Gert’s Favorite Game: Total War
Total War is actually not a single game, but a series of strategy games for the PC. Up to now, the games have all been set in a certain period in history. The first game, Shogun: Total War, was set in feudal Japan during the Sengoku period, the Japanese civil war between the various samurai clans. This was followed by Medieval: Total War, which as its name suggests, focusses on Europe and the Middle-East during the Middle Ages. Next in line is Rome: Total War, now portraying the known world during the time of the Romans. They revisited the Middle Ages in Medieval 2: Total War. In Empire: Total War, the focus is on the Napoleonic times, while in the most recent incarnation, Shogun 2: Total War, Japan is the theatre of war once again.
The game is a mix of a turn-based strategy game and a real-time strategy game. The turn-based game is reminiscent of board games like Risk and Axis & Allies. Each player controls a certain empire/nation and tries to maintain/expand his territory. This involves managing the cities in the provinces under his control, constructing buildings and recruiting arming. Players engage in diplomacy with each other, or take it to the next step on the field of battle. The real-time aspect of the game comes into play during these battles. Players have the option to change from the strategic map view, to the tactical battle view. Here they can lead their troops into combat in glorious 3D, showing thousands of soldiers on the screen at once.
I like this game because of this combination of turn-based board game like play and the real-time action of the battlefield. These games involve a fair deal of decision making, without becoming overly complex. They also take some time to complete. And I’m rather fond of some depth and layers in a game, and that give you a real sense of accomplishment when you’ve finally conquered your enemies.