Total War: Attila Review - Dog Eat Dog

Total War: Attila Review - Dog Eat Dog

It's either kill or be killed in Creative Assemebly's Total War: Attila.

Read Full Article

Interesting. I appreciate the Pathfinder analogy. Does it say something about CA that a review can honestly include "Yeah, there's a fair number of crashes, but those tend to get fixed soon and fans are used to it"?

I'm glad to hear that the hordes are working out. They were a neat idea in the Barbarian Invasion expansion for the first Rome, but they came out of the loss of their last settlement in such huge numbers (3 or 4 full armies, IIRC), regardless of anything you did to reduce the population, that they were impossible to get rid of. You'd capture the last city, their hordes would spring up and take it back, and you'd take the city again only to find that the exact same overwhelming armies were generated (and if they were left in the field, they'd keep making levies so that you couldn't wear them down in any meaningful way). Clouse mentions that you might have to hunt them down, but does anyone with firsthand knowledge know how difficult that is?

Also, a couple small typos.

In the strategic map you'll make all the decisions of where to move your armies, what technologies to develop, hire new troop, and what buildings to construct in your settlements, among others.

I think "troop" needs to pluralized as "troops".

So while the hordes are really good at raiding and sacking outlying settlements, it's much harder to effectively come together major cities.

Possibly "Come together to besiege major cities"?

My biggest problem with this game is the same as with Rome II. They kept that idiotic building system, where you can only build a couple of buildings./ settlement, and you constantly have to demolish and rebuild them because of the ridiculous food/happiness demands of the buildings. And it's screwing with the entire experience. I mean, seriously, CA, it takes godddamned genius to streamline a system and make it more complicated.

Just go back to Rome/Medieval II system and we'll be fine.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Does it say something about CA that a review can honestly include "Yeah, there's a fair number of crashes, but those tend to get fixed soon and fans are used to it"?

At this point I question how much of it is simply baked into the engine and are issues they can't ever resolve. Some of them are things that aught to be fixed by now, but they just keep lingering around.

I'm glad to hear that the hordes are working out. They were a neat idea in the Barbarian Invasion expansion for the first Rome, but they came out of the loss of their last settlement in such huge numbers (3 or 4 full armies, IIRC), regardless of anything you did to reduce the population, that they were impossible to get rid of. You'd capture the last city, their hordes would spring up and take it back, and you'd take the city again only to find that the exact same overwhelming armies were generated (and if they were left in the field, they'd keep making levies so that you couldn't wear them down in any meaningful way). Clouse mentions that you might have to hunt them down, but does anyone with firsthand knowledge know how difficult that is?

My main campaign has been with the Saxons, so I've made a bunch of hordes spawn since all those neighboring Northern factions can migrate. From my experience the horde usually tends to be about 1 full army. Though it's super annoying when you make peace with them and they come raid your area, stupid ungrateful bastards.

typos

Thanks, I'll get those fixed.

I think the DnD analogy falls apart a bit with Emperor Edition, but mainly because Emperor Edition still sucked.

I have mixed feelings about Attila though. On one hand I don't outright refuse to play it like I did Rome 2, but I'm kind of ashamed of buying it after remembering how much Rome 2 made me never want to give CA my money again.

Being a long term Total War fan, if you don't have a book to read during the turns, you're doing it wrong.

From the sounds of all this I must say I am intrigued. I have thus far skipped Rome II, having heard a fair few negative opinions, but I may check this out. I did like the Barbarian Invasions for Rome I.

Also, based on this game's style, I think "vae victis" might be a better quote than "veni vidi vici."

danielcofour:
My biggest problem with this game is the same as with Rome II. They kept that idiotic building system, where you can only build a couple of buildings./ settlement, and you constantly have to demolish and rebuild them because of the ridiculous food/happiness demands of the buildings. And it's screwing with the entire experience. I mean, seriously, CA, it takes godddamned genius to streamline a system and make it more complicated.

Just go back to Rome/Medieval II system and we'll be fine.

This is why I edited that out of Rome 2 Total War, no food and no squalor because the systems made 0 sense to me.

OT: Sounds good to me, gotta make a note to get it. Also more with the DLC for factions? Remember in Rome Total War you had to play as Rome, win the game, and suddenly you had all the factions? I miss those days.

I think its an improvement over its predecessor and I'm glad that there's a family tree and the political system makes a little bit more sense. Also I thank the pagan gods for unit cards that I can actually understand, though once again, would it kill them to make a more understandable UI when it comes to whether or not a unit remains hidden, the little eye above the right of the unit card makes it hard to tell what unit is hidden exactly in the heat of battle.

Another issue is the randomness of the AI. It'll go round and sack my villages as the WRE sure and maybe randomly raze a province to the ground but rarely takes provinces. I held onto Britannia during my playthrough on Legendary because only the rebel Britains actually bothered to contest me for control of provinces.

As for the Horde, the fact that it tended to splinter made it easy for them to be separated and cut piece meal. In Med II the Mongol horde tended to group up so you were typically outnumbered by a superior foe. The fact that the current hordes are quite few in number and have inferior quality troops means they don't stand much of a chance and I found the SPQR horde mod for Rome: Total war put up more pressure than Rome II's hordes.

I did like the flavour of the game this time round, the added cinematics (while I feel some of them, like the Saxon intro miss the ball in conveying what the faction is about)and various other little details are pretty refreshing.

This new building mode needs to die though, the juggling of food, squalor and happiness is tedious and dull, I like the village-City dynamic but I feel this building element is a mis-step.

Other than that. The whole game is rather meh, I've finished my legendary playthrough of WRE and I'm just about finished with the ERE. I'm quite disappointed with the lack of challenge Atilla and the Sarrasids have given me thus far. The game is a lot more fun in head-to-head with a friend.

EDIT:

Oh! better AI! Siege seems to have improved. Not to mastermind level but enough to make me go "Oh, that's surprising". In fact that would sum up the AI in general for this instalment. A glimmer of genius will spring from the AI only for them to fuck it up at the last moment.

The AI will charge my Archers and fall back from my approaching spearmen - only to stop dead in its tracks and allow the spears to catch up and decimate them.

The AI will spread out its troops and go into loose formation under my arrow fire - only to fail to go back into close formation and get torn to shreds by the lightest of Inf and Cav.

The AI will move ladders in siege to areas you weren't expecting - only to fuck up and group the rest of its army below the gate towers to be torn to shreds.

There's a spark of hope here at least. All in all, unless the next game is a Med reboot I'll probably give this fantasy warhammer instalment a miss until I know the next CA title is complete dog shit

I've been hearing good things about this game, too bad the shitty DLC practices have turned me off... that and my computer would barely run it. Perhaps when I pick up a better rig and the price drops I'll pick it up.

I'm looking at how they released a faction pack a week after release and asking myself if I want to keep supporting CA. They got a free pass from the reviewers for the shoddy release of Rome 2 and I don't see why all the bugs and crashes that are in it now seem to get brushed under the rug.

danielcofour:
My biggest problem with this game is the same as with Rome II. They kept that idiotic building system, where you can only build a couple of buildings./ settlement, and you constantly have to demolish and rebuild them because of the ridiculous food/happiness demands of the buildings. And it's screwing with the entire experience. I mean, seriously, CA, it takes godddamned genius to streamline a system and make it more complicated.

Just go back to Rome/Medieval II system and we'll be fine.

I think the best building system was the Empire/Napoleon system, I think it made provinces seem less empty, as there are lots of towns etc. rather than just one city.

OT: I'm hoping to pick this game up when it goes on a good sized sale; the Rome 2 fiasco combined with the fact the game just smells of Barbarian Invasion 2.0 too me turns me off from getting it any sooner.

Dryzdale:

danielcofour:
My biggest problem with this game is the same as with Rome II. They kept that idiotic building system, where you can only build a couple of buildings./ settlement, and you constantly have to demolish and rebuild them because of the ridiculous food/happiness demands of the buildings. And it's screwing with the entire experience. I mean, seriously, CA, it takes godddamned genius to streamline a system and make it more complicated.

Just go back to Rome/Medieval II system and we'll be fine.

I think the best building system was the Empire/Napoleon system, I think it made provinces seem less empty, as there are lots of towns etc. rather than just one city.

OT: I'm hoping to pick this game up when it goes on a good sized sale; the Rome 2 fiasco combined with the fact the game just smells of Barbarian Invasion 2.0 too me turns me off from getting it any sooner.

Getting a sequel to Barbarian Invasion seemed fine to me, considering it's been almost a decade since the original came out.
And yes, give us back Napoleon/Empire's building system with a proper infrastructure tab, that worked, just infrastructure might as well have been put in with everything else.

Slycne:
SNIP

Can I ask how you found the balance of real-time battles to campaign map? I've felt that an increasing problem with the Total War series is just how many battles you have to fight to actually achieve anything. Shogun 2 (or actually maybe Empire) started this trend by giving "Rebel" factions individual identities, rather than just being the generic "Rebels" of previous games, but in Rome 2, with the limits on numbers of separate armies (meaning that there was rarely a sound justification for not having the maximum - something the AI also realized), the small starting holdings, and all towns having garrisons, it suddenly seemed like the game should be renamed "Rome 2: Significant Skirmishes", rather than Total War. Getting a truly decisive battle seemed an increasingly remote possibility - and with 50+ factions, that made the game rather tedious.

Susurrus:

Slycne:
SNIP

Can I ask how you found the balance of real-time battles to campaign map? I've felt that an increasing problem with the Total War series is just how many battles you have to fight to actually achieve anything. Shogun 2 (or actually maybe Empire) started this trend by giving "Rebel" factions individual identities, rather than just being the generic "Rebels" of previous games, but in Rome 2, with the limits on numbers of separate armies (meaning that there was rarely a sound justification for not having the maximum - something the AI also realized), the small starting holdings, and all towns having garrisons, it suddenly seemed like the game should be renamed "Rome 2: Significant Skirmishes", rather than Total War. Getting a truly decisive battle seemed an increasingly remote possibility - and with 50+ factions, that made the game rather tedious.

From what I've found is a lot of the strategy revolves around having two, or more, max size field armies and balancing that against what you leave at home to defend. You generally want at least two armies on offense since it's useful for bringing enemy armies into a fight when they retreat and it lets you do things like encircle their city and then attack an army in the field so it can't be supported. This has to be weighed against what you're leaving back to defend yourself since the AI tends to be very aggressive about going after your holdings when they are not properly defended and armies can cover a lot of distance on the map in one turn.

As for getting into big decisive fights, it's much the same as before - though the horde mechanic helps a little since they are more all in. Most major battles are going to be 40 or so units each, usually each side having two full armies and maybe some garrison forces.

 

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.