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Penry, July 14, 2018
Posted November 29, 2018
"No, you click a button and the pops in a province turn into an army. You can then resettle them in an empty province or use them in a conquest war. If you succeed in conquering, you can then settle the surviving migrant armies as pops on top of the area you conquered."
Posted December 4, 2018
Pops, colonization, The Levant and Levantine & Arabic Traditions - DD#27
As you may recall from previous diaries Pops in Imperator are the base units we use to represent population. Each pop will have its own type, its own culture and its own religion. How they feel about the country that rules them will largely depend on both local conditions and on how closely their culture and religion aligns with your country.
As an example of the former is that certain pop types will be happier if they have access to certain trade goods in their province.
An example of a more national level factor that impacts population happiness is their culture and religion. Pops that share your own religion and culture will generally be easier to manage than those of others. Though this may of course be modified by many things such as ideas and laws.
Pops exist throughout the cities of all countries on the map and in some regions there might be quite mixed population. Carthaginian Sicily for instance has a large Carthaginian upper class, while the Freemen, Slaves and Tribesmen are generally more mixed with local Siculian and Siceliote (Greek) culture.
Pops can move between cities as a result of scripted content such as events (examples can be natural disasters, tribal groups feuding and migrations) as well as when a city falls and some of its population is enslaved.
But the era of Imperator is one where the government intervened quite a bit in population movement. With Hellenistic kings founding great cities in their own name such as Seleucia Magna, Antiochea, Lysimachea, or Ptolemais. The standard way to operate in many of these cases was to force the local population of nearby cities to move into one designated newly prepared location. Some would also be brought in from further afar, not in the least the Romans themselves, founding colonies, first in Italy and later all over their growing empire.
Much like the kings of the era, most of the time if you want a certain pop to be transferred to a specific place within your empire you will need to move it yourself.
A pop can be moved from one city to either an adjacent city, one adjacent across a seazone, or any other owned city in the same province for a power cost of 20 Civic Power.
Slaves are cheaper than other pops to move, and only cost 5 Civic Power to transfer. Since the number of slaves in a city also decides if it can produce more than one surplus of its Trade Good this means that you can more easily set up production centers for certain goods, whereas you will have to pay more power if you want to build a Metropolis in a way away.
As mentioned in an earlier development diary Civilization Value is a rating that exists in all locations on the map, and it represents the level of infrastructure and urbanisation in that location. As mentioned briefly in an earlier development diary this is a big factor for pop happiness. Tribesmen will be happier in cities with low Civilization value whereas more stratified pop types such as Freemen and especially Citizens prefer locations with high Civilization value.
Your country also has a national Civilization Value of its own (mainly increased by government type and technology) - all owned cities will slowly gravitate towards this value if they are below it, and slightly more quickly towards it if they are above it. Positive civilization growth can also never push the local value above that of your nation.
Colonization of Uncolonized Land
From the interior of Sardinia to central Germany and Ireland, there is a lot of land that is uncolonized and seemingly empty on the political view.
As long as you have an adjacent city of at least 10 pops you can send one of these pops into an uncolonized location and this pop will claim it for their home country at the same cost as the one you pay for moving pops inside your own lands.
This will turn the uncolonized location to a city under your control, but it will not change the culture, religion or type of any of the pre-existing pops.
If you are a country with a high civilization level the local Civilization rating will now start to climb towards your country value. Making it more suitable for your freemen and citizens, but most likely making the original population of tribesmen quite unhappy (potential ways to counter this is to spend power to convert them to another type or adopt the governor policy for Civilization Effort which changes the type of your tribesmen over time).
There are also other ways to resettle people, or to colonize new land. For instance using your army to create military colonies or tribal migrations. But that is something we will get into in greater detail in later Development Diaries.
In 304 BCE Syria, much like Anatolia, was in the hands of Antigonus, represented by Phrygia in Imperator. Syria was a quite fertile and well populated region, one of the central Hellenistic regions Syri has a considerable Greek minority population after the campaigns and projects of Alexander the Great as well as the Successors that came after him.
At our start date Antigonus himself would have been in his namesake capital, the growing city of Antigonea, preparing for new Pan-Hellenic games, that he hoped would help to impress on the world the importance of his new dynasty and capital.
After the fall of Mesopotamia and Persia to Seleucus this capital is now much closer to the border with the Seleucid Empire than perhaps had originally been envisioned (and indeed in real life the city would eventually fall to the Seleucids and fall from glory, though the later Seleucid metropolis Antiochia would be founded close by).
Less concerned with the freedom of Non-Greek cities this region is not home to any subject city leagues like Anatolia and Greece. But a number of old states that once capitulated to Alexander remain and retain some level of autonomy in Phoenicia and northern Syria.
Phoenicia & Upper Syria
While Phoenician merchants are still a significant force in the mediterranean, especially in and around Carthage, Phoenicia itself has been under foreign rule for a long time in 304 BCE. The great forests of Lebanon remain a prime source of wood for ships however and has been the goal for Egyptian expansion plans more than once for the largely wood-deprived kingdom.
A number of small Phoenician city kingdoms remain here since days past, having sworn fealty first to the Achaemenids and later to Alexander and then Antigonus.
The fortified city of Tyre itself, associated with the production of the fabled Tyrian Purple, remains under the direct administration of Phrygian army, and has been the site of many famous sieges in the years past.
This is also the region in which the huge Antigonid fleet of Demetrius was built before it set out to invade Greece and destroy the Ptolemaic navy off the coast of Cyprus.
Judea & Nabatea
The Southern Levant is on the doorstep of Egypt and has come to be the site of repeated conflict between the Ptolemids there and the other successors but it has not generally been the price fought over. The current Antigonid control of the region has left much of the inland in the hands of the High Priests of Judea and Samaria, contenting itself with the control of major ports and fortifications along the coastline.
Before earning the nickname the besieger Demetrius fought his first battle in this region, just outside the Hellenistic trade port of Gaza. A scathing defeat that did not speak well of his future prospects as one among the other Diadochi.
While left alone politically the Jewish states were not unaffected by the influence of the Hellenistic states. Even here Hellenistic influence has penetrated the cultural and religious world of Judea and Samaria, something that would in time lead to theological as well as political conflict.
All of the above states (along with any other Arabic, Native Egyptian and Levantine powers) will have access to the Levantine & Arabic Military Traditions:
Levantine and Arabian Traditions
The Levantine and Arabian Traditions will allow the countries that have them to excel at desert warfare but also gives a few significant bonuses to Phoenician and Arabian navies in tribute to Phoenician and Arabian sailors.
Since this is a region with significant Hellenistic influence you can also to some extent embrace the martial ideals of the Hellenic Kingdoms.
Starting Tradition - Pathfinders: Land Unit Attrition -15%
Posted December 10, 2018
Combat Mechanics - DD#28
Battles & Deployment
In the period covered by Imperator, battles were in many ways quite different from periods we cover in our other games. The battle system of its predecessor, Europa Universalis: Rome, did have a unique touch to it with its unit types and their various strengths and weaknesses, but was otherwise more similar to the battle system of the Europa Universalis Games.
In Imperator we have revamped combat in a number of ways to behave more like you would expect from the era, while also giving you greater control over how battles are fought.
First I’d like to refresh some things we have already gone through. Like in EU: Rome battles are fought in phases were a unit will attempt to damage the unit in front of it. If there is no unit immediately facing your unit it can try to damage a unit diagonally adjacent to it. The maneuver rating of each unit type determines how far away it can target a unit on the opposite side (for an overview of unit types see this former diary).
How much damage each unit can deal is dependent on its strength towards the unit it faces. As an example a unit of heavy infantry will deal more damage to light infantry.
Modifiers from Military Traditions and Unit Abilities can further strengthen certain units overall, or in certain terrains, as can well chosen Battle Tactics.
Now for the new stuff
Unlike in its predecessor, there is no second row from which units can deal damage in Imperator:Rome. Instead there is a Primary Frontline and a Secondary Frontline.
The First Frontline will enter battle first, damaging the opposing side until its morale breaks or it suffers enough damage to be eliminated.
The Secondary Frontline will then begin to move forward to become the new front.
On the sides the units designated as Flank units will be deployed, these will first fight and kill the opposing flank, and then start targeting the center if they can (decided by their maneuver value as described above).
In the army interface you will be able to select which unit type you want to be prioritized for First Frontline, Second Frontline and Flank. The preselected choices will depend on your Military Traditions but they can be changed freely by the player or the AI for each army.
The size of the flank can also be set, either 2 cohorts, 5 cohorts or 10 cohorts.
Additionally some unit types are now scripted to be able to deal or take more morale damage or more physical damage, making them more or less suited for each role.
In most cases this means that you might see a first skirmish phase where your Primary Frontline of Archers or Light Infantry try to do as much damage as possible to the other side before their morale breaks and they retreat.
They are then followed by the units of the Second Frontline, potentially composed of heavier units such as Heavy Infantry or/and Elephants.
In an ideal world you might want to deploy something like Horse Archers on the Flanks, with a high maneuver value that would allow them to deal damage far into the center once they have defeated the opposing flank, but you might also go for something specifically to prioritize countering the opposing flank.
Since the choice is free you can to put any type of unit in each of these roles. If you are playing a country with specific bonuses to certain unit types from military traditions, that might change which unit you want to be in which position. If you just want to try something unexpected that is also possible.
When you do not have enough of your preferred unit type for a role the game will fill out with units in order of how high their build cost are.
Apart from being strong against other unit types some units also have modifiers to how much morale damage they take, or deal. Archers take 25% more morale damage for instance, and Heavy Infantry deals more damage to unit strength of the opposing unit.
Like in Europa Universalis or Crusader Kings, Imperator will show an indicator on the map when a battle is expected to occur in a location where two armies are headed.
In Imperator we have added information to this indicator to give a quick view of some of the more relevant combat data of this expected battle. The indicator will change appearance depending on how likely a victory is, and its tooltip will summarize why it predicts a certain result.
Now there are many factors that influence the outcome of a battle, and together with the random elements that can skew a battle result this means that the indication might not always be entirely correct. But it will allow you to quickly gauge your chances of success, and show some of the factors that you would otherwise have to look around in the interface for.
A constant factor in warfare in this era and up until this day is the non-combat related losses in a conflict. Armies moving through hostile territory, or just areas unable to support them in general, will often suffer as many, often more, than ones directly involved in combat.
As in other Grand Strategy Games such as Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis locations in Imperator will have a supply limit (shown as a value next to the cauldron in the screenshot above), which is the size of army that the land can support without suffering attrition.
Weather and hostile terrain can also directly increase attrition of present armies. An army in a desert city will always suffer 1% attrition from it, as will armies in locations with harsh winter. Base Attrition is shown by the Skull in the province interface above.
Together with the mountain passes, roads and other features of the map this means that you will have to pay closer attention to the map when on campaign. Minimum attrition means that an unsafe route might be more punishing than what you are used to. The automatic path-finding will prefer shorter movement times and low attrition when possible, but at times you might want to cross that desert to reach the battlefield you want.
Posted December 17, 2018
Trade, Diplomacy and The British Isles - DD#29
Trade is a subject that is integral to this era in many ways. Flow of goods and people over the Mediterranean is the primary reason it was natural for an empire to form around it. This is how this sea could ever conceivably become Mare Nostrum, or “our sea”, to the Romans.
In Imperator Trade is not limited to something you conduct to make money, it also ties into the other systems in the game.
So before I move on to the things we have adjusted with this system I will reiterate what we have touched upon in previous diaries about Trade in Imperator. I will also be using Grain as an example:
Trade Good bonuses are dependent on the type of Good and they come in a wide variety. This allows you to tailor your provinces, and even more so your country, to your needs and desires by controlling what you produce and where you ship it.
Last but not least each active Trade Route creates Commerce Income in your province, which may add up to quite a bit of money if you have many active routes.
We have divided our Trade Goods into functional categories to reflect their effects:
By mixing and matching which Trade Goods you import, you can decide what kind of country you want to build.
By importing Strategic and Military goods you could build stronger and cheaper armies.
A mix of Growth and Population Goods would allow you to build a stronger internal economy, with more productive and prosperous population.
Technology boosting goods for greater scientific leaps.
And of course any mix of the above. Some things might not be as obvious, a country that conducts a lot of expansion may well see the need to focus on the Population Goods such as Wine, Olives and Precious Metals, to keep the recently conquered foreign populations happy.
The Mediterranean world was in some ways very interconnected, but travel time, reputation and maintaining diplomats for long distance diplomacy for a small country would not have been easy.
In order to conduct most Diplomatic Interactions except for declaring war, military access, and suing for peace, will be limited by your Diplomatic Range.
In order to determine if you are within diplomatic range of another country, your maximum diplomatic range will be compared to the distance between your capital and theirs.
The Maximum Range is modified primarily by how high your Rank is, but it is also modified by inventions. An overlord and a subject will always be considered to be within Diplomatic Range of each other.
Powerful and advanced countries will thus be able to perform far reaching diplomacy, while smaller states will be more limited to their immediate area.
We only touched briefly on export in the previous diary on trade, and what we did mention has changed. There are no longer any general Trade Access treaties. Rather than making you sign one deal to get access to all the Trade Goods of a country you will now be able to ask any country within diplomatic range to be allowed to import something they have a surplus of.
Likewise other countries will be approaching you for the right to import your Trade Goods.
So why would you agree to export something when there are so many nice benefits from stacking things inside your own country?
To start with there is an economic incentive. The amount of Commerce from international trade is much higher than that from internal trade routes. Meaning that exporting can net you much higher income, especially if you do it from somewhere with good modifiers to commerce (such as a province with many high happiness Citizens and Markets).
Secondly there is a fourth modifier to be had for exporting a Trade Good. For Grain, our old example above, this would be +5% National Manpower.
Taken together this means that export is sometimes quite a bit more lucrative than using your own import routes to move Trade Goods around within your own country, though there will of course still be situations where you may prefer not to export a Trade Good that would benefit a neighbor more than you are comfortable with.
The British Isles
As we move on into territory that is further from the Mediterranean we are now approaching lands of which we know far less. The British isles were by no means unknown to the ancient world, most recently the islands were supposedly visited by Pytheas of Massilia.
Of Pythias works however very little remains, and we only know them from what others have written about them. So for most cases we have had to extrapolate what information we do have backwards.
What we do now, from written sources as well as archaeology, is that the British isles were undergoing a period of growth and wealth. Rich in iron, base metals and even gold, these islands were also good agricultural land and are described as exporting grain and cattle.
Southern Britain would also have been in somewhat close contact with Gaul to the south, commercially as well as politically, and would in time come to receive increasing numbers of Gallic and Belgic tribesmen.
Northern Britannia, Caledonia and Hibernia
As in Southern Britannia there are scant sources for this region. The north was only partially subdued by Rome and so we have even less to go on here in some ways.
The southern part of this region is home to the strongest of the Pretani states, while the far north of Caledonia has a number of resilient Pictish kingdoms, in between some unowned (but populated) stretches of land.
As in the south the region had seen the rise of societies around strong hill forts, and is home to a number of growing cities in the Lowlands and Northern England.
Posted December 24, 2018
Hispania - DD#30
As we move on to Hispania we are approaching another region for which there is less information available in the kind of detail that we have gotten used to in the wider Hellenistic world. While there is indeed a lot of information about tribes in Hispania at our start date, it is not nearly as detailed as that of the wider Greek and Roman spheres. Because of this some of the countries described below will be dealt with in groups.
In 450 AUC, or if you like 304 BCE, Hispania is a land populated by a disparate constellation of Tribal Kingdoms. Many consider themselves part of a larger tribal identity, such as the Caelici or the Lusitani, but they are not by any means a united people, or even a federation. To properly show this we have chosen to include many of the small tribal kingdoms that made up these larger groups, rather than have them anachronistically united. Should any one of the tribes rise to unite its kin it can form a larger tribal federation country. So a successful Arevacia for instance would form the Celtiberian confederation.
To the Romans and Carthaginians, Hispania was a very rich region. It produces large quantities of valuable trade goods such as metals and olives, wine and grain. As they grew Carthage and Rome would soon both desire the peninsula, and make it one of the richest parts of their respective empires.
In Imperator, Hispania is divided into five regions for administrative purposes: Baetica, Contestania, Tarraconensis, Gallaecia and Lusitania. These are based on historical divisions of the peninsula but also serve the gameplay purpose of governorships. As far as possible I will make use of these to structure the go through of the map, only breaking that format to keep together tribal federations.
The southernmost part of Hispania is Baetica. This region is a great source of mineral wealth (with everything from Iron and Base Metals to the bountiful precious metal mines of the Sierra Nevada mountains) but it is also a rich agricultural region. It would grow to be one of the greatest sources of Olive Oil, wine and fish (especially the fish sauce Garum, which was a staple of the Mediterranean diet) in this part of the world.
In 450 AUC Baetica is culturally Iberian and home to some of the stronger and more united tribes in Hispania. The Turdetani in particular is one of the stronger powers in Hispania at this point in time, often acting to attempt to block the influence of the Phoenician and Greek colonies on the coastline.
As the leader of the Phoenician trading cities in the Western Mediterranean Carthage also has a considerable presence in this region, in particular in the form of the two cities of Malaca and Carteia and their respective hinterlands. It was in Baetica, and later on the eastern Spanish coast, that Carthage would expand the most up until its final showdown with Rome in the Punic wars.
North of Baetica lies a region that would historically soon come to be called Carthaginian Hispania. With New Carthage/Carthago Nova as its main city, as well as the economic and political center. In 304 BCE however there is little direct Carthaginian influence over this region and the future site of the great Carthaginian city is controlled by Iberian tribes.
Split between Iberian and Celtiberian tribal kingdoms this is a region with considerable economic wealth, if it can be properly consolidated and developed. Together with Tarraconensis this region is home to two of the more important tribal groups in the peninsula, the Celtiberi and the Carpetani, and for simplicity's sake we will describe both groups in their entirety here rather than split them between sections.
In 304 BCE the Carpetani is a tribal identity but not a united federation. There are a number of tribal Carpetani kingdom that could come to form a united Carpetanian Tribal Federation if they can unite their home area by either conquest or voluntary submission. Not a lot is known of each tribal kingdom but they would in time come into conflict with Carthage (and also supplied Carthage with mercenaries). The main city of the region, Toletum, would grow to be a major urban settlement under Roman rule.
The following Carpetanian Tribal kingdoms all start independent and unaligned:
Not strictly limited to in game Contestania the Celtiberi tribes can be found in the eastern inland plain of Hispania, and they are in many ways one of the more dominant groups in 304 BCE Hispania. Later Roman and Carthaginian expansion would in time marginalize the Celtiberi but not before they united in a Celtiberian confederation (and like the Carpetani the Celtiberian states will also be able to do this).
Named after Tarraco on the northeastern coastline of the peninsula Hispania Tarraconensis is the entire north eastern part of Iberia in Imperator, encompassing the Ebro river valley, the Pyrenees and their surroundings. Right at the border of Gaul and Iberia this is a varied region with Iberian, Celtiberian and Greek settlements in the east and south, as well as Celtic Aquitanian states in the west.
In the far north, towards the atlantic coastline, lies the region of Gallaecia. A hilly and somewhat isolated, yet heavily fortified, region. Gallaecia is home to a great number of tribal kingdoms, from Cantabrians in the east to the Callaecians in the west, and would be one of the last parts of the peninsula to be conquered by Roman troops. Precious Metal and Iron can both be found here in great quantities.
Vaccaeia: Mid sized Tribal kingdom in Central Hispania, bordering Arevacia. Having arrived at the same time as many of the Celtiberi tribes the Vaccaei were often actively involved in Celtiberian politics. Vaccaeia starts independent and unaligned.
Turmodigia: Small tribal kingdom between Vaccaeia and Autrigonia. The former has recently helped them gain independence from the latter, securing more Autrigonian territory in the process. Land that the Autrigones likely want back. Turmodigia starts independent and unaligned.
Occupying the entire north western portion of the Peninsula the Callaecian or Gallaecian landscape is dotted with small hillforts belonging to many small independent tribal kingdoms. With no written sources from the region at the time of the start of our period, it is nonetheless likely that these operated almost as small city states. Should one tribe manage to subdue or conquer the entire region they will be able to form a very powerful Callaecian federation, consisting of all of the below states.
At the start of the game all of the following Callaecian Tribal Kingdoms start independent and unaligned:
Like with many of the other tribes of northern Hispania we know most about the Astures from their reputation as mercenaries. Their homeland is not the richest part of the peninsula but it did prove quite hard to conquer for the Romans when they eventually tried to pacify the region. In 304 BCE the Astures are split among a great number of tribal kingdoms, who will all be able to unite into a Tribal Asturian federation through subjugating or conquering their kin. At the start of the game all the following Asturian Tribal Kingdoms are independent and unaligned:
Just east of the Asturians, the Cantabrian tribes occupy the mountainous region towards the Atlantic coastline. Their region is rich in iron, base metals and silver. The Cantabri themselves were renowned for their military prowess and expertise, and would often serve as mercenaries in distant wars. When Rome was to eventually conquer the region, just around the end of the period covered by this game, it was only able to do so at considerable cost. In 304 BCE however the Cantabri tribes are quarreling and disunited. At start, all of the following Cantabrian Tribal Kingdoms are relatively small, independent and unaligned:
Divided between Turduli, Celtici and Lusitanian tribes the region of Lusitania is as of yet free from direct foreign influence from Carthaginians, or Greeks. The region is perhaps not as endowed with agricultural and mining resources (though there are precious metal mines here as well) as Baetica to the south but still represents considerable wealth and power to anyone who can unify it.
Tribal continuum between the Douro and Tagus rivers. While the Lusitanian tribes were far from united in 304 BCE they historically managed to band together to go on the offensive against Carthage and later Rome. Like other tribes described any of the Lusitani countries can form a greater Lusitanian federation if it subdues or conquers all the other tribes. The following countries are all independent Tribal Kingdoms, and unaligned:
In the center of the Iberian plain the Vettonian tribes have settled in the past century (their origin is not entirely clear). In their near area the Vettones were often allies of the Lusitani against greater common threats such as the Carthaginians. If any Vettonian tribe unites the region by force or diplomacy they can form the larger Vettonian Federation. The following Vettonian countries are all unaligned, independent tribal kingdoms at the start of the game:
Posted December 31, 2018
Hello everyone and welcome to another development diary for Imperator. Today you are sadly stuck with me, as Trin Tragula has the day off for New Years Eve. We’re busy working towards the beta milestone, improving interfaces, fixing bugs and teaching the AI new tricks.In todays diary we’ll take a look at some interface & mechanics changes that have happened in the last month, before we get back to our regularly scheduled diaries when Trin Tragula will talk about Mercenaries and delve into the Ethiopia and Arabia.Regional GovernorsWith the evolvement of the game design, the fact of having one governor per province turned to be less fun than expected. The management and interaction with a large amount of governors in a medium-sized empire forced them to become too irrelevant.Now the map is divided into regions, where each region have 7-8 different provinces in them, and each province have 10-12 cities in them.Each region, unless its your home capital region will have a governor assigned to them, while each province have its own possible governor policy.Changing policies no longer impact the loyalty of the governor, as it turned it into a non-choice in most cases, but instead have a oratory power cost that is the same whether its a governor or your rulers directly controlled provinces.Units can now be assigned to cover an entire region by giving control over to the local governor, reducing unrest in the cities, and helping the loyalty of the governor.
Not Just a NameA lot of the times, you get messages about characters in our games, you go, who was that Naughtius Maximus anyway? So, we’ve decided to rework how we refer to characters in messages and in the UI, by referring to them by their titles, relationships to titleholders, or other statuses. So now, you’ll be able to see that the character attempting to befriend your ruler is the brother of the commander of the 24th Legion, and you can more easily ignore him.Importance of FamiliesAnother thing that became more obvious during playtesting was that just having characters, really did not give them the life they needed to create a living country. We had the concept of characters belonging to families in the game already, but it was merely a name and a prestige value, and nobody paid any attention to which family a character belonged to, so we made the following changes and additions.Each country have a list of official families that characters belong to. The amount of official families in a country depends on the size of the country. Not every character in an official family has a direct close blood relation, but they are all considered to belong to the same family. All members of the same family contribute to the family prestige, and reap the benefits and drawback of the reputation of that prestige.Characters may be in your country, but belong to a foreign family, and those characters will not marry on their own, or be entirely trusted.There is also a new Family View tab in the characters view, where you can view all families in your country, and their members.Finally, when conquering and annexing another nation, you now have choices of how to handle the families of that country, even allowing them to become families of your nation on a family by family basis if you so choose.
Diplomatic Action PendingOne of the main problems we’ve had in our games is the constant need to check the tooltip of greyed out diplomatic actions, so you can see when you can send a diplomat again.In Imperator, we now tell you the date, above the list of actions, if there is a diplomat enroute. Also, primarily for multiplayer, you will see which diplomatic offer you have sent, if it has not been replied to yet.
Instant AI DiplomacyAnother thing that we discovered during playtesting was how awkward it was with setting up trade-routes with foreign countries compared to internal trade, when you had to wait a day for the AI to reply, while trade internally was instant.So we changed how AI responds to all diplomatic deals, by no longer having them reply the next day, but instead checking it immediately, so you get instant feedback. This had the side-effect of estimated AI replies being more accurate since the state of the world have not changed between pressing the button and them replying.Loyalty Gain on TroopsOne of the main problems with the original EU:Rome was that a lot of the mechanics were hidden, and you did not really see what was happening. Now we have made it so you can see how likely a general is to gain the loyalty of a cohort each month. This is primarily based on the characters Charisma, but traits and laws are also important.
Attrition for UnitsOne interesting aspect of our units was the problem that when you had enough money and access to certain goods, some types of units where always superior. One of the primary reasons for that was there was no difference between units when it came to how much attrition they would take in an area. So marching 20,000 men with War-Elephants through a low supply area meant they lost the same manpower as 20,000 Light Infantry.This have now been changed, so that Light Infantry costs 50% of a normal unit supply, Heavy Infantry & Heavy Cavalry cost about 50% more supply, while War-Elephants costs 500% of normal supply.The impact of this is that 10,000 Light Infantry will require a Supply Limit of 5 to not take attrition in a non-desert province, while 10,000 War Elephants require a Supply Limit of 50 to not take attrition, and 10,000 Heavy Infantry would require a Supply Limit of 15.This means that different terrain and areas have needs of different types of armies for efficient warfare.
TradeMost of the times when you have a nice capital surplus bonus of a specific Trade Goods you do not want to lose that bonus. That is why we have added a checkbox at the Trade View, where you can set it to auto-decline all trade proposals where you would lose your capital surplus bonus.The National OverviewThe main information page in Imperator, is what we call the country overview screen. That one has been evolving constantly during development, and will continue to evolve as we work on the game. Since the last time we showed this screen in the middle of November, we’ve now added some nice pie-charts so you can depict the distribution of your population when it comes to type, religion and culture. You can now also directly set the governor policies of every province from this sortable list of provinces.Since the popularity and corruption of your current ruler is important for your country, it is also displayed prominently at the the national overview.Your Ruler Popularity reduces your tyranny, and in a republic, increases the senate influence of the rulers party. Monarchies and Tribes get other benefits of a rulers popularity, or lack thereof while corruption of a ruler has a few different drawbacks.
Improvements to the User InterfaceFirst of all, most screens, including the character view have a “back” button, so you can easily get back to the previous one.Secondly, we’ve added automatic “shortcut-icons” to tooltips to tell you which button can be used from the keyboard for that action.Finally, we’ve added filter and sorting buttons to most screens with long lists of characters, countries or provinces.
We’ve done far more of course, but there’s lots of development diaries left for you until we release the game. Happy New Year everyone!
Posted January 1, 2019
Will be good to see the engine in action and some real gameplay footage!
Posted January 7, 2019
Hello and welcome again to one of the Developer Diaries of Imperator:Rome!Today I will be talking a bit about how Mercenaries work in the game, as well as some words about the Arabian Peninsula.
Armies came in many shapes, forms, and levels of professionalism, in the era that Imperator:Rome covers, something we to some degree try to cover in the Military Traditions that we have spoken about in previous developer diaries (and which we will return to).One big difference however is that not all troops fought for the country in which they were born. Then as well as later in history mercenary groups played a big part, such as Cretan Archers, the famous Mamertines and others.At times Mercenary groups played a decisive part in conflicts, as did their tendency to abandon an employer that could not pay them.In Imperator Mercenary armies are always present, spread out over the map, using their own banner and the unit graphics of the local culture. As long as a mercenary army is not hired by anyone it will also not count towards the supply limit in the city they are located. Mercenary armies all have their own General, to whom all the troops are loyal.
Mercenary Overview Screen. Here you can at all times see what Mercenaries exist (sorted by Proximity) and who has hired them. It also displays the monthly cost of employing each Mercenary group. You can also see Papirius’ unemployed Mercenaries on the map between Rome and Etruria.Hiring a Mercenary regiment comes at a one time cost of 50 Military Power, but also obliges you to pay their upkeep for the duration of their employment (at a rate 400% more expensivethan what one of your own armies would cost).Hiring the army immediately brings it under your control, but does not move it to your territory. Instead, hired mercenary armies hired outside of your territory will begin in a state of exile, so they can be brought to your territory to then be used in whatever conflict you intend.Any Mercenary company in diplomatic range can be hired, but their high upkeep means that hiring an army far from your conflict could get expensive as you would be paying their upkeep from the day they are hired.Once no longer exiled, the mercenary army will act as any other army under your control, except for the fact that you cannot remove its leader, or remove any units. They will use your military bonuses, you can alter their deployment and their military tactics.As with any army you can also disband a mercenary army at any time it is not in battle. Their increased upkeep cost will however also mean that disbanding them can be quite costly.Once disbanded the mercenary army will again be considered available for hire, and it will begin its journey back to its home location.
Mercenaries are not only known for how useful they were to their employers. Men like Pyrrhus and, in his youth, Agathocles, also made names for themselves as Mercenary captains when their prospects at home looked bleak.Succession and Monarchies is something we will talk more about later but it is possible for the Mercenary company list to be supplemented by characters from the wider game world, such as disenfranchised heirs.
Last of all, should you not be able to pay your mercenaries you may find that this makes them quite unhappy. Among the various possible events that can happen as a result from a negative treasury (as mentioned in the diary on Economy) is that mercenaries might offer to join the opposing side in an ongoing war.
Disenfranchised heirs turning mercenary? I smell Blackfyre ASoIaF material here.
Posted January 15, 2019
Hello and welcome to another development diary for Imperator:Rome! Today I will be talking about Monarchies and associated things such as Heirs, Legitimacy, Succession Crises and other fun things.In a monarchy authority lies with the ruler, or Monarch. The monarch has as close to absolute authority as any ruler can get in Imperator:Rome. Unlike in a Republic the ruler sits for life, and in a Monarchy you are able to change laws, interact with foreign countries and use whatever character interactions you wish without approval of a senate.
While a Monarch has the authority to act without asking for approval their subject characters will still react to their actions if they do not approve of them. Legitimacy is a value between -100 and +100 and models the perceived right for the Monarch to rule their country.For the monarchies that exist in Imperator:Rome at the start of the game this was highly relevant as they were almost all established in this generation. None of them have a firm number of supporters, and many of them (like Egypt or the Seleucid Empire) have a population that consider them to be foreigners.Legitimacy directly impacts the loyalty of all characters in the country as well as the happiness of all Freemen.At 0 Legitimacy all characters in a Monarchy are capped at 50 loyalty (out of the normal 100), and at negative Legitimacy they will suffer a ticking loyalty reduction. Legitimacy also directly impacts the cost of enacting laws.Legitimacy is gained from acting as a good monarch, most importantly:
Legitimacy is reduced by anything that threatens popular support for the monarchy, most importantly:
To help increase Legitimacy you can also at any time use a government action to Strengthen Legitimacy by 10 for a cost of 25 Civic Power and 5 Tyranny. There are also various indirect ways, like Holding Games, that increase popularity and therefore indirectly Legitimacy.
In a monarchy a new ruler is not elected but will instead inherit power upon the death of the old monarch. The method for this inheritance depends on which of these succession law the country follow. The family of the current ruler is always preferred over non-family members.
Successions are not always as easy as the described laws would imply. There are many examples of conflicts over who would inherit, sometimes tearing even great and otherwise stable kingdoms apart.In the government view the 4 most likely characters in the country to inherit will be displayed at all times (including the current heir) together with their loyalty and the strength of their claim (according to the succession law).
Every character in a Monarchy also has a Preferred Heir out of these four. Most of the time this will be the current heir, but depending on things like friendships, skills or lack of loyalty, they can prefer one of the other heirs.Any possible successor apart from the current heir will have a ticking negative modifier to their loyalty and will normally do what they can to assemble money and supporters for the day the current monarch dies.Apart from increasing loyalty and attacking the causes for someone preferring another heir you can ask them to support your preferred heir. As long as their loyalty is at least 50 this drastically increases their support for your current heir for a cost of 25 Oratory Power.Upon succession the current heir will become the new Monarch with a starting Legitimacy of 60 plus 20 times the religious Unity in the country. It is further reduced by 2 points for each employed character that supported another heir.As you can see the expected future Legitimacy of an heir as king will always be shown in the Government View.
At the time of succession, if any of the possible successors that did not gain the throne are at less than 33% loyalty, they will make their displeasure known by assembling an army of as many loyal troops as they can afford.As this is a loyal army, and they are disloyal, you will be unable to give orders to this army and unable to detach the pretenders from it. The presence of these armies is likely to drive the country towards a civil war, either immediately or in the long run.To the end of disarming this threat you have special character interactions no pretenders:
Meanwhile foreign countries will have also have a new character interaction available, to spend money and military power on increasing the size of the Pretender army.
Today we will talk about one of the greatest kingdoms of Imperator:Rome in terms of size and population.Before Alexander began his campaign Persia was the center of the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Greece to India. The larger region had by then been the center of more than one high culture and its influence on surrounding regions is hard to overstate. With its fall to Greek conquerors however the entire region has seen the beginnings of Hellenization. Perhaps more than anywhere else Alexander the great founded Greek settlements, appointed a mix of Greek and local officials and encouraged intermarriage.After the death of the great conqueror Persia and Mesopotamia has changed hands between different successors multiple times, with its current master, Seleucus, taking over Babylon from Antigonus with just a few trusted men not long ago.With a background that would not make him a likely candidate for such greatness Seleucus has spent the last years cleaning out the Satraps left in charge of greater Persia by Antigonus, before running right into another rising dynasty in India, Chandragupta Maurya.As the game starts Chandragupta, who had previously overrun most of northern India, ending the Nanda empire, has taken control over the Indian satrapies that was once part of Alexander’s Empire.The Mauryas now threaten to invade Persia, potentially distracting the Seleucids from the greater conflict with Antigonus in the west.
The Euphrates and Tigris have been the core of many civilizations and empires, most recently the Persian, Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian ones, and in many ways this region remains the economic and political core of the Seleucid Empire. Babylon is where Alexander died, and it is not far from Babylon that Seleucus have begun to build his great new capital Seleucia Magna.
The Iranian plateau, and the regions of Media and Persis was the core of the old Persian empire. A large number of famous Achaemenid cities such as Ecbatana and Persepolis remain centers of commerce and power here and a large number of Persian soldiers, artisans and nobles remain the dominant group in a region that they have populated for hundreds of years.The Zagros mountains that separate Mesopotamia from this region is also a great barrier and with a few exceptions it has been left to fend for itself as the macedonian grandees struggle for control over the Argead Empire.In the period preceding the start of our game Seleucus and his son Antiochus has subdued the governors, satraps and cities of this region, bringing them under closer control and installing their own loyal men, but Media and Persis will remain a region that central power will have to keep a close eye on to keep in line.
Did you see the second stream with Johan and RodDel today @Penry? First was on Rome, this was slower and more informative and was on Egypt. No wars in this Egypt one, but preparations to one and what was important to do. Next week more Egypt and continuing of the campaign.
Posted January 16, 2019
It's on while I'm at work. Hopefully they'll pop it on YouTube.....
25 minutes ago, Penry said:
It's on while I'm at work. Hopefully they'll pop it on YouTube.....
It's on while I'm at work. Hopefully they'll pop it on YouTube.....
Same here. Runs 1500-1600 and I'm normally home 1630 or so. Which is why I watch it on Twitch when I get home. Why won't you? In any case the first video went on youtube within a day, I guess the same happens to the second one if it's not already on there.
Here is the first video on youtube. Be warned they cut it down from ca 1 hour to 23 min though... Always better to watch it on twitch.
First video on twitch:
Second video on twitch:
I looked after the first twitch session but it wasn't posted and I presumed they weren't going to share the video post event. Good to see them up now. I'll have a look at them tonight!
Posted January 17, 2019
They get archived at twitch automatically when the stream ends. The youtube videos come a day or two later, often heavily edited down.
Posted January 21, 2019
Hello and welcome to another Development Diary for Imperator:Rome!Today I will be talking about Navies, I will expand some on the changes we are making to Diplomacy, and lastly I will be describing the geographical regions of Bactria, Parthia and the far reaches of the Seleucid Empire.
In Imperator:Rome there is only one type of naval unit, the Trireme (representing all forms of War Galleys). Ships can only be built in ports, and ports only exist in predefined locations around the map. Building ships also requires access to Wood in the Province that the City belongs to.
In our period, and perhaps in most of history, the Mediterranean has been a highway for transportation rather than an obstacle to be traversed. The main purpose of a fleet in Imperator:Romeis to ferry troops from one destination to another, and to stop others from doing the same in your territorial waters.Fleets can also blockade ports in wartime, decreasing commerce and potentially contributing to the warscore for their side of the conflict.The strengths and weaknesses of these ships can then be modified by things like Trade Goods, Military Traditions, Admirals, Inventions, and more.Just like there are army unit abilities on land there are also unit abilities at sea:
Naval battles will be somewhat familiar to those who have played our earlier games.When a battle is started every ship will attempt to target an enemy ship to deal damage to. What determines their success is their positioning value, which is derived from their leading admiral with a random element. Positioning is re-rolled every day of battle.In an ongoing battle bad positioning will result in picking a new target, which if you are unlucky could mean finding no target, or even targeting one of your own ships. If a friendly ship is targeted the ship will always try to pick a new target next day.Damage is dealt in a similar way to in land battles. Offensive modifiers and dice roll is reduced by the enemy defensive modifiers and dice roll (this is then further increased or decreased by the specific damage modifiers on either side for Strength Damage or Morale Damage).Ships that have no morale left will retreat from battle, ships that have no strength left will be sunk.
Whenever money is being made there will be those who desire to have that money for themselves. Any port that attracts enough trade will also risk attracting pirates.Pirates can appear outside of ports and the chance that they do so is based on how many Trade Routes the Province that the Port belongs to has.This chance can be reduced through laws and inventions.A pirate fleet can be at most 10 ships in size and will attempt to blockade the port it spawns next to. It is also hostile to all non-pirate navies. Should the pirate fleet be defeated, but not destroyed, it will attempt to find another weakly guarded port to blockade.
And with that we turn once again to Diplomacy, and more specifically unto how Claims, Truces, War Declarations and Peace will Work in Imperator:Rome.
Like in many Paradox games before the difference between a justified war and one with no justification matters in Imperator:Rome.Casus Bellis come in a variety of forms and shape such as:
Declaring war without a Casus Belli will cost the attacker 2 Stability and give additional Aggressive Expansion.
When a war is declared the aggressor will have chosen a specific war goal. Fulfilling this war goal will result in a gradual increase of scope up to an additional 25% War Score. Unlike in other games, such as Europa Universalis IV however, the war goal and the Casus Belli need not be directly linked. A claim gives a Casus Belli, and unlocks the conquest war goal, but you can choose to declare a superiority war all the same. The Casus Belli will still remove the stability penalty you would normally have gotten on the start of the war.
There are three different War Goals in the game:
After a peace has been signed a truce will be in power for between 5 and 15 years. The length of the Truce will be dependent on the severity of the peace agreement. During this time it will cost 5 Stability to declare war again against the same enemy.
War Leadership, Call to Arms and Separate Peace, are all concepts that will be familiar to anyone who has played our games before.While wars can have many participants the country declaring the war and the country being declared upon will initially be considered the War Leaders.War Leaders will negotiate on behalf of the entire side (including all allies and subject countries) to which they belong and a war will not end until the two War Leaders agree to a peace.War Leadership in Imperator:Rome can also change. If a country with higher Max Manpower and more provinces than the existing leader joins, then this country will be considered the new War Leader and can call its own allies. When this is the case the War Declaration interface will warn that a country may take over the leadership of the war, and War Leadership can only be transferred once.To further press home the need to choose your allies carefully we have made some changes to how alliances function. In Imperator:Rome you will not be able to refuse a call to arms from an attacked ally. If you want to have the aid of another power you need to be ready to come to their aid.It is also not possible to separate peace as a junior participant of a war until 36 months have passed, as a junior participant is expected to be involved in order to help the war leader bring the war to completion, rather than using someone else's conflict to expand themselves.
Today we look to the north east from the region that was under focus in the last development diary. To the successors, and to some extent to Achaemenid Persia before them Parthia and Bactria are on the periphery. At the same time these are not regions of economical inconsequence. There are ancient cities here, trade ties with the far east, and India and a culture that has been under influence of first Persian and then Greek overlordship.At the start of our game almost all of this region is controlled by Greek Satrapies, and while Seleucus and his son Antiochus has recently made sure to root out any local power holders that may not be loyal to the state, they now expect to be left alone.Historically both satrapies would eventually break free, Bactria would go on to found a Graeco-Bactrian kingdom that came to rule large parts of northern India, creating a Greek-Indian fusion, a state ruled by a Greek Buddhist dynasty.Parthia on the other hand would be overrun by the Daehae tribes to the north and become the core of the Arsacid Empire, a state that would conquer most of Persia and eventually become a rival of the expanding Republic of Rome.
Posted January 22, 2019
This poster called Denkt has posted some observations from today's stream (which were excellent by the way):
There have been some new updates in the new livestream.
Posted January 28, 2019
Hello and welcome to another Developer Diary for Imperator:Rome!
Today we will be talking about the third form of government, after Republics and Monarchies. Even though this is the last of the three types it is far from the least common. Tribal Chiefdoms, Kingdoms and Federations make up the grand majority of the countries in Imperator and Tribal countries exist in all locations from western Europe, to Arabia and the Caucasus to the interior of India all the way to the Burmese border.
We will also show you the region of Gaul and tell you a bit about the state of it at our start in the game.
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