Centurion: Defender of Rome Download (1990 Strategy Game)

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Starting as a young Roman legionnaire in 275BC, your job is to conquer the known world through force or diplomacy, fighting on land and sea.

Centurion: Defender of Rome is a turn-based strategy game. You start with one province, Rome, and one legion. To complete the game, you have to conquer all the provinces on the map.

One part of the game is micro-managing your provinces. You set up tax rates and make people happy by organizing games. In Rome, you can organize a chariot race, a gladiatorial combat or even a simulated naval battle; this starts an action mini-game where you control the chariot rider, gladiator or ship.

Another part of the game is military conquest. You can raise legions or strengthen them in any province you control (let's just hope there are enough men in the province, or your legion will be incomplete and weaker). There are three types of legions, each of them has a different strength. You can also move a legion to a neighbouring province.

When you enter a province you don't yet control, you can speak with the ruler there. With luck, you can convince him to give you the province for free; but this isn't very likely, and you'll often have to fight.

When your legion attacks a province, or defends one of your provinces from an invader, the game switches to an isometric view of the battlefield. You can give orders to your legion (assuming they are within the range of their commander's voice) and watch as they duke it out with the enemy forces. Eventually, one of the sides will be completely wiped out or panic and retreat.

Finally, you can buy warships and have naval battles with the enemy fleet. This is represented as an action mini-game, depicting a duel of the flagships; however, the outcome of the battle actually depends on the strength of your fleet.

It is 400 years after the Founding, and a young Roman centurion is camped with his legion on the banks on the Tiber. They are waiting for orders...

It sounds rad or what? A modern audience wouldn't surely think much of this little game, come from an innocent past era of video games history. But, pay what is Caesar's to Caesar, Centurion in its time was too cool for school. I must admit however, that experiencing it again now that the strategy genre has long reached the adult age, makes you think of all the ways it could have been made a better strategy game. Yet, it was a blast to play, and it still is; only not for days and days like other deeper games.

So, what makes this game so cool? Probably battles will be first on everyone's list. Back then tactics was rare to be seen in a game (even war games, most of which were strategic), and a long time would pass before it was a usual element in video games. Besides in Centurion the execution is very nice: the armies are animated, and that's what made this game actually impressive.

The battle system is of course simple by today's standards, but it's actually very good, made with just a few elements. You are given pre-defined choices for battle formation and starting tactic but, except against the weakest enemies--and even so in case you mind crippling casualties--you have to give new orders every minute for single platoons at critical spots (the fighting pauses when you're giving orders). The opening formations are few and can't be modified, but that actually agrees with Roman military practice, which dictated standard ways to deploy an army for a pitched battle, tending to disregard the situation at hand (which is why they couldn't deal with Hannibal before Zama).

Troops move only so fast, so you must anticipate the situation both offensively and defensively. You must plan how to flank the enemy and protect your own flanks: a single platoon can wreak havoc in many enemy ones--and decide the battle--if those aren't properly manoeuvred or supported on time. But it doesn't get so crazy as modern RTS games like Age of Empires: formations are not permeable--yet they can be broken with superior concentration of fighting power.

Actually, because of the remarkable accuracy of the (very simple) simulation, the kind of battles you'll play in this game will result very similar to the ones actually fought in the Greco-Roman era: two opposed lines of solid infantry with a chiefly passive role, and mobile units on both sides, at the same time covering the flanks and menacing the enemy ones, manoeuvring to doom the entire enemy army with a smart move, or superior shock power or manoeuvrability. (Carthage also used elephants, which never won any battle but were another nice problem to throw at the Romans.)

There are some details that aren't found in all tactic games and they're very good to see. For example morale: when faced with defeat platoons will flee--but they can also be killed. Also, you can't see the enemy formation until you decide your own, and you won't know the enemy tactic until you decide your opening move and the battle commences. (The enemy is equally limited, he doesn't react to your choices--even if from your perspective it looks as if he acts afterwards.)

Unfortunately there's a couple of important limitations that don't simulate real elements of warfare too, but they were probably due to hardware limits. For example platoons can move in four directions only, and between discrete spots (squares that the battlefield is invisibly divided into). And you can't command more than one legion into a battle; this is a very important limitation, because it means that you can't buy yourself as many numbers as you want,even if you have the resources. (However you can defeat an enemy by attacking several times with several legions, fighting several battles--which means losing all but the last.)

In naval battles, you command the flagship against the enemy's, and the outcome of that combat will modulate the rest of the battle, which is otherwise about whose fleet is bigger. So you don't command a whole fleet in battle, as you do with armies.

Another great point in this game is the music. Just a simple background tune for each situation, but really atmospheric, appropriate, and epic. Otherwise there are nearly no sound effects, the hardware didn't provide with more at the time.

The rest of the game revolves around managing your armies and fleets and deploying them around strategically, very little province management, the brief diplomatic intercourses when you enter foreign territory, and chariot races and gladiator games of course. Diplomacy is an extremely weak element of the game, which is very unfortunate. Almost always it boils down to two options: leave or fight. By the time some nation is willing to submit peacefully, it's almost pointless; and you have to choose the right dialogue choices like in an adventure game, but it sounds random.

Chariot races are the most picturesque element of the game, and believe it or not, betting can be your most important income (you can't arrange more than one race each year, and only in Rome). You drive your own chariot, and once you get the hang of it, winning is automatic in the low difficulty levels; so you just end up playing the chariot race mini-game every turn in order to get money for your wars.

In short this is a somewhat shallow strategy game built around an awesome battle simulator, along with various other mini-games bundled in the old tradition. Nevertheless I personally think the result is a great game that deserves its place as a classic, granted it's not perfect, but it's lots of fun. It sure is one of those games that would benefit a lot from a modern version. But since Rome Total War is pretty much just that, and is not half bad, that's already covered.

Even so, after a while all the battles are the same, and the only change you can introduce is increasing the difficulty level. So don't expect Centurion to keep you entertained for days. Still it's good to have some quick fun without getting stuck in lengthier strategy games.

You're a roman emperor and you have to conquer the world through brutal force but also some diplomacy will come around the corner of the game. The VGA-graphics and gameplay are superb.

Veni, vidi, vici!

Julius Cesar

That's what You have to do - conquer the "Old world". You start with one legion in Rome (whose people are very restless in the beginning). The game offers a lot - battles, diplomacy, entertainment for people (arcade part of the game in which You race chariots or fight gladiators)... Each country You attack is represented by it's historical leader and sometimes You may even make them join You without fight! In the part that covers battle you control everything - starting formation of Your armies, their orders, special orders, retreats... Just be careful not to lose leader or Your troop's morale will drop. Great strategy game.

This one is one of the games which gave me most entertainment, EVER. Basically, you have to repeat the history of the ancient Roman Empire(so you can guess one of the motives i like this game ;-) conquering the whole europe.

The real cause i love this game, though, is for its sheer amount of details, in battles, for instance, each general has a charisma and a "voice" value, and these influence how the troopers will react to his commands, and if they actually EAR his orders. Of course you won't have only battles to do, but you'll have to take care of your population's morale, and it will be hard to avoid uprisings in many regions of the vast empire you will conquer... at your disposal, to this pourpouse, you will have many shows, two of them will be playable: Chariots and Gladiator Show, adding to this component two "sub-games" that will ease you stress from one battle to the next.

Technically, the game's perfect: graphics are clean, but the most amazing thing is that the sound supports automatically even the most recent of sound cards, truly amazing; download this game, you won't be disappointed.

P.S.: Inside the archive you'll find the copy protection codes, no crack, sorry.

This is a decent game. The graphics are fairly basic, but that is the case with most games from that era. The game runs on a map of Europe/Middle East/North Africa set up "Risk" style into individual nations. The game strikes a decent balance between requiring you to manage your empire and getting stuck in micro-managing details. If you like the small details of Sim City or Civilization, you will find a lot missing here.

You start as a minor military commander within the Roman Republic, which consists just of Italy, and a very small army under your command. With this, you can go to neighboring nations and "persuade" them to join you. At first, with your small army, no one will join you except by force of arms. You will have to fight for new territory. But victories in battle and conquering new territories will raise your rank as well as raise tax from which you can expand your army.

You need the larger army to defend your conquests and to have a larger force to confront other nations. If your army is large enough they may agree to pay you tribute in order to keep their nations. If they think they can beat you, they won't agree to tribute and you will have to fight or withdraw. Some barbarian nations will fight no matter how strong you are - they won't back down to you. And there are the rival empires of Carthage and Parthia out there, who may invade your territory.

The management of your empire consists of setting tax rates and providing entertainment. If you are doing poorly in battle or if your tax rates are too high, the people may become rebellious. You can hold gladiatorial games or chariot to make them happier, or lower the taxes.

You judge the outcome of the gladiatorial games. If you judge different than the crowd, you can lose the benefit of the game. But if you judge the way they want you to (you have to guess, but generally the crowd likes gladiators who put up a good entertaining fight and will want them spared). You also can hold chariot races.

The game has you run a chariot in the race, and you can win cash doing this.

You will want to keep your empire happy; as it will increase the prosperity of captured territories and increase the wealth you receive in taxes/tributes (which will allow you to raise more armies).

The most fun in the game is running battles. There is limited control in the game as units generally act on their own and can be slow to change what they are doing when you give them orders. But you choose their starting battle formation and can influence the battle by selecting some units and giving them special orders throughout the battle.

Your legions consist mostly of infantry and to start with this is what your enemies will consist of as well. Differences are that the Parthian and some barbarians are mostly cavalry which move faster than your forces. You will need to get your troops into a formation where you can have multiple infantry units fighting horse units. You get advantages when you can attack a unit from the side or rear and this can help you capitalize on that advantage as horse units can be stronger than your infantry.

The greatest challenge is elephants (found in Africa and parts of the Middle East). They are very tough and can grind over top of a legion if you fight them head on. But if you can wound them and make them run away, they can trample enemy units in their path. You also can build ships to transport your armies and can engage in sea battles. After a few times through the game I played it mostly to run land battles which remained the most enjoyable element of the game for quite some time.

It's the best game ever made! I highly recommend downloading it immediately! You'll be satisfied and impressed!

One of my favourite themes in any computer game. Centurion takes place during the time when the Roman Empire was about the rule most of the world. Your mission in Centurion is to build up the Roman Empire further and to conquer the rest of Europe and the northern part of Africa. Your enemies are mostly just the national armies in each country you attack.

During battle you start by use a formation for your infantry (this was what the Romans were very famous for). Once you have given your command the battle will run pretty much automatically but you can interrupt your units somewhat but they don't always react the way you want. While you are attacking other countries you will have to keep the citizens happy with reasonable taxes, setup entertainment and other things. The entertainment can consist of wagon races or gladiator fights where you control one of the people participating (your performance will only have very little effect on the actual game).

You can buy new armies including ships so you can move armies faster to both Great Britain and Africa. You can also get more units and if you manage to get enough money you can actually get a very large army where only few can harm you. The game interface is very easy to use and it's not very difficult to keep a hold of the few options you can do with your cities (there are so few features that it might even had been better if they removed this part of the game completely as it seems unfinished). But the game offers nice detailed graphics and at certain parts of the game the atmosphere is really great like when you have to give thumbs up or down at the end of a gladiator fight.

Overall a great game taking place in one of the most interesting periods of history and offering a bunch of great features and shows how action and strategy elements can be mixed together and still succeed.

Another great strategy game. You're the leader of the Roman empire and you lead your army to victory! Defeat Carthago and all other countries around you. Build a fleet, select people from the defeated countries to join your army or build new armies. Use different strategies to defeat other armies. Help your army with fighting. One of the best strategy games I know. A must for all strategy fans.

An entertaining game with bits of adventure elements (for example, at some point you'll get to meet Cleopatra and try to-- erm-- win her favor), this game is reminiscent of the old Cinemaware classic Defender of the Crown for its strong emphasis on fun over historical realism. (Not surprisingly, since it's designed by the same designer, ex-Cinemaware Kellyn Beck). As official of the Roman Empire, you must manage armies, calm rebellious citizens, and conquer neighboring countries. Rome wasn't built in a day, but win enough chariot races, and you might be able to do it in a matter of weeks ;)

How to run this game on modern Windows PC?

This game has been set up to work on modern Windows (8/7/Vista/XP 64/32-bit) computers without problems. Please choose Download - Easy Setup (2.16 MB).


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