We skipped a couple of Friday nights, as people were off doing this and that as summer came to a close, before returning to Total War: Rome II.
Our first run a couple weeks back at the multiplayer was summed up by the computer adviser declaring that it was a shameful display.
The only plan after that round was for everybody to go off an learn how to actually play the game. That was it. Just learn how to do things, because that seemed to be the first barrier in our way. I often sort of knew how I wanted things to turn out, but even getting troops lined up the right way in the right direction… that was problematic.
In the mean time, the whole thing was upgraded to Total War: Rome II: Emperor Edition, a patch that included a bunch of… stuff. So when I saw that, I setup the event/hangout in Google+ both to get the game on our collective calendars (I think we missed one week simply because nobody scheduled it) and to warn people to patch up. My very words were, “Big Rome II update out on Steam, so patch up.”
I also put a link to the patch notes so people could see what was dropping. However I also included my favorite minor bits from the update, which were:
- Updates to battle grass colours.
- Fix for some tree graphical issues on battlefields.
- Improved battlefield lighting ambiance.
- Updated weather environments for Mediterranean climate, dry and rainy conditions on the battlefield.
- Briton Levy Freemen now look less like Celts.
Ha ha, right? Ambiance!
But when we joined up on Friday night, only three of us had patched up in advance. Loghound took the reference to ambiance to mean that the patch was no big deal. So Mattman, Potshot, and I loaded up the game for some warm ups against the computer while Loghound patched. He then decided to look at the patch notes and found that among the new features was native support for Mac OS. That caused him to reboot his Mac from Windows mode to Mac OS, only to find out that installing the Mac version was not a trivial task. So he went back to Windows and resumed patching.
While he patch the rest of us got together to face off against two AI opponents. At a medium budget setting, it seemed like we ended up with a lot of troops on the field.
There we struggled a bit to get ourselves arrayed to even be able to strike at our foes, all while learning a new thing. When setting up on the battlefield, if somebody clicks the ready button, everybody else gets a 30 second count down to be ready as well. Those with the fewest troops to arrange or the simplest tactical problem to solve win!
We went on to crush the computer a couple of times, helped along by the AI’s determination to run straight at us, allowed us to fold around our flanks in something akin to a double envelopment. It was practically Cannae. We also figured out how to draw lines on the map, using the mini map palette tools, so we could indicate our vectors of advance and suggest possible cooperative moves.
More after the cut.