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Battle of Alesia

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Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 3, 2012 at 11:15 am

on the history channel they are showing the fort of the battle of alesia. it makes me kind of excited to be an armchair general for caesars campaign lol. i did read his gaul campaign commentaries a year or so ago and it was very intersting. i hope that in the game we can really be creative and it is challenging with setting up fortifications or giving us the ability to opitimize our strategy based on different fortifications like at alesia. it would take a lot to go in the game to do what they did there. all the entrenchments in front of the fort wall. caesar was crazy to make a fort to trap them in and trap the forces from outside from coming in. but it worked. so im really happy you chose him although some people aren't. the romans were the most badass and professional period. if it wasn't for their corruption and overexpanding who knows what would be happening in our world today. also, the romans would hire too many mercenaries later in the empire stage so there was not so much pride in the state.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm

i would like to add one thing. in the philip game, the advanced formations have not seemed to add any value. maybe i'm wrong. hopefully this will be a bigger part of the caesar game. formations was certainly a serious issue in real battles obiously so it would add to the realism. have any of you found any of the formations to help? i know that i need to keep in battle line instead of loose formation when fighting phalanxs but other than that, i haven't found much difference in effectiveness.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

We felt the same way when we read Caesar's commentaries and we've tried hard to make sure the new fort and bridge construction features will let you recreate Caesar's strategies as close as possible. However, following on the ideas presented in Jim's caricature essay, this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be able to build walls in the exact pattern that Caesar did but rather that you'll be able to create fortifications that address the same strategic purposes of Caesar's walls.

I think a hallmark of the Hegemony series is how a relatively small set of mechanics can be used in different combinations across diverse terrain to create a wide variety of strategic situations. So, when we set out to design the new fortification system in Rome we looked at all the ways Caesar used engineering in his campaign and tried to find a mechanic that could represent as many of them as possible. The result is our fortified camp system where you can build supply camps at hundreds of predetermined locations and then optionally fortify and garrison these camps like you would a walled city. These forts can be built in the open like the Romans usually did for their daily camps, or they can be built in constricted terrain to completely block a pass. They can also be built on select river sites to allow armies to cross otherwise impassable water like the Rhine or to fortify a ford to prevent enemies from crossing.

In the case of Alesia, Caesar famously built his double circumvallation wall to protect his forces from the town as well as outside reinforcements. Implementing a ring fort like that would have required significant changes to our pathfinding system and building mechanics for a strategy that was only used once. However, using the common fort mechanic you can effectively implement the same strategy in Rome by building forts across the entrances to the region where Alesia sits. These forts will cut off supply lines to the town while also protecting your forces from both sides.

Similarly, at the beginning of the campaign, Caesar describes the wall he built along the river to prevent the Helvetti from crossing. In Rome you'll be able to effectively recreate this same strategy by building a fortified bridge at the crossing.

As far as the advanced formations are concerned, we're aware those weren't well used in Philip/Gold. They were implemented very early in the design under the assumption they would have a greater impact on combat. We considered removing them when this proved not to be the case, but decided it was still kind of fun to make your units snap into those fancier formations so we left it in there.

I've hinted at this a little in the forums so far, but in Rome we've got some more ambitious plans for the formation system that we're still in the process of testing and refining. The idea is that the formations will also convey some automated behaviour for your units so that a flanking formation might cause your unit to try and move around behind the enemy it's attacking or a forced march formation might sacrifice food capacity for movement speed. I can't commit to this stuff right now as there are a lot of balance and playtesting issues to work through but we'll let you guys know more as we lock stuff down.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm

the formation additions sounds great. i really hope you guys can make it work. i know everyone will appreciate it.

Level 8 Human Hegemon
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: PA, USA
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:07 am

I think a hallmark of the Hegemony series is how a relatively small set of mechanics can be used in different combinations across diverse terrain to create a wide variety of strategic situations.

Spot on, along with the specific instances you mentioned to reinforce the point. Coupled with the detailed historical background notes supplementing the mission objectives as in Phillip, I can see history and strategy buffs getting totally immersed in this game - yep, self reflection.

Level 7 Human Dad
Alignment: Good
Location: Iowa
Posted on May 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I'm supporting Brushy and Rob. Spot on! The genius of Hegemony, or the potential genius, is the maximization of a creative and thoughtful design of a fundamental set of flexible game mechanics that results in a great diversity and varied strategic situations/scenarios. I wish all the luck to the Hegemony team to improve and refine this template with Hegemony Rome.