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Antony and Cleopatra by Hollandspiele    "Hail, Antony's Legions". Thus began a fif...

Antony and Cleopatra by Hollandspiele Antony and Cleopatra by Hollandspiele

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

ancient rome

Antony and Cleopatra



 "Hail, Antony's Legions". Thus began a fifty plus year love of Ancient Rome, and then all of Ancient History. It also started a love of brunettes, but I digress. Was Antony so besotted with love that he lost all of his strategic and tactical sense? Was Actium inevitable or just a fluke? Hollandspiele has allowed us to kick Octavian's butt (we don't use that other name, he is always Octavian). Enough about the history and brunettes, how is this new game?

 This is what comes with the game:

  • (1) 22" x 34" map
  • (88) 5/8" counters
  • 12-page rulebook
  • 4-page Player Aid
  • 2 Player Display Sheets
  • 20 Province Cards
  • 1 six-sided die

 If you have been following the blog you will know that I love Hollandspiele's games, especially ones designed by John Theissen. His games have a small footprint as far as counters go. However, even with a small amount of counters he is still able to give the player a multitude of choices, both strategic and tactical. This game is no exception to the rule. 

 The map is not overly colorful, but I really like it. It has large hexes to help with the amount of counters which could be in one of them. The counters are your standard Hollandspiele's fare. Not the prettiest, but totally useful? The cards are very well done and the most artistic of the components. The rulebook is in black and white. It is set up very well and is easy to read and understand. Setup is easy.

 This is the sequence of play:

Each side adds up their respective Resource Points. The higher total is the first player.

Random Events Phase
 A. Storm Check
 B. Invasion Check
First Player Turn
Second Player Turn

This is a Player Turn:
A. Reinforcement Phase
B. Defection Phase
C. Movement Phase
D. Combat Phase
E. Attrition Phase

 The Western Player also has a Phase called 'Troubles Phase'

The Combat Phase has these Phases:
1. Attacker Declaration
2. Retreat Before Combat
3. Odds Calculation
4. Combat Results Table
5. Losses, Retreats, And Advances

 The only rule that I have a problem with is this one. Both Antony and Octavian give a favorable shift in Land Combat. For Antony it's totally understandable. Octavian couldn't tell one end of a pilum from the other. If anything, troops commanded by him should get a minus shift. Agrippa gives a favorable shift for Naval Combat for the Western Player.

The Western (Octavian) starts with eight 'Experienced' legions, with three more as first turn reinforcement. The Eastern (Antony), starts with six 'Experienced' legions, with one as a first turn reinforcement. However, the Eastern player also has four regular legions at the start. The Western Player can also reinforce his troops with eight experienced legions from the Off-Map Garrisons. If the amount of legions Off-Map goes below eight, the Western Player has a 'Troubles' Phase. This represents invasions or rebellions that occur Off-Map. If either of this happens the Western Player cannot take any more Off-Map reinforcements until the Off-Map number of 'Experienced' legions reaches eight again. The naval might of the Eastern player is pretty daunting for the Western player. These are the separate naval forces:

Western Player

Light Squadrons - six

Transports - one

Eastern Player

Heavy Squadrons - six

Light Squadrons - two

Transports - three

 So you can see that the Eastern Player can effectively strike where he wants to. It takes two turns to build Squadron reinforcements, all other units only take one turn.

 The game plays and feels very historical. You do not feel that you are moving troops and ships from a generic point in time. The game is won by Prestige Points. You gain or lose points by losing/winning battles or if your capital is captured. If you or the other player has five or more points than the other player, the higher player can try to cause the lower players troops or a province of his. This is something that happened frequently in all of the Roman Civil Wars.

 I am very impressed with the game. The player is given so many choices in the game. Offense, defense, what do you choose? If you do play badly or are getting bad rolls, it is hard and takes a good player to pull your irons out of the fire. Thank you, Hollandspiele for letting me review a great game on one of my favorite subjects. Now, get to work on the Civil War between Sulla and Marius. Of course, I will take Pompey Magnus versus Caesar (it is so hard to write that name).


Julius Caesar by Columbia Games   This is a rough game for me to review. I do not like Julius Caesar at all. ...

Julius Caesar by Columbia Games Julius Caesar by Columbia Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

ancient rome


  This is a rough game for me to review. I do not like Julius Caesar at all. Every Ides of March, I drink a toast of something to the fact that he was assassinated at the foot of Pompey's statue. I am a teetotaler so nothing special. I consider Sulla the greatest Roman general followed closely by Pompey. Caesar is most highly thought of because of his own propaganda writings. Remember that Caesar was the head of his faction while Pompey was actually representing the legal Roman Senate and also had to take their views into account. Caesar had said Sulla was a fool for giving up his dictatorship. He was not a fool, but a Republican. I guess I should dispense with my personal views now. So the game is about the Roman Civil War between the Roman Senate and a megalomaniac (sorry I had to). The Civil War between Pompey and Caesar. Let us see what you get with the game.

Front And Back Of Box

Game Map(17"x 33" with 13 victory points)
63 Blocks ( 31 tan, 31 green, 1 blue)
Label Sheet (for the blocks)
Cards (27)
Dice (4)
Rule Book


 The map is the usual well done Columbia Games type we have come to enjoy with their block games. It is a map that is used to be gamed, and not be hung on the wall as art. The map does get a bit crowded at times with the blocks. However, for a small fee you can buy a PDF file of the map and have it printed out to pretty much any size you want. The labels are well done. They are aesthetically pleasing, and easy to understand and read. The cards are very well done and add some flavor to the game. There are twenty Command Cards and seven Event Cards in the deck. The rule book is only eight pages long. This is also standard fare for Columbia Games. Their games are meant to be played, not argued over. After one or possibly two games, you will have the rules down pat.

Stickers For The Blocks

  The game is card driven, and is played in these three phases:

Card Phase
Command Phase
Battle Phase

 The event cards are self explanatory. The Command Cards are read by the banners and medals below the banners. On each banner will be a number. That number is the moves a player can make that turn. The medals are the amount of levies that player can produce that turn. At the beginning of each year (or turn) of the game the cards are shuffled, and each player is dealt six cards. Both players then have to choose one card to discard, bringing their total to five cards each. Each player then puts down one card. If one player chooses an event card then he is Player one. If both players put down command cards then the player with the higher movement on his card is player one. When both cards have equal movement points then the Caesar player is player one. If both players put down an event card they cancel each other out and that turn/year is over. The event cards seem to be pretty overpowering compared to the command cards. One has to remember that if you play an event card that is all you can do that turn. No movement, or levies, can take place if you play an event card. 

 Your Navis(naval) units are incredibly powerful if you know how to use them. You can use three Navis units in adjacent sea areas to move your troops an incredible distance. The rule book gives an example of Caesar being able to move two legions from Rome to Antioch because the three seas (Mare Tyrrhenum, Mare Internum, and Mare Egypticum) all have Caesar Navis units in them and are friendly. You cannot conduct amphibious invasions as we think of today, but you can keep your enemy on their toes, and upset their plans with amphibious movement.                                   
 The historically important Roman roads are also very important in the game. A Major road allows four units to move together from city to city. A Minor road only allows two units to travel together. 

 The game even has rules for the Cleopatra unit (blue block). She can change sides numerous times during the war. 

 This is the map showing all of the places that troops can be levied by Brunoc from BGG.

 The battle rules are simple and yet full of strategy and chance. A unit that has the higher combat rating, an A against a B unit, is always the first unit on each player's side to roll for hits. If both sides have the same highest rated unit (both A's or B's etc.) the defender is the first to use his unit to roll for hits. A unit may only fire, retreat, or pass each battle turn. Retreats can only take place after one round of combat has happened. There are rules for pinning enemy units as well as to have reserves for your battles.

 Victory goes to the first player who can get ten victory points. Each main city is worth one point, with Rome and Alexandria being two each. You also get one point for killing an enemy leader.


 The game has been a favorite of people who play Columbia games since it was released. The rules are simple and easy to understand, yet the game is deep enough to keep you enthralled with it. The relatively quick play-through times make it easy for players to give it one more go. The game also lets the player try so many different strategies to try to get to ten victory points. Historically Pompey fled Italy and went to the East. Caesar then cleared out Pompey's legions in Spain, leading Caesar to say "I am going to Spain to fight an army without a general, and thence to the East to fight a general without an army". Many historians feel that Pompey should have gone to Spain to fight with those veteran troops in a country that was difficult to campaign in, and that Pompey had fought in before (against Sertorius). One of the strategies I keep reading about for the game is for Caesar to capture Italy, but also to attack down the Adriatic coast to Greece, and capture Athens etc. I have noticed that not only does the map have the battles listed from the Caesar and Pompey Civil War, but it also lists the battles from after Caesar's death until Actium. I wonder if an add on was planned for the game at some time. The only two knocks on the game are the Octavian block in the Caesarean army and elephants being included in the game. Octavian was sick anytime he came anywhere near a possible battlefield, and I do not believe elephants were used by any Mediterranean nation after the Mithridatic Wars. I will have to check on that. I was wrong, Metellus Scipio used them at the battle of Thapsus. I assume these were the smaller North African variety that Hannibal also used.

 This a picture of all of the command cards posted by EndersGame on BGG.

 There are also many player made cards to replace the ones from the game. The ones I saw have excellent artwork on them.

 This is a fun and pretty furious game that will find its way back onto my table for many years.


Aggressors Ancient Rome by Slitherine  In the Eastern Mediterranean, the age of the Diadochi (Alexander's S...

Aggressors Ancient Rome by Slitherine Aggressors Ancient Rome by Slitherine

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ancient rome

Aggressors Ancient Rome



 In the Eastern Mediterranean, the age of the Diadochi (Alexander's Successors) has passed. It is now the age of the Epigoni (the offspring of the Diadochi). The year is 280 B.C. and Pyrrhus of Epirus is about to invade Italy and start a war with Rome, and anyone else near him. Let us not forget that Rome was in peril. Hannibal supposedly listed Pyrrhus as the second greatest general right after Alexander. The stage is set for you to become the next great conqueror of the Ancient World. Most of the states you can play are still young and vigorous. Of course, it is up to you to make sure they keep their vigor, and do not go long in the tooth or worse.

Choosing your country in the historical scenario

 Aggressors Ancient Rome is another 4X(EXplore, EXpand, EXploit, EXterminate) type game. So, the first question is why did anyone bother to make another one? We have been inundated with 4X games from AAA ones to small indie games. To be honest, the genre rarely grabs my attention. Most are just poor facsimiles of the newest Civ game at the time. Pick your numeral from I-VI. History is usually only given lip service with the addition of a historical leaders name. I am very pleased to tell you that this game is mostly none of the above. It does have some mechanics from some of its well done predecessors, but doesn't fall into the pitfalls of the worst ones.

First screen when starting the historical scenario

 So let us look at the game itself. Instead of rewriting the game's information, I will use the description from Slitherine:

 "A mix of deep gameplay and rich historical flavor, Aggressors lets you relive history as the ruler of one of the mighty civilizations of the Mediterranean world. Will you bring glory to Rome and conquer the Mare Nostrum? Will you build an immortal trading empire with Carthage? Will you bring the light of Athens to the world? Or maybe you will restore the rule of the Pharaoh? Choose one of twenty available factions and conquer the world.

 You can manage all aspects of your empire: war, trade, internal politics, diplomacy, cultural development. Play on your strengths, beware of your weaknesses. The ancient world is brutal, for no mercy shall be given to the defeated. Vae victis!

 Rich historical flavor

A lot of time and many sleepless nights were put into historical research in an attempt to give a real historical feeling to the game. The game’s systems are tailored towards a faithful representation of history.

A world which feels alive

Twenty factions, from migrating barbarian tribes to advanced empires which interact with each other through an extremely detailed diplomatic system. Make use of more than ten available diplomatic agreements, including the possibility of forming Federations and Confederations as well as affecting nations and provinces in your Sphere of Influence.

Real strategic decisions

Experience the incredibly deep combat system, with each unit having its abilities and traits, and terrain truly affecting the war outcome in a meaningful way. Army morale and the supply system are crucial and need to be taken into account. You will need all your guile and strategic mastery to triumph on the battlefield.

Detailed political & economical representation

Rule your empire by managing its internal politics and developing its economy. Establish trade routes to reap wealth, ensure the loyalty of your citizens, manage demography, technological research, internal reforms, laws… the tools at your disposal are endless and seamlessly integrated with each other. Citizens react to the current situation and they can move to other places when they are not happy.

Customize your own world

You have complete freedom: you can decide to start with an advanced nation surrounded by newer civilizations, or you can decide to start as a young tribe, ready to take on an older and decadent empire… or you can decide to completely randomize the map and play in a randomly generated world. The choice is yours!

Easy to learn

Aggressors is very easy to learn thanks to the extremely clear tutorial and tool tips. Dive in the game gradually and explore all the options available to you."

Antigonid Start

 When using the historical start, each nation is presented with the situation it was dealing with at the time. There has been no cookie cutter used to make the different civilizations. Playing each one does feel different than playing another one. For those of you who want a random game, the game can be set up to play that way with random maps etc. The developers, Kubat Software, stress that the game is meant to be incredibly mod friendly. When playing a random map, the civilizations do not start with a city; this type of game will make a regular 4X player feel more at home. You will have to work from the bottom up in your civilization. 

Starting as Rome

 My kudos to Kubat Software for their very well done tutorials. There is both a basic and advanced tutorial for three civilizations: Rome, Carthage, and Ptolemaic Egypt. Most tutorials in games seem to be slapped together at the end, if they are present at all. The ones in Aggressors take the player by the hand through the game.

Starting Rome map

 So does the game hit the sweet spot or leave a nasty taste in your mouth? Aggressors is definitely a game I am glad was produced. The game is much deeper and more complex than others in the genre. Playing it feels like you are leading Rome or the Antigonids to the preeminent position in the Mediterranean. You do not get the feeling that you are playing civilization B of A,B,C,D,E. The attention to detail, and even more important to historical detail, is evident while playing. I will add that being a historical gamer, the random start leaves me completely flat. I am not interested in that type of game at all. However, there is certainly enough in the historical setup to keep me happy for quite a while.

Resources Map

 There is one item that struck me the minute I started the game, so I do want to mention it. The Antigonids start in what is actually Macedonia. This is about right for the time or close to it. However, the Macedon player actually starts in Thrace. Absolutely loving the age as I do, my head went a-tilt. The devs at Kubat have explained  how they had to deal with the actual Antigonids. At the time of the start of the game, they also had to deal with the fact that Ptolemy Keraunos was king in Macedon (soon to be killed by the Galations). I will accept their slight adjustment of history for gaming sake.

Objective Map

 There is one other thing I wanted to point out. This is one of the best posts I have ever seen a developer make; it is in the Slitherine Aggressors forum: "(DEVELOPER CALL) Do you want to help us with new scenarios?" This is the way to support your game.

Build Facility Map


Lucullus by Lee Fratantuono  Lucullus usually brings to mind a plethora of epicurean delights. With this biograp...

Lucullus by Lee Fratantuono Lucullus by Lee Fratantuono

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

ancient rome



Lee Fratantuono

 Lucullus usually brings to mind a plethora of epicurean delights. With this biography of Lucullus, Dr. Fratantuono brings the subject's whole life into focus, not just the end of it. Lucullus' story starts at the age of sixteen. His father had been sent to Sicily as a Propraetor, this was during the Second servile War (slave war). When he returned Lucullus' father was charged with extortion of the Sicilians and convicted, then condemned to exile. So Lucullus was entering manhood just as this scandal broke upon his family. Lucullus and his brother were commended for their 'pietas', for trying to prosecute the man who had convicted their father. 

 Lucullus was attached to the army of Lucius Cornelius Sulla right before Sulla turned on Rome to drive out the Marians. When Sulla turned his army against Rome, only a sole Quaestor marched with him. The Quaestor is not named, but Dr. Fratantuono and many others believe that this man was Lucullus. 

 Lucullus then goes with Sulla to fight Mithridates of Pontus. Mithridates was trying to keep his conquests in Asia Minor, and had even invaded Greece. Once Sulla had forced Mithridates to the peace table, Lucullus was left in Asia Minor to keep an eye on him and to clean up some other matters. As usual with Mithridates, the minute he believed Rome's back was turned he started to reconquer Asia Minor for himself. He did not count on Lucullus and his military abilities. Lucullus then chased Mithridates out of Asia Minor and into Armenia. Lucullus was the first Roman to bring Roman arms so far into the Near East. Unfortunately for Lucullus, this Third Mithridatic War also ended in a stalemate. Lucullus' Roman Army became mutinous over the length of time that had transpired in this campaign, along with the mileage that they had been forced to march chasing after Mithridates. Lucullus was replaced as governor, and he pretty much retired from Roman political life. His epicurean delights and life after his military fame have unfortunately caught most people's eye. Cicero himself felt that Lucullus and his achievements were exemplary, and even described Lucullus as the 'highest man'.

 This book is only 145 pages long, but it is followed by an extensive 'endnotes' section. The book has eight pages of colored pictures from places mentioned in the text. Dr. Fratantuono does an excellent job of bringing this man Lucullus back out of the shadows and into the light. 

Book: Lucullus
Author: Lee Fratantuono
Publisher: Pen&Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Gaius Marius by Marc Hyden     Gaius Marius, or as he is usually known as just Marius, is at first glance a stud...

Gaius Marius by Marc Hyden Gaius Marius by Marc Hyden

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

ancient rome



 Gaius Marius, or as he is usually known as just Marius, is at first glance a study in opposites. He was a 'New Man' (Novus Homo), this meant he had no ancestors that Romans would know. He had only a very slim chance to rise in the 'Honors Race' (Cursus Honorum). He became Consul an unprecedented seven times.  He was also touted as the 'Savior of Rome'. As a general, he was one of the best of his age. As a politician, he was one of the worst. True, the Roman Republic was in a downward spiral, but Marius did more than his fair share to destroy the Republic. He was a demagogue who was friendly with, and was allied to, some of the worst Roman politicians of the time. Marius was obsessed with power and the glory that military success could bring him. He was prepared to, and did frequently, trod on any and every Roman law or long established precedents to get what he wanted. 

 The author shows Marius the man, warts and all. He has given us an excellent biography of Marius. This could not have been an easy task. Marius' life is as faceted as a diamond in the sunlight. He was also quite possibly the savior of Rome. Destroyer of the Roman Republic, no, but he showed the next generations where to plunge the knife. The author does contend that Marius' enemies wrote the history of the period, so that he may not have stooped so low as we have read before. It is also quite possible that Marius' legacy was saved by his execrable nephew. He may also have been just as bad as he has been painted. 

 Savior, murderer, and trampler of all laws, Marius' life certainly deserves this biography by Mr. Hyden.

 The book also paints Sulla, Marius' inveterate enemy, in a very bad light. We will agree to disagree on this point. The author brings forth not only the man Marius, but the age in which he lived. He also gives us a very good breakdown of Roman politics, and a civics course in ancient Rome.  

 The book cover shows an almost unbelievable, but historic, event in the life of Marius. Marius is to the right. He is around seventy years old, and unarmed. His assassin is overawed by Marius' voice and personality, and cannot commit the deed.  

 The book itself is 300 plus pages long. It is touted as being the first comprehensive biography of Marius in 150 years. I am looking forward to the author's next endeavor.


Author: Marc Hyden
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

                                                                                   Sulla                                                  ...

Sulla: A Dictator Reconsidered by Lynda Telford Sulla: A Dictator Reconsidered  by Lynda Telford

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

ancient rome

                                      A Dictator Reconsidered

                                          By Lynda Telford 


 Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix; his self written epitaph reads "no friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full".

  The truth about Sulla's life and exploits has always been there to be seen. It took a brave person like Lynda Telford to put it all down in writing. Swimming against the stream is hard enough. Fighting your way through two thousand years of history is quite another adventure, although the author's membership in the Richard III society may have helped her prepare for this struggle.

 Sulla: the name exudes anathema to most historians. All stories have to have a villain, and to most he fits the bill admirably. But does he? A soldier and general of the highest caliber, he was a dictator of Rome, the first dictator in Rome's long history not to have a time limit on his authority. He killed, outlawed, and even murdered. So he must be the demon we have read about. As I said, every story needs a villain and a hero. History has chosen the hero in our play, Julius Caesar, a man who refused to bow down to Sulla's will and divorce his wife. Technically true, but there is more to the story. Only two men bearded the old lion that was Sulla. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and Caesar. Of the two, Pompey stayed in Rome, whilst Caesar ran to the edge of the Roman world after his slight tug on Sulla's mane.

  He was one of only eight Romans to win the coveted Grass Crown before it was sullied with Octavian's honorary one.

 To me, Lynda Telford's book is a milestone. It brings to life a principled man who should have had the acclaim of the Roman world in which he lived. Instead he was, and is, vilified for his choice of friends and lovers. He was principled, and he did have a reason for what he planned and carried out. He was a patriot who saw Rome falling from a republic to chaos in front of him. He was born just before the upheaval of the Gracchus brothers. The Gracchus brothers also had a plan, a good and true one. Their problem was that they were willing to flaunt all of Rome's laws to see it through. From their lives and deaths you see the fall of the Roman republic. Demagogues, money, and violence became the way of  politics in Rome. Sulla was trying to put an end to this, and to strengthen the senate, and return Rome to a land of its laws.

 The author has picked an incredible man for her work. She has also picked a huge fight with history. If Caesar is a hero, then Sulla must be a villain.

  Sulla is not only vilified for his actions, but also for his way of life. He is the only openly bisexual person in all of the famous men of Rome's historical record before the empire. I say openly because he himself stated that the male actor Metrobius was the love of his life. I think it is high time (as does the author) we look at his life without the blinders of previous centuries prejudices. 

 That I agree with the author's premise is very much a given. To me, Gaius Marius and Caesar were both heading Rome so that it might be ruled as a personal empire, naturally with them or their family as emperors. Sulla tried to put a stop to the violence and chaos of the last forty years. He wanted the republic back in all of its glory, and strong within its laws. The author shows Sulla warts and all. She does not make excuses for him, but tries to explain his actions. There are many people who disagree with her portrait. Caesar finally conquered in the end. His own plaudits of his career have been used to teach Latin for two thousand years. While Sulla, who became a dictator and then voluntarily gave up that power, is reviled instead of being praised as another Cincinnatus. Readers, please try and keep an open mind about the author's portrait of the life of the colossus that was Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix.

 The author brings his life and times to us in it's full panoply. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who has even the slightest interest in the history of the later Roman republic. Hopefully, she is hard at work on a biography of Pompey. In the meantime join me on every Ides of March, and raise a toast to Sulla and Pompey.


Book: Sulla: a Dictator Reconsidered
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishing
Author: Lynda Telford
Review Date: 8/21/16

I started playing Legion from Slitherine. Legion is a turn-based strategy game set in ancient Rome. A little bit like Civilizatio...

Legion for iOS, a gem of a game Legion for iOS, a gem of a game

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

ancient rome

I started playing Legion from Slitherine.

Legion is a turn-based strategy game set in ancient Rome.

A little bit like Civilization there is a campaign map, a strategic level, where the player controls armies and must conquer other tribes and city to build a powerful in ancient France and Italy.
What makes the game really interesting is the tactical level. In battles the player must position their armies to take advantage of terrain and make use of the best formations, to ensure victory.
I love that part. You place your units, decide their formation when in the battle they will start marching toward the enemy lines and then watch. Since you do not see most of the enemy troops before starting the battle, some late action may save you the battle at the last moment.
Of course, it may be a little bit frustrating since when you start the battle there is nothing much you can do anymore. But the amazing thing with this game is that you do not feel cheated by the AI. The result of the battles always seems to be accurate and balanced.

Let's be honest... watching your armies fighting on your iPad screen is just very pleasant.
Many times I was feeling like a general giving initial orders before the battle and, on top of the hill, looking as where the fate of his soldiers were decided.
You will learn very quickly all the option at hand before a battle and you will not repeat twice the same mistake after your army hit a wall of defenders because you just gave the wrong formation and direction.

At a strategic level, you will manage your cities, raise production building and allocate enough workers to them in order to produce resources. Wood, food and ore. The city also is used to recruit men for your armies. And workers are soldiers. so you have to make some difficult choice between increasing forces or increasing production.

Legion also have a diplomatic interface who is simple but efficient and do the job well even though it may displease the people who love such part to be deep. Here nothing too fancy but it is efficient enough to create simple treaties. You will not win a game as a diplomat. You will win by forced conquest.

The interface is simply very efficient on the Ipad. This game was created so long ago  I think those guys may have foreseen the tablets age.

Be aware the game comes with a PDF manual who must read since the in-game tutorial is very short and do not cover a lot of information you will find in the manual. Some screenshot I took will show part of this manual.
It is not really nice since reading such document on a tablet is tedious. A better tutorial or in-game hint will have been a better approach. But again this game was developed long time ago before the golden age of tablets. The manual though is very complete and can always be printed.

So if you have patience and want to know everything about each units and their strength and weaknesses, if you need every bit of information about every single buildings in the game to make sure you are making every single decision the right one, then you will have to spend some reading time on this manual.

All in all this game is a very good strategic game with an original tactical approach. I will definitely recommend it for those who likes to raise armies and build an Empire . A must have if you own an Ipad.