Imperator - Development Diary - 29th of October 2018 - Italy 450 AUC

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Trin Tragula

Design Lead - Crusader Kings 3
Paradox Staff
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Hello and welcome to another Development Diary for Imperator:Rome!

I am @Trin Tragula and today I will talk a bit about maps and the political situation at the start of the game.

Previously we have talked about how we have approached researching the map. In this diary I will instead focus on what our map actually looks like, and the situation in Italy at our start date, 304 BC. This date was chosen after long consideration and we hope that it will provide an as interesting setting for a game that spans the main expansive phase of Rome’s existence (as well as many other things, but we will get to those later, in other diaries).

Italy Ab Urbe Condita 450 - 304 BCE

Central Italy - The Rise of Rome:

At the start of Imperator, the city of Rome is already an impressive 450 years old. Rome has however not been a major force for nearly as long. In the last 40 years leading up to our start Rome has begun to grow quickly, first unifying the lands of the Latin League under its rule and then expanding at the expense of its former Samnite allies.

The recently concluded Great Samnite war has transformed Rome from a local power in Latium with designs on Campania to a large country stretching right across the central Apennines to the Adriatic coast.

The defeat of both Samnium and Etruria has both sent shockwaves through Italy and made a few select Romans very influential and very rich. This is an age where the Republic went through a period of dynamic development, with its institutions and its internal politics transforming from that of a small city to what would become the center of a growing empire.

central italy political.png

Starting Countries:
  • Rome: Independent Italic City State that has grown in the last 40 years to be the dominant power in Central Italy. Having just defeated both the Samnites and Etruscans, and acquired a number of new Feudatory subject states, Rome is starting to draw the attention of more faraway powers such as Carthage, Rhodes and Epirus. While the success of the Samnite wars have cemented Roman military superiority, they also highlight how even small conflicts can blow up into great multisided wars in this region.
  • Samnium: League of Samnite states. Former ally but now immediate rival of Rome that has just been defeated in the Second Samnite war. Controls a number of fortifications that cut Central Italy from the south. The emergence of a strong Roman power have made them look abroad for supporters, to Etruria, Carthage and Syracuse.
  • Etruria: Tribal Federation of Etruscan states. The Etruscans are the formerly dominant people in Central Italy and overlords of Rome and many other states in the region. Now, however, they are a country of much more limited power and influence. They retain control over the central Etrurian region as well as parts of the island of Corsica, which was conquered with Carthaginian help many years ago.
  • Sipontum: Small greek city state on the Adriatic coast. Sipontum belongs to a number of states that try to get by without being pulled into the designs of nearby powers such as the Samnites or Epirus on the other side of the Adriatic.
  • Frentani: Sabellian Tribal Kingdom on the Adriatic coast. The Frentani control a vital communication route between the Roman colonies in the east and the route through the Apennines to Rome proper and are among the groups that turned to Rome to offer their allegiance at the end of the Great Samnite war.
  • Nuceria: Sabellian Plutocratic Republic, that fought against Rome in the Great Samnite War. The small state was however spared any vengeance in return for their everlasting loyalty to Rome and starts as a Roman Feudatory.
  • Peligni: Medium Sized Tribal Kingdom in the upper Apennines. Sued for peace with Rome in order to become a Roman Feudatory at the end of the Second Samnite War.
  • Marsia: Tribal Kingdom by the shores of the new lost lake of Fucino. Formerly Samnite ally but now Roman Feudatory since the end of the second Samnite war.
  • Sabinia: Small Tribal kingdom precariously situated on the border of Etruria and Rome. While relations have never been good with the Romans, their recent victories have made Roman settlers even more interested in Sabinian land.
  • Picentia: Tribal kingdom on the Adriatic coast. Neighbors with Ancona and allies of Umbria.
  • Umbria: Aristocratic Republic in the Umbrian Apennines. Traditional enemies of the Etruscans and friends of Samnium. Allied with Picentia.
  • Ancona: Greek city state founded by Syracusan settlers. The local economy based on the export of dyes. With Syracusan presence in the adriatic waning Ancona is nowadays on its own, and surrounded by much stronger tribal countries.

Sicily in the age of Agathocles

Sicily is one of the greatest and richest islands of the Mediterranean. Like southern Italy it is home to a sizable Greek population, but unlike southern Italy it also has both valuable mines and great farmlands.

In 304 BC the island is divided between the Great Power of Carthage and the Kingdom of Syracuse. The latter is ruled by the self proclaimed Tyrant Agathocles. A man who rose from humble origins and a life as a soldier and an adventurer, to be the leader of the greatest city on the island.

Agathocles’ installation in Syracuse can in many ways be attributed to Carthage, who assisted with their army, hoping to destabilize the Greek state with which they had competed for hegemony over both the island of Sicily itself as well as Corsica and Sardinia.

No sooner had Agathocles been installed and slaughtered his political opposition, than he turned on his former allies. The last 8 years have been a long and drawn out struggle between Syracuse and Carthage. One in which the seemingly much stronger North African republic would see its countryside in modern Tunisia burn, and its commanders decapitated.

Nonetheless the peace that was finally signed in 306 BC, just two years before our start date, has more or less been a return to status quo. Carthage and Syracuse still control about as much of the island as they did before, and a central part remains unaligned, unwilling to directly declare for either side.

This is an uneasy peace, more dictated by a will to gain respite than real will to seek reconciliation. In Carthage itself, an ambitious general takes this as an opportunity to proclaim himself Tyrant, much like Agathocles did years prior. But where Agathocles could massacre his opponents, Bomilcar is abandoned by all his friends and publicly crucified.

It is now 304 BC and in the east Alexander’s former generals have begun declaring themselves kings in their own right. Despite the uneasy truce with Carthage, Agathocles has decided to do the same, and names himself King of Sicily. What his plans are for realizing these ambitions are, only time can tell.

Sicily and Carthage.png

Starting Countries:
  • Syracuse: Sicilian Greek Kingdom that at times have controlled most of the island. Only a medium power in the grand scheme of things but an important strategic piece of the mediterranean puzzle. Syracuse has previously been the overlord of much of Southern Italy and many expect that it has ambitions to that effect again.
  • Siculia: The weakest country on Sicily, this small Tribal country represents the various cities that are not under Syracusan or Carthaginian control at our start. Their population are mostly Siculians and Greeks.
  • Carthage: Carthage is not a Sicily based power, and we will speak more about them in a future diary. Nonetheless they are one of the most influential playable countries in this region. The population of Carthaginian Sicily is a mix of Carthaginians, native Siculians, and Greeks.

Southern Italy - Magna Graecia
Magna Graeciafinal.png

At the time of our start date Southern Italy is a divided region. Also known as “Magna Graecia” It is home to a number of Greek city states, many who have ties to their former homeland, and to the great Hellenic power of Syracuse. The region is also home to a number of large tribal federations such as the Bruttian and Lucanian Leagues.

Many of the Greek cities once cooperated in the Italiote League, but many divisive conflicts have made that form of cooperation less relevant.

Historically Syracuse has been dominating force in the region, but now Epirus, Rome, the Samnite League and even Sparta are also meddling in local politics.

The end of the Second Samnite war in the north is about to send ripples through the political sphere, with some major powers reorienting themselves to be able to protect themselves from Rome, and others instead seeking Roman protection.


Starting Countries:
  • Tarentum: Small but influential Greek City state, leader of the new defunct Italiote league. Tarentum has often been an ally of the Samnites and sometimes an enemy of Rome. Fearing growing Roman power, the Samnites have come to support Agathocles of Syracuse but Tarentum is equally concerned with Roman and Syracusan aggression and has instead sought other friends. It has found new allies in Sparta, Epirus and even the former enemy Messapia.
  • Lucania: Tribal Kingdom and Regional Power representing the Lucanian League. Enemies of Tarentum and the Samnites, Lucania is in some ways a logical ally for Rome, at least for now. Should Roman expansion take them too far south this might easily change in the future.
  • Messapia: Tribal Messapian Kingdom on the heel of the Italian Boot. Historically often at odds with Tarentum but for now instead allied with both them and and the Apulians.
  • Apulia: Tribal Messapian Kingdom, allied with Messapia.
  • Bruttia: Tribal Kingdom in the far southern tip of Italy. Asserts influence over many of the nearby Greek cities and as such is the main safeguard against any Syracusan expansion in the region.
  • Croton: Old Greek city state maintaining a precarious independence from the Bruttia. In a defensive league with Metapontum and Herakleia.
  • Metapontum: Greek city state on the Tarentine Gulf. Metapontum is in a defensive league with Herakleia and Croton.
  • Hipponion: Greek city state and tributary to Bruttia, traditional rival of Croton, historically often in the Syracusan sphere of influence.
  • Locri: Greek Plutocratic Republic, feudatory of Syracuse.
  • Rhegium: A formerly influential city in Magna Graecia, the Plutocratic Republic of Rhegium is a feudatory of Syracuse.
  • Thuria: Small and weak Greek City state with a very diverse greek population. Tributary to Bruttia.
  • Herakleia: Small Greek City state surrounded by Tarentum and Lucania. Herakleia is currently in a defensive league with Metapontum and Croton but is likely to reorient itself towards one of its larger neighbors.

Northern Italy & Gallia Cisalpina

In 304 BC the northern Italian basin is dominated by Celtic, Lepontic, tribes. Many among these tribes migrated into the area at the beginning of the century; a moment in time quite entrenched in the Roman psyche, as the tribesmen reached as far south as the city of Rome itself, sacking it, in what would be remembered as the Gallic disaster.

Apart from occasional raids and mercenary bands, however, this region is not as integrated with Central and Southern Italy. To most states in this region the growing Roman state is not yet seen as a threat.

Northern Italy.png

Starting Countries:
  • Boii: Tribal kingdom centered around the location of the modern city of Bologna. Like many other tribes they are said to have migrated into Italy across the alps, but their exact origin is unknown.
  • Veneti: An Italic people with celtic influences occupying roughly the same location as the modern Veneto region in north eastern Italy.
  • Lingones: Small tribe from Gaul that has settled in the Po river delta.
  • Cenomanni: Tribal Kingdom along the Ph River.
  • Insubria: Celtic tribe in the region around the modern city of Milan. The largest of the Lepontic populations. Enemies of the Taurini.
  • Taurinia: Celtic tribal state on the slopes of the western alps. Enemies of the Insubres.
  • Senonii: Small Celtic tribe from Gaul. Responsible for raiding Latium and Etruria as well as the sacking of Rome, and the continued fear of Celtic raids among the Romans.
  • Friniati: Mountainous tribal kingdom in the northern Apennines on the border between Etruria and the Boi.
  • Genuates: Tribal kingdom on the inhospitable Ligurian coast. Guards one of the routes into Italy, but considered by many to be harder to traverse than using the Alpine passes.
That was all for today. :) Hopefully you have enjoyed this diary about the setup at the start of the game. Next week I will talk a bit about the Greek world and of the Greek Military Traditions.

EDIT: To clarify a Starting country is one you can select at start. There are no countries on the map that are not playable. :)


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Alright, so we're beginning to get detailed looks at places on the map. Nice.
Also, long live Boii!

Please have a "Bar Mitzvah" achievement for conquering the Isle of Man as a Jewish Boii.
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Also, for sakes of pretty pictures I have removed a lot of troops and fleets so that they don't obscure the map in some of the closeups :)
You can be sure that each country in the game does start with an army of some sort.
I can’t wait!
Looking forward to trying a Kingdom of Judea at the very least, and then getting a save converter mod and converting over to CKII with When the World stopped making Sense running...
Hi Trin, the map looks fantastic. Surely this is a good sign this game is well along in development.

Keep up the good work.
Wait, playable countries?

I have always used that title in the diaries I write :) It means they exist at start.
There are no locked away countries in Imperator, just as there aren't in Europa Universalis where I've previously used that headline.

EDIT: Changed to Starting countries to hopefully avoid any room for doubt about what is meant :)
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