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Tag Archives: Gus

What’s Gus Playing – The Shortest Rome 2 Total War Campaign – Nabatea

The Dwarf of the Desert delivers dangerous deeds and derring-do  ~

Lloyd Sabin, 11 June 2018

Sometimes you got it, sometimes you just don’t.

I chose to play as Nabatea because the idea of armored camel cataphracts charging through the desert really tickled my pickle

The Total War series is one of my favorites and has been since Shogun was released all those years ago. Fast forward to 2018 and I could not wait to play a faction from the Rome 2 Emperor’s Edition DLC – the Desert Kingdoms. There are four to choose from, including the Kush and Nabatea (think modern Horn of Africa and Saudi Arabia).

In doing some basic research on each, I chose to play as Nabatea because the idea of armored camel cataphracts charging through the desert really tickled my pickle. The campaign was rated as ‘Hard’ however, and even though that typically scares me off, I took my chances. Taking the plunge, I charged in to Nabatea circa 272 BC, and was psyched to get my first camel cataphract unit. It would be glorious.

Or it would be one of the more ignominious defeats in my TW history. I have had some lightning fast victories, mind you…I won as the Egyptians in the Medieval 2 TW Crusades campaign in under 25 turns! But this Nabatea playthrough was going to be the opposite of that.

All that said, I feel compelled to tell you that Rome 2, some 17 patches and many years after release, plays, runs and looks fantastic now. It really is a totally new game from the earlier versions. If you were frightened away by the nightmarish launch, it is worth it’s price now and goes on sale every so often.

Beware though that ‘hard’ means what it says here…there’s no messing around. So, let my ignominy be a lesson for you.

‘I am Nabatea.’ And I can’t wait for my first unit of shiny camel cataphracts. It’s going to be great.

 

What’s Gus Playing? Assassin’s Creed – Origins, part 1

When is “too much” actually “not enough”? ~

Lloyd Sabin, 4 June 2018

I love me some AssCreed. I’ve been playing the series since the first game appeared on PC 10+ years ago. Through the years my love has waxed and waned – I loved the series installments set in Crusader-era Jerusalem, very much enjoyed the installments set in Renaissance Italy, never played AssCreed: Unity, and absolutely loved AssCreed: Black Flag and its arcade portrayal of 18th century naval warfare set in the New World (mostly the Hudson River Valley and the middle Atlantic). And I loved AssCreed: Syndicate, set in 19th century, industrial revolution era London. I’ve even bought a few of the platform spin-off games, AssCreed: Russia and AssCreed: China…but still haven’t fired them up yet. I will soon. Most of all I have always enjoyed conjugating the title to AssCreed…it is the gift that keeps on giving and always makes me giggle.

Most of all I have always enjoyed conjugating the title to AssCreed…it is the gift that keeps on giving and always makes me giggle.

It took me some time to pick up AssCreed: Origins, mostly because of the ancient Egyptian setting. That is, until I learned that it was set in roughly 50 BC, during the waning days of the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Hellenistic Egypt, with the Romans slowly encroaching, and not in the distant Old Kingdom era.

And so with my new found interest in Greek, Roman and ancient history, I lurked on Steam until Origins went on sale and got it at half price a few months ago, and just started playing literally yesterday in between bouts of Field of Glory 2 and a new campaign of Rome 2: Total War. I have about an hour and half invested so far.

What’s Gus Playing? Ancients Blowout Bonanza Edition : Apotheon, Field of Glory 2 and a Special Ancients Madness Bonus

The dastardly dwarf of distraction prevaricates and pontificates ~

Lloyd Sabin, 21 May 2018

Escaping the clutches of Field of Glory 2 for a bit but still in a Grecian Formula mood, I reached for side-platformer Apotheon this week. I got it years ago during a Steam sale for ~5.00 and so far it has been well worth the price of admission.

So how does a mere mortal soldier kick some god ass?

Your avatar (Nik) has an old-fashioned problem with authority and has declared war on the ancient Greek gods…all of them, starting with Apollo. He also hates thieves and raiders.

They have all been acting like bastards lately, treating other gods and humans like garbage. So how does a mere mortal soldier kick some god ass? With a wide array of spears, daggers, hatchets, bows and shields scattered around Apotheon’s levels and hidden deep inside some temple armories.

Crafting is also available if you’re into that. You can craft healing potions and Greek fire grenades as well as other useful liquids as you advance through the game’s orange and red hued levels. The music is lyre-centric and very evocative too. In a strange way Apotheon reminded me a bit of Shadow of the Beast, the legendary creepy-as-hell side-scroller from Psygnosis that was released around 1990.

What’s Gus Playing? Field of Glory 2 – Part 3

The thrice-stricken thimble-rider returns to Field of Glory 2… again ~

Lloyd Sabin, 14 May 2018

Am I working in to overkill territory here? Is three weeks covering the same game too much?

The name of this column references what I’m playing directly. And I haven’t played anything in the last three weeks except for Field of Glory 2. Truth in advertising here. And I’ve barely scratched the surface of possible factions and eras available.

At some point I should probably try something, anything, else out…just to not fall in to monotony. That said no one has really grumbled much about it so far, so maybe I just keep going until I get bored? Perhaps it’s too late already. I don’t know…

Still knee-deep in Alexandrian Greek/Macedonian history, this week’s set of shots cover the epic Battle of Gaugamela. Besides being damned fun to say, Gaugamela was an epic, history making event, pitting the forces of Alexander vs. the army of Darius III.

Supposedly the Persians had about three times as many troops as Alexander (close to 120,000 according to some estimates) but were still defeated, resulting in Darius fleeing to Babylon and Alexander capturing his wife, his mother and his daughters – all of whom he treated with respect and dignity.

What’s Gus Playing? Field of Glory 2 – Part 2

Our red-blooded rugrat regales royally regarding the Romans ~

Lloyd Sabin, 7 May 2018

Yes I am still in love. And yes it is still with Field of Glory 2.

And if you can pilot your army properly, understand tactics and deployment rules, you can change history.

I am finding it hard to express why I find it so addicting, but addicted I am still…probably more so with each epic battle and campaign I play. The game has opened doors to Greek history, hoplite warfare, Alexander the Great and the Successor Wars that I didn’t know needed opening. I am hooked.

One attribute that is easier for me to understand enjoying is the variety here. Factions and eras are varied enough that there has to be something for anyone even remotely a fan of ancients. A good case in point this week is the Battle of Magnesia (190 BC) between the Seleucids and the upstart Romans.

The Seleucids field an exotic army with a very strong Greek influence (armored hoplites) but with dashes of heavily armored cataphracts, camel cavalry (called ‘camelry’ in game but that sounds bizarre to me) and a very capable collection of forces all around, more than able to smack down the cunning Romans.

And if you can pilot your army properly, understand tactics and deployment rules, you can change history. That is definitely one of the main draws among the other, more intangible reasons why I love Field of Glory 2 as much as I do.

See the below shots for more detail.