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DapperMouse avatar 9:58 PM on 08.20.2013  (server time)
Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant

Two weeks from today Rome 2: Total War launches.

I want it. 

No... I need it.  

I need it like a dying man needs water. I watch the trailers and read all the news. Each day as the calendar ticks closer I salivate more and more at the thought of once again controlling my armies and sending them to war across ancient Europe.

I try and tell myself the obvious.  Of course there is no way my computer will run it. It just isn't in the cards, the poor thing would probably explode if I even mentioned the concept to it. Plus, as a person who works part-time and makes just over minimum wage, the nearly sixty dollar price tag is pretty steep, even now. I always thought at a certain point in my life it wouldn't be a big deal to splurge on videogames now and then. Clearly twenty-four wasn't my year.  Maybe twenty-five.

Regardless, the Total War series is quite possibly one of my favorites. You see, it allows me to let out the very worst in me. I'm a very awkward and socially inept person. It's just kind of a fact that I've had to learn to live with. But not when I'm playing a Total War game. I'm a King, nay an Emperor. A living god according to the Roman tradition. And really, within the confines of the game, am I not? Buildings are built because it suits me. Thousands of AI soldiers fight and die because I will it. Nations are crushed because I demand it. None can stand. We have no beginning. We have no end. We are infinite. Millions of years after your civilization has been eradicated and forgotten, we will endure. We are legion. The time of our return is coming. Our numbers wiLL DARKEN THE SKY OF EVERY WORLD. WE ARE ETERNAL. THE PINNACLE OF EVOLUTION AND EXISTENCE. BEFORE US YOUARENOTHINGYOUREXTINCTIONISINEVITABLEWEARETHEENDOFEVERYTHING-


Jesus, sorry about that.  I just... I just get so worked up about it.  I can't remember which game I'm even playing. 

The fact is, I become my own worst enemy when in charge of a computer simulated nation. Take my last play-through of Medieval 2. I started out slowly enough. Playing as England I decided that the best path of victory was to unite the British Isle. So, unfortunately for Scotland, I wove a path of destruction right through them and Ireland and united the Isles. Good.  But then Portugal attacked.  I had done nothing to Portugal but all the same, I had been attacked. My self imagined Divinity had been called into question. They had to pay.

Quickly enough I gathered a massive army. I generally play under rather berserker conditions. I mean, why send an army of highly trained and balanced troops when I could send ten-thousand catapults and twenty-thousand Cavalry troops in a thirty-thousand ship armada? Go big or go home, you know? But something happened that I couldn't have possibly predicted. The rest of Europe really didn't like my massive army floating around the water. The Papal States also didn't like me crushing small Catholic countries. Soon enough I was surrounded by enemies. My gigantic army faltered and that day tiny computerized Europe learned that even a god-king could bleed.

That's the ultimate lesson.  Eventually, no matter what your play style, you're going to loose in one of these games. It's almost inevitable. But the fun is all in how you get there. And I know on September third I'm going to be giving a pep talk to thousands of tiny soldiers in a brand new campaign, and in that moment, they don't have to say it. I know they'll all be thinking, "We who are about to die salute you!" 

Or maybe they'll be cursing the jackass god-king who can't help but to attack everyone in his general radius. It'll be one of the two.

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