Retaliation Path of Rome has been Greenlit on only 10 days.
Retaliation is a videogame series based on an original boardgame, designed to offer challenging tactical and strategic reasoning in a fast, easy and funny format.
The mission of Retaliation is to make the spirit of wargaming available to everyone, casual gamers and seasoned strategists alike.
To achieve this, it skirts away from the most tedious aspects of many wargames, where the work-to-fun ratio is too high (extreme examples are the so called “monster” wargames, that take more than a few continuous days of play to complete).
At the same time, Retaliation is not trivial, with complex gameplay emerging from very simple rules.
The series now includes one published game (available on multiple platforms) and two more that are under active development.
In wargaming parlance, Retaliation could be described as an operational-level wargame, with units approximating divisions. But unit size and map scale are kept very elastic: Retaliation can thus accommodate a wide range of scenarios, from purely tactical mini-maps to large connected campaigns, where dealing with resource control and supply lines is often more important than manoeuvre warfare.
Key aspects of Retaliation games
All cohorts can undergo specific and additional training (up to 5 levels) to become more efficient and to improve the stats of the individual members of the cohort.
Training will improve things like speed of execution of orders, combat ability, manouvering, aim… but no amnount of training, obviously, will affect such things as individual soldiers’ intelligence or natural agility.
Control AI will be managing separately groups and single soldiers.
Each group is treated as a single autonomous entity and orders given to the group will take priority over orders and states of the single soldiers. Nevertheless if the group disbands, its officer dies or the army general dies, then single soldiers will not be bound by group cohesion and will follow a behaviour dictated by their last orders, mediated by their own particular demeanor, state and parameters (called ” stats”).AI control managing single
The army general will give commands to the officers and these will command the groups under their command.
The closer a general is to a certain group, the faster the issued orders will be received and carried out correctly. If the general is far away, the group for which the order is meant will react more slowly to the new commands.
Units are arranged in groups, which are commanded by officers, controlling the movement and formation of the groups.
The commanding officer will also decide the state for the group: defensive, aggressive, berserk…
Continuously changing the state, formation, movement or attack orders of a group when the battle is already started may seed confusion on some members of the group, which may then fail to follow some of the orders and in the worst cases a total confusion could even provoke the disbandment of the group.
Retaliation Path of Rome is a hybrid RTS/TBS, a combination which makes the game very tactical. You’ll need to plan how to move the troops, how to arrange them and expecially what kind of army units to train. Different movement ability (velites, with barely no armour, are much faster than full armoured princeps) and different attack types and attack speeds make unit types (and how you’ll use them in battle) very different.
Each battle is managed by a parametric AI system with almost endless combinations and possible states and developments.hybrid rts tactical tbs
In Path of Rome it is possible to buy or sell the structures (with the exclusion of those like walls, streets, barracks) according to its market value.
Once the building of a structure is complete, the player has the possibility of selling it, to the value defined by its desirability and the kind of resources it produces.
Nevertheless a good sale would still benefit because of immediate cash flow…desirability income market structures
To simplify the game and avoid micromanagement, it is possible to automate trade setting some “limit orders”.
E.g. “buy if there is less than .. %”
The automatic system won’t consider the price, but the quantity set as requirement.auto micromanagement requirement
To evolve the city it is mandatory to correctly manage the trade of all goods: selling the city production to obtain the resources needed for the evolution and improvement of the city.
Prices of resources are managed at two distinct levels: local and global.
So if there is a global crisis, even if your city sells a lot of wheat, its price could still be increasing instead of decreasing. But when the trend changes (for example the drought ends) its price could suddenly crash.City Globally Locally production selling
Gold / Wood / Stone / Marble / Iron / Clay
Wheat / Meat / Fish / Grape / Olive
Wine / Oil / Pottery / Jewelry / Leather / Cloth
These are the resources that can be traded, produced or transformed.produced resources traded transformed
Patricians are the wealthiest citizens, they have expensive needs and cannot accept to see their needs not satisfied. Their weight over city happyness is very relevant.
Plebs are mostly involved in crafts and trade. They are fundamental for the management of the city but they don’t have much political weight.
Slaves are the major work force. Satisfying their primary needs (food, lodging, water) is important as they deal with the production and resource gathering of the city.
All structures need a certain amount of workers or worktime, even for the simple upkeep/maintenance.
All productive structures are tightly bound to the number of workers available in the city: with not enough available workers the production would decrease or even become null. Structures with the highest desirability will be the first ones to attract the workers, leaving the others without.
Different structures will require different amounts and different type of workers. For some jobs only slaves will be requested. Plebs are needed for crafts and trade.
Unemployment will cause collapse of happyness and increased risk of revolts.
To be happy, people needs to have their basic needs satisfied: food, dwelling, work, water, protection from enemies.
Increasing the people’s life conditions will also generate new needs. In particular the patricians will start to require luxury goods (good wine, gold, silk, refined pottery, statues…).
Entertainment is another fundamental need: populous cities will require stadiums and arenas (and famous people competing inside those structures..)
When happyness is low, the city structures become less productive and hence less profitable.
The city management part of the game depends chiefly on money, people’s satisfaction and resources available.
Dealing with these three amounts, the player needs to complete the missions.
Careful and efficient exploitation of the resources allows to save money and gain with the trade. A wheat field created in a fertile area will yield much more and hence cover its operation costs and bring profit.city management resources
The player has the possibility to build more than 50 structures to complete the missions. Each structure needs specific resources in order to be built. And of course each structure has different function and features, and some structures have to be properly positioned in order to yield the desired result: for wine production it is necessary to create both vineyard (to get the grapes) and a winemaker (to get the wine).structures
In each city there will be some AI controlled competitors: other patricians whose goal is to increase their riches and extend their influence. They will be vying with the player, acquiring resources and building structures, trying to get to the best spots before the player. The competitors appear in advanced levels, and each has a different strategy: some concentrate in the real estate market, others in trade or in resource production.AI City
When new structures get built, these can differ in desirability. Usually this depends on what is present (or built) around them. For example a patrician villa has higher desirability (and hence higher market value) if nearby there are gardens, fountains, other villas, theatres.. It instead loses value if nearby there are stables, farms, wheat fields... Residents will at first go to dwell or work in the structures with higher desirability, avoiding those of little value.desirability market value
In the era of mindless mobile gaming, give us some insight as to why you have chosen to develop a turn-based strategy game?
We can’t all make the same games, can we? Even back when shoot’em up and bullet hell games were all the rage, players loved to also try the occasional puzzle-game, and enjoyed it tremendously.
We believe a nice strategy game can be very much appreciated after shuffling cute monsters around for a while, especially if said war game doesn’t require memorizing huge rulesets or control tons of variables.
Also, while RTS are very fun to play, they often risk falling prey to clickfests, where rapidity of clicking beats acuity of thought. With TBS that risk is removed and only how you decide to play matters.
What type of player do you think EM is best suited for?
Actually we found that even 5-year-old kids can have tons of fun commanding tanks in Retaliation (and actually do so very well)…
Retaliation was designed to be enjoyed both by people approaching war-games for the first time and also by those who are experienced strategists and are looking for a fresh challenge.
Those who love to try different ways of “beating” a game will particularly love Retaliation.
The game runs exactly the same on each platform, with a very simple UI, no dialogs or status windows, so it can be played while quietly sitting at a desktop or anywhere else on a smartphone.
If you could describe only one unique aspect of Retaliation: Enemy Mine, which one would it be?
The perfect balance of each aspect, making no single strategy the “winning one”. In fact, it allows and encourages players to experiment and create their own tactical toolbox. You can play aggressively or defensively, with heavy artillery or with sneaking intruders, spread thin or concentrated… and still enjoy it thoroughly.
What is the current state of EM and what new features are looming on the horizon?
We are currently completing and playtesting the code for cross-platform online multiplayer :) This will allow for example matches between android users and windows ones… and even the possibility of transferring a match from one platform to another.
More features will appear in future updates, like co-op campaigns, additional unit types, extreme fog of war, tabletop mode…
Are there any future plans for the Retaliation series that you can
There is actually a certain Retaliation RTS whose development has already started :)
What is the funniest ‘bug’ you’ve encountered so far throughout EM’s development?
There was a time when tanks just kept flying away, diagonally across the screen and out of it, instead of just sitting tight and exploding as they were supposed to :)
A question we MUST ask everyone we encounter…. are you familiar with the Age of Empires series… and if so, what’s your favourite game within the franchise? 😀
AoE II: I have very fond memories of all the funny and intense LAN matches played against my flatmates in Cambridge! Walls! We loved building walls! :)
Where did the name ‘Enemy Mine’ come from? The movie?? 😀
😀 It’s actually a reference to the ancient proverb “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” (similar to “War makes for strange bedfellows”). When playing multiplayer games you’ll find it a quite accurate description of what’s going on :)
Apart from your own :P, what is your favorite board game?
Wei Qi (also known as Go or Baduk): simple rules and infinitely complex strategies; “it is not merely the world’s oldest game but its most elegant” (as David Wingrove so aptly described it).
Which platform do you believe holds the most potential for the future of gaming?
I’d say Android. It has now reached the point where it can accommodate both casual and heavy/intense gaming. I was just yesterday using my phone as a console, hooked up to the TV through HDMI and playing Asphalt 8 and Tekken 3 with a Bluetooth gamepad while comfortably seated on the sofa… We can all agree the platform has come a long way since its first games…
Gamia Games is a network of design studios specialized in original, engaging, story-driven and innovative board games. Headquartered in Malmö (Sweden), but also operating in Iceland, Italy and UK, Gamia Games is a 360 degree publisher, which accompanies projects from the initial design phase, through the production, up to the final distribution.
Retaliation is a “hex-and-counter” wargame which is very quick to learn while still being quite detailed. It adopts an intermediate level of complexity and incorporates both elements of local tactics and of full-board long-term strategy.
It has been designed to offer challenging reasoning in a fast, easy and greatly enjoyable format, with the mission to make the spirit of wargaming available to everyone, casual gamers and seasoned strategists alike.
Retaliation is easy to learn and quick to set up, making it more immediate than most wargames (expecially those where the work-to-fun ratio is too high), but still dealing with many more variables than the mere map topology of a game like Risk©.
Complex and diverse gameplay emerges from very simple rules, much as in the game of Go.
In wargaming parlance, Retaliation could be described as an operational-level wargame, with units approximating divisions. But unit size and map scale are kept very elastic; Retaliation can thus accommodate a wide range of scenarios: from purely tactical mini-maps to large connected campaigns, where dealing with resource control and supply lines is often more important than manoeuvre warfare.
Engage your armies in turn-based battle with up to five other players, human or AI.
Retaliation: Enemy Mine is a turn-based game-board-style war game with even more options than the first game in the series.
While you still take turns positioning you tanks, troops and artillery, there are additional options that have been added. The most obvious addition is that there can be up to six player. Also, you can select your goal from capturing the enemy base, killing the enemy general or killing all enemy units. Other new options include Fog of War, where the terrain and enemies are revealed through your exploring and the option to have no reinforcements.
The online version allows up to six players, cross-platform, and has options like Fog of War, No Reinforcements, Number of turns for reinforcements, and Initial army assets. The demo version only allows up to two players and lacks the added options.
Retaliation: Path of War is a 2D top-down turn-based strategy wargame based on the Retaliation board game. It is played on a board that consists of hexes, like in Panzer General. The player is the commander of several tanks and must complete various missions such as capturing the enemy base or defeating all enemy units. Units can be split or merged based on the concept of divisions. Battles can be randomized by using dice to calculate the result or to provide random effects, even self-damage. There are 20 terrain types that influence combat, movement and production. By occupying terrain reinforcements are provided. There are multiple gameplay variants, the game can be played with multiple fronts and it is mod friendly with an editor for creating and sharing custom maps.