Imperator: Rome Developer Diary - 16th of November 2020

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Trin Tragula

Design Lead - Crusader Kings 3
Paradox Staff
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Aug 1, 2003
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Hello, and welcome to another diary about warfare changes in the Marius update for Imperator: Rome!
Last week I described how armies as a rule will now be raised by levying the population. This time I will talk about standing armies and how they feature in the game. These are called Legions, drawing inspiration from the permanent Legions of the late Republic and the Roman Empire.

Just as last week, I want to remind you that everything you see is work in progress, interfaces, numbers, requirements are all subject to change still.


Legions represent a permanent army of professional soldiers. This form of organization required considerable wealth and all the administrative powers of a highly centralized state, but offered a few key advantages: firstly, by decoupling military service from membership in the class of property-owning citizens, the pool of potentially recruitable manpower was greatly increased. Having a corps of professional soldiers meant the state could be defended without permanently mobilizing its most economically productive citizens at ruinous cost to the tax base, and those in the ranks stayed active for years, becoming hardened veterans.

For the Romans this kind of force did not become common until after the Punic wars, when it proved to be impractical to use levies to garrison the increasingly far-flung borders of the empire.
Over time the Legions came to completely replace the levied troops, with permanent numbers, honorific titles, and an esprit de corps that is the root of every modern army. This radical innovation in military organization dramatically transformed the Roman state, and the role of a military commander.

A Legion is an army that acts as a permanent object, and will only ever be destroyed if disbanded, or its Governorship ceases to exist. All currently existing Legions will be shown in a national Legion Interface, where a Legion’s composition, upkeep, and history can be examined.. Here you can also add, change or delete subunits to specialize the Legion to your needs, or order it to be disbanded.

Unlike Levies the troops in a Legion will require maintenance, as they are professional soldiers.
Creating a Legion

(The Legion Interface - Very Much still work in progress)​
As you can see in this screenshot, Legions are created from the national military interface, where they occupy their own tab.
Much like levies Legions are raised from a region under a governor, and each unit in the Legion reduces the potential levy from the same region by one. The levy size also acts as an upper limit on how many units can be added to a Legion.
Where a Levy consists of an assortment of units based on the culture of the pops being called into service, the troop composition of the Legion itself is entirely up to the player (as long as the country can afford it). This means that as long as a unit type can be levied anywhere in your nation you can also recruit these units for your Legions. Additionally you have control over support cohorts like Supply Trains and Engineers.
Adding units to a Legion will come both at an up front cost of Gold and Manpower, as well as a maintenance cost over time.

At the start of the game the vast majority of countries in the world are unable to create Legions, and in order to change this a Republic or Monarchy must adopt the appropriate military reform laws. A tribe, on the other hand, has a longer path to be able to field Legions, as doing so will require them to first reform their government along either Republican or Monarchist lines.
Laws can require there to be no Legions at all, allow you one Legion in your capital region, or allow you to recruit Legions freely as long as you can support them in all regions under your control.

Republican Military Reforms:

(The requirements for the Punic Reforms for Rome, unlike what the current tooltip would have you believe the requirement does not actually care about how many ports you have)
Military Reform laws have been redesigned for both Republics and Monarchies in the Marius Update, allowing you to decide the size of the levy you want, and to what extent you can recruit Legions. Republics will by default feature larger levies than monarchies but also have a slightly harder time unlocking the laws that allow them to raise Legions.
Enacting the law “Punic Reforms” in Rome, or the “Provisioning Act” in another Republic, will unlock the ability to form a Legion in your Capital region. This law requires that your country is at least a Major Power and that you have researched the “Professional Soldiers” Invention in the Martial Invention Tree.
To be able to recruit Legions in any region, a Republic needs to unlock the “Cohorts” military invention, as well as reaching the rank of Great Power.

Monarchy Military Reforms

Monarchies will have somewhat smaller levies by default than Republics do, but in return all they require to be able to raise their first Legion is to be a Regional Power. Additionally all the Diadochi Kingdoms start with this law enabled, and with a Legion already existing in a historical location.
To be able to raise Legions without restrictions, a monarchy is required to be of the same rank and have the same inventions as a Republic.

Legion History
Since Legions are permanent military units they never really go away (barring strolls down to Cannae, or through the Teutoburgerwald…). Over the course of a campaign, a Legion will keep track of all major battles fought, its past commanders and of course any Honors or Dishonors that it earned during its existence.
The history of a specific Legion can be viewed in the Army interface (as you can see in the screenshot above, the Legions that exist at the start will allow you to see the history of what they accomplished in the years before the game began).

Honors & Dishonors

Throughout its lifetime a Legion will partake in many battles and may suffer defeats or win victories. Especially notable events may result in the Legion earning a distinction, something that marks its past deeds and the impact they have on the spirit of the Legion going forward. Sources of honors can be things like great battles, their leaders earning Triumphs, or capturing an important city. Dishonors on the other hand come from more deplorable actions, such as sacking a holy site, rampant looting, or embarrassing military defeats.


When an Honor or Dishonor is attained, an event will pop to describe how this came to be.
Both Honors and Dishonors will leave permanent marks on the specific Legion, visible in the Legion interface and conferring a permanent bonus or penalty to it from that point on.
They will also have a name and a description that, together with the entry in the Legion’s history, will remind you how they were earned.

Legion Commanders - Legates and Tribunes
The main commander of a Legion is now known as the Legate, this is the person responsible for the Legion. The Legate earns a comparatively high salary, and will be the default commander for the main army belonging to the Legion.

Apart from the Legate each Legion can also have up to 3 Tribunes assigned. Tribunes are characters that do not command the Legion but are still considered to be employed, making them unable to hold other jobs.
Should an army be split from the main army in the Legion the default commander will be one of the Tribunes, and a Tribune will also automatically take the place of the Legate if he or she should fall in battle or otherwise die while serving.

Since commanding armies is a full time job for the Legates and Tribunes, unlike the Governors that command your levies, these are positions very suitable for characters with good military skills.
It is worth remembering that since units can become loyal to your commanders, and convert to Loyal Veterans if disbanded, these are positions that can over time become dangerous. Especially since disbanding an army under a disloyal commander is impossible (though you may be able to convince them to leave their command in return for a Triumph in the capital).

While some of this is familiar from the current version of the game, there is a significant difference here in that military commanders only become a danger to your state once you have begun to create permanent armies.
Before that you might still have reason to fear your governors, who at times can become quite powerful, but you won’t really see the type of commanders with large armies loyal to them personally until you start to rely on Legions. This is something of a change of pace, and one we feel better reflects the evolution of the maturing Roman Republic, and the path to Empire.

Military Experience

(Numbers are not final)​
Ever since the Levy Diary you might be wondering what is happening to Military Experience. Since levies are not permanent troops you cannot really generate Military Experience by drilling them (and in fact this ability is disabled altogether for levies).
While levies cannot drill, they still earn experience in battles like any unit in the game. The amount that they still have when you disband them will now result in a one-time boost to Military Experience, allowing you to invest in Military Traditions based on the experience your troops earned during their campaigns.
Additionally all government types now have an office that contributes directly to Military Experience at a slow but steady pace.

Legions can still drill as in the current version of the game and their training will continue to contribute much like any units do in 1.5.

And with that I leave you for this time :) We will be back next week for more about what we have been working on!
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Damn it I haven't got my snacks for reading it yet, can you take it down for 10 minutes to give me time thanks?
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map changes to paeonia and thrace i see. Cool

Honors & Dishonors

Real nice someone had a forum post asking for somethign very simular to this, this together with legion history will feel really good for roleplay.
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Nice! Really impressed with this :)
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I must say, these military changes are incredible, very impressive, and seem quite fun to play with.

I do have a question however, apart from raising a legion, what is manpower used for? I might have missed it (maybe it also reinforces your levies?), but it doesn't seem relevant until you can raise permanent armies.
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Quick question on the forcelimits. In the previous DD you mentioned some short-term changes to Levy sizes were possible through Economic Policy, and in this one you've mentioned that the Levy Size gives an upper bound on Legion Cohorts (in that the Levy Size is essentially the remainder of Legions already raised in a Region). Does this mean that Economic Policies can influence the number of Legion Cohorts we're allowed? Can this be cheesed to expand Levy Sizes, hire Legions, then drop the cap down?

This does look really great though :)
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This goes far beyond what I expected, great job! I love the fact legions have a story behind them now, it would do wonders for RPing and makes truimphs etc worth doing

Could I ask if the standard heavy infantry is still present in all countries? Will there be a phalanx unit or unique units for different cultures?:)

And finally, just some minor critique: would it be ok if when showing us Legion victories/defeats in the honours or did honours to show the number of casualties on both sides, and if even better, give us the character portrait of the commander we defeated? That would really help RP so much
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The Tech tree would massively benefit from a big beautiful piece of art for each type (military, civic, religious, oratory). Right now it still feels empty and clunky.
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This all looks excellent. I'm really excited to get my hands on the Marius update.

I will say that even after getting accustomed to the new UI, I still hate the turquoise blue. I think the more minimalist marble color worked better or perhaps maybe use a different color of blue? Not a huge deal, but one I wanted to point out

Additionally, I really hope you're planning on changing the red arrows in the tech tree. They look really sloppy and thrown together. The other PDX games do a much better job at displaying their tech trees.

With that said, I really love what I'm seeing. I am a bit worried that once the player is able to make standing armies, they will then be able to steam roll so I hope that isn't the case.

Thank you!
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I love this!
Have you thought about localising the "Legions" tab?
So Legions is "Stratos" for the Greeks, for example.
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