Imperator: Rome

According to the announcement on the Paradox forums, it contains the following:

The Punic Wars content pack includes:

  • Roman Mission Pack: Ten unique mission trees for the star of Imperator: Rome to guide your conquest of Italy and neighboring regions.
  • Carthaginian Mission Pack: Ten unique mission trees for the children of Tyre to help you plan your mercantile and military dominance of Africa, Spain and the rest of the west.
  • Numidian Unit Model: New army model for the Numidians, North Africans often hired as mercenaries by larger powers.
  • Carthaginian Ship Model: A unique ship design for Carthaginian navies.
  • New Music: Three additional music tracks to soothe your conquering soul.

Green Man Gaming has Imperator for 41% off this weekend, so I bought it.

Installing now , then dinner plans. So what’s a good country to start off playing?. I’m likely to have had a few classes of wine…

I can’t tell you yet, but, from the wiki,

Macedon or Carthage are probably the best places to start, rather than Rome. Rome’s Republic brings with it more mechanics that might be better suited for a second game. As Macedon you should get some interesting events with the succession war stuff, and there are clear early-game and mid-game targets to go after.


Man the tutorial needs some work. There is a lot it doesn’t tell you like for instance. It tells you to build 8 training camps, but it doesn’t tell you that you can’t build training camps in settlement only cities, and you only have 7 cities so you have to build or conquer another one. Doesn’t tell you how to build a city and the tool tips don’t tell you what the downsides are for having cities vs settlements.

It tells you go conquer somebody but no directions on what that means. I had to restart the tutorial because I went broke. It sounds like I need to curl with the Wikipedia. I’ll tell you if this was my 1st or 2nd Paradox game instead of my probably 10th I’d have raged quit.

Oh man, I didn’t even think of the tutorial. So much changed in 1.2 including the entire building system. I’m assuming the tutorial was updated for 1.2, but you never know. In any case, it worked fine but wasn’t very useful in 1.0 beyond introducing the UI.

Interesting comments from Johan regarding Imperator development. Speaking of the future of the game, he says that he does not like expansions and instead wants to focus on content packs. He says the reason for this is he wants to avoid the situation they ran into with EU4. If mechanics are tied to expansions, it makes it very difficult to keep expanding and iterating on those mechanics when that is the case. The EU4 team has realized this as well, which is why things like Development and Estates are now base game features. It sounds like what he would like to do is to keep all the new mechanics in the free updates while supporting the game with Content Packs, which would likely be events, regional flavor, things like that.

This is the interview. It was around the 13:00 mark or so.

What’s the best introduction to basic concepts of this game as of 1.2, for someone who is familiar with most of the other Paradox GS games, apart from CK2?

I got the game last night, but the hour I had to play around with it was consumed just poking around screens and trying to get a grip on things. The part I find hard is knowing what’s important, and the big-picture of how the variables fit together. I guess I could go through all the DD’s, but I’m hoping for something a bit shorter and focusing on the state as of the new patch.

Some basic concepts you can carry forward from EU4. Stability, war exhaustion, manpower, attrition, claims on foreign territory to declare war, etc. For the new features and changes in 1.2, here’s an 8-minute video:

There are three main categories of government: Tribe, Monarchy, and Republic. They each play pretty differently and they have variations within those categories.

I started out playing Tribes and they’re still my favorite, I can give a very high level overview from a Settled Tribe (as opposed to Migratory, which have other mechanics a well) perspective.

Tribes have Clan Chiefs with their own retinues that they pay for directly (free troops!). They also have a Centralization stat that indicates how settled the are. The more centralized they are the weaker the clan chiefs and their retinues are.

I like Tribes because the game plays in distinct stages. The early game is about getting more centralized which is mostly accomplished by passing the appropriate laws (done so via the Government | Laws screen). You also want to found your first city as that’s where you’ll accumulate Citizens which provide all your research, you really won’t be teching up at all until later.

To reform out of a Tribe, you’ll need to get your Centralization up and various laws passed. You’ll also need a city when 50 Civilization rating, which can be boosted by doing the urban planning action. Once you have it, you can then reform into a monarchy or a republic based on which laws you have selected.

The next stage is modernizing your nation. You want to start centralizing population into your city or cities and have your Tribesmen pops promote into more useful pop types. There’s various buildings and governor policies that can affect this. As the number of Citizens increases, your tech will finally start moving and you’ll get to see how that system works.

At that point you reform your government and you’re at the stage where more civilized nations start out at and you’re ready for more ambitious goals of regional conquest . You can conquer all you want as a tribe and I do so, but you’ll be absorbing more uncivilized peoples and lands which can slow down your goals of modernizing. At this point you’ll also be dealing with the issues of whichever form of government you went with. Republics have to deal with the Senate and political parties, monarchies have to deal with pretenders, succession crises, etc.

In any case, a tribe game starts out slow and if you play one you’ll likely be playing at speed 5 for stretches. What I liked about it was mechanics were kind of introduced over time, which gave me time to absorb how they worked while I fiddled with the various buttons and dials to see what does what.

I typed this out on my phone, apologies for any egregious typos or autocorrect shenanigans.

Thanks very much KevinC! That’s very helpful, and I was indeed looking at playing a tribe as a starting point (mostly due to your earlier posts in this thread).

Some random thoughts, in no particular order:

For the economy, pops are everything. Slaves are for taxes and producing trade goods. Freemen provide the manpower. Citizens provide research and some commerce income. Tribesmen give a little bit of tax and manpower but are undesirable to any civilized nation, you’ll want them to promote to something more useful or demote to slaves.

What would be a “province” in EU4 (i.e. a unit of territory a unit can walk into) is called a territory here, and a group of territories make up a Province. Territories can be either Settlements which have low population capacity and can only have one building or Cities that can have multiple buildings. Settlements have their own unique building types and they’re pretty powerful.

Warfare can be lucrative even when not taking over territory. Don’t be afraid to help out some allies in their war, as your armies can sack territories and raid their pops. These pops get sent back to your cities as slaves where they can be put to work for money and eventually promote into Freemen/Citizens.

Aggressive expansion works a little differently in this game. AE hits your non-primary culture pops with significant happiness penalties. If you keep racking up AE and have a lot of pops not of your primary culture, expect revolts!

Army composition is something you’ll likely have to get a feel for as it can be quite situational. The general idea is anyone can build light infantry and archers. Other cohort types tend to be more effective but with resource requirements and a cost in gold and attrition, making them ill-suited for campaigns deep into Gaul or Germania. Archers deal a lot better damage than light infantry but they have abysmal morale and cannot hold. Use light infantry instead if you want to win battles, just understand that they’ll take heavy casualties. But if you have a stack of heavy infantry, archers to get of a few volleys before breaking and running away isn’t necessarily a bad thing…

When marching into enemy territory, focus on taking the Province capitals (marked with a little marble column looking thing). Taking the provincial capitals means gaining access to their food stores, which can help alleviate attrition while you pillage the countryside.

Some very general info on the different culture’s military traditions (I have a simple spreadsheet I made somewhere if you want to see the actual numbers):

  • Italians have superb heavy and light infantry. They have solid light cavalry, but everything else pretty much sucks.
  • Greeks have good infantry as well along with elite heavy cav. Their heavy cav are unmatched. They get both Phalanx and Cavalry Skirmish tactics which are great for infantry and cavalry forces, respectively.
  • Barbarians have huge bonuses to light infantry and archers, especially when fighting in Forests (with a specific tradition). They can also build chariots which are decent and don’t require resources to build.
  • Persians are all about the horse archers. They’re the only region with access to the Steppe Horses necessary to build them and they have insane bonuses to them. The bonuses for other cohorts are fairly anemic, but horse archers are terrifying.
  • Levantine: Superb light infantry, good heavy infantry, and CAMELS! Lots of bonuses to camels. Camels were super OP at one point but I think they’ve been balanced out a bit now.
  • North African: I’m not too familiar with them, but off the top of my head I seem to remember them having very strong Elephants, great light cavalry, and a lot of naval stuff.
  • India: Haven’t played out there, or against them.

Political Influence is your “mana” is gained by having a loyal Court. You need it for a lot of things, but you tend to burn through it more when you’re going wide. When you’re going Tall you may have a surplus. I like to invest these into Province improvements, specifically the capital province. Urban planning in your capital city is one thing you should be hitting every chance you get as a Tribe. You can also spend it on province-wide improvements like increasing the number of trade routes or building slots. The latter can be pretty great if you found more than one city within a province, as BOTH cities get the extra building slots.

Population growth benefits greatly from food surplus. This is measured in how many months of food storage you have, based on the rate your population is eating food. Having a ton of food coming in isn’t enough to boost pop growth significantly, you need Granaries to store more food. I don’t tend to build them in my provincial capitals because the slots are precious, but sometimes when playing tall I’ve built a second city in my capital province. This one I stack with granaries and it provides a pretty solid boost to the entire province’s population growth.

Thanks for all these pointers!

I wouldn’t even have thought of multiple cities.

Is having your capital right on the edge of your territory a significant liability?

Thanks KevinC

I bailed on the tutorial and I’m having fun as the Macedonians.
A few questions.
Money. The Macedon’s start with a big navy and after a few wars I’ve captured even more. The only way I could find to make money is put the fleet and fortress on low maintenance when not at war. Any reason not to do the same with the army. Basically, if I get sneak attacked will my army have enough time for the morale to go back up before the enemy troops arrive
I started building tax offices, but then I looked at the number in the provincial capitals and the payback periods are awful. A monthly boost of $.05/month for something that cost 35 or 40.
So I’ve been using the Omen that boost tax rates, is there better ways of making money?

On Buildings. I’ve held off building granaries but now I see I should start building a few. Is there a way of boosting the capacity of granaries? What buildings do you recommend? Are you better of specializing cities, put all the tax office in one place, temples in another, and Academies in a 3rd or spreading things out.?
I’m particularly interested in settlements. I figure if a territory has grain or fish, you build a farm, but what about things like Barracks and Mines are they worth building?

Right now I have a lot more population capacity than POPs, I also have number of slots available is there any particular reason to build a new city. Or should I wait until I’m running of building slots and/or population capacity?

On Expansion. I’ve seen warnings about not over expanding. As long as keep by Overexpansion penalty in the single digits is it really something I need to worry about?


I wouldn’t say significant, no. With cities having multiple building slots you can build additional fort levels if it’s on a dangerous border, making it a tough nut to crack.

Putting your army on low maintenance is a great way of saving money during peacetime. Be aware of two things, though: 1) morale takes longer to come back in Imperator than it does in EU4 and 2) you can’t drill your troops while in low maintenance mode. Keeping up cohort EXP is important to earning military experience which you use to unlock traditions. Having your troops not drilling will cut your military EXP gain in half, roughly.

I think tax offices are the worst building. I find in my cities I want as many citizens and freemen as possible and neither produce tax. You could probably make a slave-focused city by building a bunch of Mills and then some tax offices, but I think it’s better to build slave estates in your Settlements because it gives a pretty significant boost. I think it’s something like +40% slave output.

Keep in mind that this is coming from a Tribe perspective where I’m trying to eek out every single citizen I can, but in general I want as many Citizens as I can in my cities, since there’s really not a way to have many of them in Settlements. In my cities I tend to prioritize Academies and Libraries (one makes a larger percentage of your city population into Ciizens, the other boosts research output and increases the speed of which pops promote). I’m usually going Tall as I don’t want to annex a bunch of uncivilized land so that’s why I will build a second city in my capital province because population growth is important to me. As Macedon it might be less so, as you have the capability of fighting a lot of wars and hence getting a bunch of slaves. Did you know you can also use your ships to raid unprotected coasts for slaves? It costs you some aggressive expansion but you can steal a lot of Pops and grow your population in that way.

Also, if you are getting a lot of slaves via war or raiding, they might be the wrong culture and religion. This can especially become a problem if you have high Aggressive Expansion, as your non-culture pops will want to revolt. Temples help with religious conversion and Theaters will help assimilate them into your culture. Don’t ignore those buildings if you find your city has a growing population of wrong culture/religion pops. Even if they start as slaves, they will promote into very angry citizens and freemen at some point.

Since my cities are so focused on Citizens, I often build some Barracks in settlements. You can get quite a few freemen and manpower that way. Mines are a tradeoff between getting more trade goods (useful for building capital/province surplus bonuses or exporting for gold) vs a significant tax boost from the slave estate. For my food provinces, I’m usually building the farm/food producing building.

The provincial capitals should all be cities at least. If you have a lot of room left over in a city within a province there’s probably not a big need to build another, aside from a grain silo like I described in my earlier post. That seems like it might be more useful when going tall like I do to start but it might work well for Macedon as well.

Regarding expansion, your AE is going to be scary with your non-Greek pops. It probably won’t hit you hard if you’re stomping around Greece but if you are acquiring vast swaths of Persian or Barbarian pops and lands things will get dicey!

Lots of good advice. As far as conquering non-Greek territories as Macedon, I suggest building a city in a conquered province right away(assuming it doesn’t already have one) and load it up with temples/theaters until the pops are mostly converted. A country your size should be able to afford force moving a bunch of the slaves from the countryside into the city to get them converted as time goes on.

Just an extra note, I think Imperator is unique in pdox games in that AE declines faster the higher it is (due to the decay formula). So if you’re trying to play at max efficiency you would want AE to be as close to 50 as possible without causing big problems elsewhere (like revolts or big reductions in revenue due to slave unhappiness). As Kevin said it will depend on the cultural demographics of your kingdom. It’s also a reason why cultural assimilation is the most powerful governor policy to use (much more than say religious conversion).

In my games I don’t have much problem hovering around the 30s at all times.

Regarding money, I think the harsh taxation setting is almost always worthwhile. I would try to avoid low army maintenance unless you’re quite sure that you’ll be at peace for quite awhile (or you have great forts at choke points) , as it takes forever to restore morale.

Thanks guys.

A couple of more questions. I know you get some kind of bonus if you embrace national ideas that fit with your government. For Macedon it is two oratory and 1 military, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what the bonus is. The oratory bonus kinda of suck compared to 15% lower building cost, and increasing civilization.

I was hesitant to use harsh tax since it hurts research, but I may give it a shot

The bonus you get depends on your government type. On the screen where it shows you what ideas you have selected, the bonus will be shown just to the right of that. It’ll have a big green check if you’re getting a bonus or a red X if you put on mismatching idea types.

If you have one Military and two Oratory, it sounds like you’re an Aristocratic Monarchy. Your bonus would be +10% Citizen happiness, -0.01 monthly Tyranny reduction, and +10% freeman ratio (which would mean a larger manpower pool).

A full listing of the government types and their associated bonuses can be found here.

For myself, I’m not concerned with running mismatching Ideas if they’re what I really need. The bonus is nice, but it’s a bonus. If I’m desperate for gold that +20% Slave Output in the Civic ideas is impossible for me to pass up.

As a tribe it is a no-brainer until you manage to modernise your land and have alot of citizens to do research.

As Macedon I would only recommend it for the very early game until you’ve managed to conquer more lands, get some slaves, and can run a surplus without the help of harsh taxation.

I’m trying a tribe now. Money is even a bigger problem with them, but I guess that’s part of the challenge.

I think my biggest issue with the game is there is such a mismatch in time between a game that uses a day as single tick, and has research times for the tribes that are over 200 years. I understand the 4 citizen in my country are probably the only ones who can read or write…

But overall I like the game, although there plenty of work to get the balance right. I burned through my entire manpower in one war and war exhaustion didn’t even go over 1…