I'm playing Total War: Rome II for the first time. I played the Prologue, and on my second try, I won the initial battle. So, on the campaign map, I followed the instructions (moved army, repaired the city, fortified my position, etc.) and, when the Samnites attacked my army, I was able to win that battle as well. So far, so good.
So, back at the campaign map, the advisors instructed me to move my army to the Samnite encampment and attack. It seemed like a dubious idea, since the battle preview showed the enemy's power as vastly larger than mine, but I did as instructed, pressing the button to begin the battle. And then... nothing. I mean, maybe there was a loading screen (I can't remember), but the next thing I remember was simply a black screen. The music was still playing, I could move the cursor around, and even hover over certain points on the screen and watch the cursor change (hovering around the top third of the screen or so would show an X where the point of the cursor is, while hovering over other points on the screen would show a tree or a bunch of bushes or other environmental/terrain-related symbols in a bubble next to the cursor). I could hit Escape and hear the pause sound (at which point, no more symbols would appear when moving my cursor around), and hit Escape again to hear it again (and then the behavior of the cursor changing when I move it to various points would resume). But, I could not see anything onscreen other than the cursor.
I decided to stop playing and go to bed, and see what happened in the morning. Well, in the morning, the game had closed (and Steam as well), and Windows had a message for me:
(In addition, my browser, Vivaldi, had completely frozen up; I'm not sure if that's even related, but it seems worth mentioning.)
Unfortunately, as the prologue didn't let me flamin' save my game (rrrghhhh), I can't just try starting the battle over again and seeing if the same problem happens again; I'd have to go through a bunch of gameplay over again. I don't know if this is a problem that happened randomly or one that'll happen any time I try to besiege an encampment (or whatever it was that set off the bug). So, how do I avoid problems like this in the future? From searching around, it seems like "black screen with cursor" is a common bug in Rome II without clear solutions. What can I do to keep this from happening? (And is there I way I can freaking save during the prologue, so I don't have to start the whole flaming thing over again when a crash like this happens?!)
I'm playing Rome II, the Steam version, on a Windows 10 machine with an Intel Core i5-10600K CPU @ 4.10GHz, 16GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card (the drivers for which are fully updated, according to Windows).