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Posted on Nov 15, 2007 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Great Battles of Rome Review

By Jim Cobb

Of course, nothing ever really goes according to plan and the player will take charge through the leader. A red bar on the lower left shows how many command points the leader has.  Units can be directed to spots on the field by left clicking on the unit’s figure or its thumbnail and right clicking on the spot. The cursor is a green circle over open ground or a sword when over an enemy. The bar will drop when a command is given and points refresh slowly. Another command limitation is the time taken to deliver orders.  A green bar shows how long messengers take to giver units instructions. These limitations reflect the state of communications on ancient battlefields.

Simple movement is often not enough. Using special buttons that also bring forth trumpet bellows, units can be ordered to hold or attempt to disengage. The “signal” button is a one-time only command that amounts to “All units charge!” “Rally” is another once-only command that spurs troops to extra effort while “Retreat” is useful when victory only requires minimizing losses.


Battles last under fifteen minutes and end when armies break instead of fighting to the last man. The low unit density and the ability to give orders when paused prevent the real-time action from becoming a clickfest.  Players should watch for units standing idle and save the one-time commands for critical moments. On the easy level, the AI morale is low and its troops don’t react quickly. By the same token, the advent of elephants and elite units make battles challenging even on less difficult levels. The AI becomes clever on harder levels. Players can buy armies for LAN and Internet play.

“Sic Semper Gloria”

Great Battles of Rome may disappoint connoisseurs of ancient Roman warfare. Older units remain in the force composition long after they were obsolete. Simply lining up all unit types can win battles. However, game mechanics are simple enough that more historical tactics can be used and the flow of campaigns illustrate the evolution of tactics very clearly.  Fine graphics and sound effects add to an exciting gaming experience. Serious students of the era and newcomers alike should enjoy this fast yet entrancing game. Although HPS’ Punic Wars provides more insight into specific battles, Slitherine has created an addictive little gem.

Web Link or Great Battles of Rome


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  1. I am very disappointed ,there are no patches or fixes for this game.I am running an amd 5000 with 4 gigs of ram two sli 512 meg Nvidia video cards and I cannot get this game to play. I was really looking forward to it.

  2. yup this game dont work, if u have newer good drivers and stuff u cant play it, my friend can on his old pos comp though.

  3. Names of the leaders of all the ROME battles ( won)
    Date of birth
    What battle(s) they won
    Were tthey successful?