Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Last Legion promoters gearing up for August release

The marketing blitz for "The Last Legion" has started with the release of it's official movie poster.

"Rome, 476AD. The Roman Empire is under threat. A mighty force for almost 500 years, at its height Rome’s power spread from Mesopotamia in the east to the Iberian peninsula in the west, from the Rhine and Danube in the north to Egypt in the south. This story follows the events surrounding the historical capture of Romulus Augustus and his imprisonment on the island of Capri.

On the eve of the ceremony to crown twelve-year-old Romulus Augustus as the new emperor, the Barbarian general Odoacer arrives in Rome to make a deal with Orestes, patrician and father of the young Caesar. Odoacer makes demands on the power of the Roman Empire, in fair exchange for his decade-long support of the Roman legions in the east. Orestes refuses.

On the day of the coronation, as the whole of Rome gathers to watch the proceedings, Ambrosinus, the shaman who is a mentor and tutor to Romulus, predicts danger. Orestes is worried for his son’s safety and appoints Aurelius, the tribune of the fourth legion, as his personal guard. That night Aurelius and his legionnaires are confronted by a real danger—Odoacer and his army of Goths have returned to the outskirts of Rome to conquer the city.

With a deafening roar, the Barbarian army storm the city. A terrible battle ensues, the brutal invaders show no mercy and blood flows through the streets.

With Orestes and his wife Julia slaughtered, Romulus is captured along with Ambrosinus and both are taken to the island fortress of Capri built by the emperor Tiberius. It is there that Romulus finds the mythical sword of Caesar that holds the prophecy ‘One edge to defend, one to defeat; In Britannia was I forged…to fit the hand of he...who is destined to rule’."

I read the book by Valerio Manfredi and found it well paced and the characters better developed than those in Manfredi's previous books. Of course I'm also anxious to see Kevin McKidd, our dear Vorenus from HBO's Rome, playing the relentless villain, Wulfila. This film is scheduled for an August 17 release in the US.

Putting the Sin back in Cinema?

Somehow I don't think the religious right is going to take to this new approach to evangelism.

"Directed by Wain and written by Wain and Marino, THE TEN presents a series of interconnected comic sketches designed to reinterpret – and reinvent – the Ten Commandments, making them “meaningful” (and funny) to a young, hip, audience of contemporary sinners. With each story told in a different style, but containing overlapping characters and themes, the film is a grand burlesque boasting an all-star cast that puts the sin back in cinema."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms Coming Soon!

Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms will feature 4 brand new campaigns, including an opportunity to more fully explore The New World that was unlocked toward the end of Medieval II.

In the Americas campaign, players will be able to retrace the steps of Hernán Cortés in 1519, as he seeks to explore and conquer The New World.

Players can earn the support of Spain and explore the mystery and riches of the New World, or take control of the Aztec or Native American factions and call on the Gods and the bravery of vast armies to see off this new threat.

Three other campaigns will offer more detailed “magnifying glass” campaigns within Great Britain, Northern Europe and the Holy Land, with many more regions than were originally shown in Medieval II.

13 new playable factions and over 150 new units, Kingdoms will allow players to control thousands of men on a single battlefield and lead them into conflict with new hero characters such as Richard The Lionheart and Saladin, each armed with new, powerful battlefield abilities.

In addition, players will use moated forts to garrison vast armies or seize control of key strategic points and explore new technology trees, governed by religion and prestige.

Players can experience a bloody clash between pagans and Christians in the Northern European Teutonic Wars, or take control of one of 5 factions in the Britannia campaign when England faces war on 4 fronts as once conquered lands rise up against them.

Kingdoms will also include a new expanded Crusades campaign, where players renew their fight for control of the Holy Lands, with new factions, devastating new units such as the terrifying Greek Flame Thrower, legendary heroes and powerful holy relics.

More than 75 hours of epic new gameplay.

Four huge new campaigns: Britannia, The Crusades, The Teutonic Wars and The Americas.

13 new playable factions, including Aztec and Native American factions.

Over 150 new units, including the devastating Greek Flamethrower.

Follow in the steps of Hernán Cortés and explore a vastly expanded New World map.

Open up a wide array of new regions in the Americas, plus four brand new factions and a cast of new agent characters.

Experience unprecedented detail, including 30 regions of Britain and a region map of Teutonic Europe.

Control multiple armies in battle - command reinforcement armies.

New hero characters feature powerful battlefield abilities. Encounter a huge roster of new historical characters and events.

Build permanent forts to garrison troops or seize control of key strategic points.

Release Date: Aug 29, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

History Channel and maker of "Legion" team up for "Great Battles of Rome"

"With a name like The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome, it's not too difficult to figure out what this game is about. Developed by Slitherine Software, Great Battles of Rome is a tactical battle simulator that lets you control Roman legions in battle against their many foes. Like Slitherine's previous games, Great Battles of Rome focuses just on battles. There's no strategic layer that presents you with a map of the Roman world, so you don't have to worry about moving armies around the map or managing cities. All you have to worry about is managing your army, both in and between battles.

There will be more than 100 battles in the game, divided among 14 Roman campaigns. They're all linear, too, so you must win a battle in order to progress to the next one. Most battles will be won and lost in the planning phase, before the fighting even begins. During the planning phase, you deploy your troops onto the battlefield, taking into account terrain and tactics. You'll then give them initial orders and formations for when the battle starts. For instance, you might want infantry to hold in place, and cavalry to move forward and charge. Your opening moves and stances will be critical, because once the battle begins you won't be able to micromanage it. Instead, you'll have only a limited number of points, which you can use to issue orders. That's to model the difficulty of generals to manage a battle once it has begun.

Should you win the battle, you'll move on to the army management screen, which lets you recruit and customize squads. You can control up to 20 different squads, consisting of more than 20 troop types. There are infantry, cavalry, archers, and whatever else you'd expect from this era in history, such as elephants. You earn gold for winning battles, and you can use it to purchase new squads, replace losses in existing squads, pay for specialized training for squads, or buy better weapons and equipment for your troops. The amount of customization and training is extensive, so you can really make your squads feel like your own. Once everything is set up the way you want, you'll launch into the next battle.

The battles are historically based, so you may battle Germanic barbarians in the North or campaign in much warmer climes. Each battle presents a different tactical challenge thanks to the terrain. Rough terrain might make things difficult for mounted units and ideal for infantry, while open terrain reverses the situation. Woods or hills might create obstacles that can be used to your advantage. You'll also need to study the composition of the enemy force and its deployments. If you see a weakness in their lines, figure a way to exploit it. You don't need to kill everyone in order to win a battle. That rarely happens in history. Instead, you just need to kill enough of them to make the survivors panic and flee."

Days of Wonder offer intriguing board games

I was researching a link to information about the Persian salt mummies and noticed a link to an interesting board game about ancient Egypt.

The pyramids are crumbling, the temples are in ruins and even the nose of the Great Sphinx looks like it might fall off any day now. Cleopatra is one unhappy queen. Now she has called on the members of the Society of Architects to build her a magnificent new palace in Alexandria - with a Pharaohs ransom to the design that pleases her most. Cleopatra & the Society of Architects is the newest big-box board game from Days of Wonder. This fun and engaging family game includes a true, three-dimensional palace that players compete to build. Players strive to become the wealthiest of Cleopatras architects by constructing the most magnificent and valuable parts of her palace. The twist however is that players will be tempted to deal with shady characters and trade in materials of dubious origins in order to help them build faster. While these corrupt practices might allow an architect to stay a step ahead of the rest, they come with a high price ? cursed Corruption Amulets honoring Sobek, the Crocodile-god. When Cleopatra finally strolls into her new palace, at the end of the game, the most corrupt architect (the one with the most amulets) will be seized and offered as a sacrifice to her sacred crocodile. Only then will the wealthiest architect, from among those still alive, be selected and declared the winner of the game. The component design in Cleopatra is one of the most innovative that Days of Wonder has undertaken to date with dozens of 3D pieces, Column walls, Doorframes, Obelisks, Sphinxes, and a Palace Throne ? that create the sense youre truly constructing a royal palace. Players- 3-5 Ages 10 and up Playing Time- 60 minutes

When I checked the company for other games I found this one about ancient Rome:

In Colosseum you are a Roman impresario - producing great spectacles in your arena in the hope of attracting the most spectators to your events. You'll earn wealth and glory for each event you run, using it to build ever more ambitious events. Attract the most spectators to one of your events and you'll be granted the title of Grand Impresario, with tales of your extraordinary spectacles acclaimed throughout the empire! 3-5 Players Age 10+ 60-90 minutes Content1 Rules Booklet 1 Game Board 10 Arena pieces & Expansions 5 Emperor's Loges 10 Season Tickets 1 Emperor, 2 Consul and 3 Senator miniatures 80 Roman Coins 4 Podiums 152 Event Asset Tokens and Storage Bag 7 Star Performer Awards 30 Event Programs 18 Emperor Medals 6 Help Sheets Days of Wonder Online Access Number.

I like the idea that these games can be played in 1 hr to 90 minutes. I love the beautiful graphics of computer games but most of them consume hours that I really can't spare at the moment.