The guide is meant to give a good starting position as a Christianizing WRE in Barbarian Invasion, taking you through the first turn with a walkthrough, explanations, tips and tricks.
Turn 1 Walkthrough and Explanations
Now, as many of you no doubt know already, the Western Roman Empire campaign is notoriously difficult for many reasons. For starters, your glorious Roman Empire is in decline, it is so decadent that it’s been split in two, and you, my dear imperator, are in charge of the lame part.
But in this guide, I will try to set you on the right path from turn one.
It might look all nice and red from up there, but as you can see, most of your cities are on the brink of utter revolt. This is in large part due to three things.
The first is religion. Barbarian Invasion takes place in the midst of the Chritianization of the Roman Empire, but sadly, not everyone is as happy to praise the Lord Jesus Christ just yet, as they believe Jupiter still has a few good years left him. The kicker is that this applies both to your population and your generals, and together with temples or churches and your faction leader, they all contribute to the spread of the various religions and happiness or unhappiness in your cities.
Second is the fact that your cities are severely underdeveloped. You lack basic infrastructure which needs fixing, and some cities simply have too large populations, requiring city upgrades.
Third, your empire is just too damn massive for its own good right now, and the further away your cities are to your capital, the angrier they will be.
All of these factors lay the groundwork for your predicament.
No, you see, this is extremely serious. Here’s the deal. Massive, cosmic imperial powers, itty bitty pocket change. That’s right, we only have 1000 dinarii to spend at the start of the game, which is not even, tsk, it doesn’t, doesn’t even… yeah, it’s enough. Like at all.
And on top of that, we have completely smelly and unwashed barbarians at our gates, and believe me, they will make themselves heard.
So yeah. We’re looking at a grand total of religious fundamentalism, civil war, economic depression, and foreign invasion. What we have to do then, is convert the empire to whatever religion we wish, which in this tutorial is Christianity, rebuild it, and begin to look to our defenses.
First, change your capital from Rome to Massilia. This is done because we have a distance to capital modifier which changes when you move your capital, and Massilia is basically in the center of your empire.
We begin with looking at each individual city, to check which of them we are able to keep from revolting over a set number of turns, and then convert. To do so, we take a look at the happiness indicator of each city. If the indicator is below 75%, you’re gonna have a bad time, because anything under 75% and your population will revolt within a few turns. Therefore, we must be wary of what we do with each one.
Now, the there are several ways religion affects a city’s happiness, and ways of converting them. We see here that the most important thing in the long run will be the city temple or church, a governor’s personal religion, and the religious influence of nearby cities.
Therefore, what we do in virtually 100% of the situations, is trash every pagan temple in the Empire. Now this might seem extreme, but, you’re right. But what this does, is first and foremost give us some extra needed cash, allowing us to replace them with churches. We do this in as many cities as possible. We might even want to do this in the cities which will 100% revolt in the next few turns, simply because of the nearby religious influence factor which will give us a long term Christianizing effect, like in some of the eastern provinces like Salona.
To get even more cash, we demolish the military buildings in the provinces we are bound to lose to revolt very soon, because doing so will remove the rebellion’s ability to spawn your own powerful troops, making it that much easier to retake the cities. In some cases, like the cities we will not be able to retake for some time, we can also consider destroying much of the civilian infrastructure, simply because we are extremely strapped for cash (Salona, Carthago Nova, Lepcis Magna).
At the same time, it is vital that we adjust the tax policy of every city, which we will mostly set to low. This will hurt our finances but be good for our realm in the long run, and in some cases, we should also turn the public games up to monthly or daily even though this will cost us. In the cases where the cities will be guaranteed to be lost however, we can just turn it all the way up to very high, because we have nothing left to lose there anyway.
Now, the only place where we will not spend effort christianizing on the first turn is in Britain, because it is paradoxically a relatively happy and content place, and because both cities are pagan with a pagan governor. And despite being close to Gaul, Londinium doesn’t actually influence any other cities than the one to its north, so it has no real effect on the rest of the Empire. What we will do however, is turn Britain’s tax rate up to high.
Now, what’s extremely handy for us is that by examining the settlement tab, we can see how the happiness factor will develop in the next turn. Therefore, we can feel safe knowing that Aquincum will be happy even though it right now very much is not, and despair because there is nothing to be done with Lepcis Magna. That is also why I moved my army out of the city because it serves no purpose there.
We could consider doing the same with other generals because most of them are pagan, and therefore kind of sabotage our religious conversion process. However, many of them contribute more to happiness than they take away, and therefore, the vast majority will stay in their cities for this first turn. The only exception is in Carthago Nova which will revolt, so I’ve removed the general and the army because, oh yeah, the general has a chance of both dying in the riots, and to become disloyal and leave the empire outright. We’ll also move our Emperor from Rome to Ravenna to boost the happiness and christianization process there because, as you can see, characters have traits which determine how good as spreading their religion they are, and our Emperor Valentinius is very, very good at spreading the gospel. At the same time, we raise the games to daily in Ravenna, and we move our previous governor in Ravenna over to Mediolanum to shore up the public order there. Additionally, Decimus Flavius, who’s being used for no good on Sardinia, will begin moving to Rome, again, to make us of him as a good governor there. In the case of Syracuse, soon to be a Christian city with a Pagan governor, we will leave him in for the first few turns before moving him out, since he accounts for large amounts of the city’s public order right now.
We shall also move the eastern army in Spain into the nearby city, the army in Gaul will march towards the Alemani to destroy them and destroy their settlement for gold in a few turns, and we will also begin the recruitment of a few soldiers in Gallic cities to help public order, or to use them in retaking the cities later. We also raise a unit in Carthage.
Finally, to raise some gold on this first turn, we will talk to the Alemani, moving our handsome guy Magnus over to them, and giving away map information for some sweet 2000 dinarii. We will begin this same process by moving our other diplomat over to the Eastern Roman Empire, but he wont reach his destination before next turn. Remember to also disband cav units, as they cost a ton in upkeep. But be smart about it, you might need them for war.
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