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Sulla and Mithridates

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Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:00 am

After they finish Hegemony Rome how difficult would it be for the team to further expand the series and have Mithridates and the Romans fight it out over Greece and Asia minor? The map data is there and so are the majority of units. The Campaigns and characters are as interesting and I'd say even more compelling then Caesars Gallic campaigns. I'd think it would make a fusion of the two previous games and would be a great evolution of the series.

Level 9 Human Heroine
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: JupiterMoon
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:04 am

Is Hegemony Gold Rome out?
Depending on the size of Hegemony Gold they/you could make a giantic map with the whole world in it. Where you could play other worldly major fractions since Total War in Empire/Napoleon/Shogun gets regionally locked and Civ4/5 not enough funaction, too many micromanagement. And 4x games are rare. Total Wars most gb size is into modelled rts units making it soo bigged.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

i think it would be better for DLC to go in the direction of the civil war which actually did happen after caesars gallic war. where he is fighting pompeii, brutus, the senate and all their forces. caesar has his tenth, spanish legions, and others. he fights in greece and goes to africa where he meets cleopatra and handles that situation. im pretty sure he almost got killed there in egypt. he had to bring in reinforcements from syria that were stationed there. but he eventually conquered them and brought them into the roman empire. then he moved on into the northern africa carthage area and fought more remnants of the pompeii forces that were left over. then finished off in spain to beat pompeiis son. im pretty sure that's how it went. that would be more realistic to go there in my opinion because it would be chronologically ordered correctly and would be enough material for an entire new game. sulla and mithridates is before. that could be interesting too. i don't think anyone has made a game about the civil war.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I was just thinking about what was efficient from a workload point of view. The map of greece is already there. Enhance it graphically by bringing it up the new engine standards, add the new features and you have faster turn around time then having to do egypt, spain etc. Plus the asymmetry of a polyglot Pontic army vs. a Roman army is interesting to me. That being said, it would also be easy to have Caesar's Greek campaign vs. Pompeii. However, If you did go with the Idea of the prequel I'm proposing you could add the rest of Italy in order to do Sulla's civil wars and marches on Rome. Hell, since Northern Italy is already going to be done at that point, you could do the Cimbric War, followed by the Social war and the war against Mithridates with only having to add a small slice of new map space (southern Italy). It would keep the areas under control a bit more manageable, the areas would be familiar and keep the narrative tight and cohesive.

Level 18 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:25 pm

After they finish Hegemony Rome how difficult would it be for the team to further expand the series and have Mithridates and the Romans fight it out over Greece and Asia minor?

We do have some rough ideas for DLC and expansions once we finish the main game but we're trying not to get distracted with those at this point. I can say though that we've invested a lot of time refining our tools for Rome so it is much easier now to create new maps. So, unlike the Peloponnesian expansion, it is likely that any major expansions for Rome will include new territory.

Depending on the size of Hegemony Gold they/you could make a giantic map with the whole world in it.

It's not actually the map size itself that's the biggest problem for expanding the game, but rather the processing limits required to populate a really large map with active AI opponents. As we've mentioned in a number of threads, we're trying to expand the AI significantly in Rome so that in addition to fighting the player, the AI's will also fight each other for control of the map. The problem however is, unlike Total War or Civ, tactical battles in Hegemony all take place in real-time which means at any point there might be half a dozen battles taking place somewhere on the map that you can't see but that need to be simulated accurately. We've taken huge steps in Rome to make this more practical, but it also looks like it might require a dual-core CPU for the first time. So, while we're keen to push the limits as fast as we can, it still might be a while before you can run your global Hegemony from your desktop.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm

So how rough are the ideas we talking about here? Have you thought about Sulla? It's a fascinating, chaotic time. Would not only be awesome, but it keeps the AI load down and gives a nice context to our rising Julius Caesar. Just saying ;).

Level 18 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 3:27 pm

The ideas we've got are just a couple pages of design docs and a few concept sketches we put together near the beginning of the project as part of some long term planning. While I do think they might still be the most well rounded ideas we've got so far, we would have no problem dropping them if something better came along, so please keep up the suggestions.

I'll admit Sulla wasn't one of the periods we researched much so I don't know a lot of about his campaigns. However, as a general idea, there are a lot of factors that go into picking a time period for an expansion including: how much documentation there is for the campaign, how well the campaign makes use of the territory it covers (is there a lot of dead space between battle sites), how many new assets we'd need (trees, buildings, units) and of course how many people would be interested in the people/places/events covered.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm

There is a good amount of documentation on this period as Sulla wrote a memoir. The original is lost but Plutarch and Appian perserved most of it. Sulla and his eventual rival Marius ended fighting the first civil war in Rome's history. For all intents and purposes the Republic really fell in the time of these two rivals. I'll try to give enough info to make a good case and hopefully generate interest. In 105 BCE (5 years before the birth of Julius caesar) a great invasion occurred from a coalition of Celtic-Germanic people known as the Cimbri and Teutones. In northern Italy at the battle of Arausio between 80-000 to a 120,000 romans were slaughtered by the invaders. It was one of the greatest disasters in Roman history and almost brought rome to it's knees. In this time of crisis called Gaius Marius and his military tribune Sulla were called from North Africa to save Rome from destruction. Within 4 years Gaius Marius and Sulla reformed the army, recruiting from the poorer citizens and allied people of Italy and reform the army to move faster (no baggage train) and fight more flexibly (Cohorts vs. manipular legion). In the two battles of Aqua Sextiae(102) and Vercellae (101) this new Roman army met the Cimbri and Teutones and wiped them completely out. If your counting, Juilus Caesar would be two years old.

Marius and Sulla had saved Rome, but trouble was brewing at home. The allied peoples of Italy (Samnites, Latins etc.) were clambering for reform and the same rights as true Romans. They fought in the wars and Roman armies but didn't have anywhere near the same level of rights. This caused a rift between those who supported reform (Populares) and those Romans who wanted to perserve the old ways (Optimates). Eventually this led to political violence and the champion of the rights of the Socii allied peoples (Marcus Drusus) was assassinated. Immediately the former allied people of Italy rose up against Rome and started the Social war. Many of them were hardened veterans of Rome's previous campaigns. The Italian peninsula was in chaos and a brutal war ensued, Marius do to health problems retired from fighting in early on leaving Sulla to lead the Romans in a hard fought campaign. After 3-4 years of brutal fighting Sulla arose victorious and a tenuous political compromise was reached. Italy, however was left devastaded.

Immediately after the conclusion of the Social War 88 BCE. Something insidious was brewing in the east. An Eastern king named Mithridates had his eyes on the Roman provinces of Greece. Styling himself a descendant of Alexander and a champion of Hellenism against the oppression of Rome he hatched a secret plot. Knowing the damage done to the Roman homeland by the social war and collaborating with the Greek city leaders he launched a scheme referred to as the "Asiatic Vespers". Every Roman man, woman and child living in the province was murdered in a single day (up to 80,000) by the greeks. Mithridates army then invaded with perfect timing. The Greek city states and Mithridates were now bound in blood.

Sulla burned for vengeance and clamored for the chance to take on the Greek campaign. The senate appointed him and he began his preparation but, before he left for Greece, Marius returned. Marius, always ambitious, bribed the right senators to take command himself and reverse the appointment Sulla so longed for. Sulla, took his veterans north and invaded Rome to assert his rights and expel Marius. The two old friends and colleagues now became bitterest enemies. Marius, who was now an unabashed Populares raised a hasty army and mobilized an army of Gladiaters to oppose Sulla. They were no match for Sulla's veterans and Marius fled Rome. Sulla then finally left for Greece.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 8:19 pm

I want to go into a bit more detail on the war against Mithridates because it is a good example of how logistics dictate campaigns. This in my opinion is this series's strength and no game I've encountered has done it as well. You guys understand the interplay and it is incredibly refreshing to see it in your games.

Sulla's forces landed in Epirus, Greece and began marching into Attica through Boeotia. Sulla forced the immediate allegiance of most of its cities, foremost among them Thebes. Most of the Peloponnese would soon follow after his first victory against Pontic forces. Athens, nevertheless, remained loyal to Mithridates, despite a bitter siege throughout the winter of 87/6.

Sulla's army finally took Athens on February 12 86 BC. The siege of Athens was a long and brutal campaign, Sulla's rough battle hardened legions, veterans of the Social War thoroughly besieged and stormed Athens. Athens had chosen the wrong side in this struggle, portrayed as a war of Greek freedom against Roman domination. Soon afterwards he captured Athen's harbor of Peiraieus, with its skyline of Temples and structures built by various Hellenistic kings who sought to add prestige and honor themselves by establishing structures in the famous city. Sulla thoroughly looted and demolished this area, most of which was destroyed by fire including the famous work of architecture Philon's Arsenal.

C. Scribonius Curio the orator was put in charge of the siege of the Akropolis in Athens, and it was "some time" before the Athenians eventually surrendered, which was not until their water had run out. Athens was punished severely, a show of vengeance that ensured Greece would remain docile during later civil wars and Mithridatic wars.

Mithridates general Archelaus evacuated Piraeus, and landed in Boeotia, where he was defeated at the Battle of Chaeronea, (yes that Chaeronea). This battle was massive. Archelaus had Thracian, Pontic, Scythian, Cappadocian, Bithynian, Galatian, and Phrygian troops, numbering near 120,000 against Sulla's 40,000. The Pontic army fielded everything from scythed chariots, to cataphracts, to heavy Sarrissa phalanxes, rhomphaia wielding thracians, thereophoroi and scythian horse archers. Every imaginable hellenic and eastern troop type was employed. It was a very diverse army.

Even after Sulla seized Peiraieus and defeated Archelaus. The Pontic general persisted in exploiting his command of the sea lanes, holding position off Mounychia with his fleet and preventing any food or materiel reaching the city or the Roman army by sea.

By the early spring Archelaos' strategy was biting hard. Rocky Attica provided good security for operations against the large Pontic cavalry forces massed in Macedonia, but it was infertile and notoriously incapable even of fully supporting the population of the astu, let alone the large Roman army in addition, with no imports coming in by sea.

Early in the spring of 86 BC Taxiles (Mithridates Armenian ally) concentrated most of his troops, sent word to Archelaos to join him in the Magnetic ports, and marched south from Macedonia into Thessaly. Archelaos rejected the suggestion. He was the senior officer and preferred to persist with his blockade of Attica. Thessaly was only held by a modest Roman observation force under the legatus L. Hortensius, elder brother of Q.Hortensius the orator. But despite his great energy and reputation as an experienced vir militaris, there was little Hortensius could do against the enormous disproportion of the forces descending upon him, other than gather together some Thessalian auxiliary units he had been commissioned to recruit, and fall back southwards.

In about April 86 BC, beginning to run short of supplies and increasingly anxious about L. Hortensius' safety, Sulla took the bold decision to quit Attica and march into the fertile plains of Boiotia to feed his army, but also expose it to the great cavalry strength of the Pontic army.

While Sulla was on campaign in Greece, the supporters of Marius made a play for control of Rome. Fighting broke out between the conservative supporters of Sulla, led by Octavius, and the popular supporters of Cinna. Marius along with his son then returned from exile in Africa with an army he had raised there and combined with Cinna to oust Octavius. This time it was the army of Marius that entered Rome. Some of the soldiers went through Rome killing the leading supporters of Sulla, including Octavius. Their heads were exhibited in the Forum. All told some dozen Roman nobles had been murdered. The Senate passed a law exiling Sulla, and Marius was appointed the new commander in the eastern war. Cinna was chosen for his third consulship and Marius to his seventh consulship. After five days, Cinna and the populares general Quintus Sertorius ordered their more disciplined troops to kill the rampaging soldiers.

Meanwhile, back in Greece. Sulla's officer Licinius Lucullus pro quaestore defeated a Mithridatic fleet off the island of Tenedos. After his victory over Archelaus at Chaeronea, Sulla set out for Thessaly to meet the consul Flaccus coming from Italy (although Sulla was unaware he had been sent to attack him, not to join with him). On the way, he heard reports that a Pontic army had landed at Chalcis with a sizeable fleet transporting eighty thousand of Mithridates' best troops to reinforce Archelaus. The Pontic General Dorylaeus wanted to tempt Sulla to fight as soon as possible, and Sulla cooperated by abruptly turning around to meet this new threat. After a skirmish with Sulla's troops, Dorylaeus began to rethink the idea of giving battle and instead promoted a strategy to wear the enemy down. On the other hand, Archelaus' confidence was raised by the flat terrain around their camp at Orchomenus, which favored their superior cavalry.

While Archelaus let his men relax after taking their positions, Sulla set his men to work building trenches which he hoped would cut Archelaus' cavalry off from the plains and move the fighting to more boggy areas. Archelaus recognized Sulla's strategy, and launched several attacks on the workers and the soldiers sent to protect them. In one of these, Archelaus' stepson Diogenese distinguished himself in a valiant attack where he died gloriously. In Archelaus' final attack, Sulla routed his troops and carried his camp. Plutarch says that so many men died that the marshes ran with blood, and almost two hundred years later weapons were still found sticking out of the marshes. After the battle, he destroyed three Boeotian towns: Anthedon, Darymna, and Halae.

In 86 BC, after Sulla's victory in Orchomenos, he initially spent some time re-establishing Roman authority. His legate soon arrived with the fleet he was sent to gather, and Sulla was ready to recapture lost Greek islands before crossing into Asia Minor. The second Roman army under the command of Flaccus meanwhile moved through Macedonia and into Asia Minor. After the capture of Philippi, remaining Mithridatic forces crossed the Hellespont to get away from the Romans. The Romans under Fimbria were encouraged to loot and create general havoc as it went, creating problems between Flaccus and Fimbria. Flaccus was a fairly strict disciplinarian and the behaviour of his lieutenant led to discord between the two.

At some point as this army crossed the Hellespont while giving chase to Mithridates' forces, Fimbria seems to have started a rebellion against Flaccus. While seemingly minor enough to not cause immediate repercussions in the field, Fimbria was relieved of his duty and ordered back to Rome. The return trip included a stop at the port city of Byzantium, however, and here Fimbria took command of the garrison, rather than continue home. Flaccus, hearing of this, marched his army to Byzantium to put a stop to the rebellion, but walked right into his own undoing. The army preferred Fimbria (not surprising considering his leniency in regard to plunder) and a general revolt ensued. Flaccus attempted to flee, but was captured shortly after and the Consular commander was executed. With Flaccus out of the way, Fimbria took complete command. The following year (85 BC) Fimbria took the fight to Mithridates while Sulla continued to operate in the Greek Islands of the Aegean. Fimbria quickly won a decisive victory over remaining Mithridatic forces and moved on the capital of Pergamum. With all vestige of hope crumbling for Mithridates, he fled Pergamum to the coastal city of Pitane. Fimbria, in pursuit, laid siege to the town, but had no fleet to prevent Mithridates' escape by sea. Fimbria called upon Sulla's legate, Lucullus to bring his fleet around to block Mithridates in, but it seems that Sulla had other plans.

Sulla apparently had been in private negotiation with Mithridates to end the war. He wanted to develop easy terms and get the ordeal over as quickly as possible. The quicker it was dealt with, the faster he would be able to settle political matters in Rome. With this in mind, Lucullus and his navy refused to help Fimbria, and Mithridates 'escaped' to Lesbos. Later at Dardanus, Sulla and Mithridates met personally to negotiate terms. With Fimbria re-establishing Roman hegemony over the cities of Asia Minor, Mithridates position was completely untenable. Yet Sulla, with his eyes on Rome, offered uncharacteristically mild terms. Mithridates was forced to give up all his conquests (which Sulla and Fimbria had already managed to take back by force), surrender any Roman prisoners, provide a 70 ship fleet to Sulla along with supplies, and pay a tribute of 2,000 to 3,000 gold talents. In exchange, Mithridates was able to keep his original kingdom and territory and regain his title of "friend of the Roman people." Sulla, gathered his loyal men and sailed for Italy, ready to fight the Marian faction for control of the Empire.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Rome was a very dangerous place for anyone who still supported Sulla. Here is the story of final showdown for control of the Empire.

Marius's return to power was a particularly brutal and bloody one, saying that the consul's "anger increased day by day and thirsted for blood, kept on killing all whom he held in any suspicion whatsoever." Among these included the orator Marcus Antonius and former consul Catulus Lutatius. Plutarch writes that "whenever anybody else greeted Marius and got no salutation or greeting in return, this of itself was a signal for the man's slaughter in the very street, so that even the friends of Marius, to a man, were full of anguish and horror whenever they drew near to greet him."

Plutarch relates several opinions on the end of C. Marius: one, from Posidonius, holds that Marius contracted pleurisy; Gaius Piso has it that Marius walked with his friends and discussed all of his accomplishments with them, adding that no intelligent man ought leave himself to Fortune. Plutarch then anonymously relates that Marius, having gone into a fit of passion in which he announced a delusion that he was in command of the Mithridatic War, began to act as he would have on the field of battle; finally, ever an ambitious man, Marius lamented, on his death bed, that he had not achieved all of which he was capable, despite his having acquired great wealth and having been chosen consul more times than any man before him.

Marius died just seventeen days into his seventh consulship. Marius's son took up his father's legacy and prepared the country for the inevitable war with Sulla.

In 83 BC Sulla prepared his 5 legions and left the 2 originally under Fimbria to maintain peace in Asia Minor. In the spring of that year, Sulla crossed the Adriatic with a large fleet from Patrae, west of Corinth, to Brundisium and Tarentum in the heel of Italy. Landing uncontested, he was given ample opportunity to prepare.

In Rome, the newly elected consuls, L. Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus and C. Norbanus levied and prepared armies of their own to stop Sulla and protect the Republican government. Norbanus marched first with the intention of blocking a Sullan advance at Canusium. Seriously defeated, Norbanus was forced to retreat to Capua where there was no respite. Sulla followed his defeated adversary and won another victory in a very short time. Meanwhile Asiagenus was also on the march south with an army of his own. Asiagenus or his army, however, seemed to have little motivation to fight. At the town of Teanum Sidicinum, Sulla and Asiagenus met face to face to negotiate and Asiagenus surrendered without a fight. The army sent to stop Sulla wavered in the face of battle against experienced veterans, and certainly along with the prodding of Sulla's operatives, gave up the cause, going over to Sulla's side as a result. Left without an army, Asiagenus had little choice but to cooperate and later writings of Cicero suggest that the two men actually discussed many matters regarding Roman government and the Constitution.

Sulla let Asiagenus leave the camp, firmly believing him to be a supporter. He was possibly expected to deliver terms to the Senate but immediately rescinded any thought of supporting Sulla upon being set free. Sulla later made it publicly known that not only would Asiagenus suffer for opposing him, but that any man who continued to oppose him after this betrayal would suffer bitter consequences. With Sulla's three quick victories, though, the situation began to rapidly turn in his favour. Many of those in a position of power, who had not yet taken a clear side, now chose to support Sulla. The first of these was Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius who governed Africa. The old enemy of Marius, and assuredly of Cinna as well, led an open revolt against the Marian forces in Africa. Additional help came from Picenum and Spain. Two of the three future triumvirs joined Sulla's cause in his bid to take control. Marcus Licinius Crassus (yes, the Crassus) marched with an army from Spain, and would later play a pivotal role at the Colline Gates. The young son of Pompeius Strabo (the butcher of Asculum during the Social War), raised an army of his own from among his father's veterans and threw his lot in with Sulla. At the age of 23, and never having held a Senatorial office, Pompey (yes, that Pompey) forced himself into the political scene with an army at his back. Regardless, the war would continue on with Asiagenus raising another army in defence. This time he moved after Pompey, but once again, his army abandoned him and went over to the enemy. As a result, desperation followed in Rome as the year 83 came to a close. The Senate re-elected Cinna's old co-Consul, Papirius Carbo, to his third term, and Gaius Marius the Younger, the 26 year old son of the dead consul, to his first. Hoping to inspire Marian supporters throughout the Roman world, recruiting began in earnest among the Italian tribes who had always been loyal to Marius. In addition, possible Sullan supporters were murdered. The urban praetor L. Junius Brutus Damasippus led a slaughter of those Senators who seemed to lean towards the invading forces, yet one more incident of murder in a growing spiral of violence as a political tool in the late Republic.

As the campaign year of 82 BC opened, Carbo took his forces to the north to oppose Pompey while Marius moved against Sulla in the south. Attempts to defeat Pompey failed and Metellus with his African forces along with Pompey secured northern Italy for Sulla. In the South, young Marius gathered a large host of Samnites who assuredly would lose influence with the anti-popular Sulla in charge of Rome. Marius met Sulla at Sacriportus and the two forces engaged in a long and desperate battle. In the end, many of Marius' men switched sides over to Sulla and he had no choice but to retreat to Praeneste. Sulla followed the son of his arch-rival and laid siege to the town, leaving a subordinate in command. Sulla himself moved north to push Carbo, who had withdrawn to Etruria to stand between Rome and the forces of Pompey and Metellus.

Indecisive battles were fought between Carbo and Sulla's forces but Carbo knew that his cause was lost. News arrived of a defeat by Norbanus in Gaul, and that he also switched sides to Sulla. Carbo, caught between three enemy armies and with no hope of relief, fled to Africa. It was not yet the end of the resistance however, those remaining Marian forces gathered together and attempted several times to relieve young Marius at Praeneste. A Samnite force under Pontius Telesinus joined in the relief effort but the combined armies were still unable to break Sulla. Rather than continue trying to rescue Marius, Telesinus moved north to threaten Rome.

On November 1 of 82 BC, the two forces met at the battle of the Colline Gate, just outside of Rome. The battle was a huge and desperate final struggle with both sides certainly believing their own victory would save Rome. Sulla was pushed hard on his left flank with the situation so dangerous that he and his men were pushed right up against the city walls. Crassus' forces, fighting on Sulla's right however, managed to turn the opposition's flank and drive them back. The Samnites and the Marian forces were folded up and broke. In the end, over 50,000 combatants lost their lives and Sulla stood alone as the master of Rome.

Now in total control of the city and its affairs, Sulla instituted a program of executing those whom he perceived to be enemies of the state. This was akin to (and in response to) those killings which Marius and Cinna had implemented while they were in control of the Republic during Sulla's absence. The young Marius commited suicide after his defeat against Sulla, Cinna was murdered by a munity of his own soldiers, and Carbo was chased, captured, put in chains, and executed in Lilybaem, Italy. Sulla proscribed death sentences or outlawed every one of those whom he perceived to have acted against the best interests of the Republic while he was in the east, and ordered some 1,500 nobles (i.e., senators and equites) executed, although it is estimated that as many as 9,000 people were killed. The purge went on for several months. Helping or sheltering a person who was proscribed was also punishable by death. The State confiscated the wealth of the outlawed and then auctioned it off, making Sulla and his supporters vastly rich. The sons and grandsons of the proscribed were banned from future political office, a restriction not removed for over 30 years.

The young Caesar (now around 22), as Cinna's son-in-law, was one of Sulla's targets and fled the city. He was saved through the efforts of his relatives, many of whom were Sulla's supporters, but Sulla noted in his memoirs that he regretted sparing Caesar's life, because of the young man's notorious ambition. The historian Suetonius records that when agreeing to spare Caesar, Sulla warned those who were pleading his case that he would become a danger to them in the future, saying "In this Caesar there are many Mariuses."

The victorious Sulla revived the office of dictator, which had not been used since the Second Punic War over a century before. He used his powers to enact a series of reforms to the Roman constitution, meant to restore the balance of power between the Senate and the tribunes; he then miraculously stunned the Roman World (and posterity) by resigning the dictatorship, restoring normal constitutional government, and after his second Consulship, retiring to private life. Within several years he had died in peaceful retirement having given up control of the greatest empire the world had ever seen.

He wrote his own epitaph to be engraved on his tomb. "No better friend, no worse enemy."

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 8, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I apologize for the ridiculously long post but it is a great story. Here are the factors that I think make it such a great period to think about expanding the series into. To review here is a chronology. All the events described, from the battles against The Cimbri and Teutones to Sulla's rise to ultimate power took a total of 20 years.

101 BC – took part in the defeat of the Cimbri at the battle of Vercellae
97 BC – Praetor urbanus
96 BC – Commander of Cilicia province pro consule
90-89 BC – senior officer in the Social War as legatus pro praetore
88 BC – Holds the consulship (for the first time) with Quintus Pompeius Rufus as colleague
Invades Rome and outlaws Gaius Marius the elder
87 BC – Command of Roman armies to fight King Mithridates of Pontus
86 BC – Sack of Athens, Battle of Chaeronea, Battle of Orchomenus
85 BC – Liberation of Macedonia, Asia and Cilicia provinces from Pontic occupation
84 BC – Reorganization of Asia province
83 BC – Returns to Italy and undertakes civil war against the factional Marian government
83-82 BC – War with the followers of Caius Marius the younger and Cinna
82 BC – Victory at the Battle of the Colline Gate
82/1 BC – Appointed "dictator legibus faciendis et rei publicae constituendae causa"
81 BC – Resigns the dictatorship before the end of the year

1. So you have the game start with army reform, any new tactical and operational gameplay features (Cohortal legion, tactical mneuvers, forced marches, reduced baggage etc.)can be introduced early in the game and matches the time it actually occurred. Shortly after it all culminates in the battles against the Cimbri.

2. The social war introduces southern Italy, gradually expanding the map which started in the North. The social war adds context to politics and allows further development of a province management and diplomacy system. You also introduced factionalism and the context of the civil war. Old friends begin to divide. Your armies have time to gain experience.

3. Mithridates and the shocking take over of Greece, ominously pits two empires against each other in a future war. Sulla's march on Rome and ousting of Marius finally divides Rome itself. Who is loyal and who can you really trust?

4. The Greek campaign reintroduces familiar and loved terrain in a new context, not only showing a revamped Greece but hitting the nostalgia button hard. Tactical asymmetry of a Hellenic army system and a roman army is very interesting. Plus, the Pontic army was both massive and incredibly diverse. Operational asymmetry in the campaign and well as traitors in your own ranks (Fimbria), paranoia and desperation to return to Rome. Two fronts and island hopping (Flaccus in Macedonia and the Hellespont, and Sulla in the Aegean).

5. Return to Rome and the epic showdown with the son and friend's of your bitterest rival. The desperate, final confrontation at the very gates of Rome.

6. The maps are already familiar but the conflicts and factors so very new. Plus, any larger a map and I think you push beyond the ability for player's to micromanage.

7. Enough leeway to fill in the gaps of the historical story as you please.

8. Nice tie-in with the young caesar, as well as introducing Pompey and Crassus.

9. The entire story fits within 20 years (20 hours of gameplay) and utilizes every part of the maps, both the existing, and a new area of southern Italy.

10. Vengeance. :)

Hope I made a compelling case for you to take a further look into this time period. By the way, I'm sure you agree... History is awesome.

Level 22 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Location: Toronto
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:11 am

Thank you, an excellent synopsis of Sulla and Mithridates!

I agree that Sulla would make a good subject for a game. On the plus side, we have developed our own game engine from scratch and are making a lot of improvements to the engine and editor for "Rome".

On the minus side, we're a very small team of six. It took seven years to develop the engine and thus, as we have debts to clear, we need to watch our cashflow closely.

With outside investment capital, we could carefully expand and plan an entire series of historical wargames, starting with more "Rome" based game.
I'm just not business savvy enough to even know how to begin that process. So, as it stands now, we have to proceed with caution until we build a sizable audience.


Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:39 am

Why have you guys not put project ideas up on kickstarter? Tim Shafer got more than 2 mil and he didn't even have an idea for a game yet.

Level 18 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Why have you guys not put project ideas up on kickstarter? Tim Shafer got more than 2 mil and he didn't even have an idea for a game yet.

As Jim said, thanks for the very interesting post. It's going to take me a bit to get through it all, but I can answer this question quickly. We've certainly been following Kickstarter (even though it's not available in Canada) and other crowdfunding systems and I attended a presentation of theirs at the game developers conference back in March. While the Kickstarter framework is really cool for groups that need funding before they get started, or for established studios like DoubleFine that want to judge community interest before committing to a project, they don't offer as much to projects like Rome that are already quite far along.

If we were to try some sort of crowdfunding, we'd probably take the more traditional route that other indie games like Minecraft have done and sell early access to the beta at a discount. This might not generate as much buzz as a kickstarter project, but there's much less redtape, we don't have to give kickstarter or whoever a cut of the sales, and I think we feel more comfortable being able to give customers something immediately for their money.