Friday, July 10, 2015

Rome, Barbarians, and ...more Barbarians

The last week I have been doing a lot of Roman things.  I have been working my job for a pittance of a wage, fought Javier in gladiatorial combat in his kitchen, watched both seasons of HBO's Rome, drank a bunch of wine, and have been waging a delightful co-op campaign of Atilla total War with my Kiwi buddy Daniel.

First on the subject of Rome, I thought that the series was ok.  It was definitely violent and disturbing, but apart from the visuals, the historiography of it is the most interesting part.  I could care less for 2 created roman soldier characters who are interspersed through the story like Forrest Gump.  However, seeing visuals of historical events play out between figures like Brutus, Mark Antony, Julius Caesar,  and the very loosely based Atia Balba Caseonia, was delightful in my nerdom.

Taking the participatory level further, my friend Daniel and I have spent two nights playing Atilla Total War (complete with wine, dinner, and silly hats).  I have been fighting a rearguard defense of the Western Roman Empire, while he plays as Eastern Rome (and I guess helps me out sometimes).  I love playing difficult games and was convinced by Daniel that Normal difficulty would be challenging enough and getting attacked by around 12-15 different barbarian hordes simultaneously has definitely been interesting.  Daniel accused me of being stubborn for trying to hold onto Britain and Gaul, but as much as its been sucking treasury money out and causing all sorts of corruption, it has kept many of the hordes at bay on the periphery while I develop my core territories.

That doesn't mean that I haven't taken losses.  I lost a whole legion to the Vandals, while they burned one of my outposts to the ground, another legion is starving to death in a British city under seige by angry Scandinavian Jutes... but it could always be much worse.  Daniel on the other hand came to my aid to beat back some pesky Ostrogoths and to smite some rebel uprisings, but is more camping out and fortifying his borders against the Huns and Sassanids.  Despite his relative lack of military assistance to my struggles, I am surviving and will give additional reports after our next session.


  1. Enjoyed rewatching HBO's ROME a few months back - and agree, has some real appeal to history nerds, and they do alright with limited budget for the military scenes. Also just rewatched Centurion (2010) and The Eagle (2011) about Roman legionaires in outpost Britain. Neil Marshall's Centurion at least has Michael Fassbender, but it's nowhere as entertaining as his Dog Soldiers. Both Centurion and The Eagle are streaming on Netflix.

  2. Centurion is definitely far better of the two

  3. And Domenic West leaves the streets of Baltimore for the wilds of Britain, from BPD detective to Roman general.