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Mini-Blog: Rebellion

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Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on November 22, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Building an empire is not just about battles and sieges, once you capture an enemy city you're going to need to hold onto it if you want to leverage its resources to fuel your warmachine. Over the centuries, Rome faced countless rebellions from Spartacus to Boudicca, and ambitious commanders employed a variety of tactics to deal with them.

In Hegemony Rome, rebellion is indicated by a city's morale and, just like units, when morale reaches zero the city will either surrender or rebel. By default, morale is at 100%, but there are lot of factors that will adjust it higher or lower including: the hostility between the native and controlling factions, the garrison, generals, upgrade buildings, besieging enemy units, and hostages.


Hostages must be secured away from their home city in order to reduce rebellion

If the sum of these factors is less than zero, the city will either rebel to its native faction, or surrender to the besieging enemy depending on what is the bigger influence. But it's not just about preventing rebellions, a city will produce less gold and recruits when its morale is low so there's an incentive to always keep it as high as possible.


An attacking army will reduce a city's morale and can potentially cause a surrender before a city's defences are breached.

Prev Blog: Flanking

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful
Posted on November 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I'm curious as to what tools we are going to have to manage the morale of a city?

One of the things I like about H:G is that there is a rather nice lack of micro involved. City morale with many contributing factors sounds as though it may significantly change that.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 3:48 am

It actually is more about giving the players new tools rather than creating more stats to keep track of. The only things that negatively effect morale are faction hostility and besieging armies. Hostility works pretty much the same as in Gold, and the attacking morale debuff is a replacement for local intimidation but provides a new mechanism for cities to surrender.

Your primary tool to improve a city's morale is still the garrison, but now you can also compliment that by assigning an applicable general to command the city or investing in upgrades.

The biggest new feature here are hostages. These are inspired by Caesar's tactic of taking families from the Gallic villages he captured in order to ensure the cooperation of the remaining tribe. Strategically, they provide a cheaper alternative to hiring a garrison, but at the risk that if they are captured or killed it will dramatically increase hostility for the faction which make all other cities harder to control.

As with many of our changes in Rome, our main idea here was to turn something routine into a more interesting strategic decision e.g. in Gold you'd capture city, build spearmen for the garrison and move on. However, in Rome you could later decide to invest in a building upgrade so you could move out some of the garrison or install a strong general to boost morale during a siege.

I'm happy to get into more detail, so let me know if you've got any more questions.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 8:42 am

Hm my follow up question to that then would be: How will the economy work? Upgrading buildings in the city does have appeal but you do mention that we might "later" want to invest in an upgrade. Will it follow the same method as H:G and just be a flat rate or will we have a trickle in system from various things like taxes, tributes, bribes, plunder etc?

Also I wonder, how effective are hostages going to be? There are quite a few cases in De Bello Gallico where it is mentioned that tribes that had given hostages still rose up in rebellion, goaded on by those who either didn't care for their fate or had no ties to them. Will this play a role or would that be overly complicated?

What is there to stop us moving all the hostages to our most heavily defended city? I know on one occassion this didn't work out well for Caesar as again mentioned in De Bello Gallico yet as players we have an ability he didn't, all seeing instant intelligence, curious if you are planning on limiting our freedom to move them to make sure losing them is actually an ingame threat.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

Regarding the previous flanking blog and Bansh's question about hostages: Did Caesar use cavalry units only for intelligence or did they have a significant battle role too? I mean, a legion during Vespasian's reign was estimated to consist of ~5000-5500 men and 120 of them were cavalry...

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Hm my follow up question to that then would be: How will the economy work? Upgrading buildings in the city does have appeal but you do mention that we might "later" want to invest in an upgrade. Will it follow the same method as H:G and just be a flat rate or will we have a trickle in system from various things like taxes, tributes, bribes, plunder etc?

Income works the same in Rome as it did in Gold e.g. income and expenses are tracked as ongoing rates and don't accumulate. However, all city upgrades require wood which accumulates and needs to be stored in cities and transported over supply lines. So when I mentioned upgrading later I was factoring in the time it takes to gather the necessary wood and that you might prioritize it for building defenses first. Generally, we consider the upgrade system as a second phase of conquest where you get to specialize and tweak your assets to help your overall war effort. If you're interested, I went into how we use wood in an earlier blog.

Also I wonder, how effective are hostages going to be?

We haven't finalized the balance on hostages, but they won't be a total solution for morale. As I mentioned, they will improve the morale in a captured city, but their effect could still be overwhelmed by enough negative factors.

What is there to stop us moving all the hostages to our most heavily defended city?

Nothing really, but you do face risks of moving them over longer distances and you will need to feed your hostages for them to be effective which can be more difficult if they are concentrated in one place. And of course, there is just the general risk of putting all your eggs in one basket - if that city was somehow to be captured you could quickly face rebellions across your entire empire.

Did Caesar use cavalry units only for intelligence or did they have a significant battle role too?

Caesar didn't have much of his own native Roman cavalry, but he did rely heavily on allied Gallic cavalry. While the legions are probably the most flexible unit in the game, you'll definitely need your auxiliaries and allies to support them if you want to succeed.

Level 8 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful
Posted on November 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Regarding the previous flanking blog and Bansh's question about hostages: Did Caesar use cavalry units only for intelligence or did they have a significant battle role too? I mean, a legion during Vespasian's reign was estimated to consist of ~5000-5500 men and 120 of them were cavalry...

Throughout Roman history actual Legion cavalry were employed as scouts and messengers hence the very small number of them. The Roman army was centered entirely around the Legions, a mix of Light/Heavy/Spear in the early Republic and then solely Heavy infantry late Republic/early-mid Empire.

All other roles be that Cavalry for battle, Archers, Slingers, Spears, Light etc were filled by auxiliary cohorts recruited from conquered nations. Often times you will hear of actions that used multiple Legions yet for some reason especially today in modern TV/Movies you'll find that no mention is made of the auxiliary, who often times would be 2-4 times more numerous as Legion cohorts. The Heavy infantry of the Legions formed the center of the line, auxiliary cohorts depend on their role would be interspersed in say the second line, on the flanks and held as reserves at the rear/with the baggage.


Thanks for the answers Rob. Makes more sense with wood being accumulated and that being used for upgrades not gold. Also interesting to note that "fate" can conspire to throw a wrench in the works with the loss of hostages or that if things are going too well then we can "accidentally" lose hostages to spice things up a bit.

Level 9 Human CEO
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 2:32 am

Take your time with Rome. I'm still playing HG. Each time I buy a Total War game, I come back to this and play it non-stop for another 500 hours.

What a masterpiece.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on November 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Take your time with Rome. I'm still playing HG. Each time I buy a Total War game, I come back to this and play it non-stop for another 500 hours.

What a masterpiece.


Thanks for the comments, they are much appreciated. We're really excited about how Rome is coming together and we'll have a lot more to show as we get closer to release.