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 revealing the Auxilia Camp, which is the Romans’ second military production building. We are also introducing the Balearic Slinger, who is the first unit available at the Auxilia Camp. And finally, as widely requested, we are showing you the Roman Guard Tower, both in its initial Age 2 version and after its Age 3 upgrade.
Auxilia CampAs we mentioned last week, Roman military buildings are categorized based on their military rank and historical origin of their units and not by what category of unit they train. So where the Castellum trains proper Roman citizen soldiers like the Legionary, the Auxilia Camp trains units of historically non-Roman origin. This is a little weird at first, so stick with us for a few minutes.
First, before we explain the Roman system, it’s necessary to analyze the benefits of the traditional AoE military production trifecta of the Barracks, Archery Range, Stables that respectively trains infantry, ranged, and cavalry units (with some notable exceptions). This system is certainly the most intuitive way to organize a civ, and is one of the unwritten rules that apply to every Age of Empires game. New players immediately know what building trains what units. It’s simple. It's perfect.
But these rules are also frequently broken. Egypt has no Archery Range, and trains ranged units both in its Barracks (Slingers) and in its Stables (Chariot Archers). Meanwhile, the Persians, Babylonians and the Celts also train Ranged units in their Stables. Plus, the Persians train their Immortals (an Infantry unit who also has a Ranged attack) in their own Unique building. Meanwhile, the Babylonian Stables trains only one Cavalry unit but trains three different Ranged units. All of these exceptions gum up and complicate the system.
So the groundwork is already in place for something different. And then the Roman Empire marches forth.
This Roman system of grouping units based on their geographic origin obviously makes no sense unless you are familiar with Roman history. But that is kind of the point. The original designer of the Romans explained to us that the intent was "to be true to the Roman history and to continue to push the boundaries for civ diversity." This system fits the Romans perfectly and feels more intuitive at perhaps a deeper, more authentic level.
So let's talk about history. At Rome’s height (say from 300 BCE to 200 CE), Roman soldiers focused on almost exclusively Infantry and Siege and Roman armies fielded almost no Ranged or Cavalry units. They got away with this for a while until they met the mighty Carthaginians.(edited)
By 300 BCE, Carthage was the richest empire on the Mediterranean and boasted not just the world’s most powerful navy, but a mighty army comprised of mercenary units from all over the known world. At this point, Rome didn't even control all of Italy, but it was very well organized and obviously destined for greatness. One of Rome's greatest traits was its adaptability to its enemies’ ideas. Hiring mercenaries to handle its Ranged and Cavalry needs was right out of the Carthaginian playbook. And after receiving the business end of that strategy for long enough, the Romans copied them and then never looked back. Around the time of the Roman Empire (49 BCE), the Auxilia had a permanent, formal role in the Roman army.
And so hiring out most of their Ranged and Cavalry units is just what our Romans do. They called these hired troops the Auxilia. So we give them a separate building to train these Ranged and Cavalry units, the Auxilia Camp. Where the proper Roman army (Legionaries, etc.) were conscripted Roman citizens, the Auxilia came from Roman provinces who were subject to Rome but not Romans themselves.
The Romans were hyper aware of citizenship, so it makes sense for our civ to be, as well. It would feel strange to train these unique units from around the world out of the same place that trains proper Roman units. If we mixed these troops right into the civ and sorted them all by unit type, it would just be awful history and a disservice to the game. And, again, there are at least 6 other military production buildings in the original 6 civs that break the old rules. So all the Roman system simply acknowledges the open secret that Archery Ranges and Stables in AoEO don’t always train whom they pretend to train. Instead the Romans rename the buildings to something historically accurate that give the civ its own unique flavor. You may not care whether a unit is a Roman citizen, but the Romans sure did.
Does this mean every Ranged and Cavalry unit will be from an outer province? Absolutely not. But you will have to wait for a future blog post to find out what that means.
We ended up adjusting the 3d model because the concept art looked too similar to the Castellum for our liking. It also was far too short of a building. So we took some liberties and went through multiple different versions until we arrived at the final. We also made sure to change the building’s default direction to further differentiate it from the Castellum.
Here's a view of the Auxilia Camp next to other civilizations' Stables and Archery Ranges:
So how is an Auxilia Camp different from a regular Stable and Archery Range buildings from some of the other civilizations? We use the technologies in the Auxilia Camp to provide some historical touchstones. The techs are called Sacramentum, Patronage, and Citizenship. We did not have records of all of the designed techs, and these are all our handiwork.
1. Sacramentum: The very act of entering the army (including the Auxilia troops) had a religous aspect that owed much to Roman tradition. On enlistment, each recruit had to take a sacred oath (sacramentum). The Sacramentum Militare was the oath taken by soldiers in pledging their loyalty to the consul in the Republican era or later to the emperor. The text of the oath: "I shall faithfully execute all that the Emperor commands, I shall never desert the service, and I shall not seek to avoid death for the Roman republic."
2. Patronage: Patronage (clientela) was the distinctive relationship in ancient Roman society between the patronus (plural patroni, "patron") and their cliens (plural clientes, "client"). The relationship was hierarchical, but obligations were mutual. As Rome expanded throughout the Republic and Empire, it took over smaller states which had their own customs and rules of law. Rather than attempting to remove the states' leaders and governments and replace them with Roman rulers, Rome created "client states." Leaders of these states were less powerful than Roman leaders and were required to turn to Rome as their patron state. Part of this deal required the outer provinces to provide Rome with troops.
3. Citizenship: The Roman Auxilia consisted of non-citizens. Rome stationed the Auxilia far away from the province of their birth. So if there were a rebellion in a province, the soldiers would not sympathize with the rebels and would not defect. The Roman Auxilia was an attractive career choice for many people in Rome's provinces. It provided a steady income, and after 25 years of service, they would receive full Roman citizenship and a pension.
Balearic SlingerThe Auxilia Camp is available in Age 2, and its first unit is the Balearic Slinger. The Balearic Slinger was also in the original design, and we found it to be the perfect unit for Rome’s Age 2. However, we will discuss how we chose units after we’ve revealed more of the tech trees.
The Balearic Islands are located in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. They do not have many inhabitants today, and in ancient times, they had even fewer. But they were renowned for their Slingers. History is spotty, but it appears that the Phoenicians (the original founders of Carthage) were the first to recognize the islanders’ usefulness in warfare. Soon enough, the Phoenicians and Carthaginians were sending Balearic Slingers all over the Mediterranean.
By the Second Punic War (218 BCE), Rome had finally seen enough and hired their own Balearic Slingers to deal with Carthage. And once Rome finally conquered the Carthaginians about 70 years later, they kept hiring foreign troops for many centuries. Eventually the Balearic Islands became part of the Roman Empire, and its residents became Roman subjects, but not necessarily Roman citizens. Accordingly, the units from the Auxilia Camp are historically from Rome’s provinces. But because of Roman custom, the units themselves were (and still are) identified as from where they came. So they aren’t just Slingers. They are Balearic Slingers.
Here you can see the Balearic Slingers in Epic Armor (but no helmets):
As per popular demand, here are the Age II and Age III versions of the Roman Guard Tower. We will be building four separate towers, though we expect that the Romans will only have upgrades to build the first three. The fourth tower will be available for the AI to use in quests, though. We also expect it to make an appearance in the City of Rome region.
Guard Tower (Age II and Age III)
Here's how Roman Guard Towers look next to other civilizations' Towers (both in Age II and in Age III):
Thank you for reading, and we will see you all next week!
Project Celeste Development Team
What do you think about Roman Towers, Auxilia Camps and Balearic Slingers? 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.
Project Celeste is completely free and always will be. However, we gladly accept donations for our overhead costs, which are larger than we have budgeted. If you want to support us, you can do so HERE.
Read every Romans related blog HERE.
Tell your friends! Join our Discord HERE.
By PF2K on Jun 29, 2019 at 9:49 AM
- Similar Threads - Weekly Blog Auxilia