Which factions could be added to RoR in a Late Antiquity dlc

  • [Germans/Germani]
  • Alamans [Germans] (Kingdom of Alamannia)
  • Burgundians [Germans] (Kingdom of the Burgundians)
  • Franks [Germans] (Salian Franks, Ripuarian Franks)
  • Gepids [Germans] (Kingdom of the Gepids)
  • Goths [Germans] (Kingdom of the Visigoths, Kingdom of the Ostrogoths)
  • Saxons [Germans] (Angles, Saxons, Jutes…)
  • Suebians/Suebi [Germans] (Kingdom of the Suebi)
  • Vandals [Germans] (Kingdom of the Vandals and Alans)
  • Britons [Celts] (Kingdoms of Gwynedd, Dumnonia, Elmet…)
  • Gaels [Celts] (Kingdom of Dál Riata, Hibernia…)
  • Picts [Celts] (Kingdom of Fortriu)
  • Gallics/Gallo-Romans [Romans/Celts] (Gallic Empire, Kingdom of Soissons)
  • [Huns] (Hunnic Empire)
  • Alchons [Huns] (Alchon and Kidara Huns)
  • Hephtalites [Huns] (Hephtalite Empire)
  • Byzantines [Romans/Greeks] (Eastern Roman Empire)
  • Alans/Alani [Scythians] (Roxolani, Kingdom of the Vandals and the Alans)
  • Armenians (Kingdom of Armenia)
  • [Arabs/Adnanites] (Banu Ghassan, Banu Tanükh, Quraysh)
  • Lakhmids [Arabs] (Lakhmid Kingdom)
  • Yemeni/Qahtanites/Hymyarites [Arabs] (Kingdom of Himyar)
  • Gupta/Magadhi [Indians] (Gupta Empire)
  • Kalinga [Indians] (Mahameghavahana dynasty)
  • Kamarupi [Indians] (Varman dynasty)
  • Kushans/Bactrians/Yuezhi [Indians/Persians/Macedonians] (Kushan Empire)
  • Marathi/Maharashtri [Indians] ######### Empire)
  • Saka/Sacae [Indians/Scythians] (Indo-Scythian Kingdom, Western Satraps)
  • Sinhalese (Anuradhapura Kingdom)
  • Austronesians (Gangga Negara)
  • Funans/Khmers (Funan Kingdom)
  • Pyu (Pyu city-states)
  • Di (Chang Han, Former Qin, Later Liang)
  • Jie (Later Zhao)
  • Qiang (Later Qin)
  • Xianbei/Rouran (Xianbei confederation, Rouran Khaganate, Tuoba Dai…)
  • Xiongnu (Han Zhao, Xia, Northern Liang)
  • Nubians (Kushite Empire)
  • Abyssinians/Ethiopians/Aksumites (Kingdom of Aksum)
  • Mayas (Tikal, Calakmul, Uaxactun…)
  • Teotihuacan/Otomi
  • Zapotecs (Monte Alban)
  • Lima
  • Moche
  • Nazca
  • All of them!
  • None
  • I don’t know
  • I don’t care
  • Other(s)
0 voters

In addition, how many civs do you think should be added in such dlc?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5+
  • None
  • I don’t know
  • I don’t care
0 voters

This is the very last dlc for RoR, at least for now. I don’t know if I will do more polls anytime soon, but if so the next ones will probably be about AoE2 proper.
For this poll’s purpose, Late Antiquity starts in the 3rd century (with the Crisis of the same era) and ends with the fall of Rome in 476. I could have gone further into the Middle Ages, but I think it would be too much (not mentioning force me to go way above the 50 options limit) and some people already think Late Antiquity is outside of AoE1.
Obviously this time period isn’t relevant only to Europe and the Mediterranean, it’s also the time of the Five Barbarians being a pain for China, India and Central Asia having facing very tumultuous changes and even Mesoamerica moving to what is know as its Classical Period.
All that being said, lets vote!

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You probably already know my opinion, I think aoe1 ends around 300 AD so it includes the very early part of late antiquity. It’s not arbitrary but because I think to include Christianity could become problematic without a very rich DLC and in the end kinda pointless given aoe2 already do that, now even more with Romans.
Also the armies, if you put let’s say adrianople in aoe1 instead of aoe2 you’ll have to depict it fighting with hoplites or iron age looking legions (unless again you introduce new units for Germans). Same for Huns or vandals. I’m not against adding all this to aoe1 per sé maybe one day but right now it would need so much work that I think they could spend resources and time better to depict proper antiquity, bronze and iron age cultures leaving middle ages and surroundings to the sequel. There’s surely very much to add without stepping on aoe2 toes for now.

What remains of late antiquity in aoe1 it’s concentrated between Marcus Aurelius (at the earliest, he’s the latest AI name for aoe1 Romans btw reinforcing the idea that this game is focused before the crisis) and Diocletian.
This would make palmyrans the only civ already present during the timeframe while the Gallic empire is a nice suggestion to complete the split. I voted Arabs but I’m not sure they overlap Palmyra, both ghassanids and lakhmids existed but hit their peak later around the 6th century.
I voted only for goths, franks and alemanni for Germans since I think they were the only relevant ones before 300 AD. Vandals, Alans and suebi were already there but I don’t think they were enough impactful while I prefer xiongnu over Huns. Saxons and Picts were first mentioned around 300 AD so too late.
Yes for xianbei, nein for rourans (330 AD?). I voted them cause they were together. Yes for kushans, too early for hepthalithes and all other white Huns. Too early for Guptas? Sassanids could qualify, did you forgot them or did you considered them covered with Persians? (Even if you proposed parthians and Seleucids iirc) Sarmatians would be perfect for aoe1’s late antiquity too but you already put them into the antiquity thread I think.
Nubians (kush) and pre Christian Aksumites would be perfect fit too. Yemenites representing the hymarite kingdom would be great but as with lakhmids I’m afraid their peak was a bit later in the 6th century (correct me if I’m wrong). About China this is the perfect timeframe for the the three kingdoms period but I wouldn’t go further than that.
Zapotecs and Mayans I guess could qualify even if I’m not sure about how many historical accounts we have of them in the third century AD. For all other civs I’m too ignorant to talk.

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Wow, it’s a very detailed list. I don’t necessarily agree on Christianity marking the end of AoE1, but this could be an endless discussion.

Yeah, that’s the reason why I put Gallic there (though Romans are also still around obviously, as well as Choson and Yamato even though they’re on the other side of the world). Palmyrans kind of open the door for them, although I don’t really think they’re necessary and wouldn’t vote for them myself.

Well, I think Qedarites and Nabataeans are more relevant than Late Antiquity Arabs anyway, at least in the north of the peninsula. Yemeni are a whole different matter.

Vandals at the very least conducted raids against the Roman Empire during the Crisis of the Third Century. I’m not sure Franks were really that relevant by this point, and to be honest despite the huge number of smaller civs I proposed for them I think Germanic people should exist as a single civ (except maybe for Eastern Germans which could be represented as the Goths, which is already a little bit of a stretch).
Xiongnu sure seem like a good pick, especially if you don’t want to go further than 300.

I only put Xianbei and Rourans because one could easily represent the other if needed be as they were both proto-mongoloc people, and we really don’t need both as separate civs imo. Ideally the Xianbei would be the one in game.
I didn’t forget about Sassanids, as you guessed I think they are covered by Persians because they were the only dynasty aside from Achaemenids to actually be Persian, so they can’t really have their own separate civ if the other two aren’t. And since I didn’t have an infinite amount of options for the poll, as 50 is a hard limit, I think it was reasonable to give them the axe.

I agree, but they’re not necessarily specific to this time period (especially the Nubians) and imo they would be a better fit for an African dlc rather than any period focused one.

Well, I’m pretty sure they were not at their peak yet but it’s during this time period that they conquered the Kingdom of Saba, which would be represented by the same civ. Just like Nubians and Abyssinians, I don’t think a Late Antiquity dlc would be the best fit for them though.

China is always a nightmare in those polls, I wanted to represent the Three Kingdoms but I ended up focusing more on the Five Barbarians… I really don’t know how best to split the Shang, which are already quite a weird pick for a civ.

Mesoamerica is always tricky, this is kind of the time when we start having some form of records from the people themselves but it’s still far from ideal to get a full picture. That being said, some historians consider that we know pretty much nothing even regarding Ancient Greeks…

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I’d be curious anyway to hear your opinion on it if you don’t mind.

Given that Gauls are not a civ yet yeah they’re not necessary.

I’m not really satisfied with Germans as a civ, even if it’s aoe1. Aside from the many Germanic tribes in late republic, early imperial times (some deserve a civ some others probably not), during the third century only goths and alemanni (juthungi included) probably deserve to have their civ. Goths managed to kill decius and beat the Romans while alemanni were a pain in the ass from Aurelian to constantius chlorus.
Still I was wondering what campaign could you give them… Before Alaric goths didn’t have much of a big character aside from fritigern and ermanaric but they’re both in the 4th century. You could just have many scattered battles. Same with alemanni, for them even later than 300. I don’t know of a strong aleman personality but rather many smaller ones.
You’re right that Franks and vandals were still not important enough to have a civ in aoe1, unless you go after 400 ad.
Honestly if it wasn’t for palmyrans you could probably stretch aoe2 further back to include all late antiquity (235 circa on) and you would resolve every problem. Before that there weren’t goths, alemanni, Sassanids or any other so you won’t have to duplicate civs in both games. And that’s also when the Roman army started to transition into its later incarnation now present in age 2. Just switch palmyrans to another Arabic and more ancient civ (nobody would miss Palmyra anyway, just a pity for a Zenobia campaign but you could add that in aoe2 as well) like they should do with Yamato.
Only little problem in all of this is again Christianity. Romans were still pagans from 235 to Constantine but that’s not very important when you have Christian-only Lithuanians and Vikings… In case of a campaign or battle set before Constantine they could just switch monasteries with pagan shrines or a new temple model and reuse the current “imperial” centurion and legionary units by removing the chi ro on the shield while leaving the proper trainable units as they are (aside from changing the centurion helmet which is anachronistic).

Having xianbei as proto Mongol, xiongnu as proto Huns and tiele as proto Turkish would be fine for aoe1 imho. Even if tbh I don’t know if tiele had much going on in terms of empire and warfare.

Again my proposal for stretching aoe2 further back would be perfect for China too. Just make that everything after the Han empire (classical China) is aoe2 since it ended more or less by 235 like the Parthian and early Roman empire. So you have the three major superpowers in the old world conveniently changing shape in the same decade!

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Well, the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianism happened to slowly over time to be considered a turning point (not mentioning other states adopted Christianism earlier). The reign of Augustus could have been a good point to end the game, not only because the Roman Republic turns into the Roman Empire, but also because it marks the end of the Kingdom of Egypt, last of the Diadochi Kingdom and in a certain way last remnant of the Bronze Age Near East states.
Trajan’s campaign forces us to move the end date at the very least to his reign, which marks the end of Rome’s expansion phase and as such, the start of a period which Age of Empires as a wargame about conquering and destroying isn’t really meant to represent (though there were still skirmishes, especially with the Persians and Germans), at least for this part of the world. You could also decide to include the rest of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty, though.
That being said, the Palmyrans kind of force us to consider the Crisis of the Third Century as part of the game, unless the civ is removed or replaced. It could also be argued that AoE1/RoR is still better at representing this time period than AoE2 (which is actually debatable imo). The Yamato are obviously even worse. That being said, I agree that the early 3rd century presents the advantage of witnessing big changes in the Roman, Persian and Chinese worlds all at once.
Ultimately, I think there’s no point in time at which RoR ends and AoE2 starts. The two can loosely (and poorly) intermingle during the 3rd to 5th century, neither of them being exceptionnally good at representing this time period. It would quite possibly work better if there was another entirely separate game covering the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages, ideally going from the 3rd to 11th centuries.

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The first state to adopt Christianity as official religion was Armenia in 301 and Romans came shortly after. Ethiopia too in mid 4th century.
So before 300 Christianity was an “underground” (literally lol) religion, yes it was there but you could depict it in aoe1 just with some eyecandy or scenario unit, there wasn’t a Christian state.
I see what you mean with Augustus and imperial Rome but as I said the crisis of the third century is too big of an occasion for a near perfect split between the two games, in 230s China, Persia and Rome arguably started to transition in middle ages almost at the same pace, a process that would end for all three in the 7th century with the fall of the Sassanid empire because of Muslims, the tang dynasty (the first stable enough to last more than a century since Han) and the eastern Roman empire trespassing into proper Byzantine times. The in-between is what late antiquity is about.
But early imperial Rome and paleochristians can stay in aoe1 without problems imo. They even added Trajan now anyway so it could all end with the fall of Han, Parthia and the severan dynasty in Rome. So you won’t need to worry about what German tribes goths or not should be in aoe1 and you won’t need to add the same civ two times (Romans in the two games are not the same of course).
Yes the last Hellenic kingdom ended in Egypt with the Roman Republic but Hellenism as a political culture went on until Christianity took over after the 3rd century crisis which marks the true start of a shift of mentality that will lead to middle ages. The last Pharaoh was technically (if you count Augustus and subsequent Roman emperors as holders of the title) Maximinus Daja, Roman emperor of the east under Diocletian’s tetrarchy (also the last aggressively pagan emperor, apart from later ephemeral revivals). We’re in 313, not by coincidence.
So Christianity was growing for a while before but never was in power and Hellenism had the leading role in western mentality at least until Marcus Aurelius or Alexander Severus. The early Roman empire was just the final incarnation of the ancient pagan world after its incorporation of Carthage, Macedonia, Greece, Egypt and basically every power that shaped it till then. It was the apogeum and the point of no return.
When there was nothing more to conquer and everything was Roman or Hellen there was no point anymore in it, Rome was not the centre of the empire anymore during the crisis, its cultural hegemony and propulsion was over and Christianity just filled a vacuum (let’s remember in mid 3rd century the Roman empire basically disintegrated and that was only institutionalised by Diocletian imo, never really mended, as the split with Constantinople proved few years later) beginning the middle ages. Vestiges of Hellenism dragged on until the 7th century, that’s why late antiquity, but for the sake of aoe better the second game than the first I think at this point.
Sorry for the long essay but I like these kinds of periodization and cultural transformations topic, you can ignore it if you feel it’s pointless ahah.

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I wouldn’t call it underground by 300, afaik it was already quite widespred in the Eastern part of the Empire before it became state religion and even before it was legalised. There were also political figures in Rome adopting the religion before it became mandatory, increasing its political relevance over time. So I don’t think you can just point your finger at a specific point in the timeline and say “There, that’s the point when Christianism become so relevant that the entire world is changed and you need an entirely different game to represent it.”

Well, I agree that Augustus can’t be really used to mark the end of the game, not at this point anyway. There’s the Trajan campaign now, and even before that we had Imperium Romanum (as well as Yamato, Empire of the Rising Sun, though most people agree this one was a mistake). It’s more that it could have been, considering how it marked a transition from constant clashes between great empires for the hegemony in this part of the world to lower scale conflicts with people that are mostly not even in the game.
That being said, I would also argue that the death of Alexander could also have marked the end of the game before the Rise of Rome came out. The civ roster and tech tree were, and in my opinion still are, poorly equiped to represent later time periods, and aside from the Yamato no campaign went further than this point in time.

It sounds like a good pick indeed, although I feel the need to point out that just like the Crisis of the Third Century and the Three Kingdoms period started almost at the same time, they also ended pretty much simultaneously. I guess you could have AoE1 and 2 both cover this century each in their own way…

Well, sure, but I was more thinking about the fact that from the death of Alexander to the defeat of Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius, a relatively small number of states were building powers and competting with each other to become a hegemon. The way AoE games are conceived, it’s easier to represent than political philosophy and widespred mentalities x)

No worries, sorry I took so long to reply in such a lackluster manner but I have a lot going on right now and I had little time for a properly constructed reply. The conversation is quite interesting, but that’s precisely the reason why I was reluctant at first to engage in it, it can go in many directions at once and overshadow the original topic x)

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Of course there’s not an objective point where you can say here starts something and ends something but there are points better than others.
For example the end for aoe2 timeframe seems a bit arbitrary but it kinda work, it ends just before Dutch becoming a thing and the reunification of Japan, excluding North America colonization and what follows.
For the start of the timeframe it has always been more fussy but it doesn’t necessarily has to as long as there are arguments. 230s is just perfect but if someone think it’s too early and they love Palmyra in aoe1 even 284 or 313 are not bad choice imho. Of course Christianity already existed and sometimes even tolerated and many reforms from Diocletian were actually already implemented under Aurelian and gallienus (specially the new late Roman warfare) but in those dates they were finally accepted, like there’s no turning back anymore.
Mentality is very important even for warfare and in age of empires too. Even ignoring which is the cause and which is the effect you can see that the two aspects seem to transform together in history. With the slow end of Hellenism between Augustus and the third century crisis, ancient warfare based on heavy slow infantry shifted to comitatenses, defense in depth, cavalry etc. This already by the third century. So with the kind of units you have in aoe1 is kinda hard to go beyond 300 and be even remotely historically accurate (hoplites would not make any sense in the 4th century AD, not that knights do but with some reskin they would work better than heavy slow infantry to represent what was going on).
As you say the death of Alexander could have been the end of the original aoe1 while rise of Rome went a little further but the Huns scenario is just silly unless you add all those civs but then again why when they are in aoe2 already?

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