Imperator: Rome is a game of huge proportions, tonnes of decisions, and more mechanics than the Apollo 11 mission.
Starting any playthrough can be mind-boggling, and it’s hard to know where to begin. But have no fear, here are some tips for your opening moves in Imperator: Rome.
The first thing you should do, beyond a doubt, is use your Oratory Power to take your Oratory Ideas that match your society. This gives you a huge bonus in the form of an additional 1 point in each power and a civilization buff. This may not sound like a lot, but if you do this at the start of the game it will add up. The ideas themselves aren’t bad either.
It’s then a good idea to look at the trade goods in your budding empire, and see what you can import and export around your provinces. Growing the population in your home province as soon as possible is a good goal, so start by importing fish, grain or livestock if you are able to.
It is important then to look at your armies and their make-up; who are leading them, and how loyal are their troops? This is especially important as a tribal government, as pesky characters will raise their own retinues and use their power to rise in rebellion.
One way to keep loyalty in check is to make sure you do not have any scorned families if possible. If you have a governmental job or two that needs filling or changing, it may be worth considering a member of these scorned families as long as their characteristics are somewhat (not necessarily most) suited to that role.
Also consider building a few more units for the nations you have started in. As long as you can afford the upkeep, having more men under another commander is always beneficial as it increases the threat of your nation while decreasing the threat of internal army leaders as your power is more spread out.
Next, you should look at inventions and what your first two will be (you may need to wait a month or two if you changed a trade route for your second invention). There will always be some circumstantial pro and cons to taking different inventions. If you are expecting an early fight, the most useful invention is “Oath of the Brotherhood” for its morale recovery. However, if you sail in safer seas, then perhaps opt for “Herbalism” for its general tech boost, or “Aggressive Protection” for how much Oratory power it saves you in the long run.
You should then be able to cast an Omen. It’s a good idea to start the game with a boost to your population unless you are expecting a war, then it’s perhaps better to boost the discipline of your armies. However, there are certainly situations where it may be important to lower unrest or boost your manpower. But all in all, the first two options mentioned are probably the most beneficial. After that, it is time to unpause the game and start the playthrough.