The last few weeks have been quite busy with GamesCom and the Kalypso announcement, but now that we've settled back into development we're going to pick up the blogs where we left off and talk more about resources. Last time it was wood: harvesting it with logging camps, moving it over supply lines, and using it to construct fortifications and upgrades. Today, we're going to get into the most important resource in Hegemony and talk about food.
Throughout his commentaries, Caesar continually mentions the importance of supplies. Like seizing an enemy baggage train to force their surrender, raiding enemy farms to deter future incursions, or leaving his supplies behind to sprint ahead of his enemies. While a lot of these tactics were supported by the mechanics in Gold, there were still a few things we felt we could improve in Rome.
One issue in Gold were the resupply radii - the yellow rings that encircled your cities, farms and forts. While these automated the resupply behaviour and realistically made it easier to fight close to your towns, they also constrained battlefield manoeuvres and created artificial conflicts between feeding the garrison inside the city and the army outside.
We've solved these issues in Rome by significantly expanding the resupply zones so that they now cover the entire battlefield around a city (see the screenshot below). And also, by allowing troops to delay filling their packs until they completely leave the resupply zone so that they no longer drain food from the garrison unless they really need it.
New expanded resupply zones give more space for tactical manoeuvres
While these changes help ensure you're only worrying about supplies when it's strategically relevant (far from your fortifications), we also liked that they encourage following Caesar's own tactic of setting up a camp near a battlefield or siege to supply his troops while they fought in the area.
And, since the range of the new supply zones varies heavily on geography and upgrades, the new system also adds a few more interesting choices regarding where to place your camp and which upgrades to build.
The other big change we made to the supply system involves workers and slaves. In the original games, we sought to recreate the historical baggage train by allowing workers and slaves to accompany your army and carry extra food. While this did give players some extra flexibility, in practice it encouraged exactly the kind of micromanaging we were trying to avoid.
So in Rome, workers and slaves are exclusively used to harvest resources (see the last blog), and can no longer carry food on their own. Which means now, as I described above, if you want to resupply your troops during a siege, you build a camp nearby and connect it back to your existing network. You'll still need to protect that supply line, but you won't need to manually ferry workers back and forth.
Units automatically pickup food when they leave a fort's resupply zone
However, we still wanted to give players a few more supply options that didn't require as much infrastructure, and that's where the some of the new stances like forced and heavy march come in. But stances are one of the larger new features in Rome and can easily fill a few blogs on their own so we'll have to leave that for another day. As always, if you've got any questions or ideas please post them to the comments and we'll do our best to answer them.
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