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Thread: New SAGA title

  1. #21

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    Pike, but how do you call FotS then? You can play it without owning Shogun 2 base game and if you own it, it get implemented/merged into it. (Standalone) expansion/campaign DLC? Because we have quite a lot campaign DLCs across multiple games but FotS is still unique. If we are considering good old days expansions basically being quite large DLCs. Yeah Napoleon, Attila are both based upon R2/Empire but they are much more like full game.

    And not so sure about marketing fatigue, it looked like ToB failed to produce enough hype. It was time period before 3K announcement with just Wh(s) on the way, history guys were quite loud about content. R2 DLCs got accepted well but people just pass ToB. And basuically nothing changed till now. We have some R2 DLCs, Wh(s) still rolling, 3K is announced but 3-6 months away..

    What about Genghis Khan setting? You can loosely base it on 3K game but with whole new campaign map etc.. Basing any new game on Wh(s) engine probably won´t work. That engine is tweaked heavily in favour of characters, spells, items and 3K engine si offereing a lot features that are missing there. Only those two are 64bits..
    As I said, a standalone is a stand alone game.

    ETW, NTW, S2, R2, and Attila all use TW3 engine 32-bit Warscape engine. (also Tob)
    WH and the soon to be released 3K use TW3 engine 64-bit Warscape engine.

    I will make a wild guess and say that ToB was part of someone's fantasy DLC for Attla that was rejected. I think they took some of the ideas and made up a new class of games, called Saga. I am guessing of course.
    The days of 32 bits are over.

    the 64-bit is not tweaked at all. It is my understanding that WH (at least WH1) only used a little of the 64- bit space it had. They were plenty of room to expand. It isn't a tweak, it gives you more options as a developer. I will go out on a limb and say that ToB did not need the 64-bit engine to function.

    Engnes do not limit developers, it makes creating games easier. If at any time the engine limits their ability to add features they want, they simply create a better engine in which to build games with.
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  2. #22
    Darios's Avatar Geographer
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Thrones of Britannia failed to sell well because people ultimately realized that it's a zoomed in version of Age of Charlemagne, with most of the units being the same recycled bearded Northwestern European barbarians which is exactly the same as 70% of the content from Attila.

    Most importantly, the average person's understanding of the world has expanded vastly since games like MTW and RTW were popular during the early 2000s. Detailed maps of Europe no longer inspire the same sense of fascination that they once did. Total War games have also failed to evolve with the times, with each new game still feeling like the original MTW, only with better graphics and in some cases - a more dumbed down gameplay that tries (but ultimately fails) to achieve the same level of depth that you see in Crusader Kings II or Europa Universalis IV. In future iterations, it is my hope that the developers/designers will find a way to make playing feel less like being the ruler of a kingdom and more like controlling a socio-cultural entity. Total War games (with the interesting exception of ETW) have failed to properly address politics, class warfare, culture, religion, demographic shift, economic needs, trade routes, etc. Battles need to evolve beyond lines of armies marching towards each other (insert painful memory of perfectly lined up Native American armies in ETW) in straight lines.

    Most importantly, I hope that Total War games will evolve beyond the point of portraying Hollywood/pop-culture history and give us scenarios that are more unique and interesting, focusing on the world beyond Western Europe. It is really disappointing considering how much more CA could have done with Attila...and that they still went ahead with trying to appease the VIKINGS! crowd with ToB- and failed spectacularly.
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  3. #23

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    I cannot begrudge CA for trying to incorporate more campaign stuff akin to Paradox model. However, what they fail to realize is that people came to Total War because of the tactical battles. I loved Shogun because the campaign stuff and the map movement was rudimentary, but it was the fighting of the battles that brought me to the game.

    The battles have not changed one bit. I had hoped that they would have by now developed a system of command, where you can have a commander command "x" number of brigades and you move them around the battle as so. It seems 3K will some attempt at that, but we are more than 10 years in and half a dozen titles. Sadly, the purpose is less to do with improving more realistic battles, and ore to do with the character focus of the game. The only positive thing they created was supply issues.

    I do have to disagree with you Darios, ToB and Attila have two totally different gameplay. The fact that people think of it has a "DLC for AoC points out that the game wasn't distinct enough. I'll stick to my original thought that it was originally intended to be a DLC but was initially rejected. It was not a smart move on their part. I would have come up with a completely different geographical location and timeframe. But, like is so pervasive these days, people have the patience of a Gnat.
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  4. #24
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Darios View Post
    Most importantly, the average person's understanding of the world has expanded vastly since games like MTW and RTW were popular during the early 2000s. Detailed maps of Europe no longer inspire the same sense of fascination that they once did.
    You may well be right about the understanding of the world increasing. While I like large-scale maps and would like to see more games exploring the world outside Europe, I see potential in detailed maps. In my dream Total War game, there would be more of an emphasis on choosing the site of a battle and a closer connection between the terrain on the campaign map and the battle map. Perhaps, in future historical games, there will be more detailed campaign maps and subsequent games will add them? I could imagine Empire II and Rome III being released as three-part games, like the Warhammer series, with a large, detailed campaign map in each game.

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    I cannot begrudge CA for trying to incorporate more campaign stuff akin to Paradox model. However, what they fail to realize is that people came to Total War because of the tactical battles. I loved Shogun because the campaign stuff and the map movement was rudimentary, but it was the fighting of the battles that brought me to the game.

    The battles have not changed one bit. I had hoped that they would have by now developed a system of command, where you can have a commander command "x" number of brigades and you move them around the battle as so. It seems 3K will some attempt at that, but we are more than 10 years in and half a dozen titles. Sadly, the purpose is less to do with improving more realistic battles, and ore to do with the character focus of the game. The only positive thing they created was supply issues.
    I agree about the attraction of fighting tactical battles. What brought me to Total War was the frustration, in Civilization games, that eventually my veteran army would be destroyed through bad luck, because battles were auto-resolved - and the magical experience of seeing my Roman units on the battle-field for the first time in Rome: Total War. (Part of me envies the people who are about to get that first-time experience, with the release of RTW for Android!)

    You mentioned having a commander moving around a group of units. Would that be different from having a group locked in formation, and moving the group from one location to another, as we can do in Rome II? Perhaps you're imaging the units or even the brigade commander having some autonomy (being run by AI), so the player operates more as a strategic commander directing subordinate generals than we do now?

  5. #25

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    You mentioned having a commander moving around a group of units. Would that be different from having a group locked in formation, and moving the group from one location to another, as we can do in Rome II? Perhaps you're imaging the units or even the brigade commander having some autonomy (being run by AI), so the player operates more as a strategic commander directing subordinate generals than we do now?
    I was actually referring to the feature in this game. Yes, it is an old game. I played this game which allowed you to fight tactical battles years before Shogun came out. This game was very rudimentary but allowed you to set up a hierarchy of command.



    This video explains how the battle is conducted.

    This game was published in 1995. If this could be made in 1995, then there is no reason why this cannot be done now if CA really wants to.

    I played this game for hours.
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  6. #26
    AnthoniusII's Avatar XXI ARMORED BRIGADE
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    Y'all really mixes up the terms. Standalone means it does not require the purchase of another game in order to play it. Thus, the term Stand-alone.

    I would not expect CA to abandon the concept of SAGA games after one game. In fact, the very same update states that the team is looking to make improvements to the game (ToB). The lackluster sales of ToB probably have more to do with market fatigued with the same type of game. I would not expect the next SAGA game to use the 32 bit, but 64 bit. I have a feeling, they rushed ToB out to get the ide out to the public. Maybe they thought the game would satisfy the Med3 crowd. It just didn't do that.

    I also do not think any Chinese base game would be standalone. They will all be DLCs. They created new maps for new content before.
    CA/SEGA NEVER RUSH to release a game. Their policy is simply to hide two major factors:
    1st To hide the total price of a complete game (3 Kingdoms is now in 59.99 Euros and just like Rome II it will reach , even pass the limit of 100 euros).
    2nd To hide their lack of abillity to solve game features/issues in time (Rome II required 17 patches and 4 years and its still incomplete from the game they proudly advertising to TWC forum just before its release).
    Look they are not capable even to make a small patch to Shogun II to replace those cow shaped horses that are worst in model and in textures than those in ETW , with versions of Rome II ones (the only real succefull feature in that game).
    Take a look that after so many years they are not capable to create an AI that will reach the standards of the AI of Rome I that is ancient history! Nottice that inorder to avoid that rediculus siege atrition feature in Attila they bought up again the way that soldiers can climb on the walls just like in Shogun II!!! That will be advertised as a "new" feature and the CA/SEGA "loyalists" will proudly presented it as unique!
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  7. #27
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    ETW, NTW, S2, R2, and Attila all use TW3 engine 32-bit Warscape engine. (also Tob)
    WH and the soon to be released 3K use TW3 engine 64-bit Warscape engine.
    Unless I am missing something, nothing has been revealed about Three Kingdom's engine, so it's still not cleared whether it will be 32 or 64-bit. Of course, engines are not changed so lightheartedly, as creating or even drastically improving them is very demanding on money and time. This is why Creative Assembly insists so passionately on exploiting the now obsolete engine of Empire, despite its obvious problems in so many aspects, from path-finding to the connection between the map pixel and the actual battlefield. Let's not forget that the early motto of the company was revolution-evolution, long forgotten somewhere between the chivalrous Japan of the samurais and the Omaha beach of Carthage.

    Anyway, I wholeheartedly disagree about CA supposedly reinforcing the campaign aspect of its games. Some superficial features have been added, but, in reality, the campaign experience is disappointingly empty, in comparison to that of Rome I or Medieval II. "Distance-to-Capital" has been removed, while all regions are now geographically and financially almost identical, so designing your imperialist plans has been rendered a totally brainless procedure. Tax policy is adjusted with a single button for the entirety of the empire and diplomacy consists of directly contacting your foreign interlocutor through Skype, instead of sending diplomats. Family trees are just a visual effect, where family members emerge out of thin air, in cases of urgency and their character is now determined by the most rudimentary level-system. Last but not least, units replenish their losses automatically, because who cares about logistics, and the deployment of small armies is now strictly forbidden. Long are the days gone, where I desisted from invading Scythia due to economic and public order concerns, while my reinforcements for my armies in Gaul came all the way from Susa, in SE Iran. Apart from being historically inaccurate, all these changes are responsible for transforming the campaign experience to a very shallow process, which looks quite irritating and boring. That's why the most recent games lose their appeal so quickly and are desperately dependent on over-priced DLCs to add them new life. Campaign is necessary to add some context and flavour to the campaign or otherwise we would all be exclusively obsessed with custom battles.

    In any case, in what concerns the next Saga game, in order to discover its subject, we are firstly obliged to understand the project's goals and limitations. Sagas are small and generally designed to portray a limited part of the map, where cultural variety is not too extreme to require a lot of work and waste of resources. It will probably be based on Attila or (less likely) Rome II, but it's beyond any reasonable that gunpowder-dominated periods are out of question. This leaves us from Antiquity to early 16th century. Regarding the former, the only plausible scenario, popular enough to generate an adequate number of sales, is Alexander, but I'm personally a bit skeptical. Throb was a disaster mainly because nobody outside the British Isles cared a lot about the the insignificant struggles between obscure petty kings in backwards Britannia, so CA probably realized that it needed to exploit something more iconic and interesting. However, the entire west Asia and the inclusion of several cultures ("Oriental", Greek, Indian, "barbarian") is probably too ambitious for their negligible budget. Meanwhile, the Muslim conquests can hardly stimulate CA's potential customers. Then, we have conflicts like Renaissance Italy, Reconquista and 100-years war, but neither of them strike me as a particularly strong candidate, due to being marked with the same shortcomings that doomed Throb. Taking inspiration from the Kingdoms expansion, I mainly suspect either the Crusades or the European colonization of Americas, probably centered around Mexico, together with a tiny portion of Peru, and focused on the adventures of Cortes and Pizarro. Classified according to probability:

    1. Crusades
    2. Aztecs and co.
    3. Italian Wars
    4. Alexander
    5. Reconquista
    6. 100-years War
    7. Rashidun Caliphate

  8. #28

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Unless I am missing something, nothing has been revealed about Three Kingdom's engine, so it's still not cleared whether it will be 32 or 64-bit. Of course, engines are not changed so lightheartedly, as creating or even drastically improving them is very demanding on money and time. This is why Creative Assembly insists so passionately on exploiting the now obsolete engine of Empire, despite its obvious problems in so many aspects, from path-finding to the connection between the map pixel and the actual battlefield. Let's not forget that the early motto of the company was revolution-evolution, long forgotten somewhere between the chivalrous Japan of the samurais and the Omaha beach of Carthage.
    I haven't read anything that stated they will use 32 bit.
    32- to 64 is not changing an engine. It is still the TW3 and Warscape graphics Engine. 64 bit is a better choice and offers greater flexibility. It isn't anything new. It is possible that they could upgrade TW3 to "TW4," But I doubt it. It might explain the changing of the release date. I doubt it. Anyway, for what it is worth, the wiki says it is using the WH engine, and I have read it is the same engine but tweaked. Not sure, it is logical to think they would go backward. Then again, ths is CA; you just never know.


    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Anyway, I wholeheartedly disagree about CA supposedly reinforcing the campaign aspect of its games. Some superficial features have been added, but, in reality, the campaign experience is disappointingly empty, in comparison to that of Rome I or Medieval II. "Distance-to-Capital" has been removed, while all regions are now geographically and financially almost identical, so designing your imperialist plans has been rendered a totally brainless procedure. Tax policy is adjusted with a single button for the entirety of the empire and diplomacy consists of directly contacting your foreign interlocutor through Skype, instead of sending diplomats. Family trees are just a visual effect, where family members emerge out of thin air, in cases of urgency and their character is now determined by the most rudimentary level-system. Last but not least, units replenish their losses automatically, because who cares about logistics, and the deployment of small armies is now strictly forbidden. Long are the days gone, where I desisted from invading Scythia due to economic and public order concerns, while my reinforcements for my armies in Gaul came all the way from Susa, in SE Iran. Apart from being historically inaccurate, all these changes are responsible for transforming the campaign experience to a very shallow process, which looks quite irritating and boring. That's why the most recent games lose their appeal so quickly and are desperately dependent on over-priced DLCs to add them new life. Campaign is necessary to add some context and flavour to the campaign or otherwise we would all be exclusively obsessed with custom battles.
    There is a difference between the gameplay of ETW to ATW/ToB. The battles haven't changed one bit.
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  9. #29
    AnthoniusII's Avatar XXI ARMORED BRIGADE
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Abdul has a point...Shogun I had ONE battlefield per region no matter if someone invaded in it from east or west or north or south. MTW -1 had up to 3 diferent battlemaps per region depending the direction of invasion in it.
    Rome I and Medieval II gone that feature far beyond. The game CREATED unique battlefields depending the strat_map tiles the square of conflict included !!! A small tile away from the initial one and a new unique battlefield apeared!!
    Rome I and Medieval 2 had numerus of difrerent settlement types per size, culture and nature (fort of city). Rome I was even better because it could have wall types separated from the city type its self. The game engines "REMEMBERED" what type of settlement it used in that map tile and no matter how many times that settlement besieged it was the same unless something would chnage on it.
    In Rome II there is the paradox of diferent type of settlement on the map and on the battlefield!!! Also Rome II HAS 2-3 variants per settlement /culture and size but the game NEVER remembers what type of that it used before. in Rome II is possible to siege a settlement (the SAME ONE) IN 3 ATTEMPTS without any changes in that settlement that would justify a change on the battlefield settlement model , and you will be infront of 3 diferent settlements!!!! The cities miracusly change !!! To avoid this humiliasion in Attila CA/SEGA made things worst. In every type/size/culture settlement THERE IS ONLY ONE settlement battlefield model! Cloned cities!!! No change no variety no nothing! Not to mention the idotic addition in unwalled settlements WALLS that again by coincidence have HUGE gaps in their walls to allow the stupid AI to invade the cities!!! What happened to those lost features of TW games of the past? WHY CA/SEGA is unable to find a game designer that he/she will be able to bring back simple but crusial lost features that made TW games famous?
    Why in Rome II AND Attila horsemen do not leave their horses to join their infantry and climb the siege ladders?
    Why in Rome II AND Attila ships can not be captured like in Shogun II, ETW?
    Why in Rome II AND Attila AI can not create siege equipment for two separated armies to assault walls like their own ladders, their own siege towers and their own battering rams?
    Why in Attila SETTLEMENTS look like Age of Empire II with rediculus towers and walls of dirt?
    Was that dificult to coppy paste Rome II Roman and middle eastern walls and towers with new textures? If that simple copy paste issue is so hard why CA/SEGA keeps the same dev team that failed ?
    Why CA/SEGA ask us to pay 100 euros for games that will by 99% fail because they have the 80% same dev team behind them?
    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    There is a difference between the gameplay of ETW to ATW/ToB. The battles haven't changed one bit.
    Despite the fact that i have complet ETW i played it for a short time period.
    But...comparing Rome II and Attila battles with the ones with Medieval 2/Kingdoms they are WAY WORST!
    The only revolutionary the last two game brougt to battles was the abillity of unspoting units ussing terain like hills and mountains! NOTHING ELSE! AI is worst in all aspects, models coalition values simply do not exist!
    You can not see individual duels in a two units fight out of their FRONT line! In M2TW/Kingdoms models mixing up and create douzens of individual duels making battles more realistic and chaotic!
    You simply can not see such fights in those 2 games (nottice where Normans are in ENTIRE screen):

    Some are inside the Varangians and others behind them and THEY ALL BELONG to one unit!!!
    Last edited by AnthoniusII; December 15, 2018 at 01:04 PM.
    There are moments (in history), in which a nation owes,
    if it wants to be considered as a great one, to be able to fight.
    Even without hope of winning. Just because it has to.
    Greek War motto.
    XXI Armored Brigade. Proud that served in that unit in 1996!
    "Spartans do not ask how many (enemies are) but where they are"!
    XXI Armored Brigade's motto.
    The Greek Secret (or why they will fight again if it will be necessary or why they do not sell their history).


  10. #30

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Remaster of:


  11. #31

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthoniusII View Post

    Despite the fact that i have complet ETW i played it for a short time period.
    But...comparing Rome II and Attila battles with the ones with Medieval 2/Kingdoms they are WAY WORST!
    The only revolutionary the last two game brougt to battles was the abillity of unspoting units ussing terain like hills and mountains! NOTHING ELSE! AI is worst in all aspects, models coalition values simply do not exist!
    You can not see individual duels in a two units fight out of their FRONT line! In M2TW/Kingdoms models mixing up and create douzens of individual duels making battles more realistic and chaotic!
    You simply can not see such fights in those 2 games (nottice where Normans are in ENTIRE screen)Some are inside the Varangians and others behind them and THEY ALL BELONG to one unit!!!
    This was my point, CA has focused on campaign stuff and have neglected battles altogether despite that being the main draw to the franchise.

    This post here discusses a campaign and battle maps. It is almost three maps. The Larger campaign map, and when you armies get closer, you zoom in. Corps and divisions and armies are represented by flags in which you can zoom in on specific units. In other words, you can maneuver your entire army to position your units in the most advantageous way, a feature that is mostly absent with TW (some mods extends the distance of the starting armies thus giving you some realism). The game has obvious drawback since it was released in 1995. For example, you can see the disposition of the opposing armies. The graphics are piss poor and if you put too many arts together it creates a weird effect when they move. Shogun's graphics and battles were still a mind-blowing experience, but I did expect by now that CA would have incorporated more realistic command control of the armies. TW is still caught in "skirmish" battles mode. Yes, I consider a "full stack" as a skirmish battle. When you get to 40 units, then you have a real battle,... sort of.
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  12. #32
    AnthoniusII's Avatar XXI ARMORED BRIGADE
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Tryinng to convert Rome II horses to M2TW ones i observed one bizzare issue. ROME II models are 30%-40% smaller than those of M2TW.
    That means that inorder to make battlefields larger they shrinked everything on the battlefields (vegetation, horses, humans, buildings) by 30-40%!!!
    There are moments (in history), in which a nation owes,
    if it wants to be considered as a great one, to be able to fight.
    Even without hope of winning. Just because it has to.
    Greek War motto.
    XXI Armored Brigade. Proud that served in that unit in 1996!
    "Spartans do not ask how many (enemies are) but where they are"!
    XXI Armored Brigade's motto.
    The Greek Secret (or why they will fight again if it will be necessary or why they do not sell their history).


  13. #33
    Daruwind's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthoniusII View Post
    Tryinng to convert Rome II horses to M2TW ones i observed one bizzare issue. ROME II models are 30%-40% smaller than those of M2TW.
    That means that inorder to make battlefields larger they shrinked everything on the battlefields (vegetation, horses, humans, buildings) by 30-40%!!!
    If you shrink everything, then what is the problem? The ratio is the same, only difference will be distance from camera..besides that polygons, texture resolution matters more right?

    I trully accept how are you deeply dissatisfied with everything after Med2 but how is that related to next SAGA game? You want everything to be bigger by 30-40% especially horses?
    DMR: (R2) (Attila) (ToB) (Wh1/2) (3K) (Troy)

  14. #34
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Anyway, I wholeheartedly disagree about CA supposedly reinforcing the campaign aspect of its games. Some superficial features have been added, but, in reality, the campaign experience is disappointingly empty, in comparison to that of Rome I or Medieval II. "Distance-to-Capital" has been removed, while all regions are now geographically and financially almost identical, so designing your imperialist plans has been rendered a totally brainless procedure. Tax policy is adjusted with a single button for the entirety of the empire and diplomacy consists of directly contacting your foreign interlocutor through Skype, instead of sending diplomats. Family trees are just a visual effect, where family members emerge out of thin air, in cases of urgency and their character is now determined by the most rudimentary level-system. Last but not least, units replenish their losses automatically, because who cares about logistics, and the deployment of small armies is now strictly forbidden. Long are the days gone, where I desisted from invading Scythia due to economic and public order concerns, while my reinforcements for my armies in Gaul came all the way from Susa, in SE Iran. Apart from being historically inaccurate, all these changes are responsible for transforming the campaign experience to a very shallow process, which looks quite irritating and boring. That's why the most recent games lose their appeal so quickly and are desperately dependent on over-priced DLCs to add them new life. Campaign is necessary to add some context and flavour to the campaign or otherwise we would all be exclusively obsessed with custom battles.
    I agree that the campaign needs to add context and flavour. I see the issues you mentioned differently. While I enjoyed Rome Total War a lot, the only question in terms of city construction was the order - I could build everything eventually. With Rome II, I need to make choices about the balance between military recruitment, food production, economic development and culture. I also need to choose when to turn front-line military settlements into peaceful economic power-houses. If I convert them too early, then the peaceful settlements are easy prey for my enemies. If I convert them too late, then I can't afford a sufficiently strong military. For me, this feels more like strategic decision-making than simply deciding the construction order.

    As for automatic replenishment, having to manually click every time to replenish troops didn't make the campaign map more exciting, it meant that I had to waste time on 'maintenance clicking' - clicking to do things which any sensible commander would choose to do, not making a strategic choice. Logistics matter when I can't replenish armies in enemy lands and when construction choices can affect the speed of replenishment.

    I wonder why you see the deployment of small armies as "strictly forbidden" in newer games. In Rome II, using small armies is necessary because I can't afford large armies everywhere. A small army added to a city garrison can deter an attack. A small army can raid enemy territory, perhaps drawing an enemy army into a trap - either an ambush or simply a battle in which one of your larger armies reinforces your smaller one. A small army can reinforce a larger one, tipping the balance in your favour. Economics and public order matter in my campaigns (they might not be for players using mods which give you more money or improved public order; I don't do that).

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    In any case, in what concerns the next Saga game, in order to discover its subject, we are firstly obliged to understand the project's goals and limitations. Sagas are small and generally designed to portray a limited part of the map, where cultural variety is not too extreme to require a lot of work and waste of resources. It will probably be based on Attila or (less likely) Rome II, but it's beyond any reasonable that gunpowder-dominated periods are out of question.
    You may be right that gunpowder-dominated periods are out of the question. Yes, Saga games are generally small scale and with limited cultural variety. I agree that it's more likely that the next Saga game will involve pre-gunpowder warfare. However, I wonder if some gunpowder-era campaigns such as the French and Indian War would be viable for a Saga game. This would have a limited geographical area and time-frame. As well as campaigns as France (or New France) and Britain (or Britain's colonies), I imagine that Native nations would be challenging to play. You'd have the choice of building your strength by making alliance, building a confederation or conquering other Native tribes. Diplomacy would be vital and would involve an important strategic choice: you could side with the French or British, try to stay out of their colonial war or try to play both sides off against each other.

    As I see it, Saga games are about turning points when history could have unfolded in a different direction. Dan Snow's book Death or Victory: The Battle for Quebec and the Birth of Empire tells the story of the campaigns of General James Wolfe to take Quebec and General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm to defend it. Initial attempts by the British to land troops on a well-defended shore were repelled with heavy losses. The British could have landed troops further down river, but that would have meant a long journey across land - and the Canadians and their Native allies were skilled guerrilla fighters. The British victory at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham could have had a different outcome, if the 2,000 men commanded by Louis-Antoine de Bougainville had arrived at the same time as Montcalm's troops, instead of 45 minutes later. Dan Snow describes de Bougainville's men as "some of the finest in North America" (p. 381) and says that they would have caught the British army in between the forces of Montcalm and Bougainville. If the two French commanders had defeated Wolfe's army, then (in my view) it's interesting to think about how North American history could have developed differently.

    Saga games can also be testing grounds for new or adapted game mechanics. Rome II introduced combined land and sea battles; as I see it, a Saga game about the French and Indian War could be an opportunity to experiment with combined land and sea engagements which would include exchanges of fire between shore artillery and warships, while the warships hurried to land infantry and marines to silence the shore artillery before their hulls were holed below the waterline. Innovations since Empire Total War, such as a true line of sight system and guerrilla deployment, could work well in a French and Indian War campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    This was my point, CA has focused on campaign stuff and have neglected battles altogether despite that being the main draw to the franchise.

    This post here discusses a campaign and battle maps. It is almost three maps. The Larger campaign map, and when you armies get closer, you zoom in. Corps and divisions and armies are represented by flags in which you can zoom in on specific units. In other words, you can maneuver your entire army to position your units in the most advantageous way, a feature that is mostly absent with TW (some mods extends the distance of the starting armies thus giving you some realism). The game has obvious drawback since it was released in 1995. For example, you can see the disposition of the opposing armies. The graphics are piss poor and if you put too many arts together it creates a weird effect when they move. Shogun's graphics and battles were still a mind-blowing experience, but I did expect by now that CA would have incorporated more realistic command control of the armies. TW is still caught in "skirmish" battles mode. Yes, I consider a "full stack" as a skirmish battle. When you get to 40 units, then you have a real battle,... sort of.
    I like the idea of moving your army to position your units in the most advantageous way. I can imagine players, for example, choosing between defending a line of hills (but noticing that a river running through a valley behind the hills would block their retreat, if they lost the battle) or falling back to the river valley behind the hills, to defend the bridges (which would allow the enemy to see the disposition of your forces clearly, becasue they'd be marching down the hills to fight you in the valley).

    I don't think that CA have "neglected battles altogether". Battles were improved, for me, by changes such as the introduction of guerrilla deployment, a true line of sight system and the improved reinforcements system (a reinforcing army of 20 units arriving together to reinforce a full-stack army on the battlefield, instead of reinforcements arriving one unit at a time, when a unit from the first army is destroyed or routs). While the AI still makes mistakes on the battlefield, I see better flanking, more effective use of cavalry and more AI aggression in Rome II compared to ETW. I remember a Thrones of Britannia introductory video which emphasised how the developers had worked on the shield walls and looser cavalry formations so that battles would be closer to the actual fighting in that era.
    Last edited by Alwyn; December 16, 2018 at 06:00 AM.

  15. #35
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I agree that the campaign needs to add context and flavour. I see the issues you mentioned differently. While I enjoyed Rome Total War a lot, the only question in terms of city construction was the order - I could build everything eventually. With Rome II, I need to make choices about the balance between military recruitment, food production, economic development and culture. I also need to choose when to turn front-line military settlements into peaceful economic power-houses. If I convert them too early, then the peaceful settlements are easy prey for my enemies. If I convert them too late, then I can't afford a sufficiently strong military. For me, this feels more like strategic decision-making than simply deciding the order.

    As for automatic replenishment, having to manually click every time to replenish troops didn't make the campaign map more exciting, it meant that I had to waste time on 'maintenance clicking' - clicking to do things which any sensible commander would choose to do, not making a strategic choice. Logistics matter when I can't replenish armies in enemy lands and when construction choices can affect the speed of replenishment.

    I wonder why you see the deployment of small armies as "strictly forbidden" in newer games. In Rome II, using small armies is necessary because I can't afford large armies everywhere. A small army added to a city garrison can deter an attack. A small army can raid enemy territory, perhaps drawing an enemy army into a trap - either an ambush or simply a battle in which one of your larger armies reinforces your smaller one. A small army can reinforce a larger one, tipping the balance in your favour. Economics and public order matter in my campaigns (they might not be for players using mods which give you more money or improved public order; I don't do that).
    Of course, everyone is entitled to its own subjective preferences, but my beef with Rome's II bizarre dilemmas are their "surrealism". Frankly, it doesn't make sense why a settlement should be either a military stronghold or Cornucopia. CA has decided to add some unacceptably artificial strategic limits, which may render administration more difficult, but they seriously lack in immersion. The appropriate solution would be to address the issue of the absurd financial abundance in the late stages of the game*, instead of simply castrating the game. After all, I would argue that the setting priorities according to time-pressure, according to the standards of the older titles, is more realistic than the current situation, not to mention the fact that these "innovations" in building slots completely wrecked the AI, which is frequently unable to upgrade its units, so it resorts to spamming of cheap levies. Regarding replenishment, sometimes economy does not allow you to reinforce all of your depleted armies, but since Napoleon, regrouping your Old Guard in the depths of Russia is completely free. Before Empire, Area of Recruitment, despite not being as universally implemented as it should, forced the player to maintain a worryingly thin line of logistics from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea. For example, my latest Mayan campaign against the nomadic Apache almost caused a devastating recession. My armies were incapable of being reinforced in the desolate deserts of Arizona, which meant I had to rely on a dangerously bloated army, vulnerable to mutiny and natural disasters, while the absence of reserves led to every defeat being completely disastrous. Meanwhile, in Empire, my French Royal guard was restored to its former strength in a matter of exactly two turns, in spite of being lost somewhere in the plains of Wyoming. Last but not least, my "strictly forbidden" comment was referring to the limited number of armies allow to be deployed, which also demonstrates Creative Assembly's tendency to fix the franchise, by trimming the content of the game and curtailing the player's freedom. Thanks to that approach, skirmishing and sophisticated operation planning are now obsolete.

    To summarize, the challenged I faced moving my inflexible imperial armies across northern Mexico, while being harassed by lighter Indian guerillas and watching my seemingly impregnable treasury getting decimated is much more enjoyable than all the Shoguns declaring war against me for no apparent reason or having to kill Attila multiple times, while also being careful enough not to completely destroy his hordes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    You may be right that gunpowder-dominated periods are out of the question. Yes, Saga games are generally small scale and with limited cultural variety. I agree that it's more likely that the next Saga game will involve pre-gunpowder warfare. However, I wonder if some gunpowder-era campaigns such as the French and Indian War would be viable for a Saga game. This would have a limited geographical area and time-frame. As well as campaigns as France (or New France) and Britain (or Britain's colonies), I imagine that Native nations would be challenging to play. You'd have the choice of building your strength by making alliance, building a confederation or conquering other Native tribes. Diplomacy would be vital and would involve an important strategic choice: you could side with the French or British, try to stay out of their colonial war or try to play both sides off against each other.
    To clarify, I don't doubt that the gunpowder era is rich of potentially interesting scenarios, but the problem lies with the necessity of investing too many resources, in order to introduce the new battle mechanics (line formations, artillery and etc.). This would be too demanding for the Saga's insignificant budget and will prevent the developers from mainly relying on the assets of Attila. This is why pre-modern warfare is a considerably stronger candidate, in my opinion. Anyway, I wonder what are your (that's not directed exclusively to Alwyn) thoughts about my guesses? Did I manage to miss anything obvious or is my list contradicted by the company's mysterious hints?

    *Ironically enough, economy has become much easier in post-Empire games, because now the amount of wealth possible to extract from the world is infinite, while 'distance-to-capital' has been erased. As a result, sky is not even your limit, when it comes to recruiting the maximum number of units, while in Medieval II or Rome I, the threat of bankruptcy is never removed, if someone invests too much in the army, without simultaneously conquering lucrative provinces.
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; December 16, 2018 at 06:29 AM.

  16. #36
    AnthoniusII's Avatar XXI ARMORED BRIGADE
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    If you shrink everything, then what is the problem? The ratio is the same, only difference will be distance from camera..besides that polygons, texture resolution matters more right?

    I trully accept how are you deeply dissatisfied with everything after Med2 but how is that related to next SAGA game? You want everything to be bigger by 30-40% especially horses?
    You focus on my post about the scale of models but you did not answer to my post about the varietion of settlements and the cloned battlefields.
    Anyway. I POINTED out horses beacuse in all previus titles before Rome II horses simply did not look like ones!The worst horses ever made were Rome I and Shogun II ones that look more like cows rather than horses.
    When i saw in the 1st previews of Rome II the horses (actually CA/SEGA used half of the skins it published in that announcement) i said "finally something is changing" if horses look like horses and if models wil have atleast the quality of human models of Shogun II then game is in the right path. But HORSES were RomeII's ONLY real evolution. Worst animation than M2TW , no previus features that proved their value of previus TW titles...Yes i like horses!
    But everything else sucks. You are trying to make a mod to increase building slots in settlements. Those guys in CA/SEGA were incapable to do something like this!! The had no idea how to conect the battlefield city model with the strat_map model of the same settlement!!! In older TW game when you see a huge city strat_map model on the map you find your army infront of a huge city on the battlefield also.
    In Rome II and Attila you may have a huge city on strat_map and a village on the battlefield. Realy since you find everything right in these game and I am only a crazy guy that finds everything non worthy CAN YOU make that connection?
    Connect the strat_map model on that map with a battlemap model on thef field. Ofcourse you can not because the game is broken in that issue.
    There are moments (in history), in which a nation owes,
    if it wants to be considered as a great one, to be able to fight.
    Even without hope of winning. Just because it has to.
    Greek War motto.
    XXI Armored Brigade. Proud that served in that unit in 1996!
    "Spartans do not ask how many (enemies are) but where they are"!
    XXI Armored Brigade's motto.
    The Greek Secret (or why they will fight again if it will be necessary or why they do not sell their history).


  17. #37
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Frankly, it doesn't make sense why a settlement should be either a military stronghold or Cornucopia.
    I understand that it doesn't make sense to you. There were major cities like Rome which were both, which supports your argument.

    However, there were military strongholds and civilian settlements. For example, Rome's leaders in Britannia developed military strongholds of Eburacum (York), Deva (Chester) and Isca (Caerleon) (Ben Johnson). When Boudica's army burned Londinium (London), Verulamium (St. Albans) and Camulodunum (Colchester), they put up little resistance because they were mainly civilian settlements, not military strongholds.

    As I see it, this also makes sense because it requires players to make strategic choices. This isn't a simple binary choice: a settlement can be anywhere on a spectrum between full military stronghold and economic/food/culture cornucopia. Most of mine are somewhere in between.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    The appropriate solution would be to address the issue of the absurd financial abundance in the late stages of the game*, instead of simply castrating the game.
    I wonder if the "absurd financial abundance" comes from playing mods which give factions more money or reduce corruption, or from campaigns before the AI became more aggressive in recent patches (before, I could leave a border with an expansionist power unguarded; I can't get away with that anymore).

    The economies of my empires usually peak in the mid-campaign, when I still have a good number of trade partners and corruption hasn't risen too high. By the late game, my enemies have conquered some of my trade partners and others have turned hostile because of my territorial expansion. Corruption has risen significantly and rival political parties threaten to break away (causing me to use loyalty edicts, re-militarise provinces and station troops in case of civil war). In a Carthage late campaign, I found myself struggling to keep my enemies outside my borders, while defeating ambitious generals who tried to break away and relying increasingly on cheap levy Celtic swordsmen (Carthage's equivalent of Rome's auxiliaries). This felt very immersive - as I saw it, by taking the place which Rome historically had, my Carthaginian empire was experiencing similar problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    After all, I would argue that the setting priorities according to time-pressure, according to the standards of the older titles, is more realistic than the current situation, not to mention the fact that these "innovations" in building slots completely wrecked the AI, which is frequently unable to upgrade its units, so it resorts to spamming of cheap levies.
    Maybe this wrecked the AI in earlier patches, but I've encountered high-level units surprisingly early since the Ancestral update. Quite early in a recent Carthage campaign, Rome landed armies which included Legionaries and even First Cohorts in Africa, while I was still relying on traditional armies of hoplites and peltasts. AI Rome improved their armies faster than I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Regarding replenishment, sometimes economy does not allow you to reinforce all of your depleted armies, but since Napoleon, regrouping your Old Guard in the depths of Russia is completely free.
    As I see it, the cost of replenishment is included in upkeep. Napoleon couldn't replenish his Old Guard in the depths of Russia if NTW used the Rome II replenishment rules, as Rome II doesn't have replenishment in enemy lands anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Before Empire, Area of Recruitment, despite not being as universally implemented as it should, forced the player to maintain a worryingly thin line of logistics from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea. For example, my latest Mayan campaign against the nomadic Apache almost caused a devastating recession. My armies were incapable of being reinforced in the desolate deserts of Arizona, which meant I had to rely on a dangerously bloated army, vulnerable to mutiny and natural disasters, while the absence of reserves led to every defeat being completely disastrous.
    This sounds like an exciting campaign! I enjoy similar military adventures in Rome II. Top-tier barracks take a long time to construct and have a very high cost in food, so I don't build them everywhere. I need to manage my high-tier units carefully.

    Is your army really "vulnerable to mutiny"? Is that a feature of the vanilla game, the effect of a mod or role-playing (I'm not saying that there anything wrong with role-playing)? In Rome II, my armies are vulnerable to mutiny because of the risk of civil war. I need to be careful about building any army because it might break away to join a secessionist faction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Last but not least, my "strictly forbidden" comment was referring to the limited number of armies allow to be deployed, which also demonstrates Creative Assembly's tendency to fix the franchise, by trimming the content of the game and curtailing the player's freedom. Thanks to that approach, skirmishing and sophisticated operation planning are now obsolete.
    The limit on the number of armies doesn't prevent me or the AI from using small armies. The maximum number of armies increases with your empire's size, so it's a simple manpower system. I usually can't afford more armies than the maximum limit, so it doesn't curtail my freedom much, except in at the economic peak in the mid-game. The limit also prevents Rome II campaigns from suffering the turn lag which plagued some ETW campaigns. In my experience, it doesn't prevent operation planning or skirmishing from being a factor.

    A skirmish can either refer to a 'skirmish battle' (small engagement, a 'mere skirmish' instead of a full battle) or 'skirmish tactics' (ranged combat and hit and run attacks). Rome II has both. In the early Carthage campaign I mentioned, Rome sent small armies inland to raid and ruin my economy. Large Roman armies waited offshore, ready to seize my port cities if my armies marched inland. The solution was obvious - keep my large armies in ports while sending small armies inland to fight skirmish battles in the first sense (small engagements). Some factions rely on skirmishing in the second sense (ranged combat and hit and run attacks) - factions such as the Suebi, Lusitani, Pergamon, Royal Scythia and others.

    Careful planning of operations is needed in my Rome II campaigns. It's vital to plan ahead, with no replenishment in enemy lands, high-level barracks being few and far between, and enemy factions being active on the campaign and battle maps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    To summarize, the challenged I faced moving my inflexible imperial armies across northern Mexico, while being harassed by lighter Indian guerillas and watching my seemingly impregnable treasury getting decimated is much more enjoyable than all the Shoguns declaring war against me for no apparent reason or having to kill Attila multiple times, while also being careful enough not to completely destroy his hordes.
    That does sound very enjoyable! I know what you mean about the Realm Divide mechanic. My computer can't run Attila, so I can't compare experiences of that game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    To clarify, I don't doubt that the gunpowder era is rich of potentially interesting scenarios, but the problem lies with the necessity of investing too many resources, in order to introduce the new battle mechanics (line formations, artillery and etc.). This would be too demanding for the Saga's insignificant budget and will prevent the developers from mainly relying on the assets of Attila. This is why pre-modern warfare is a considerably stronger candidate, in my opinion.
    Good point, I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Anyway, I wonder what are your (that's not directed exclusively to Alwyn) thoughts about my guesses? Did I manage to miss anything obvious or is my list contradicted by the company's mysterious hints?
    Your guesses look good to me. Your report of the challenges involved in moving your inflexible imperial armies across Mexico makes the European colonization of Americas, focused on Mexico and Peru, sounds like a good possibility.
    Last edited by Alwyn; December 16, 2018 at 08:20 AM.

  18. #38
    AnthoniusII's Avatar XXI ARMORED BRIGADE
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    Default Re: New SAGA title

    Alwyn i would agree with your prospective about armies but in my mind came an old question that NEVER answered after ROME I was released.
    In Rome I every unit you recruit decreases the population of city's citizens available to serve in the army. Less citizens no bigger cities. That was the most realistic feature in TW games EVER.
    If a player would continue to recruit from a city many times that city will never envolve. I wonder how dificult that feature was to be added to Rome II and stop having extremly limited army numbers?
    Oh ..i forgot...that would lead back to my previus post point that CA/SEGA developers were incapable to conect the strat_map city models and their evolution via population with the battle map of them!
    Damn questions and answers make a bizzare cycle arround CA/SEGA developing team's incapabillity to create a decent game atleast EQUAL with 14years old game of the past!
    I remember the 1st days of Rome II that legioners used thei pilla ONLY when they attacked an enemy unit and were unable to use them in stand ground stance! Do I need to say more?
    There are moments (in history), in which a nation owes,
    if it wants to be considered as a great one, to be able to fight.
    Even without hope of winning. Just because it has to.
    Greek War motto.
    XXI Armored Brigade. Proud that served in that unit in 1996!
    "Spartans do not ask how many (enemies are) but where they are"!
    XXI Armored Brigade's motto.
    The Greek Secret (or why they will fight again if it will be necessary or why they do not sell their history).


  19. #39

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    I want them to trust the community to appreciate a title with the campaign built from the group up around challenge, nuance and historical authenticity, if not accuracy. Paradox titles are a good example here, although I'd push it further to say some of the Paradox mods that are equivalent to DEI/FOTE/EBII might work even better as a base game design, especially since Three Kingdoms is showing they can incorporate both the hardcore and classic TW in the same game, out of the box.

    Now that there can be two modes, they can finally make battles play as good as they look, one way or another. Since there's no fence sitting about what kind of game Total War is trying to be, a gunpowder era game could play like Scourge of War: Waterloo and TW Warhammer. Accurate naval battles can be intimidating to people who don't know about the age of sail, but if those same people can start Romance Mode (or whatever) and have boats pretty much do what they want, when they want, and battles that resolve pretty quickly, why not also give the history fans Trafalgar?

    Their blog posts have shown they've seen what the modding community can do. Bringing out Rome 2 DLC after years, and with a design that is rooted in authenticity and deep gameplay shows they've taken tentative steps. Britannia had logistics. How crazy would that have seemed a few years ago?

    The stakes are lower than ever to risk it. Attila and Britannia seem to have only sold well with the history buffs, and they're my two favorite titles. Warhammer is a both a cash cow that allows them to subsidize titles for more niche market segments and makes the half (?) of the community that was scared off by the deeper aspects very happy by delivering the kind of gameplay they like in a setting that lets them run wild.

    I think the conditions are right for CA to take a leap.

  20. #40

    Default Re: New SAGA title

    I can't edit, so I'll have to double post.

    This is a great review that sums up how smart historical game design can provide authenticity without players worrying about the calibre of their faction's muskets or the silver content of their coinage:

    The absurd intricate Pax Renaissance recalls how money saved the world

    Like many things worth doing, Pax Renaissance, a Phil Eklund game, is demanding. The detailed rules, festooned with fascinating footnotes, don’t do themselves any favors. It’s hard to cull from all that text any idea of what you’re supposed to do, and it’s even harder to present to people who want to play without reading a Phil Eklund rules book. You have to love rules to learn this game, and you have to love learning rules to play this game. Whereas I wouldn’t normally write a boardgame review by describing gameplay, that’s what I’m going to do here. It’s the only way I can explain how so much historical detail informs a boardgame that isn’t a detailed historical simulation.


    Once a card is put into play, you’re a puppet master pulling its strings. One of the options on your turn is to run through all the cards in your tableau, using each card for one of its special actions. Mechanically, these actions are simple. Take a piece off the board, get a coin, make another player discard a card, that sort of thing. Usually this is how you set up favorable conditions for whatever upheaval you want to introduce with the cards you’ll play later.


    Each card is named after a specific slice of history. A dense clot of text elaborates. A third of a card’s real estate is reserved for period artwork. Most of them also have a postage stamp sized space in the lower left corner for a unique seal or coat of arms. Eklund’s cards tend to be crammed with detail, but they make room for art. If they’re busy, it’s because they also want to show you something.


    The iconography is clear and simple. You never have to read text to figure out what a card does. Too many games with cards use the cards to spill out rules exceptions that you won’t notice unless you’re reading the text. Oh, you mean I can’t attack that card on every third turn unless I’m using orange mana? Yep, sure enough, it says so right there in small print! Cards often double as additional pages in the rules book. This is never the case in Pax Renaissance. Everything a card on the table does is presented in clear, simple, and consistent iconography.


    A common ability on cards is “siege”, which just means “take a piece off the board”. Five of the nine cards specific to France include the siege action. When these cards are in your tableau, you can simply take one of the pieces off France. Kill it, basically. Easy. The red icon — red for a military action — shows you which pieces you can kill, which is pretty much any of them. The word “siege” is printed under the icon in case you don’t want to remember icons. But look closer. Closer. A little closer. There’s something faintly written along the right side of the icon in teensy italicized text. This is where Eklund explains the historic rationale for anything a card does. This is where he explains why these five cards can kill a piece in France.


    The five cards that can siege in France are Anne of Brittany, Margaret of Anjou, Charles the Bold, Friese Freedom, and the Flanders Guild. They vary in many ways, but they all allow a siege action in France. Regardless of which card does it, you simply remove a piece. Yet Anne’s siege action, according to the tiny text, is called the Brittany War of Independence (her marriage to the French king ended England’s claim on this patch of France), whereas Margaret’s siege action is called the War of the Roses (basically, Game of Thrones minus white walkers, dragons, and Peter Dinklage trying to do an accent). Charles the Bold’s siege action is the League of Public Weal, which was a group of nobles who harried French king Louis XI for years. The Friese Freedom, named for a patch of the Low Countries without ruling nobility, gets a siege action for the Vetkopers vs. Schieringers. These were the two factions that fought for control of the area. Their names are Dutch for “fat-buyers” and “speakers”, the former named for the rich who could afford luxuries, the latter named for the poor who tried negotiations before resorting to war. In other words, Republicans vs Democrats. Finally, the Flanders Guild’s siege action is called Salt Wars, which was an uprising against the Pope’s tax on salt. Yep, that was a thing. The Pope tried to tax salt, so some dudes in France rebelled. They were, all, “hey hey, ho ho, this tax on salt has got to go!”. The Pope’s troops crushed them. Popes used to have troops.


    This is true of every action on every card. There is no card that does something just because. Every card does something because Eklund ties it to a specific historical incident or concept, indicated in tiny italicized text. And if you’re like me, these labels will send you scuttling down various rabbit holes on Wikipedia. Pax Renaissance is a warren. Simple actions discreetly illuminated with complex historical rationales.


    It’s all complicated, but for good reason. Pax Renaissance wants a peasant rebellion to work differently than a jihad, which works differently than a royal marriage, which is nothing like forming a representative republic. The specifics vary wildly, as you can tell by referencing the overly complicated chart on the back of the rules. There are better ways to express the rules differences. Teaching people how to play will require figuring out one of those better ways. Maybe even making your own charts.


    It helps to keep in mind that all the actions resulting from putting a card into play have the same result: someone new is in charge. Regime change, as the rules call it. The overall conceit of Pax Renaissance is that these regime changes are effected by medieval banking families, each played by one of the players. The banking family that reaches a victory condition first wins. It’s a bit silly, frankly. All this elaborate historical detail to recreate how the Medicis engineered the Protestant Reformation, the rise of Shi’a Islam, and the discovery of a trade route around the Cape of Good Hope? I missed that part of history class, and I can’t find it on Wikipedia.


    But it gets to the point Eklund is making in Pax Renaissance, which is a historical essay and not an orrery. For all its intricate specificity, this is not a clockwork approximation of the medieval world a la Paradox’s strategy games. Instead, it’s suggesting an idea, expressed through gameplay abstraction. The proposition is that bankers dragged civilization out of the Dark Ages toward the Enlightenment. As more capital flowed into a region, money and therefore power was put into the hands of people other than rulers backed by armies. This shift in balance upended feudalism and paved the way for the rule of law, patronage of the arts, and the exploration of the world. This is vividly realized as each game unfolds. As trade and money flow across the map, guided by players’ banks, history unfurls as surely as the row of cards drawn from the deck. Ruling classes swell and overfill. Peasants morph into a formidable middle class. Pax Renaissance, a paean to progress and wealth, suggests that money doesn’t just make the world go ’round. It also makes the world go forward.
    https://www.quartertothree.com/fp/20...ved-the-world/

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