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The Economy in "Hegemony: Philip of Macedon"

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Level 22 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on August 7, 2007 at 7:39 am

This post will describe the economy in Hegemony: Philip of Macedon . (We're posting this today as yesterday was a holiday here in Canada.)

I'll give my personal bias on micromanagement before describing the economy in Hegemony: Philip of Macedon . I'm not against micromanagement if a game is designed with micromanagement as its central feature. My concern is where micromanagement remains optional yet yields such amazing results that it becomes the de facto requirement for a player to do well. I prefer a game system where micromanagement is either a central feature or the need for it is avoided. With the emphasis in Hegemony: Philip of Macedon on battle, territorial expansion and organization of a growing Kingdom, we've tried to design the economy to work well without the need for micromanagement and have simplified it to Gold , Food and Population .

Gold comes from a city population tax, trade, ore from mines, loot from battles and raids, the selling of slaves and the ransom received for the return of captured enemy soldiers. Food comes from the harvest of crops and from migrant flocks of sheep. Population is faction based and exists in cities. A limited number of Macedonian migrants become available as colonists to selectively add to cities.

A small amount of Gold is raised from taxes based on city population points. Each city has market nodes outside of its city walls. Coastal cities also have docks. A market node can be linked to another city's market node or to a farm, mine, villa or fort. A dock node can be linked to another city's dock node or to the dock node of a coastal fort. City market and dock nodes become active trade routes when linked and generate additional revenue. Greater amounts of gold come from mining. Oxcarts will automatically be sent out to linked mines to haul ore (all ore is the same) back to cities where it converts to gold. You can also attack enemy oxcarts (a good target for raids) and capture the ore, hauling it back to one of your own cities. Loot adds to income. Enemy troops that are killed drop loot that can be hauled by workers or slaves to a friendly city where it converts to gold. Captured soldiers can be used as slave labor or sold (i.e. converted to gold) at a friendly city. The common step here is to return the goods or captives to a Macedonian city where it/them convert to gold.

Crops grow on farmland. During fall harvest time the farm structure fills with crops. Cities, forts or villas that are linked to farms will automatically send out oxcarts to haul in the crops. Oxcarts and merchant ships will also auto-redistribute crops between cities, forts and villas based on demand levels set by the player. (e.g. Crops can be redistributed to stockpile a frontier city in anticipation of a planned campaign by simply turning up that cities demand for crops.) As a supplement to crops, flocks of sheep wander the hills, generating/regenerating with spring lambing and slowly moving towards nearby cities, where they will be added to the food supply. Sheep don't provide as much food as crops but are mobile and can be moved with an army, or simply captured and devoured to replenish food supply while on the march. (e.g. In this way a small reconnaissance force can sustain itself by capturing the odd flock of sheep.)

Each faction has population points that generate tax income. Population points are also assigned to support all or part of a brigade of faction specific troops or workers. If a brigade is supported by a non-Macedonian faction, they are hired as mercenaries. When a city is captured, a portion or all of its population can be sold into slavery. This generates a one-time gain in gold at the loss of ongoing tax revenue and potential mercenaries.

To summarize, the economic system in Hegemony: Philip of Macedon revolves around a simplified interaction between population points, gold and food. Build combat units, pay them and feed them. Managing that link between the economy and the combat troops is all about logistics (i.e. the management and distribution of troops and supply). That's another topic.