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which total war games are best?

Discussion in 'Total War' started by Hamilton321, May 12, 2017.

  1. Hamilton321

    Hamilton321 Chieftain

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    So which are the best or most fun of all of the total war games in your opinion? I personally like empire for its colonies and economics and Rome II for its complex politics. Also what parts are the most fun? (battles, grand strategy, economic management, etc.)
     
  2. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    EB for being a history nerd's wet dream. MTW for being the most fun/challenging. RTW for nostalgia.

    I haven't played any of the games that came out after ETW.
     
  3. EricTheGreat12

    EricTheGreat12 Chieftain

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    Shogun Total War 2. Excellent combat and naval. World is immersive and fascinating
     
  4. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    Rome I and Medieval II

    Rome Total War feels like "classic" Total War to me. Now, this is probably because it was my first game in the series. It's simple to learn but still engaging a decade later. It is filled with historical inaccuracies to be sure. The Egyptians are the worst offender in this regard. The Roman factions are inaccurate as well, but they make for an interesting civil war.

    Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion is a masterpiece that rarely gets the respect it deserves. You watch the world you created as one of the Roman families in the vanilla game fall to pieces. It has an almost apocalyptic feel which is helped by the adding of religion to the game. Rome has split in two, and is racked by civil strife, religious tension, and rebellious generals. Meanwhile, the barbarians have become stronger and in the East the Sassanids pose a major threat to the Empire. In the base game you would reach a certain point (especially as Romans) where you become unstoppable. This is much harder in Barbarian Invasion as hordes threaten to undo your conquests. You see the barbarian factions settling down and carving out kingdoms from the decaying Roman Empire. It is a perfect bridge from Rome to Medieval. It introduces religion and religious unrest. It introduces emerging factions. It introduces hordes. It also introduces us to small features like night battles. All of these things will appear in later games.

    Medieval II Total War takes many of these features and moves forward 700 years. What I love about this game is that the world is interconnected. What happens on one side of the map affects the other side of the map as well. This is seen through the Crusades and Jihads. This game is also very political, making for more meaningful interactions between factions. For instance, marriage alliances can be made between Christian factions. The Pope is like Rome Total War's Senate, but much more influential and impossible to destroy. It does a great job of simulating the corruption and politicking involved in the Medieval Papacy. Cardinals can be bribed to vote a certain way. It also simulates the technological advancements (especially military) during the time. I also love the personality traits and retinue that are found in this game. Of all the total war games I've played, this is the one that focuses the most on the individuals.

    The Kingdoms expansion pack added a lot of cool features as well. The Crusades campaign had special abilities for generals (and flamethrowers, who doesn't love Greek Fire?). Britannia had the champions like William Wallace. While not on the same level as Barbarian Invasion, it's still a great expansion.

    Empire is a good game, but it doesn't hold up to its predecessors. The newer total war games seem to be focused on the big picture and less on the individual characters. The personalities are bland. In Rome and Medieval, it was a sad moment when your leader who led your faction to conquer vast expanses of territory dies, whether it was in battle or old age. In the newer games, I just don't feel any connection with my characters.
     
  5. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    Rome 1 and Medieval 2 are my favorites by far. EB 1 and 2 (which mod Rome 1 and Med 2, respectively) are far better than the originals imo. Good historical accuracy and a lot more challenging than the originals. Problem is, with my last file in EB2, I reached a point where I could hardly fight any battles manually without ctd, so I kind of stopped playing.

    I was actually quite disappointed by the Crusades campaign, it was far too easy, even easier than the grand campaign (which I had to mod so the Mongols and Timurids come earlier to make it remotely challenging). Maybe it was that I was playing as the Byzantines but I had no trouble whatsoever taking over the whole map in a few dozen turns, and smashed the Venetians as soon as they showed up.

    OTOH I greatly enjoyed BI, played as the Sassanids mostly and had fun destroying Byzantium.

    I've played Empire and Shogun 2 as well but wasn't engaged enough to keep playing either one for more than a few hours. Haven't even bothered with later games, but considering trying to get Third Age: Total War to work for my copy of med 2.
     
  6. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Rome 1 and Medieval 2 for basically the reasons stated above.
    Battles were nice and punchy, there wasn't the abominable stat and ability bloat seen in the newer games (which appears to be permanent thanks to Total Warhammer), agents weren't a micromanagement nightmare, and there was a better connection between generals and their abilities.
    I don't know what it is, but I don't feel any sense of "connection" to my generals in the newer games. In Medieval 2 I always took my screw ups and lecherous, alcoholic, probably gay generals with terrible traits and loaded them up into the "reject brigade" in the hopes of doing a lot of damage to the enemy and free up slots for new generals to emerge. A lot of them would die, but one would get the trait giving him a bonus to hit points making him virtually unkillable and would lead the charge in my armies. I would be extra protective with my faction heir because I didn't want him to get killed, even though I already met the "heir and a spare" requirements.
    In the newer games, my generals feel pretty arbitrary. They come from a pool of non-entities which is apparently endless, shuffling them between "generals" and "governors" is tedious, and, well, they are just boring.

    The newer games also try and force you to care about diplomacy. In Medieval 2 I would just throw 50K every few turns at countries who weren't yet at the top of my "Kill them All!" list and that would generally get them off my back. Nothing else was really required. The newer games both have "large power penalties" which is just stupid as in Attila it made it impossible for me as the Eastern Empire to bribe one group of barbarians to attack another group, as was done all the freaking time in late antiquity. Instead, they all decided to have a big family get together in my territory.* Total Warhammer does the same thing. As part of the Karl Franz questline I need to get an alliance with Nordmark to get Karl Franz his nice weapons, but no matter how much gold I give to Nordmark they won't accept an alliance with me even though I have never attacked them and only had a brief war with one of their allies 50 turns ago they started and no territory was exchanged because I am a "large power" and formed a coalition with Nuln as they were getting stomped by the Vampire Counts.

    The unit descriptions and names are also abysmal and wreck immersion. The names were simple and evocative, Bronze Shield Phalangite, Yeoman Archers, Scholae Palatinae. The descriptions were nice fluff pieces and were unique for all units. Attila had some disastrous unit names like "Armored Elite Germanic Swords" or "Heavy Foederati Noble Javelins" which feels like somebody just went fishing for random names. The unit descriptions were equally terrible. Rather than being a nice little "Baby's First History" about the time period they bore no relation to the unit they were describing and frequently were copied across the board from all units of a similar type. Warhammer is a little better but given all the lore with that setting it was a pretty poor job.

    Rome and Medieval 2 also have the best mods as CA/SEGA refuse to release proper modding tools.

    *Hordes were handled terribly as there was no way to force a horde out of your territory short of declaring war, and even that wasn't assured because they could switch to force march and had an annoying tendency to regroup. Surely a nice bribe of gold and a full stack army next to their encampment should be enough to encourage the Visigoths to pack up and stop wrecking my public order!
     
  7. gimley_gunner

    gimley_gunner Chieftain

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    Empire is unfinished and you are better off getting either Fall of the Samurai or Europa Universalis 4

    For the sheer scope of mods Rome 1 and Med 2 with kingdoms they just can't be beaten.
     
  8. Skwink

    Skwink FRIIIIIIIIIITZ

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    they are all bad
     
  9. EricTheGreat12

    EricTheGreat12 Chieftain

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    And you actually think that the garbage that is Civ6 is better ?
     
    tarronzeng likes this.
  10. Lexicus

    Lexicus Warlord

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    So, having played more Empire, Attila, and Warhammer Total War games, I can say my assessment of the best TW games from Oct 2017 is unchanged.
     
  11. Skwink

    Skwink FRIIIIIIIIIITZ

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    no, Civ IV is.
     
  12. EricTheGreat12

    EricTheGreat12 Chieftain

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    Okay- this is a Total War thread, so I won’t go into the Civ 4 vs 5 argument.

    However, there are still some things that the Total War series has done better then the Civilization series
     
  13. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    Over the past year I've played more Rome II, as well as Empire for the first time. For me, the answer is essentially the same - Medieval II and Rome II. Medieval II has the best battles, and arguably the best setting. Rome II may not be quite as good in battle as Rome I, which I attribute mainly to engine differences, but for me the improved faction system, political scene (which continues to improve with newer patches), and campaign map make up for Rome I's edge in battle. Still, I'd put Rome I in third place, and not too far behind Rome II.

    Empire has not engrossed me as the Romes and Medieval II did. Mainly because the AI is so lackluster, at both the campaign-map and the battle-map levels. In Rome II, even playing as Rome, I will lose battles with even number of forces on occasion, if I make tactical mistakes and the enemy takes advantage of them. There are painful memories of moving into Rhaetia & Noricum with non-overwhelming forces, and paying a heavy price for it. In Empire, playing as Poland-Lithuania, I've only lost cities due to not having forces anywhere nearby, and have only lost battles when my forces were limited to firelock-armed citizenry (the equivalent of peasants in earlier games). It's a similar problem to later in the Romes and Medieval, when I'm an unstoppable power and there isn't any challenge - but it happened much earlier in the game.

    There is some satisfaction in a good old-fashioned bayonet charge, though. And my armies take pride in making good use of the three remaining pike regiments - if I'd known how effectively I could use them, I would've kept a few more around.

    Economically, I suppose Empire is okay but it doesn't feel like there are many interesting choices. Going with the highest-income option for new towns is almost always the best idea. Maybe if I were a colonial power, it would be more intriguing. Rome II made me think a lot more about what I wanted to build in cities.

    Based on the history I've been following lately, I suspect a return to either Rome II, or another attempt at Rome Total War: Alexander (where I've always lost Alexander before anything got going in the past) is next. Might even go for a Caesar in Gaul campaign. Also still have Attila, Napoleon (which I've only played MP), and Shogun II: Fall of the Samurai in the backlog.
     
  14. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I've now got into Rome Total War: Alexander a decent amount, and have some thoughts on it (I considered an 11-year bump, but figured I'll wait till the campaign is a little further along, and to see if anyone else has opinions on it, before bumping a thread dedicated to it).

    So far, I'm liking it quite a bit more than Empire. Whereas Empire was so easy as to lack almost any challenge, Alexander is quite the opposite. I'd tried twice before, with both attempts ending in quick defeats - once in the first big battle with Persia, and once with Alexander's ship being sunk while crossing to Asia Minor. This time things are going better, but it's still an extremely tenuous situation.

    Persia, unsurprisingly, is a colossus. I have destroyed 4 armies and roughly 8000 Persian soldiers, always while outnumbered, and am only now not pinned down at the coast. My one key advantage was swiping the walled city of Halicarnassus when it was defended by a single unit of chariots; ever since then Alexander has been pinned inside, with Persia throwing troops at the walls. Two and a half entire Persian armies (roughly 5000 men) have now been repulsed, at the loss of about 60% of Alexander's forces, now down to around 800. The first battle, with somewhat over 2000 Persians and a mostly-full-strength Macedonian army, was not too bad. The second one, being outnumbered more than 2 to 1, was a bit less certain, but in the end Darius himself fell.

    Outside of cities, I've also been outnumbered. The army coming to help break the siege did draw off many troops, and being outnumbered roughly 1.5-to-1, successfully defended itself in a square formation from the more numerous Persian forces. But when Darius's army attacked it, prior to falling to Alexander, the reduced numbers of hoplites could not cover all sides and suffered when flanked by the Persian cavalry, and then were torn apart by tens of thousands of arrows. Though remarkably, when reduced to about 450 men, it would later defeat an army close to twice its size that was more infantry-heavy.

    Meanwhile, though Illyria and Thrace fell without too much trouble, Scythia is proving to be a pain. They've delayed reinforcements from helping against Persia, besieged and seriously threatened Byzantium, and even threatened Pella, my capital. They probably could have taken either one had been a bit more decisive about their goal. Sooner or later I'll need to deal with them more seriously, but for now I can't risk drawing enough troops away from Persia to solve the Scythian problem.

    Technically, the game has aged poorly, being more crash-prone than other Total War titles (notably when battles start), and having low FPS seemingly regardless of hardware, battle size, or settings (though visually the graphics fit right where you'd expect, at RTW standards). But if you can overlook that, and don't lose in 30 minutes, it's pretty fun and way more challenging than Empire. This is only on Normal difficulty too!
     

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