Imperator Rome 2.0 Marius Update: A Marian Reform-esque Overhaul

Imperator Rome 2.0 Marius Update invaded our computers like how the Germanic hordes swept Rome’s northeastern borders. Instead of ravaging the areas west of the Rhine, these invaders somehow helped make the game prosper. You see, in the last couple of years, the game was in bad shape. It lacked depth and didn’t live up to games like Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings. 

However, with the Marius update, Imperator Rome’s armies evolved from the traditional maniples to the lethal legions. It is one of the biggest 180s in the industry, turning a subpar title into a meaty civilization builder in the league of Paradox Interactive’s other releases, giving it a new lease in life. 

With that said, what are some of the most significant changes? Well, it’s time to ride with the equites and make a scouting trip: 

A complete and major overhaul

Imperator Rome Marius Update introduced several remarkable changes, notably on the user interface, inventions, and how the population and military mechanics are intertwined. 

Improved user interface

The first change you’ll encounter is the reworked user interface, which looks less artsy yet more streamlined and colorful than the last. The picture buttons representing the various menus have been replaced by relatively intuitive minimalist icons on the screen’s left side. This overhaul gives more space to the map, enabling players to see more of what’s happening on the overworld. 

Inventions reworked

Apart from the general map user interface, there are also noteworthy changes to the inventions tab. Today, it looks like an organizational flowchart divided into the old trees: martial, civic, oratory, religious. Due to its more organized appearance, players can now chart their chosen faction’s development more cohesively. Moreover, inventions are no longer bought with gold and instead are unlocked through innovation points your advisors generate. 

Population and Military

Military and your pops (populations) are now intertwined. We’ll go more into depth into the former later, but as for the latter, they now constitute your levies. Plus, you’ll take a huge economic hit if you raise levies and make them fight in foreign lands, reducing your production output. After all, if you make your citizens hold spear and shield instead of the scythe and seed, you’re bound to add fewer sacks of grain to your stores.

It’s now a Sandbox

One of the best things about the new Imperator Rome 2.0 Marius Update is it somehow turned into a sandbox rather than a strategy-arcade hybrid. Much like its contemporaries like Crusader Kings and Stellaris, it feels as if you can now freely chart your nation’s future and place in history. Although they’re pretty much negligible, there are still mission trees, and you can do whatever you want. 

Marian Military reform

Imperator Rome 2.0’s most significant update is undoubtedly on the military aspect. You can now raise two different types of armies, which are the legions and levies. 

Levies are comparable to the armies you’ll raise in Crusader Kings. However, there’s a catch: you can’t decide what their compositions are because this depends on the culture and population of the province where you raised them. For example, levies in Italia won’t have chariots, unlike those in Brittania. Plus, you also can’t call them to war if they are under a disloyal governor, which is why diplomacy and character relations are vital. Once a war is over, you need to disband them so they can return to the fields. 

Meanwhile, legions are standing armies, much like those in Hearts of Iron and EU4. However, they’re much more in-depth: they’ll have their own name, recorded history, and traditions on their legion tab. For example, you can Legio XII Fulminata’s combat history and see how many battles they’ve won and lost, and if they’ve disgraced themselves by performing poorly. 

More importantly, you can also decide their compositions. Legions can be made up of the usual heavy infantry and skirmishers, or you can get creative by making them cavalry and chariot-heavy. You can also assign legates and commanders from your nation’s pool of characters. Before you decide to add more of these standing professional armies, be sure to check your nation’s economy first and see whether you have enough cash on your coffers or otherwise. 

Heirs of Alexander pack

Along with the Marius Update came the Heirs of Alexander content pack. This DLC comes with new mission trees and events for the Diadochi, or successor kingdoms of Alexander the Great’s empire,  like Macedon, the Antigonids, Ptolemaic Egypt, and the Seleucids. Also, it adds the wonder designer, which enables players to create their custom monument similar to the Pyramids of Giza, Temple of Zeus in Olympia, and the Colossus of Rhodes. 

Overall, Imperator Rome’s Marius Update changed the game, like how the Marian Reforms overhauled the Roman army. With its better-looking and more intuitive user interface, players can now navigate the menus and choose inventions more smoothly. The changes populations and military effectively make it a sandbox and some sort of a history simulator. 

So, what do you think of the new Imperator Rome update? Does it fit your fancy, or do you prefer the old version? Let us know down in the comments!

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