Retaliation Path of Rome is a very complex game, with several unique features
About 100 different missions, with either single or multiple objectives, like:
- reach a population target (a minimum number of patricians and/or plebs)
- reach a target happyness
- earn a certain amount of money
- complete the mission in a given time
- win a certain number of battles
5 difficulty levels, from very easy to very hard: with different world resources, starting money, initial reputation...
Every mission is created parametrically to offer an ever changing challenge, each time a mission is re-played.
The player has the possibility to build more than 50 structures to complete the missions. Some example structures:
- Slaves' quarters
- Plebs' houses
- Patrician villas
- Wheat field
- Olive grove
- Fishing house
- Dirt road
- Paved street
- Archers' barracks
- Ballistaari' barracks
- Equites' barracks
- Legionary barracks
- Velites' barracks
- Defence tower
- Signaling tower
- Watch tower
- Wooden wall
- Wooden gate
Each structure needs specific resources in order to be built.
And of course each structure has different function and features, and some structures have to be properly positioned in order to yield the desired result: for wine production it is necessary to create both vineyard (to get the grapes) and a winemaker (to get the wine).
When new structures get built, these can differ in desirability. Usually this depends on what is present (or built) around them. For example a patrician villa has higher desirability (and hence higher market value) if nearby there are gardens, fountains, other villas, theatres.. It instead loses value if nearby there are stables, farms, wheat fields... Residents will at first go to dwell or work in the structures with higher desirability, avoiding those of little value.
For production structures, for example a wheat field, the value depends on the amount of the produced resource is available in the nearby city and in the global market. If the market needs grains, the value of the field will rise. Conversely, the field would become less desirable and its value decrease.
The city management part of the game depends chiefly on money, people's satisfaction and resources available.
Dealing with these three amounts, the player needs to complete the missions.
Careful and efficient exploitation of the resources allows to save money and gain with the trade. A wheat field created in a fertile area will yield much more and hence cover its operation costs and bring profit.
It is best to plan the city growth in order to efficiently exploit the resources and reduce the expenses. It is important that cities be self-sufficient: for example a global event like a drought could push prices of imported goods to very high levels.
To be happy, people needs to have their basic needs satisfied: food, dwelling, work, water, protection from enemies.
Increasing the people's life conditions will also generate new needs. In particular the patricians will start to require luxury goods (good wine, gold, silk, refined pottery, statues...).
Entertainment is another fundamental need: populous cities will require stadiums and arenas (and famous people competing inside those structures..)
When happyness is low, the city structures become less productive and hence less profitable.
All structures need a certain amount of workers or worktime, even for the simple upkeep/maintenance.
PATRICIANS / PLEBS / SLAVES
Patricians are the wealthiest citizens, they have expensive needs and cannot accept to see their needs not satisfied. Their weight over city happyness is very relevant.Plebs are mostly involved in crafts and trade. They are fundamental for the management of the city but they don't have much political weight.
Plebs are mostly involved in crafts and trade. They are fundamental for the management of the city but they don't have much political weight.
Their class gives the major turnout in tax income.
Slaves are the major work force. Satisfying their primary needs (food, lodging, water) is important as they deal with the production and resource gathering of the city. Correct management of the slaves is fundamental to make the city desirable to the other classes.
These are the resources that can be traded, produced or transformed.
To evolve the city it is mandatory to correctly manage the trade of all goods: selling the city production to obtain the resources needed for the evolution and improvement of the city.
Prices of resources are managed at two distinct levels: local and global.
Locally: they depend on the city demand and the amount of that type of good that has been bought or sold (selling a lot of wheat will make its price decrease).
Globally: the entire nation's demand is evaluated and several other factors also influence the price (e.g. events like plagues, droughts, wars..). For example the global price of wheat could be much higher than the local one because of scarcity due to droughts in several areas of the nation.
So if there is a global crisis, even if your city sells a lot of wheat, its price could still be increasing instead of decreasing. But when the trend changes (for example the drought ends) its price could suddenly crash.
To simplify the game and avoid micromanagement, it is possible to automate trade setting some "limit orders".
E.g. "buy if there is less than .. %"
The automatic system won't consider the price, but the quantity set as requirement.
In Path of Rome it is possible to buy or sell the structures (with the exclusion of those like walls, streets, barracks) according to its market value.
Once the building of a structure is complete, the player has the possibility of selling it, to the value defined by its desirability and the kind of resources it produces.
Selling a structure gives an immediate income, but could be disadvantageous in the long term:
- no money will be collected for rent of properties or sale of production
- resources produced by sold structures will not be managed by the player
- and hence those resources won't be available to build other structures
Nevertheless a good sale would still benefit because of immediate cash flow...
Retaliation Path of Rome is a hybrid RTS/TBS, a combination which makes the game very tactical. You'll need to plan how to move the troops, how to arrange them and expecially what kind of army units to train. Different movement ability (velites, with barely no armour, are much faster than full armoured princeps) and different attack types and attack speeds make unit types (and how you'll use them in battle) very different.
Each battle is managed by a parametric AI system with almost endless combinations and possible states and developments.
COHORTS AI vs SINGLES AI
Control AI will be managing separately groups and single soldiers.
Each group is treated as a single autonomous entity and orders given to the group will take priority over orders and states of the single soldiers. Nevertheless if the group disbands, its officer dies or the army general dies, then single soldiers will not be bound by group cohesion and will follow a behaviour dictated by their last orders, mediated by their own particular demeanor, state and parameters (called " stats").
Each soldier has more than 20 "stats", parameters defining the single unit, similarly to many RPGs (like strength, intelligence, agility, accuracy, movement speed, orientation ability, luck, tactical acumen, battle experience... ).
Every cohort will include units with very different characteristics, which will affect their performance on the battlefield.
For example: a very strong archer will shoot very fast and very far, possibly inflicting more damage when hitting... but the same archer could have a very bad aim and rarely hit the intended target.
- Legionary (heavy infantry)
- Velities (light infantry)
- Ballistarii (siege and field artillery operators)
- Sagittarii (archers)
- Equites (cavalry)
Another very cool feature is shown in the following preview video. The time between issuing a command to your units and seeing it acted on the field is proportional to the distance of the units from the general. Soldiers close to the commanding officer will react more promptly to the new orders being issued. This is not only more realistic, but it also makes for more interesting gameplay, asking the players to think more carefully before issuing new orders, as they need to account for the lag in their execution... and to avoid confusing their troops with too many changes.
This new development video showcases another tactical feature, just implemented, that you can use to your advantage. It's a setting that modifies the...