Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion Strategy Guide (walkthrough)


Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion Strategy Guide 
(for intermediate players)

by: Blood Rage
ahwongso@hotmail.com


Original submission made 18 Jan 2006



Table of contents
=================

1.0 Author's note
	
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 Capital
	4.8 Watchtowers
	4.9 Religion
	4.10 Hordes
	4.11 Offensive Fortification
	4.12 Peasant Blocking
	

5.0 Factions for this guide
	followed by strategies by factions

------------------------------

A. Huns
-------
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. Eastern Roman Empire
-----------------------
B1.0 Author's note

B2.0 Basic Strategies
	A2.1 Troops
	A2.2 Commands
	A2.3 Terrain
	A2.4 Buildings
	
B3.0 Advanced Strategies
	B3.1 Targets
	B3.2 Sieges
	B3.3 Battle Commands

------------------------------

C. Sassanids
------------
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. Alemanni
-----------
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. Western Roman Empire
-----------------------
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

------------------------------

6.0 City Building

------------------------------

7.0 Settlement Guide

------------------------------

8.0 Questions

------------------------------

9.0 Credits & Disclaimer







============================================================================


1.0 Author's note
-----------------
Again, as in my RTW guide, this guide is for intermediate players 
who have mastered a few basic skills. I again state that I have no 
experience playing in multiplayer battles. It is not a comprehensive 
guide, but rather a collection of thoughts and applied strategies. 
This guide therefore will not include cheats or codes (I don't use 
them anyway). All my postings are from actual campaigns and all 
campaigns are set in 'very hard/very hard' difficulty (which is not
very hard at all). 

I also assume that the readers would be familiar with the 
geography and terms of the game. 

As with the RTW guide, this strategy guide will be structured with 
general guides followed by faction specific guides. It is advisable 
to read the general guides first before going to the faction 
specific guides. 



2.0 Basic strategies
--------------------
2.1 Troops
++++++++++
It is always a good idea to familiarise with all the troop types. 
one quick way is to go to custom battle and take a look at all the
units on offer for every faction. This is because you will use 
some of these units and will definitely battle against all of them 
on other occasions. 

Take note of projectile units and learn which factions will have 
siege weapons. Most of my strategies depend on projectile units as 
I like to kill from afar. 

The training cost and maintainance cost of units can be astronomical
and therefore you need to get a good grasp of it before you end up 
bankrupt. 

There are also horde troops which is a real pain. Capturing the 
last city of a barbarian faction is not the end of that faction. 
In fact, it will spawn horde armies. You will therefore need to 
prepare to kill off the horde armies when capturing the last city. 
This means having a backup army to clear the hordes.

2.2 Commands
++++++++++++
Hotkeys are very useful. Learn them all. There are new commands 
like shield wall and schiltrom too. 

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. Remember that there are units which 
can swim across the river. If you plan well, they sould not 
cause much surprise and are very easy to kill off when they 
first get up to dry land. I don't recommend sending troops 
to swim across the river to face the enemy if they can see you. 

Use town/city streets for choke points and cover from flanking. 
I've also successfully used octagonal city centre defence with 
spearmen and it works very well too. 

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. Any point is that auto-battles 
are bad at killing off enemy generals. If you wanna assassinate 
enemy generals in battle it's best to fight it yourself. This 
is a good way to destroy hordes as if you kill all the family 
members (including faction leader and faction heir) you will 
destroy the horde without having to kill off all their troops. 

3.0 Advanced strategy
---------------------
This is where it gets fun. :)
3.1 Targets
+++++++++++
Always have a plan to target certain cities especially if you 
play the horde factions. Setting your capital in a poor city 
will hurt your economy and prevent growth. Setting up your 
captial too late and you will find that your opponents have 
improved their armies. So always set in mind where you want 
to head to. You need to plunder enough cities too to give you 
a big boost to your economy when you set up your capital.

As for factions defending from the hordes, your main aim is 
to identify defensive sectors so that you can prevent the 
hordes from taking your cities while keeping your central 
cities safe to pump out cash. A warning to players who play 
the Roman factions is that you may have to face rebellion 
if you lose cities. 

3.2 Sieges
++++++++++
Again, I love sieges as attacker or defender. It is a skill 
itself. Always get a brief look at the wall before you fight 
over them. Barbarian factions now can have stone walls.

Attacking in sieges is a good and fast way to capture a 
city. Always come fully prepared. Have siege engines. I 
strongly recommend using siege towers against larger walls. 
Against the basic stone wall the siege towers will have 
arrow towers on them which can help reduce the wall defenders 
but it is rather crappy. With larger stone walls, you get 
ballista support on the siege towers which is great as you 
can clear one stretch of the wall with just 1 siege tower. 
So what I do is to build up to 7 siege towers. When the 
battle starts, I use onagers to destroy the defensive towers 
and open the gate. Then I get the siege towers with ballistas 
forward to face the defenders to kill them all off the walls. 
Then only 1 siege tower is needed to climb onto the walls to 
capture the rest of the wall defenses along the direction of 
where the rest of your army is going to march towards the 
center of the city. 

If the enemy sally forth against your ballista siege towers, 
hey, it's real cool. The ballistas will shoot down on the 
advancing enemy troops. So what I do is to get my projectile 
and non-fighting infantry (like priests, druids, etc.) to get 
the towers, freeing a few defensive infantry to make a 
defensive line in front of the siege towers. I get the 
onagers to the side and don't use them much at all. I place 
cavalry in the flanks. And believe me, the ballistas will 
make short work of the sallying troops. Once the towers run 
out of ammo, well, you have your released projectile units 
to take over. 

Defending in sieges is always extra fun. Just get all your 
troops to defend your town centre. That way they won't rout 
and fight better. Even crappy units become stronger. Cover 
choke points and just watch the exhausted enemy fall to 
their deaths. For city walls, I like to get my wall towers 
to kill the enemy for me. How? Simple... Get a crappy unit 
to stand on the wall a bit away from where the enemy will 
climb the walls. Let the enemy capture your gate and then 
they will all climb down and the whole lot will march in. 
Now, once all the enemy troops are in, just use your crappy 
unit to recapture all lost towers. Recapturing the gate 
has it's pros and cons depending on whether they broke the 
gate. If the gate is broken it's better to recapture the 
gate. If the gate is not broken, recapturing the gate will 
prevent the enemy from retreating which will result in the 
enemy unable to rout. It does mean that you get to kill 
all of them though. Lots of fun seeing whole enemy unit 
completely destroyed by my tower defences. 

Sallying forth to break a siege needs skill. The improved 
AI will not come close to your cities walls and sings songs
while your wall defences chop them down. You got to lure 
them. Depending on what troops I have, I either use the 
luring strategy or charge with cavalry. I prefer to charge 
with cavalry. Charging with cavalry is best done when 
there is not too many enemy troops. It can only be done if 
the enemy troops start to march off to the side as soon as 
the battle starts. So you got to get your cavalry all 
ready behind the gate and rush out as soon as the battle 
starts. Depending on what cavalry units you have, you can 
break the whole siege in one big charge into the rear and 
flanks of the enemy, even all the way until they stop and 
reorganise the rest of their troops. By charging out, I get 
to destroy about half their troops even before they get 
ready. With so many of their troops routing, charging into 
the rest who are in defensive positions will be easy too. 
The luring strategy takes more time and careful planning. 
You need archer units for this, the more the better and 
the longer ranged the better. Set up the bulk of your 
archers on the wall facing the enemy. Then send out your 
cavalry and infantry with 2-3 archer units. Set up a 
defensive line with the infantry and put cavalry in the 
flanks. Use your archers to fire upon the enemy. Once they 
rush at your archers, you pull them back and lure them 
into the range of your wall archers. If they get even 
closer you have your cavalry and infantry to deal death. 
Do not worry if your infantry and cavalry routs as this 
will mean that the enemy will get even closer to your 
walls. So just kill them. The luring strategy is more 
suitable for larger enemy army. The best luring strategy 
I did was against the Samartian Horde destroying 2 out of 
3 of their horde armies, killing 3600+ troops with 12 
Lombard archers, 3 chosen axemen and 6 lancers. 

3.3 Battle commands
+++++++++++++++++++
Formation and timing are important. Take your time to set 
up formation and get a grasp of timing when to advance and 
charge. With the horde troops, some of them do not respond 
fast enough with commands and some of them are a pain to 
command in narrow streets. 

I have a different preferred formations and tactics for 
every faction I've played. This means that you have to 
familiarise yourself with the troops available and 
experiment a few. 



4.0 Misc strategies
-------------------
4.1 Diplomats
+++++++++++++
They are still useful but don't depend on bribery as it 
cost too much. It is vital to establish trade rights with 
richer large factions. Don't waste your time trying to 
get trade rights with the horde cities as they will 
attack you anyway and they are not rich trading partners. 
Try and get trade rights early with the Roman factions and
whoever controls Egypt. 

I'm not a big fan of alliances as they get broken all the 
time if your faction gets stronger. Don't ever depend on 
it. It is easier to get protectorates but my rationale is 
that if they are weak enough to be my protectorate, they 
are weak enough for me to kill off anyway. Why allow a 
weak faction to set up base near you and send spies and 
assasins to you while being a protectorate? I can use the 
city itself to generate more income if I can fill it up 
with peasants. 

4.2 Spies
+++++++++
There is more use for spies since the RTW 1.2 patch. You 
need them for counter-spying. Spies will be everywhere. 
With all the forest and potential ambush, always keep a 
spy unit ahead of your advancing army. 

The best way to kill spies is to use assassins. Keep 
about 3 around. 

4.3 Assassins
+++++++++++++
They are easier to use now. I even assasinated faction 
leaders and heirs with ease. Their main use for me is to 
kill enemy spies, assasins and destroy a horde faction by 
killing off their family members.

4.4 Navy
++++++++
Compared to RTW, the navies of RTW:BI are smaller and 
scattered. You don't need very large fleets and most of 
my navies are for pirate sweeping and transport. So, 
you can mostly forget about aiming to have large navies. 

4.5 Rebels!
+++++++++++
Rebels pop up everywhere but now there are stronger 
rebel armies and more of them roam the map now. There 
are possible faction rebels such as the Ostrogoth, Rebel 
Western Roman Empire and Rebel Eastern Roman Empire. The 
Roman rebels are seldom a threat and can easily be 
destroyed. The unaligned rebels are a pain because they 
block roads and they are expensive to bribe now. 

4.6 Mercenaries
+++++++++++++++
Mercs are better now. You can get some cool mercs and 
most of them are strong enough on their own and not just 
for onager fodder. They are more dependable too. 

4.7 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. 

As for the horde armies, plan your capital well as it will 
mean everything in the long run. 

4.8 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. Watchtowers are vital in the 
mountanious regions of Asia Minor and the forest regions of 
Germany. Armies can simply pop up without you knowing. The 
rebels and hordes also love to use ambush in the forests. 

The Roman factions have plenty watchtowers at their borders 
to start with.

4.9 Religion
++++++++++++
There are 3 primary religions in the game; Christianity, 
Zoorastrianism and Paganism (all those not in the first two). 
Your faction will in a way have an 'official' religion based 
on your faction leader's religious leanings. You will get 
unhappiness points in a city if your faction leader's or 
governors' religion differs from the practiced religion in 
the city (the city's official religion follows the religious 
building or religion converting building in the city and not 
on the % of population practicing the religion). Therefore 
to avoid having 10% unhappiness due to differing faction 
leader's religion, it's better to have one religion for your 
empire. I get very aggressive in converting cities. 

You get a lot of unhappiness from population of different 
religion. You need to watch it carefully and plan well when 
to raze the original temples or churches and convert them. 
Fortunately there are other buildings that boost religion 
such as bardic circle and academy and its upgrades. 

It is better to use converting strategies while attempting to 
capture a city. For example, I normally use a general with 
command bonuses AND religious conversion bonuses to siege a 
city. If you arrange the general's retinue and items well, 
you can get a general with very high conversion rating. In 
3-5 turns during a siege, you can convert the majority of the 
city. To boost it up, I normally send in extra 'roaming' 
generals who are crappy to use as governors and fill them up 
with religious conversion retinues to support conversion. It
is like having travelling evangelists. The most effective 
evangelist group I had consisted of 4 generals with a 
combined christianity conversion power of 110%. I get to 
convert cities in 2 turns. 

Training up general units will give you characters with 
religious conversion bonus. Plus they are good fighters 
which recharge their numbers after every battle for free 
and their maintainance cost is low compared to how effective 
they are.



4.10 Horde
++++++++++
Hordes are powerful. They can overrun any resistance... or 
can they? The strength of the hordes are numbers and no 
maintanance cost. They are formidable but not invincible.

The weaknesses of hordes are low morale and disorganised 
units (can't hold a line and break up easily). Nevertheless 
they should not be underestimated. Their archers are superb 
and their elite horde infantry is way advanced compared to 
the non-horde factions. 

To defeat a roaming horde, you will either need to kill off 
all the horde armies or simply kill off all the generals. 
To kill off a horde which has settled in a city, you need 
to capture the city thus releasing a large horde which can 
be killed off as above. The horde size decreases according 
to time. Later in the game, some horde factions will not 
form hordes after you capture their last city. 

The best way to battle horde armies is to use every 
topographical advantage you can find. The aim is to restrict 
their numerical and mobility advantage. Open flat plains and 
forests are no-nos. Bridges and city walls are great places 
to kill off large numbers of horde units. Use loads of 
cavalry charges to break horde infantry. The lesser infantry 
they have the lesser section of walls they can capture when 
they siege you. Give up the gate, but not the rest of your 
towers as your arrow towers can kill loads. The horde 
units which are not tightly packed move very slowly in the 
streets and will be easily killed by towers.

Last note, always prepare an extra army nearby before you 
release any new hordes. It's better to place that extra army 
at choke points like bridges to prevent the horde from 
venturing into the weakly defended cities you left behind. 

4.11 Offensive Fortification
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This is a great strat for advancing in hostile territory 
with catapults and long range archers while having relatively 
weak units. Just make your move and end your move with 
building a fort. If a larger enemy army siege your fort, just 
sally forth and kill them with your projectiles. 3-4 onagers 
can usually make short work of the enemy. 

4.12 Peasant Blocking
+++++++++++++++++++++
In less important frontline cities with low risk of getting 
attacked I usually have some defensive units and fill up the 
rest with peasants. When an approaching enemy gets close what 
I do is so start training up fighting units. During the same 
turn I send out lone peasant units to block the enemy army, 
practically surrounding it from 3-4 sides. What the AI does 
is to chase the peasants around for a few turns. What I gain 
is time to boost up my defences. Easy. 


5.0 Factions for this FAQ (very hard/very hard)
-----------------------------------------------
	A. Huns
	B. Eastern Roman Empire
	C. Sassanids
	D. Alemanni
	E. Western Roman Empire



============================================================================




A. Huns
=======

A1.0 Author's note
------------------
Huns... easy? Not! The easy rating you get with it is due to 
their powerful units. But to actually manage their empire is 
a pain. Luckily they don't need so many cities to win the 
game. 

The Huns have superb cavalry. Nothing compares to them. They 
just charge and charge. They are fast, they hit hard and 
they have staying power. Their infantry are rather crap though. 
They also have no infantry archers and rely on horse archers. 

The problem with the huns is their crappy economy. They also 
can't build shipyards to get sea trade! You need to let your 
enemies build the shipyards for you and capture the city after 
that. Plus their troop maintainance cost is very very 
expensive. You don't have cheap peasant units to garrison 
your cities. So you got to use runaway slave spearmen or 
herdsmen to garrison and their maintainance cost are like 
regular troops of other factions. With the crappy economy, I
was never able to get an all elite army due to the cost of it. 

A2.0 Basic Strategies
---------------------
A2.1 Troops
+++++++++++
Go cavalry all the way. You can just charge at any enemy unit 
and win. The Hun elite units are just powerful. The infantry 
is crappy but you still need them to push siege engines. Too 
bad it's difficult to train up the Hunnic elite archers. They 
would complement the elite cavalry very well. 

My combo for troops is rather mixed. I could not get an ideal 
combo though I manage to build up satisfactory armies. Just 
can't afford what I wanted. I recommend getting up to 6 elites 
cavalries, 6 horse archer units, and 4-6 infantry. The rest 
you can make up with anything. 

A2.2 Commands
+++++++++++++
Just learn to outflank and charge. Use projectiles to draw 
enemy units and then charge. Projectiles are great to weaken 
your enemies. 

A2.3 Terrain
++++++++++++
Open terrain is great as there is no restriction to mobility. 
Use forest covers. Defending on bridge is not so great 
compared to other factions with stronger infantry as your 
infantry usually cannot hold without cavalry support. You 
will still win though as you can charge into their units 
easily. 

A2.4 Buildings
++++++++++++++
You'll be too poor to be so worried about it. Just be 
selective and build essentials. What you can't build, you 
capture. So don't sweat it trying to build up cities. Aim 
for economic build. 




A3.0 Advanced Strategies
------------------------
A3.1 Targets
++++++++++++
Since it was the first faction I played, I wanted to settle 
down fast. So, I sacked every city on the way towards 
Constantinople. I made Samartians, Roxolani and Goths into 
hordes. I sieged Constantinople, Athens and Thessalonica at 
the same time and waited it out. No point losing cavalry to 
the wall towers and while I don't have a capital, I don't 
need to pay maintainance so there was no rush. I made 
Constantinople into my capital and I could train up most of 
my elite units from there. Then I wanted to avoid battling 
the Western Roman Empire because I wanted them to be beaten 
up by the other factions first. So, I then captured Sirmuim, 
Salona (Western Rebels) the old Goth cities, the old 
Samartian capital, and the old Roxolani cities. On hindsight 
I think that was a mistake as the Goth and Samartian cities 
were poor and just cost more to maintain. Nevertheless, this 
kept me away from most of the horde armies. 

The Vandals in fact captured Italy as I struggled to raise 
enough money to prepare a third army. I never got my third 
army as the Vandals then attacked me at Salona. I defended 
well and sent a mediocre army by ship to Tarentum capturing 
it in 2 turns. Have to be fast to avoid Vandal reinforcements. 
From there I captured the rest of Italy avoiding direct 
battles with the Vandal armies and attacking during sieges. 
This is because the Vandals have far superior troops from 
their wealth while my elite troops were stretched out in 
3 directions (Fanki from north, Sassanid from East and 
Vandals from West). 

Nevertheless, once I had Ravenna, the Vandals were so much 
weakened that I regained the upper hand. The campaign ended 
with 13 cities captured. Got tiresome at one point and glad 
it was over. 

The other possibility is to capture Rome as the capital 
first. That way I wouldn't have to stretch my troops so far 
apart. The risk is that I will have to face more horde armies 
in Northern Italy. The richness of Greece is not as much as 
in RTW. Still, Constantinople was a good choice as it has 
plenty of high tech buildings to train up good units. 


A3.2 Sieges
+++++++++++
Sallying forth when under siege is ideal as the infantry is 
crappy. Nevertheless, if you garrison your city with Steppe
Spearmen, they are still adequate to hold the town centre 
even when outnumbered 3 to 1. There are no archers to be 
placed on the walls. 

There are no onagers for you. The best you can hope for are 
mercenary ballistas. Attacking in a siege is hard as your 
infantry is not great in fighting on the walls. So it's 
easier to wait out a siege. 

In the narrow streets your sheer numbers and powerful cavalry 
will see you through. You just need to overwhelm the city 
centre the good old fashioned way. 

A3.3 Battle Commands
++++++++++++++++++++
Set some cavalry in the centre flanked by horse archers with 
the rest of the cavalry in the outer flanks. The infantry 
is not essential in the battle but useful as reinforcements. 

Just annoy the enemy with archers and charge the flanks. Once 
they break, charge with all your horses. Love to see the enemy 
all routing from charges at multiple sides. 



============================================================================



B. Eastern Roman Empire
=======================
B1.0 Author's note
------------------
This is the easiest faction for me to play. You are rich and 
you have rather powerful units (except compared to the Huns 
which will just kill Roman units so easily). Your most powerful 
neighbour the Sassanids are pushover once you kill off their 
early clibnariis. I captured all cities with this faction as 
it was just so fast and easy. 

You start the game relatively safe. The hordes in the mainland 
Europe will mostly aim for Rome and leave you alone. There 
were clashes with horde armies once at Constantinople which 
was easily beaten back and a few times at Sirmium. Other than 
that I was mostly untouched by the hordes. In fact, I hunt 
the hordes to kill them off. 

The cities in Asia Minor are mostly unthreatened. The only 
annoying thing is that the Sassanids have so much access around 
Antioch, Tarsus and Ceaserae. They just go round and round 
making them hard to pin down and constantly able to siege any 
of these 3 cities. I therefore had to use defence units there. 

But once I stopped all the Sassanid nonsense, I just ran over 
them. The main reason is that the Sassanid infantry is just so 
crappy and I dunno why they like to train up so many of them. 
I mean they could train up more of their cavalry but instead 
they want to have more of their crappy spearmen. Their 
cataphracts and clibnarii takes 2 turns to train and cost a 
bomb to train and maintain too. Elephants? Well, once you 
capture their sole elephant producing city, the will be no 
more elephants in the game unless you hire merc elephants. 

B2.0 Basic Strategies
---------------------
B2.1 Troops
+++++++++++
Being a projectile player, my army depended on the Eastern 
Archers for offence and defence. They were my first priorities. 
They were my key against the Sassanids. Somebody got to shoot 
down their horse archers. 

The infantry is dependable. Legio Lancarii, Comitatenses and 
Plumbatarii are good enough. The cavalry is decent though the 
cataphracts are rubbish. I use scholae palatinae more as they 
have better attack points. 

The best unit though goes to the Carraige Ballista. This unit 
simply rocks. They are also the fastest to gain chevrons, up 
to 3 chevrons in a battle. They are great for taking down 
infantry and less so against cavalry. They are superb in 
killing routing infantry. The only problem is that I tend to 
fire into the backs of my infantry front line. Once you 
experience their killing power, you will simply ask for more. 
Beware though that they die easily to any attack and can be 
ourrunned by any light cavalry. 

B2.2 Commands
+++++++++++++
I use a lot of projectiles from the infantry line. They are 
great to break up enemy infantry and cavalry. I normally set 
them at fire at will. It's an all projectile army of sorts. 

B2.3 Terrain
++++++++++++
Forests are not so great. The hordes have the advantage in 
the forests. Bridges are a boon. 

B2.4 Buildings
++++++++++++++
Aim to train up Eastern Archers early as top priority. The 
rest is economy build. It is better to choose a uniform 
religion. Identify unit training centres and build the 
coastal cities into trading cities. 




B3.0 Advanced Strategies
------------------------
B3.1 Targets
++++++++++++
You have to sort out your cities as soon as you start the game. 
What I did was to raze all temples and replace them with 
churches. You can do this in the first turn without having a 
single city rioting. In the same move I sent out every 
available unit better than a limitanei to the frontlines. All 
cavalry to the front too. I then defended the early Sassanid 
advance easily with a cavalry and eastern archers. Once all my 
rear line troops arrive in Antioch, I then camped on the bridge 
towards Hattra. I defended the bridge twice and then sieged 
Hattra. Hattra fell easily in a battle without onagers as it 
only had wooden walls. 

From there I simply went on from one Sassanid city to another 
leaving the rebel provinces alone. No point wasting time 
to capture Petra and Dumatha as they will tie your troops down. 
I wiped out Sassanids so fast because their troops are just too 
crappy and the vast distances between cities made them 
difficult to send reinforcements. They didn't have a chance 
to train up any heavy cavalry other than the ones they started 
the game with. Their horse archers are the only annoying 
feature. 

Once all of the Sassanid lands are in my control, I went no 
further north than Armenia (Kotais). There is little point to 
fight against the Roxolani or to capture the rebel cities way 
up north. Instead I captured Dumatha and Petra to complete 
the conquest of Arabia. 

I was very rich by then. I then sent one army to capture Cyrene 
and Lepcis Magna. My second and third army crossed to Greece to 
prepare to invade Italy. My fourth army defended the areas 
around Sirmium. 

The Western Roman Empire declared war on me and I captured 
Salona easily. From Salona I captured Tarentum and then 
northwards capturing whole of Italy. The army which captured 
Lepcis Magna landed on Sicily leaving a defence force of mainly 
Eastern Archers and cavalry to defend Africa. Carthage was a 
Rebel Western Roman Empire city by then and I saw no point to 
capture it yet as I wanted to keep it till last to complete 
capture all cities. The Berbers are just rubbish and they 
failed to capture Lepcis Magna many times, though they managed 
to capture Carthage somehow. From Sicily that army then 
captured Caralis then landed at Massila. Fighting the Western 
Roman Empire is easy because they don't build carraige 
ballistas and their archers are shorter ranged. 

All my advancing armies just headed northwards from Italy then 
branched out eastwards and westwards in Germany. 4 armies headed 
west and 3 armies headed east. Yup, I was so rich by then that 
I could afford so many large armies. The Huns were the toughest 
enemy in battle so I avoid fighting in the forest. I instead try 
to isolate their armies into smaller groups and take them out one
by one. Their cavalry are just too powerful and too fast even 
against the elites of the Romans. Cataphractii are no match too. 
Only the Scholae Palatinae is effective enough to repeatedly 
charge into the Hunnic cavalry. 

In the West, 2 armies ended up in Spain, 1 ended up in England 
and Ireland, 1 finished up France. In the east, it's more 
straightforward as there's 2 parralel roads all the way towards 
the far reaches of the east. So, 2 armies were good enough but 
I used a third as backup in case some factions decided to go 
horde. 

The 2 armies in Spain then crossed into Northwestern Africa. 1 
army stuck to the coast towards Carthage and the other went into 
the interior. With Carthage captured, the game ended with all 
cities captured. It was just too easy as the eastern archers, 
plumbatarii, onagers and carraige ballistas just wiped out any 
opposition without having to worry about economy. Too easy. 

B3.2 Sieges
+++++++++++
Use oangers and siege towers. Usually easy as the infantry is 
good enough to win walls. Carraige Ballista can enter cities and 
are great in killing infantry defenders in the town centre. 

B3.3 Battle Commands
++++++++++++++++++++
You need to get a hang of using the Carraige Ballistas. The can 
be very filmsy at times. Otherwise just use overpowering 
strategies with your elite troops to win battles easily. 

Usual army line up: 1 general, 2 scholae palatinae, 2 
comitatenses first cohort, 6 plumbatarii, 2 carraige ballistas, 
3 eastern archers, 3 onagers, and 1 orthodox priest. 

Most memorable battle was being outplayed by the Huns' mobility 
and power. A heavy loss and a lesson learned. 



============================================================================



c. Sassanids
============
C1.0 Author's notes
-------------------
This faction is quite fun to play at the start but gets a bit 
boring near the end because of the lack of troop variety. They 
are the only faction to have elephants but the drawback is that 
you can only train elephants from 1 city. Their starting 
position is a bit crappy as you are split into the Armenian 
side and the Arabian side. Both sides are constantly under 
threat. The economy has the potential to be great if you can 
control the cities on the coast. You do get some useful 
clibinarii at the start and these units are the prize of your 
troops. Use them carefully as you need them to beat off the 
Eastern Roman advance. 

Troop-wise, the infantry is simply rubbish. One of the worst 
infantry I have ever used. The Sugdhian warriows are better but 
they are slow to train and can only be trained at specific 
cities. The desert archers have long range but are very weak 
defensively. Your hope lies in elephants and cavalry with archer 
support. 

The other thing which makes this faction dull is that you only 
need to capture so few cities to win the game. If you hold 
Arabia, Egypt up to Cyrene, Asia Minor, and Armenia, you only 
need to capture Constantinople plus maybe 1 more city in Greece 
to complete the game. You don't need to face the horde or the 
Western Roman Empire. Capturing Constantinople is easy because 
if the Romans still hold it, it is usually very poorly defended. 
A real anti-climax. 


C2.0 Basic Strategies
---------------------
C2.1 Troops
+++++++++++
You can only train 2 types of infantry and the Sugdhian elite 
infantry can only be trained in the desert. The spearmen are 
very weak and has poor morale. They will always break from a 
direct cavalry charge. 

The desert archers are weak defensively but have the advantage 
of long range. Also note that their missile points are rather 
low compared to other long range archers and therefore you will 
likely lose more in a direct archer to archer shootout. 

The cavalry are decent and they are the battle winners. 
Elephants are my all time favourite and still provide the extra 
power. I am not a big fan of camels as they don't have the speed 
of horses, are clumsier, lose their bonus outside the desert, 
and most importantly require too high tech a building to make 
a big difference in the game. If you want to use camels, merc 
Camel Raiders are easy to come by to supplement your horse 
killing tactics. Camels do make cavalry killing much easier. 

Onagers are helpful for attack in sieges as your units are 
quite good in attacking in narrow streets with the exception 
of the spearmen. Elephants just clear a path easily.

C2.2 Commands
+++++++++++++
Most of your units are fast moving. Use this mobility well and 
do not hesitate to change formations or positions often in a 
battle. A lot of outflanking moves. 

C2.3 Terrain
++++++++++++
The desert is your home and you get bonuses there. Mobility 
isn't so much an issue and therefore they can fight easily in all 
terrains. 



C3.0 Advanced Strategies
------------------------
C3.1 Targets
++++++++++++
Isn't it obvious where you should aim to? Antioch! At the start 
you have to face conflicts from 2 fronts while only able to 
afford 1 good army. The spearmen cannot be relied on to win 
battles and my army is mostly made up of cavalry and desert 
archers. Horse archers are great skirmishing units to lure 
and harrass the enemy who will tire out faster in the desert. 

From the start I consolidated the small armies into one big one 
and sent all extra 'useful' troops to the front. Using bridges 
to attack or defend is not great as it restricts the cavalry 
movements. Fighting in the open desert is ideal as you can 
easily isolate the enemy cavalry from their infantry support. 

I only march on Antioch after I got my first 3 onagers. This is 
so that I can enter into siege battle ASAP. If you wait out a 
siege, your army is very vulnerable on the bridge attacked from 
2 sides and your spearmen will often rout defending the bridge. 
Yes, the archers are great to kill the enemy who try to cross 
the bridge but what happens once your spearmen are gone? Archers 
become less useful once you lose the holding troops. Then it's 
all a mad dash with your cavalry. You can still win, but can you 
hold for a few battles? With your infantry so much reduced 
after the first battle? 

I also captured the rebel city in Armenia as means to create a 
defensive city and create some sea trade income. This city I 
concentrated to get stone walls and archery range to fill it up 
with desert archers. Cavalry can be sent from nearby cities. 

It is also preferably to use more than 1 general in your 
advancing army to help increase conversion rate to 
Zoorastrianism. This is to make less unhappy cities after you 
capture them. 

So once I had Antioch, the Romans are split into the south side 
and Asia Minor. I left a defence force in Antioch (archers and 
horse archers to sally forth if sieged) and headed south. The 
cities south are poorly defended and they fall easily all the 
way to Alexandria. I avoid all rebel provinces as I don't want 
to waste time or resources. I also let Cyrene be as it's too 
far to travel and it's mostly a low tech city which won't be 
able to threaten Alexandria. Archers and horse archers defending 
Alexandria will do. Fill it up with peasants too. 

As I was attacking south, I started to train up elephants while 
Antioch produced onagers and heavy cavalry and Hattra produced 
spearmen. So my force in Antioch became my second army and quickly 
captured Tarsus and Ceaserae. From there I advanced to capture all 
Asia Minor. I also prepared a third army by then which invaded 
Salamis and into Asia Minor by sea. The first army in Egypt was 
used to mop up the rest of Arabia. The defence in Armenia was 
seldom threatened due to the long distance to get to it. Even 
when the enemy sends an army to Armenia, you can spot them early 
and train up enough defences by then, by training infantry based 
units in the city and sending cavalry from the other cities 
(cavalry alone in an army moves faster). 

And then I crossed to Greece and captured Athens and Constantinople 
to win the game. Easy. 

C3.2 Sieges
+++++++++++
Use oangers and siege towers. Elephants and heavy cavalry win in 
the streets. Don't depend on infantry to win walls. They are only
good as support units and cannon fodder. I send them ahead, let them 
get attacked in the streets and then charge the cavalry into the 
enemy. The other way is to let the elephants lead followed by the 
cavalry. Elephants are great to capture city centres as their arrows 
force the enemy to charge out making weaker targets for your 
charging cavalry. 

C3.3 Battle Commands
++++++++++++++++++++
Always watch out for your units. If you use skirmish mode for your 
cavalry archers, they will scatter like hell leaving the rest of 
your troops defenceless. I recommend you disable the skirmish mode 
on all units. Only use skirmish mode for the 1 or 2 units you send 
ahead to harrass the enemy. Do not worry if the enemy gets too close 
to your cavalry archers as the arrows pounded into them should drop 
their morale making them rout just when they clash with your cavalry 
archers. Elephants just make my day. 

My line up is made up of 6 levy spearmen, 3 onagers, 4 desert 
archers, 2 clibinarii, 2 cataphracts, 2 elephants, and 1 general. 

There is no most memorable battle as they are just plain sailing 
once I got my onagers and elephants. No brainer.




============================================================================

D. Alemanni
===========

D1.0 Author's note
++++++++++++++++++
From the onset Alemanni looked like a difficult faction to play 
being stuck in between the might of the Western Romans and the 
aggressive Franks who has better early infantry. Defending early 
is out of the question as your neighbours will overwhelm you 
sooner or later. They are a poor faction too with little trade. 

So, what's their saving grace? What is the one thing they have 
the upperhand over their neighbours? Lombard archers! Man, these 
archers rule every other projectile unit in the region. Pair them 
up with the lancers and you have a powerful force. The spearmen 
are just so-so. Once you get to train up chosen axemen and onagers, 
then you are set to win the game. 

Playing this faction requires a lot of running around to send 
your army to capture a city in one direction and then sending 
them to another direction to defend a city. Frustrating at 
times. 

D2.0 Basic Strategies
---------------------
D2.1 Troops
+++++++++++
Lombard archers are powerful long range units. They are excellent 
city defenders. The lancers are very fast and can stand on their 
own most of the times. They also have good charge bonus to break 
enemy lines. The infantry are dependable if you can get your 
lancers to relieve them, and gets better up to chosen axemen and 
berserkers. Golden Horde units are just too high tech for a not 
so great unit. You can get merc Golden Horde earlier if you want 
to try them. Onagers are great for capturing cities without stone 
walls. Most of their units move fast too. Overall a well balanced 
faction to play. 

D2.2 Commands
+++++++++++++
Schiltrom is useless most of the time so don't bother using it 
unless your spearmen are isolated. Schiltrom just makes your 
spearmen vulnerable to projectiles and make them isolated unable 
to reinforce anyone. 

Use speed and repeated charges and archers to win the battles.

D2.3 Terrain
++++++++++++
All terrains are fine for this balanced faction. 




D3.0 Advanced Strategies
------------------------
D3.1 Targets
++++++++++++
Knowing that I cannot sit and defend, my first move is to go on 
the offensive. My first target is the Franks capital. I get all 
available troops to march on the city. I get as many mercs I can 
recruit too. I managed to siege the city in 3 turns from the 
start. The Franks have a strong roaming army made up of mostly 
lancers. Fortunately for me they were beside the city when I 
siege it in ambush mode. 

At the end of the fourth turn the Franks made a big error, they 
decided to sally forth from the city. Like most sally forths the 
AI does, they send the infantry out the front and cavalry out the 
side. So I killed all their infantry and then threatened the gate. 
The cavalry then went back inside, including the reinforcements 
and I drew the battle. My plan was to wait out the siege as I have 
less cavalry and the spearmen are no match against their cavalry. 
The Lombard Archers are not the units to win the siege. Luckily, 
the roaming Frank army decided to leave to pick on some rebels. 
This gave me the chance to attack during the siege (the city 
was only defended by 1 lancer and 1 general unit as I killed all 
the infantry earlier). I made short work of the siege though I 
lost quite a number of spearmen to the paladin unit. The Franks 
then went into horde by turn 5. 

What about the Romans? Well, they are too thinly spread out to 
threaten me at the start and the Lombard archers with lancers 
defence killed off their sieging armies all the time during 
sally forth. 

The Frankish horde decided to head further west like all good 
horde should, and was out of my hair for a while. I then 
reinforced both my cities with Lombard archers and lancers. I 
get to train lancers straightaway at Campus Frankii while I get 
to train Lombard archers at Campus Alemannii. What a good combo. 

Then my army headed west to caupture the large Roman cities. As 
soon as I captured a city, I fill it up with Lombard Archers and 
lancers. Then the army headed south to capture the city just 
North of the Alps. There was a period of shuttling my army 
northwards and southwards due to threats from the Romans in the 
north and the Samartian, Vandal and more Roman from the south. 

I managed to kill off the Vandal horde when they siege my south 
cities with careful use of onager, lancers and Lombard archers. 
I was attempting to raise my second army for the north then. 

My first army captured Mediolanum from the Romans only to be 
sieged soon after by the Samartian horde. I killed off thousands 
of the Samartian when I sallied forth practically destroying 
more than half their total horde. They never recovered from that. 

Second army then headed west into France only to be chased from 
behind by the Goth horde. So I had to quickly attack during siege 
at Samarobriva to then set up siege defence against the Goths. 

First army captured Rome next (Ravenna was a rebel city after 
getting sacked by the Samartians and was too poor for my liking). 
From Rome I headed south to Tarentum and then into Sicily. My 
third army was ready and that captured Ravenna thus sealing 
Italy. The Army in Sicily then landed at Caralis and then onto 
Massila and Arles. Mediolanum was a vital defence city against 
the west for quite a while before I captured Masilla and Arles. 

It's then just to capture enough cities to win. I captured the 
Roman cities in England and Spain to win the game. 

Other notes: I avoided conflict with the Saxons at all cost. 
That's why I did not capture Campus Frisii in the north. I let 
the Romans keep that as a buffer. The Saxons proved a useful 
trading ally in the North and Londinium became my richest trade 
city. I tried to preserve the Eastern Roman Empire as a trading 
partner but once I captured Italy they declared war by port 
blockades. I thus added Salona to my empire. 

D3.2 Sieges
+++++++++++
The Alemanni are good in siege defence and offence. For sallying 
forth you have the speedy lancers and lombard archers. Onagers 
make siege attacking easy. 

D3.3 Battle Commands
++++++++++++++++++++
I didn't bother to train up any Noble Cavalry as the lancers 
coupled with general units are good enough for cavalry support. 
Therefore I don't know how the Noble cavalry performs, perhaps 
better, but I preferred the speed of the lancers. 

Most of your units are speedy and can get into position fast. 
Though there are no horse archers, the lombard archers themselves 
can be used as skirmishes with speedy lancer support. 

Usual line up is 5 chosen axemen, 3 onagers, 5 lombard archers, 
1 general and 6 burgundian lancers. 

Most memorable battle is the crushing of the Samartian horde when 
I sallied forth at Mediolanum. 



============================================================================

E. Western Roman Empire
=======================

E1.0 Author's Note
------------------
Finally completed this faction by capturing all cities. It's 
a very fun faction to play! But it is not an easy faction to 
play. I would not recommend experienced players to play this 
faction with out any cheats. 

The most important period for this faction is the first 5 
turns. If you get it right, you won't have any trouble from 
any other factions. Once I had my 'homeland' secured, it 
became quite a breeze to win the game. I finished the mini 
objective even before my second emperor passed away. I was 
doing this even without rushing my play. The mini objective 
is just too easy (just needed 10 more cities including 
Constantinople to win). 

The reason I said I would only recommend experienced players 
to play this faction is because I had to use every trick I 
know to play this faction well. I had to have good skills in 
religious conversions, economy building, military logistics 
and battle skills to make it happen. Lacking any of this 
skills and you will struggle more. 

E2.0 Basic Strategies
---------------------
E2.1 Troops
+++++++++++
The Western Roman has good troops. The infantry is dependable 
from the Liminatei, Foederati Infantry till the praeventores, 
though I mostly use Comitatenses and Plumbatarii in my main 
force. Palatine Guards are redundant as the other two have 
the advantage of projectiles. Praeventores have excellent 
killing ability but not staying power. Their small numbers 
make them easily overwhelmed by larger numbers. So don't make 
up a whole infantry front line with them even though it is 
tempting to create an invisible front line that can spring 
ambushes every time. Oh, don't forget the peasants. They are 
the best to fill up cities to keep them happy.

The cavalry is good too. Samartian Auxillia is strong. The 
Equites Sagitarii is good as support melee though don't 
expect them to break enemy lines with their charges. 
Foederati Cavalry is decent in the early game. They make up 
their lack of power with speed. Nevertheless, the most 
powerful cavalry for this faction is the general unit and I 
had so many generals that I can fill up my armies slot for 
cavalry with generals instead (get better conversion % too). 

The siege units are excellent. Heavy Onagers and Carraige 
Ballistas just rock. I had a few single gold chevron 
Carraige Ballistas. The highest were 3 double gold chevron 
Carraige Ballistas. Somehow could not get them to triple 
gold. My best 3 Heavy Onager was 3 silver chevrons. 

E2.2 Commands
+++++++++++++
Using fire at will for a front line made up of Comitatenses 
and Plumbatarii is great. I get to rout the charging enemy 
often with the first volley of projectiles. 

I would recommend you disable the Skirmish mode of the 
Carraige Ballistas and pull them back manually. The problem 
here is that the carraiges are not very fast and will get 
run over by light cavalry. Skirmish modes also somehow 
pushes the carraiges away from my main army. What I do is 
to manually withdraw the ballistas behind my front line 
and send the cavalry at the side to kill the enemy cavalry 
chasing the ballistas. Works all the time because the 
enemy cavalry would have low morale from the siege weapon 
and you don't need to kill much for them to rout.

E2.3 Terrain
++++++++++++
As with the Eastern Roman Empire, stay away from forests. 
Keep to bridges.



E3.0 Advanced Strategies
------------------------
E3.1 Targets
++++++++++++
Well before I tell you what I did, let us just look at the 
faction itself so that you can understand the rationale of 
the strategy I used. 

Faction strong points:
1. Large starting total army and 2 strong starting armies 
   (one in Rome and another close to Samarobriva)
2. Lots of sea trade cities
3. Rome is a high tech city
4. Have one secure front in Spain

Faction weak points:
1. Scattered armies
2. Underdeveloped cities
3. Large size of empire make reinforcements difficult
4. Multiple potential conflict fronts 
5. Starting deficit in economy (practically bankrupt)
6. Plenty unhappy cities
7. Religious divide

So, from the start, I needed to address these issues all 
at once. The first 5 turns is essential that I don't 
screw up. My initial plans were:
1. Secure happiness/avoid rebellion
2. Send strong armies to fronts
3. Build up economy

At the start I adjusted every cities' tax level and races/games 
as needed to keep them content (blue faced is fine). It doesn't 
matter if the races/ games hurt your income. It's worth it in 
the long run. 

There will be certain cities which will remain unhappy (red 
faced) including Avaricum, Carthago Nova, Salamantica, Carnuntum 
and Lepcis Magna. Check each city's info seperately. Lepcis Magna 
has higher majority Christian and the unhappiness can easily be 
solved by razing the temple and getting the pagan general out 
of the city. No need to build a church there yet. You can build 
it later. Carnuntum has majority pagan by has a Christian 
religion. What you need to do here is to build a temple so that 
the unhappiness will settle next turn. Set to Daily Games at 
Carthago Nova and you will get 65% happiness. Train a peasant 
there. Even though it is red, you will settle the unhappiness 
at the next turn because you will lose 10% unhappiness from the 
Christians. So, Carthago Nova is safe. Salamantica takes 2 
further turns to resolve as you need to train 2 peasants to 
keep it content. Avaricum is the tough one. You need to send as 
many foederati cavalry from Burdigala to garrison it and send 
the general with high influence points from Massila. You also 
need to send the army west of Avaricum to garrison there. 

There is an army outside Tarraco. Send the cavalry to Burdigala 
and all the infantry into Tarraco to reduce the setting from 
Daily Games to Monthly Games (save 400 denarii spending). 

You only get 1000 denarii to start with. You have to be very 
careful with your cash. Now, move all the troops out of Rome 
expect the general. This army will be your first army. Get this 
army towards Salona. The Eastern Roman Empire will attack 
Salona soon. The army will not arrive before the siege but 
this first army will be your most important army to kill the 
coming hordes and the Eastern Roman Empire. 

Now in every non-frontline city, try and disband as many 
foederati cavalry, foederati infantry, Liminatei and archers 
in order of highest maintainance cost to lowest while keeping 
a close eye to happiness. Just get it to blue faced. Check the 
settlement details to see what the predicted happiness changes 
will happen next turn. You can tell this from the blinking 
happiness modifiers. For example if it's a Pagan city and you 
have a higher % Pagan conversion than Christian, you will 
notice in the happiness modifier that you have unhappiness 
due to Christians represented as crosses and there will be 
blinking crosses too. You can get more detail by placing your 
cursor over the crosses. The blinking icons are modifiers that 
will either appear or disappear during the next turn. In a 
Pagan city with higher Pagan conversion %, blinking unhappiness 
crosses means that next turn these unhappiness crosses will 
disappear making less total unhappiness. This happens because 
you get less % christians next turn due to religious conversion. 
So you want to make sure that you get less unhappiness next 
turn when you disband troops. 

Get every naval unit to port EXCEPT the naval unit close to 
Salona. This ship will transport your troops from Rome to 
Salona. You can disband it after you do the crossing. Disband 
ALL naval units. 

Now the disbanding troops is nothing new. I've had e-mails from 
players who told me that they have done this for this faction. 
My next step may not be new (I cannot be sure if this is an 
original idea because I don't go into strat sites or forums) 
but it gave me the Eureka feeling when I tried it for the first 
time. In every non-frontline city, I razed every ground unit 
training building and armouries (this included Rome) to raise 
cash for the first turn. I rationalised this logically... what 
was the use of training fighting units in let's say Corduba or 
Caralis or Londinium? What's the use of armouries in Rome? 

So with the added cash, I then build up ports and traders in 
coastal cities and any emergency happiness buildings like in 
Avaricum. 

The result was 3 riots at the start of the 2nd turn at Avaricum, 
Carthago Nova and Salamantica. Then 2 riots at the start of 
turn 3 and no more riots at turn 4. This is because the general 
with the high influence have arrived in Avaricum. 

I have repeated this start twice and I got the same result. 
There's rioting but no rebellions. So I never saw the Western 
Roman Empire Rebels till near the end. The Western Roman Rebels 
only appeared close to the end of the game after capturing 
Campus Sakae up in the far Northeast reaches because I could not 
be bothered to keep Campus Sakae happy as by then the game was 
ending with 1 more city to capture. 

What about income? Well, as I build up ports and traders 
(especially in Caralis, Londinium, Arles and Masilla) while 
reducing military costs, I made 6k+ each turn for the first 3 
turns and then had a steady 8k-9k plus after that until I was 
preparing to kill the Vandals and Huns (dropped to 2.5k because 
I had plenty troops then). 

Anyway, I also get all available general (without causing 
unhappiness) towards the Eastern front in preparation of the 
horde advance. As I said above, the general units are the best
cavalry units. One general in particular is my favourite. He 
starts in Aquincum bordering the Goth lands. He has a high 
Christianity conversion bonus (like 55%) and I used him to 
slowly convert all my cities to christianity. 

The Eastern Roman Empire sieged Salona in the 3rd turn of the 
game but I successfully sallied forth with inferior units. My 
battle tactic was to kill off their eastern archers so that 
my own archers will have the advantage. It was a tough battle 
and I could not take another siege after that but thankfully 
the reinforcement from Rome arrived just in time. 

So, that concludes the first stage of my strategy of securing 
my homelands. Let's begin stage two of fighting the hordes.

Once I had my homelands secure and free from Rebel Western 
Roman Empire, all I needed to do is fill up the secured cities 
with peasants while continuing to disband foederati cavalry, 
foederati infantry and liminatei. I keep the comitatenses, 
samartian auxillae and archers so that I can send them to the 
front. This is because most of the frontline cities can't train 
any of these 3 units. Then I made Salona and Aquincum into 
Comitatenses training centers. Augusta Trevarorum became a 
Foederati Infantry and Liminatei training center while Colonia 
Agrippa provided the archers. These 2 cities are symbiotical 
and are perfect to cover each other as troops need only 1 turn 
to reinforce each other. That should cover my continental 
Europe front. In Carthage and Lepcis Magna, I filled up with 
peasants and only later on used Liminatei, Foederati Infantry 
and Archers as the Berbers take a long time to organise 
themselves before proving any threat. I managed to defend 
Carthage a few times with the starting units and at Lepcis 
Magna I defended it a few times with 1 general, 2 archers and 
the rest peasants. 

At this point I had battled the Alemanii and the Franks. Not 
tough battles but always manage to weaken them. I used my 
starting assassin to continually assassinate the Frank and 
Alemanii generals to make beating them easy. I had the strength 
to destroy them then but I did not want to release their 
hordes (I didn't realise then that Alemanni could not horde). 
So, I dealt with the Franks and Alemanii by assassinating 
generals and just keeping them weak. I even sieged the Alemanii 
capital with crappy units and then quit the siege before the 
city fall and resiegeing it again. This kept the Alemanii 
indoors at all times. I trained up 2 more assassins and 
transfered their retinues to boost up the new assassins. It's a 
great place to gain assassin skills in the Franks and Alemanii 
lands. My aim was to destroy both factions with assassins to 
avoid having them to horde. My defences in Augusta Trevarorum 
and Colonia Agrippa are minimal and no match against any horde. 
This was because...

I concentrated my defences in the East in preparation of the 
Vandals and Huns while keeping Eastern Roman Empire ambitions 
in check. 

Aquincum is the key city to resist the hordes. Why is this? 
Simple... it's the bridge and river crossing. The hordes are 
weak at bridges and river crossings. My heroic general was 
Aulus the Orator who after many victories gained up to 8 
command stars (started from 1). I defended the bridge southeast 
of Aquincum with plenty of archers and comitatenses (trained 
at Aquincum and Salona). I used Foederati Infantry and 
Liminatei to make up the numbers as I could not train up a full 
comitatenses + archer army. I had another smaller army made up 
of liminatei, foederati infantry and any extra foederati 
cavalry on the bridge north of Salona. This stopped the Eastern 
Roman advance to Salona. The army at the bridge of Aquincum 
could defend Aquincum from the Eastern Romans. I had no siege 
engines yet. Only had to use infantry and as for cavalry I used 
my generals (the Western Roman Empire sure has lots of generals 
from the start). 

The Vandals came first (somehow they didn't kick the Goths out) 
and were quickly slaughtered on the bridge. Had to defend from 
4 continuous attacks from the horde army first and 3 attacks 
the next turn. Each fight killed close to 1k enemy except once 
I killed over 2k from 2 horde armies simultaneously attacking. 
I killed their attacking general all the time and the Vandals 
perished in 2 turns. Then I waited for the Huns.

Again same thing with the Huns. (They still left the Goths 
alive!) Killed them in 2 turns. The Hunnic general Driggiz used 
night attack but got killed instead because I had a night 
fighter dude too. So, Vandal and Hunnic corpses littered the 
same bridge at Aquincum. Later on I added the Ostrogoth and 
Slav corpses at the same bridge. 

Now, with the Vandals and Huns gone, my attention turned to 
the Eastern Roman Empire. I did not want to attack the Goths 
as taking their lands would be pointless as they are poor and 
I did not want to lose the role of the Aquincum bridge for 
defence against future hordes. 

So, I used both my defending armies to capture Sirmium, 
Thesallonica then split up to two towards Constantinople and 
Athens. The Eastern Roman Empire defences are crappy. This was 
because their main unit training city was only Constantinople 
and Sirmium. Once I captured Sirmium, they were screwed. 

Just before Constantinople fell, I managed to kill the Franks 
and Alemanni factions with assasinations. Once the two cities 
became rebels, I quickly captured them. 

On other fronts... the sole large Celt army attacked Eburacum 
only to be destroyed when I sallied forth. They never 
recovered and Dal Raida was subsequently captured by the Saxons. 
The Saxons attacked Colonia Agrippa a few times but I managed to 
assassinate their generals for me to easily sally forth. Then 
I captured the Saxon lands and assassinated their last faction 
leader to prevent them hording. I captured all the Saxon lands 
up to Denmark and held Campus Frankii and Campus Alemannii. The 
Saxon in Dal Raida was dealt with by my army from Eburacum which 
later sailed to Ireland and captured Tara. The Berbers are an 
annoyance. They came, attacked and got kicked out time and time 
again. I didn't bother to attack their lands as the travel time 
was too long and would leave Carthage defenceless. I left the 
Lombards, Burgundii and Goths alone as buffers. The minor 
objective ended here. 

I then started training proper Roman troops at Constantinople 
to replace the weaker Liminatei, foederati infantry and 
foederati cavalry. It was then that I started training up 
my first siege weapons of Heavy Onagers. I still sent my first 
army with original comitatenses from Rome into Asia Minor 
without any siege engine and captured Ancyra first. Then I 
captured Sinope followed by Ceaserae. Another army from  
Constantinople captured Euphesus. From Ceaserae I captured 
Tarsus and the key city of Antioch. The Eastern Roman Empire 
never proved any threat once I held Antioch. I blocked an 
army from the north Black Sea coast by setting up an army on 
the bridge southeast of Sinope. The enemy army just stood 
not attacking my army on the bridge for a long time and then 
retreated once I started to attack northwards into Arsakia. 

The rest of the Eastern Roman Empire just fell away with one 
army from Antioch headed south till into Petra then turn east 
to capture Dumatha, while the defence army at Lepcis Magna 
(loads of archers, liminatei and foederati infantry) marched 
the desert and captured Cyrene and Alexandria. My most second 
army from Antioch captured Hattra, Ctesiphon and headed 
northwards. It was later reinforced by the army from Dumatha. 
The defensive army at Carthage went out and captured Tingi 
then headed into the desert to capture Dimidi. 

It was around the time I was fighting over control of Asia 
Minor that the Slavs and Ostrogoths appeared. I was ready for 
them on the bridge at Aquincum. I also defended at the river 
crossing north west of Sirmium. I only had 2 catapults there 
and none at Aquincum bridge. The catapults were great at 
killing enemy generals while crossing the river. Within 4 
turns the Slavs and Ostrogoths (they came at the same time) 
were neutralised. Took extra 4 turns to hunt down their 
remaining generals to annihilate them. 

Once I controlled the Mediterranean Sea, the game was 
practically won as cash simply flooded in. It's just a matter 
of time till the game was over. No other faction could stand 
against the might of Roman power. 

On the religious side of things, I created 1 main religious 
conversion army made up of 5 generals with a total of about 
100% christian religious conversion. I let them roam to every 
pagan land I own to convert the cities in 2 turns. This army 
even travelled into Ireland then back into France to go to 
Spain. It was vital to convert all the cities to Christianity 
to avoid getting -10% happiness due to differing faction 
leader religion. I prefer to use Christianity than to go 
Pagan. Pagan temples give unit bonuses but Christianity gives 
a higher total happiness bonus by about 20% with 4 extra 
building upgrades. Christianity also gives +1% pop growth 
bonus to get cities over 24k pop, though not all cities can 
get over that even with the +1% bonus (like Tara stuck at 
22.4k pop). 

The Burgundii declared was on me and were easily killed. I 
picked on the Lombards and the Samartians. The last faction 
I killed was the Roxolani. The only faction I didn't kill was 
the Sassanids as the Eastern Roman Empire did it first. Also 
never saw the Romana-British. 

Extra note: I used a new strategy of peasant blocking to 
block advancing armies to but time to get defences up at 
Carthage, Lepcis Magna, Sinope and Colonia Agrippa. Told you 
I had to use every trick I knew! 


E3.2 Sieges
+++++++++++
Roman siege engines are the best. 'Nuff said!

E3.3 Battle Commands
++++++++++++++++++++
Quite easy to master the Roman army. The units are dependable 
are powerful enough, even the basic units. Just watch out for 
the carraige ballistas and always be aware about the lack of 
range of your archers. 

My usual line up is: 3 generals, 2 archers, 4 heavy onagers, 
2 carraige ballistas, 1 samartian auxilla or equites sagitarii 
or 1 samartian mercenary horse archers, 8 heavy infantry mix 
of legionary first cohort, comitatenses and plumbatarii. 

My most memorable battles were the battles over the bridge at 
Aquincum killing 4 different hordes. Always outnumbered but 
never lost. 



============================================================================

6.0 City Building
-----------------
This section is added after I had an e-mail asking advice on 
what buildings should be built. Well, I got to say that it is 
with careful planning that you can gain the full potential of 
a city and use it to complement your military. 

Basic concepts:
Economic Build = Cities which concentrate on income generating 
		 buildings
Training Centres = Cities that concentrate on training the best 
		   units for battle
Unit Training Buildings = Buildings that allows you to train 
			  certain units 
Fixed Income Structures = Buildings that provide regular 
			  non-trade income 
Trade Income Structures = Buildings that boost trade income
Growth Boosting Structures = Buildings that boost population 
			     growth
Happiness Boosting Buildings = Buildings that either will 
			       improve happiness

4 fundamental ideas arranged according to importance:
1. Every city should be kept at happiness level to prevent 
   rioting or rebellion with use of Happiness Boosting 
   Buildings.
2. Every city should maximise the economic build with fixed and 
   trade income structures. 
3. Identify and minimise Training Centres to optimise use of 
   Unit Training Buildings. This is to allow you to invest your 
   money into boosting income. 
4. Growth of a city should be controlled to prevent going out 
   of control resulting in happiness due to squalor with
   controlled use of Growth Boosting Structures. 

Now, in simple terms... first keep your population happy, then 
maximise your income, plan what you want the city to build and 
finally set controls to prevent the city getting out of hand. 

To keep your city happy, you need many things. You can check in 
the settlement details. From the building point of view, you 
should always build up Happiness Boosting Buildings to prevent 
riots. These buildings are city walls, churches, temples, 
arenas, taverns, execution halls, academies, etc.. Each faction 
has unique Happiness Boosting Buildings. You need you learn 
the buildings for the faction you play. Always build them one 
step ahead to prevent unhappiness. A city will gain squalor 
unhappiness % as the population grows. For example a city with 
happiness 85% in low tax should quickly build a Happiness 
Boosting Building ASAP before the happiness drops below 85%. 

Most of the time I build Income Boosting Buildings. My priority 
though is to get Trade Income Structures. This is because these 
buildings give higher income than Fixed Income Structures. The 
exception to this is when a city is unable to build ports. Land 
trade is crappy. Sea trade is the best. Therefore I concentrate 
Trade Income Structures in cities with ports as top priority. 
Other cities without ports I usually only build them when I 
have extra cash. Same goes to Fixed Income Structures. Another 
excception is mines. Mines give good income in short time. The 
build time is 2 turns for basic mine and 3 turns for the 
upgrade. Examples of Trade Income Structures are traders and 
the upgrades, ports, caravan routes, and some temples. Fixed 
Income Structures are Mines and farm upgrades. So, plan your 
Economic Build according to what the city can offer. A summary 
is to build mines (as you may not have many trading 
partners yet) and ports at the start followed by traders in 
port cities, upgrading as you go along. Non-coastal cities 
become secondary income generators and are suitable as Training 
Centres. 

Unit Training Buildings are self explanatory. You need them to 
train up your troops. The Best Training Centres are cities that 
grow relatively fast to get all the upgrades you need without 
you haveing to only build Happiness Boosting Buildings all the 
time which can happen if the city grows too fast. Some cities 
naturally have higher unhappiness base and this is unsuitable 
too as you won't have the chance to build Unit Training 
Buildings to keep them happy. The key here is to identify 
Training Centres. It should not be too far from the action and 
should allow for speedy travel to wherever you need the troops. 
A good example is Antioch and Constantinople where you can send 
troops out to multiple hotspots either by land or sea. Using 
Carthage as a Training Centre is unwise as it is far from any 
hotspot and would just take too long to get your troops there. 
Having two cities close to each other can create symbiotic 
Training Centres. This is where one city specialises in one or 
two units. This make army creation faster. You may also have 
multiple Training Centres that specialises in specific units 
far from another but beware small armies travelling long 
distances are vulnerable to random rebels or ambushes. One 
strategy is use is to organise regional Training Centres to 
deal with threat arising in the specific regions. 

Or you can follow the flow of the game and use better tech 
cities as Training Centres. For example, most of the faction 
capitals have somewhat higher tech and you can just boost them 
up. 

Growth Boosting Buildings are two edged swords. They allow you 
to gain more income and better units with higher upgraded 
cities, but your population growth may go out of hand giving 
you a headache of just trying to keep them happy. I believe 
the best population growth rate after you achieve the highest 
city upgrade of Huge City is 0%. With 0% growth you will be 
assured that squalor will not increase and therefore your 
happiness % will never change unless there are external 
factors such as taking troops out of the city or presence of 
enemy spies in the city. My strategy for controlled population 
growth is simple. I just build up Growth Boosting Buildings 
once I have built enough Happiness Boosting Buildings. For 
example, a minor city with 7,000 population has 90% happiness 
at Normal Tax rate with 0% population growth. If I reduce the 
tax rate to Low Tax I will get 110% happiness with 0.5% 
population growth rate. This means before I reach 12,000 
population to upgrade to a large city, the happiness will 
drop below 85% even with low tax. So what I would do is aim 
to boost up the happiness first and let the population grow 
at 0.5%. Then it will grow to let's say 9,000 population, 
happiness 100% on Low Tax with 0% population growth. I would 
then build up one Growth Boosting Buildings like farm upgrade 
or sewer upgrade. After the Growth Boosting Building is built, 
I would go back to building Happiness Boosting Buildings to 
keep one step ahead. When the city is a Huge City, I would 
just build up ALL the Happiness Boosting Buildings and on let 
the population growth stay at 0% irrespective of the tax rate 
until I get the happiness to 115% or more than I would build 
a Growth Boosting Building knowing that I will never have to 
change the tax rate and the city will remain content. 

With all the population growth control, what about wanting to 
get the high tech units early? Well, the answer is simple. 
There will be a few cities where growth control is close to 
impossible as they have a high population growth base. These 
cities will give the techs while the rest you should control 
to produce constant income and don't let it tie down your 
army or waste cash with games/races. 

In summary, know what buildings you have and plan what role 
your cities should have. This way you won't get side-tracked 
and randomly build any buildings in your cities. 


============================================================================


8.0 Questions
-------------
Q: 	How do I use arrow and/or ballista fire from the siege 
	towers?
A: 	Your siege towers are automatically equipped with arrow 
	and ballistas depending on the size of the city walls.
	For basic stone walls, you get arrow support. For large 
	stone walls and epic stone walls you'll get ballistas 
	instead. You need to select your siege tower pushing 
	unit and set them at Fire at Will (hotkey 'A') to get 
	them to fire their projectiles. It doesn't matter what 
	kind of unit pushes the towers. Even priests can fire 
	from the towers. 

Q:	How do I get more generals?
A:	Well, don't get them killed! Let them die a peaceful 
	old age while making babies on the way. This is the 
	best way. Promoting a heroic captain is unpredictable. 
	I cannot tell you how many battles you need to win to 
	promote a captain. Sometimes all you need is 2-3 
	battles, sometimes more. Promoting a captain has the 
	advantage of getting a general with high command stars 
	straight away. Adopting a general from nothing do occur 
	too, but occur more often when you have few children 
	and has a risk of failed adoption with some excuse that 
	they got killed before getting confirmation of adoption. 
	Sounds like a crappy adoption agency programme or some 
	sad foolhardy captain wanting to prove his worth for 
	adoption by sticking his head in a crocodile's mouth. 
	So, you can't rely on this. Traning up general units 
	is a short term measure as they can't produce heirs. 

============================================================================


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