Praetorians HD is a remaster of the original Praetorians released back in 2003. They touched up the game with higher resolutions but most of the game remains unchanged. The tactical battle management goodness of the original game remains intact.
Praetorian’s main game play loop is managing your troops on a macro scale rather than a micro level. You don’t issue orders to individual soldiers but rather to entire troops as a whole. The main focus is primarily on positioning your troops in the right location and selecting the proper formation. You also don’t have to worry about resource management as you can make troops and construct buildings freely.
Troop formations are vital to victory. For example, spearmen are very effective against cavalry so it would be a tactical advantage to place them on your flanks in a defensive formation to prevent any surprise charges. Archers are effective against spearmen but weak against cavalry so it would be best to place them behind your troops so they are not exposed.
Proper placement of troops on the map plays a big role as well. Holding the high ground is vital as the game has fog of war and vision is limited when you are on the low ground. In addition to this, your base unit, the auxiliary infantry, can construct defensive and siege structures such as towers, catapults, ballista, and battering rams.
Overall, Praetorians is an enjoyable tactical battle management game that focuses on the basics of troop composition, placement, and positioning. It focuses on combat strategy and strips away anything else that would serve as a distraction, such as resource management. While the game may look a little crusty on the outside, the core of the game manages to hold up in this day and age.