17 October 2014

Ancients

Life keeps me busy - but I think I will always have at least a little, if not more time for gaming. Over the past few months I've been investigating new programming languages and development environments for creating games (just for fun). Specifically, I'd like to see a modern iteration of the style of gaming we find in HPS's Ancient Warfare series. I'm really surprised no one has come along since Paul Bruffell and HPS to fill that niche. I think the creators of FoG were on the right track though, and there is a company out there called Hunted Cow which does a great lil ancients warfare game. The things I miss about the AW series though are features like fortifications, unusual maps, historical notes, the scenario editor, the campaigns, the ability to change formations on a per unit basis, and the ability to play via email. We can find elements of pretty much all of these in later war-games, but not all of them under one title.

As a side note I wonder if the units in the AW series somehow set a graphical precedent for all ancients war-games to follow? I note a striking similarity in how units have come to be represented in these games.

For instance, Heavy Infantry in the AW series are depicted with a 'solid' double row of soldiers, in the range of 3-4 per row. I see this same effect in use in later war-games. The same pretty much goes for all the other units types as well... Ack, I should find some sample pics and post them here.

I can think of only 1 ancients wargame that pre-dates the AW series and that may have used a similar convention but I can't recall now the name... I do remember that it seemed to be strongly based on GMT's SPQR and Alexander board games. At the time the game came out I recall it pretty much being the only ancients warfare game of that type.

And while I'm on the old retro kick, does anyone remember this political ancients game? (Thanks to whoever took the pic!) I once owned this game but alas... never played it.