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Published on 20 Sep 2008
Time Commanders is a series of programmes made by Lion TV for BBC Two that ran for two seasons from 2003 to 2005. It uses an edited version of the game engine behind the real-time strategy game Rome: Total War by the Creative Assembly to recreate famous battles of the ancient world. The battles are replayed by 4-player teams from diverse backgrounds. The teams are unfamiliar with computer games, to make sure their gaming skills do not influence their success. After a brief introduction of the battle, including an overview of military units, terrain and available forces, the players have to develop a strategy and then deploy their forces. Two of the players are selected as generals, who will direct the battle and have access to a strategic map. The other two players are designated lieutenants, the units are indirectly controlled by the lieutenants, who issue commands to program assistants, who in turn use the game interface to control the units.