- The Game Over screen is more informative and lively
- Added a title to each Lull phase
- Added a new activity reserved to high rank characters in the Misc section
- Added a new random event
- Reduced the penalty when a character who has the rank of Optio fails to keep in line the rear of a formation during a battle
- Enemies using a spear will no longer suffer a further penalty to the Recover action when hit, unless they are fighting in an open space. All other penalties still apply as normal
- The average length of the typical Lull phase is the same as before, but the standard deviation has been reduced
Before version 0.5, Stats were represented as plain numbers on the combat interface. That never sat right with me. Mind you, I’ve nothing against numerical representations in RPGs, but I’ve always felt the peculiar combat system of A Legionary’s Life needed something different. The Indicators below each combat action are an example of this: the early prototypes of the game had raw percentage values, but the current portrayal using the image rotation makes players much more reliant on their instinct and intuition, which is exactly what I’m trying to accomplish. Now I’ve extended the same logic to the Combat Stats. Instead of numbers, we have circles representing the current status. Let’s take a look.
Health – Full Health is now represented as a whole circle. As one would expect, the max Health value varies from character to character, depending on their Constitution. For example, a character with a Constitution (CON) value of 60 has a max Health of 60. Another character with 30 CON is stuck with a max Health of 30 and so on. Both have their max Health value represented by a whole circle. If the first character is hit for 10 damage, the circle is reduced by one sixth. Similarly, if the second suffers the same amount of damage, the circle is reduced by one third. When the circle disappears, the character is dead.
Stance – Stance is a percentage just like before: for all characters, the maximum value is 100%. The farther it falls below this value, the more open and vulnerable a fighter becomes.
Fatigue – Like before, there are three levels of Fatigue in A Legionary’s Life: Fatigued, Tired and Exhausted. This gauge will tell you how close you are to the next level of Fatigue. The actual quantity of Fatigue required depends on your Endurance (EDR), so characters with high EDR will see this circle grow at a slower rate. By the way, if your character becomes a centurion he will be expected to fight at the front of the maniple for much longer than common soldiers; an attentive management of his Fatigue level will get even more important.
Other changes in this update include:
- Added a rank requirement for the most valuable Armillae, as promised in a previous post
- Tweaked some values for a few equipment pieces. Nothing big except for the Caetra shield type, which received a significant boost to its Guard value. It’s still lower than the Scutum and Hoplon, of course, but the Caetrati have been way too easy pickings until now
- New random events
- Minor cosmetic changes
Let’s take a look at the awards a legionary can win in the game. Awards are worth a lot of points, especially the most important ones, and points will be the means to improve your next character in the full game.
Even in the mid-Republic days, long before the adoption of a professional army, the Romans used a rich system of rewards in order to encourage acts of bravery. These are the decorations you’ll find in A Legionary’s Life:
Cup. The prize for a legionary who killed and stripped an enemy, but only in circumstances where he voluntarily engaged the opponent in single combat when he didn’t have to. So, for instance, killing enemies during pitched battles or sieges didn’t matter. There are a few chances in the demo to win this award and it’s probably the easiest to receive.
Armillae. There are three types of armillae in the game; in order of importance: gold, silver and bronze. To win an armilla, you have to perform especially well during a battle. The better you do, the more precious the metal. Not much is know about them from history records, but it seems that the recipient’s status had some importance in deciding the reward type. For this reason, in A Legionary’s Life you’ll receive a silver armilla only if you have a rank. If you are just a simple soldier with no rank, you’ll get a bronze one even if you qualified for the silver armilla. Similarly, you’ll receive a gold armilla only if you are a centurion (either prior or posterior, it doesn’t matter). This particular mechanics is not present yet as of version 0.4.11, but has been implemented in the development version and will be part of the next update.
Mural Crown. A very important prize. This was given to the first man over the wall during a siege. In the demo there are no chances to win this award, given that the only siege present is New Carthage and that’s our legionary’s very first battle. A chance to win such a reward so soon would have been out of line, in my opinion. In the full game there will be quite a few chances to win a mural crown, as the game progresses through the campaigns in Africa and Macedonia.
Civic Crown. Despite being made of inexpensive materials, this crown of oak leaves was the second most important reward in the Roman army. In order to win it, a soldier had to save the life of a Roman citizen by killing an enemy and holding the position afterwards. In the demo, there is only one chance to obtain a civic crown, and it’s very difficult. I wonder if anyone has managed to win it yet. In the full game, there will be more, but not too many of course.
Grass Crown. This simple wreath of grass and flowers plucked from the battlefield was by far the most valuable decoration for the Romans. It was so rare that only eight people obtained it in the centuries-long history of the Roman Republic. It was awarded to the man who saved a whole legion or army through his actions, and this explains its rarity. Naturally, there will be only one chance to win a grass crown in the whole game and that will come at a later battle.