Hello there Celeste players! We are back with another Roman reveal blog.
As we develop the Romans, each week we will be revealing the Romans to you building by building, unit by unit, and technology by technology. We are not just showing you what the Romans will be, but showing you how we are building them, who is building them, and also why we are building them the way that we are.
This week, we are finally beginning to reveal our Roman Cavalry, starting oddly enough with the Gallic Horseman. We will also return to our Capital City and reveal the three Roman Residences.
Gallic Horseman With Epic Armor and Epic Spear equipped.
Cavalry is strange topic in Roman military history. The Romans had one of the best ground games in world history, but this was almost totally the result of its disciplined and fierce infantry.
Though in the early years of the Roman Republic, wealthy soldiers comprised a strong cavalry regimen, as Rome's power grew, they placed more and more emphasis on their Legions. The best warriors didn’t want to be on horseback. They sought glory on the front lines. The conventional wisdom was that the Romans put so much emphasis on its infantry that Roman cavalry grew inferior and played a more supporting role to the Legionaries and Centurions.
For centuries, Rome was a land-based city-state that marched its way to victory, mostly around Italy against other, less organized infantry. It was not until they confronted the dominant Carthaginian Empire in the Punic Wars that the Romans faced well trained cavalry (as well as specialized ranged units and world class navies). And they quickly learned how outmatched they were.
In earlier blogs we’ve discussed the impact on the Romans of the eye-opening domination of the Carthaginian ranged units and navies. But Rome suffered other catastrophic losses due to its weak cavalry, which was easily routed by the more experienced and specialized horsemen that Carthage hired from around the Mediterranean, notably light Numidian cavalry (from present day Algeria and Tunisia in Northern Africa) and heavy mounted Gallic Horseman (from present day France, Belgium, Switzerland, and thereabouts).
Here you can see the Gallic Horseman next to the other Horsemen in Age of Empires Online (without any gear except Epic Spears equipped):
After suffering embarrassing defeats, the Romans kept reassessing and regrouping. They were resilient. And during the Punic Wars, the Romans repeatedly confronted the reality that their inferior cavalry was no match for Carthage's mercenaries. So the Romans matched Carthage’s Gallic and Numidian Horsemen with their own Gallic and Numidian Horsemen. The Romans ultimately wore Carthage down, vanquished them, and assumed control of its entire empire of Northern Africa, Spain, and the Mediterranean. No longer an upstart military city, the Romans came out of the Punic Wars as a global superpower and continued to outsource their cavalry from neighboring provinces for many centuries.
In fact, when Julius Caesar conquered Gaul (from 58 to 50 BCE), he employed a strategy of dividing and conquering the various Gallic people that relied heavily on his own hired Gallic horsemen fighting under the Roman banner. He played the rival Gauls against themselves and soon there were none left. (Indeed, it was during the Gallic Wars that Julius Caesar himself coined the term Divide and Conquer. Latin: Divide et Impera.)
Though the Romans today may best be known for their Legions and Siege Weapons, it was the Romans’ ability to cherry pick the best strategies of their own enemies that gave them their unfair advantage. The Romans did not conquer their world because their military was the strongest. The Romans conquered their world because their military was the most adaptable. This is best represented in our Auxilia Camp.
Here you can see the Gallic Horseman with Epic Armor next to other heavy cavalry who wield Spears as their weapon of choice:
From a civ design perspective, the original plans for the Romans included at least five different Cavalry units. Since that is a full two units more than any other civ (the Greeks have three), we obviously needed to pare it down. Again, we are building a civ that doesn’t even focus on Cavalry, so we need to be choosy.
We will dissect those hard decisions in future blog posts, but for today, we are excited to announce that the heavy Gallic Horseman has made the Roman roster and will train in the Auxilia Camp. Since balancing can shift the civ around at a moment's notice, we do not want to get too detailed about unit stats, but we have a few details about the Gallic Horseman that we can share today.
First, we need to get something off our chest: the original Roman Gallic Horseman was recycled into the Norse Horseman, so by including him, we run a real risk of unit redundancy. However, this is the only time when the original Devs grafted an original Roman unit onto a different civ that we allowed the unit onto the Roman roster. And we deliberated very carefully before making this exception.
Our Romans were in need of a heavy cavalry unit, and historically, the Gallic Horseman was the strongest candidate by a mile. It is not like we could just choose a different powerful Roman Cavalry unit. Rome didn’t have one. However, ours is going to be noticeably different than his Norse cousin - he will be quite a bit stronger, quite a bit more expensive, and will not take the field until Age 4.
Also, the Gallic Horseman will be the only Age 4 Anti-Cavalry Cavalry unit in the game, making him a giant defenseman roaming the field neutralizing those powerful late game Cavalry such as the Greek Hippikon and Persian Cataphract.
Third, since he is Celtic by birth, we have decided to revisit some of the unique Celtic gear. (Historians can’t even agree on how to define Gauls and Celts, but for our purposes it’s enough to say all Gauls are Celts, but not all Celts are Gauls.) At any rate, in addition to equipping the same Heavy Spear, Light Armor, and Soldier's Gear as other Horsemen, the Gallic Horseman will use Warpaint in a nod to his heritage. (And to the grouch who is about to complain below, yes, we realize that the Romans would never wear warpaint. We also realize that Gallic Horsemen were not Romans, did not dress like Roman soldiers, and dressed like, um, Gallic Horsemen. It's a game. Let's have some fun and take the Warpaint down from the shelf.)
Having introduced you to the Gallic Horseman, we have now announced three of Rome's four Age 4 units in the last few weeks. But you are going to have to be patient for Number Four. As the final Roman Officer Unit, he is the most Roman of all Romans and is going to be a civ capstone, so we need to savor him for the very end. Meanwhile, we still have seven other unannounced Roman units from the other Ages, including most of the Age 3 units still. Will the Auxilia Camp include the tanky Gallic Horseman’s nimble partner, the Numidian Horseman? Will the Roman Eques make an appearance? What about the other two potential cavs? Who are they? Is there a fifth secret cav we are keeping from you? You’ll find out soon!
Roman ResidencesEvery AoEO civilization contains three different residences that can be built in your Capital Cities, and the Romans are no different. Here are the Small, Medium, and Large versions.
Now let's have a look at all Small, Medium and Large Residence buildings for every civilization + the three alliances:
We had some concept art for these, but we were not completely satisfied that they captured the essence of Roman houses. Specifically, they all had normal peaked roofs and lacked the classic open-air atrium/compluvium.
Since these inner courtyards and gardens usually appeared only in the grandest of Roman homes, we saved that feature for the large residence. At any rate, we hope you will agree that these Residences will be terrific additions to your Capital Cities.
As per popular demand, here's a sneak peek at the animations of the three Roman Residences next to each other. Subtle, but beautiful!
We are continuing to march towards Rome, but we are not sure that we will have a new unit for you next week. We still have plenty of buildings to show, so we will see you all then!
Thank you so much for your support, everybody, and see you next week.
Project Celeste Development Team
What do you think about this week's blog? What would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below!
Missed the Roman Civilization's announcement? Find out about it HERE.
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By PF2K on Sep 28, 2019 at 4:49 PM
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