Imperator: Rome Developer Diary - 19th of October 2020

Imperator: Rome Developer Diary - 19th of October 2020

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Trin Tragula

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Hello and welcome to another development diary for Imperator: Rome.
Today I will be talking to you about some of the changes that are coming in the Marius update. It is still early days, so take any and all numbers and screenshots as what they are, work in progress :)

Combat Width

In Imperator: Rome Combat Width is what determines the size of a battlefield. Units designated as primary rank are deployed in the center, with the units designated as second rank taking their place once they retreat from the battlefield. Units designated as flankers are deployed on the sides.
If unopposed to their direct front, units will target enemies diagonally, as far away as their maneuver rating will allow. This means your flankers can start attacking the center of the enemy line, if they can first defeat their counterparts in the enemy flank. It also means you will have little use of your flankers until late in a battle if the enemy line is completely filled.

armyiview.png

The unit interface is changing a bit in Marius, here is a partial peek at the Work-in-Progress version of it :)
landbattles.png

In the Marius update combat width is no longer the same on every battlefield. Instead it is now dependent on what terrain you are fighting on, and this can vary quite a bit, from extreme cases such as mountainous terrain where the battlefield is only 16 positions wide, to sea battles in the open where the width is now 50.

This allows us to better represent a dramatic variation of combat scenarios, and potentially opens up opportunities for ambushes, pitched warfare, and more. Choosing the place you give battle becomes as important as which subunits are present.
navalbattles.png

Additionally there will be some locations where the width is further modified,for example mountain passes, like the famous “Gates” where many historical battles took place. Such locations are now also marked with a 2D icon on the map itself. Such passes have been added to a number of locations all around the world.
gates1.png
gates2.png

What this means is that it becomes less viable to trust that one army composition is as useful for all types of campaigns. In largely forested or hilly areas your ability to flank will be much more limited.
At sea, on the other hand, this increases the danger of leaving your heavier ships unattended even further. The new system allows the potential number of enemy ships that can target a single isolated big vessel to be much higher.

Forts

In the release version of the game, when you have broken through a fortified area you currently have to spread out your troops to take control over the unfortified parts of all the provinces you pass through. This is a process that can be both attention intensive and not particularly rewarding or realistic.
For the Marius update we have been looking at ways to alleviate this, removing reasons to break your armies up into many small pieces and rewarding concentration of power a bit more. Some of these changes will be described below.

Occupation
In the new update occupation of all territories in a province will begin to progress as soon as you control *all* forts in that province. This means that when you are done taking control of the military installations of a province your armies can move on, and not split up to occupy all the territories in turn.

In provinces that do not have any forts, it will be enough to occupy the province capital to trigger this behaviour. Occupying the local capitals was already a good idea since it gives your armies access to the Provincial food storage, but this change further increases the importance of going after these important locations.

This has the knock-on effect of reducing the need for carpet-sieging behaviour, and makes large-scale warfare significantly less tedious.

Province Fort Limit
buildfortress.png


Another change, partly because of the new importance of forts, and partly because of how easy it has been to tie down invaders by building a great number of small forts, is the Provincial Fort Limit.
This limit represents the degree to which the provincial infrastructure can support great fortifications and can be increased using a provincial investment.
The starting limit for any province will be 5 and each new fort in a territory will make use of 3 Fort Infrastructure levels. Additional levels to existing forts only contribute 1 Fort Infrastructure level to the fort limit, encouraging building forts in important and influential places rather than in every territory.
The Fort Limit is not a hard limitation, you can still build more fort levels than your province infrastructure can support, but fort levels beyond the limit will sharply increase the maintenance you pay for them. There may well be additional sources of this limit to account for historically well-defended locations.

Engineer Cohorts
engineers.png


Fort warfare will also be affected by the introduction of a new Engineer Unit type. This unit represents troops specialized in sieges and the construction of military facilities, siege towers, roads, temporary bridges, etc. If present with an army laying siege to a fort, engineers will add +1 to every siege roll, divided by the fort level +1.
Engineers are also able to negate the crossing penalties that armies get for attacking across rivers or straits, as long as they are present in high enough numbers (1 cohort for every 10 units fighting on your side in a battle). For this reason an icon indication has also been added to show whether you will get a crossing penalty or not from a movement order.
Lastly Engineers are proficient in road building and will greatly reduce the cost to build new roads if they are present in an army ordered to construct roads.

The new unit type has an unusually high cost both to recruit and maintain, and is also restricted in some ways that we will expand on later diaries.

That was all for today when it comes changes related to warfare. Now it is time for a change coming to how you handle trade.

Provincial Trading

One other new feature coming to the Marius update is the ability to assign control over Trade to your Governors. This is done on a provincial level, meaning you can decide to have some provinces under the control of your governor while still manually handling others.
The governors will try to get profitable routes set up while also securing access to food for their territories, but will expect to have total control over what is theirs

Atlas Map Mode
atlas.png

My last point for today is to show the new Map Mode that we are adding together with the interface rework in Marius. It aims at showing information at a glance in a way that could be useful for After Action Report screenshots, or if you just want to admire your world in a way reminiscent of the historical atlases that most of us enjoy :)

That was all for this week! :) Next week we will be back with more about the new features of the Marius update.
 
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I approve of the fact that unit sizes are now 500. Imperator's armies always felt a bit to big in when it came to small city states.
 
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Paghalay

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Have the battle tactics that you select before the battle been left more or less unchanged in this update?
 
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Jiben

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Quite alot of information here with 500 men cohorts, a new unit type, rebalancing of forts, rebalancing of combat width. These information packed dd's are the best.
 
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My gods, this is one of the best DD's ever released, thank you. BUT NOW I WANT MORE!
 
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TheMadEmperor

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Screenshot_4.png

If you manage to put this on the battle screen I'll be 10000% sold.

Inspired by King and Generals videos ofc ^^
 
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Inspecta

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Atlas map mode is quite an interesting and helpfull thing. You always forget where your major cities and temples are. This is helpfull.
 
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Traxium318

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This looks incredible. The ability to tell governors to auto trade is top.
 
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Jiben

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"One other new feature coming to the Marius update is the ability to assign control over Trade to your Governors. This is done on a provincial level, meaning you can decide to have some provinces under the control of your governor while still manually handling others."

Considering how many people complained on trade micromanagement this is a huge change.
 
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vyshan

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This looks cool. I really like the atlas map mode. Some Questions though. :)

  1. Could you explain more on the sub units that exist?
  2. Do any of the seasons affect combat width. For example will you have the same width in the middle of winter as you will in the middle of summer?
  3. Do any of the military traditions affect the amount of forts you can build in a province or your combat width?
  4. Similarly does technology affect the forts you can build and combat width?
 
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This is absolutely fantastic, gotta say big thanks to you guys @Trin Tragula it is great to see you not only keep working on this game but keep improving it at a meteoric pace. That said, I really do wish forts were tied more strongly to cities rather than the castle-like way forts work right now. Putting down garrison-towns and founding new cities was the primary ancient method of building defences and controlling areas.

Still, this looks absolutely fantastic!
 
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Bovrick

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Fort warfare will also be affected by the introduction of a new Engineer Unit type. This unit represents troops specialized in sieges and the construction of military facilities, siege towers, roads, temporary bridges, etc. If present with an army laying siege to a fort, engineers will add +1 to every siege roll, divided by the fort level +1.
Just to clarify on this one: with Engineers against a Lvl1 Fort, you'll get a +1 roll for every 2 Engineers; against a Lvl2 Fort, you get a +1 roll for every 3 Engineers, and so on?

Generally, love everything added in this DD, really excited!
 
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This looks cool. I really like the atlas map mode. Some Questions though. :)

  1. Could you explain more on the sub units that exist?
  2. Do any of the seasons affect combat width. For example will you have the same width in the middle of winter as you will in the middle of summer?
  3. Do any of the military traditions affect the amount of forts you can build in a province or your combat width?
  4. Similarly does technology affect the forts you can build and combat width?
I didn't even take notice of the sub unit bit in my first read through. If this functions in any way similar to my (admittedly half baked) suggestion then I am incredibly happy.
 
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From the outliner in the last screenshot it looks like we have a further confirmation on Levies!
 
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At this point they are just showing off features, not that I'm complaining
 
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Bovrick

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Aug 18, 2019
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This is absolutely fantastic, gotta say big thanks to you guys @Trin Tragula it is great to see you not only keep working on this game but keep improving it at a meteoric pace. That said, I really do wish forts were tied more strongly to cities rather than the castle-like way forts work right now. Putting down garrison-towns and founding new cities was the primary ancient method of building defences and controlling areas.

Still, this looks absolutely fantastic!
I think the Fort Limit system works towards this: each Settlement Fort will cost you 3 points, whereas levelling up Forts (which must be done in Cities) only costs 1 point.
 
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