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Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

  1. Anglophile

    Anglophile Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2001
    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Philly USA
    I have 1/2/3 free units by city size so yes the upkeep is significantly reduced. I also added a couple of improvements that add tax revenue and/or reduce corruption. My unit upkeep is still 3400/turn so minor tweaks aren't going to get me to a balanced budget. I need to add that I have my research slider at 0 in order to get my research timeline back to the historical one, so this gives me a couple of thousand extra surplus per turn. At something like 2/2/6 (and I need to run with luxury at 6 or war brings nearly instantaneous cities in revolt), I would be running a surplus of about 1000/turn which is probably reasonable at the peak of the Empire. It seems pretty clear to me that my changes which made the first 150 turns or so reasonable have made it too easy at this point.

    As for the other discussions, Carthage was about right, Numidia was OK and did not attack Carthage in my game(s). Aegypt was very tough to beat but never a threat to beat me. Of course, I now have almost 600 Legions and 200 Eques Legionarii (if my Latin pluralization capabilities are adequate) so that makes most threats beatable. It is also clearly way to big an army to be able to field, even at the peak of the Empire. The suggestions about obsoleting research improvements to force one to up that slider are reasonable.

    And now my question - what exactly does one do between 70 AD and, say, 300 AD? My Empire is fully expanded. My hudreds of servi are rapidly upgrading every tile. The Rhine line is complete and the Danube and Tigris/Euphrates are well along. The impassable tiles prevent the type of punitive expeditions that Rome mounted along the northern frontier. Fighting slave rebellions is not completely fulfilling. Just curious as I suspect I have 100 turns of mostly tedium ahead of me before hitting a challenge again. The early game forces one to expand/expand/expand to keep up with Rome. The late game will force one to fight/fight/fight to prevent the historical fight. The middle game...?
     
  2. Christophoros

    Christophoros Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Canada
    Anglophile : 600 Legions and 200 Eques Legionarii !? Quick, hide your post before Pinktilapia sees it and has a heart attack !

    Those numbers are way, way beyond the norm. To give you an idea, I normally have, around 300ad, something like 70 legio imperium, 50 eques legionarii, 45 artillery, 12 cohortes imperatoriae and 10 ships (and of course many support free units). 600 legios !? This is NOT good !

    Now, the middle game, in my experience, normally lasts from the end of the conquests and war of attrition, somewhere around 250-300ad (if you conquer Britannia, the Numidian and Germanic cities you can take and as much of Persia as you can) to the middle of the 5th century when the number of Incursatores becomes really threatening. So, in "standard" games, the boredom does not last long. In your case, I am sure the AI will never ever attack you, as the AI calculates the total strength of someone before declaring war and the calculation is HP times attack times number of units. With the insane number of units you have, the AI will never attack you. I suggest reading Tertullian to pass the time...
     
  3. pinktilapia

    pinktilapia Homeless

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Belgium
    @Anglophile
    You --> :deadhorse: <-- RFRE supposed challenge
     
  4. Stazro

    Stazro Prince

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    436
    Location:
    at the shores of Rhine
    The plural of Eques is Equites :)

    In history, from Augustus on there usually were 28 Legions, sometimes more (e.g. at Traians Reign). I have 48 Legiones now, at maximum it were 51. Legio Merc is a different matter, though.
     
  5. mscaevola

    mscaevola Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    This is a classic, indeed. Enormous kudos to Pinktilapia and others who have contributed. I played it when it first came out, and now finally got to the new version, which is a substantial improvement over the original. I’d like to share my experience and also hopefully add some strategies and tactics that would be useful to those who are still experimenting with the mod (highlighted bold). I thought best to walk through the game I played and add comments as I go along, although many hints will be applicable throughout the game. My apologies in advance for the length of the post – I am new to the forum (my first post), and I am not aware of a possible etiquette to stay brief. I used easy at consul, and it proved to be so. I did “hard” in the original with a similar result.

    At the start it is obviously paramount to wipe out Pyrrhus ASAP
    in order to eliminate war weariness. Also sign up ROP and military alliances to get money as soon as available. Prepare for a two-front war, North and Sicilia (a two-front war will be the case most of the game, so always balance your armies for the task at hand). I start with Civil Engineering research, although others recommend First Punic War to get Mare Nostrum. IMHO, getting balistas and aquaeductus outweighs this. Absolutely micromanage workers, as pointed out before at the forum. This cannot be overemphasized. By the end of the game, ALL of my land was fully upgraded (except overused portion of the West). Also position/use workers strategically to replenish city pop (especially important later with building legio mercennaria and at the outset of a civil war).

    275 Pyrrhys’s army in the filed annihilated
    274 Tarentum falls
    273 Croton falls

    I decided to take the Western Greeks early. I am not sure whether this is right, but it did not damage my reputation with other Greeks much, which I feared. The North army guards against Western Greeks from Massilia). Make sure that you have consular armies and enough velites to subdue Bovianum.

    268-264 Bovianum and Syracusae fall

    First Punic War
    Soften up defenses with velites. This is a general strategy – always use concentrated bombardment, whether to take cities, or to defend. Mostly build balistas and improvements (not to loose pop), or some velites when a city is ready to gain one pop (no support). Guard Sicilian cities carefully (amphibious attacks). Military alliances with the Greeks and Egypt, if possible, are a must to counter the naval supremacy of the Carthage. Some alliances might cost you money, but some might yield it. Moving both consular armies to Sicilia is a must. Keep a force in the North (build roads and forts and rebuff any Carthaginians that might show up).

    262-251 Agrigentum, Panormus, Lilybaeum, Carales fall

    Start the second front with Galia Cisalpina and keep engaging Carthage. The plan is to get Sardinia and Corsica, so that the bulk of the army from Sicilia moves across those islands to join the Northern front. Further degrade Western Greeks. Build roads as you go in the North. Keep defending Sicilia.

    248-235 Genua, Olbia, Ravenna, Aleria, Massilia, Narbo, Aquileia

    My first mistake – I thought that I could get Mediolanum to prevent Hannibal from appearing (in the old version I would rush to Carthago Nova to do that), but was not aware of the 900% defensive bonus. Having to deal with Hannibal adds a nice historical accuracy, anyways. In retrospect, I’d just build roads up to Mediolanum. Peace with Carthago, on to Ilyria. I think that I made the second mistake by signing a military alliance against Ilyria with Macedon. Before I could get there, they took two cities from Ilyria, which made them more powerful later. It was not too bad, because by then I had a formidable army. I’m still not sure which is better – go alone and struggle, or enlist Macedon and other Greeks. If I had not wasted time with Mediolanum, maybe it would have been better to go alone. Beware of the Ilyrian pirates (amphibious attacks and landings on Italia)

    229-225 Salonae and Narona

    Second Punic War - Time for Hannibal
    Simple tactic: Let him attack and destroy a couple of cheap pieces (velites), then bombard him into smithereens and take him out with the consular army from the rear guard. Same for his brother. A nice touch is to sign a military alliance with Western Greeks in order to bleed Carthago at Saguntum a bit, while you enter Taraco and start breaking down Iberians. Slaves arrive just in time for their improvements. Battle Carthago and Iberians simultaneously (it is important to gain Celtic cities to build Castra Celtica (I decided that after conquering a city, to wait one turn, then rush build it to increase spawning before expiration; same later for castra hoplitarium and castra foederatorum). Iberians are a nuisance, but they don’t have mobile pieces yet, which makes them a balista fodder. A note on naval strategy: of course, always keep your ships in port between turns; almost never build units (rely on what Mare Nostrum, and later Imp. Extraord. Pompeianum give you); Try to use corvuses for battle as much as possible to enslave quinqueremae, which will provide the bulk of your navy later on (you will have to disband the supported units at the end of the Egyptian war); use fast units for scouting and remote battle.

    215-203 Mediolanum, Taraco, Saguntum, Val.Edetanorum, Carthago Nova, Palma, Malacca, Gades

    Second Punic War – Africa
    I advise against signing a military alliance with Numids. They are too powerful, and will take many cities before you can get there. If you wait until at the gates of Carthago, they will attack and bleed (that’s what you want), but they will also pillage improvements and slow you down (that’s what you don’t want). One future idea is to send a ship early in the game to meet the Numids and sign a military alliance while Carthago is still strong in the I Punic War? Continue with Iberia (bombardment breakdown of valluses and opporbiums is a must; beware of Numantia with both improvements). Make sure that you have enough artillery to bombard Carthago (there are nasty units on HP-steroids garrisoned there, which even army legios alone cannot defeat).

    202-185 Cartenna, Numantia, Cirta, Hippo Regius, Utica, Toletum, Carthago, Hadrumetum, Leptis Magna, Asturia Augusta

    Numidian War
    These guys are a pain, and you have to degrade them while being in the neighborhood (think about the Vandalii invasion later on). I lost and had to reconquer three cities before finally finishing them off. Here is the first classic example where one has to deal with a massive stack force: wait for the attack, bombard and destroy, then counter attack. A nice practice for what is to come. Battle them until they give up one city, which you will abandon. It will help a great deal during the Vandalii invasion. Got more of Iberia, but could not finish it off completely (3 cities left), as more units were needed in Africa. Get some cities from them for the peace deal.

    179-172 Scallabis, Lambaesys, Hadrumetum, L. Magna, Thelepta, Siga, Maxys (destroy), Emer. Augusta, Pax Iulia, Hispalis

    Macedon and Greek Wars
    I am confused because I am researching at 12 and I am on the timeline, but that seems still a bit late on the research scale, as I have already passed Macedonian Wars research (doesn’t matter). Move quickly from Africa to Southern Ilyria, attack Macedon, while signing military alliances with as many Greeks as you can (in my case Aetolia and Pergamum). Macedon is strong, but the key to victory is the standard tactic: protect a stack of artillery underneath armies, which are almost never attacked. Their hoplitae melt under bombardment, and most cities you can enter without a fight (i.e. artillery destroys all defenders and you simply walk in). Maybe a purist would see this as cheating, but I don’t see why not. Generally, I played by the rules set out by Pinktilapia and the development team. After Macedon, finish off Byzantium and Athens before your military alliance with the Aetolians expires, and then get them, too. Buy Pergamum, Rhodus and Bitynia (go into diplomatic screen and initiate propaganda). Clean up the Mediterranean (up till now you had to hide your ships in ports because of the pirates). In my case Side was gone to the Seleucids early, so no worry there.

    163-110 all of Greece, Pergamum and Bitynia, Rhodus, Crete

    Pontus and Gallic Wars
    While battling in the East, a new army is recruited in the West for the Gaul campaign. The game flow is designed brilliantly here, as it mirrors what really happened with Pompeius and Ceasar. In my case, I wiped out Pontus before it could spawn Exercitus Mitridatis. Again, maybe considered a cheat, but what was I supposed to do – sit there and wait? I signed up Armenia and Galatians in a military alliance, which helped a lot. At the end bought the city of Dorylaeum from Galatians, but not the other two, as not to widen the front with Seleucids in a few turns. Get those after you advance on Seleucids far enough. This is a general rule, which comes straight from the real-life military book: try to shorten the front as much as possible. One further tactical note: use funditores (if you have enough) under the army for the first attack, as you will move faster than with balistas. Finished off Iberia, and attacked Gaul. A note on research: I decide to do Education, Drama and Philosophy after Triumvirate in order to get three Ceasar’s armies. Adjust Dictator Perpetuus to be finished just on time when Dictator is supposed to start. I think this is warranted, but would like to hear opinions. Then, I went for Jul/Claud/Flav Dynasties instead of Commerce to upgrade the massive number of hoplitae to miles auxiliaries, but it seems not a good idea, because castra celtica becomes obsolete… Also prebuild appropriate wonders (I am not sure here, but it seems that some Great Wonders might not be prebuildable, especially in Constantinopolis later? Maybe I sold some improvements and spoiled the cue?).

    98-76 Amastris, Sinope, Olispio, Trapezus, Satala, Flaviobriga, Dorylaeum

    Seleucid and Egyptian Wars
    Same tactic as before: take 1-2 cities in a blitz, wait and wipe out the counter-attack, then proceed to take other cities. Enlisted Armenia as an ally (Edessa actually changed hands a couple of times as a side-show). When you advance to Gaza, buy Jeruslaem and Petra (for some reason, it took two offers to buy Petra). Use transport ships to move troops along the Egyptian coast in order to conquer faster (their stacks pillaged roads a bit). Egypt is a tough nut – make sure that you prepare for the naval battle, especially keep some fleet on Crete and even Leptis Magna in the West, just in case they show up with some ships. The bulk of the fleet is in Rhodus. In this game they did not have an all that powerful navy, because they had fought Greeks a lot (and I enlisted them against Carthaginians), but I remember a much bigger fleet in my previous games. After you own the seas, don’t forget to use naval bombardment of cities. When Egypt is finished, disband all supported navy (except 2-3 corvuses, which you will use to enslave more quins from pirates, and 2-3 fast moving ships for ship detecting), and send the bulk of the fleet to the Bosphorus. It is very important to keep the Bosphorus in check and not let ANY pirates enter the Mediterranean! Do not keep the ships outside a port, but simply station them in Byzantium and later Tomis, where triremes’ and liburnas’ “radars” will reveal the incoming threat). Keep the remainder of the fleet in the Western Mediterranean until you build the Gibraltar city to let ships pass to Brittania. Buy the rest of Galatia.
    Gaul war continues unabated with road building by legios a key tactic. A problem is on the horizon: Germans are descending on the Gauls and taking their cities (Argentoratum, Gesoriacum, Duroctorum…).

    74-8 All of Seleucids, Egypt, Galatia and a good portion of Gaul

    Dacia, I German/Scyth War and Brittania
    The two-front war continues. The Eastern army ships to Ilyria to attack Dacia, and the Western one finishes Gaul and attacks Germania. The reason for attacking Germania is twofold: first, they have taken some Gallic cities, which means less castra celtica, and also creates a German monster later on when nasty units start spawning like crazy in each city; second, Germany must be tackled for most of the remainder of the game, as it needs to be constantly depleted of units and cities. This is a war of attrition, and keep going until one or more things occur: you have conquered all Celtic AND foederati cities; you have to switch to a high war weariness gov’t – note: maybe it is a cheat, but I keep Triumvirate as long as possible, much longer than historically. I just don’t see how one can finish all prerequisite wars in Principate; or, finally, Germany is ready to give you a city for peace (in my case Alemmania Inferior). A possibly important strategy: when getting barbarian cities for peace, they are bound to be in inaccessible terrain, which makes them hard to defend. Instead of simply abandoning them (barbarians will rebuild them after 325AD), use a legio to settle nearby where you can connect with the rest of the empire. I did not use this, and I was lucky that Germans avoided attacking Alemmania Inferior in the II German war (I had to rush castra, moenia, and a bunch of cohorts urbanae), but this is not a given, as I have seen attacks in other instances. While battling the Germans, slowly advance on Brittania with one army (after subjugating Londinium, a long battle with incoming units before further expansion to get the Brittish goods and conquer Eboracum in time for Hadrian Wall). When signing peace, get one Picti city and destroy it. With Dacia, beware of the defense of Tibiscum and Sarmizegetusa, which are on hills. It took me quite some bombardment to get them to surrender. At the end of the German campaign (68AD), wiped off Transalpinii. This should/could have been done sooner, because Limes Rhaetiae was delayed.
    While battling the Germans, Scyths declared war, of course. However, they were remote, and they showed up with a massive, but weak (low HP) force around Salonae. I was ready, as I had built forts just behind the river on hills, and also I could flexibly use the Dacian force, which was just a few tiles to the East. Do not forget about the Scyths, however, because they will slaughter unsuspected cities very quickly, as they move fast.

    4BC-127AD All of Dacia, Transalpinii, Brittania (except Picti, of course), and the Northern border with Germany pushed beyond Franci Rheani and Alemmania Inferior.

    Persian War
    Timing was important here, to beat the appearance of much stronger Persian units in 175-225AD and to finish the job before required civil wars and the crisis of the III century. In principle, and more historically accurate, a Persian campaign after Egypt and before Dacia would have been in order, but I wanted to get Dacia before too many of their nasty falcatuses showed up (follow what the game rules allow, remember?).
    Same as with Galatia and Seleucia, not purchasing Armenian cities, and not signing them up as allies against Persia, serves the purpose of having a short front (Armenian cities in the flatlands would fall quickly). In addition, having peaceful Western borders (especially thanks to the I German war) allows for amassing a huge army against Persians. Again, use funditores under cohortes imperatoriae to attack front cities (which are very poorly defended), and other stacks with catapults to crush the very strong counterattack by Persian cavalry (their stacks are up to 40-50 strong). Terrain helps here – only one road to Palmyra, and then in the opening move a huge artillery stack on the hill in front of Dura Europos (at least that was my front, as Persians took Seleucid cities up to there). Just in case (not needed this time, but surely needed in some other games I played), while the army was assembling, a limes was built from Damascus to the hills behind Edessa, and all passes have been plugged with limes forts on hills all the way to the Black Sea. Micromanage limes build-up with munitors, legia, and servuses working in sync not to waste extra turns. The limes was not necessary, because in ONE DAY Palmyra, Dura EU, Babylon, and Seleucia all fell, while at the same time their stacks of cavalry vanished under bombardment and Roman cavalry and infantry mop up.
    The tactic has one nuance that will be very important later on with the monster barbarian units. First, judge the size of the stack vs. available artillery and attack units. The primary goal is to eliminate the stack so that they don’t come back to fight another day. The secondary goal is to get some fighting time for your units with 1-2HP opponents in order to get promoted and to enslave. Therefore, if you have plenty of artillery (more than 1.5:1 for a 4HP opponent) and enough attack units, then use catapults first, then funditors to reduce to 1HP, but not destroy units, as you would like to combat them for training purposes. In this case, you also want to save bombardment for the second target instead of firing all guns on the first stack. For example, the sequence is: one stack destroyed, then cities occupied, which reveals another accessible stack, move the remaining artillery and attack. If you don’t have enough artillery, attack first with strong units (armies and imperial cohorts, and in the case of Persia some strong cavalry) to reduce the stack, then use artillery. Of course, do not use infantry units on >1HP mobile defenders, as they will escape. If you don’t have enough units, do the same, but invert catapulta/funditores, because you want to reduce first, and then save catapults for the lethal bombardment.
    I moved to the Persian heartland to eliminate them altogether. This is historically not accurate, but it makes the game more fun, and probably easier to win (although I had won with a severely weakened Persia and a good limes in the past). One needs 50-60 artillery pieces to eliminate the huge defenders, but it works in a couple of turns, if necessary. I then purchased remaining Armenian cities.
    A Note: Limes Persidis and Via Ad Orientem were built on the small island of the coast of Athens, rather than in Damascus or Petra. The help was that this new city was much less corrupt and therefore the small wonders were built earlier, plus Via has been more productive throughout the game (and arrived as soon as Greece was done and long before Damascus was conquered).

    160-223 All of Persia and Armenia

    Peace and Crisis of the III Century
    Before the empire can resume war, a period of peace is necessary to go through two civil wars (Constitutio Antoniniana and Rennovatio Diocletiani), and the crisis of the III Century. The huge treasury (~60,000 talents) helped a great deal, as the budget was in the red up to 1,200/turn (to correct for all those unhappiness with the luxury slider). Military adjustment and outright downsizing is necessary, too. Upgrade most of the legios to mercennaria (my rule of thumb was to keep the elite ones, but I’m not sure whether this is optimal), but keep in mind that after upgrading they cannot found new cities, cut forest, or build limes fort. Failed to mention earlier, replace all ballistas with catapultes at the appropriate moment. Keep enough servuses in the legio mercennaria producing cities (all moderately to high producing ones) to replenish when a legio is produced and at the onset of civil war. You should end up with ~125-150 of these units, including upgrades. Use legio merc. to build roads, and cavalry to fight slave unrest. Pair cavalry with servuses, as often one servus cuts the cleaning by one turn.
    Start emphasizing terrain improvement in the East, as Western lands become overused, and the capital will later move to Byzantium, where all of a sudden Asia Minor and Dacia provide the bulk of the money and production. Cut down the forest in front of the limes to prepare for attacking Germans in the open field.
    Two critical aspects are worth mentioning. First, make sure that you are planning all wonders and government changes appropriately, so that nothing becomes obsolete before changes are made. At the same time, I use whatever time is available to postpone nasty events (for example, I make Persecutions just in time to finish Constitutio). It might not be historically accurate, but those are the rules. The game can probably be won even with more historical accuracy. Second, micromanage your cities – be ready to accept civitas (don’t get caught with half-finished units/improvements in cities that need one), and sell obsolete improvements on time (so that you use shields, too). When latifundia becomes obsolete, I look carefully at the cost/benefit analysis, and eliminate all slave-related units in some cities. This will greatly reduce slave unrest, which is a pain later on, and also saves $ on custodia urbis (I am not sure whether custodia should be left alone in order to further reduce slave unrest that happens even without slave bldgs?). Something I have failed to mention earlier: when important improvements are coming, pre-build them in key cities, so that you get the benefit on day one.
    A note on Picti: Place 6-8 artillery pieces plus one cohortes imp. (or another 2-3 offensive units) next to Luguvallium, and there is no worry, but if you fail to do so, bye-bye Brittania.

    223-311AD rebuilding

    To be continued...
     
  6. mscaevola

    mscaevola Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    II German/Scyth War

    If you followed 12 turns per tech closely enough, you should finish Diocletian’s reform and switch to Absolute Principate in the early 300’sAD, which is perfect timing to start another war with the Germans. This is to wipe out units that they have amassed prior to Incursio Magna in 325AD, because after that they become impossible to tackle. I am not saying that the game is unwinnable, but not engaging barbarians one more time can lead to either a slaughter of your army, or in one game before, the computer had basically started freezing in the late game due to the number of units (I presume, because when I replayed it with another German war, I won the game). The castra foederatorum, the new defensive improvements, and the still current Opus Imperator-Soldati for doubling city defenses (I am not sure whether it adds on top of castra/moenia, terrain advantage, and fortifying, but I sure hope so) help a lot. I pre-built/rushed some of these improvements in frontier towns, but it turns out that the horribly expensive castra might not have been necessary throughout the limes, as German troops have never approached some of them. Better safe than sorry.
    This will be the most challenging war so far, and in my case it lasted from 311AD until 433AD! The most important strategy is troop positioning. Do not spread all of your troops evenly across the limes. The limes tiles (BTW, I built double-triple limes throughout, in case they break through, so that they cannot move fast and I can bombard them 2-3 times in a row) should be occupied by 2-3 defenders (a legio merc. and a miles aux., for example), but the artillery and cohortes imp. should be strategically positioned. The most likely line of attack will come from the northernmost direction, in my case Castra Regina and Vindobona. Place the bulk of the army there. The second spot is in the far West around Noviomagus and Colonia Agrippina. I based one cohortes imp. in Noviomagus and Franci Rheani each, and one just East of Noviomagus (the limes close to German ancestral lands in Friesi) with ~15 artillery pieces. The third contingent took care of Scyths at Porolissium. Barbarians will not attack cohortes imp., unless this is the only way forward (all other moves blocked). Pay close attention to the first 2-3 turns, as they will reveal their plan of attack, and also will be the biggest challenge as they thrust with massive troops. Once you beat back the first wave, it will become a repetitive war of attrition, where they send stack after stack of troops to be slaughtered in the well-tested tactic of combined artillery and offensive unit punch. Remember that the objective is to destroy them, not just merely damage them and beat them back, because they will come in greater numbers later on (especially after 325AD). My army in 311AD is comprised of:
    14 cohortes imp.
    21 elite legio imp.
    93 catapulta
    36 funditors
    35 eques legionaries
    120 legio merc.
    20 Eques Alarius Celticus (I disagree that they are useless; they can still mop up 1HP units, and also can attack twice)
    88 miles aux.
    6 eques numidicus (a key unit – highly mobile, plus it can finish off the last opponent on a hill, and still come back home)
    14 velites (still some punch; can attack 1HP units, move on hills, and bombard)

    The plan worked. I had to attack the first stacks (30-40 units) with cohortes imp. and other units, some of which died, before deploying artillery in order to reduce the stack initially. There were attacks in all three sections described above, but mostly from the North around Castra Regina. A few stacks survived to come back, but pretty soon the combat fell into a rhythm where they place a couple of stacks for a total of 12-15 troops on the hills above Castra Regina, and they get destroyed.
    The other aspect of troop positioning is fooling the enemy. They will survey the battlefield and attack where they feel they have the greatest chance of success. You can manipulate them to go where you want them to. For example, if you open a deceiving hole in the limes, they will rush there, and then you can pulverize them with artillery. In my case, when I pulled the cohortes imp. from the tile just east of Noviomagus, they would attack there. Otherwise, I could see them send troops from Friesi, just across the border, all the way up to Castra Regina theater.
    Needless to say, it gets boring after a while, but the win is around the corner.
    As you approach peace, check every turn what they are ready to give up. They value cities among other things by population size. I caught the moment when the three below mentioned cities were at pop 1, and Germans were ready to deal. I prefer cities adjacent to my territory, because remote cities will be rebuilt after destroying them. The key city is Friesi, because it allows for a much better control of the North Atlantic (one naval move from Friesi to Eboracum, and attack on navis velifer before they reach Britain), it is accessible by sea, so that I can rush in reinforcements, and it also eliminates one of the castra saxonis cities that generate amphibious raids on Britain later on. I did not have problems with the Germans for the rest of the game. It is an option to continue bleeding the Germans until Incursio Magna becomes obsolete, but I felt that dealing with the ever growing Goths is a higher priority, and also a three city peace with the Germans coincided with the Attila showing at the door, see below, (a minor nuisance, as it can be dealt with in the same manner as with Hannibal).
    At the same time, Scyths also declared war (it is possible to avoid this if you limit your actions against Germans to your territory, but I found the tradeoff between not fighting the Scyths vs. being able to bombard Germans far from my cities acceptable). Scyths have only one venue for attack, and that is East of Porolissium, where I had one cohortes imp. and enough artillery to handle both the Scyths and some Germans coming down from Bastarnae.
    A tactical Note: do not upgrade Miles Alarius Germanicus unless needed, as you will inherit unupgradeable supported cavalry that you may not need. Instead, your skirmishes with the Germans using legio merc. and later comitatenses should provide plenty of enslaved foederati that yield the same cavalry piece but without support (in my case 55 pieces)! Miles Alarius Germanicus (~140 pieces) is kept in reserve and for filling the limes. You may decide to disband your Celt cavalry, as they have attack of only 8 and must be supported.
    Almost as a sideshow, I took the poorly defended Chersonesus from the Scyths and destroyed Pontus at Dioscorum. It became a profitable enterprise, as Chersonesus became quite a productive city of 20 pop, and it served as a valuable forward naval base.
    Another nice feature: at some point the Germans declare war on Brittania, and saw their fleet wiped out by the Brittish. They never appear again in the North Atlantic, where I stationed a nice fleet just in case.
    Pay attention to the expiring improvements at 425AD, and sell all obsolete buildings to reduce slave unrest and accelerate unit build up.
    Finally, a word on moving the capital to the Constantinopolis. I did it in 413AD, which is 73 years after it happened in real life. This is to prevent the loss of income (~170 talents in 413AD, probably higher in 330AD, as Chersonesus is still not there, and the lands are not fully developed yet) and productivity. It might be considered a cheat, but I think that game can be easily won even with an earlier move.

    311-433AD battle the Germans; peace yields Friesi, Vandali, and Bastarnae
    361-367 Chersonesus and Dioscorum

    II Numidian War and the War on the Goths
    Anticipating the Incursio Vandalorum, the task at hand is to degrade Numidia before the wonder gets built, and then to switch to depletion maintenance mode almost for the rest of the game. Initially, I position 3-4 cohortes imp. to guard border cities, and an artillery battery of ~40 artillery pieces, plus a dozen combined cavalry for mop up. The funditores are essential, because they can move West to East and back quickly, and can be removed after a bombardment step. Develop a routine how to search and destroy across the stretched out front with lethal bombardment employed on the desert outskirts. After eliminating the original stacks, 2 cohortes imp. with 15 catapults and 8 funditors, plus 3-5 cavalry will do (some of it used to clean up slave mess during slow turns). This war lasted 351-559AD! The arbitrary stopping point is when Numidia is willing to give up the most Eastern city for peace. It is probably possible to stop earlier, as I had done before, but as soon as one stops, units start streaming across the desert, and although they might not attack, they will roam around and cause alarm. In any case, a proactive barbarian “management” is something that Romans should have done and maybe their empire would be still alive today. I played as if the empire is to last another 2,000 years!
    During the II German campaign, it is also necessary to keep a respectable force against the Goth, full limes and a couple of cohorts imp. around Tomis (two can block any route to your empire), not only to keep the Goth at bay, but also to choke any Scythian advance and guide them toward Porolissium. While fighting the Germans and Scythia, the Goth are building a huge army with Incursio Magna and sooner or later might decide to attack. I guess it is possible just to blockade them for the rest of the game, but I would not take that chance. The war was timed to begin one day after the latest Roxolani attack. It is worth mentioning here that after 225AD one has to watch out for this monster unit. It will come out in one turn and destroy any unit (even a garrisoned cohorts imp. with castra and moenia on hills in Sarmizegetusa!). Therefore, the city is manned by 3-4 lower units like miles aux, one gets destroyed, and then the counterattack is easy, as Roxolani has no defense. It is there more to annoy than anything else. However, during a serious war with the Goth, Sarmizegetusa must be garrisoned with cohorts imp. and similarly the South passage out of Roxolani city must be blocked, and therefore a cohorts imp. can be lost and the city open to attack by the Goth! To block the South passage, I moved a cohortes imp. and an old legio imp. on the stone hill South of Roxolani, and built a city at the campaign opening. It is probably enough just to block, but this way you keep the blockade even after the war is over, and the defense is stronger, anyway. Try to finish the war before Roxolani rears its ugly head again.
    The final preparation for war was a maybe an insignificant touch of signing ROP with the Goth well before the war (be disciplined and do not ROP rape, although it probably doesn’t matter at this point), and building a fort on the hill leading to Chersonesus, where a cohorts imp. blocked any attack ( get the commercial port ASAP to keep the city productive (luxury goods) and to be able to transport a cohorts imp. there for defense).
    The war starts with an important tactical factor: do not block all approaches with cohorts imp., otherwise they will be attacked. Keep a narrow passageway between Sarmizegetusa and Porolissium and turn it into a killing field. ~150 catapultae and ~30 funditores are poised to soften enormous stacks (biggest so far) for the cavalry kill. Some initial stack reduction with cohorte imp. might be necessary. Even then, stacks might survive to get West of Sarmizegetusa, but they should be killed off before they reach West of Tibiscum. I must have destroyed 200+ of them. The good start is that the AI is stupid, and they moved their initial 3-movement stack ahead of the 2-movement stack, which allowed for the selective kill. Still the force was formidable.
    At the same time, Germans have been pushing into my territory from the West without attacking. Being suspicious of their motives, I kicked them out with a war threat every turn. I misjudged them, as their intention was to attack Goth (for the second time; the first German-Goth war took place between the I and II German war). At this stage, although I can probably still handle Goth, they keep sending mega-stacks, I am tired of pressing the B button, and I allow Germans to pass. A ferocious battle takes place in front of my eyes as Goth army melts. Germans have a stack of 250-300 monster units, plus other smaller, but still intimidating stacks! I sign peace in exchange for 4 cities (I was aiming at Roxolani to eliminate the nasty unit, but they would not give it up). The Germans, joined later by the Scythians (after the Germans take Visigothi, Goth attacks are on German territory), destroy the Goth. Besides saving myself from further combat, I achieve an important tactical gain: the bulk of the German army is trapped in the former Goth country, the Incursio Magna has expired, and the Germans will never be able to threaten me seriously from the West. In a possible war, I will have to give up the 4 Goth cities, but block Sarmizegetusa, and face the remnants (still huge) of the German army at Tomis. This is not necessary to win the game, but I tested it in the post-victory lap, and it worked (at least initially, I stopped for the lack of enthusiasm; 200+ artillery and 100+ cavalry, supported with a massive stratiotes infantry was able to do the job). In this war, a good fleet is also necessary in the North Atlantic and at Chersonesus (up to 15 barbarian ships show up at a time with nasty amphibious units in the Atlantic).

    351-559AD Numidian war – destroyed Cinithii
    495-531AD Goth war – obtained Ostrogothi, Sarmatia Inferior, Visigothi (North), and Tyras; Goth destroyed

    Final chapter

    The victory comes easily, and it could have been achieved with less combat, but I wanted to play the best “what if” scenario. I still have a little embarrassment due to not playing every aspect with a strict historical perspective (besides keeping Triumvirate longer and timing “bad” wonders and capital movement at a convenient time, I have also passed on building Servi Defeci and Consilium Nicaeae), but the experience is still satisfactory. I will list still unanswered questions in a separate post. Enjoy!
     
  7. jlvfr

    jlvfr King

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    As promised, here's the final report on the fall of (my) Roman Empire.

    It's the year 559AD and all goes well. Just finished taking Gaul. The treasury stands at 2450+ (I bought 2 improvements for my 2 most northern cities) and I finnally have my armies lined up for an assault at the cities Carthage has left in the Iberian peninsula. I was researching "Folly of Comodus" (yes, I know I was late...); the science/happyness bars are at 10/20, and my armies stood at:

    - Gaul border, in a city:5 balista, 5 Legio Imperatoria (3 elite), 1 infantry and 1 cavalry army, 2 Eques, 3 Miles auxiliarus. Each of the 2 border cities was also guarded by 3 Cohortes Urbana (+1 regular Legio in the city at the coast). From past experience, I figure this was more than enough to wipe out any ocasionaly pack of barbarians;

    - Sicilly, ready to attack Carthage's last city: 3 catapults, 4 balistas, 2 armies, 4 Legio Imperatoria (2 elite), 1 Legio Marius, 3 Velites, 1 Eques Legionarius. Each of my 2 cities also had 4 balista (think "coastal bateries"!), 2 Cohortes Urbana, 2 velites and 2 Legios. All my 6 (!) Quinquiremes Summa are also here;
    - Iberian peninsula, main attack group: 4 infantry armies, 8 Legio Imperatoria (5 elite), 7 Legio Marius (5 elite), 6 catapults, 6 balistas.

    I decided to attack in 561AD. However, after I hit "end of turn", this showed up...



    The white arrow points to ONE stack (and it's contents...)

    I pretty much lost count after 55 german units, so I hit "end of turn"... and here's 563AD



    Look at the map of Gaul. See how it's almost all german? By some miracle my "garrison" city survived, but it was down to just the balistas, 2 Cohortes Urbana (both of which were now elite!) and 1 legio... and again the white arrow points to ONE stack (and it's contents...)

    So I guess that's it really. Even if I pulled my armies from Spain to Gaul, this would take 4-5 turns, by which time the germans would be in Spain and Italy... ah well...

    At least my game is similar to history! :rolleyes:
     
  8. König Markus

    König Markus Warlord

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    :eek:

    Screenshots, PPPLLLLEEEASSSEEE!!! :drool:

    I don't believe you. :mischief:
     
  9. König Markus

    König Markus Warlord

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    Page 200.

    Congrats, pink. :goodjob:
     
  10. pinktilapia

    pinktilapia Homeless

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    @mscaevola

    That two solid first posts you made here :) It was a great read.
    Thanks a lot of the detailed feedback, especially on the end game. I am sure this will come handy when thinking on the next patch Christophoros is making for us! Goths in a locked alliance with Scythia and Germania anyone :D?

    @Jlvfr
    You played on a completely different scale, I am still amazed you survived so long. You may try to bribe Germania by giving them all these cities you can't defend (Hispania, what is left of Gallia)... Take winning here as saving Rome!

    @Konig Marcus
    10 posts left for the 4000 replies threshold... never would have dreamed that RFRE would reach that! And with posts like those above made by mscaevola, the whole thread must be close to a book, sizewise!
     
  11. jlvfr

    jlvfr King

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    ?! What do you mean by "a different scale"?
     
  12. mscaevola

    mscaevola Chieftain

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    Remaining questions and maybe a modest proposal here and there for Pinktilapia or anybody else (I confess that I do not know the inner workings of the game - never used the editor, for example, so some questions might be amateurish):

    I did not see ANY Cimbri, Teutones, or Helvetii (maybe took Mediolanum too early – 215AD, although I don’t see why they need Mediolanum resource, when they are supposed to be spawned by Incursios)?

    I’ve read about the Hannibal’s problematic behavior (like getting lost in Gaul) and not doing his job, although it did not happen to me, because I attack him when he shows up. Could forests and hills be made impassable for him, and modify the terrain in Italy and Cisaplina so that he can freely roam? Then give him a more significant bombardment defensive bonus (I think there is such a thing, isn’t there?), or simply an even bigger defensive bonus or more HP, and create one Roman wonder that spawns a unique unit only once called the Cunctator (see history). This unit would have a nice bombardment (maybe 25 like a catapulta or much more, needs some experimenting to see the right mix), but a modest offense and very fast movement. I am not sure whether I’m on the right track, but this would create a situation where Hannibal cannot be easily attacked or bombarded by regular units, but would be picked on by the Cunctator (hit and run), while moving around Italy and would die a slow death. The problem is that Hannibal can retreat back into Mediolanum or a city he conquered and recharge the batteries, but maybe it’s doable (Cunctator would still bombard him while in a city, not allowing for healing). Alternatively, the Roman army would have to move on Mediolanum while Hannibal is out and take it depriving him of a base.

    What’s the purpose of Delici Capuae when Hannibal does not even have a prayer of taking the city?

    Defense bonuses:
    - How are they exactly calculated? For example, a fortified legio merc. in a city on hills (50%) with castra (75%), moenia (50%), with the attack coming from across the river (50%)? Is it 6*(0.5+0.75+0.5+0.5) = 13.5, rounded down to 13?
    - Does a tile castra within two tiles add 25% to the city defense on top of all of this, or is it just a bonus for the open field combat?
    - Can the tile castra be behind the limes and still exert 25% bonus within the 2-tile radius regardless, or it has to be within the limes line?
    - Does one need a unit garrisoned in a tile castra in order for the bonus to be effective (I guess not)?
    - Is there a limes 100% bonus in a castra tile?
    - What is the offensive bonus when attacking from different terrain (a hill, for example)

    Units
    - Why have impossible upgrades listed in the unit description? Why not just show that it is not upgradeable?
    - What’s up with Velites Italicus Seditiousus – could not see them either in the building cue or on the field?
    - Why Incursor and Praedator and Copiae Attilae have ROMA listed as a required resource?
    - Some barbarian units do not become obsolete, but the AI stops building them it seems. For example, incursors and praedators. They are spawned by obsolete wonders, but it does not specifically say that they cannot be built.

    Slave unrest
    - Why is there slave unrest without slave buildings?
    - Is there a reduction in the slave unrest when one or more, but not all slave bldgs are removed (for example latifundia, but not catasta and amphitheatrum)?
    - Does custodia urbis help when there are no more slave improvements there (i.e. reduce “inherent” slave unrest, see above).
    - Is there a connection between war weariness and general unhappiness with slave unrest?
    - It would be nice to be able to check slave unrest level in all cities at once in the city list screen (like shields, and other stuff is displayed, and the cities can be sorted by each category); that way the most unrest prone cities can be dealt with proactively.

    Plague
    - It usually happens around the same time (twice); is it preprogrammed, or there is some influence on its appearance by events (WW, etc.)?
    - I take all valuable units out of the city during plague not to get killed. Is there any danger in moving an “infected” unit from a city with plague into a healthy city (I guess not)?

    How much rest is necessary to eliminate war weariness before starting a new war with no memory of the previous slave unrest (one cannot simply have a 1turn pause and start fresh)?

    What’s up with Sinai? If it’s some riddle to show who is smart and who is not, I’m guilty of being lame. I visited, even built a city there and nothing happens.

    What’s up with the last song in the music (is this some kind of an Asian language)?
     
  13. Anglophile

    Anglophile Warlord

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    First, I am playing a 'doctored' biq and therefore my results are non-representative of the mod. That said, the opponents of my doctored mod are also on steroids. The Aegyptian counteroffensive, e.g. was with over 300 units (at a time when I had many fewer units). And everyone has always hated me (well almost everyone almost always) on Emperor - no cities to be won through diplomacy and money.

    Still, I am going to abandon my game and play the 325 AD biq - unmoddified and on Consul. I have had to download the mod again (now on the first update) as I only have the base files and my biq on my portable and I am in Australia for another week followed by a week in Madrid and a week split between London and Frankfurt before getting back to California.

    And I will send the screenshots once I work out how to do it on this computer.
     
  14. pinktilapia

    pinktilapia Homeless

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    @mscaevola, Ok, I will reply to these within your post
     
  15. pinktilapia

    pinktilapia Homeless

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    No offence meant, just that your Roman Empire remained a small little western thingie ;), you still have the Greeks striving east, and probably a huge ferocious rabid Persia at their side. I guess you also know now why the waiting time has been so long... with the dozens of SODs that must exist not only in Germania, Gothia but also in Egypt and Persia...

    It is interesting to see a conservative gameplay (taken here as a defensive game, in opposition to what we recommend everywhere in the guide, turorials, etc. to be agressive and wage war all the time) can also work in RFRE... to a stage. Thanks for the screenies BTW.
     
  16. pinktilapia

    pinktilapia Homeless

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    I thing Debug mode is still on for this one (325AD). Make sure you use the editor to turn it off before playing. Good luck with the hordes!
     
  17. Stazro

    Stazro Prince

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    I have listened to the whole soundtrack, too... At first it was fun, but after a while the song became unnerving :lol: I haven't said anything because i feared to offend you :)

    Maybe someone should try to play the 275 biq in debug mode to see what exactly happens to cimbri et teutones... In my story-game the ai simply disbanded its samnites, perhaps it does that to other units, too.

    In Sinai is a resource. Its description says something like "you have to visit this place, really". You have not put it there?
     
  18. pinktilapia

    pinktilapia Homeless

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    Arrr, well :cool: the whole character of Carabao is unnerving in fact! You are not supposed to keep the soundtrack looping over and over for the 500+ hours of gameplay of course ;)

    One should really check all these units are maintainance free --> next patch!

    BLIIIIIITZ#%#$$#, What's this :mad:? ;)
     
  19. jlvfr

    jlvfr King

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    I tried the whole "go-down-the-balcans-and-get-greece" thing in a previous game, but that left me with a massive perimeter to defend. Half my units were just strung along the Adriatic :mad:

    So this time I figure I'd go the other way 1st :)

    Btw, I did have a bit of luck early on: managed to convince Egypt to trade 1 luxury for 2 of mine. Helped a lot to keep people happy! :goodjob:
     
  20. Christophoros

    Christophoros Chieftain

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    Wow, so many posts on a Monday !? Garfields you are not...

    Sinai : it is a bonus resource that appears with the 575 ad tech. I don't know who put it there, but it is useless.

    Cimbri, Teutones.... : I just checked the editor. They are support-free units that are spawned once by a wonder (migration helvetica, incurso cimbrines, incurso teutones) that is buildable between 100 and 50 bc. Everything is correctly done and the wonders should be built by Galla, Germania, Transalpinii, but the problem is the unit is HN. And, as we all know, the AI seldom handles HN units well. I know I have never seen any of these units in my games, except in the 100bc biq where one is spawned just north of one of your cities in Gaul. My guess is the AI builds the wonders and then sends the units out where they are killed by the numerous units of the other civs. If we want them to work correctly, we shoud make it so only Galla can build them, and only in the south, in order to give the units the best chances of wandering into Roman land. Opinions ?

    Seditiosus : All these units are there for the 100bc biq : they represent the social war units (this social war was fought between Rome and some Italian
    allied cities against other former allied Italian cities.)

    Slave unrest : Selling slave unrest producing buildings does reduce the number of skulls (pollution gauge), but the direct link is hard to establish. In some cities, you have to sell two improvements, whereas in others it is only one. In the same way, starting from 425ad, you can sell the custodia urbis and it won't change anything.

    War Weariness : from what I can tell, the time necessary to clear the ww slate is very short. 1 or 2 turns, if I judge correctly from all my experiences.

    Hannibal : The one single thing that has undergone major changes in nearly all the previous patches. Like Pink said, I doubt, given CivIII's limitations, we can make him any better. The current version, unhistorical as it is, is probably the toughest one so far. I know that having an unconquerable Medionlanum before 225 is a thorn that slows down Rome's expansion. (I know because, before that twist, my fastest game saw me defeat Carthago in 202, exactly like in history (not quite : the city actually lived on till 146, but close enough)) In most games, players attack or are attacked by Hannibal and, even though he can be easily bombarded, he is still a major threat and a force to be reckoned.

    I do not plan changing anything to the long scrutinized Hannibal mechanics in the next patch, uneless of course someone comes up with a brilliant idea.
     

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