and related discussion, but that environment has long left this board. What else is there to accomplish here?

I pondered this question and finished my coffee in the dull sunlight that drifted into the room through the curtains. The house was still and silent. I gazed at that blue plastic tub and remembered. There was no longer any energy in these thoughts.

I left the tub where I found it.


  1. Flinn's Avatar
    I'm not an Historian, but I'm confident to say that war is a simple thing: either you win on attrition because of greater numbers, by surrounding the enemy or by superior armament, just that.

    The typical mechanics of TW games forces you to go for the middle solution, since the former is even more boring (and asks for a lot of replenishment of your armies) and the latter is only possible in some games/mods; in that regards I think TW games are pretty accurate
  2. z3n's Avatar
    Quite right VZ, you summed my feelings about TW perfectly. Especially the part about how tactics haven't changed. I was hoping TW would attempt to revolutionize things with space and planets, along with spaceship battles for Warhammer but it turned out to be something similar to older TW games.

    I suppose Warhammer was never going to be in the 40k universe because they didn't want to revolutionize things. The last time they tried was with ETW, ship combat and guns. Truthfully, the only thing that makes me play TW games now is having someone to play a coop campaign with. Playing solo isnt a challenge any longer or interesting for that matter.
    Updated November 30, 2019 at 12:10 PM by z3n