The Burning Ambush: Total War – Rome 2

By Adam Smith on February 28th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

If you dig deep in any random farmer’s field or carpark in Britain, you’ll eventually find a Total War: Rome 2 trailer. They’re impressive too – shiny, dramatic and packed to the brim with tiny men of war. While I’m convinced that, at times, the game will be as attractive and grand as the videos suggest, I’m also aware that a great deal of the footage contains heavily edited historical battles rather than the kind of backwater skirmishes I usually find myself panning across from a distant vantage point that is actually tactically useful. The latest video shows the battle of the Teutoburg Forest, in which Germanic tribes ambushed Romans and total warred them to death.

Ambushes will be enhanced by the new true line-of-sight system, which presumably works a bit like the system in Company of Heroes 2, calculating line of sight from individual units and taking all terrain features into account. It’ll let people hide behind trees and rocks. That sort of thing.

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50 Comments »

  1. Eich says:

    I will so totaly free the shit out of germania…

  2. Bhazor says:

    Two minute trailer including a full fifty second advert for their last trailer.

    A promotional trailer promoting a promotional trailer promoting a live action promotional trailer.

    • Tams80 says:

      The live action trailer is just killing, or in one case an old man probably being led to his death. The worst part is the woman puts the dagger back into her hair! Ewwwuugghhh!!!

  3. Chris D says:

    I’ve been feverishly devouring every scrap of information I can find on this one. Nice to see it being covered on RPS. I was starting to feel unfaithful about sneaking off to PC gamer to get my fix.

  4. guygodbois00 says:

    Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem delendam esse. Or Warface.
    See gameplay here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaDlihIqPws

    • Harpsichord says:

      Cato the Elder for President (Or Prime Minister if you swing that way)

  5. Gormongous says:

    More war dogs, great.

  6. Eddy9000 says:

    Will there be burning pigs, and an awful Channel 4 show using the game engine where people replay historical battles?

    • Chris D says:

      How dare you sir! Time Commanders was on the BBC!

    • Gap Gen says:

      I think the problem with Time Commanders was that “What if history’s greatest generals were idiots?” isn’t that interesting a question.

      • Chris D says:

        As it happens I’ve been watching repeats on youtube recently. It’s surprisingly hard to pick the ones who are going to do well. A family with two youngish boys does really well while a group of army guys gets slaughtered. Generally though, it’s not usually a case of them being idiots as much as it is being inexperienced. Fairly glad my first battle wasn’t televised.

        There’s also one episode where the team tries to take the fight to the enemy but are outnumbered and crushed and the experts are all like “No! You should have waited for them on the hill you fools!” In another episode the team decide to wait for the enemy on a hill and get slaughtered and the experts are all “Fools! Why did you wait on the hill. You should have taken the fight to them!”

        Overall I find myself far more inclined to root for the team and hope they can somehow turn it around rather than laugh at them for failing a test there’s no real reason they should be able to pass.

        • Gap Gen says:

          OK, yeah, it does help if you’ve played the game before, granted. I guess the decision to choose randoms rather than experts in military history is that it’s more relateable that way, but it’s sort of the equivalent of televising the general public playing chess. Some people have some idea of what they’re doing, others will flail wildly and get fool’s-mated. The equivalent of watching the terrible acts on Pop Idol versus an actual concert, I suppose.

          I do vaguely remember someone televising a high-level tabletop wargaming session, but I can’t remember anything other than that it was of a 1700s-1800s battle.

      • maninahat says:

        Speak for yourself. It’s the most engaging thing I’d ever seen since The Crystal Maze, and that’s saying something. Even to this day, catching re-runs of Crystal on that gameshow channel on Sky, I still find myself shrieking “NO, TURN THE BOX THE OTHER WAY YOU FOOL!”

  7. iniudan says:

    Good old unhistorical Teutoberg forest. The battle actually happened in a bog. =p

    • drewski says:

      That’s one hell of a marketing job by someone 2,500 years ago, then.

      • Isomorph says:

        Erm… Wiki says the Battle of Teutoburg Forest was 9 CE. I’m not sure the ‘Romans’ were even in central Italy in 500 BC.

        Edit: I stand corrected! Rome was apparently founded in 753 BC. Learn something new every day…

    • RedViv says:

      Swampland, more like, still with a huge load of trees. Putting the Romans on an actual road though, that’s really wrong. Kind of diminishes the previous efforts to direct them to the small stretch of the forest that wasn’t crawling with the folks Arminius brought with him, but not yet unsteady swampland.
      And the rest was slaughter and controlled chaos.

    • maninahat says:

      Did they have all the pyrotechnics? I’ve never seen a Hollywood style battle that didn’t have walls of fire at some point, so I assume that’s totally historical and not at all fabricated.

  8. moltke79 says:

    I hope they improve the siege battles in this one. I loved the original Rome but when you could put three pike units in the center of town and see off 1000s it was a bit ridiculous.

    • Chris D says:

      There are going to be multiple capture points this time around. Not sure exactly how it works yet but they are aware of that issue and trying to fix it.

      • moltke79 says:

        That’s good then. I’m expecting to sink 100s of hours into this, especially if they maintain the differences between each faction that made you want to play as all of them in the original. I hope the Selucid Empire is still in it, they were the best. One of the few criticisms I’d level at Shogun 2 was that the clans felt too similar.

        • Gap Gen says:

          I loved the Selucids, too. Probably the most diverse and interesting faction unit-wise. If I remember correctly, they also had a temple that held off squalor a bit, which was a godsend in that game. I remember flattening entire legions with chariots, before making the killing blow with cataphracts.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Siege battles have always been one of the weak spots in this series. The AI has never known how to counter a feint, so even in Shogun 2 it was easy to draw most of the defenders away from your real attack point.

      Feints have also been a good way for the human player to break up the AI’s battle line in open field combat, resulting in individual units running around like chickens with their heads cut off. So, in addition to siege improvements, I hope that this time around, CA will figure out how to have an AI general that can keep his army together as a fighting force. The only way I’ve been able to enjoy prior TW games (and I did enjoy them), was to impose “house rules” about not exploiting the worst weaknesses of the tactical AI.

    • drewski says:

      Not if your attacker had ranged weapons, you couldn’t. Even on very hard a couple of units of experienced Cretan Archers would shred anything but the highest armoured foot.

    • Davie says:

      Ridiculous though it may have been, it was awesome. I was replaying Barbarian Invasion the other day and won the biggest battle I’ve ever fought in a TW game–my Alemanni town was being besieged by the entire Frankish horde, 10,000 or more. I dug in some first-tier spearmen and chosen archers at the town square (maybe 1800 total) and, outnumbered six to one, I wiped every last one of them out. Feels good.

  9. weirdoo says:

    Either they accept my Republican rule or i will burn their culture and their very way of life to the ground! FOR ROME!

  10. slimcarlos says:

    Hudson. although Marvin`s article is impossible, last friday I got a new Ford after having earned $6200 this last 4 weeks and-also, $10k this past-month. it’s certainly the easiest job Ive ever had. I started this 8-months ago and straight away brought home more than $73 per/hr. I use this website,, http://www.pie21.com

  11. wodin says:

    Hmmm..compared to the previous teaser videos this looked rather mediocre.

  12. Lemming says:

    “Friends!, Roma–SHIT! ROMANS! RUN FOR IT LADS!”

  13. Ultra-Humanite says:

    Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions.

    • Lacessit says:

      Aaah, This so needs an Augustus voiced by Brian Blessed…

  14. scottossington says:

    If you dig deep in any random farmer’s field or carpark in Britain, you’ll eventually find a Total War: Rome 2 trailer. I dont know why this made me laugh

  15. drewski says:

    Been smashing out a Rome game to get me in the mood for this. Great fun. I’d never really gone into Greece before, preferring the Julii and friends up north…there’s so much money! What do I do with all this money?!??

  16. Herkimer says:

    I don’t mean to pilum on, but I really cannae contain my enthusiasm.

  17. PedroBraz says:

    This ALMOST looks like that trailer they made for the FIRST rome game that got people all hyped because they thought it was ingame gfx:

  18. Loyal_Viggo says:

    This must have full mod support to stand a chance, if it’s like Shogun 2 it will be played once and never again.

    Medieval 2 with the LOTR and Warhammer mods are still the best and shatner over all other TW games, especially Shogun 2.

    • Morte66 says:

      Yup.

      Whilst graphics are nice and all, and multiple capture points are better, what I’m really waiting for is the Europa Barbarorum II mod for M2TW.

      • Loyal_Viggo says:

        Indeed, if you look at the TW forums there are still huge numbers of people playing Rome or Medieval 2 just for the mods.

        Mods are arguably what has kept the TW series alive for so long.

        If CA shoot themselves in the foot again like with Shogun and don’t allow full moability then I’ll just keep to Medieval 2.

  19. tigershuffle says:

    what have the Romans ever done for us?

    apart from the RTS and the wine and the aqueducts…………

  20. poohbear says:

    Is it just me or does Shogun 2 look better graphics wise? where was the detail on the horses? they look like Rome 1 models!