News Archives - August 2005

Modification Feature

by | 8/30/2005 20:33 PM

Ace has been busy as usual, and has finished up another mod feature. This one's on Zhanguo (The Warring States) Total War, a mod, that, to quote Ace:

...starts you off in the year 480 B.C.E. Confucius is nearing the end of his life. The once great united Chinese state has fractured and you must take the reins of Chinese vassal state or principality and lead your armies to conquest. The Senate and 3 Roman House relationship will be represented by the House of Tian and the 3 Huan of Lu. They dominate the state of Qi. The former powerful houses of the now splintered Chinese state such as the Han, Wei, Zhao, Zhi, and Fan now all have their own claims to territory, some conflicting. All are vieing for power in the power vacuum. To the south, the Wu and Yue formed powerful states, the king of Wu is an extremely dangerous foe, having been tutored by the genius, Sun Tzu, himself.

Looks like something I might have to download in the future, learn some more about it here!

Poll Roundup

by | 8/29/2005 20:48 PM

The poll results are in, and last week's question, "Are you going to pre-order Barbarian Invasion?" was pretty overwhelmingly answered with no, I'm going to wait until it comes out. The full results:

20.2% Yeup!
71.8% Nope, going to wait until it comes out.
8.0% Are you kidding me? Not buying it.

This week the poll's asking what part of Barbarian Invasion you'll play first, answer here!

Factions Section Update

by | 8/29/2005 3:17 AM

Another week passes and another faction update is added! Now you can appreciate the updated history and statistics about the Numidians, from their roles in the Punic Wars to their significance in Rome: Total War.

Take a look at their gameplay info or their history and enjoy!

Last Week In Rome...

by | 8/28/2005 23:07 PM

Quite a bit of new information on Barbarian Invasion was released last week. Indeed 187 screenshots were released by GameStar, unfortunately we don't have quite that many previews, but we did get a Q&A with GameSpot, a faction feature from IGN, and another FAQ update at Total War. Aside from all that news has been pretty slow. ;-)

What's next week? We'll be putting up our own FAQ, with what we think will be some of the more common questions about the game. In addition to the FAQ, we'll also be putting up some more mod articles from our recently returned Ace. Keep your eyes peeled, and we'll keep 'em informed. See you around Rome!

IGN Previews the Saxons

by | 8/28/2005 11:09 AM

IGN's put up an extremely detailed preview of the Saxons. Hopefully they'll do as they did with Rome: Total War and continue to feature civilizations as the weeks progress. Anyway, how about a nice long excerpt? They open their preview with:

The Saxons were a people from modern-day north Germany, Denmark and northern Holland. They were a warlike and harsh folk and, like many of the German tribes, under pressure from the influx of eastern nomadic peoples. However, instead of looking to the south, the Saxons looked across the sea to the Roman province of Britannia. Increasing pressure from Saxon raiders, invaders and finally settlers encouraged the construction of a line of coastal forts in Britain. In 410 AD the Saxons provoked the British into appealing directly to the Emperor for help. It wasn't forthcoming. The Saxons proved to be quite vigorous expansionists, adept both as coastal sailors (which is all they needed to be) and warriors. Their style of warfare was typically Germanic in that it emphasized individual heroism rather than an organized military. It was, however, a very effective way of fighting. A Saxon leader should be able to match the historical achievements of the Saxons in taking most of the old Roman province of Britannia. Warfare against the other German tribes should also prove challenging but probably victorious. The Saxons, however, will be at a disadvantage fighting against any people who rely on horses for their military power. Historically, the Saxons and Angles (a sub-tribe) created the idea of England instead of Britain. Their influence and language has lasted until the present day.

There's certainly a lot of information available on the faction, including units, buildings, and screenshots. Check the feature out here!

Thanks for Mark for pointing this out to me!

187 New BI Screenshots!

by | 8/27/2005 9:41 AM

Yes, it is true. The German gaming site GameStar has released 187 new BI screenshots!

Included in the batch is a series of screenshots illustrating a horde on the rampage somewhere in Europe. Break out the crisps and check them out! You'll definitely not regret your visit!

Forum Party Tomorrow!

by | 8/26/2005 19:44 PM

Fellow RTWHers. There are slightly less than 24 hours until this week's forum party takes place on GameSpy. Clear your schedules, bring the crisps and meet up with your buddies around 5 PM GMT / 12 noon EST for some exciting games!

The thread is up!

GameSpot Q&A

by | 8/25/2005 12:09 PM

GameSpot had a chance to talk with Creative Assembly's Ian Roxburgh about Barbarian Invasion. It's about a two page interview with some interesting questions and answers:

GS: Finally, are there any improvements to the multiplayer gameplay, such as new modes? It seemed that many multiplayer matches of Rome quickly disintegrated into sheer chaos, and most nonsiege battles were over in a couple of minutes.

IR: Yes. We've included all the Barbarian Invasion factions in the multiplayer game, including the nonplayer ones. These nonplayer factions also have "signature" units in their army lists, to make them interesting to play.

We've also added one very useful feature: the ability to save and load preselected armies. You can build your perfect troop mix offline (to any budget), and then load them in and be ready for multiplayer in moments. Particularly cunning players will, of course, save tailored army lists to deal with different budgets and different opposition.

Well that'll certainly be a nice little time saver for creating your favorite army. Check out the full Q&A here!

FAQ Update

by | 8/24/2005 22:54 PM

The Shogun has updated the official Barbarian Invasion FAQ at the official Rome: Total War site, In it religion in the game is explained:

Q: How many religions will there be, and which ones?

A: There are three main religions in BI: Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Paganism. Each has an appropriate collection of buildings and effects in the game. Where there's a mismatch of faiths between governors and governed, and the 'state religion' (as represented by the temples/churches) and the people, there will be religious unrest.

We've folded the various heresies (as defined by the winners) that afflicted Christianity into the traits system so that it is possible for a character to be a follower of Pelagius, for example, and believe that being nice to people is a good idea. Christian characters generally pick up a hard-line attitude towards pagans by hanging around in predominantly pagan settlements, by the way.

'Paganism' is a bit of a catch-all category, but it seemed a reasonable compromise. Most pagans had a fairly laid-back attitude towards others with similar polytheistic beliefs so, while each pagan faction has it's own selection of temples and gods, the effects of one pagan people ruling another are mostly confined to cultural differences.

The Sassanids treated Zoroastrianism as their state religion, and persecuted Christians in their lands quite mercilessly. As a result, the Sassanids are locked into being Zoroastrian only. They don't have the option to convert their people en masse to a new faith. It's possible that other beliefs may gain ground in Sassanid lands, but this will cause disorder.

Check out all the new additions in the FAQ thread!

Poll Results

by | 8/22/2005 22:56 PM

The poll results are in and it looks like the battles are most people's favorite aspect of the game. Here's the full results:

The history! [59 votes]
The campaign map! [115 votes]
Battles! [184 votes]
Something else. [12 votes]

This week the poll asks if you're going to pre-order Barbarian Invasion. Vote here!

I know I am, I want to have the game in my dirty little disk drive as soon as I can!

Last Week In Rome...

by | 8/21/2005 23:15 PM

The barbarians are invading, and they've even set a date for our destruction! September 30th is the day so be sure to mark your calendars.

Aside from our near certain death in a mere month's time news has been rather slow. Doitzel's posted his review of the Barbarian Invasion demo, Ace has posted a new interview for the modification portal, and I returned from the BFME Community Summit... and that's pretty much it.

What's next week? More Barbarian Invasion information is what I'm hoping for, but we'll also be putting up a FAQ for the expansion. Keep your eyes peeled on the news, as I'm sure some interesting things will turn up!

War Story Feature

by | 8/20/2005 22:54 PM

It's been quite a while since our last War Story feature, and what a better time then now with Lorentius Vadis' story, "Hyperborea---Quest of the Exiles" gaining it's third chapter. The story is quite a read thus far:

The memories of numerous scars inflicted upon him in battle were nothing when compared to the one that plagued his heart; once again he thought back to the disaster that had set him upon this course. A year had passed since the army he had so faithfully led for ten years was utterly defeated, forced into battle by the effete son of a sodding senator who carried orders from Rome. In a pouring rain and ankle deep in mud, his men were cut down by hordes of Britons and Picts who fought like demons from hell. Rout turned into slaughter as only 2,000 out of ten times that many survived. Once the general had seen to the orderly retreat of the remaining troops, and distanced them from the barbarians, he personally sent the senator's son to Hades and left the body for the crows.

Check out the full story here!

Forum Party - August 20th

by | 8/19/2005 21:05 PM

As per the usual there's a forum party tomorrow, and I hope you all decide to show up. It'll be my first forum party in a few weeks, and I hope to have a blast with everybody.

Be there or be square!

Yeah... check out the thread for more information!

Release Date Finalized

by | 8/18/2005 21:45 PM

Straight from SEGA, folks, Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion will be released on September 30th, 2005. To quote their announcement:

Finally, from award winning developer The Creative Assembly comes the first expansion to the critically acclaimed Rome: Total War, Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion for PC, which launches 30 September. The highly anticipated Spartan: Total Warrior, CA's first console franchise, will engage players in epic battles on 7 Oct for the PS2, Xbox and GameCube.

Yes, I know you don't care about Spartan, but I didn't want to cut the paragraph in half. This announcement is coming from SEGA Europe however, so it's theoretically possible it may be released a bit later in the United States. Creative is after all a UK based company. I doubt this'll be the case though.

In similar news SEGA Europe's Barbarian Invasion page has system requirements posted. Surprise, surprise, they're the same as they were for Rome: Total War.

Mark your calendars, the 30th of September draws closer every day!

Who'd have thought it?

Demo Review

by | 8/17/2005 22:58 PM

Doitzel has written up a review of the Barbarian Invasion demo. It's a good review, and certainly worth checking out if you're on 56k and are unsure if you should download it. Of course it's worth checking out even if you're not on 56k; you can always just bash Doitzel for his horrible opinions.

Check out the review here!

Battle for Middle Earth 2 Community Summit

by | 8/16/2005 12:29 PM

As you may know I was in Los Angeles for the Battle for Middle Earth 2 Community Summit on August 3rd to 5th along with One Dead Angel and Socvazius. It was a great event, and I throughly enjoyed myself.

We've put up some articles about the event that you should totally check out, as the game's looking pretty good at this point in time.

Check out Socvazius' game preview, One Dead Angel's modding preview, and my writeup of the event!

I'm working on getting some images and other content added to the writeup of the event, things I was unable to do while on vacation. I'll keep you updated.

Interview with RTR's Tyr

by | 8/15/2005 1:01 AM

Ace Cataphract was able to get ahold of Tyr from the Rome Total Realism mod and ask a few questions. Check out the interview here and get some information on the past, present, and future of this great mod!

How Alexander's Conquests Affected Western Civilization

by | 8/13/2005 15:48 PM

Another history article has joined the History Section! This time, grendelfreak discusses the political and cultural consequences of Alexander the Great's conquests, and what the enduring legacy for western civilisation is from his era.

With the massive spread of hellenistic civilisation, Greek became the language of business, in the same way English is seen today, from the border of India to what is now the French port city of Marseille. Trade blossomed across the Hellenistic world with the capitol city of the Ptolemy’s Alexandria became a centre of imports and manufacturing. The Egyptians and Phoenicians produced and traded cotton cloth, and the Egyptians produced silk, paper, glass, jewellery, cosmetics, salt, wine and beer.

Check out the article here!

Do you have anything you'd like to enlighten RTWH's visitors on? Make sure to read the submission guidelines before sending it in!

IGN Interview with CA!

by | 8/13/2005 9:38 AM

Scouring the Internet, and various gaming sites, in hope of acquiring some more info on Barbarian Invasion, I (courtesy of my buddy WolfCub_Romulus) came across IGN's most recent BI article, in which Mike Brunton / CaptainFishpants, CA staff, answers a whole lot of questions regarding aspects such as the campaign, new multiplayer features and units!

IGNPC: What's the new campaign like? Can players take either side in this struggle with the barbarian hordes? Are you enlarging the playing area at all?

Mike Brunton: The new campaign is a good deal more brutal than the original game. Sitting back and trying to be defensive won't work - you have to mount an active defence, or fight preventative wars. We've also noticed that there's a strategy available to some factions of forcing your neighbour into a horde that runs away from you, and this in turn acts as a steamroller, clearing a path for you to follow. The 'domino effect' of factions being forced to leave their homelands can cause all kinds of mayhem.

The battles are also interesting, because the armies involved can be very different from each other. I have personal experience of learning how not to deal with a Gothic army when commanding the Saxons. My solution to beating up Goths eventually involved hiring a load of Sarmatian mercenaries to do it for me!

I actually found answers to some of my questions in the article. :-)
Now, soldier, check it out here, and head over to our BI forum to discuss it!

Updated Building Information Complete!

by | 8/13/2005 3:52 AM

As I mentioned in my last news post, I was going to be converting the updated Faction pages to a new format for displaying building tree information. Well, they're now complete in that aspect. :)

Hopefully, with the new tables in place, it will be easier to look over and digest the information presented at a glance. I personally think it's a step up from the previous way it was displayed.

You can check out an example of the format on the S.P.Q.R. here. So, until next time when I present to you two new faction pages, enjoy!

Forum Party Tomorrow!

by | 8/12/2005 21:10 PM

As per usual Saturday falls on a Saturday. Since Saturday falls on a Saturday and the RTWH Forum Party falls on a Saturday, and August 13th falls on a Saturday we can assume that there's a forum party taking place tomorrow. If you made that somewhat convoluted assumption it'd be correct.

Head on over to the Chat Lobby tomorrow to have some games with fellow forumers! I hope to see you there! Check out the forum party thread for more information.

The "Ask Creative Assembly" thread

by | 8/11/2005 13:15 PM

It seems as though CA are running out of questions to be answered and posted in their FAQ.
For that reason, I have started a thread in our BI forum where you can post anything you'd like to ask the developers. Chances are that your question will be punted around the CA team and answered in their FAQ, or in the thread itself. :-)

Here's one of the answers so far, the question being asked by forumer LostWraith and answered by CaptainFishpants aka Mike - who, incidentally is the author of the generals' speeches. ;-)

Q: What does the shield wall do? Is it the same thing as the phalanx now that the greeks are gone?

A: To answer the original question, a shieldwall isn't the same as a phalanx.

The shield wall is a formation available to some (mainly barbarian) units. The unit ‘locks’ itself in position, presenting an almost-impregnable front to the enemy as shields are overlapped. This grants a massive defensive bonus, but means that the unit is vulnerable if attacked in the flanks or rear. Units in a shield wall formation can still move, but they are slow and not quite as defensively effective. It isn't - and this is an important proviso - limited only to spear troops. The Saxon Hearth Troops are heavy swordsmen and are capable of using the shield wall.

In other news, CA staff Intrepid C I F has joined the blue army of developers that will skim through the forums. Welcome onboard, Intrepid!

Another BI FAQ Update!

by | 8/10/2005 20:29 PM

Yes, it's finally Wednesday, which also means that Creative Assembly's BI FAQ is updated! Here's a snippet:

Q. Will the war dogs be looked at again in the expansion pack? Allowing for targeting of dogs instead of just handlers and so on?

A: Having double checked with the programmers, the code hasn’t been changed. Double-click on the dogs and the handlers are targeted. Dogs, however, play a considerably smaller part in BI.

You can read the rest of the update (and the FAQ in its entirety) here.

BI Demo Out on the Internet!

by | 8/9/2005 15:51 PM

Yep, that day has finally come! You know, I could continue rambling on about how great the Barbarian Invasion demo is, but I don't think anyone would read it anyway. ;-)

Now, soldier, go get it off GamersHell. Alternatively, download it from GameSpot. CHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!

Thanks to Draigh, Hairy Scary Man and eltrevo for the heads-up!

Giving your units a face-lifting...

by | 8/9/2005 13:28 PM

... without modding them the traditional way? Is that even possible? Well, surely not in RTW or BI, but according to MikeB, Creative Assembly employee, that might be a possibility in future TW games;

It may be that, in a future TW title we will be able to include a uniform designer kit so that you can 'paint' your miniatures, but at the moment the game doesn't work in a way that makes that very easy to achieve. You can still directly manipulate the files used for unit skins, of course, but you'll need more artistic

This concept of 'painting toy soldiers' may be something that we can come back to in future games. I'd like to see it happen, but it has to be an appropriate feature of the game to be included.

Check the thread out, and his post in Creative Assembly's RTW forum!

Speaking of MikeB, a little birdie told me that he will be dropping by the RTWH forums once in a while, answering questions! Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for CaptainFishpants, his HG name. :-) Welcome to the forums, Mike!

Last Week In Rome...

by | 8/8/2005 14:47 PM

Wow, last week was rather intense, both history- and newswise; commencing the last week's newsflow, it was confirmed that the much anticipated Barbarian Invasion demo, which gave rise to lots of discussions all over the Total War community, was released with the most recent issue of the UK edition of PC Gamer which also included a preview of the expansion pack. Hopefully, will the demo be available on the Internet for download soon!

It didn't take long until the first user-made BI demo screenshots were posted on the Internet. In his blog, Greg Wild has provided the community with a whole lot of screenshots featuring some of the units that players will command or encounter in the battles of Chalons and Badon Hill, the two historical battles that came with the demo. I, myself got my hands on the demo and I must say that I'm very impressed! The custom-made battle pack made by BKB unlocks the unplayable factions such as the Eastern Roman Empire and lets players check the new units out closely (the link + installation instructions can be found here, in our Barbarian Invasion forum). I just couldn't resist making my own screenshot off the Eastern Roman army. ;-)

Over at Creative Assembly's BI site, the 3D unit gallery was, again, updated, this time showcasing the Goth Spearman. And the FAQ has been updated with even more questions and answers! Speaking of BI, the box art was also released last week.

Mods, mods, mods... there are like a zillion of RTW mods out there. Rome Total Realism being one of the most popular game conversions, has, as stated in Chilly5's thread, been updated to version 6.0. It's definitely a mod worth checking out.

Some new content has been added to RTWH. Four new history articles, written by KaiserWinterfeldt and our new forumer pallin, respectively, have joined the crowd in our History Section. They are all very well written. Meanwhile, Crazed Ewok has updated our RTW faction pages, with information on Spain and Carthage.

What's coming next week? I'm not quite sure, but I foresee more information on Barbarian Invasion, and perhaps some new site content. We'll just have to wait and see. :)

Have a good time in Rome, everyone!

New Faction Section Update!

by | 8/7/2005 22:20 PM

As the first of my self-added articles for the updated factions section, information is now available for both Spain and Carthage. You can read about the history of the sea-faring Carthaginians or the resilient and varied Spanish peoples here!

The new table format for displaying building trees will be added to the other faction pages throughout the week. Enjoy!

On another note, this is my first news post. *breaks out the champagne*

Want to learn more about Rome?

by | 8/7/2005 21:28 PM

Another two great history articles, this time dealing with Rome, have been submitted to the History Section. They are both written by our new forumer pallin.

The first article concerns the mythical founding of the eternal city;

Through the long line of lineage laid out by Virgil in the Aeneid, Romulus and Remus were direct descendants of Aeneas by their mother, Rhea Silvia. Julius Caesar’s family (Gens Julia) also claimed relation to Ascanius, Aeneas’s son, and also Venus.

The Senate was based on a convoluted political system. But what was it like in reality? The second article seeks to give an account of the senatorial offices, and the Senate itself;

The Senate was also an extremely important part of Roman politics, having its name derived from the Latin word senex meaning old. Supposedly, the Senate was first established by Romulus, the founder of Rome, who chose 100 heads of families. When Lucius Junius Brutus took after the expulsion of Tarquin the Proud, he increased the number to 300.

If I were you I'd check the articles out right away. Now, soldier, CHAAAAARGE!

Forum Party Tomorrow!

by | 8/5/2005 18:13 PM

Fellow RTWHers. It is slightly less than 24 hours until this week's forum party takes place on GameSpy. Clear your schedules, bring the crisps and meet up with your general buddies around 5 PM GMT this saturday for a series of exciting battles!

The Forum Party thread is up!

I am pretty sure I will be there myself, with bells on. ;-)

New Barbarian Invasion Unit Announced

by | 8/5/2005 16:54 PM

Over at Creative Assembly's BI site, a new 3D unit profile - this time detailing Goth Spearmen - was announced today;

Goth Spearmen are recruited from amongst the youth and low-status members of a tribe. They are given a spear, a shield and a good lesson in obedience in their betters before being pushed into a battle line.

Spearmen are the men that real warriors look down upon from their lofty saddles. This can be rather foolish, as a man with a spear can kill even the bravest warrior, or stop him dead in his tracks when his horse (quite sensibly) refuses to charge headlong onto a sharp spearpoint.

These men are worth bringing to a battle, as they can provide a solid anchor for a battleline when fighting cavalry, even if they are vulnerable to attack by missiles or swordsmen.

Now, you know everything about the unit, but have yet to see it with your own eyes (it looks pretty nifty, if you ask me). So, what are you waiting for? Head down to the unit profile on the BI site now!

As I was writing this, I made up a quick match-up between Goth Spearmen and Plumbatarii in my head. I am not really sure about the winner, but we'll have to wait and see till the final game is released. ;-)

Barbarian Invasion Box Art!

by | 8/4/2005 6:39 AM

It appears that the Barbarian Invasion box art is released, but at the current stage it may be subject to change. What are you waiting for? Check it out here (on GameSpot) and discuss it in this thread!

Thanks to MaximusDecimus for the heads-up!

New BI FAQ Update!

by | 8/3/2005 18:06 PM

It's Wednesday, and the weekly BI FAQ Update is like usual loaded with new information. This week's questions come from the Total War Center community:

Q. Will the portraits of family members on the Campaign Map correspond to their features on the battle map? Say, if I have an old, Greek general with a long beard on his portrait. Will he also have a long, white beard on the battle map?

A. No. Not yet. At the moment campaign map pieces are effectively tokens representing the general and all his troops, not just the general. It is something that we’re considering for future TW titles, though. It may also prove to be confusing for some players if every general and agent looks slightly different on the map (and yes, this sounds odd, but you'd be surprised at what can confuse people).

Check out the FAQ here!

Two New History Articles!

by | 8/3/2005 13:42 PM

We have recently received two new history articles from the community, both of which are good reads. In the first article, KaiserWinterfeldt details the Sassanid Empire, one of the factions that are featured in the Barbarian Invasion expansion pack;

Shapur I, the son of Ardashir, succeeded his father on the Persian throne in 241, and later waged two successive campaigns against the Romans, capturing territories in Mesopotamia and Syria, as well as a large part of Asia Minor. In 259, Shapur annihilated a Roman army under the command of Emperor Valerian.

In the second article, pallin gives us an account of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest and its main characters;

There was also another important character in the Teutoburg story, Segestes, one of Arminius’s father-in-laws. Segestes tried to caution Varus and tell him of the plans, but Varus didn’t believe him and charged him of spreading slander about Arminius. Since Arminius had gone off with Segestes’s daughter Thusnelda, Segestes disliked Arminius.

Do you have an article you'd like to see in the History Section? We are always looking for history articles relevant to the time frame portrayed in RTW and Barbarian Invasion. Make sure to read the History Section Submission Guidelines before submitting your article!

Barbarian Invasion Unit Screens!

by | 8/2/2005 18:59 PM

Following the release of the much anticipated Barbarian Invasion demo, a whole lot of screenshots have been posted on the Internet. If you want to learn more about some of the Roman and Hunnic units, all of which were available in the battles that came with the demo, I strongly advise you on visiting Greg Wild's RTW: BI Blog!

Thanks to lars573 for the heads-up!

A... demo?

by | 8/1/2005 18:33 PM

It would appear a demo for Barbarian Invasion has been released along with the latest issue of UK's PC Gamer. I'm told it's great fun by Andrew Dunn:

The demo includes a re-jigged version of the tutorial battle from the original game (just for the demo, but interesting to see the new unit types from both Empires and the Franks) and two historical battles. The first of these is a night battle at Badon Hill ('Artorius' and his massively outnumbered Romano-British against the Saxons) and Chalons (Attila's hordes against the Romans and Goths).

I need to find a way to get my hands on this. Hopefully it'll be released over the internet soon. I'll try to keep you updated!

Thanks to Tiresias for letting us know, and Andrew for confirming!