Rome: Total War Walkthrough :
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Walkthrough - FAQ/Strategy Guide
Rome Total War Strategy Guide v1.5 for game version 1.0 to 1.5 (for intermediate players) by: A.H.W. aka Blood Rage email@example.com Original submission made June 7 2005 First update June 17 2005 Second update June 28 2005 Third update October 04 2005 Fourth update 11 August 2006 Fifth update 02 December 2006 Correction for Briton Strategy 04 March 2007 Sixth update 12 September 2007 NOTE: (*) at the end of titles denote changes in version 1.2 and above. Basically the combat aspects doesn't change much from 1.2 onwards. All else are version 1.0. Table of contents ================= 1.0 Author's note 1.1 Noticeable campaign changes in version 1.2* 1.2 Noticeable campaign changes in version 1.5* 2.0 Basic Strategies 2.1 Troops 2.2 Commands 2.3 Terrain 2.4 Buildings 2.5 Battles 3.0 Advanced Strategies 3.1 Targets 3.2 Sieges* 3.3 Battle Commands 4.0 Misc Strategies 4.1 Diplomat* 4.2 Spies* 4.3 Assassin* 4.4 Navy 4.5 Rebels! 4.6 Mercenaries 4.7 Happy people = healthy empire 4.8 Capital 4.9 'Offensive Fortification' 4.10 Watchtowers 4.11 Massacre vs. Enslave 4.12 What I think of Protectorates 5.0 Factions for this guide followed by strategies by factions ------------------------------ A. Julli -------- A1.0 Author's note* A2.0 Basic Strategies A2.1 Troops* A2.2 Commands A2.3 Terrain A2.4 Buildings A3.0 Advanced Strategies A3.1 Targets* A3.2 Sieges* A3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ B. Brutii --------- B1.0 Author's note B2.0 Basic Strategies Please see Julii B3.0 Advanced Strategies B3.1 Targets B3.2 Sieges B3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ C. Carthage ----------- C1.0 Author's note C2.0 Basic Strategies C2.1 Troops C2.2 Commands C2.3 Terrain C2.4 Buildings C3.0 Advanced Strategies C3.1 Targets* C3.2 Sieges C3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ D. Seleucids ------------ D1.0 Author's note D2.0 Basic Strategies D2.1 Troops D2.2 Commands D2.3 Terrain D2.4 Buildings D3.0 Advanced Strategies D3.1 Targets* D3.2 Sieges D3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ E. Gauls -------- E1.0 Author's note E2.0 Basic Strategies E2.1 Troops E2.2 Commands E2.3 Terrain E2.4 Buildings E3.0 Advanced Strategies E3.1 Targets E3.2 Sieges E3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ F. Germans ---------- F1.0 Author's note F2.0 Basic Strategies F2.1 Troops F2.2 Commands F2.3 Terrain F2.4 Buildings F3.0 Advanced Strategies F3.1 Targets F3.2 Sieges F3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ G. Egyptians ------------ G1.0 Author's note G2.0 Basic Strategies G2.1 Troops G2.2 Commands G2.3 Terrain G2.4 Buildings G3.0 Advanced Strategies G3.1 Targets G3.2 Sieges G3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ H. Parthians ------------ H1.0 Author's note H2.0 Basic Strategies* H2.1 Troops H2.2 Commands H2.3 Terrain H2.4 Buildings H3.0 Advanced Strategies* H3.1 Targets H3.2 Sieges H3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ I. Scipii --------- I1.0 Author's note I2.0 Basic Strategies I2.1 Troops I2.2 Commands I2.3 Terrain I2.4 Buildings I3.0 Advanced Strategies I3.1 Targets I3.2 Sieges I3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ J. Britons ---------- J1.0 Author's note J2.0 Basic Strategies J2.1 Troops J2.2 Commands J2.3 Terrain J2.4 Buildings J3.0 Advanced Strategies J3.1 Targets J3.2 Sieges J3.3 Battle Commands ------------------------------ 6.0 General battle tips against specific factions 6A. Julli, Brutii, Scipii and SPQR 6B. Carthage and Seleucids 6C. Egyptian 6D. Gauls 6E. Germania 6F. Brittania 6E. Dacia 6F. Thrace 6G. Macedon 6H. Greek Cities 6I. Parthians and Armenia 6J. Scythians 6K. Spain 6L. Numidia 6M. Pontus ------------------------------ 7.0 Geographical considerations 7.1 Money pits 7.2 Trouble Spots 7.3 Strategic cities 7.4 Logistic nightmare ------------------------------ 8.0 Economy ------------------------------ 9.0 Questions ------------------------------ 10.0 Credits & Disclaimer ============================================================================ 1.0 Author's note ----------------- This guide is for slightly experienced players in the single player Imperial campaign. I have no experience playing in multiplayer. It is not a comprehensive guide detailing everything you need to know but rather elaborating more on strategies, rather than game bugs, info, cheats. All the games here are on 'very hard/very hard'. Therefore, some mastery of basic commands are recommended. All this strategies here are exactly from my own play. I also assume that the readers would be familiar with the geography and terms of the game. This strategy guide will be structured according to factions following the general structure here. I have split the strategies into 'Basic Strategies' and 'Advanced Strategies' because Basic Strategies apply in any way that you play the faction while in Advanced Strategies I explain my own strategies as an advancement from the basics; usually based on how I interpret the faction strengths and weaknesses, their geographical considerations and how, if any extra tactics I use. Please read through the general non-faction specific part before going to the faction specific guide. Updated 17 June 2005: I fought against my hatred of using chariots and tried out the Egyptians and mastered Parthians. Also posted more strategies like 'offensive fortification' and more of advanced strategies. Various errors corrected. Grammar checked. Updated 28 June 2005: Added Scipii and also the 'General battle tips against specific factions', 'Geographical considerations', 'Economy' and 'Questions' sections. Also added diagrams of Roman and Parthian formations. Updated 04 October 2005: Took some time off the game and got a girlfriend. Now back with version 1.2. There are obvious changes in version 1.2, the most noticeable so far is the enemy AI in the campaign map and battle map. Updated 11 August 2006: Replayed Carthage and Seleucids with version 1.5. Also played Greeks but decided to stop after destroying the Roman factions because they are a very boring faction to play battle-wise due to lack of unit variety, and haven't got round to fighting missile cavalry yet. So, I won't post up the Greek strat as I can't and don't want to recall how I played it. I had so much cash but was so damn bored. Updated 02 December 2006: Completed Seleucid 103 province capture. Winning primary objective with Britons. The Light Chariots rule! Most spelling errors corrected. Correction for Briton Strategy 04 March 2007: THe settlement that I meant was Samarobriva but I mistakenly put in Batavodrum. Updated 12 September 2007: Replayed Parthia in version 1.5 and implemented new strategies for Parthia. 1.1 Noticeable campaign changes in version 1.2 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ - it cost much more to bribe - assassins and spies are a bigger pain - the factions tend to stick more to their historical or geographical boundaries and some factions are simply less aggressive as per history - battle changes are noted in rest of guide - the AI will use siege weapons in battles more 1.2 Noticeable campaign changes in version 1.5 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ - the AI is more crappy with diplomacy that it isn't even funny any more. I like the part where the Egyptians will mention that the pharoah decrees that 'All your bases are belong to us' when they asked for me to become a protectorate kingdom when I am kicking their behinds. - phalanx pikes hold off better against elephants and chariot charges resulting in instant kill irrespective of the elephants and chariot hit points. 2.0 Basic strategies -------------------- 2.1 Troops ++++++++++ Always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the units, understand their strengths and weaknesses. Phalanxes are great for holding a line. Light infantry is easier to maneuver. Archers kill from afar and are a must for all factions especially if you meet up against elephants. Chariots great for breaking lines and kill infantry. Elephants just run through lines. You must also get a good feel of the combination of units that you will be comfortable with. I find that I have to use different combinations for different factions. But generally I'm a cavalry kind of player, hit from the back, fast, hard and run down retreating enemies. 2.2 Commands ++++++++++++ Learn the hotkeys for all the commands. This will help make commands appear smoother. It gives you no advantage in single player mode as you can click pause any time. But make sure you familiarise with all the commands. Manually giving specific order to units individually is the best. You get less of a lag in response but takes time to master. The preset formation orders are terrible and slow to organise. Using group commands make them slow to react as well. 2.3 Terrain +++++++++++ Simple basic terrain rules - high ground good, low ground bad. If you place archers in the rear on a lower ground, they will shoot into the backs of your front lines. If the archers are placed on higher ground in the back, they won't kill your own troops. Bridges and river crossings are good to defend if the enemy only come from one side. Use town/city streets for choke points and cover from flanking. I find forests the hardest for me to control as the trees obstruct the view and placement of troops. Try and place your units in the extremes of the open map during offensive and defensive battles to avoid getting outflanked. 2.4 Buildings +++++++++++++ Buildings give bonuses but not all are useful. You need to look at the building browser at the start of the game and plan what you are going to aim for early on. Always aim to get the economy running first by raising all taxes to very high if you are able. This will hinder population growth but not to worry because if your population grow too fast, you'll have problems with keeping them all contented. The growth of a town/city must be controllable and if done right you can predict how soon you need to build happiness bonus buildings to keep up. Happiness is not a big problem early on, but once you are like holding about 30 cities, it will start to creep up on you. 2.5 Battles +++++++++++ Trust me, it's better to fight all battles yourself as the computer is very very dumb. At the start of the game, play all battles yourself with the target to minimise losses as unit training at the start is costly. 3.0 Advanced strategy --------------------- This is where it gets fun. :) 3.1 Targets +++++++++++ Always have a plan to target certain factions from the start and aim to disrupt them as much as possible. For example, when I played Julii, my main aim is the other 2 Roman faction as like it or not they will turn against me when you grow strong. So my strategy was to obstruct their growth by securing their growth targets and surrounding them. Read on later for faction specific strategies. 3.2 Sieges ++++++++++ I think sieges are a skill itself. Sieges are very fun when you are the defender. Even with a small army you can beat considerable odds. And it is always better to keep smaller armies, but don't depend on weak units. Use archers and units with quite ok defences. Another tactic is to use wall defences to kill for you. Sally out during sieges and get the enemy to come closer to your walls for your towers to kill them. With wooden walls you need to play a hide & seek tactic to draw their units to the towers. This only works when they outnumber you. Attacking in sieges are a good way to expand very fast and make plenty of cash by massacre-ing. Attacking during a siege is best done using siege towers for stone walled cities. Use crack infantry to get up the walls, and then capture all the surrounding towers, using their arrow towers to then start shooting against them. This also opens the gate for the rest of your troops. This strategy is ideal for factios without onagers or if you don't want arrows to pour onto your invading forces as you march down the streets. With onagers, see the Julii strategy. The strategy I love most about sieges is when I siege a city and they attack my army with another army leading to a battle in open grounds with the city defenders coming out as reinforcements. If you kill off all the city defenders and win, you gain the city without going through a siege battle. Always remember that defenders have the advantage in sieges. No defender unit will rout in the town centre. Defenders also get better morale so even basic peasants will fight better. Also take note that each region has it's own city layout pattern. For example the Roman and Greek cities' route to the city centre is more twisted while the African cities are more direct. **version 1.2 changes - the AI is more eager to attack during sieges. My preferred strategy when defending sieges is to let the enemy have the wall and concentrate my defences around the city center. I always place my units to hit from at least 2 directions at choke points. For example, place your units at 3 sides of a crossroads and let the enemy engage you. - the AI is cleverer when you sally forth. They don't stand around to get killed by my wall defences. Nevertheless, I still sally forth and win. The key here is to have at least 3 cavalry, 3 archers and some dependable infantry. I place all but 1 archer on the wall. As soon as the battle start, I observe for enemy movements. If they move to one side, I rush my cavalry out and charge at stragglers. Sometimes I win the sally forth all from the first charge. If the enemy is not broken, I pull the cavalry back and line up the infantry outside. I then place the other archers as close on the side of the wall facing the enemy. I get the archer not on the wall to come out and skirmish the enemy to draw them near. Everytime they send one unit to chase the archers, I charge with the cavalry. Even when the enemy charge all out and overwhelm the infantry, the archers on the wall will make short work of them. - when attacking in a siege, the last enemy troop in the town center will not sit still as you pepper projectiles at it. In fact it will charge at the projectile unit. Heck, this makes it even easier. I place infantries at the front and archers behind. After the up to 2 arrow barrages, I order a ceasefire and let the enemy charge into my infantry while cavalry charge from behind. This will make the unit rout and lessen your losses. - siege towers' ballistas are much more effective and can wipe out more than half the units on the wall. Sometimes I use a few towers to kill units only and only climb the walls when they are very weak. 3.3 Battle commands +++++++++++++++++++ In battles, there's a lot of timing involved. The simplest one is to stop all your archers firing when the enemy units are very close to your front lines to avoid shooting at your own men. You also need to experience the perfect timing to move your cavalry out from your flanks to outflank the enemy troops. Move them out too early and you'll get their infantry trying to chase them instead of clashing against your front lines. Formation is vital to any battlefield success. Place your units too tightly in a group and it becomes easier for the enemy to outflank you. A formation must preferable give a strong front, cover for your projectiles, flank protection and space to deal with any changes you need to make. Each faction has their own ideal formations based on units and also terrain. I like to place my onagers right behind the frontlines in the middle with archers to the sides so that I don't burn my own frontlines by mistake. My cavalry are all in my rear until my army gets into position, then they move out to the flanks in the rear, a charging distance from the front lines to charge at anyone who attack my flanks. 4.0 Misc strategies -------------------- 4.1 Diplomats +++++++++++++ Diplomats are fun to use. Make as many trade right deals as possible to make money. Also if you need cash, use diplomats to 'sell' your map information for cash. Just offer your map information and ask for regular tributes and one time payments. The largest sale I gained was for 5400 cash for 12 turns from the Scipii. The usual deal you get is about 10,000 cash worth in total. Make alliances with everyone early on. Doesn't matter who or how long it lasts as everyone will come for you anyway if you are large. Alliances are just to buy time. So far, I only manage to get the Spanish to become my protectorate and I find it gives me no advantage at all. Might as well take their cities. I've gained a few settlements on demand as well but beware as they are not defended when you receive them and tend to riot. Prefer to conquer and massacre to control population size. Bribe! Bribe! Bribe! No army is too expensive to bribe. Keep the diplomats around your frontline cities in case you have to bribe that superior army. Very useful early in the game. **version 1.2 changes - Bribing cost has increased hugely. Therefore bribing has become less attractive. Don't be surprised to find bribing crappy rebels to cost you over 5k denarii. - Enemy AI has changed in regards to diplomacy. They are more willing to become protectorates and give out map information. 4.2 Spies +++++++++ Spies give advanced information. Learn what the enemy units are and you can counter them. Also good to know what units the enemy keep to defend their cities so that you can plan your siege. Keep spies in front so that you don't get ambushed but I don't really mind this as my expeditionary force can handle anything the ambushing babarians can throw at me. **version 1.2 onwards changes - the AI uses a lot of spies and seed them in any front line cities. So make sure you have spies for counterspying or you will have a headache with happiness level 4.3 Assassins +++++++++++++ **version 1.2 onwards changes - the AI uses more assasins and are more successful. You can lose your precious generals this time. 4.4 Navy ++++++++ Don't spend too much on Navy. Their use is limited. Keep up to 3 large fleets to kill other ships and few small fleets of up to 4 ships for transport. Why? Navy is costly. It can suck your economy dry. If you don't concentrate them they are weak as well, especially in Very Hard mode. I tend to lose naval battles on even strengths. You need to overwhelm the enemy navy to win. If you worry that the enemy control the seas, don't panic. The key to win control of the sea is to capture the land. Dominance of the sea depends on dominance on land. **version 1.2 onwards changes - the AI will not make crazy navies like in 1.0 and will spend more cash on troops instead. 4.5 Rebels! +++++++++++ Rebel units tend to pop up here and there... have no fear! They block roads and reduce trade income. Using diplomats you can bribe most of them for less than 1300 cash. If they have a rebel general, you can recruit him for less than 5000 cash. They best way I've dealt with them is to use generals with bad stats, get them to hire mercs, then get them to run over rebels. This way they become conquering heroes (+6 influence) and can be used to placate unhappy towns with their high influence. It's a win-win situation. 4.6 Mercenaries +++++++++++++++ Mercs are not great. Most of them have poor morale and break off and run faster than the rest. The ones I tend to use are Cretan Archers, Samartian Mercenaries, Rhodian Slingers, Mercenary War Elephant and Bastarnae Mercenaries. Still, I use them sparingly as I can't retrain them. Avoid unless they can give you an advantage. 4.7 Happy people = healthy empire +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The toughest part of the game is to avoid rebellions. They are a pain and tend to happen in your largest cities which also happen to be your richest. Recapturing them are a pain because I tend to leave weaker cheap troops to garrison them while the top of my crop go off conquering. The basics are: 1. keep a suitably sized garrison, preferable cheap maintainance units like peasants 2. build happiness buildings and counter their grievances 3. maintain a governor with high influence 4. keep appropriate tax level The advanced strategies are: 1. keep population growth under control population control is important. You want your cities to grow fast enough to give you tech but also not too fast that it will drain your resources to keep on building happiness buildings. Make sure there's always population growth until you pass the 24k mark but also make sure that you have enough time to prevent any rebellions. 2. use games and races this will cost you but are very effective, making the Romans ideal for total domination. If you are not Roman you might want to let them live a bit longer and build arenas for you before you capture their cities, especially the Scipii in North Africa and Egypt. 3. plague your own cities smaller population = happier population. Great for places where population can grow over 30,000 like Carthage, Alexandria, Memphis, Corduba, etc.. **I don't do this any more as I have managed to fine tune the population control to avoid resorting to plagues and massacres to control happiness levels. 4. ideal governor must have high influence and management. possible to have management and influence both up to 10 for Romans. High management give high income giving some happiness boost. Remove grain merchant and overseer from governors as they boost population growth; good for income but you don't want a rich unhappy city. 5. culture penalty culture penalty depends on what structure you have in the city of a different culture compared to your culture. Therefore to reduce it, you need to replace or rebuild buildings from different cultures. Nevertheless, you can still escape without culture penalty even if you have 1 or 2 buildings from a different culture. Razing different culture buildings as soon as capturing the city is not always required. Just take your time and replace the buildings and youc an actually keep a few happiness bonus buildings in the process without sustaining any culture penalty. In version 1.5, having the pyramids eliminates Egyptian culture penalties. 4.8 Capital +++++++++++ Always try to move your capital towards the centre of large cities. Rome and the cities around it is good. This keep the big cities happier and the distance to capital will lessen with a city in the centre of your empire. 4.9 'Offensive Fortification' +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ A fort has wooden walls, cost 500 denarii, can be build at most places, and very much worth the money! If you fight against factions that have strong infantry which can break your lines in a strong charge, and your advancing army uses archers and onagers, try building forts at the end of your movement. This way when the marauding enemy decide to siege your fort, sally forth and your onagers can rain fireballs and your archers will shower arrows in safety behind your walls. So you don't have to worry about elephants, pikemen, axemen, falxmen, etc.. 4.10 Watchtowers ++++++++++++++++ Watchtowers are very useful as advanced warning and also to light up areas along the roads where rebel units can appear and block the roads affecting trade. To get maximum view from towers, build them in higher elevations. No use building it in the middle of the forest. 4.11 Massacre vs. Enslave +++++++++++++++++++++++++ After trying out these two options after capturing a city, I personally would still choose either depending on the campaign need. In the early game, where the town population are low, enslaving is better to boost population growth while not causing the captured city to rebel. But when I captured large cities and huge cities, massacre seems to be the better option to quell rebellions early on. The denarii made from massacre is also a good incentive, even in version 1.2. Once I have plenty huge cities to provide the tech, I simply massacre any city above 10k population as I don't need population boost any more and could better use the cash. 4.12 What I think of Protectorates ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Crap. If they are weak enough to accept protectorate, might as well eradicate them and tax the cities dry. 5.0 Factions for this FAQ (very hard/very hard) ----------------------------------------------- A. Julii* B. Brutii C. Carthagians* D. Seleucids* E. Gaul F. Germans G. Egypt H. Parthians I. Scipii J. Britons* ============================================================================ A. Julii ======== A1.0 Author's note ------------------ Julii have the advantage of starting with 2 onagers which is a great bonus as it usually takes some time into the game before you are able to build them. With catapults, it make attacking walled settlements easy. Their Roman units are easy to get into. Easiest to start with as you start off with free good units. Version 1.2 is more challenging as the Brutii and Scipii expend much faster. Not being able to bribe much due to exorbitant cost makes for more battles. A2.0 Basic Strategies --------------------- A2.1 Troops +++++++++++ Infantry to fight infantry and hold enemy cavalry, cavalry to do what cavalries are good at, onagers to burn units and break walls, strong navy and long ranged archer auxillia. Most of their infantry can throw spears before a charge, so make sure you make use of this for example, throw your spears at enemy lines before you engage or get your troops facing into gaps in the wall and spear the defenders within with full confidence that the defenders won't leave the city walls. The gladiators look formidable but in truth they are superseded by cavalry as shock troops. As infantry they are useless in holding the line. My combo for a typical Roman expeditionary force is to have 3-4 onagers/heavy onagers, 3-4 archer auxillia, 3-4 heavy cavalry and the rest made up of heavy infantry i.e legionary cohorts and above. **version 1.2 changes - The Marius changes comes later in the game, had mine at 202 BC. Therefore you have to put up with short ranged archers, equites and precipes much longer. Suffered heavy losses to the high tech chosen axemen, chosen swordmen and chosen archers. Be wary that equites is light cavalry and will die against heavy cavalry in a straight charge. A2.2 Commands +++++++++++++ Use the fire at will command sparingly. Plenty of times I've killed my own troops with the pilums, onagers and archers. Manual projectile target selection is best but you have to keep tabs on it because you might lose track on who's shooting at who. Grouping projectile units sometimes confuse the game and make a mess of controlling the units. The best way to keep control is to give commands to units individually and use the grouping option for mass commands like maneuvering without losing formation of ordering all units to stop. A2.3 Terrain ++++++++++++ When fighting on bridges, make sure you have more archers than the enemy. This works both attacker and defender. Use archers to push defenders back or weaken then so that your troops can easily engage them. Onagers cannot enter forests, so best to play in open terrain. A2.4 Buildings ++++++++++++++ Keeping your population happy is the main priority. The Italian peninsula and Greek peninsula has one of the highest income so cash should not be a problem. Aim for early basic archers and heavy infantry with the basic cavalry equites. In the early game the equites can outflank the Gauls. Precipes are dependable. The Romans are the best designed faction for total domination in the game as they have the Arena and Hippodrome to help keep happiness in check. A3.0 Advanced Strategies ------------------------ A3.1 Targets ++++++++++++ My target for Julii is to make money and more money. For that you will need to secure the Italian peninsula and Greece. Use your alliances with the other Roman factions for trade and for them to protect the sea. Head straight for the cities of Northern Italy and advance to Massila in the West. Defend Massila. Massila also has bridges which are ideal for defensive play with archers and onagers at the back of your troops. Then aim to secure the Western coast of the Greek peninsula at Appolonia, Salona, Thermon. Appolonia ans Salona are loyal cities which are easy to keep happy and therefore don't need a large army presence, which can go on to grab Thermon. Your second expeditionary force should quickly land in Sicily and capture Lilybeaum and/or Syracuse before the Scipii. You do not need onagers here, just plenty of precipes and hastati and wait the siege out. In the early game, your units do not perform well against solid walled cities. Once you have all these cities, spread out in 3 directions up to France, the rest of Greece and Carthage. Using this strategy, you enlarge in a circle which keeps your unhappiness from distance to capital manageable. This also weakens the other Roman factions so that by the time they turn on you, they will be easy meat. Remember that all the Roman factions will turn on you. It is best if you turn on them first before the Senate demand the suicide of your leader every few turns. That means keep reserve onagers and troops in one of your main cities. Capture the Italian peninsula ASAP and then it'll be easy to defend. If you have a city in Sicily, quickly grab the rest. They are usually poorly defended by the Scipii. No need to rush on Rome as they are the least dangerous of the Romans. The Brutii and Scipii can mass units very fast. I normally defend from the Brutii at Patavium while the Scipii will try to land in Sicily. ******************** **version 1.2 game** ******************** My aim for Julii is to make plenty of money and suppress the ambitions of the other roman faction. The other Roman faction AI are more aggressive and they will capture cities faster. So, the Scipii and Brutii grow very fast as they attack during sieges. Therefore you must be faster than them. As usual, I ignore the Senate missions unless it befits my overall strategy. (My rationale to avoid invading France and Gaul first is because they are poorer low tech provinces. It's slow progress through forests and not economically viable. That's why I always aim for Greece and Sicily against the senate orders. I also avoid meeting the aggressive Britons early by keeping the Gauls in France.) My first aim was to capture Segesta ASAP and then quickly capture Patavium and Medialonum from the Gauls. This is a little tricky as I was preparing an army to capture Lilybeaum at the same time. So I had to hire mercenaries. I refrain from training units in my two main roman cities as I want them to grow faster to get tech. So I did enslaving all the way. My most precious units was the lone archer unit which I protected all the way as it's the only unit giving you the slight advantage in missile fire when sieging towns. (The lone archer unit never dies and lasted till the Marius changes with a gold chevron.) After capturing northern Italy and