Imperator: Rome

I wonder if the order the games were made should not have been different.

First Ck3 should be finished and all or most resources should be devoted to Imperator Rome. IIRC Imperator had a dev team about 1/5 the size of CK3
I wonder if the order the games were made should not have been different.

First Ck3 should be finished and all or most resources should be devoted to Imperator Rome. IIRC Imperator had a dev team about 1/5 the size of CK3
Imperator was very much Johan's passion project and not PDX's priority, which was clearly focused on the more established and lucrative IP that is CK.
So I forgot this weeks and last weeks dev diaries. Last Week's dev diary was on more UI improvements. While this week's dev diary was on military revamps, specifically talking about Levies. Thoughts?
Today's dev diary is out about Legions, aka permeant / standing armies. Thoughts?


Seriously, this update looks more and more impressive as time goes on.
I'm having a lot of fun with it since the update. So far I've done a couple of games as Bactria, a few abortive games as Rome, and lately a game as Maurya and a game as Epirus. The latter was really fun, but Pyrrhos always is since he starts off in such a weak position but has such big opportunities for growth if you play him right. I followed a strategy suggested on Reddit of fabricating claims on southern Italy and invading them immediately, before the mission tree nudges you to do so. I was able to secure most of Magna Graecia south of the Samnites before Rome got its boots on, so to speak, even being assisted by some of the Roman stacks in doing so, then integrated the two largest cultures in the region (each of which was about as big as Epirote culture) so that I could get a reasonably sized set of levies (along with changing my levies law to the one that maximizes your levy rather than the one that allows you a Royal Guard).

Afterwards, I backstabbed Macedon to take the southern parts of Epirus and Aetolia, then turned around and finally got to invading Rome itself rather than finishing up the Consolidation mission you have at the start of the game. That was definitely dicy--Rome had more men than I did, but I had a better navy and was able to besiege and sack the cities of Latium, hire a mercenary band, and defeat them in detail using Pyrrhos' skills and the high discipline of my forces (I had used all of the starting innovations to buy boosts to my levies and discipline) to my advantage. Even so, after I had captured all of Roman Magna Graecia and Latium and sieged down one of their feudatories they still managed to pull an 18k stack out of their butt and engage Pyrrhos' 8-9k...fortunately, I had enough warscore that I was able to just pull out of the war with Magna Graecia and Latium right then :) Since then Rome has been a bit of a butt monkey, but Etruria has really taken off and eaten a quarter of Gaul. I guess "Gallias Italiam fato consumet" (for some undoubtedly atrocious machine-translated Latin), or rather the equivalent in Etruscan.

With all of that behind me, I was able to pretty decisively defeat Carthage, although they had a weird thing where I kept "winning" my naval battles with them even though I took heavier losses which were mostly captured by them...well, whatever, it allowed me to siege and capture Carthage itself, in addition to annexing all of Sicily (Syracuse had taken over the entire eastern half, then lost to Carthage...I ate up their remnants after having been allied to them, then attacked Carthage), nicely finishing up that mission tree. The weird thing was that it bugged out the first time and got stuck on me doing diplomatic things instead of allowing me to move on, so I had to abort it and restart it to allow me to finish. Kind of annoying...

So, western hegemony achieved, I finally turned back to Greece...the weird thing about the situation there was that Macedon, the Antigonids, and Thrace all existed and posed issues, along with Egypt. The Peloponnesian peninsula had largely consolidated into a "pan-Hellenic league" under Thrace (the big winner of the Diadochi in the west) controlling the old Spartan lands, an Argolis federation controlling, well, the Argolis and allied with Egypt, and Himera controlling the remainder of the peninsula. The Antigonids controlled the Corinthian isthmus, the eastern half of Euboea, and parts of Macedonia, Macedon controlled northern Boeotia and southern Thessaly, and Thrace had most of the rest of Macedonia, and had puppeted Macedon. Fortunately, I was able to some dexterity to evade the various alliances and slowly absorb the whole of Greece and (southern) Macedonia, along with southern Thrace, so that I was able to reform Macedon and relocate to Pella as my new capital. Just in time, too, because Pyrrhos recently started developing symptoms of dementia and isn't long for this world. I also have everything set up to pinball from Greek to Levantine to Punic to Italic traditions, so I should be dabbing on everyone in a few decades with my space marine Epirotes and Macedonians.

Unfortunately, the succession looks...bad. Pyrrhos had astoundingly bad luck in spouses in this game, and while he had two sons by one of the starting ladies with the Blood of the Argeads trait (very good!), one of them died prematurely and the other is in his forties, in very poor health (albeit not sick now), and only has a single two-year-old daughter. He and his wife really need to get on having some more kids, especially sons! I didn't do all of this for Pyrrhos' bloodline to die out less than a century into the game!

Aside from that, there's two main things I regret about what I've done so far in the game. First, I finished the Molossian Consolidation mission a bit earlier than I probably should have, and so didn't unlock Dione and possibly Apollo Akitakos :( Unfortunately, there's no way to go back and fix that. Second, I deified Pyrrhos as Herakles pretty early on, instead of waiting to unlock Achilles and deifying him as, well, the latter-day incarnation of the latter. Considering everything he's achieved and the position of Achilles in Epirote culture, it would be more fitting. This seems more fixable, though, by switching him out, waiting twenty years (he'll definitely be dead by then) and re-deifying him after his old cult is forgotten.

If I was to do this again I would probably follow basically the same strategy but put off finishing the Molossian Consolidation mission a bit so that I could actually finish it. Rome wasn't in a huge hurry to attack me, after all, and it might have been an easier fight if I had waited for them to get in a tussle with Etruria before making my move. I would also obviously have delayed deifying Pyrrhos until Achilles was unlocked. But otherwise I think I did about as well as you could reasonably expect given the situation I was in.
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The good reviews for the new update are making me want to give the game a try.

What do you think would be a good country to start with? Ideally, some kind of Crusader Kings Ireland analogue where you're small, your enemies are the same size and/or smaller, and you're far enough away from any great power.
Crete (anyone kn the island really but Knossos is traditional) and the Bospohoran Kingdom are excellent tutorial starts, being relatively isolated Greek states with an easy path for uniting their region then going tall. Armenia is another good start though they neighbor thr diadochi. And of course Rome, whom you have to really struggle to lose with.
The good reviews for the new update are making me want to give the game a try.

What do you think would be a good country to start with? Ideally, some kind of Crusader Kings Ireland analogue where you're small, your enemies are the same size and/or smaller, and you're far enough away from any great power.
As The Undead Martyr said, one of the Cretan states or the Bosporan Kingdom are the go-tos for "small isolated state that doesn't have to worry about the Great Powers". I'd also nominate Bactria or Anuradhapura (in northern Sri Lanka) as fairly easy starts. In the former case you you start off as a satrapy of the Seleukids, which are actually much weaker than they seem on paper and can be easily backstabbed during the Fourth Diadochi War or the Dahae invasion a few decades later (or a Mauryan invasion, because they're historically stable and have a much easier time getting into Persia than seems realistic) to win your independence. After that, the Seleukids and Maurya will usually leave you alone unless you invade them, so your main enemies are weak neighboring tribal states who you can easily overrun (of course, the rewards for doing so are limited except in the case of the Himalayan states to the east, who have a bunch of high-value trade goods in their provinces). Bactria itself has a ton of valuable trade goods and can easily make large amounts of money from commerce, and moreover starts off as a Hellenic Macedonian state ruling over a bunch of Bactrian and Sogdian Zoroastrian pops, so it's a great place to learn how the assimilation/integration and conversion mechanics work.

Anuradhapura is a pretty small, weak state, but it only needs to fight one or two quick, easy wars to unite Sri Lanka and can then sit there and focus on internal matters for the rest of the game (tip: bribe whoever controls Koti, the city connected to Sri Lanka by Adam's Bridge/Rama Setu ,constantly so that you have good relations, and they'll leave you alone. I've never seen AI Maurya come that far south, so you shouldn't have to worry about them). Sri Lanka has extremely valuable trade goods, so in theory they should be a great state to play tall, pack full of slaves, and make tons of money with, but unfortunately diplomatic range (which controls who you can trade with) is unreasonably short, so that doesn't work as well as it should (basically, you can't actually trade with anyone except neighboring powers--no Roman-Indian trade for you!). Still, it's definitely a good place to learn the ins and outs of dealing with characters and developing your territories, since you don't have a whole lot else to do and so you're a lot less likely to get distracted fighting wars and conquering.

Rome, as The Undead Martyr said, is also worth considering. You actually start off pretty small, and while normally you quickly (within 10-20 years) become a major power you still don't have extremely complex internal politics to deal with and are far enough away from the diadochi that they usually leave you alone until you start bugging them. The same is true of Carthage, which tends not to fight Rome until Rome fights it. In a lot of ways, you control the pace of the game as Rome and usually don't need to worry about fighting anyone else or doing anything until and unless you feel up to it.
I have some screenshots to share! Today I'm going to be sharing a couple from a game I recently finished (= reached the end date) as the Maurya. Now, the Maurya are a dead-easy faction, and I was mostly playing them to get the Ashoka's Pillars achievement (conquer India and convert it to Buddhism), so basically what I did was conquer India in the lifetimes of Chandragupta and Bindasura, then convert during the reign of Ashoka (very appropriately). Converting makes little sense if you're not going for the achievement, since it creates a long period of destabilization for little gain, but I ended up being very successful in spreading Buddhism; by the time Ashoka died around 530 AUC, I had raised the proportion of Buddhists in India from something like 7.5% previously to about 30% or maybe a bit better, and went on to finish the achievement sometime later in the 500s.

After that I worked on completely converting the country in both culture and religion (I had essentially homogenized India into being 99.9+% Buddhist and Magdhai by 727), building up my cities (I had well over a dozen metropolises by the end of the game, more than any other country--though the highest density was undoubtedly in Mesopotamia), and building a massive road network (clearly people are going to be talking about "Mauryan roads" ITTL, not Roman ones...). I actually managed to run out of things to build in the 690s or 720s and immediately my treasury exploded, eventually capping out at the maximum amount you can possibly save up in game. Overall, it was a pretty fun "civilization builder" experience, as they like to talk about it now, and it was fun to imagine the Maurya being talked about in the same breath as the Han Dynasty and as laying the foundation for a modern unified India.

The worst thing that happened was that the Persian Empire (ex-Seleucids, as you can see from the map color) stole a territory from me in the late game...somehow, given that I hadn't fought a war in hundreds of years. The weird thing is that this happened after 2.0.2, which was supposed to get rid of that kind of thing. Anyway,


Question: what sort of things would want to see in a Bactrian or Mauryan Mission Tree? Those are the two nations I am wanting to get missions the most 😀
So for me here is a basic idea of Bactrian Mission trees

The Furthest Satrap
This is the starting mission tree, about you being a satrap and preparing for your independence war against the Seleukids.
The New Kingdom
This would be about representing the conquests that they engaged in, giving missions to expand against the Parthians and seleukids.
Beyond the Indus
This mission tree would be focused on the conquests into India, can one replace the Mauryan or Shunga Empires as a new Indian empire.
The Riches of India
This would be a trade focused mission tree. Working to help buildup the famous silk road. This would also likely correspond with trade stuff in an upcoming trade rework.
An Indo-Greek Kingdom
This would be a domestic mission tree focused around syncretizing Greek and Indian culture together. There would be new deities, such as Herakles the defender of the Buddha. The end result would be a new culture coming about to reflect this cultural mixing.

thoughts on this rough outline of an idea for a bactrian mission tree? Also what sort of things should a Mauryan Mission tree do?