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Byzantine ruler, which one will you prefer?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by halfhalfharp, Jan 23, 2018.

?

Byzantine ruler, which one will you prefer?

  1. Justinian I

    26 vote(s)
    41.3%
  2. Theodora (Justinian's wife)

    21 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Constantine the great

    12 vote(s)
    19.0%
  4. Irene of Athens

    6 vote(s)
    9.5%
  5. Empress Zoe

    1 vote(s)
    1.6%
  6. others (please specify in your reply)

    4 vote(s)
    6.3%
  7. Alexios Komnenos

    19 vote(s)
    30.2%
  8. Basil II

    16 vote(s)
    25.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Chieftain

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    I would like to see Byzantine featured around the R&F system as they have actually been rising and falling all the time.

    Please feel free to make a vote and speak out your favorite leader. I will try to include more into the list.

    Here is also some suggestions for the civ:

    Civilization ability: Patriarch
    -City center functions as an extra holy site. May choose an extra belief in formation of a religion.

    Unique Units: Cataphract

    -Replaces horseman, comes with Iron working, needs horse.
    -It hits the victim with +8 strength when it is 2 tiles away at the start of the turn. (And +12 if it is 3 tiles away)

    Unique Building: Theodosianon Teichos

    -Replaces medieval wall. Enemy's attack with siege towers and battle ram does 75% less damage to the city defense. Also, it takes lower cost to construct.

    Notes: This is the famous Double wall of Constantinople, the section constructed by Theodosia. It kept this city unbroken by any siege until the appearance of Canons.

    Possible Leaders:

    Spoiler Justinian I :

    Leader ability: Reconquest of Rome
    -When he loses a city due to low loyalty:c5occupied:, units gain +10 combat strength :c5war:and +1 movement speed :c5moves:for 10 turns. If he recaptures the city, the bonus will last for another 20 turns.

    Playstyle: Justinian draws his power from the disloyalty and also dark ages. It does not bother him much when the cities are low in loyalty, as he can conquer them back with much ease.
    He can use this reconquest as a momentum to attack other civs, giving him a good potential of domination victory.




    Spoiler Irene of Athens :

    Leader ability: Riot Douser
    +50% combat strength:c5war: against barbarians. Killing a barbarian in her territory gives her +1 :c5goldenage:era score. She suffers no amenity penalty :c5unhappy: but doubled chance of rebels appearance in low amenity:c5angry:.

    Notes: For a female choice, Irene appears to be a more powerful one among the rest. Ruthlessness in eliminating rebels and betrayal, and bloodly putdown of any riots were her signature moves. She can kill anyone, even her son, emperor Constantine VI, to keep herself on the throne.

    Playstyle: Irene is the master of opening golden era. She can hold off barbarian raids from early game and turn them into step stones for Golden era.
    The ignorance of amenity penalty also allows her to build up a vast empire. But she must maintain a strong military to keep away the rebels.
    With the potential to open plenty of golden eras and building a wide empire, Irene is very versatile in victory routes.


     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
    Havendish likes this.
  2. The Kingmaker

    The Kingmaker Alexander

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    Either Alexios Komnenos or one of the ladies. Eirene seems like an interesting choice.
     
  3. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    I wouldn‘t like a latin speaker. We‘ve never had a real medieval leader for this civ. Alexios Komnenos would be nice. I voted other. Need to read up on Zoe...
     
  4. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Lieutenant Commander

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    It would be cool to see a feature where if a number of your cities dropped in loyalty and split off, they might form a new civ rather than being free cities. It would be cool if for Romans it was the Byzantines or just the alternate leader.
     
  5. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Chieftain

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    Sure, why not. I have put it up there.
     
  6. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Chieftain

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    I guess except Justinian and his wife, and Constantine, the rest in the list spoke Greek.
     
    Siptah likes this.
  7. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Warlord

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    Basil II who formed the Varangian Guard.
     
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  8. Vahnstad

    Vahnstad Chieftain

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    I would prefer Alexios Komnenos or maybe Justinian. I don't know Irene of Athens or Empress Zoe, but they are fine too i guess.

    I wouldn't like Constantine the Great, though he was a great leader, but for a Byzantine civ, he comes a bit too early and we had Theodora last time.
     
    halfhalfharp likes this.
  9. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Chieftain

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    Yeah I wonder if Constantine should be considered Roman or not too, but he is worth to be mentioned if we are talking about Byzantine.
    People will surely ask why did I miss him out :confused:if I don't put him there.

    Why choose over Justinian? He is among the best of Byzatnium emperors, as what I know.
     
  10. Siptah

    Siptah Eternal Chieftain

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    He surely was. But he is also a rather early emperor and it would be nice to have someone fresh imho.
     
  11. Naktis

    Naktis Chieftain

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    I would love to see Justinian I , but Firaxis just loves Theodora too much , and I think they wont lose this chance to and another female leader here.
     
  12. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    I dislike how the poll suggests Theodora was just a wife and little else. In the very least change it so it reads "Justinian's co-ruler".

    I prefer Justinian but Basil II or Theodora would also be ok for me. Justinian was the biggest dreamer though, and his story arguably the best. His life would make an excellent historical drama series.

    Also, Irene of Athens is in Rise and Fall as a Great Merchant, isn't she?
     
  13. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Warlord

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    I would also like the Dromon to be the UU, since Cataphracts were used by other people. We also don't have an early ranged naval replacement yet.
     
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  14. Basileus Rhomaion

    Basileus Rhomaion Chieftain

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    Basil II and Alexios Komnenos are by far the best choices imo, the rest don't even come close. But I did go for "others" as a third option as well because Michael VIII Palaiologos was also a great ruler.

    By the way, I'm not a fan of portraying the Byzantines as a religious-focused civ. Some bonuses for faith maybe, but it's the diplomacy that is more pertinent to the empire if anything. A design like Russia's seems like the most ideal where there is a religious UX part of the civ, but it's clearly not tinkering it to be one-dimensional in that regard.

    I'm also not a big fan of the cataphract as a unique unit, it's an Iranian military unit by conception and design. The fire dromon is a far more suitable UU and then a leader could add a secondary UU accordingly. As @Alexander's Hetaroi said, having Basil would add the Varangian guard or if Alexios Komnenos is chosen there could be the Archontopouloi.

    Theodora did speak Greek. In fact one of her possible birthplaces is Cyprus. It's probable that Constantine and Justinian spoke as well before becoming emperors, after which they definitely spoke it. If we are talking mother tongues, then we actually have no clue because no one knows what their ethnicity was with certainty.

    Can you blame them? She was clearly the competent one of the couple.

    Okay, I'm going into a tangent here, but I have to lay this down here:

    Spoiler Rant :


    There's a lot of buzz about Justinian being a good emperor, but he's by far the most overrated and by extension the one whose flaws are most glaring. His campaigns to restore the empire's western territories were uncalled for strategically since the empire was not in danger from the Germanic kingdoms controlling them at he time. So he wasted over 50% of the empire's treasury on funding campaigns that a) drained the empire's manpower to the point of being unsustainable for the next generations allowing Avar and Sassanian expansion and b) completely ransacked the territories he wanted to recover. Italy went from being the richest region in the world to rubble within a decade.

    His response to the Nika riots was appallingly bad and only made a sensible choice with Theodora changing his mind. And when he did change his mind to stay and actually deal with the riots, his response was to slaughter thousands of his own citizens to cease hostilities. Similarly, following the Samaritan revolt, he committed an effective genocide not much different to the one the ancient Romans did at the Jews' expense.

    And the most frustrating thing is that he received the empire at its absolute peak, it was the richest nation in the region by quite a margin and projected power throughout the entirety of the Mediterranean. His purely sentimental, nonsensical ambitions left the empire in a considerably worse state than the one he started with. Maximum territorial extent =/= maximum power.

    /endrant


    Plus, if we are talking "best stories" for emperors, Justinian's isn't even unique, Basil I the Macedonian was also a poor peasant before ascending to the post of Caesar, co-emperor and then sole emperor.

    Indeed she is. No idea why though.
     
  15. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    Your issue with Justinian's "story" seems more an issue with his policies. I never said he was the best ruler; I said he had among the best stories. He does. The Nika Riots, Hagia Sophia, the Plague, negotiations with Goths, the amazing generals (not just Belisarius) he had, the Code, the story of how he found his wife...the list goes on.

    Also, he wasn't without accomplishments, though the empire's spread from his conquests was short-lived and expensive (he was also thwarted by the Persians). The civic reforms, military accomplishments, and the height of glory exemplified by the building spree are all callbacks to Rome.

    Basil may have been a better ruler (certainly in the fiscal sense), but he's not exactly the most interesting ruler, Varangian Guard or no, and he's certainly less recognized as a result. Basil's life story hasn't much romance (he was a capable administrator and conqueror who hated pomp and held court in armor). Alexios' story is more interesting than Basil's but also lacking in romance. Justinian's life story is almost entirely romance, infused with nostalgia and dreams of ancient Roman glory.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  16. Basileus Rhomaion

    Basileus Rhomaion Chieftain

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    "Other generals" meaning just Narses :^)

    I didn't object it to being called an interesting story, I just quoted you as well as an example of people preferring him as a leader to make a point about him being appreciated more than he deserves. As far as stories goes, Justinian's isn't necessarily all that unique, but it is remarkable in various ways (mostly bad ones, but I digress).

    If by "civic reforms" we mean ordering people to write down the existing law code, then I guess so. Other than that he didn't really do much about it. And the military accomplishments were definitely not his. As you said, he had a few extremely capable generals to do the "dirty work" for him. He wasn't exactly a military genius or anything, which is evident by the fact he went for these campaigns to begin with.

    Quite the contrary, there's plenty of interesting things to tell about Basil's life story, it's just not well-known in western literature. The fact he had to deal with at least three potential usurpers before ascending to the throne, his early days of womanizing, his initial tragedy against Samuil of Bulgaria which led to him swearing an oath of retribution, the infamous episode after the battle of Kleidion etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  17. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    Not just Narses. Also Mundus. Also Artabanes. Valerian. And John (nephew of Vitalian). And Bessas (better in his early days but still, he had his moments). And a Hunnic general allegedly descended from Attila also helped put down Nika Rioters.

    Justinian is appreciated because his failures and victories combine for an amazing story and show his mettle. He was no lazy emperor, he just had bad judgment since he was so single-mindedly set on accomplishing his dream. Basil II and Alexios, they mostly sound like very successful emperors with few failures. Not much drama there. Fiscal responsibility and capable administrative work isn't exactly the stuff of legend.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  18. Basileus Rhomaion

    Basileus Rhomaion Chieftain

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    I made a bit of a tongue-in-cheek response there because only Belissarius and Narses received any considerable recognition as key figures (rightly so if you ask me, but much like everything here, that's subjective).

    I would argue the drama those 2 had to face was considerably higher, mainly because it amounted to a much more existential threat to the empire. Alexios had to restore stability to an empire that at the time was invaded by 3 factions at the same time: Pechenegs from the north, Seljuks from the east and Normans from the west. And not only did it not break the empire, he actually won against all 3 of them.
     
  19. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Warlord

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    Here is actually my idea that I posted on another thread:
    LA: Varangian Guard: Gain a free melee unit when converting a foreign city to your religion with a promotion.
    With this it doesn't actually gain a UU but still adds the flavor of it, tying it into a somewhat religious game. Of course it still could be a UU for him.
    Also I think that using faith as a means to unlock govt changes and policy cards, instead of gold, would do well as part of a UA.
    I think that a Unique Government Plaza would also work: Sacrum Palatium. Maybe getting an Inspiration every time you build a Govt. Plaza building. I think it would work better than a Medieval Wall replacement, since it would be replaced by Renaissance Walls an era later.
     
  20. Basileus Rhomaion

    Basileus Rhomaion Chieftain

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    It doesn't quite fit the historical background though. Not that it matters in the game as it is evident from having war carts before the wheel and animal husbandry :^)

    The first one is actually pretty good, the second one I think could put more emphasis on the diplomacy. Something like generating envoys or bonus loyalty. Or perhaps something to tie in with an ability around diplomacy along the lines of having a few extra diplomatic relations options unique to Byzantium or having the ability to bribe barbarians and use them against other civs as disruption. That would actually be quite historically accurate as well.
     

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