Imperator: Rome

I didn’t like it at release, but got a few enjoyable playthroughs after the last patch, and have stopped myself from starting a couple more games in the last couple weeks since Livy is so close. I’d declare that I do find it fun now.


Spoiler: supply trains are OP, but it’s fixable.

(didn’t know they were the same person until now - the guy from 3MA and the patch notes joke guy)

Explain, please.

On paper, an army that is properly supplied should not suffer noticeable attrition without fighting, which seems right for the period.

5% monthly attrition for armies without food seems low, though. These melted away fast. It probably should be related to size of army.

But anyway, the new naval mechanics plus the new attrition system means I want to try this again.

IIRC the point is that you don’t suffer any attrition at all as long as you have supplies. But when you lose supplies in a hostile land you don’t get replenishment and so, in theory, you can “lose” a siege. As long as you know what you’re doing and carry enough supplies you don’t suffer any attrition at all.

I haven’t played it of course. But from what TJ says it seems that it makes the rich even richer, as in big empire can afford all those supply trains and they don’t lose people to attrition at all. Smaller countries won’t be able to afford supply trains and will perform worse.

I think the thing that TJ was trying to get at is that it was too easy to have enough supply wagons to never worry about food/attrition during the course of a war. It might be a thing that just needs tuning, making it harder to stockpile that much supply or have the food decay after a period of time out in the field.

That’s the impression I got from him, anyway. Looking forward to trying it myself, especially since I’m usually playing a small/poor tribe.

Finally got into this after bouncing off it shortly after release. Starting to get a handle on the various systems, but struggling with a few bits and pieces

Armies, Tactics, and Warfare

  • What does everyone use for their standard army composition? I’ve been throwing a variety together, but now starting to get an understanding the lines and flanking. Do most people just stick with Heavy Infantry, Heavy Calv and Horse Archers?

  • Tactics seem really cool, but also very micro. How do you find the tactics of an enemy army or nation? Is it only by seeing the armies in battle? Or can you assume the tactics based on the region you’re fighting in? If the latter, then is there any simple guide that you can reference for it?


  • What are your rules for buildings in provinces? For example, if the settlement produces grain, then I also build the farm.

  • Do you all follow the academy spam that seems prevalent right now? What provinces might you put a tax office or market in?


  • What’s the point here? I just set my initial navy to ‘independent operations’ and within the first few wars they’ve won enough ships to be huge. Is there any point to them other then ferrying fleets around?

  • How do you get rid of pirate bases, or even effectively defend against pirates?

I haven’t played myself (decided to wait for levy, cause why not), but…

According to the patch, AI navy usage is pretty buggy (until tomorrow), that’s probably why.

According to one thread, that’s optimal at the moment. But will also probably change with the patch.

Yeah, I’ve watched someone on an achievement run pick a fight, then send another army with a better general with a counter tactic. Sounds too gamey for me, but I can just not do it.

I don’t really have a standard template, it really depends on what the army tasked with as well as what culture group I’m playing. If I’m playing in Gaul I don’t have access to horse archers at all and an army comprised of heavy infantry and cavalry are going to melt before they can accomplish much of anything. So up there I’ll often rely heavily on light infantry especially for siege armies. My main warhosts are often more oriented around archers with a core of chariots. That completely changes if I’m operating in civilized lands, though, where those armies would get smashed by heavy infantry. If I’m playing a Persian nation I tend to go with a lot more cavalry, especially horse archers.

In terms of tactics, most nations share all the same tactics with one or so being unique to the culture. Barbarians get Hit and Run, Greeks get Phalanx, etc. Mostly you can get an idea of what tactic they will use based on their individual army composition. What they’re using shouldn’t necessarily predicate what you use, though. Countering their tactic with one that your troops can’t take advantage of often won’t do you much good. For example, using Cavalry Skirmish when you’re mostly heavy infantry isn’t going to be a good call even if it counters what they are using, if that makes sense? I might shift my tactic of they are reliably countering me, but mostly I’m looking to boost the effectiveness of my own army first.

Patch notes for the Livy update out tomorrow.

Aaand it’s released.

Thanks everyone

Paradox always likes to release a patch as soon as I get into a game, so I guess I’m restarting my Macedon run!

You can play for free for the next 5 days…

well played paradox…guess you got tired of all those returns…

That’s a pretty good marketing tool after a bad launch.

Or rather after them remaking half of the game.

Paradox refuses to use Early Access model for some reason. Probably getting the best of two worlds - all those big launch customers (I’m one of them), and now they’ve learned to do big relaunches.

Played two hours last night… the patch seems super buggy.

Also, the supply caravans suck. I understand that they’re trying to give more tactical options with warfare, but supply caravans are - to me at least - meaningless micromanagement. I much prefer if they abstract supply more.

I wouldn’t say they are THAT micro, it’s an extra unit you need to bring with you on long campaigns, but once built you don’t actually do much with them other than make sure they are topped up. It needs tweaking but I think it’s a very authentic system.

Hmmm, can you expand a bit more? To me I’d think they would lead to less micro. In a game like EU4, you have to micro your army into smaller individual stacks due to attrition while also keeping them close around so they can ball up whenever a big battle happens. Same held true for Imperator to a degree. With supply trains, you build a few and stick them in your army and now you don’t have to worry about dancing around like that.

There was a small hotfix released today that fixed a couple technical issues (Ironman/auto saves, mouse scrolling, a couple other things).

But if you just stick them with your army and forget about them, then what is the point? I now have to create additional units and monitor a little bar of food, i have to see how much food a province has to contribute to the food of the army, and i don’t have an easy way to see when an army is full of food to continue forth without clicking back on the unit to see how much they have

Before I could just see the attrition in the province and understand whether it was minor and tolerable or major and going to kill my manpower, and I was typically only moving 1 mega-stack and 2 minor stacks who were rarely impacted by attrition anyway.

Maybe I will warm up to it tonight when I get to play again.

Well that’s why it probably needs tweaking, so you pay a bit more attention, but what you’re complaining about is exactly the kind of issues that these guys would have probably had to deal with at the time. Do we have enough food? What food is there in the local area we can use to sustain ourselves? Do we attack now or wait to gather more supplies so we can fight in the field longer? etc…

I’m sorry if realistic logistical problems are boring for you :P

Although I could have sworn food was dealt with in the Army UI screen? You don’t have to look at each unit. The army itself will have a total good bar that will accumulate all the food carried by soldier pops and then any supply wagons. It’s right under the commander portrait, so not that hard to take in at a glance.

Fun Fact: The Romans used to call their supply trains “Impedimenta”.

Meh - I’m not looking for a perfect historical simulation - I’m looking for a fun grand strategy game. Abstracting supply makes more sense to me.

I will say that the micro wasn’t so bad last night, with supply. But does seem super pointless. Build 2 -4 supply caravans and attach them to your army and you basically do not even worry about attrition. Seems overpowered if I’m honest