Fortuna Orbis (meaning "Fate of the World") is a mod in development based on RTR, with the target of creating a realistic representation of the Ancient World from Iberia to western India in the time period roughly between 267 and 100 BC. RTR-FoE and VII provide a good basis for the western portion of our scope - we intend to match that in the East and add to it where possible with our own ideas.
One of those new ideas is the government system. It gives the choice between establishing a Client State (an allied but pretty much subject community), as was often done by many powers (notably the Romans), or directly subjugating the region. Establishing an client state means you are unlikely to suffer low public order there and will be able to recruit local troops fairly soon, but without earning too much economically and your factional troops will not be available. Subjugating a region directly will mean you have to dedicate considerable resources to holding the region (which won't be happy), but once that is done, you will be able to earn a lot more money, as well as recruit factional troops as well as the local ones.
However, there is another prerequisite for recruiting factional troops: Colonisation. Once a region has progressed to a certain stage of government, you can colonise it with your own citizens, who you will then be able to recruit from there as factional troops (and get several other bonuses, including increased public order). You also have to have the region fully colonised for the province to be fully integrated, which will take quite a long time. After all, it could take over 100 years in some cases, though it won't take that long in game terms.
To complement the government system, we are redesigning the traditional RTW economy to be more in line with the FoE-style one, though it will still be somewhat different. This is still a work in progress. For more details, see this thread.
Another innovation of ours is the map. Originally generated from geographical data by Antonov (the original co-founder), it has been extensively edited and improved so it will hopefully come to you without bugs. The settlements and regions on it are historically justifiable and also made for good balance gameplay-wise. Replacing the old RTW stratmap textures, we have also created new textures for the map. There is a map preview, but note that quite a few of the regions have changed, and the Mediterranean-style textures have been improved. The creditors of this map include ExRM, who have chosen to use it for their next version.
Populating the map are 21 factions (as is dictated to us by the RTW engine). These are:
-Achaean League (Greeks)
-Ptolemy's Dynasty of Egypt
-Mauryan Empire of India
-Scytho-Sarmatian Steppe Tribes*
*Basically many of the tribes of the northern Steppe compacted into one. I figured people wouldn't mind, since people almost never play as them (the choice between another one of them and, say, the Mauryans, wasn't hard), and they are very annoying to fight (that won't change )
**A minifaction is our response to the lack of available faction slots. It compacts several factions (such as the Greek Colonies of Massalia, Syracuse, the Bosporos, and Athens and Sparta for the Greek one) into one faction, which is not intended to be playable, but will pose a greater challenge to the player and AI alike as he tries to expand.
My policy with the units is to use RTR7/VII units and models where possible. This means I am reskinning several ones, notably the Greeks (see the Seleucid infantry mini-preview), to fit the new factions. For the Mauryan Empire, I at first used Res Gestae units before Boom S took it upon himself to change them so they are more realistic and generally pretty cool There is a Mauryan preview showing the Res Gestae units, but there is no coherent Mauryan Preview II (though many of the units are scattered throughout this thread). Boom S has also redone the old Indian Elephants, as they were not remotely accurate in some cases before. These have been previewed here.
For the units we and RTR will not be able to provide, we are looking at other possibilities. The units will of course have to pass a quality and historical accuracy test
Finally, you'll be wanting to know our progress. The map is done, with only minor edits to come, if any. Building-related issues are about 50% done (excluding balancing), but these have been put on hold, as we are focusing on adding new units atm. Most factions and areas have most of their units in place, with a few exceptions, but most of the units in place are not balanced to a single system. We have planned to release a version of FO soon after RTR-VII is released with the faction rosters we have by then (hopefully all). Other factors are completed to varying degrees.