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Empire: Total War Unveiled

The Empire Total War Preview on PC Gamer Magazine looks at the next installment in Creative Assembly's large-scale RTS series, which has been unveiled at the Leipzig Games Convention. There is no official announcement or projected release date at this point, but the preview is lengthy and quite detailed. Here's a bit:

The new 1700s-to-early-1800s setting, with its muskets and artillery, demands new stratagems. Generals will have to rethink their entire approach.

Total War's second rule is that battles at sea are fought silently. When great navies clash, you're just handed the result. In Empire, that's been fixed. Add maritime warfare to your list of required skills.

Total War's third fundamental is that you're there to paint Europe your nation's colour, invading your neighbours from the outset, developing a giant hammer of an army to crack open the continent.

That, too, is no longer true. Empire is about exploration and conquest, founding colonies and fighting wars away from home. Sure, you can invade your neighbour. But there's wealth to be had in India and the Americas.

So, Empire is an epic strategy game starting in the early 1700s, in which you direct your nation to dominate not just Europe, but the known world. A question: why then?

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7. is it just me Aug 23, 2007, 01:34 Creston
Or does this sound like Total War : Age of Empires III?

I gave up after Rome. The same tedious shit that crept in during the first medieval just kept getting more and more prominent (never ending middle to end game, shitty "covert agents" implementation, AI never attacks you with anything decent, never allowing you to sit in a huge castle with 5000 archers just shooting the crap out of him, etc). I've never even finished a single game of Rome. I'd play until I'd have 10 or so provinces secured and a decent army, at which point the game was over anyways. It just required 297 hours of mopping up. Fuck that.

It doesn't seem like that's changed any, although the exploration part might be cool. Meh, who knows. After five games and 87 expansion packs, you'd figure they'd get tired of it, but it seems each game still sells loads and loads and loads.


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6. Re: Link? Aug 22, 2007, 19:16 Scottish Martial Arts
It'll be interesting to see how they adapt it from the mostly close combat with ranged support of those two, to the presumably longer ranged fighting of this new era.

Err, the musket had a maximum effective range of about 50 meters, hardly long range fighting.

Horse and Musket era warfare was face to face and brutal. The smooth bore of the musket was a tremendous limit on the weapon's range and accuracy. As a result, the only way to effectively use the weapon was to line up infantryman shoulder to shoulder and have them fire in volleys at close range to the enemy. The idea was that the mass of musket balls, all being fired at the same time, was bound to hit something. The other main limitation of the musket was its rate of fire. The modern cartridge had not been invented yet, so an infantryman would have to pour the gun powder into the muzzle, drop the musket ball in, pack it tight with the ram rod, cock back the hammer and then fire. The entire process would take a trained man 15-20 seconds, which meant that on average a formation of men could only fire 3 times per minute. Typically, firing would be staggered by ranks so that a relatively continuous cycle of volleys could be achieved.

The typical horse and musket era battle would look like the following: The opposing armies would form up in linear formations. While Infantry exchanged musket volleys, artillery would be employed to knock major holes in the enemy line. Light cavalry would typically screen the flanks of the army or might try to raid the enemy's baggage trains or artillery. Heavy cavalry would do likewise although would sometimes be employed to charge through the enemy line and break it up. Once the enemy line was deemed sufficiently weakened, the infantry would fire a last volley and charge into melee with the enemy infantry. The hope would be that this charge would cause the enemy line to collapse and rout, with retreating enemy being chased down and captured or killed by the cavalry.

Horse and Musket era warfare ought to work perfectly for a Total War game.

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5. No subject Aug 22, 2007, 16:55 nutshell42
This news just made my week. Considering that I enjoy the TW games only with extensive mods that appear 1+ yrs after the original release, it's kinda pathetic that I'm still drinking the kool-aid every time they announce a new game.

Ah the sorrows of a CA fanboy...

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4. New game Aug 22, 2007, 16:05 joe2tiger
I know I will be looking for more info on this game. I been playing Medieval Total War II a lot and about to get the expansion at the end of the month. Should be good.

This comment was edited on Aug 22, 16:06.
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Carl Sagan wrote:
Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
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3. Re: Link? Aug 22, 2007, 14:31 Jow
I'm excited that they finally sound like they're trying to break the mold a bit. It really needed to happen at this point in the series.

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2. Link? Aug 22, 2007, 14:20 Smoove
...says PC Gamer, points to Computer & Video Games; also appears to be dead.

Anywho, the little snippet intrigues me. I admit to having only played Shogun and Rome, but enjoyed them both. It'll be interesting to see how they adapt it from the mostly close combat with ranged support of those two, to the presumably longer ranged fighting of this new era. The gun usage in Shogun was acceptable in that context, but lacked the flair of the hand-to-hand units and cavalry.

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1. No subject Aug 22, 2007, 12:04 Rainier
This comment was deleted on Aug 22, 12:08.
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