Imperator - Development Diary #11 - 6th of August 2018

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Johan

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Hello everyone and welcome to another development diary for Imperator! Today we’ll delve into what we call unit-abilities, and also show off some interesting and fun modding mechanics.

What we call unit-abilities in Imperator can be one of three categories, where some of them are hardcoded like moving cohorts between legions or detaching a siege force, while others are fully 100% done through our script.

Reorganisational
  • Create New Unit - Allows you to create a new unit and transfer cohorts/ships to it, or back.
  • Consolidate - Merges cohorts of the same type, and then disbands empty cohorts.
  • Detach Siege - Leaves behind a large enough force to siege or occupy the current city.
  • Split Half - Splits the Unit in Half
  • Recruit To - Opens up the recruit window, so you can recruit cohorts/ships directly to this unit. They will automatically march and merge to this unit.
  • Disband - For when you don’t want that unit anymore.

Please be aware that cohorts that are loyal to its commanders will not be possible to reorganise away from that commander.


Toggles
  • Select Objective - Can Select an Objective for this unit, and it will perform it without further input from you. More details in a later development diary.
  • Allow Attachment - Allow other nations units to attach to this one.
  • Cavalry Skirmish - Trades Defense for Offense on Light Cavalry and Camels.
  • Phalanx - Slower movement for armies, while heavy infantry defence is much stronger.
  • Padma Vyuha - Slower movement for heavy infantry defence and archer offence
  • Unit Reorganisation - Double Maintenance and Slow movement speed, but unit reinforcing and morale recovery is much faster. Without using this, units recover slower than in previous games.
  • Force March - Heavier Attrition and No morale recovery while moving much faster.


Some of these are unlocked by different military traditions, and some of them are always available, and some toggles have a small military power cost.

Actions
  • Attach/Detach to Unit - Attach/Detach to another unit present in the city.
  • Shattered Retreat - Gives the order for the unit to perform a shattered retreat. This is handy if you want to save the remnants of your army trapped deep in enemy territory, or when you are cut off by hostile Forts.
  • Construct Border Fort - Creates a colony in an unowned city bordering you, adding 1 freeman pop of your culture and a fort for military power.
  • Desecrate Holy Site - Spend religious power in another nations capital to reduce their omen power for a long time.
  • Raise Levies - Spend Military Power to get more cohorts to your unit.
  • Military Colonies - Spend Military Power to create a freeman pop of your culture/religion in the current city.
  • Raid City - Spend Military Power to get gold and manpower from an enemy city.
  • Build Road - Spend Military Power to build a road towards the next city the army moves to.


Some of these are unlocked by different military traditions, and some of them are always available.

2018_08_06_1.png



Modding Support

So, making lots of these scriptable was possible due to the new super-powerful scripting tools of Jomini, which is the game-mechanics layer we have on top of Clausewitz these days.

We have some nice ways to get dynamic values in effects, like this in the raiding mechanics. You can basically access any “trigger” from any scope you can switch to as a value and modify with each other.


Code:
        unit_owner = {
            add_treasury = {
                value = root.unit_location.total_population
                multiply = root.unit_location.civilization_value
                divide = 100
            }
            add_manpower = {
                value = root.unit_location.total_population
                multiply = root.unit_location.civilization_value
                divide = 250
            }
        }


We can also do loops, which is used in the levies.
Code:
        while = {
            count = {
                value = root.unit_owner.max_manpower
                multiply = 0.25
                round_up = yes
            }
            add_subunit = light_infantry
        }

And for those of you that modded previous games, and know about city, character and country scopes, will be happy to know that Imperator has those and far more, like unit scope, pop scope, party scope, etc..

Next week, we'll be back with a look at the technology system!
 
T

Technoincubus

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I just hope Rome won't suffer from mercspam as much as EUIV and manpower will be actually important
 

AKronblad

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Nice! I particularly like the old EU:R feature of units becoming loyal to a general. And of course the new modding capabilities, even if I will not be able to muster dedication to mod myself for yet another game.

Legion is another name for army?
 

Mackus

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"Phalanx" confuses me.
Army moves slower in exchange to bonus to defense? What? Does that means army marches in formation all the time?
This sounds like an annoying micro. You just swap army to Phalanx before each battle, then curse and reload when you didn't click button in time.
 

Zwirbaum

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Tactics and stances are separate from toggles and will be covered in the future DD?

And oh boy, can't wait for the tech DD :)
 

Negru Voda

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I love that we're getting more mechanics which increase focus on tactical control of armies, but I worry a little about potential cumbersome micro which does not require much thinking, like:
  • Always turning Unit Reorganisation on after battles
  • Always turning Phalanx on and off
I'm expecting this area to be tweaked every other patch :)

But tying the army system in with country tech and traditions can open up a lot of cool military styles which change how you wage your war campaigns and even how you manage your diplomacy - kinda like how doctrines characterized your military in HoI.

I'm pretty excited to try this system out (as well as the trade management).
 

EU3NOOB

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Johan you're the best!

From what little we know of the tech system I reckon it's gonna be awesome, but it's also one of the systems most likely to be a bit of a flop upon release.

New stuff is always hard to get right.
 

smiley.guy

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"Phalanx" confuses me.
Army moves slower in exchange to bonus to defense? What? Does that means army marches in formation all the time?
This sounds like an annoying micro. You just swap army to Phalanx before each battle, then curse and reload when you didn't click button in time.

Yeah, that's the first thing that I thought. But then again, it really depends on how big the movement penalty will be. Let's say that armies in phalanx formation (just ignore the fact that it doesn't make sense that armies would move in phalanx formation before battle) will always be easily outrun by armies NOT in phalanx formation. Meaning that you could rarely engage in offensive battles (while in phalanx formation) if your enemy just decides not to fight and moves away. That could actually mean some nice tactical choices, like forming a defensive position in some narrow passage or just fighting a defensive war while your enemy has to try to outmanouver you etc. But if your armies in phalanx formation will be just slightly slower and you can easily move into battle while in phalanx... then yeah, it's just a micro that you will always use no matter what. Well, we'll have to wait and see how it will work in the game.
 

Duke of Awesome

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Ignoring the micro issue, I'm more interested in where those freemen POPs come from in the case of border forts and military colonies. Are they pulled from the nearest province, or do they spawn from the aether?
 

Lord Lambert

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Please be aware that cohorts that are loyal to its commanders will not be possible to reorganise away from that commander.
This sounds interesting, suggesting that cohorts (Imperators term for 1,000 men) will have loyalty. I like it, might stop the general teleportation present in other games.

"Phalanx" confuses me.
Army moves slower in exchange to bonus to defense? What? Does that means army marches in formation all the time?
This sounds like an annoying micro. You just swap army to Phalanx before each battle, then curse and reload when you didn't click button in time.
If you recall the dev diary about units, it heavily implied there that speed is a function of combat

Camels
These units prefer to fight on flanks, and require the camel trade-goods to be built. They are quick to build, and move quickly.
Cavalry

These units prefer to fight on flanks, and require the horse trade-goods to be built. They are more expensive to build, and move quickly.
Horse Archers

These units prefer to fight from the second row, and require the steppe horse trade-goods to be built. They cost similarly to cavalry, and are deadly to slower moving units.
Light Cavalry

These units prefer to fight on flanks, and require the horse trade-goods to be built. They are not very expensive to build, and move very quickly.
Warelephants

This unit requires the elephant trade-goods be built. They are very expensive to build, but are very good against units that can not quickly run away.
 

Jean-Luc

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I feel military colonies should only be usable in territories where your primary culture is in minority rather than allow spawning pops in developed cities. That's the point of the military colony, no? To gradually assimilate a hostile land, not be a general pop growth policy.
 

MrNewVegas

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  • Military Colonies - Spend Military Power to create a freeman pop of your culture/religion in the current city\

Seems to me like military colonies should reduce the manpower of the current army, in exchange for civilised pops in recently conquered lands. This should not require mana, but you shouldn't be able to spam it, because it makes soldiers/general cranky if you keep drafting them back after you give them new land (also, you have finite manpower). If a general is near areas he has used military colonies on and attempts to march on Rome (or whatever area the senate so decides he not allowed to do so) he can recruit back men from these colonies to create a larger army, with asssociated veterancy traits for the soldiers (perhaps a malus if it is a long period after, for older legionaries?)
 

CorpusIurisCivilis

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Why not have a "Battle Tactics/Doctrine" button where you can select a battlefield formation for your army that gives them specific boosts to said army's composition.
Say you want a flexible offensive formation for your roman legion, choose the Triplex Axis Formation and select the Manipule Organization. This wont just randomly give your army a map movement debuff for no reason and will actually be more realistic.
If you want to add further flavour lock these tactics and organizations per culture and or goverment
 

Limak

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Sounds very nice, the tactics are a welcome addition to reduce the randomness of previous titles battles.

Looking forward to see how technology will affect unit quality and type.
 

johnleeyx

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Please be aware that cohorts that are loyal to its commanders will not be possible to reorganise away from that commander.
Wow, so many questions and possibilities.
  • Can we see the value of loyalty each unit has?
  • Does this value reset happens when a commander dies?
  • Possible rebellion of units loyal to a commander to form a rebel army?

  • Phalanx - Slower movement for armies, while heavy infantry defence is much stronger.
  • Padma Vyuha - Slower movement for heavy infantry defence and archer offence
Does the above affect movement in both the map and in combat?

Unit Reorganisation - Double Maintenance and Slow movement speed, but unit reinforcing and morale recovery is much faster. Without using this, units recover slower than in previous games.
Is there a requirement to be on your own territory or have bonuses if done on your own soil?
different military traditions
Is this something like EU4 army tradition or is it Imperator's name for Military Tech?

Raise Levies - Spend Military Power to get more cohorts to your unit.
  • Raid City - Spend Military Power to get gold and manpower from an enemy city.
  • Build Road - Spend Military Power to build a road towards the next city the army moves to.
[/QUOTE]
I feel like this should have additional requirements of money and manpower alongside the mil power requirement.
Overall, VERY IMPRESSED! Keep it up! Can't wait to see what else's in store.