While last week's blog was really just a teaser, today we're going to start getting into the real stuff. With so much to cover, it was a struggle to pick a topic for the inaugural post. But when we looked over what best defined Caesar's Gallic campaigns, and what new feature would most change the way the game is played, there was no question we needed to start with engineering.
Whether it was walling off the Helvetii, bridging the Rhine, or the circumvallation of Alesia, Caesar continually outmaneuvered his enemies through clever feats of engineering. When we started designing Rome, we knew that we'd need to expand a lot on the fort building of the original games. The trick was finding a mechanic that encompassed the breadth of Caesar's tactics while maintaining the intuitive gameplay Hegemony is known for. We weren't necessarily aiming to recreate each of Caesar's structures exactly, but the new mechanics needed to support the same strategic decisions that Caesar faced.
After a lot of experimentation, we worked out a system that derived from the city mechanics of the original games, but added new variants to represent supply camps and bridges. Like cities, you can connect the new camps and bridges with supply lines to move resources through your empire, or you can build up walls and station garrisons there to fortify them.
But, like a lot of features in Hegemony, the tactics behind the new construction options depend a lot on geography. Building a fortified camp at the mouth of a pass might cut off access through the mountains for your enemies, whereas building a camp in an open field might supply your troops through a lengthy field battle. Alternatively, building a camp on a landing site in Britannia might let you ferry supplies to your expeditionary force, whereas a fort near an enemy city might act as a base to build siege towers and scorpions for a tough siege.
There will always be multiple campsites to pick from in any given area, so a big part of the strategy is choosing whether your priority is a strong defensive position, access to water routes, good resupply range, or the capacity for a large army. And of course, the Romans weren't the only ones building fortified encampments, the outcome of a battle could ultimately hinge on which army secures the better site for their camp.
You will also have options to upgrade your camps with new buildings, like watchtowers or workshops, that will require the new wood resource, but we'll get into more details on those things in later posts. If you've got any questions, please post them in the comments and we'd love to carry on the discussion. Otherwise, we're going to dive back into development and hopefully we'll have something more for you guys in a week or so.
Next Blog: The Campaigns