Imperator: Rome Catch-All

I’m waiting for the three moves ahead episode, but have there been any good podcast episodes anywhere about this game yet?

JR, I’ve had good luck engaging large enemy armies and sieging forts while my allies cover my back.

jrralls wrote:

I still don’t get how to have the vassal to help out. In my wars they just seem to sit back until I’ve done most of the fighting, and then swoop in and grab stuff.

I found they take a little while to get into it, but they do turn up in the end. If you go to the diplomacy for a nation as well you can see their manpower and how many units they have (not sure if it's exact or predict based on any sort of intel tech), but that can be a good measure for which nation around you to attack as well if you vastly outnumber them.

Allow units to attach to yours, unless you are suffering a lot of attrition. That sometimes gets allies to get off their asses.

Allies seem like they enjoy sieging after you have done the hard fighting but sometimes you can maneuver in such a way that they will have to fight and you can jump in as reinforcements to polish off an enemy stack.

jrralls wrote:

I’m waiting for the three moves ahead episode, but have there been any good podcast episodes anywhere about this game yet?

Waypoints had a nice breakdown from Rob Zacny on the latest episode, I think he even posted a review.

After conquering an opponent what is the best way to assimilate it?

I'm think you can spend one of the currencies to do so, but I've just been setting the governor for Cultural Assimilation and letting it get taken care of automatically over time.

I won a war with war score 100. I had all of the war goals selected. When I accepted the Peace dialog, the cities that I took weren't mine. (For the conquer the Samnites step in the tutorial). Any thoughts on why that might be?

I think part of my problem is that I want to play at a lower level than the design intends. Well maybe not lower than the design intends but lower than the UI easily supports? The game gives my these options and some information so it appears the game intends for me to interact at this level. Here is one example and maybe someone can help me get past this general disconnect I have with decision making in Rome Imperator.

Pops in a city

Each pop in a city has a happiness rating which affects it's output, as the average pop happiness for it's pop type is used to modify it's output. Looking at a recently conquered province, they have 4 civilians with an average happiness of 42%. Since they are in my capital region their output gets a 25% boost to 52% efficiency.

If the happiness is below 50, the pop also produces unrest. So 3 out of the 4 civilians are producing unrest. In this province that means -5.5% tax income, research points, commerce income and manpower contribution.

If I use religions power to convert the 3 pops, that will raise their happiness by 15% bringing it above 50. So I would get the 15% boost to their output and also eliminate the unrest from these pops - lowering the negative unrest modifiers above.

I can probably eyeball the impact of this change and come up with a rough number but between the output efficiency and unrest effects it isn't trivial. Now multiple that by the 51 cities I have and it becomes impossible to see where those religious power points are best spent to help my economy.

The easiest way I have found to determine what cities have any unhappy pops is the unrest and loyalty map mode. Cities with a lighter shade of green seem to at least have some unhappy pops causing unrest, so I could start there because that would boost their output efficiency due to happiness and reduce the unrest penalties. Actually I can also look at the nation overview screen to find disloyal provinces too.

In any case, it's nearly impossible to make an informed decision about where to spend my religious power. I also need it to use omens. Is it better to spend the 160 religious power for the Blessings of Pluto to get a tax boost or convert 12 pops to my state religion?

I think this is something that frustrates me with Paradox games. There are a lot of decisions that can be made, but what effect do they have? Where should I spend my limit resources? Not multiply all this by the number of decisions that can be made in the game and my confusion factor is pretty high.

Any ideas to help me get past this?

Don't min/max. Seriously. Role-play instead. Is the Consul a member of the religious faction? Prioritize the conversions. Military? Taxes for sure. Populist? Which choice benefits the Plebians most? And so forth.

Unrest? Look at your Consul. Does he care about non-Romans? Is he short-sighted, or an academic deep thinker, or a lunatic? Come up with a reasonable explanation for an action he'd take and do it. Then see what happens.

Paradox games are not Civ games. It's really, really hard to try to figure out the "perfect" action in any situation, and there is enough randomness that it's a waste of time to try, unless you're into turning your strategy game into a pause-filled grind (and maybe that's you, I don't know). But the real fun comes from making decisions appropriate to the characters involved, rather than playing the game systems for all they are worth. And the complexity lends itself to the former, too.

There are plenty of spreadsheet games out there if that's what you like. Paradox games are not that. Beating the game system is not the point. Building stories is the point.

History is full of crucial decisions made based on personal flaws and frustrations and likes and biases and vendettas and... All the human motivations we have. If you ignore those in your game, you might enjoy Civ more than Paradox. But if you want to get a feel for what it's like to roll the dice in a desperate situation based on your character's belief that his idiot nephew would be a *great* general, well, this is the game for you.

Hmm, my guess is that Paradox games may not be for me. I like role playing games, but when it comes to strategy games I'm interested in making the best decisions I can. It is probably why I fully bounced off CK2. EU IV holds promiss to me though and that is probably because it isn't so character based. Still, if I remember right, there are decisions in EU IV where it is difficult to really say what is the best form a victory standpoint. - so I probably still have issues with that.

I have personally found that Paradox games are *designed* to lead from success to failure and back again, and that works against the idea that there is a min/max solution to everything. They will eventually knock you down, and you'll need to get back up, no matter how powerful you are, and that is very frustrating with the attitude that the system can be maintained in perpetual growth and success.

So I'd say the system itself works against the idea that there is a "best path" that guarantees victory in a playthrough. Sorry...

One thing, though. In role-playing the leadership, you can try to make the best decision that character would make in the moment. That's different from the best choice based on the systems, but then again, that's exactly why the characters exist; to give color to the game in a way that most strategy game systems miss. So if you can wrap your head around "the best" play being that which is true to the character, even if it means near-term failure, then the game could be very interesting to you. After all, why would play a lunatic character as always making the "best choice" for his country? I just ended a playthrough after deciding to enter a war whose outcome was in doubt, precisely because I noticed that the guy I was playing was an aggressive lunatic. So, why wouldn't he? He even had to manipulate the Senate to get the war started, meaning his party went along with him after being strong-armed. And of course, Rome lost half its holdings in the next three years of war, and he was knocked out of power and replaced by a true Populist.

So it goes. But no min/max approach will ever lead you to *that* particular story, I guarantee it. And we *almost* won the war, to boot. It was exciting and interesting. That's what this game is for.

PWAlessi wrote:

I won a war with war score 100. I had all of the war goals selected. When I accepted the Peace dialog, the cities that I took weren't mine. (For the conquer the Samnites step in the tutorial). Any thoughts on why that might be?

Was it a war declared on one of your allies? If so, the war results probably went to your allies.

I finished a war where I thought I was going to get a city, but in retrospect I know the result was that it went to my ally.

Robear, I've tried to embrace the PGS games for eons, and I've constantly bounced off. Reading your post, I'm thinking it's significantly because I'm trying to gauge how to win, like it were a Civ game. I think the mindset you just gave to approach Imperator with might change everything for me.

So, thank you!

So, the 1.01 patch seems to have broken a few things. I noticed in one of my games I couldn't take an occupied territory without any logical reason, I think there's plenty people saying the same thing. My leader has also been renamed "_ruler".

I hope it helps, Ubrakto. It comes from an interview with one of the devs (Johan, I think?) which explains how his designs differ from the traditional. And if you read some of the stories in the CK2 thread, you'll see the sort of thing I mean.

You don't read history to "get to the end". You read history to learn the stories of those involved, good and bad and ordinary, bizarre and surprising. And those stories are what these games are about: EUIV is the story of countries, CK2 is the story of families, and IR is a sort of mix of the two. But it has enough elements to allow you to play it in interesting ways.

It's also a somewhat easier start to the systems that Paradox uses, in my opinion.

Had a couple of successful wars and control most of the boot.

They did say that the 1.0.1 patch breaks 1.0 Ironman games. I wiped mine and started over.

Also, and this is worth repeating for new players, these games are best played with a dog by your side. Once you get your initial setup established, making your choices for Omens, economy, builds, etc., you can put a plan into motion. Then sit back and tell the dog to bite you if you try to screw with any settings before your plan ends.

The idea is that once you get things “set”, you’re making a bit of money, raising troops, etc., then you don’t touch things again until the situation changes. For example, you can’t successfully tweak your economy on a monthly basis if nothing is changing. It just won’t help and it becomes annoying quickly. Instead, keep an eye on what you need for your next big operation. Are you waiting for a date, like a truce expiration? Turn the game speed up. Need more troops? Raise them but remember to keep a healthy treasury. Recovering after a war? Reset your economy to a growth state (check trade, governor settings, and inventions, for example) and then let your treasury build for a while.

So gameplay is “bursty”. You’ll spend sometimes a few years watching the situation change around you while you prepare for your next move, then you’ll manage a war on an almost daily basis. But unlike Civ, there are no “turns” in which you have to check every stat and tweak it before going to the next turn. So take your hand off the wheel once you’ve decided on a course of action, and let the situation develop until it *requires* your intervention. You’ll be much happier that way.

I wonder if it's this type of game play that accounts for a decent amount of the negative reviews on Steam. I don't know of many games that have this sort of mechanic to the degree that Paradox games do. I could see lots of people new to the series conclude that it's boring after giving it a four-hour shot.

Robear wrote:

They did say that the 1.0.1 patch breaks 1.0 Ironman games. I wiped mine and started over.

Uff. Sparta wiped out by the advance of technology! Time for a new start!

I suspect too that the fact that it's not as complicated as EU and CK drives some grognards to grogn, and certainly Roman purists won't like the abbreviated political stuff. But I think it's very well put together and it should have a long, successful run.

Robear wrote:

They did say that the 1.0.1 patch breaks 1.0 Ironman games. I wiped mine and started over.

You can roll back to 1.0 as a steam beta.

It will be just as complicated as EU4 before you know it.

Not being as complicated as some of their other games sounds like a great feature to me. I guess that is the benefit of jumping in before the inevitable 20 expansions.
Abbreviated roman politics, less so.

Well, there's only one Consul in the Republic, for example, although other roles exist (Censor, etc.). So you don't have the dynamic of campaigning, or at least, I have not found it yet. You can influence the balance in the Senate, though, between the parties. I admit to still not knowing how elections work...

And now since the hotpatch the game repeatedly crashes. Ugh.

Budo wrote:

And now since the hotpatch the game repeatedly crashes. Ugh.

Have you updated to 1.0.2 beta? That supposedly addresses some of the issues with 1.0.1.

Is it weird that I'm waiting for version 1.1 of a game that I preordered before I play it?

BadKen wrote:

Is it weird that I'm waiting for version 1.1 of a game that I preordered before I play it?

I’m still waiting to play Stellaris.

Anyone feel like they have a good grasp of how to handle families? I don't really understand how to ensure that 2% or more goes to each .