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Empire is my personal favorite, but it might not be the best one to start with. The Grand Campaign has a bit of a learning curve to it, being a little more complicated than the earlier games', in no small part due to the Europe situation I talked about on the last page and the existence of two other theaters.
It might also be worth noting that you can get Rome, Medieval II, their associated expansion packs and Empire as a bundle on Steam for 60 USD. I mean, if you play all of them, you're bound to find somewhere to start off, right?
edited 4th Jul '10 6:54:52 AM by SuperDimensionman
Before I write anything else, I should say I haven't played the first two games, Shogun and the first Medieval, nor have any of my friends so I won't touch them here.
I feel that the difference between Rome and Medieval 2 are largely cosmetic. There are few changed/added features on M 2 TW that differ from Rome, but overall one is set in the Roman times and has decent graphics, while other is set in the medieval times and has comparatively better graphics (the combat/empire/city management is largely the same on both, likewise both have rather similar unit types). Do you prefer antiquity over medieval times? Go for Rome. Want to command knights in shining armour? Medieval's your man.
Personally I haven't played either Empire nor Napoleon (though the latter is little more than a glorified expansion for the former), but have heard from a couple of my friends who have them, and have watched a good number of multiplayer battle replays. Empire has decreased the importance (and personality) of generals, making it a little more duller if you liked your faction leaders with attitude and capable of kicking ass.
It's also obviously a bit different combat wise, on Rome and M 2 TW you have melee units, archers and cavalry (artillery is only used on sieges, and arquebuses/muskets on M 2 TW only appear at the end of the campaign and are more of a gimmick than an actual asset in my opinion). In Empire/NTW on the other hand, you have musket/bayonet armed line infantry as your main force who are sort of a hybrid range/melee unit. There are still melee units present, and while they can often dominate in melee, the games are set in the age of gunpowder so they often get cut down before they get in the fray. Likewise, artillery can actually be used in the field of battle to bombard enemy units (a feat often unused in earlier games of the series). Also cavalry (which was a dominating force especially in M 2 TW) is, while not useless, more easily countered than before as pretty much every line infantry (ie. the basic unit) can fight back a cavalry charge if in a proper formation.
Oh my, that came out a bit longer than I intended.
TLDR: Pick the game that is set in a period you are most interested in.
PS. Rome and M 2 TW seem to have the most extensive modding communities, and have a wide variety of high quality modifications either improving the base game or total conversions creating a practically whole new game.
edited 4th Jul '10 7:12:51 AM by C-Person
Medieval and Shogun have similar engines. Medieval allows you to deploy siege weaponry easily, since there's no "move points" to worry about.
Alright, I'll try medieval 2 first then. I'll go for Rome after, or simultaneously, we'll see.
Either Rome's easier, or the earliest available factions have very good start positions.
If we are talking about vanilla games: any Roman faction in Rome, or England in Medieval 2 tend to be relatively easy, with good starting positions and strong unit rosters.
I like a challenge, though, so I'll probably go screw myself over a few times first.
Then go the Venetians on Very Hard. And good luck.
Right, I'm about to install 1.1. However, when I go to install it to desktop, it says "Destination invalid. Please install to folder where Rome Total War was installed. Only proceed if you expected this to come up." Or something like that.
What should I do now?
EDIT: Hell, it was nowhere near as hard to install Rome Total Realism.
edited 4th Jul '10 8:53:30 AM by GameChainsaw
Are you sure you're trying to install it to the folder where Rome TW.exe is?
Should I put the copied file of the Rome Total War program files on the desktop?
Yeah, I'm thoroughly confused.
When you doubleclick the EB installation file, and clicking 'next' (or something similar) a couple of times, you should get a query on where to install the game, yes?
For example, I have installed Rome to D:/Games/Rome Total War
So when I installed Europa Barbarorum and it asked where I wanted to install the mod, I specified 'D:/Games/Rome Total War' as the target location.
edited 4th Jul '10 9:10:11 AM by C-Person
I don't have an icon on the desktop. I'm still installing 1.1. It didn't mention 1.0 and there's no link provided to install 1.0 on the downloads, and the steps say to download 1.1 and 1.2 first.
Now I've downloaded 1.1 and 1.2, and the setup screen is up for both of them, coming up straight after I ran the downloader. I'm just not sure where to go next. Do I have to look somewhere else to get 1.0?
1.1 and 1.2 are the only ones you need to install. First 1.1, then 1.2.
Right, for 1.1, my filepath looks like this:
C:\Games\Rome Total War
Is this correct?
If that is where you've installed Rome Total War, then yes.
Its a perfect copy of where I installed Rome Total War.
The original is still in program files.
EDIT: To explain, I was advised to make a backup copy of my Rome Total War data. I've moved this backup folder out of program files, though its still in C: drive. This is where I was planning on installing Europa Barbarorum.
edited 4th Jul '10 9:31:59 AM by GameChainsaw
Alright, I've got 1.1 installed. Progress. Now, for 1.2.
I'm at the next install location specification part. Should I install it directly into the EB 1.1 folder or just into the Rome Total War general folder that I put EB 1.1 in. At this point, I'm just being cautious.
I'm quite sure you should install it to the same Rome Total War folder that you installed the 1.1 version as well.
Did it. Its all installed and I've even fought a couple of battles. The results were... not good.
Bloody hell, this game is really really hard. Its like Rome Total War on steroids!
I played as the really hard faction in the far north-east of the map first... and that didn't go well. I then moved onto the supposedly easier Britons... not much luck there either. Starting with negative values in the kitty doesn't help, I'm used to getting my economy up and running immediately.
This map is brutal!
edited 4th Jul '10 5:39:51 PM by GameChainsaw
That game seems to enjoy screwing its players over. Factions attack you for no reason, your economy goes to pot late-game, your cities start revolting en masse...I'm just glad that Medieval II isn't like that.
For an easier start, you might want to look into some nice major civilizations around the Mediterranean.
The key to good economy in a nutshell. Trade. That's where I get most of my income no matter what faction I play. The key to good trade is coastlines. You're going to want to get as much coastline as you can possibly get. When you have all of north Africa or Italian peninsula or the Balkans, and a good sized market & merchant harbour on every province, you'll be swimming in cash. Sure there are things like optimizing taxation and other income buildings, but trade is the key to economical domination.
Another thing I've noticed in regards to EB, most factions seem to start with a larger military than they can pay for. Unless you plan on going on an immediate conquering spree, you'd better disband some of the more expensive units (ships, elephants, elite units) to gain an advantage in the early game economy. You can easily repurchase the units later on with an improved economy.
I noticed the cost of ships... jeepers, and I'm not good at naval conflicts at the best of times!
I've put up a notice on the Liveblog section, at this point mostly just moaning about the difficulty and praying to God this liveblog doesn't end up getting its file deleted, or failing due to tech problems, or suffers from any other wierd strike from the heavens.
A Shogun 2 preview from IGN
I know that's still just an alpha version preview but it has some new info. Personally I'm a bit against the hero units, I just don' see them fit that well into my TW experience. Still, it's not that horrifying to me, they might good, and even if they aren't, there will be some quality total conversion mods that will fix it (among other things). It should be said that I've always disliked the more 'fantasy' based elements of TW series (the 'Arcani' from Rome, anyone?), but as I said, the mods have fixed them in the past, and I bet they will keep fixing them in the future.
More emphasis will also be put on generals, which I like. I've always felt quite attached to my own generals, and if the game is going to put even more emphasis on that, they get a Big "YES!" from me.
They also seem to be putting more effort on siege battles, which I think is a good thing. I've always been a bit ambivalent towards the siege battles in TW series. In the field I could manoeuvre my way to victory with inferior forces, but in siege battles it would often become a slow grinding walk towards city centre, putting more emphasis on unit quality and less on my command abilities. So I'm pleased to see that more effort is put on siege battles.
Looking forward to this.
edited 5th Jul '10 7:44:16 AM by C-Person
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