Imperator: Rome Dev Diary, 17th of February 2020

Hello!

This week we are taking a look at a unique set of missions for Syracusae; the dominant Greek power in Sicily known for its tyrants, resistance to siege, and, of course, the mathematician Archimedes.

The Magna Graecia content pack will include 4 mission trees for this city which centre on securing control of eastern Sicily, expelling the Carthaginians from the island, and dominating the Italiote colonies of southern Italy. A fourth tree will give you the chance to unseat the tyrant of Syracuse and re-establish a republic, but coups are not exactly certain affairs…

Let's take a look at these trees one by one and cover the opportunities they present to this historic city.

Leadership of the Siceliotes
Syracuse has been scrapping with the other Siceliote cities for centuries, and the latest tyrant Agathokles has almost succeeded in securing total control of the east. Starting as a humble potter, he rose to power with the financial backing of his wife’s father, eventually crowning himself king of all Sicily in emulation of the diadochi.

Below we can see the tree, edited into one image.

syracuse1.png


This tree focuses on dominating all of eastern Sicily and developing Syracuse itself after the strife, purges, and constant warfare suffered by the city. This is intended to be the first tree of a Syracuse play-through and to put them in good stead to go toe-to-toe with the Carthaginians.

Securing the rival city of Akragas will allow you to reap the benefits of its many temples (and their treasuries), there are opportunities for making eastern Sicily into a agricultural powerhouse through its famous grain, and the island of Ortygia's fortifications and Holy Site to the nymph Arethousa can be expanded.

soldiersoffortune.png


If the situation is dire, the famous Italic mercenaries who have made a living off centuries of warfare on the island can be approached, granting a significant but temporary reduction in the cost of their services.

Punic Rivalry
The Sicilian-Punic conflicts could easily be a game in their own right, spanning centuries of bitter struggles, always resulting in an uneasy stalemate. In recent history, the defeat of Dionysios I of Syracuse was close, but lead to Carthaginian domination of the Hellenic cities of Selinous, Herakleia Minoa, and Therma. Avenging these defeats is the first step to reconquering western Sicily.

After deposing Dionysios' son and restoring a republic, Timoleon only narrowly succeeded in defending Hellenic Sicily from a huge Carthaginian invasion, purportedly defeating their army despite almost impossible odds and slaughtering their native contingent - creating a general Punic reluctance to send their own sons to battle, instead relying mainly on mercenaries.

Not long ago, Agathokles was repulsed after an initially successful invasion of Carthaginian Africa, and an uneasy peace has once again ceded western Sicily to Punic subjugation.

syracuse2.png


Expanding the Syracusan navy, fortifying strategic locations, and igniting revolt in the subdued Hellenic cities will help turn the tide against the Punics once and for all.

Rebuilding the levelled city of Himera would be a symbolic victory over the Carthaginians, who slaughtered its entire Greek population over a hundred years earlier.

himera.png


If enough of the island is reconquered, the Punics may be persuaded to at last cut their losses and cede the rest for a fair sum.

Hegemon of Magna Graecia
With the throne of Sicily secure, the natural avenue of expansion is southern Italy across Charybdis’ strait. The squabbling Italiote cities cry out for aid against their growing Italic neighbours, and Syracuse has many opportunities in the region.

syracuse3.png


This tree will be available after completing either of the above, and will provide alternative methods for bringing the Italiote cities under your influence as well as a few other boons as a reward for becoming the leading Greek power in Magna Graecia.

Italiote feudatories seeking protection from the Italic tribes may be acquired diplomatically, the powerful Greek states to the east may support you as a bulwark of Hellenic civilisation, and the benefits of the historic cities of Kroton and Taras can be reaped in exchange for investment.

seleukidsupport.png


Next we'll take a look at a tree of an entirely different kind.

Death to Tyrants
Sicily is known for its cruel tyrants; ambitious men who seized power of their cities and introduced delights such as the Brazen Bull of Phalaris. This tree will allow you to overthrow the illegitimate monarchy of Syracuse and restore the old republic, though you will need some help.

syracuse4.png

After selecting a suitable leader, republican revolutionaries will be able to choose between starting a civil war or attempting a coup, both of which will result in a republic being established if successful.

To Arms will start a civil war, but help must be secured from another country; either a Greek republic (attempting to recreate Timoleon's expedition) or a foreign power nearby such as Carthage (though they will want something in return).

toarms.png


Damokles' Lesson will attempt a coup after securing the support of the tyrant's heir or their mercenaries, the latter of which will demand payment if successful.

None of these potential plots are guaranteed to succeed, and there a number of ways for your best laid plans to go wrong even after the tyrant has been removed.

If you do manage to succeed, Syracusae will become a republic once more, restoring Timoleon's laws and undoing the wrongs of Agathokles. If not, this tree can be repeated, though you will have to wait 20 years between attempts.

-EDIT-

Arheo here, and I believe I promised some info on the retake of the holdings mechanic!

Holdings

With the advent of Archimedes, I took the opportunity to enhance the holdings system a little. Due to the sheer amount of territories, subdividing each territory N times by creating multiple holdings therein, was difficult to display - as well as make them matter to a player.

Now, there will only be one ‘holding’ per territory. This holding, rather than a physical structure, represents the controlling stake in the industry of a territory. This also gives us the opportunity to represent the Holding owner with a portrait, giving the mechanic a little more character:

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Holdings will still grant the owner Powerbase and income, with the income relative to the output of the territory in which the holding is present.

Holdings will predominantly be purchased and owned by Heads of Family, and they’ll continue to squabble and scheme over them, with even more ferocity than before. Holdings can in fact only be granted to heads of family, although in some cases, they can end up being owned by other characters. We’ve also abolished a holding limit: the only thing stopping characters owning more holdings, is wealth.

Holdings now have their own map-mode, so you can easily see the distribution of power in your nation, as well as foreign nations:

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Overall, this leads to some interesting power dynamics that occur with the death of heads-of-family, as all holdings immediately transfer to the next in line, putting an awful lot of power suddenly in the hands of a potentially disloyal character. In addition, the rise and fall of families can lead to some interesting holding-related power mechanics, as fallen families will eventually shed holdings, as the ex-HoF passes away.

Nb: Characters who join a civil war will try to bring along territories in which they have a controlling stake. This can lead to some... fun situations.

That's all for this DD; see you next week for more.
 
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Lord Lambert

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Syracuse was a pretty safe bet for a mission tree with Magna Graecia :) Looks like it will be a pretty fun one :)

Loving the changes to the holdings!
 

Manst

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Other than mission trees, what other features will the Magna Graecia content pack contain?
 

Denkt

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Nice mission trees for Syracuse! But what about Archimedes himself? How is he going to appear?
Proably something like a 20 martial character but can only be researcher:p

Will you rebalance current mission, like the pearl missions are rather pointless right now with more cost than rewards.
 
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Shadout123

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Proably somethibg like a 20 martial character but can only be researcher:p

Will you rebalance current mission, like the pearl missions are rather pointless right now with more cost than rewards.
Yeah I hate it in the pearl missions when they want me to build a city from a settlement when I already chosed a good provincial capital and dont need any more cities there. Also building options should be more flexible like building slave estates is ok too. In a territory where you should build mine but you dont even get a surplus (say like 5 slaves) and you don´t even want it building a mine e.g is just wasted money and slave estate or baracks would be the better fitting option.
 

Bovrick

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I'm a little concerned about the changes to Holdings, namely the (soft) restriction to their usage with Family Heads. Family Heads already embody the "share" of power from their prestige, and this sounds like they will be swallowing up an awful lot more Powerbase from Holdings too. Other characters aren't really going to be relevant beyond their Offices now, and there's already very few characters to bother with following the introduction of Great Families.

I do appreciate the UI changes though - having revocations on the territory is useful, as is the map mode. Though if Holdings are basically going to usually be with Family Heads - could I suggest that the colour scheme on the map match the Great Family colour scheme elsewhere?

In addition, the rise and fall of families can lead to some interesting holding-related power mechanics, as fallen families will eventually shed holdings, as the ex-HoF passes away.

Nb: Characters who join a civil war will try to bring along territories in which they have a controlling stake. This can lead to some... fun situations.

These two do sound promising though! Are families rising and falling going to be more of a factor in the future?
 

Todie

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Firing off some followup questions about holdings to @Arheo :

Now, there will only be one ‘holding’ per territory. This holding, rather than a physical structure, represents the controlling stake in the industry of a territory. This also gives us the opportunity to represent the Holding owner with a portrait, giving the mechanic a little more character:

Does a settlement still need 10 slaves in order to open a holding-slot?

What does this mean for the holdings mechanics interaction with slave ratio? will the presence of an owned holding still serve to guarantee that 10 slaves remain in place and doesn't promote?
presumably not for further increments of 10 slaves though?

In 1.3 we can use holdings to safeguard production surplus of certain goods, even when going over the population capacity a bit. Although the UI makes it hard to do this in any seamless systematic way, this is currently a significant tool in configuring production/trade/economy, particularly in tribal lands that have 50% lower slave ratio and often quite low pop capacity.

Will there be any interaction between local holding-presence and slave ratio/production in 1.4?

Holdings will predominantly be purchased and owned by Heads of Family, and they’ll continue to squabble and scheme over them, with even more ferocity than before. Holdings can in fact only be granted to heads of family, although in some cases, they can end up being owned by other characters. We’ve also abolished a holding limit: the only thing stopping characters owning more holdings is wealth

So holdings simultaneously require wealth and produce it? interesting! Can a character lose control of some of their holdings as a result of demished personal wealth or is wealth merely a restriction on how /when they can claim or be granted new holdings?
 

Limbojack

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I might be odd, but the changes to holdings seem like a much more important addition to the game than the mission tree. But well done none the less.

One question though: now those territories are maxed at one holding each, how will this affect slave control?
 

Praetorian44

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Can mods change it so that there are still more than one holding per province?

Also, can it be modded so that minor characters can get holdings, rather than just the head of major families?
 
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MohawkWolfo98

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No, Arheo wrote:
"We’ve also abolished a holding limit: the only thing stopping characters owning more holdings, is wealth."
Ahhh, ok. Excellent news! This would really make holdings so much more relatable. Tho maybe loyalty hit for revoking holdings should be more? Cos 5 seems very negligible.

And do traits of characters affect loyalty hit/gain or the holdings etc?
 
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Dayvit78

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If the head of a family rebels, does he take his family with him? If not the full family, how does each member determine whether they're more loyal to you or the head of their own family?
 

Razmorg

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Holdings will predominantly be purchased and owned by Heads of Family,

Do you get the money when they purchase it? I suppose not. I guess the gameplay loop here is that you might need to revoke if a troublesome family grow too powerful or to grant holdings (can you still do it for free?) to weaker families for them to keep up?