Title: Field of Glory: Empires
Field of Glory
Release Date: Coming Soon
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Dev Diary #9 Addendum - Playing Empires Battles in FOG2:
Playing Empires Battles in Fog2
by Richard Bodley Scott
From an early stage in development it was planned that, in addition to the in-game battle resolution system, Empires would also have the option to fight out battles in FOG2 if the player so chooses.
The main objectives were:
1)That Empires battles fought out in FOG2 should be varied and fun. (Number one priority!)
2)That the armies of each nation should be represented by the correct FOG2 units for their nation.
3)That general skill and traits, unit experience, unit effectiveness, hit points etc. from Empires should carry over into the FOG2 battles.
4)That terrain should be representative of the terrain in the region where the battle takes place.
5)That there should be no adjustments to make the battles more “even”, and no adjustments to take into account the FOG2 difficulty setting. The situation should be as per the campaign situation.
6)That the export/import process and switching between the games should be as automated a process as possible.
How does the game decide which FOG2 unit type to convert an Empires unit to?
Empires has a database specifying which FOG2 unit type each Empires unit type maps to, with a quality adjustment for some. The mapping is different depending on the national archetype. This information is passed in the export file, along with various other factors affecting the conversion.
The Empires system potentially gives "Heavy Foot, Warriors, Mercenary Foot, Urban Militia etc." to every nation. The FOG2 conversion system attempts to convert each nation's forces to FOG2 units that are appropriate to their historical prototype. So for example "Warriors" in a Gallic Army will translate to FOG2 Warbands, but those in an Italian army will translate to FOG2 Italian Foot. This means that Empires "Heavy Foot", for example, may translate to FOG2 Medium Foot for some nations, if the nation never actually had any troops that FOG2 would rate as Heavy Foot.
Also some units translate to a mixture of FOG2 units, because this leads to more historically realistic armies. Pre-Marian Roman legionary units translate to a mixture of hastati/principes and triarii units, in approximately a 2:1 ratio. Horse archer units, if present in large numbers, translate to a mixture of Light Horse and Cavalry.
How does the game decide how many FOG2 units each Empires unit maps to?
The Empires : FOG2 unit conversion ratio depends on the unit type, because it is points based. This is because the difference in effectiveness between various Empires units is often significantly greater than the difference between the effectiveness of their FOG2 equivalents. To get the same relative effectiveness as in Empires-resolved battles, the more expensive (and more effective) Empires units translate to more FOG2 units than the cheaper ones. Some of the cheaper Empires units may only map to 1 FOG2 unit, but some of the more expensive ones could potentially map to as many as 4 or 5 (cheap) FOG2 units in armies of nations that historically did not possess powerful units like Pike phalanxes or legions. Most units will have a conversion ratio somewhere between these two extremes.
For example, because Italian Foot in FOG2 are cheaper (and less effective) than Warbands, the unit conversion ratio for Empires Warriors > FOG2 Italian Foot will be higher than the unit conversion rate for Empires Warriors > FOG2 Warbands. Also, where different Empires unit types convert to the same FOG2 unit type, the quality of the FOG2 units may be adjusted depending on which Empires unit type they come from. (Thus, for example, Urban Militia in some national archetypes may be extremely low quality versions of the standard units. They will also have a lower unit conversion ratio as they are much lower rated in Empires points).
Because the points value ratios do not match up to an exact number of FOG2 units, there is a random element. For example, if the points system means that an Empires unit is equivalent to 1.37 FOG2 units, the system will generate at least one FOG2 unit, with a 37% chance of another one. So usually it will generate 1 unit, but 37% of the time it will generate 2.
A damping system on the chances of selecting subsequent "partial" units is used to ensure that the overall strength of the army does not vary excessively (about 3% in tests), and a unique random number generator seed number for each exported battle ensures that if you play the same battle (from the same export file) in FOG2 multiple times, the OOBs (and map) will be the same each time. (Unless you go back to the pre-battle Empires save and re-export it, in which case there will be a different seed number each time).
How does the conversion take into account Empires general skill and traits, unit experience, effectiveness and hit points etc.?
Unit Experience and Effectiveness affect FOG2 unit Experience and Elan respectively. FOG2 unit Quality is the average of those ratings.
Empires Hit Points represent current strength compared with full paper strength, so affects the unit conversion ratio.
Generals use their Empires skill rating for attack or defence depending on which side counts as attacking in Empires. General traits applicable in the regional terrain add their modifiers to those skill ratings. If there is an overall difference between the skill ratings of the opposing generals, then usually an adjustment is made to the quality of the opposing units, representing the effects on morale, physical condition and state of preparedness of the troops resulting from the better general's more skilful pre-battle manoeuvres. Sometimes, instead of a quality adjustment, the lower skilled general will have some of his troops arrive late at the battle.
Unit traits are not explicitly taken into account in the conversion process, because FOG2 already takes into account the different effectiveness of different troop types in different terrain.
Empires units convert to an average of 2 to 3 FOG2 units, some more, some less.
We decided not to artificially constrain the frontage in FOG2 battles because it would severely restrict the tactical options – which would rather defeat the point of playing the battle in FOG2. We did not think it would be fun.
Also, as FOG2 battles take some time to play out, we wanted a decisive result, so wanted all of the troops present to be able to take part.
Therefore, the normal FOG2 map generation is used, based on the prevailing terrain in the Empires province. Hence a mountainous, forest or swamp province will result in a mountainous, forested or marshy map, which may result in choke points, but isn’t guaranteed to do so.
This does mean that playing Empires with FOG2 battles will have strategic implications, meaning that the game will play out somewhat differently depending on whether you play all the battles in Empires or not. Personally, I resolve very one-sided battles in Empires and play the rest in FOG2.
Siege assaults are left to the Empires system and cannot be exported to FOG2. New Screenshots Part II - Ask anything about them!:
It's time for another group of screenshots, highlighting some unique features and mechanics. The developer will answer every question about them! Every question!
Stay tuned for further updates!
Click on the screenshots to see them in full size
. Dev Diary #5 Governments and Rulers:
Hi and welcome to the 5th developer diary for Empires, our upcoming grand strategy game set in the Ancient Era.
Governments come and go, but nations stay. Well not always, these too can disappear in Empires, although we will only brush lightly on this subject today, as it will be the topic on our 6th diary when we turn our attention to culture and decadence!
Still, governments in Empires are a fundamental part of how your nation operates. They are sorted in 3 levels, that we call ‘Civilization Levels’. Within each level, 5 possible governments exist. At the very bottom in development, your nation can be a tribal horde or a tyranny. Perhaps a sect even! Then as you progress, your nation can transform, for example, into a Republic, a City-State. Finally, upon reaching the last level of civilization, you can become an Empire or a Federation!
And all this is not just cosmetic, as you can guess. Each government has specific traits also called modifiers, and there are dozens possible. A City-State might have a bonus in commerce, while a Monarchy allows more experienced troops to be trained in your barracks. Combining these traits with other possible modifiers derived from your ruler (or political party for Republican Rome and Carthage), so that each state ends with a very diverse profile, and these can work together or, on the contrary, can help to offset a specific penalty.
This means that most of the time you’ll see that a clear identity is created for a nation, through its government, its ruler and its national modifiers. For example, Carthage is a merchant oligarchy and has some good bonuses for trading and commerce. On the other hand, it has great difficulties in levying en masse its citizenry, so it will have to rely on mercenaries to compensate for this lack of manpower. But Carthage being Carthage, the national treasury should be sufficient to recruit quite a lot!
Then there is your ruler. He too comes with modifiers related to his profile. Here again, there is a wealth of possibilities and rulers are generated randomly for near infinite combinations. Rest assured though, there is a sound logic applied when a ruler is generated, and mutually antagonistic traits won’t appear. You can then end up with a good administrator which is also a reformer (if you are lucky). But on the other side of the coin, should you be unlucky, a depraved and cowardly king is always a possibility! This will in turn greatly influence what you’ll do with your nation. For example, some rulers will allow easier conquest, either through giving a bonus to your military or how well they can administer the new conquered, unruly, regions. But some will cripple and syphon away your money or will negotiate so badly that a war might erupt from their blunders (try coming at the negotiation table and insulting a tyrant, see how it goes!).
Another important strand in this multi-layered approach to your nation profile is your government status, which is strongly tied to progress and decadence. Over time, your government will have a change of status and might become stable, old, decadent even? This, in turn, will influence how you can play your nation and can even influence when and how your ruler dies! Perhaps you’ll then wish ‘good riddance’ to the old fool who was ruling your nation if he decides now is a good time to wrestle a bear in an arena!
Next week, you’ll see how governments mesh together with culture and decadence to create the sense of ‘rise and decline’ for your nation. Stay tuned!. Field of Glory: Empires Dev Diary #4 - Commerce and Trading:
Welcome to the fourth installment of the Empires dev diaries. This week, we will talk about trading and commerce, and how buildings are very important in relation to this.
As you might remember from our previous diary on buildings, they provide a lot of opportunities and benefits. But many will need trading goods to work to their full capacity. They will still function even if the trading good is not available, but you’ll pay a hefty sum each turn, to simulate the convoluted ways by which you manage to get a trickle of the precious trade good. For some buildings, this is sometimes worthwhile as they might be instrumental in how you have setup your empire, but in other cases you will be better to disable or destroy the building.
So … trade goods! There are a lot around, something like 50 or so. Some are naturally produced in regions, and you don’t have to do much to gain access to them, even if by themselves they won’t generate any benefits (you would still need an appropriate building for that). Here, we are talking of wood, stone and the like. Some are manufactured, like pottery, clothes, weapons, sails. And a third category are imported resources, which are produced by another region or country (although as you can guess, these too are either natural or manufactured).
Buildings will often need a trade good. Some good examples would be a spinning mill, in need of cotton (or flax). A mint would need gold, and stables would need horses. This will generate trade between your region, where the structure is, and an exporting region. And, depending of how good your nation is at commerce, the exporting nation can be a neighbor, someone on the other side of the sea or one of your own regions (if it has the trade good obviously). The whole process is automated, and you don’t have to worry about who can provide what, as given the scope of the map and the possible size of your empire, this would become daunting to handle, and then, to put it simply, a source of tedium. Now, we did not say it was done randomly. There is a measure of your trading efficiency, named ‘Trade Acumen’, which will be used when there is competition between several potential sources of supply. As you can guess, your internal trade is much favored here, as well as trade with your allies. But sometime, a powerful trading nation, like Carthage, will literally snatch trading opportunities and get richer from doing this. And that’s how you end up with Carthaginian olive oil in Rome while some Sicilian farmers are discontented!
Trade Acumen is something you can improve though, either at your national level, with the right decisions and a proficient ruler, or at the local level, by building trade ports, paved roads, trading centers. All in all, trading is a smooth process in which you can gain significant money, while providing your buildings with what they need. Now, sometimes, trade is not a possibility or is too difficult to achieve, so you’ll want to inspect the ledger and see where the nearest source of iron is and then snatch it from the hands of its current owner…
You might think that’s all about trading, but definitively no! Because having a good availability of trading goods is much more useful than just having your buildings work without an extra fee. Trading goods also play a very important part in what the buildings will themselves produce. This is done through the mechanism of bonus trade goods. An example will probably be the quickest way to convey how it works.
Let’s take a fairly advanced building, the Thermes, in which your citizens will wash, relax and gossip. The Thermes are a healthcare building, and as such give a health bonus in the region, which speeds up population growth while protecting (partially) against diseases. By itself it requires no trading good to work smoothly. But, should you happen to have, either in the region it is in, or an adjoining region, marble or perfume, then you’ll gain extra culture and money from the building, as it operates much more efficiently, being now so beautiful and sophisticated! So playing and optimizing these bonuses, although definitively not mandatory to get a good game and win, is one way of getting the most out of your nation. And this might be mandatory, if you like to play at a high difficulty level or against live opponents. For some, this will be the pleasure of enjoying the ‘mind game’ that this kind of gameplay demands, finding the right supply chain and combining buildings so that one needs a resource that will then be further used by another, etc. A game in a game, for those minded to paying close attention!
And so, to sum up, the surface of trading and commerce will feel simple and easy for newcomers, and it is, as everything works by itself. But when you start delving into the numerous buildings, the goods they need and the goods that would provide extra bonuses, you get a quite rich system, strongly tied to the general economy.
. Field of Glory: Empires Challenge #2 – Carthage:
With the Challenge #1, you have witnessed the birth of Rome and its military power in Italy. Now, it’s time to see what one of its first mortal enemies can do, on a bigger scale.
Welcome to the Challenge #2 – Carthage!
This time the Challenge goal will be different. While in the first one you had to focus mostly on the military aspect of the game, this challenge adds a new layer of complexity (and fun!).
Carthage was renown to be a very wealthy civilization, establishing colonies in many Mediterranean regions and creating a successful trade network. Its defense was guaranteed by a powerful navy and a semi-standing mercenary army.
To better reflect this historical situation, the Challenge #2 is shaped more on the economic element of the game.
Challenge #2: Try to amass 7500 money in your treasury while reaching at least 20 regions in less than 50 turns and avoiding to be in the last tier in the progress & decadence chart.
Nation Available: Carthage
Map: All playable
Mechanics and features: All active
Progress and Decadence: Stay in the 1st and 2nd Tier
READ HERE FOR MORE DETAILS
. Field of Glory: Empires - Ranking and videos:
We have the final list of the participants who completed the Challenge #1 – Conquer Italy playing as Rome in as few turns as possible.
It was a bitter fight and many valorous soldiers have died trying. But what are they compared to the sempiternal glory of Rome?
This is the final ranking, kudos to all the participants!
Read here for the full entry
. Field of Glory: Empires - The Challenge has been accepted:
Field of Glory: Empires is a very ambitious project. It’s perfect combination between empire management and grand-strategy, united to a set of unique mechanics, will set a new standard for strategy games.
To better introduce players to this upcoming masterpiece, we have launched a great Challenge series of events, inviting influencers and media members.
We have gathered in a playlist the main efforts played so far, so you can have a look at first hand how the game unfolds, even in more strict environment.
You can watch some sample below:
Stay tuned for further updates!
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