This is exactly the sort of game that TBS fans have been crying out for and with Slitherine's unique AAM (always active multiplayer) arranged through GameSpy, on-line fans have a real treat in store.
SPARTAN takes you back 2000 years to the Heroic Era. Play anyone of 100 Nations, each of which has been authentically researched, and just for spice the game even finds room for the Pantheon of Greek Gods who are ever ready to spread pestilence or create random and malicious acts, to thwart your progress. Not unexpectedly your attention will likely focus on 'Lakedaimon’ (the nation that was SPARTA). Sparta had only two purposes – to train for war and to fight the wars she trained for, her warriors were the strongest, bravest and most disciplined fighters in the known world. Lead them against the Great King Xerxes and his invading Persian Hordes, or maybe your skills are better suited to directing one of the treacherous Greek City states, who by the projection of Naval power spread their influence far and wide in the tempestuous times that the game represents.
Whichever Nation you choose, you will quickly learn your various strengths and weaknesses, for in SPARTAN to conquer is to survive. Each Nation has various cities and settlements to be governed, and you will do this through a number of well laid out screens, each dedicated to a major aspect of the game ranging through Trade, Diplomacy and Research to name but a few.
Firstly, trade is vital in SPARTAN because as your nation progresses your people will crave the luxuries that they believe are rightfully theirs. By mining farming and various other industries you can create enormous wealth for your nation and trade your surpluses on the world markets. Send your Diplomats to foreign lands where they can set up favourable deals (or maybe even engage in a bit of old fashioned espionage). This will enhance your prestige and augment your reputation as one of the regions top statesmen, but remember that there will be no diplomatic immunity shown to those who are found transgressing.
Raise taxes so that you can build hospitals, places of worship, schools and universities. All this will improve your standing with your people, but of course there is always the military to fund, and this will not be so popular. Guide your fledgling nation along many different Research paths by encouraging your philosophers and scientist to research a myriad of diverse projects thus ensuring that your Nation becomes one of the most advanced states in the region.
There are around 60 different troop types across 10 ethnic and cultural groups in Spartan. When you are ready the game changes pace and emphasis and you switch from Government leader to General where you will lead your armies into glorious battles, but before doing so you must be certain that you have trained and properly equipped your army through skilful management and control of your city's building programmes. You will also need to enlist the aid of some trusted commanders to lead your men in the field. Commanders who by their valiant acts are capable of raising your army's moral to new heights.
Great skill is required in developing and recruiting the correct balance of troops, Lights for skirmishing and scouting, heavy Phalanxes to crush the enemy and more mobile mounted forces for lightning attacks, only those with superior tactical skill can hope to survive. Each troop type has its role and only great General's can hope to create a balance that makes the most of these attributes.
Deploy your forces making full use of the terrain and then view the battle as it unfolds via the games 3D battle engine, rotate and zoom in to eye level and march with your Hoplites in the front line to Glorious Victory, or soar high above the field observing the battle and waiting on just the right moment to launch your reserves into the fray.
SPARTAN has just about everything that you would expect from a Grand Campaign TBS strategy game and with the added spice of the interactive battles it's sure to be a winner.