Hector’s Journal #2: "You've heard the story before. The slave who became a general... or was it the other way around? Either way, I keep improving my station through means having nothing to do with my skills. Let's see if I can keep this going – if I do, I could even be Emperor one day!"
When last we looked in on Hector the slave owner, he'd failed multiple times at having his slave win a gladiatorial battle. So without having any better ideas, I kept trying...
Reloading after not having played the game for a few days, I'd forgotten I'd saved the game after already owning a slave so accidentally bought a different slave.
Let's take a look at my inventory...
|Slaves are like Pringles - you can't stop at one.|
On my first attempt, both Billius and Barbarus died to Ignominius' sword.
But I kept trying. After another loss, my fight was against Lurkio instead of Ignominius. I remember Lurkio being bad at fighting before, so felt my chances were good.
|Nice work, Billius!|
I'd saved after Billius won the first fight, so just kept quitting the game and reloading (the game won't let me load within the game so I have to quit without saving, then restart the game in order to do the equivalent of a LOAD command.)
Eventually Billius beat Ignominius.
|The fact that the guy who risked his life gets nothing may seem inequitable, but just be glad I have the ability to LOAD an infinite number of times, Billius, or you'd be dead.|
ECONOMIC ADVICE: If you reload and save-scum enough, slaves have a very good ROI.Anyway, now that I'm richer, the palace guard will let me in for 80 sesterces.
|Hmm. Perhaps the conspirators should have just bribed the guard to get an audience with the unguarded Emperor?|
After I warn him about Fellonius' murder plot, I get a little cutscene.
|And if he hadn't confessed, I'd have been the one put to death. What a fair and balanced legal system!|
|So who exactly IS the Boss? Hogg? Nass? Tony Danza?|
|Wait, so not only did the Emperor make a guy with no military experience a soldier, he put me in charge of an entire invading army? This Emperor is an idiot - maybe I should have let Fellonius depose him.|
As the only part of RTS games I like is building things, I choose to build a fort on the beach we start at.
|Maybe we can conquer this land by challenging the Celts to a sandcastle building contest.|
First, let's look at some of the features of this new interface by detailing the buttons on the left of the screen.
These buttons let us control each of our IV legions separately, or just use them all together with the ALL button. I did some things early on by getting different units to do things, but quickly got everyone killed by splitting my army so only used the ALL button for most of the game.
The form command simply lets you line up your soldiers in the direction you choose. I can have my units form up in orderly rows to the north, south east or west. I found this useful when entering a choke-point, such as a bridge that I suspected Celts to be amassing behind. But I mostly didn't use this, not knowing where the bad guys were until they were already running at us.
I can give lots of orders. While I tested out all those possible commands, I basically used a total of four of them.
This gives me details on whichever soldier I click on.
|Sometimes they are various levels of tired so I let them rest. This guy is ENERGETIC so he can keep working for now.|
|Oh no, Centurion Benny Hill has died!|
This works the same way as in the cities. Run only works for me though, so if I have soldiers following me they lag behind very quickly. A useless command in this section.
The map starts in a fog of war. The red dots in the bottom right are my soldiers. I can move the red cross wherever I want and Hector will pathfind there. You can see the southern wall of one of the villages at the middle left.
This just lets me drop or pick up my standard (flag.) I can put it somewhere and at any point have the soldiers rally or retreat to it, but in reality I just kept it with me at all times except when I accidentally dropped it somewhere.
This also works the same as the city levels, which lets me quit (with or without saving) or restart the level or game.
Anyway, I start off by just having all soldiers follow me as I walk around looking for some Celts to kill.
|Ooh. I think I found Pointy Stonehenge?|
|These are the kind of military tactics you get when you promote a guy who has never led anyone in his life.|
|Little known fact: Ancient Celts used Australian slang.|
|You aren't the first people to burn me in a wicker cage. I faced the same death in King's Quest VI! I know how to get out of this - does anybody have any tears from a baby tear plant???|
And sometimes the game's stupid pathfinding makes me restart the entire chapter because it sucks.
|For some reason, my partly built fort stopped me from leaving through the extremely large gap to the west and I had to restart the section. I hate you, game's pathfinding!|
|It does kind of look like I know what I'm doing sometimes, but trust me, I don't. All these men died within a few minutes.|
And sometimes weird things happen, and all the Celts seem to be sitting down nursing a grazed knee or something.
|I'm not trying my luck so I order the army to walk past them hoping they don't notice us.|
|Pillaging: To rob a place using violence. I get that you're waging war here, Hector, but do you have to sound so gleeful about it?|
But I couldn't be bothered with all that, so after resorting to a walkthrough, I largely ignored it, and just kept restarting, ordering my entire army to follow me, and aiming straight for the main village in the north, almost always getting myself and my army killed before reaching the village.
Eventually, after many tries, I win the battle and me and my remaining 4 soldiers take the British Standard.
|That's what you get for trying to be independent, Britain! And I suggest you do the same in future if any of your rebellious colonies tries to rebel!|
I return to Rome as a victorious General.
|It's good that no jobs in the Roman Empire require any skills or experience. A few months ago my only experience was in mail delivery!|
And after that ordeal in Britain (I mean MY ordeal, not Hector's) I think it's time to take a break for now. At the start of this section I thought I was travelling a similar career path as Maximus from the movie, Gladiator. Now that I'm a Senator I'm wondering if I'm following the path of a different movie character.
|I AM the senate!|
Total time: 5 hours 35 minutes
Inventory: 85 sesterces, Barbarus