We've all considered conquering the world and having our people worship us as gods... haven't we? The Romans, as always, were there first, installing central heating and indoor plumbing as they went. Legion concentrates on the conquering part, and simulates good old-fashioned world-domination Roman style.
To start the game you are well advised to go through the tutorial. I tried without, and soon got a whipping with my Dad's Army tactics. But Rome wasn't built in a day, so I tried the tutorial. You start in Roma, and the first thing you need to do is construct a building for a fletcher. A fletcher is a maker of arrows, who will produce armaments for your bowmen. Making arrows means you'll use more wood, so we'll need to build a lumber mill too.
That's the housework taken care of, now we can start recruiting archers to join our local garrison. At this point we have a small army, so we can start going round looking for trouble. Leaving the city our rag-tag bunch of have-a-go heroes can start looking for similar to cut to pieces. We're such a diplomatic lot we don't really have any enemies. That is soon taken care of in the Diplomacy screen. Here you can make peace, offer tributes, or declare war. Declaring war gives my troops something to do, so we're soon at war with the Latins. When I get within striking distance of the Latin city I can start a battle.
Battles are semi-automatic, in that you can get your legions arranged and lay-out the territory, but once battle commences it's every man for himself. The good thing is that you actually get to watch the battle. Looking over the battlefield you can see your men charge the enemy in a frenzy of steel and blood. Once the result of the battle is obvious, the remaining soldiers head for the hills before they get slaughtered.
The rest of the game follows the same fairly simple pattern of building your armies up, marching on the enemy, and having a big ruck every now and again. Despite it being simple, it is very enjoyable, time-consuming and addictive. It's a bit like the board-game Risk, but it goes into much more detail. It isn't exactly world domination as you only get to fight for Italy, France and Britain, but there are dozens of tribes to conquer.
There are hours of fun in this game, both in the building and conquering of cities. Supposedly it's historically accurate, so could even be considered educational. One thing's for sure, it's a lot more cerebral than your average shoot'em-up.