Rome: Total War Engine Powers Decisive Battles

It's not a game, but a half an hour series on History Channel, which premieres on Friday, July 23 at 9-9:30pm ET/PT. The series is hosted by Matthew Settle from the Band of Brothers and will feature commantaries from famous historians. The use of the Rome: Total War engine will enable viewers to get a gods-eye perspective of the battlefield and the troops, their formations, weapons and strategies employed back then. The game is scheduled for the fall of 2004, so, in the meantime, you can take a look at the engine's possibilities by watching History Channel.
Secrets of Ancient Battle Strategies Come To Life in DECISIVE BATTLES Utilizing Rome: Total War Technology Premieres on The History Channel Friday, July 23 at 9pm ET/PT
NEW YORK, JULY 14, 2004 — It’s hard to imagine that the tranquil fields of present day Italy, Greece and other Mediterranean lands were once the site of some of the most historic battles of ancient times. But now, The History Channel goes on location to the actual battlefields and integrates cutting-edge videogame technology to bring history and imagination together in the new series DECISIVE BATTLES. The half-hour series DECISIVE BATTLES premieres Friday, July 23 at 9-9:30pm ET/PT on The History Channel. The series is hosted by Matthew Settle (Band of Brothers) on location at the ancient battlefields and features expert commentary from the world's foremost historians. DECISIVE BATTLES is unlike any series The History Channel has ever aired. Employing the same advanced computer gaming technology as in the highly-anticipated new video game Rome: Total War™ , the series gives viewers an unprecedented perspective of ancient battles by re-creating troops in their vast numbers and landscapes on a scale otherwise impossible. Instead of recounting these ancient battles though drawings, paintings and reenactments using actors, they spring to life in this new computer animation that allows viewers a gods-eye view of the battlefield with its massive numbers of troops, their formations, and the weapons and strategies each side employed. Viewers will get the vantage point the generals wish they’d had. Rome: Total War™, the latest installment in The Creative Assembly’s award-winning Total War™ series, is scheduled for a fall 2004 release. The highly acclaimed game took the industry by storm when it debuted at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo earning the highest accolade, a “Best of E3 2003” award for Best Strategy Game. The title was also lauded by industry leader Computer Gaming World magazine as a “landmark strategy/-wargame” and received “Best Games of E3” accolades from PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, GameSpot and GameSpy. The revolutionary new Total War™ engine technology brings to life epic, cinematic battles beyond anything ever seen before in a game. Players will be transported to the battlefields of ancient history’s greatest conflicts and control mighty armies of up to 10,000 fully polygonal, highly detailed, motion-captured warriors. For the first time ever on television, gamers will learn strategy they can incorporate into their own gameplay as DECISIVE BATTLES gives the actual historical view of the strategies used by some of the best-known figures of the ancient world— Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Spartacus, and Attila the Hun. Episodes of DECISIVE BATTLES will include these famous battles: Cannae: In 216 BC, the great Hannibal of Carthage marched from Spain, crossed the Alps and invaded Italy. The program shows how Hannibal’s outnumbered infantry and cavalry managed to encircle the entire Roman army of nearly seventy thousand men and win the Battle of Cannae, the biggest defeat ever suffered by Rome. Premieres July 23. Gaugamela: Viewers will see how the cavalry of Alexander the Great smashed into the quarter-million-strong army of Darius of Persia on the vast battlefield of Gaugamela in 331 BC. The stakes were high as victory at Gaugamela would give Alexander control of Persia and an opening to conquer Afghanistan and India. Premieres July 30. Thermopylae: In 480 BC, the Persian king Xerxes invaded Greece with nearly a quarter of a million men. Viewers will experience what a sight that must have been for the 300 Spartans sent to hold them off at Thermopylae. Led by their king, Leonidas, they fought a rearguard action against the Persian army. The 300 Spartans were all killed but they won time, and their example inspired the rest of Greece to eventual victory. Premieres August 6. Marathon: In 490 BC, the Persian Empire was expanding westward and had its eye on Greece. But, in an incredible feat of strength and speed, the Greeks defeated one half of the Persian army on the Plain of Marathon and then marched to Athens to prevent the other half from landing by ship. The program shows the 600 ships of the Persian invasion fleet and the charge of eleven thousand Greeks and how the battle was actually won. Today, this battle is best known for the story of the runner Pheidippides, who, according to legend, ran roughly twenty miles to Athens with the news of victory and so inspired the Olympic event. Premieres August 13. Spartacus and the Slave Revolt: In 73 BC, the gladiator Spartacus led a revolt of slaves against their Roman masters. They fought their way from southern Italy to the foothills of the Alps. The Romans were terrified. If Spartacus succeeded, the structure of society would be turned on its head. The program demonstrates the strategy that Spartacus used for his slave army to break through the Roman army which surrounded them. Premieres August 20. Chalons: In 451 AD, the Roman general Aetius, often called “The Last of the Romans,” gathered a ragtag army together to stop the fearsome Attila the Hun from invading Italy. Viewers will see how the Roman troops attacked the Hun wagon encampment in this great night battle. Premieres August 27. Carrhae: This battle of 53 BC was Rome’s worst defeat since Cannae and brought eastward expansion to a halt. Crassus, the man who defeated Spartacus, invaded Parthia in search of military glory. Viewers will see exactly how the Parthians allowed Crassus to march deep into the desert and then used their mounted archers to encircle the Roman legions. Watch, like they did, as the skies darkened with arrows. Premieres September 3. Adrianople: This battle of 378 AD marked the beginning of the end for the Roman Empire. Population pressure drove the Goth tribes across the Danube River in search of land. The program shows vividly how a hundred thousand Goths formed huge columns like battering rams, and attacked the Roman lines at Adrianople. Premieres September 10. Pharsalus: In 48 BC, the Roman generals Caesar and Pompey fought a civil war for control of the Roman Empire. The program shows exactly how Caesar outsmarted Pompey as sixty thousand Roman legionaries fought to the death in Pharsalus. Premieres September 17. Cynoscephalae: This battle of 197 BC not only removed Rome’s last rival for power in the Mediterranean, it changed the nature of ancient warfare. All the great Greek victories, including those of Alexander the Great, were won using the phalanx formation of tight packed ranks of spearmen. In the program, viewers see how the Romans fought their way through the sixteen thousand spears of the Macedonian infantry, and won the day with their more flexibly organized legions. Premieres September 24. Watling Street: In 61 AD, Rome occupied Britain. When Boudicca, the queen of the Iceni tribe, was whipped and her daughters raped by the Romans, the British tribes rose in revolt. The viewer will be right in the middle of the action, watching how the warrior queen Boudicca led 100,000 Britons against the might of Rome. Premieres October 1. Teutoburg Forest: Rome lost more than 10% of its entire army in this battle in 9AD – and all its territory east of the Rhine River. Journey deep into the forest and witness how three Roman legions were attacked on all sides by German tribesmen led by Arminius. A rough translation of his Latin name led to his going down in history as the original “Herman the German.” Faced with a hopeless end, the Roman general Varus threw himself on his sword. The emperor Augustus was found wailing, “Varus, give me back my legions.” Kadesh: In 1299 BC, the Egyptian and Hittite empires fought for control of Syria. See how Rameses II drove off the Hittite king in one of the biggest chariot battles of all time. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Margaret Kim. DECISIVE BATTLES was produced for The History Channel by David Paradine Television, Inc. Executive Producers are Sir David Frost and John M. Florescu. The History Channel has partnered with Enpocket, the world's leading mobile marketing solutions provider, to allow users to interact with the program using their mobile phones. Viewers can text in to 84288 (equivalent of THC-TV) to have show reminders sent to their phone. They can answer questions about the battles during the show for a chance to win prizes, such as the video game ROME: Total War. Now reaching more than 86 million Nielsen subscribers, The History Channel®, "Where the Past Comes Alive®," brings history to life in a powerful manner and provides an inviting place where people experience history personally and connect their own lives to the great lives and events of the past. The History Channel received the prestigious Governor's award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's "Save Our History®" campaign dedicated to historic preservation and education. The History Channel web site is located at