The Ancient World is a ripe setting for turn-based games, offering a degree of complex strategy, and illustrious history of the greatest military battles of all time, such as Cannae and the Siege of Gergovia. In 2022, there is a general trend of RTS games returning to the limelight, with new indie titles such as Ancient Aggressors Rome, and CRPGs like Expeditions Rome making a comeback. In this article, we’ll cover 5 games you can get from Steam!
Expeditions Rome is one of those titles that deserve special mention regarding combining CPRG with turn-based mechanics. This was a title that impressed me because the start of the story immersed you into the journey of the Young Legatus. You are introduced to an era where Rome is at the dawn of its power. Expanding into Asia Minor, and fighting against Pontus, where you face Mithridates of Pontus.
The voice acting was decent, and the music was very reminiscent of Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous. There was excellent level design, and every mission made you feel you had to progress, upgrading your characters and listening to good dialogue from NPCs. You basically made a reputation while embracing the political storm of the Roman Republic. Some minor quirks were the auto-resolve style of the battle system that they had introduced.
The combat’s turn-based system was excellent, forcing you to choose different styles each time, and the world itself was vibrant and colorful. Expeditions Rome gets a solid 9/10 in my book. It’s a well-worth RPG game that you need to check out now.
Ancient Aggressors Rome
Ancient Aggressors Rome is a game I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for some time. Similar to Civilisation and Rome Total War. Based on a similar scenario as to most games set in the Ancient World, you have the ability to make Rome the power once more in the Mediterranean, or maybe choose Carthage and bring glory once again to Baal Hammon?
It’s an instant mix of strategy goodness and a gorgeous campaign map with tons of steam workshop mods to enliven your replayability. You have the ability to look at trade, war, and diplomacy. Along with historical authenticity. There are around twenty factions and an emphasis on supplies and army systems. An underrated and fantastic game that you need to play in the 4x genre now!
Old World is a unique game—no need to progress straight to the modern age. I’m not too sure about the differentiation between moving from Bronze to Ancient Age, because you’re essentially playing in the classical period, but with more civilizations that range from across the era. Want to play Babylon? You have it. Ancient Egypt? Yes. Carthage? Even more so.
Old World’s strength lies in its combat system, and its political events, but it would suffice to say it needs a DLC pack with more flavor and events. It is a character-driven story with a big emphasis on your family tree and making decisions and events that influence what goes on within your family.
Half the time, the decisions I chose made me emotional through my gameplay, which shows that the former developers of Civilization did a great job with this game. It also has a new DLC focusing on the Pelopenssian Wars known as Heroes of the Aegean, which adds 3000 new historical events and endless possibilities for replayability.
Imperiums: Greek Wars
Imperium Greek Wars is another underrated title. Made by an Indie developer, Kube it features a wide-spanning campaign map focusing on the Macedonian Wars. Economic, and political decisions all make a big play. The artwork is reminiscent of early 2000s RTS games. Slow-paced, tactical, and plenty of unique artwork make this game stand out.
The number of decisions you can make gives you greater freedom. It is true to the world of the Greek-Persian World of 530 BCE, and it allows for some mythical questing. Which is a fantastic aspect that is very heavily under-used in RTS titles. After all, you must conquer the world and bring it to your heel. It also has excellent cinematics, and the Age of Alexander is a great DLC to fight and play your fantasies of conquering the mighty Persian Empire.
There’s also a Troy DLC which is free, and you can fight the Punic Wars as well! Thoroughly recommended here!
Field of Glory Empires
This is a title that pitches you into the Ancient World, combines 4x with military and economic gameplay, and forces you to make complex decisions. This is also combined with Field of Glory’s unique battle system, which is decision-based.
Thus, while not giving you the complete freedom to simulate a battle such as Total War allows you to, it makes you feel as if you are the commander sending your units to fight into battle and issuing orders, which is something Total War does not often achieve in doing so.
Its campaign map is massive, with a gigantic list of factions to choose from. The game does suffer from having a complex UI, and I feel that sometimes it goes against its advantages. It does have a unique campaign map, with gorgeous visuals. You can’t simply, however, expand your borders, for it will take time and effort.
The AI will give you a challenge, and decadence as a mechanic is something you will have to watch out for.