Greetings! Today I will be talking about the changes made to the true successors to the ancient Roman empire in the medieval world, the Byzantine Empire. In Roar of Conquest, the Byzantines do not have the easiest campaign start; a shadow of its former self, with much of their territory in rebel hands, and surrounded by hostile factions, the Byzantine campaign presents an interesting challenge. Unfortunately, they are one those factions that when controlled by the AI have what I call, "You-are-going-to-die"-itis; the AI simply cannot handle being surrounded and attacked by multiple enemies on multiple fronts, especially when its neighbors are all strong kingdoms. In addition, the AI does not have the diplomatic skill to get on the better side of at least some of its neighbors. However, if you play as a neighboring faction to the Byzantines, say the Hungarians or the Turks, and leave them alone for a while, they can grow into a powerful and dangerous enemy. It's not the roster that hinders the Byzantines; it's the AI. As the player, the Byzantines offer an interesting campaign to test your skill on. As such, I have no plans to change their campaign start, as I believe that would take away from the challenge for the player in the campaign. Even when controlled by the AI, if they have enough space to establish themselves in the early campaign, the Byzantines can last for a while on their own without player intervention. For the record, my changes help both you and the AI survive in the early campaign, as you will soon see. Enough of the small talk; onto glory!
The Byzantine Empire
1) Akontistai have an improved melee attack, now 2 up from 1.
2) Skoutatoi now take only 2 turns to recruit. This changes helps both you and the AI to get these professional soldiers out on the campaign map faster and in greater quantity, a great boon especially in the early campaign.
3) Mourtatoi are no longer restricted by area of recruitment, or AOE; any castle you can build the appropriate Archery building will now recruit them anywhere on the map. This changes gives the Byzantines access to a strong archer unit, no matter where they expand.
4) Ippotoxotai have better defense, with a total of 11 up from 8.
5) Spathatoi now take only 2 turns to recruit. Like the Skoutatoi, this change helps the Byzantines get more of their professional troops out faster.
6) Scholarii now only take 4 turns to recruit instead of 7. While still a rare unit, this change makes it easier to get them out on the campaign map.
7) Alammanoi now have a greater recruitment pool from the Hetairiae Recruitment Administration building in castles, now 2 up from 1. This change makes these fantastic heavy infantry just that bit more common in Byzantine armies.
8) Siphonatores now only take 1 turn to recruit. While still a rare unit, this change makes it easier to get them out on the campaign map.
9) Varrangoi have improved melee attack, now 11 up from 10. More importantly, they are far more available; you can recruit them starting from the City Hall in Large Cities instead of Mayor's Palace's in Huge Cities. Upgrading to the Mayor's Palace simply increases their recruitment pool up to 2 from 1. Watch the enemies of the Byzantines weep when these men take to the field!
10) Spatharioi tou Vasileos have better melee attack, now 9 up from 8. More importantly, they now field a full-size battalion (now 120 men up from 60 on ultra unit size). In addition, they now only take 2 turns to recruit. With these changes, they are now a truly elite unit and one you will want to field as much as possible; note, however, that it is still a rare unit.
11) Menaulatoi have better melee stats, with 5 attack up from 3 and 4 charge up from 3. They also have better defense, with a total of 16 up from 9. These changes make them a truly dangerous pike unit. But the biggest change is in their availability. They are now available after the Half Plate event, (approx. 1310) instead of the Portable Clock Event, (1510). This change helps the Byzantines fight against their neighbors better in the later campaign instead of the super-late campaign.
12) The final major change to the Byzantines is one that affects one specific building of theirs, rather than one of their units directly. The Byzantines have a faction-unique building called the Imperial Barracks, which is the building required to recruit the Spatharioi tou Vasileos, the Siphonatores, and the Scholarii. Before, the Imperial Barracks could only be built in the city of Constantinople, making all these units exceptionally rare. Now, the Imperial Barracks can built in any Huge City the Byzantines own. While this change still makes these units rare, they are no longer restricted to only Constantinople. Also, the recruitment pool for all these units is now 2 instead of 1, making these units more common once you have built the required building.
So there you have it, the changes for the Byzantine Empire in Roar of Conquest! With these changes, the Byzantines can now field their professional units with greater frequency, meaning if they survive the early campaign, they can field some very strong armies. If you like what you hear and would like to try out Roar of Conquest for yourself, the mod can be found here: Moddb.com