“Veni, Vidi, Vici”
In 59 B.C., Julius Caesar left the political intrigue of Rome and headed for his new post as governor of the province of Gaul. It was not long before Roman power was challenged.
Tin Soldiers: Julius Caesar is the sequel to Tin Soldiers: Alexander the Great
, the computer wargame series that recreates historic ancient battles with the visual style of tabletop miniature gaming. The player is thrust into the role of Julius Caesar and his military campaigns leading to his ultimate goal of becoming the sole power in Rome. The campaign has three major components. First, the player must pacify Gaul by winning a number of historical battles that can be fought in any order. Second, when Caesar's fame reaches a high enough level, all of Gaul will revolt and the player must fight the Battle of Alesia, the last
gasp of Gaul's independence from Rome. Finally. after Alesia, Caesar will cross the Rubicon to ignite a Roman civil war. Caesar must fight one of accomplices in The First Triumvirate, Pompey, and bring Pompey's and the Roman lands under his dictatorship.
At the beginning of the Gaul campaign, Caesar is a newly appointed governor with no prestige in the Roman Senate. The player will gain one rank of prestige for every minor victory and two ranks with a major victory. None is gained with a loss. Once enough prestige is accumluated, the Battle of Alesia will occur and the player must win to continue to the civil war. Then, the player must defeat the armies of Pompey and the Senate to bring Rome under his control. As in Gaul, one step of control is gained with a minor victory and two steps of control are gained with a major victory.
Tabletop miniatures was the inspiration for the graphical style of the game. Each unit looks
hand painted an comes mounted on a stand. There is even a disembodied hand that reaches down from the top of the screen to remove killed units to enforce that miniatures feeling.Turns
The game is played using simultaneous turns. Each turn represents fifteen minutes of real-time and includes three phases; Command, Reaction and Reserve. The player does not take turns with his opponents, instead each opponent plans out their strategy and issues orders to their units simultaneously, then presses a play button and the battle rages as all the units execute their orders for that turn in unison. In addition, there is a reaction system that enables mid-turn adjustments to battle strategy.
WinningEach battle lasts either a set amount of turns, until the player has met a all objectives or one of the armies' will to fight is broken. After the scenario ends, a degree of victory or loss is determined based upon the relative amount of combat damage the player inflicted, meeting objectives and for each turn prior to the turn the game ends because of the player meeting all objectives or breaking the enemy will to fight.
The CampaignAfter the scenario is won, gold is added to the treasury which is earned through taxes, salvage and unspent goldcarried over from the last battle.
The player uses gold to replenish losses, train units, replace ineffective leaders and purchase Strategy Cards.
Playing the Game
Both opponents simultaneously issue orders to all their units during this phase. The order given during this phase represents what the player whats the unit to perform for all three phases. Once the Play button is pressed, the sequence of execution is based on unit's initiatives, sorted from highest to lowest.
In certain situations, a unit may be allowed to react to events that occurred during the Command Phase execution of orders. New orders could be issued to units based on the skill of the unit's commander and training.
During the Command or Reserve Phases, a unit may be given a reserve order which holds that unit in place until this phase. New orders can be issued to these units.
- Melee Attack: The unit moves adjacent to the targeted location and attacks any enemy unit that it at that destination.
- Missile Attack: The unit remains in place and attacks any target that is occupying the targeted location.
- Charge: A special form of a melee attack where the attacking unit receives charge bonus or penalties when performing its first attack round. thereafter, it will revert to a normal rate. A unit can only charge directly forward.
- Move: Changing the location of an unit.
- Change Facing: A unit tuns and faces a different direction.
- Retreat: A specialized move that orders the unit to move directly backward and perform a 180-degree facing change.
- Defend: Gives defensive bonus but the unit must remain stationary.
- Counter-charge: A specialized Defend order in which a unit receives defensive bonuses if charged.
- Reserve: Allows the unit to be given a new order during the reserve phase. This order is used to set a tactical reserve to react to and/or exploit events that have occured during the the earlier parts of the game turn.
- Training: There are four levels of training: Elite, Veteran, Warrior and Poor. Training affects combat rolls, resistance to certain battle card effects and the ability to recover morale. Between each battle, each unit that survived the battle with at least one stand remaining automatically improve one level in training.
- Morale: There are four levels of morale: Good, Shaken, Poor and Routed. Morale affects combat rolls. Also, routed units automatically move away from the nearest enemy and can not receive orders. At the end of each turn, every unit has a chance of recovering one level of morale.
- Weapons: Units have a weapon that determines their abilities in combat.
- Armor: There are four armor levels: Heavy, Medium, Light and None. Armor modifies the chance of being hit in combat.
- Barrage: Used on a friendly slinger unit. It grants improved chance to hit for an entire turn.
- Berserk: Played on a friendly melee unit. It grants a 2 chance to hit and any enemy a 1 chance to hit.
- Fear: If played on any non-elite trained enemy unit, there is a chance that enemy unit may lose one full step of morale.
- Fire Arrows: Double the damage of a friendly archer unit for one turn. However, there is a -1 to hit penalty.
- Health: Replaces 2-3 steps of combat damage.
- Initiative: Increases the chance that a friendly unit will peform it's orders before other units.
- Poison: Doubles the melee damage for the next round but with a -1 to hit penalty.
- Rally: An unit recovers one step of morale.
- Scout: This card reveals an area of the map obscured by the fog of war.
- Turtle Formation: Played on a friendly unit. It will grant an extra -1 defensive to hot bonus for the entire turn, regardless of their order or actions.