Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece

Review: Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece

5:00 PM on 04.11.2012 // Daniel Starkey
  @dcstarkey

Ancient Greece is one of the most fascinating time-place combinations. It brought us the beginnings of calculus, philosophy, democracy, and an incredibly rich and vibrant culture that has managed to survive in one form or another until the modern era.

Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece explores several periods, placing you in the sandals of Phillip II, father of Alexander the Great; the Peloponnesian wars; and the Ionian war. Each campaign has its own narrative, though the lion’s share of the plot is told through voiceovers in cutscenes.

Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece (PC)
Developer: Longbow Games
Publisher: Longbow Games
Release: March 30, 2012
MSRP: $19.99

Truth be told, the historical framework over which the gameplay is laid is quite minimal, and only really comes up once every hour or two. Most of your time will be spent managing the logistics of your armies, the tactics of troop movement, and the sieging of city-states. It’s an elegant if at times tedious system that rests in an odd little nest between delightfully engaging and mildly vexing.

The core of Hegemony is the administration of your empire. You will be capturing cities and carefully establishing a network of supply lines to keep resources moving throughout your territory. Initially this is very simple and comfortably manageable. As you expand, however, this mechanic gets more and more complex. Each city can only form so many supply lines with mines, forts, farms, and other cities.

Each line has a maximum capacity and will only support so much traffic. This becomes relevant if you are, for example, building up forces for a major push and placing all of your units in one or two frontier cities. Your units will rapidly begin consuming that cities' food stores and your supply lines may be incapable of bringing in enough food to supply them. This can result in a poorly prepared fighting force and perhaps the loss of control of that city.

This simple element of play can dramatically increase the difficulty of the game as you progress. After ten hours, I barely controlled one quarter of all of Greece. Moving beyond your borders necessitates leaving troops behind as guards; when battlefronts collapse, it takes time to regrow your population and move your assets back into position, and you will need to upgrade your supply lines and carefully manage borders with certain aggressive factions. Raiders can and will rush in and torch farms, recapture mines and forts, and you will spend more and more time literally putting out fires.

Thankfully, you will have some great tools at your disposal. Chief among these is the zoom feature. If you can pull the camera out such that the map is rendered in very "big picture" terms, cities and economic resources are clearly depicted with simple icons, units are shown as stacks of discs sliding across the map, and the factional borders are color coded so you can tell which areas are safe to traverse.

Given the time period in which the game takes place, there are only a few available units. However, they run the gamut of real-time strategy staples, ranging from support and logistics (workers and slaves) to standard foot soldiers, cavalry, as well as siege and naval units.

Mechanically, Hegemony works very well. There’s enough subtlety in the tactics and practical applications for non-standard unit formations that even with the limited selection, the nuanced approaches and varied environments help keep things interesting. Each unit has a bar for unit health, morale, and food. The further your troops venture from farms, cities, and established supply lines, the lower their food stores get. If it hits zero, their morale drops like a rock, meaning they might not obey orders to assault enemy encampments, and if attacked, they will almost certainly break ranks and retreat back to their home city.

These stats work both ways, of course. Hegemony encourages careful maneuvering of your war assets to cut the enemy’s access to their own supply lines and food sources. Another viable tactic is distracting an enemy unit, then flanking with a cavalry charge. The overwhelming force will reduce their numbers fast enough to bring morale down quickly. If appropriately applied, it is entirely possible to break the ranks of much larger forces and force a retreat. It’s this creative use of mechanics that keeps Wars of Ancient Greece approachable yet complex -- the gold standard of game design.

The tactical nuances are punishing and may be very off-putting for non-enthusiasts, but the steady progression is both engaging and addictive, an intoxicating combo. When I first started playing Hegemony, it was about 10:00pm on a Thursday. I didn’t stop until 10:00am the next day. I slept for a total of four hours and then I kept playing.

I don't want to give the impression that Hegemony doesn't have flaws; quite the opposite. The game is graphically boring, the music loops almost every ten minutes, regardless of the campaign or scenario you will always be on the same map, there is no multiplayer, the narrative is delivered in a voice that is borderline monotone and does a great disservice to the rich and fascinating history of the region, and starting a new game is mind-numbingly tedious. The opening stages will always involve the same formulaic expand-fortify-expand pattern. Each of these issues aren't that big of a deal individually, but they do pile up.

At $20 and releasing in a marketplace filled with viable competitors, it is difficult to recommend Wars of Ancient Greece to any but the hardcore historical strategy fans. Those who can get past its many barriers to entry will almost certainly fall in love immediately, but this title is not for the faint of heart.

I find myself looking forward to the release of Hegemony: Rome. I hope that they can tighten up these mechanical problems, add some multiplayer, and help increase the overall longevity of the title. If they do, I would be more willing to give it my unqualified recommendation.



THE VERDICT

7.5

Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece - Reviewed by Daniel Starkey
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Daniel Starkey, PC Contributor
 Follow Blog + disclosure dcstarkey Tips
Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Destructoid empire, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Game... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Unravel - A Review

Strider's Quest for PURE PLATINUM: 3rd parties

Opinions

Review: SWTOR: Anarchy in Paradise

The Streaming Noob:YTG vs TWITCH, Community, Growth, Rookie Mistake & The Future

Exclusivity is (mostly) Bad, except for when Nintendo is involved

Summer Wars: The Video Game….I mean Digimon: Cyber Sleuth

Gaming's Beautiful People #4: Valentine's Day Special OR Love Multi-Kills

Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky Import Review

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Sonic Twitter's done it again.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I CHALLENGE YOU, HUMAN, TO... A DUEL! NYEH HEH HEH!
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
In honour of Valentine's Day, let's share our names/synopsis for porn versions of popular video games. I'll start us off with Firecrotch, the tale of a red-headed firefighter struggling to save a nudist colony from a forest fire.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Leave it to Cracked...
Luckrequired avatarLuckrequired
Clicked on Google's Valentine's Day animation and this pops up. Good show, fellas. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35570606
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Maybe this has been addressed, but what the hell is going on with Disqus here?
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Also, I think my Wii U gamepad is on its last legs... the NFC reader is still kaput, the screen is rather smudgy and the L button is started to stick like a motherfucker. Sooner or later it's just going to stop working altogether methinks. :'(
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Younger me would be so disappointed in the gamer I am today. When did I stop finishing games? Seriously!
SayWord avatarSayWord
Hosting a Murder Mystery dinner tonight. What are the chances that I actually get to play myself? =P
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
We were discussing Ben Carson, pyramids, corpses, SoFlo, and Nekro's fetishes in the Discord chat if anyone wants to know what it's like down there.
lewness avatarlewness
Nintendo just sent me an email to say "Congrats on your new Wii U!". It wasn't new it got fucking FRIED and now all my stuff's gone after repairs - I was in Chapter 9! Chapter 9! 70+ hours on XCX! And that's just one game! I was- *walks off ranting*
JPF720 avatarJPF720
Bravo Undertale, bravo.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
The most depressing Valentine's Day song ever, courtesy of Ole Blue Eyes.
PappaBear avatarPappaBear
I love my Elgato HD60
PappaBear avatarPappaBear
I'm doing a Jackbox Party games stream this afternoon/evening at 6PM EST. Would love to have the DToid community come join in! https://gaming.youtube.com/watch?v=axZGgeTepzs
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
It's Alcohol day. I've had Alcohol. Here have a page to hire Anita Sarkeesian for public appearances or speeches only $10K a time http://speakerpedia.com/speakers/anita-sarkeesian?from=speakear-sidebar
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Irony: over 9000!. The same UN with staff distributing child porn, Saudi Arabia heading its Human Rights Council and troops accused of rape wants to school Japan on their treatment of women in videogames. You can't can't make up this stuff.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I got my game recorder. That's good! But I ordered the wrong one. That's bad. So just gotta send back to Amazon and order it. Could've sworn on the website it said the HD60 Elgato let you record old games too.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
It just occured to me that given the 99% probablility of there being an update pack to XCOM 2-ala Enemy Within-waiting for a while may be a better option, so that when I do get the game I get it in its optimal form-and on sale, to bring it below 90 total
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
My mustache froze while walking home from work. Fun!
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -