The programmes, originally hosted by Eddie Mair and more recently by Richard Hammond, feature an edited version of the game engine behind the real-time strategy game Rome: Total War 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 in the first series, and captains in the second.
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