I understand that there is some concern regarding our decision to have one turn equal one year in Rome II.
Fundamentally, it boils down to the fact that our campaign spans a considerable period of time, from the build-up to the Punic Wars through to the establishment of the Roman Empire. We chose this period because we felt that, as well as encompassing some of Rome’s most significant conflicts, territorial conquests and internal struggles, it gave us the potential to explore the rise and fall of those factions which would play an important supporting role in Roman history (such as the recently revealed Parthians, a major power who would long keep Rome’s eastward expansion in check as of their first conflicts during first century BC).
So, if we assume a campaign length of around 300 years, that makes around 300 turns: we felt that to escalate this to 600 or 1200 turns would be detrimental to the campaign experience that we were aiming for. Bear in mind that the Rome II campaign is no longer time-restricted, however: the player can take as few or as many turns as they like to achieve their ultimate victory objectives and, as per usual, one is free to continue one’s campaign post-victory.
We understand that seasonal variety is important to campaign map flavour and that the four season cycle from Shogun 2 worked well both visually and in terms of gameplay. One year turns are not the only thing to overcome with regards to this: the map is huge, with many climates that would each require visual and gameplay representations of their individual seasonal variants. The climates themselves do cover the extremes that one would expect to experience at the height of the baking summer or the depths of the long, dark winter, and rest assured that we are continuing to explore effective methods of representing seasonal change regardless of the yearly turns and map scale complexities.
Movement is less of an issue. Yes, the map is huge and the turns long: why would it take my army one year to get from Roma to the alps? Forces are effectively moving in a state of battle-readiness but may be ordered into a ‘forced march’ (armies)or a ‘double-time’ (fleets) stance. Their movement extents are vastly increased, allowing them to assemble from afar in preparation for invasion or to support threatened possessions, albeit at the expense of their offensive and defensive capabilities: long-distance headshotting will not
be a valid tactic.
We expect characters who survive the challenges laid out before them to survive a good 40 years in play. Obviously there is an element of chance to this, and a character may well die in battle or at the hands of an unscrupulous agent before succumbing to old age, but during their campaign map tenure they will have plenty of opportunity to make a difference to their faction’s endeavours. Furthermore, the intention is to have characters gain experience faster than in Shogun 2, allowing them to reach their fullest potential faster as long as they are deployed consistently and successfully against their foes. Lastly, every general is affiliated with a ‘party’ within their faction, such as one of the major Roman or Carthaginian dynasties or the royal household of an Eastern kingdom and their court rivals: as these characters act around the campaign map or retire to the homeland to scheme, they contribute to their party’s overall influence within the faction, with repercussions that will carry on from one generation to the next.
The military traditions established by armies and fleets over the years also persist beyond the lifespan of any one character or unit, a legacy handed down the generations by those who fought and died for the good of their people. This process will be slower than that of characters gaining ranks, but can span the entire length of a campaign: even if a military force is disbanded or destroyed utterly, it may be re-established once more, the past effects of its history and traditions intact.