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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best strategy game
This game is great because of Vae Victis, the expansion pack. The $[...] you will pay for it are indubitably worth it. There was a time when I would have given this game a 3/5, but Vae Victis makes this an almost perfect game.
A perfect game, that is, if you come to it with the right type of expectations. I was a newcomer to the EU series, having purchased EU 3 but...
Published on August 16, 2009 by M. Fanny

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vastly inferior to EU3
I am brand new to this style of strategy game; I stared in abject horror at the huge list of tutorials for Victoria 2 and Europa Universalis III, and it took me months just to begin to get a handle of the game's demands. But once I did, I decided to turn to this one, since it covered the ancient world I loved.

Primarily, first and foremost, most importantly,...
Published 20 months ago by Andariel Halo


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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best strategy game, August 16, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
This game is great because of Vae Victis, the expansion pack. The $[...] you will pay for it are indubitably worth it. There was a time when I would have given this game a 3/5, but Vae Victis makes this an almost perfect game.
A perfect game, that is, if you come to it with the right type of expectations. I was a newcomer to the EU series, having purchased EU 3 but never really taking time to play past the tutorial before lending it to a friend who proceeded to lose it. O, misfortune!
Anyhow, back to this game, there are things that are a bit different from other strategy games:

* You are the commander in chief, not every general in the land:
This is very important. You assign general to armies and give them marching orders. You get to decide where they will attack and even to manage the composition of your armies, but you do not have the luxury of invading the mind of your generals, taking over, and dictating battle tactics. In the same way, you are not the governor of every province. You appoint people with different attributes to your various regions and the result of the governance will depend on their attributes. Will you appoint the superb administrator who has questionable loyalty or a very loyal but corrupt and inept family member?

* It's not a clickfest type of RTS game!!! I stopped playing RTS games a while ago, because I hate trying to play "Any way You Can Click I Can Click Faster." I thought I had permanently switched to turned-based strategy, but I must admit that I like this system very much. You can alter the speed. I think there are five speed levels and depending on what you're doing you can slow down or speed up. If you're at peace and nothing is happening, speed up. If you're at war, you'd better slow and and pause before giving your orders or you'll, well, you'll see why you should have slowed down.

* Governments: there are a lot of government types: different types of tribes, republics, monarchies, empire, et cetera. Different types of governments give you different bonuses on research, military organization, ruler popularity, et cetera. With republics, there is generally a rotating consulate, with two censors and a senate. Most government types come with 5 ministerial/secretarial positions whose primary job is research in the following five areas: land/army organization, naval organization, construction, civic improvements, and religious advances. Again, in your appointments, you must decided whether you want to gain loyalty and play politics or appoint the best qualified person. It's rarely feasible to do both. The senate consists of members from for factions/parties: military, mercantilist, civic, populist (whom you will learn to hate with religious fervor) and religious. Having a consul from different factions gives you different bonuses, of course. The problem with not playing politics is that you run the risk of having the Populists take over your senate and block everything. They are anti everything and are basically isolationists, so that you run the risk of being in a situation where you cannot declare war on a weaker enemy because of lack of senatorial support. Sometimes, they become so strong that your only way out of this is to become a tyrant and proclaim a dictatorship. That, of course, decreases loyalty and makes civil wars more likely.

* Research: it's pretty straightforward, you appoint magistrates to different offices (again you have to decide whether you want competence or political advantages) and depending on their finesse level your research will be faster or slower. You can also speed up research with the right policies: making citizenship easier, making slave emancipation faster, adopting a republic confederacy...

Research gives you new types of buildings and new bonuses, but not new types of troops, unfortunately.

* Trade: also very straightforward. Each province has a resource that it exports and provinces that have different resources can export goods with one another. Trade generates benefits (for instance the ability to recruit certain types of troops or to generate more money from taxes, etc.) and of course, pecuniary remuneration. Trade routes that have been stable for years without disruption yield more bonuses.

* Diplomacy. You can try to take over the world or to build a network of alliances. Of course, it will be easier to trade with friendly nations and they are less likely to attack you while you're at war with another enemy. Allies will also usually come to war with you if you attack an enemy. When going to war with allies, the largest or most powerful nation will be the senior partner and negotiating peace with them means a cessation of hostilities with all members of the alliance. Negotiating with one of the minor members of the alliance puts you at peace with them and them only. Now, in order to attack another nation, you need to have a casus belli, literally, a case of/for war. It is not obligatory to have a casus belli, but it is better for your stability. A casus belli exists in case of poor relations, refusal of war-time assistance on the part of an ally, assassination of one of your emissaries, et cetera.

*Stability. Stability goes from -3 to 3, with 3 being the best, of course. You increase stability by sacrificing to the gods and by having a superb leader. You decrease it by passing new laws and declaring war without a casus belli. You should not attack nations who pay you tribute (the idea being that they're bribing you to keep you from attacking them) or nations with whom you gave good relations. A low stability level will make it more likely for revolts and rebellions to occur. You will need to keep armies in every corner of your territory to quell revolts when they arise, thereby limiting the number of troops you can deploy abroad.

*Barbarians: they are very annoying. Sometimes, a swarm of them come from hell or Barbaria or from wherever they come from and invade. They pillage and you can either send an army to crush them or negotiate with them and create a client state or give them land on which to settle. If you crush a barbarian army, you enslave a number of them. Slaves generate wealth and so one way of increasing your income, especially when you play as a small nation is to go barbarian hunting - make sure you don't bite more than you can chew - and capturing a lot of slaves. But watch out when the bearded men go nation hunting.

Okay, this list is in no way exhaustive, but it's probably more than too long and should give an adequate picture of what the game is like. It's very addictive and I think it's a better game than M2TW.

Try it out and enjoy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Vastly inferior to EU3, November 12, 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
I am brand new to this style of strategy game; I stared in abject horror at the huge list of tutorials for Victoria 2 and Europa Universalis III, and it took me months just to begin to get a handle of the game's demands. But once I did, I decided to turn to this one, since it covered the ancient world I loved.

Primarily, first and foremost, most importantly, etcetera, the game suffers from seemingly random crashes that utterly ruin the game for me; some 20 years into my campaign, it will freeze at the exact same date, and no amount of prior saves will fix this problem, so any other complaints are largely superfluous to a positive gaming experience compared to this.

Next, to the superfluous details:

It would make sense for this to have less adaptive/selection features than Europa Universalis III, to reflect a more primitive form of government (be it the monarchies of the Hellenistic Kingdoms, or the Republics of Rome and Carthage), but it becomes a severe deficiency when Rome in 200 BC has no access to horses anywhere in Italy, and is totally unable to research technologies to enable higher forms of infantry/cavalry, or boost research speed in particular fields (Army, Navy, Government, Stability, etc) and just hope that the game will randomly decide to grant you access to better military units. It was stunning how I was unable to build ANYTHING at the start of my campaign because NOTHING was researched yet---even temples, of which Rome had many by 280 BC (when the game lets you start), are unavailable anywhere, and if some random event destroys your only temple in Rome, you cannot rebuild it for years and years until the "technology" is randomly granted to you.

As well, the military aspect. Given the time period of this game, a nation's military virtually encompassed the nation's attention; there were no standards of civility by which a nation would surrender with honor to another, and especially with Rome, which would annex any lands that couldn't resist or offer a good reason not to. Despite this, no extra attention or emphasis is given to the military in this game compared to EU3.

Worse, there is LESS emphasis---you cannot adjust your military/naval prestige or attention, and there's essentially NOTHING to distinguish the military capacities of different nations (ie, Rome having lightly trained, but zealous legionaries, Carthage having expensive veteran mercenaries, the Hellenistic Kingdoms having a solid, steadfast professional army).

This means it is the NORM for a Roman army of 20,000 Principes (because there are no Hastati or Triarii available) to lose FOUR OR FIVE TIMES IN A ROW to a Gallic Barbarian army of 4,000 or less. Anyone with even a token knowledge of the Roman military would know that the EXACT OPPOSITE is true throughout virtually all of Roman history; the average Roman soldier was much better trained, better equipped, and better led than the average "barbarian" of virtually any of the "barbarian" tribes; Scythian, Gallic, German, Persian, African, Asian, etcetera.

This leads directly to another complaint; barbarians. Unlike EU3 where you could risk colonization of any province regardless of its natives, here, it is IMPOSSIBLE to colonize ANY land if the barbarians are considered "too strong", and the barbarians are ALWAYS "too strong", without fail. Rather than being able to invade with an actual army, the only solution for this is to basically lure the barbarians out by recruiting a single unit of military forces, and waiting months and months for the barbarians to rise up, kill them, and sack one of your settlements.

From there, the barbarian mechanic just goes completely off the edge; barbarians rise up in random numbers, and if the initial rise isn't quickly quashed by a nearby army, more and more of them spawn out of nowhere, or rise up from completely different provinces. Combined with their anachronistic ability to easily crush a Roman army 10 times their size, and any attempts at colonization without two fully stacked armies nearby will pretty much end your game in total defeat.

As well, little consideration seems to be given in the historical bookmark dates. Despite letting you start the game at major points between 280 BC and 27 BC, the game doesn't seem to care much to consider the actual political/military factors in place during these times. For example; starting as Epirus in 280 BC will place you with your army in Epirus, and NO fleet available to you, meaning you have to wait a full year or more just to transport your army across the little gulf between Tarentum and Epirus. Similarly, starting as Rome in 218 BC will see Carthage start with a full navy bigger than yours---despite the fact that one of the terms of the First Punic War was that Carthage's navy was severely limited by Rome, which would subsequently use its navy to prevent Carthage from doing anything to hurt Rome, hence the whole reason for Hannibal's marching through Gaul and over the Alps. Here, he didn't need to do that; Carthage's navy easily quashed mine, then invaded Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica within a single year.

Apparently new to the game via the "Vae Victis" expansion is the implementation of the new and advanced Senate feature. A better case for a tyranny I have never seen in any video game set in ancient Rome. The two major Republics are Rome and Carthage, and virtually nothing is done to differentiate the two---there is only one Consul/one Shofet per year (historically there were two; this was a very big deal to exclude in this game), and you can appoint two Censors (or Elders for the Carthaginians) who appear to do absolutely nothing. Laws passed by the Carthaginian Republic inexplicably have Roman names (Lex Cornelia, etcetera).

Historically, the Roman armies were commanded by the Consuls for the year. In this game, there is absolutely no attempt to replicate this chaotic situation at all; there is no automatic-installation of the Consul to your biggest army, nor any indication that they should assume command as per their station, and given the abysmal loyalty that seems default amongst the prominent Senators, forcing an army commander to resign after a single year will guarantee that they revolt against you.

The "party" system is simplified, with there basically being only five or six major parties (Military, Populist, Religious, Mercantile, Civic, etcetera), with the only defining marks being that the Populists are the most evil, self-destructive party in the entire game. Their primary features when in power is INCREASING your risk of revolts and DECREASING your stability. How in the hell this makes any sense is entirely lost to me, and I have never seen more revolutions over a 50 year period as Rome since the Crisis of the Third Century AD in real life history. It's beyond belief that this sort of game mechanic would be considered anything short of a colossal screw-up.

As well, Senate-based pop-ups seemed solely designed to ruin your life as much as possible. There was indeed great political maneuvering amongst members of the Senate to gain power, but the effects that occur in game are exaggerated to such a degree that the relatively stable political environment of the mid-Republic looks more like the Civil Wars of Caesar and Pompey; the Senate DEMANDS you install Lucius Diddlypuss as governor of Magna Graecia, you accept, he's IMMEDIATELY A REBELLIOUS LITTLE TWIT CONSIDERING INDEPENDENCE. NO EXCEPTION. If you don't waste money bribing him or waste titles appointing him an Augur or a Pontifex, he will revolt, guaranteed.

These frustrations are disastrous in combination with each other, and make the game entirely unplayable due to the game's propensity to random crashing with no discernable solution.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok game, lots of bugs, May 10, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
This game was really fun. As far as gameplay I think it is on par with Rome: Total War. It is more in depth in the politics of the Ancient world and more historically accurate. The main problem with the game is that it crashes all the time. It is extremely frustrating. It also would be nice if the game didn't automatically end in 754 A.V.C. (1 A.D.). The game is worth the $6 but it has a lot of bugs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It won't work !!!!, January 21, 2013
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you won't be able to run it.
It'll crash all the time.
No support from Paradox at all
No refund
You'll be throwing $9.99 to the trash.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very playable, January 23, 2012
By 
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
I like many aspects of Europa Universalis games generally. This game, however, just wasn't very playable. I had to resort to cheat codes to even have a chance and competing with the computer. The computer-controlled players just churn troops like you wouldn't believe. For example: as playing the Seleucids, no matter how many Egyptian armies I slaughtered, more kept showing up much faster than they could be legitimately raised. Also, to lack of any kind of tactical control over battles is frustrating. There was too little reward for all the micro-management that goes into just running your empire.

Not recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice game, June 3, 2013
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I own most of Paradox's recently published games, and I found the graphic and other systems of this game very similar to other Paradox games such as EU3, Victoria 2, and HOI3. I would say that this game is fairly good to the best, as I personally found it somewhat less enjoyable than all three other games I mentioned above.

The graphics of this game comes with both positive and negative aspects. This game is one of the few Paradox games ever to feature a rotatable camera, which is kind of nice, but in terms of details of the map, this game looses out clearly to Victoria 2 and Crusader Kings 2, and slightly to Europa Universalis 3 and Hearts of Iron 3. Additionally, the playable area of this game is very limited (I understand Rome only expanded so far): the map only represents Central and Southern Europe along with Anatolia, North Africa, and some parts of the middle east, which could sometimes bore you if you played a scenario for a very long time, as there's not a large area of land you can conqueror or do diplomacy with, like in EU3. I also don't quite like the interface graphics, as it looked somewhat too rough and general, using classical Greek textured icons and event backgrounds for all nations including Pagans. Aside from the above things, the game's graphic system is very similar to all the other games I mentioned (units, different map types, ships, battles representation, etc.)

In terms of user interface, the game uses a character system like in Crusader Kings, which let you play as a character rather than just a nation, but unlike in Crusader Kings, the game will not end if the player's character dies without an heir or successor, but instead the player will still play the same nation but just with a different character. I personally think the game's interactive system is somewhat too simple, and from time to time I also feel that the game gets boring after awhile with the lack of different nations you can interact with, like in all the other Paradox strategy games. One of the most annoying things I ever felt playing this game was when I get this unstopping supply of random character events tossed at me ever 15-30 days or so, forcing me to read all of these lengthy events and choose different options around every 15 seconds if I play on full speed. Also, when I play as Rome, I keep getting annoyed by all of the civil wars I get every 15-20 years. Also, the barbarians can also get very fustrating if your empire has a lengthy border facing unclaimed territories. Aside from the above things, the game is reasonablly enjoyable in the same way as Europa Universalis 3 (except the map limits).

Overall, I gave this game a 4 out of 5 for its acceptable representation of gameplay in the Roman time period with only a minor amount of inaccuracies (such as when negoiating peace deals with a country you're at war with), but I would still only recommend this game to those that enjoy other Paradox games such as Europa Universalis 3 and Crusader Kings 2, as this game still have many "Paradox" learning curves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars stability failure, April 5, 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
The game is fun and interesting when it works. However I can rarely play for more than 10 minutes before a crash. Paradox has a history of unstable games, and this is the worst of the bunch. After updating the game using the game launcher, the game no longer even opens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving it., February 28, 2013
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This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
I love this game, if I only had a better computer to play in on. It works great in the early stages, but this game is for the long run and your computer better be able to handle the extended play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good concept, some bugs that can ruin the game., March 27, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
I think the core of the game is very good and the management aspects are superb. With a little effort, one can play any of the Greek nations, Rome itself, or try to unite Gaul with one of the Gallic tribes. The British and Germanic tribes however typically aren't strong enough to manage the "barbarian" enemies the game auto-spawns and aren't truly playable.

I think overall, it's a great war / empire management game, with great depth, as detailed in the other reviews. The controls are perfect, so are the government styles (for the most part). Managing a government can be frustrating, but that's part of the gameplay imo, challenging the player to find solutions that prevent the nation from falling into civil wars, and running with the basic assumption that republics, like the Roman Republic, are not sustainable in the long term. Republics thus will fall to civil war caused by populist agitation or to dictatorship in the game. Some characters are very loyal, some are very effective at management or martial things, and a handful are loyal and useful. Sometimes, as in history, a player has to put incompetent people in power just to ensure stability, or, the converse, put a potentially disloyal general in command for the sake of decisive victory.

The main deficits, are, however, lasting bugs (even on the latest patch, though I do not seem to have serious issues on windows 7 x64).

The game tends to crash a lot, randomly, typically not so much when starting, but more and more as a scenario goes on over decades and centuries.

There is also a system of cascading alliances that develops over time as the ai diplomacy improves. Depending on how the AI plays, it will typically ally with 1-3 other powers, and basically any regional war will become a WWI style dogpile, where Rome declares war on Pontus, who is allied with Magna Graecia, who is allied with Carthage, who is allied with Egpyt, etc. etc., even sometimes resulting in ridiculous wars where some nations end up caught in war with both sides of the alliance, or every nation in the world is allied against a tiny minor power in a distant corner of the map. It kind of ruins the gameplay, in the sense it's unrealistic, ahistoricial, and annoying to have 90% of the world at war over any war. And don't get me started on how monarchies can't seem to figure out who they want the heir to be and change the heir randomly enough to upset half the court or the monarch themself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars amazing game, December 11, 2010
This review is from: Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC (CD-ROM)
this game is an amazing strategy game and it would definentely make it into my top 5 favorites. It integrates trade, diplomacy, building an maintaining an army and much more. However it likes to crash.... a lot.... At first it doesnt irritate me, just load the game up again. But after a while it gets frusterating especially when it crashes at the same point over and over again.
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Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC
Europa Universalis Rome Gold - PC by Paradox (Windows Vista / XP)
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