September 19, 2013
Total War: Rome 2 Review (Part 4)
We last spoke on the advanced tactics of managing provinces in Total War: Rome 2, but what would this game be without an intensive political system layered underneath it? Before you delve into politics, make sure you got the hang of province management.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of this, you’re ready to move on with the politics of Rome 2. Agents make the game’s sense of empowerment all the more enjoyable since you can use these agents to systematically destroy an army or empire. If you get through mastering them, you’ll be practically unstoppable.
The agents are split into three different categories: the Spy, the Dignitary, and finally the Champion.
The Spy is the master of all things deadly and stealthy, providing you with the passive ability to see all the enemy information you need to lay out a strike. The spy can manipulate your enemies into joining the faction, poisoning enemy units, or even spreading public disorder inside of an enemy province. With the right timing, the Spy is the absolute best unit for sabotaging enemy armies and giving you an advantage when outnumbered.
The Champion is the stereotypical, muscle bound dick head we’ve all come to know and love from the pointless Romanization of the Roman Empire in movies like Spartacus. The Champion is a master warrior and is often times overlooked because he’s a guy with a sword and shield. But if you work your way up with the Champion, you’ll find that he’s the perfect option for providing military sabotage, whether that be through a garrison assault or through manipulation.
Finally, we have the Dignitary, my personal favorite of the three. He’s essentially a shrewd diplomat with a lot of emphasis on the ability to undermine political figures. This unit is my favorite because he can provide the same abilities as the other two with a few extra benefits exclusive to him, the usurping of generals being one of them. Dignitaries also have the handy ability to spread public disorder within a province (through an increased number of public penalties), as well as the ability to spread your own cultural influence into a province. This will make cultural conversion a lot easier on you as having the Dignitary present in a settlement eases the population’s liking of you.
All of these agents have the ability to change the tide of battle for you, but they all possess the same basic abilities, save for the special attributes. To increase chances of success with them, you must earn XP with agents by performing agent actions. These cost money, but the right management of them will provide you with all that you need to spread disorder and chaos outside of politics, military, and provincial borders. These guys can only reach a maximum of level nine, but you probably won’t even get that far as the agents actually age.
Ironically, age plays an important role in Rome 2, as well. If the agent or politician is too old, you should expect them to keel over from natural causes any day. When they die, they’re position is vacant and you must choose a new agent to succeed them, albeit without the upgrades that you received with the previous agent. This means that while they are useful, you have to respect that they won’t always be here.
Stick around because this review hasn’t reached its conclusion yet! More in a future blog post.
Image Credit: Sega