News Archives - September 2005

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

by | 9/30/2005 19:42 PM

As you can imagine, the release of Barbarian Invasion has brought in a few reviews since it hit the shelves. Here's a few of them from some of the top gaming sites:

IGN gave BI an 8.8 out of 10. Here's an excerpt of what they thought:
With all that in mind, Barbarian Invasion makes a hell of a good title for the expansion that covers the fall of the Roman Empire. Unlike previous Total War expansions, the invasion here isn't speculative (as in the case of the Mongols) or exaggerated (as in the case of the Vikings). In this case, the Barbarians managed to demolish the political reality of a Roman Empire, at least in the West.
You can check our IGN's full feature here!

Next we have EuroGamer seemed to have an opinion about on-par with IGN, giving it an 8 out of 10. Here's a snip of what they said:
In some ways, it's interesting to see just how Creative Assembly approach the mission packs. Not in a case of wondering what they're actually going to do, because its always the same thing (Barbarians Invade the civilisation that was built in the main game – Mongols into Japan for Shogun, Vikings into England for Medieval) but rather wondering what bits of design they're going to use to illustrate it. It's a familiar tune but the improvisations make it feel like game-jazz.
You can find the full review by EuroGamer here!

The third and final review - for now - comes from Computer and Video Games (a.k.a. PCZone). Again, they seem to agree with the general consensus that game critics seem to be reaching, giving BI an 88% out of 100%. Here's an excerpt from their review:
To be frank (or, maybe Visigoth - that's more of a Scando name), there's nowt we ain't seen before. Whilst we admire The Creative Assembly's ability, it's clear its mind is elsewhere (possibly on console ambitions). Yet again it's introduced an expansion pack that upsets the balance of the previous game, altering the strategic map dynamic by giving one side an absolute preponderance of force and no reliance on territories - in this case, the Huns, though other landless tribes can hoard to save money as well.
You can check out the full review from PCZone here!

Of course this is just the first wave of reviews. Many of the major gaming sites have not yet released their reviews (including us), so you can be sure to see more updates soon! See you around Rome!

Forum Party - Saturday, October 1st!

by | 9/30/2005 19:21 PM

Come and join us for the first Barbarian Invasion forum party! Try out your new strategies, and have fun with with other forumers!

Check out the thread for more information!

Phear my Plumbatarii, everyone! ;-)
- GoS

Two New Faction Updates!

by | 9/30/2005 1:15 AM

At this time of rejoicing over the release of Barbarian Invasion, two more old-school factions have been updated. You can now read updated pages on the Egyptians and the Parthians. Both are fully updated, and each have a history.

In the coming days, you're going to start seeing similar pages for the expansion pack civilizations, but the original factions will be updated in time. Don't worry, I'll be bugging you with my announcements again very soon.

Barbarian Invasion Shipped!

by | 9/27/2005 16:46 PM

According to GameSpot, Barbarian Invasion has been shipped today.

I assume this means we'll be playing the expansion within a couple days!

w00t w00t!

C&VG Posts New Interview!

by | 9/27/2005 16:36 PM

Computer & Video Games has posted a new interview with Mark Sutherns. There's not a whole bunch of new information, but it's always nice to read interviews, and this one's pretty good:
Mark Sutherns: Each of the new Barbarian factions comes with its own signature unit. Some like the Sarmatian female virgin archers (warriors who weren't permitted to marry before slaying an enemy) are slightly bizarre but these aren't just fun new toys to play with - they actually add a great deal of new tactics to the battlefield. The Arian Priests are a particular favourite - they can chant and inspire troops on the battlefield, making them less likely to rout, even when the odds are stacked against them. When you consider that you also have units that can swim rivers at your disposal, and new special abilities and formations such as the Barbarian Shield Wall, Invasion offers a whole load of new tactical options to exploit in both single and multiplayer battles.
Check out the full interview here!

Poll Results Have Arrived!

by | 9/26/2005 21:33 PM

Last week we asked when you were planning on getting Barbarian Invasion. We had a near tie between the day it comes out, and within a couple weeks, with a couple weeks barely edging out the day it comes out. Here's the full results:
I've pre-ordered [22 votes]
The day it comes out [58 votes]
A couple weeks [62 votes]
A couple months [29 votes]
Don't plan on buying it [12 votes]
This week the poll asks what type of content you'd like to see for Barbarian Invasion. Vote here!

Don't see something you want? Let us know here!

Regarding Reset Passwords

by | 9/25/2005 12:43 PM

Our Chief Technology Officer, Angel Zen, has asked us to post the following announcement regarding the recent harassment of our users:

It has been brought to our attention that a forumer on HeavenGames has
been engaged in malicious acts in various communities, including
flooding threads with non-sensical messages, giving 1.0 scores on
various downloads, as well as abusing the password recovery form.

If you happen to have received a email from our password recovery
service, please take note of the new password so you may log into your
account. At no time did the attacker gain access to your password as
a result of abusing the password recovery form.

In the meantime, we have taken the following steps to correct the problems:
* We have banned Rookierookie's various IP addresses at the firewall leve
* We are implementing a fix to the password recovery form to prevent
further abuses of this nature, so that it'll involve the original
account holder's action to actually authorize the password reset.

We thank you for your cooperation and patience. We are doing our best to fix this problem and get rid of this nuisance. Again, we thank you for your understanding.

The Goths!

by | 9/24/2005 7:42 AM

Being the victors in the battle of Adrianople, the Goths were indeed a skillful people in terms of warfare. But will the Eastern Roman Empire be able to avenge the crushing defeat in Barbarian Invasion? We can only speculate, until the expansion pack hits the shelves next week! Anyways, here's a snippet from IGN's most recent faction feature:
Goth Noble Warriors

Goth Noble Warriors are heavily armed and armoured warriors who are expected to charge into enemies and hack them to pieces. Unlike lancers, these men do not charge home. Instead, they cut their way through enemies with their swords. Once committed to a fight, they triumph or die in the attempt. Like many nobles, they owe their status to birth and bravery in equal measure. Cowardice or slacking in the face of an enemy would be enough to wipe away any pretence of nobility. These men are best used to cut down enemies who are already weakened. They can be used against other cavalry but are probably too heavy to make an effective screen against light cavalry or catch horse archers.

You can read the article in its entirety here.

Thanks to rtwguru1200 for the heads-up!

Forum Party - September 24th

by | 9/23/2005 12:59 PM

It's that time again, friends and fellow Romans! That's right - our weekly Forum Party. This just so happens to be the final one before the release of the Barbarian Invasion expansion pack. Slip on your armour and sharpen your swords, and prepare for battle!

Date: 9-24-05
Place: Chat Lobby
Session 1 : 12:00 noon EST / 5:00 pm GMT
Session 2 : 8:00 pm EST / 1:00 am GMT

Check out the Forum Party Thread for further details and to see who else is going to be there!

Poll Wrapup

by | 9/20/2005 23:02 PM

The poll results have arrived, and not unexpectedly most of you are playing version 1.2; the full results:
Unpatched [21 votes]
1.2 Patch [72 votes]
A total conversion [36 votes]
Slightly modded [25 votes]
I'm not playing the game [9 votes]
This week the poll asks when, if at all, you plan on buying the expansion, vote here!

Yahoo, Another Preview From.... Gamers Hell?

by | 9/19/2005 20:10 PM

Not much new about it, but if you're information starved for Barbarian Invasion you should check it out, here's an excerpt:
Another new battle element allows for certain units to swim across rivers. Even though this may not seem like an entirely enticing movement, sometimes crossing a lake is all you need to gain an advantage over your adversaries. On the other hand, rival archers will have a field day as hundreds of defenseless soldiers slowly crawl their way towards the shore, only to be impaled by fiery arrows. A bunch of new battle tactics can also be issued, such as the shield wall. As the name suggests, a shield wall will have your company setup a contiguous line of shields, which is effective to the point of stopping an incoming cavalry rush.
Check out the preview here!

YahoOOo... another Preview, from... Yahoo.

by | 9/19/2005 17:36 PM

Another BI preview has been posted, this time by Yahoo. Nothing new, but yet worthwhile.
With so much new content, and plenty of improvements to the classic Rome: Total War game, it's sounding like Barbarian Invasion is going to be a must for any fan of the series, The definitive word will have to wait for our full review, in just a few weeks. In the meantime, you'll have to excuse us - the Huns are knocking on the gates of Rome again
Check the article out here!

Thanks to Maximus Decimus for the heads-up!

New History Article

by | 9/19/2005 11:14 AM

No, this actually isn't another methodical article describing the civiziliations of RTW by me. It's actually an interesting feature by pallin about the life of a famous and once-powerful Roman, Crassus. You can read the article here.

Last Week In Rome...

by | 9/18/2005 22:14 PM

Barbarian Invasion previews galore again, with stuff coming in from all over the map... well three places, but when you're trying to make news sound really interesting you tend to overblown numbers. In any case the three previews were IGN's next faction feature, and two general previews from UGO and got-next.

Outside of the preview realm, but still within the Barbarian Invasion realm, Shogun updated the official FAQ, and Doitzel came up with a basic FAQ that summarizes some of the more important answers about BI.

Yeah... that's it... I'm now officially starting a countdown to Barbarian Invasion, 12 days to go! Keep your eyes peeled on the news, because we'll be keeping you updated!

Barbarian Invasion FAQ

by | 9/18/2005 19:02 PM

I compiled a small list of Frequently Asked Questions about BI to put up on the site. You've probably heard the answers to most or all of them. Still, might want to check it out here, just in case! ;-)

The fourth Faction Preview is Upon Us!

by | 9/17/2005 12:37 PM

IGN recently posted the fourth, in a series of ten, faction feature, this time showcasing the Sassanids! There's not much to add to it, but I must say that I mourn those Plumbatarii that got stomped upon by the elephants! EEEEEK!
Armored Camel Riders

Armored Camel Riders are tough warriors who can replace cavalry in desert conditions. They are effective thanks to the fear caused in horses by camels. They are not the most powerful cavalry in the world, but as horses usually cannot stand the smell of camels, this rarely matters in cavalry fights. Equipped with spears and large shields, they are not at their best in a protracted melee but can be surprisingly effective when breaking up enemy formations -- especially light cavalry. Recruited from among the desert tribesmen, these men are a specific answer to the problem of fielding cavalry along wild and waterless frontiers.
Check the article out here!

Thanks for the heads-up, Demonigeo!

Forum Party - September 17th

by | 9/16/2005 19:03 PM

It's that time again: the weekly forum party! Strap on your armour, mount your horse, and rally your men; For tomorrow, we go to battle!

So, meet us in the chat lobby at 12:00 noon EST (5:00 pm GMT) - or later at 8:00 pm EST (1:00 am GMT)!

Check out the forum party thread here!

Yet Another Preview...

by | 9/16/2005 12:12 PM has written another of these oh-so-wonderful previews. Nothing new, as per usual. Here's an excerpt:
Playing as the Romans, especially the Western Empire, is much harder than playing the surrounding barbarians keeping the title true to history. After all, the barbarians are invading Rome from all sides. On top of that, Romans start with a culture split in two by religion and half their cities in revolt. This effectively changes the entire game while maintaining the atmosphere and game engine that made the original so great.
*Yawn* Check out the full feature here...

Official FAQ Updated!

by | 9/15/2005 6:28 AM

The weekly BI FAQ update over at the official Total War site was posted this morning, answering a number of questions submitted by RTWH's forumers (and e-mailed to the Shogun by yours truly ;-)).
Q: Will you in future TW games (if you continue the Franchise) be able to BUILD settlements? This would make the gameplay deeper so if there is a river nearby you could build it there and not need to build a dock. (It might require stronger fortifications from pirates and enemy factions though...)

A: Firstly, the Total War franchise will continue after Barbarian Invasion. Our designers are currently engaged in heated debates (or verbal punch-ups, it depends on your point of view) about the nature of the next Total War game. Now as to whether settlements will be built in the game (we presume you mean anywhere on the map): this would depend on the subject matter of the game. If such a mechanism were appropriate, then we would consider using it.
Do you have anything you'd like to ask the developers? Post your questions in my thread in our Barbarian Invasion forum!

Yeah, Another Preview

by | 9/14/2005 18:49 PM

GotNext has composed a short preview on Barbarian Invasion. Not much new information in it, though they do emphasize that the campaign is a bit more difficult:
It is a very strange feeling to move your armies around the world knowing that if cornered you have no city to fall back to and rebuild from. I caution you to be aware of your limits when moving your armies so as not to spread yourself too thin. Diehard Rome: Total War fans will undoubtedly find the Huns offer a wealth of strategic gameplay, but I'll be sticking with a faction that starts off with a city.
You can find the rest of the article here!

IGN Previews the Huns

by | 9/13/2005 9:09 AM

The third in a series of faction features, this week's article previews the Huns. Unlike the previous articles, building descriptions are not included simply due to the fact that the Huns start as a horde in the campaign. Here's a snippet:

Tribal Cavalry

Tribal Cavalry are recruited from among the client tribes of the Huns. While they are not Huns, they are still horsemen from the steppes and quite lethal, in their own fashion. These lesser people face a simple choice: die instantly beneath the blades and swords of the Huns, or agree to serve and fight for them. The wise choose to serve, and many steppe peoples can now be found as tribal cavalry. They are not as skilled or as disciplined in war as the Huns, but they should not be mistaken for weaklings. A steppe horse-warrior is still a formidable fighting man, no matter whose banner he rides beneath.
Check it out here!

Thanks to lars573 for the heads-up!

Poll Results!

by | 9/12/2005 20:17 PM

The poll results have arrived, and not suprisingly most of you plan on playing the campaign right after you buy the game. The full results:
The Campaign, Rome must live on! [179 votes]
Multiplayer, show the huns who's boss! [4 votes]
Single player battles, practice makes perfect! [21 votes]
Historical Battles, Cholons will not be a Roman win anymore! [6 votes]
The part that only I know about! [6 votes]
This week's poll asks what version of Rome: Total War you're currently playing. Vote here!

Thanks to yakcamkir for the poll idea. Have an idea for the poll? Submit it here

Last Week In Rome...

by | 9/11/2005 21:22 PM

Two new previews of Barbarian Invasion were put out last week, one by GameSpot that deals with the campaign (that included three movies), and another by Game Daily that gives an overview of the expansion.

Aside from that news was normal. Some content here and there, and growing anticipation for the expansion on the forums. What's coming next week? I haven't a clue, I'm hoping for some more expansion information though. Keep your eyes on the news, and we'll keep you posted!

Faction Section Update

by | 9/10/2005 22:59 PM

The first in a few factions I plan to release over the next few days, The Seluecid Empire, has been uploaded. Hopefully you can enjoy the article and get something out of the history section. Expect to see more factions in the coming days!

Mod Article

by | 9/10/2005 21:02 PM

Another modification article has been completed by Ace. This one details Troy: Total War; here's an overview:
Despite inspiration by Homer’s epic, this mod won’t be stuck to the storyline or limited to Homer’s description of the warriors, but the team is also looking at Troy from a historical point of view and will be using archeological discoveries in creating the units and factions. The Greeks won’t have traditional hoplites with horsehair crests, Corinthian helmets, and hoplon shields, but will have leather shields, felt caps, and Mycenaean era weaponry. Their dedication to historical accuracy is even driving them to keep every city name in its original language, so you’ll be able to see what the cities named in Greek in the Iliad are called in their native Lycian, Hittite, and Aleyshyan tongues.
The article's as good as all the others, and is certainly worth checking out, here!

Another BI Preview

by | 9/10/2005 9:28 AM

Game Daily has posted another new preview on Barbarian Invasion. It's only about a page long, but it seems to be a great overview. Here's what they think is hot about it:
What could be more hot than a continuation of the award-winning game that took strategy fans for a ride last year? Even more features, story, and gruesome combat packed into the expansion. Creative Assembly is packing in more of the amazing campaign missions, more units and structures to complete your campaign with, and, even more interestingly, CA has decided to work on a couple new gameplay features. With all of this crammed in, and the same team working on the game, there's no reason to think Barbarian Invasions won't be just as close to perfection as Rome: Total War was.
Check it all out here!

Forum Party, September 10

by | 9/9/2005 19:36 PM

It's September 10th and once again, time for the weekly Forum Party. So, strap on your wargear, get in the zone, and come join us for fun and games at the Senate's expense.

The approx. times are as follows:
12:00 Noon EST/5:00 PM GMT
8:00 PM EST/ 1:00 AM GMT

You can check out the thread in our forums here!

Barbarian Invasion Preview... and Three Movies!

by | 9/8/2005 10:40 AM

With three weeks left until the official release of Barbarian Invasions, a good deal of previews pop up around the major gaming sites. This week's preview is from GameSpot. There is not alot of new info in it to gather if you have kept yourself up-to-date, but despite that, it's a good read.

What is most interesting about the preview, is the three movies that were uploaded the same day. What are you waiting for? Check them out here!

Thanks to rtwguru1200 for the heads-up!

Official FAQ Updated

by | 9/7/2005 22:49 PM

Looks like the Barbarian Invasion FAQ over at the official Rome: Total War site has been updated again. Not a whole bunch of new answers, but as always a couple interesting questions have been asked. Here's one:
Q: Any plans to re-release Medieval and Shogun Total War using a modded version of the RTW engine? Because I know that I would definatly buy that baby again. MTW is still one of my favourite games ever.
A: As we've said many times in the past - and will say again - we don't talk about future plans. We know that this is a bit frustrating at times, but there are good reasons for this: sometimes we don't know exactly what our plans are (because no plan survives contact with the enemy!) and sometimes we don't want to tip our hands to early. CA are now the world leaders in strategy games, and not announcing our plans keeps us a step ahead of everyone else!
Check out Shogun's thread here for the rest of the questions!

Last Week In Rome...

by | 9/4/2005 21:28 PM

Quite a bit of information on Barbarian Invasion was released last week. From IGN's second faction feature on the Western Roman Empire, to Shogun's update of Creative Assembly's official expansion FAQ (and everything in between).

Aside from the Barbarian Invasion information, not a whole lot of new stuff. We put up a new history article, and a new modification feature. Both good articles if you're interested in history or the various total conversions being worked on the by the community.

What's coming up next week? A FAQ from us, that'll answers what we think are some of the more, well, frequently asked questions about Barbarian Invasion. Hopefully we'll see some more preview material from sites like IGN as well. Keep your eyes on the news and the forums to get your Rome: Total War information as it's released!

Western Roman Empire Feature

by | 9/3/2005 14:00 PM

IGN has put up another faction feature, this one on the Western Roman Empire. Much to my delight, it seems like they'll be covering more factions as the days progress. The feature is extremely in depth, and covers units, buildings, some basic history, and includes a couple screenshots. Here's an excerpt from the introduction:

A strong Emperor could hold the frontiers against the barbarians from the north and east. A strong Emperor could even reunite the Empire and rule the world from Rome, but this would take a very strong man to carry the title of Augustus. Historically, the Roman Empire in the West disappeared in 476. Romulus Augustulus, the last Emperor, was so irrelevant that he was merely deposed and allowed to live out his days in retirement. Rome was ruled by a succession of barbarian kings, while learning was kept alive in the West only through the Roman Catholic Church.

Check out the full feature here! After you've read it, there's a topic for discussion!

Thanks to our monarchist friend lars573 for pointing the article out!

Forum Party - September 3rd

by | 9/3/2005 1:19 AM

If you hadn't guessed already we at RTWH are horrible, horrible people who forget to host forum parties... actually we remembered, just a little late.

I hope you guys will see it within yourselves to forgive us and show up anyway to have a blast at tomorrow's (well today's if you live east coast, onwards) forum party. Check the forum party thread for more information!

The Etruscan Kings

by | 9/2/2005 11:37 AM

In the latest installment in his series of articles about the early history of Rome, pallin tells us about the seven Etruscan kings.

In most monarchies, the eldest son of the king inherits the throne. However, the successors of Roman kings were their sisters’ sons. The second king, Numa Pompilius ruled from 715 to 674 BC. Son to Pomponius, Numa himself was born on the day of the founding of Rome. He married Tatia, the daughter of Tatius, but Tatia died thirteen years into the marriage. Numa was known as a pious king and built Janus’s temple at the base of the Aventine hill. Another religious measure of his was to create the priests and their constitution. Altering the calendar, Numa designated specific days for religion and some for business. Lasting 43 years, Numa’s reign was a peaceful one. He died in 674 BC.

Check it out here, in our History Section!

GameSpy Preview

by | 9/1/2005 22:57 PM

GameSpy's posted an extremely nice 3 page preview of Barbarian Invasion. Quite a bit of information is covered in it, a great deal already known, some not. I found the "You Say You Want a Revolution?" section most interesting:

To reflect the times, Barbarian Invasion keeps the political landscape uncertain. Wholescale rebellions are now possible, where several provinces will band together to form a new faction splintering from the old. In our playtests, this happened frequently to the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. Instead of these breakaway provinces being ruled effectively by disorganized bandits, high-level (but disloyal) generals would take whole armies over to the cause, and the cities would aggressively act together as a new faction with its own goals.

Even more interestingly, certain events can trigger off the creation of a new faction. Depending on circumstances, the Romano-British, Ostrogoth, or Slavic peoples can emerge as a new computer-controlled faction on the board. We didn't manage to trigger off any of these events during our test games, but it's great that Barbarian Invasion's maps are more unpredictable.

Check out the full preview here!

BI FAQ Update

by | 9/1/2005 22:48 PM

The Barbarian Invasion FAQ over at the official Rome: Total War site, was updated yesterday by CA employee, The Shogun. Among the questions answered was the following:

Q. What has been done to improve or maintain good balance between the various factions? In terms of overall military/economic/location strategic balance and military balance on the level of available individual unit types?

A: The aims of each faction are related to their potential to achieve them, which does give a broad balance to the game. However, not all factions are equal, and they never have been. We've been quite careful to give hints in the game as to which factions are hard to play. On a tactical level, there's been quite a lot of work put in on the units to make sure that the results you get in combat are reasonable and believable. Again, mismatches are possible: a clibinarii unit will always crush a force of peasants, as you'd expect. However, we expect that most people will be broadly happy with the values we've assigned to units in Barbarian Invasion.

Nothing too special in the update, but lots of new answers as always. Check 'em out here! Have a question you'd like answered? Post it in this thread, and GoS will group them together and send them to Shogun!