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Europa Universalis: Rome

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Paradox Interactive

About Rainier

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'Europa Universalis: Rome' Nations Revealed #4

by Rainier on April 10, 2008 @ 9:12 a.m. PDT

EU: Rome will cover the time period from the first Punic War to the start of the true Empire, offering a thousand of gameplay choices ranging from country, culture, provincial and character options etc., making each and every game infinitely customizable and unique.

Europa Universalis: Rome will cover the time period from the first Punic War to the start of the true Empire. Players will have thousand of gameplay choices ranging from country, culture, provincial and character options to name but a few, making each and every game infinitely customizable and truly unique.

The detailed strategy game offers more than 50 playable nations raging from Rome itself to smaller Gallic tribes and although the outcome of Europa Universalis: Rome is completely dependent on players' strategic and tactical choices, 5 nations are more likely to be successful than the others…

Rome – Mistress of the Mediterranean

The second Punic war changed Rome from the dominant power in the Italian peninsular into a large wealthy empire, but it also changed Rome in other ways. The human cost of the war decimated the traditional small holders that formed the backbone of the Roman Army; it also decimated the ranks of the old nobility that had ruled prior to this. The stress of the war also set constitutional presidents (in particular the appointment of Publius Cornelius Scipio to command in Spain when he was technically too young) that would eventually undo the republic.

However, in the aftermath of the war these problems remained under the surface, the Roman armies continued to be victorious in Greece and other fields, although probably as much to do with the core veterans from the Punic wars than anything else. However to an observer at the time it felt like little had changed.

Politically though things were far from the same, the long service or death in the legions meant that those who were in debt had their farms confiscated by richer nobles in lieu of the debt and increased the decline in the citizen farmers that made the legions. An attempted by the brothers Gracchi (Tiberius and Gaius) to reform land holding, by gifting publicly held land to the unemployed, ended in both being murdered in broad daylight. Although these tactics seemed to have halted such moves their legacy would deal another blow to the republic.

The decimation of the old nobility allowed men who would not normally of considered standing for high office in Rome, to try their luck. This created tension amongst the old nobility, who felt the new men were usurping their traditional prerogatives, and new men, who felt their rightful due was being denied to them. None of these were serious problems as long as there was no crisis.

The crisis that would begin the end of the Republic came in 105 BC. Wandering German tribes had invaded the Roman territory in Southern Gaul. There was already an existing army commanded by Servilius Caepio (a member of the old nobility) but an additional army, commanded by the consul of the year Mallius Maximus (and new man) was sent to reinforce the troops. Technically Maximus (as consul) was the superior commander and he ordered Caepio to join him. However Caepio refused to accept orders from a new man and deployed his army in front of Maximus’s, to ensure that in the event of a victory the credit would go to Caepio only. This divided an 80,000 man army and gave the Germans an opportunity to defeat them in detail. Almost the whole army was destroyed at the resulting battle of Arousio, a defeat even heavier than Cannae.

In this time of crisis the Roman people turned to Gaius Marius, a new man and successful military commander. He had already acted against tradition (but within the bounds of the constitution) to gain himself command in Africa and had won the war there. However due to his new man status he wasn’t just to be given command he was to be elected consul (thus superior to everyone else, to try and prevent a repeat of the Arousio disaster) and during the crisis he would be elected consul 5 times in a row. This was unconstitutional as the Roman constitution forbid the election of a man to consul unless 10 years had passed). Secondly to raise fresh legion Marius turned to the unemployed who were traditionally did not serve in the legions. Although the army that Marius raised would be victorious over the Germans the legacy of the brothers Gracchi would come back to haunt him. At the end of the war he attempted to get his troops a pay off in land. This provoked serious opposition from the senatorial class and Marius was only just able to force it through using is position of consul. However the result was clear, for an army to get its pay off its general had to be in charge at the end, the armies were no longer loyal to the state, but to its commander.

In 88 BC events in the east would once more lead to war, Mthridates of Pontus ordered the massacre of all roman citizens in Asia. The senate chose Lucius Cornelius Sulla to lead the army against him. The elderly Gaius Marius wanted one more military triumph to crown his career and used the people assembly to turn the command over to him. Sulla could not accept this and used the personal loyalty of his troops to march on Rome and drive Marius out of the Capital. He then marched off to the East to fight the war. Marius in turn returned with his own loyal veterans and took control of Rome. Although he would die shortly afterwards those loyal to Marius took control of Italy and waited for Sulla to return from the East. The stage was set for the first civil war.

Sulla returned to Italy in 83BC having forced a temporary end to the war in the east. He rallied those who were loyal to him, took Rome and appointed himself dictator. He then sent his principal Lieutenants to mop up the remaining Marian forces, Metellus Pius in Spain and Pompey in Africa and later supporting Pius in Spain. Sulla then rewrote the Roman Constitution to ensure that this would never happen again. Sulla died 78 BC seeming to have saved the republic, but his own use of force to do this ensured that other ambitious men would do the same.

With the death of Sulla new men rose in his place, the first was Pompey. Pompey was a superb organiser and general and showed his abilities when he cleared Mediterranean of Pirates in 3 short months. He was then tasked with dealing with Mithridates of Pontus once and for all. In 3 short years we would rout the forces of Pontus and he then reorganised the eastern frontier of the Rome, which would remain largely unchanged for 500 years.

On Pompey’s return to Rome the political map had changed. Gaius Julius Caesar had risen to prominence and the wealthy Marcus Licinius Crassus was also a key player. Pompey and Crassus did not like each other as both had claimed the credit for the defeat of Spartacus. Caesar acted as mediator between the two men allowing then to cooperate with each other. The agreement was further strengthen by Pompey’s marriage the Caesar’s daughter, the three were able to rule Rome forming what is now know as the first Triumvirate.

As part of the deal both Crassus and Caeser would take provinces and both would wage wars to enhance their military reputations. Technically both men were acting illegally but the power that the Triumvirate welded meant that both were safe from any threat of prosecution. Caesar would wage his celebrated Gallic wars, conquering all of Gaul and bringing it into the Roman fold, while Crassus would die at Carrhae.

Crassus death came not long after the death of Pompey’s wife. This essentially removed the underpinnings of the relationship between the two men and the opponents of Caesar move quickly to woo Pompey. Now facing likely prosecution at the end of his term of governor in Gaul, Caesar move quickly to protect the dignity of his family name and lead his armies over the Rubicon. His troops would follow him willingly to ensure they received their rewards. The war would stretch from Egypt in the East to Spain in the west as Caesar hunted down his Enemies. This included a rather famous stop off in Egypt and the birth of a son Caesarion by Cleopatra. Caesar would be victorious and in the mould of Sulla would appoint himself dictator for life.

Caesar then decided to remodel the government of Rome and turned to men outside the traditional aristocratic circles (the knights) to aid him in governing. In 44BC Caesar announce plans for a long campaign in the East to avenge Crassus and those opposed to Caesar struck. They claimed that Caesar wished to make himself King of Rome, although it may have had as much to do with the thought of a long spell of government by Caesars men who being knights were lesser to them.

In the aftermath those loyal to Caesar would hunt down the plotters and a new Triumvirate would emerge. The east would be taken by Caesar’s principal lieutenant Mark Anthony, Italy and Gaul were taken by Caesar’s nephew and heir Octavian, and the remainder being held by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Octavian first out manoeuvred Lepidus making the contest to be heir of Caesar’s legacy between him and Mark Anthony.

Mark Anthony was a serious threat to Octavian, he had quickly struck up a relationship with Cleopatra and essentially had the ability to use Caesar’s natural son against Octavian, whose power was based on being the heir to Caesar. Octavian on the other hand would use Anthony’s relationship with Cleopatra to claim that Mark Anthony had gone native and was no longer a true Roman.

The two men would got to war in 32BC. The naval battle of Actium would decide the outcome of the war, and inside two short years Mark Anthony, Cleopatra and Caesarion would be dead. Octavian would declare himself Augustus and although the outward form of republican government was preserved one man was master of Rome. Although the Roman Republic ended due to the short sightedness of their leaders, their reasons have been repeated throughout history. The logic that the old ways worked up to know, even the face of a changing reality, is a common reaction. It would easy to say that if they had just been a little more flexible in the face of the changes the republic was going through it might have been different, but this ignores the more fundamental reality that flexibility is a code work for surrendering power and privilege.

Key Features

  • Fully 3D map with integrated graphics and detailed topography
  • Start at any date between 280 B.C. and 27 B.C.
  • Choose between 10 different cultures, including the Roman, Celtic, Greek and Egyptian civilizations, with more than 53 playable factions on a map spanning hundreds of provinces.
  • Watch your characters develop new traits through political intrigue and various interactions with thousands of other characters.
  • Trade, negotiate or fight with your neighbours and advance your technologies to unite the Mediterranean World.
  • Robust multiplayer allows you to challenge up to 32 players either competitively or in co-op mode.

Europa Universalis: Rome is schedule for a worldwide release during Q2, 2008.

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