I heard a lot about the Ancient Warfare series from HPS Simulations, but never actually had enough encouragement to try it. My friend Javier, who refuses to read my blog (will do when you post something about ancient or medieval warfare, he says), has always insisted that I should try it.
So here I am, liking this engine a lot, and disliking Javier's repeated "told you so!" grin.
For starters, I should warn you that neither eye candy nor a self-explanatory user interface are the series forte. The graphics are functional but rather basic and the interface is a rare mix of standard Windows elements with some sporadic more artistic nuggets. These two are never a deal breaker for me, but keep them in mind if you are going to purchase.
My first battle was the "getting started" scenario (an HPS Sims staple in almost all of their games). Quite simple setup: a Roman Republican force with a healthy mix of skirmishers, heavy infantry and both light and heavy cavalry is attacking a hill held by German forces.
The AI (Germans in this case) is running circles around me by just waiting with its infantry up in the hill. There is no way to lure them down the hill ... They know that sending down their skirmishers is enough to keep me busy in the low land!
Anyway, here are some screenshots of the command and control features of the game that impressed me quite a bit.
|Right click and open in a new tab for a better view. This is just how the game looks like, with a couple of windows open for shows. From what I read in the manual, the game rules for combat and movement are quite elaborate.|
Not only I am liking how difficult is to command troops in the middle of battle (units can go out of command while engaged) but also how I have to keep an eye on shaping the battlefield so all my troops something remotely similar to what I want them to.