The single-player side of Great War Nations: The Spartans
is split between two nations, the Spartans and the Macedonians. Yes, even though the game seems to build itself off the Spartans' good name, you spend just as much time playing as a completely unrelated nation. Although each offers slightly different units, both campaigns play out in the same exact way - destroy the other guy before he destroys you. The only thing that sets The Spartans
apart from numerous other RTS games on the market is its unhealthy fixation on micromanagement. A little micromanagement is expected, though The Spartans
goes a little overboard with the concept. In order to make cavalry units, you need to first train up the soldier, then train the horse and "merge" the two; the end result is just another generic cavalry unit with extra work. Granted, it adds a dose of realism, but it doesn't add anything to the game, so why bother?
One of the better aspects of The Spartans is the ability to create your own custom units. All of your fighting units have slots that can be filled with custom weapon load outs. This creates a neat dynamic since players can pump out a bunch of soldiers armed with relatively primitive weapons or take the time to research more advanced weapons. You can even assign multiple weapons to units, adding some flexibility to on-field tactics. The concept is pushed even further by the ability to salvage weapons from slain enemies and incorporate their weapons into your own arsenal. Even if you suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of a more advanced army, there is still a possibility to salvage their hard-researched weapons and gain an advantage.
Aside from the auto-collect option not working as advertised (more later), the system is held back by the bland mission structure and gameplay. While it is fun to play around with the system, the game doesn't take advantage of it in any major way unless you "play" like it matters - which it really doesn't. It rarely takes more than a mob of low-level troops to give you an advantage in battle.