For me I was initially disappointed in Total War: Rome 2 because it had a very buggy launch. But it’s Emperor edition is what led back into playing it and after I believe 17 patches I’m finally convinced it is a decent successor to Creative Assembly’s Magnum Opus in Rome Total War. Despite this it still has it share of bad mechanics that really don’t have much of a spotlight, but it is for good reason, the game is all about mass scale battles.
I will be talking specifically about the political system in Rome. For those of you who don’t know the previous game Total War: Shogun 2 had a civil war mechanic called Real Divide where all factions late game turn on you and declare war because you are too powerful. Total War Rome 2 replaces Realm Divide with a political system where your political family had to try and dominate a political system which culminates into a civil war.
This all sound interesting on paper when you think of all the civil wars the roman empire comes through but it just falls flat on its face because it’s mechanics are very vague and it just simply isn’t immersive. The game goes by too fast to make you really care about individual family members and they end up just dying before they really do anything.
Te original Rome Total War had a political system that was much more immersive in my opinion because family members mattered much more because they have a huge effect in battles and on the campaign map when managing cities. I will be comparing some features in that system to the new system when we get to them.
Gravitas is essentially a generals popularity in your faction or another’s faction. This is the cornerstone for developing your family’s influence in the political system. The general also has an ambition stat that determines how much gravitas they gain. This may be an incentive for you to get more generals with high gravitas. Ultimately it really doesn’t matter because it doesn’t feel like you get a lot of party influence despite high gravitas characters.
Rome Total War’s equivalent idea was a popularity meter for both the people and the Senate. The basic way to get it up for the people is to conquer as much territory as possible and become a hero of the people. The way to get it up with the Senate is to conquer a modest a mount of land and do Senate missions. Both way are viable to lead to civil war and is much more immersive because Generals can gain traits that increase popularity with either side and if you side with the senate you may be told to have your faction leader commit suicide which is the trigger for civil war if you decline.
In Rome 2 you can secure promotions with the press of a button and make him a censor very quickly and give him a large amount of stats to affect cities/provinces. This is a very poor way of implementing positions in the Senate compared to the prdecessor
Rome 1 had 6 positions total and any family member from the 3 roman family factions can take them. Each one bestows and trait and if any person loses the position or ranks up, they still have a trait indicating he had that position which gave him stats that indicated he had experience.
Assassinating Generals in Rome 2 is very pointless. First it costs Senator support which means it’s already a gamble because you may lose influence. It’s just not very immersive either because just like securing promotions it’s all with the push of a button.
Rome 1 allowed you to recruit assassins and you were able to assassinate opposing generals from other roman families. This could potential be problematic for the family because it could free up senate office positions that your own family could claim.
This is a pointless option because it just reduces gravitas and also costs senator support. Your better off just killing the family members in the first place. Rome 1 has no mechanic similar to this and it really doesn’t belong in the game because there is no reason to risk senator support for some gravitas.
The Civil War Itself
In Rome 1 You were trying to conquer land alongside 2 other Roman families and the game liked to make sure the other Roman families got a lot of land to make a big civil war. Overall it worked and the giant civil war would always happen. Rome 2 just spawns a bunch of armies that oppose you and you only, it doesn’t net them territory and it can be very easily crushed.
Overall Rome 2’s politics system could have been better and while it’s not supposed to be EU4/Crusader Kings 2 style of politics it could have been less vague to make it more immersive. Thank goodness we have mods to help mitigate these problems.