ROME: Total War gameplay hints

Stuck on ROME: Total War? Need advice on tactics? Wondering how to pull off something tricky? You might just find your answer here.

Links to gameplay help for Rome: Total War - Gold Edition

Rome: Total War - Gold Edition wiki at TWCenter.net


Rome: Total War - Gold Edition walkthrough at IGN.com


What is the purpose of Academies?

The main purpose of Academies is to train governors. From an Academy, a Scriptorium or a Ludus Magna, a governor can gain many traits and ancillaries (members of his retinue).

How do you play as a faction other than the Romans in campaign mode?

To unlock a faction you must defeat it in a campaign. You may also enable all the playable factions by using the Enable All Factions check box in the Advanced panel of the pre-game Options window.

Public order is really low! What should I do?

There are several ways to improve public order. You can lower taxes, hold more frequent Games and Races, upgrade the City, upgrade the Temple, upgrade the Arena, or train a better governor through Academies.

What is the "rally point" function on the main map for?

If you set a rally point for a city, troops you create in that city will be deployed to that rally point. If you were planning to send new troops to a particular location anyway, setting a rally point will save you a few clicks.

How do you win favour with the people? i.e. When am I allowed to invade Rome?

Low taxes, well managed and happy settlements, good profits, being on good terms with the Senate and other factions, and in particular an expanding empire will help you win favour with the people. You can invade Rome when your popularity with the people is at the maximum possible level. You will receive a message that you are encouraged to take power. You don't need a certain number of armies and territories, but it is wise to have a large amount of both before invading Rome and triggering the civil war between the Scipii, Brutii, Julii, and the Senate.

How do I build forts on the main map, and what is their purpose?

A fort is a temporary settlement that stays up as long as troops remain inside. They can only be built by an army with a family member leading them. You build them by clicking on the army, clicking on the Construction button, and clicking Build Fort.

The best use of forts is when the army is at risk of an attack they cannot win on the field. Once the fort has been built the situation resembles a siege, and your army gains the advantages that come with being a defender during a siege. Forts also help to reduce the number of rebels in your camp.

I put my projectile weapons behind my troops and let my troops and the enemy fight, but most of my troops get killed and the enemy troops are almost unaffected. Why?

This is due to "friendly fire"! Most of your projectile weapons will miss and hit your own troops that are in front of them instead of the units you tell them to attack. To solve this, either keep the projectile weapons in front, or keep them to the side.

My huge cities are losing money fast, and my tiny towns are thriving! Why?

This is because the cost of maintaining your army is split between the cities, based on their population. If a city has 50% of your total population, that city will pay 50% of the cost of your army. The cities making money ought to balance out your finances.

Look at the Settlement Details scroll for details of where the money is going in each settlement. If you let a settlement rebel and then exterminate it, you simply spread the cost of your army on to your other settlements.

Extermination won't help your finances! The best way to avoid losing money on your cities is to conquer, conquer, conquer!

I want to train units that let me attack a city right away without having to siege. What buildings do I need?

Siege weapons can be built at an Archery Range (Ballistas, Onagers for Dacians, Scythians and Spanish only) and its upgrades, Catapult Range (Scorpions and Onagers) and Siege Engines (Repeating Ballistas and Heavy Onagers).

Sometimes I can't move through a sea area because it will say "can't go through another faction's zone of control." What is this zone? Can I see its borders?

When you click on a unit, you'll see the region which it can move through in green. However, you will notice that if there are any enemy/neutral units in the region, the area around that unit will be red. This denotes the zone of control. If your unit ends a move in the zone of control, it can no longer move.

I have lots of Huge Cities but still no Legionaries! Why not?

To get Legionaries you must wait for the Marius Reforms.

Can I have more units per unit card?

Yes! From the Main Menu, go to OptionsVideo Options, and check the box marked Advanced Options and change the Unit Scale. This will only be applied to new campaigns you start, not your current one. Keep in mind that population cost and garrison effectiveness change with unit size.

How do I get the Legionary First Cohort? I don't see it on the Recruitment Scroll.

The Legionary First Cohort is a gift from the Senate, for completing a random mission, so you may have to be patient. You may prefer to train the Early Legionary Cohort instead, as it costs less.

The Early Legionary First Cohort and Legionary First Cohort can both be trained from Rome only after the Marius Reforms from an Army Barracks (Large City) and Royal Barracks (Huge City).

What is the meaning of the "Wait 1, 2, 3" indicators just before starting a battle?

If you feel that the weather is unfavourable, for example if it is raining heavily and you have a lot of archers, then you can click the Wait button in order to wait a few more days before battle and see if the weather improves. As you do this the number next to Wait goes down. When it hits 0, you are stuck with the current weather.

Should I build up my outermost cities?

Some cities should be economic powerhouses and others should be military powerhouses. Both should be built up, although the economy takes priority. Frontier cities are always worth building up, as that is where the enemy is most likely to attack.

How do you set way points for troops during field battles?

Hold the Shift key (⇧) and right-click on the spots you want your troops to go to, in the order you want them to go there.

The historical battles are very hard and I just can't win! Is something wrong with the game?

In most historical battles you play as the side that lost, so the odds are stacked against you. Winning the battle of Lake Trasimeno as the Romans should be almost impossible—only true generals need apply!