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Worth buying on sale??

RazmirthRazmirth Registered Users Posts: 2,225
So after playing tww series (and old school shogun 1) I recently decided to get into some other TW games. Played shogun 2, which was fun. Wasn’t a massive fan oF Rome 2, although it’s still decent. I own but have not played atilla yet.

How is TOB?? I know on release it was panned as being probably the worst TW game ver produced. But has it improved? What are the good and the bad? The awful? Any redeeming qualities?


  • davedave1124davedave1124 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 7,419
    edited December 2018
    I'm enjoying! I've only got 5 hours under my belt though.

    I'd watch Lionheart playthrough.. that should give an idea on gameplay. He did a campaign after the last update.
  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,386
    AFAIK the people who were attacking it on release never actually played. A bunch of people got wrapped around the handle that they were removing most stances, ambush battles, and agents, and got mad about the game without trying it on its own terms. IMO those cuts resulted in a better battles:management time ratio than any recent historical TW game, with no loss in campaign depth (so, more battles fun with no less management fun, and much less management boredom), but some people thought those changes were non-negotiable.

    IMO it's the best historical game in recent history (I haven't played TWW, can't talk about them), and has been since release, the past couple updates have both been improvements. It still has some of the R2-generation AI issues, but the recruiting is the best since M2 (I would say the best ever, but they're making changes to it next week that seem to take it more in line with M2 - I'm worried it will take the game backwards, but we shall see), and province design is more like S2 - both of which I'd see as positive.

    So I guess it depends what you like/didn't like about R2. If you like being able to recruit unlimited elites and build anything anywhere, regardless of geography, you won't like it. If you think limitations on those things make gameplay more fun, it's a great game. If a large roster variety is important to you, you won't like it; if you think it's acceptable to have less variety when you're 'zooming in' on a historical situation, you will like it (I'd say roster variety is between S2 and M2, maybe comparable to ETW). If you define 'depth' in terms of number of things you have to keep track of and click on, you won't like it; if you define it in terms of clear focus and efficient design, you will like it.

    Personally, like I said, I think it's the best in recent history - so I'd give it a go!
  • RazmirthRazmirth Registered Users Posts: 2,225

    Well it all sounds decent to me. I don’t like agents spam that happens in TWW series, and I enjoy the balance of not being able to spam all elite units. That way they feel...elite. And special, and to be micro managed properly.

    Stances don’t matter to me much thankfully. Ambush battles are OP, since you can trick the stupid AI into being baited away from settlements with a garbage stack while having your elite stack in ambush right beside it. So having them removed is fine by me.

    And lack of unit variety is meh to me. If I want variety I play warhammer series. I enjoyed the limited variety in shogun 2, where battles became actually tactical...instead of TWW2, where you have 5 elite stacks of Uber top tier units that can just be careless charged into melee against the AI and win everytime.

    Thanks both for feedback!
  • tak22tak22 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,386
    @Razmirth From what you say this should be your kind of game. Hope you enjoy it!
  • MattzoMattzo Member United KingdomRegistered Users Posts: 1,433
    My 'review'. I've not actually played for a while, so may be a little out of date. But for what it's worth:

    The Good
    • Siege maps are fantastic
    • Actually, battle maps in general are fantastic
    • Grand campaign map is beautiful
    • Runs much, much better then Attila
    • Lots of detail in the setting, such as place names
    • New voice acting
    • Excellent soundtrack
    • Battle pace is nearly spot on
    • Supply mechanics!
    • New recruitment mechanic is brilliant. Both instant recruit/mustering and needing food.
    • UI is excellent
    • Technology is linked to what you achieve during the campaign
    • Several possibilities for the endgame invasion(s)
    • Variety of victory conditions
    • Estates now have various types
    • Minor buildings now branch at tier 4
    • Allegiance adds a nice religion/culture style mechanic
    The Neutral
    • No agents. Some people love this, some people hate it. Personally, no agents is a pure positive for me.
    • Similar-ish units. It is afterall a niche period covering just the British isles. So if unit variety is a big thing for you, perhaps avoid. On the other hand, considering the limitations they've done a really good job at making each faction feel slightly different. And Shogun II, one of the greatest Total War games, had less unit variation.
    • Game is obviously a minor evolution of Attila. It 'feels' very similar. I loved Attila, so this is fine by me. If you hated Attila, this might be a problem. If you're fed up of 'barbarians', probably best to avoid ToB.
    The Bad
    • Unique faction mechanics aren't particularly interesting for the most part. They are easy to ignore. I just don't care about them they have so little effect. The Great Viking Army factions with there 'Hereking' mechanic is probably the only exception. The others are meh and I'd definitely revamp them. The allegiance update did improve things a bit. Decrees can be fun.
    • No ambushes.
    • Most factions cannot annex vassals, which is annoying. They've kept it back as a faction specific mechanic, and I don't like that decision.
    • Like the unique faction mechanics, some of the other good points don't always have much impact. Things like estates, food for units, supplies. At times these will be really important as you juggle food with units, or have to pause a war while your supplies recover. But at other times they're just irrelevant.
    Overall / Final Comments

    I love the era, so I really enjoyed it. However, by its nature of being a niche period it does have less replay-ability (for now) than other titles. It's Attila heritage often shines through, so bear that in mind. But also remember it's cheaper than any mainline Total War title. At 10-20% off in particular (so £24-£27) I'd consider it an absolute bargain.

    Overall, it's a solid 7.5. Add 1 if you love the period (I do, so an 8.5 for me). If you dislike (or just lack a particular interest in) barbarians/Attila, minus 1 (hence the many 6/10s it's received.)

    So be careful of expectations. It offers a lot of great stuff and a fun experience, but it is a saga title in an era similar to that which has been covered a lot recently. Go into it knowing what to expect and you shouldn't be disappointed.
    "Everything in war is simple. But the simplest thing is difficult."
  • davedave1124davedave1124 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 7,419
    I'm still playing and have to admit it's really pleasant and easy going. Currently playing the Wales campaign, starting in Anglesey and generally taking it easy. Love attacking and defending sieges, much better than WH.
  • FranzSaxonFranzSaxon Registered Users Posts: 2,370
    Stupid question and assessment. It was never "the worst ever produced." It was worth buying at regular price. There's yr answer
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