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Level 8 Human Hegemon
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: PA, USA
Posted on October 28, 2011 at 11:10 am

As we all know roads were a big part of what made Rome great. However, disregarding the epic feats of engineering that were roads within the 'civilized' parts of the Republic, how much did roads play a part in Caesar's campaign in Gaul? I know he and his legions were famed for their rapid maneuvering, but was some of this attributed to a road system? So, my real question is - will roads, either pre-built or build-able/upgradable like trade routes in PoM, be in-game?

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Rick's doing more of the research on this project than I have so I'll let him correct me but I believe most of the Roman roads in Gaul came well after Caesar's time. There were the Via Aquitania and Via Domitia in the already Roman controlled south but I don't believe they played a particular role in Caesar's campaigns so at this point we don't have plans to implement military roads in Rome. However, as you noted Caesar was famous for showing up when the Gauls and Germans least expected him and we do plan to highlight that through new bridge building and forced marching features.

Supply lines will still exist similarly to PoM/Gold for moving resources around the map but they'll be a little more flexible now since you'll be able to branch them by building supply camps out in the field.

Level 8 Human Test Dummy (MK III)
Alignment: Lawful
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 9:38 am

Supply Camps?

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 10:08 am

Supply Camps?

One of the new features in Rome is the ability to build camps/forts out in the field and you'll be able to connect supply lines to these dynamic camps. I can't get into a lot of detail right now as we're still playtesting some of these things but stay tuned as we'll be releasing a lot more info on the new features in Rome in the coming weeks/months.

Level 8 Human Hegemon
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: PA, USA
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 10:14 am

Excellent, that sounds very interesting. Also helps me see how wood will become a more important resource. Forced marching sounds great as well - an improvement on the sprint ability I'd say. And Supply Camps? Perfect. Roads were Roman, but so were their campaign forts, and probably more important to the men doing the fighting.

Level 8 Human Test Dummy (MK III)
Alignment: Lawful
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm

cool! thanks for the quick response.

Level 8 Human Truffle Farmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Australia
Posted on November 1, 2011 at 12:48 am

Roman highways were roman (self evident); but the Gauls especially, of all the 'barbarians' in the ancient world, had some very well developed paved roads. They had some main routes paved with stone that, while not quite up to Roman engineering, were very well developed.

Many of the later Roman roads were built over top of pre-existing Gaelic roads. While not a justification for their inclusion in-game I think that if it fits your game design idea's then some roads might be useful between certain points for moving quickly. Afterall, they make a HUGE difference than just trying to march cross-country.

Plus, realism is always fun if you can find a nice gameplay reason for it. Good to highlight a few less known facts about the ancient world.

Level 21 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on November 1, 2011 at 8:11 am

In the game system that we're developing for our Hegemony series, we've been trying to combine strategy, tactics and logistics on one continuous map, with the emphasis on the importance of reconnaissance, skirmishes and the many, many, many small engagements that occurred for every large, documented "historic" battle.

To emphasize strategy, you need a relatively discrete system of interconnected nodes (cities, towns, forts, camps, etc.), where units and food can be stockpiled. Units are then either left to defend, or deployed from those nodes. In a pure strategic system, battles can be abstracted.

To emphasize tactics and multiple small engagements, you need freedom for units to deploy and fight at any location while moving, with the ability to withdraw or add units to any engagement, dependent on a units ability to "get there on time". Although, getting there on time is also a strategic element.

To emphasize logistics, you need a bit of both; nodes to create stockpiles in, as well as unit food consumption and the ability to modify unit consumption through foraging, etc.

Roads are a strategic element and can easily reduce flexibility. So, how do we maintain the core concept of a large, zoomable, open map, with flexible tactics and still have a meaningful network of roads? At one extreme, we could leave roads as map "window dressing" to add some historical flavor. At the other extreme, movement could be restricted to a network of roads. Neither extreme works for Hegemony.

In Philip we looked at a number of ways to have units move faster on roads, but in the end, left roads to represent trade (gold generation and food redistribution).

A road system modeled along the lines of those old pneumatic tube systems might be interesting? But, there are problems with that system too.

Level 8 Human Truffle Farmer
Alignment: Good
Location: Australia
Posted on November 2, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Thanks for the post. Its nice to see a little bit of the thinking that goes on 'behind the veil'. I have to say you definately make good points in that the game is one continuous map and so roads don't work so well.

The pneumatic tube system does sound interesting. I understand some problems with that either if the units are teloported or abstracted away then its hard to get them to intercept anything. But if they move really fast while remaining on the map then there is a certain lack of realism in tactical battles.

Have you considered having something similar to a stance toggle similar to the current Philip version of a 'Camp' mode? In this case you could put your units into a marching column stance that would allow them to take advantage of roads (even if its a small bonus in speed) but would leave them vulnerable to attack for a certain time afterwards/during. Could be used for ambushes if that were to be worked into the game and could limit the exploitation of the movement speed to safe movement within an already largely controlled empire rather than using it for lightning strikes against the enemy.

Level 16 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on November 3, 2011 at 1:17 am

Have you considered having something similar to a stance toggle similar to the current Philip version of a 'Camp' mode?

One of the other underutilized features in PoM/Gold that we're working on improving in Rome is the formation system which in Rome will have additional properties beyond a units position on the battlefield. For example, rather than the simple column formation in PoM/Gold, in Rome you'll have something like a forced march formation that has various trade offs to speed, supply capacity and combat ability.