What is your favorite era in Realism: Invictus?

Which era do you enjoy the most in this mod?

  • Total voters
Apr 2, 2013
Oklahoma City
Just curious to see what other players of this great mod think. Each phase of the game has its own unique challenges and character, and it's a somewhat hard choice for me, personally.

In the ancient era, you're just getting set up, and your still very fragile empire faces tough choices and often can afford few blunders in its feeble infancy, but the precarious nature of this phase of the game, where you reveal your immediate surroundings and try to survive against the punishing barbarian onslaught has fun relish of a tower defense game, where every resource is precious and each small decision crucial due to its influence throughout the rest of the game.

In the classical era, you finally reach some establishment and achieve civics and resources which enable domestic growth, but your empire is still yet very soft clay to be molded in whatever direction you choose, and here you can decide whether to conquer, go for certain wonders, found a religion, and such. There is a feeling of fluidity I have with the classical era, where lots of options open up to you, but simultaneously become available to your rivals, and warfare typically favors the offensive.

In the medieval era, things seem to become more static as city defenses become the decisive edge in war, and faith becomes a dominant factor of diplomacy, as the fast spread of the two new monotheistic faiths sweeps through the world, and powerful new religious civics afford huge advantages. Food outpaces health as serfdom and monasticism greatly enhance the yield of farms, while an unfortunate ignorance of pathogens makes frequent plagues a normalcy. A paradoxical stalemate in warfare ensues until the arrival of gunpowder as heavy cavalry dominates in the field while castled pikemen and longbows are unable to be uprooted from the cities bereaved of the bounty of their countryside.

With the arrival of the renaissance, the stability of your empire is shaken by the age of discovery, and the conquests which you've likely made in recent eras become all the more difficult to hold onto, while rebels (hithertofore an afterthought with decent defenses) become truly threatening with firearms, and your own people become ever more demanding and expectant. But, this is also the era when the generous stability of advanced civics and government infrastructure become available, and transoceanic trade and exploration are likely to exacerbate the shock introduced by perhaps the most massive relative military advantage in the game, with flintlock musket! Beware as your longtime allies, solidly cemented in good relations by mutual faith, become cautious liabilities when they suddenly accede to the lure of secularism and decide that faith is a private affair and no matter of state policy. The world is rocked with a sudden degree of instability not seen before, which makes for exciting gameplay.

The industrial era presents some fascinating features which really allow some of the focuses of this mod to shine particularly well in my opinion: namely, the explosion of food output per tile which the 3 cost per citizen reworking anticipates, enabling specialists to really become a significant demographic of your population unlike in the base game, and, the idea of an industrial sector corollary to this represented by the craftsmen, very much like the real industrial revolution and in both of which the base game does a rather poor job imitating. The massively expensive hurdles of industrialization make for fun gameplay, as a civ which aims to modernize cannot devote its hammers to units or wealth/research nearly so comfortably as before, and one which is caught lagging might be irrevocably left behind. Here the espionage game really begins to kick in, as crucial buildings and resources become the lifeblood of your nation's success, and warfare shifts to acknowledge the dominance of machines, as air power, metal navies, and mechanized armies become the decisive trump cards and significant factors of conquest...

As the modern era dawns, if you've even made it that far, it's truly the end game, with several civs nearing specific victory conditions, and the game enters its tense final phase where every turn becomes part of the calculus of victory. Espionage becomes crucially important, both in safeguarding and preventing the launch of a spaceship, while every point of diplomacy is a matter of importance with UN votes. Were one to attempt conquest or domination so late, they now have the most devastating and effective weapons to do so, and never before can warfare accomplish so much in so little time, no small matter when Gandhi quietly hopes no one notices the culture victory he is attempting. ;)

With all that said, it's really hard for me to choose, but I think I would have to say that my number one pick would be the industrial era, where the game really takes its final shape prior to the final win. A close second is probably the medieval era. There's something exciting about that time historically and the rich aesthetics of this mod really accentuate the appeal for me quite nicely. :)


Dec 23, 2020
Late renaissance/Early industrial, usually the game is in a "either act fast or lose the game" situation by that point. (Huge/Monarch)


Dec 7, 2016
Gent - Belgium.
There's a tipping point especially on large maps when managing an extended empire becomes a chore rather than enjoyable, most of the time it coincides with the moment it became unpractical for a single man to govern an entire empire historically - roughly the Napoleonic era.

Playing on smaller maps postpones that moment - but always there comes a point when starting a new game is more appealing than continuing the current one :)

So definitely the early eras for me..


Oct 14, 2020
I find the classical era has the best balance / sense of advancement. By medieval, if you're effective enough at managing cities you have the sense that your cities are capable of so much more and max out capacity, but there's not a sense of strife or tension in most games. You're more settled in to whatever your civilization is going to be, and war is really difficult. While that is realistic, the length of the medieval period is where the game starts to drag out, and where the human player possesses so many advantages over most AIs. You'd have to bump up to higher difficulties for the AI to keep up later in the game, which makes the early game very punishing.

It would be great to play against a capable opponent in Industrial Era and beyond, and play with the more advanced features of that time, but by then the game is typically won. There are only so many ways to rubberband the game or force a game to remain competitive, and with more turns there is a greater opportunity for humans to attain turn advantage over AIs. Of course, playing with another human a game of this length is very difficult.

One thing vanilla has over RI is that classical era and beyond keeps the game interesting consistently, but this is in part because vanilla games are much shorter and runaway victories are harder until late game / low difficulty settings. I still think RI is the more interesting experience though, but by Industrial era I'm just playing out the game / maximizing score. Perhaps I need to play at higher difficulties or with more interesting options.


Oct 6, 2008
i've only gotten oneish games to industrial so far, but the system for industrialization does seem somewhat engaging to me, I like how it encourages age appropriate colonial/imperial ambitions to keep up. I started playing on immortal and still dont know the mod well though, so i've also been consistently behind in tech and had the tension of trying to expand/maintain an empire without getting ganked by a dude that just teched up to cruisers instead of just larping as the UK map painting against the helpless AI


Oct 7, 2022
Personally like the medieval era the best, you get the fun civics that shape your civ, a lot of civs get their uniques in the late classical/medieval period, and its generally easier to out tech the ai to a military tech and use that advantage, at least on monarch. I find medieval or even late classical to be the time when you decide which direction your civ goes which is always fun. The next fun period is probably Renaissance, with so much of an upheaval of civics and unit composition.

Classical/Ancient honestly just feel the same to me, the early war puts you ahead so you never really have to change a strategy there, they also have some of the best wonders to build so if you're done with an early war/avoid wars, just keep building!

You're usually the top dog in the industrial/modern age so that part of the game isn't fun, plus wars are so slow and drag on so much it feels better to start a new game instead.
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