Humphrey Bogart said:
I'll probably give Warhammer a shot at Christmas once I upgrade my PC.
One of the reasons I like Shogun 2 so much is actually how streamlined everything is. Well Fleshed Out Character and Agent Skill Trees, Logical Tech Tree that isn't too big.
I actually think it's lack of unit diversity is one of it's strengths as it allows for better AI programming and really good battle mechanics.
Everything in Shogun 2 just works well together and the differences in strategy come from the subtle advantages & traits each clan has.
I also like Rome II and it does have some excellent faction variety because of the different cultures. Rome II never really challenged me though like Shogun did. I've completed three long campaigns playing as Rome, Baktria and Sparta.
Surprisingly my Baktria campaign was the easiest. I employed a Blitzkrieg Strategy and teched up my Cavalry right away. I think I took out Parthia on turn 3 or 4 and from there it was fairly smooth sailing.
I ended up building 5 or 6 pure cavalry Armies with a composition of 8 Cataphracts, 8 Baktrian Horse Archers, 3 War Elephants and a General on Horseback. I focused my upgrades on campaign map movement increases and usually embedded a spy with each Army with a focus again on campaign map movement increases.
Once their stats were fully maxed out, my Cav Armies could move through 2 or 3 provinces in a single turn and I basically steamrolled the map.
All good points, enjoyed both games for the same reasons. Think I'll give Shogun 2 another go; initially had put it aside because the loading times were insane, but that was on an old potato of a computer. It was bad enough that I would tend to autoresolve battles (rather then wait 5-10 minutes for it to load) so that killed a lot of the fun. Personally preferred the original Rome to Rome 2, but Rome 2 got a massive improvement in one of it's later patches, so both are pretty good. Both were a lot of fun to play as alternate histories, and had fun trying to stop the Romans as one of the Celtic tribes. Started a lot more games then I ever ran to the conclusion. Think I'll reinstall Shogun and Rome to play through them and compare directly, but think they are all great but different experiences.
I think part of the personal appeal of the WH versions is that it's more of an escapist reality to play, and aren't reminded of some real genocides throughout history if I'm playing as say, vampires or something and wiping out the dwarves. Enjoyed the subtlety of Shogun, and how you really had to maximise small things, so it was a pretty even playing field, but being able to spawn rat hordes from the underground, drop a comet on someone, or attack them with dragons has it's own appeal. There is also an interesting mix with different tech trees, building progression and other unique faction mechanics, so they were able to take some of the best pieces from different preceding games and think it really works well. One of the strengths though is you really need to use suitable tactics, match up the units and use ambushes, spells and other abilities properly. Can be a bit tricky, but it's entirely possible to be completely overmatched and win a battle. Getting old though, so tend to pause a lot or go in slow motion when it gets down to the nitty gritty like that.
For some reason they got rid of the unit formations in the grouping, so bit more micromanaging to get the different types moving to where you want. They also (for the most part) got rid of the individual unit formations (like tetsudo, wedge, etc) which was one of the mechanics that could really make a difference, and was also fun. Charging, flanking though now seem to make a much bigger difference, and the heroes can easily take on several units on their own, so I tend to spend less time managing the formations and more time maneuvering around. Once they get leveled up, the legendary lords can be an army onto themselves, so glad they make good use of a lot of easy to reach hotkeys. So, like I said, it's a very different experience (in some ways), but it is a lot of fun. Would love to see a WH 40k version (maybe with a galaxy map instead of a simple world map), but that doesn't seem to be in the cards at this point.