Rome: Total War Stories

Last night, I was letting my faction leader Marcus Victor (son of Lucius the Mighty) chill in Spain while his heir and the main part of the Julii army start to sweep through Germania. Unfortunately, those backstabbing Spaniards decided that they didn''t like the fact that I was occupying the last Gallic stronghold in their region. One day they up and decide to invade with four seperate armies and although outnumbered, Marcus drove them all off with charge after charge, earning the title once held by his father. Unfortunately, Marcus the Mighty died of natural causes a couple years later, but the Spanish are in retreat. One can only hope that the new leader of the Julii, Qaenus Phenus Somethingorratherus will earn the respect that his adopted uncle did.

"Certis" wrote:

It sounds like you''ve got a good handle on the battle side of things

Actually, I seem to be getting consistently, continually and unmercifully spanked in the battles. My defense of Syracuse was my one and only high point! I am that progeny whose stat sheet looks like:

strategic dunce (-5 to unit defense)
military {ableist slur} (-10 to troop morale)
flunky from military academy (+5 to enemy advantage)
clumsy oaf (rides a small beagle instead of a war horse)

I''ll get the hang of it eventually, but my pride as a RTS gamer has been seriously damaged by this game. I''m so trained by the rock>scissors>paper troop relationship that pays no attention to directionality and speed that I''m grasping at straws in R:TW. I think I need more practice and smaller battles to cut my teeth.

The lack of named governors is what is really killing me now. I figured out that you don''t want every city turning the gears of the war machine. For example, my capital is a clean city of learning. But half my cities are leaderless now. I think children are in my near future, but my empire is frail right now.

The Carthaginian ambush really was a low point. I was all stretched out in a marching line and closed on my two flanks like a dog on a piece of fresh and finely seasoned Sicilian meat. How can you beat an ambush? I don''t think it''s possible.

"FeralPug" wrote:

The lack of named governors is what is really killing me now.

Send your armies out to do battle without a general. If you win and have a big enough victory, you''ll get a pop-up scroll asking if you want to adopt the captain into the family. It''s perfect when the women folk aren''t churning out sons fast enough.

oooh! I''ll try it tonight.

Send your armies out to do battle without a general. If you win and have a big enough victory, you''ll get a pop-up scroll asking if you want to adopt the captain into the family. It''s perfect when the women folk aren''t churning out sons fast enough.

Good advice. Keep in mind that an army without a general is just begging to be bribed by enemy diplomats too.

Ack! You get to a point with R:TW and the bottom drops out. The details seem to just grow before your eyes.

That''s good to know though. I see the occasional army sans general floating about the map. I need to make some more diplomats!

That''s good to know though. I see the occasional army sans general floating about the map. I need to make some more diplomats!

Start them small, bribe a few brigands instead of destroying them I had a diplomat going with so much influence that the Germans had a ton of single units from separate towns they were going to bring together to form a big army and I bribed them all to disband. It cost me like 2000 bucks but it was worth it! My army was still recovering from a close fought siege.

For all their wisdom, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle never predicted that the City States of Greece would be undone by a gigantic pack of dogs. Dogs eating horses, dogs eating light infantry, dogs eating missile throwers. Many, many, dogs. If only dogs could eat spears.

Can I ask a question? How in the hell do you keep your cities content? It''s driving me nuts! The Scipii empire now has taken two ancient thrones of power, Carthage and Athens, and dealt the Macedons a demolishing blow as they tried to seige Thermon but i can''t seem to keep most of my cities happy. Carthage is near rebellion, as is Thapsus, Syracuse, Messana, Thermon... Generals there or no, nothing seems to work. Anyone know a good antidote for the Revolution Blues?

Lower taxes, build happy-making buildings, keep a healthy garrison (very important) and keep an eye on the settlement details page. It will give you a solid run down of what''s contributing to their happiness and what kind of knocks you have against you. Also, when you take a city enslaving half the population is a good way to keep people in check and it grows your main, loyal cities up quicker!

I find the worst thing to deal with is squaller.

When do you unlock other factions, or start another campaign? I must be really moving along slow as it sounds like most of you are playing other factions or are into new campaigns. I''m still doing the first campaign. I''ve cleared out gaul and rolled through britannia like nobody''s business. I have two large, unstoppable (so far *knock on wood*,) armies and plenty of reserves.

I''m actually ready to finish up this campaign and try the next on a higher degree of difficulty. The suggestions from you guys, as well as, the gamespy guide really helped my game.

When do you unlock other factions, or start another campaign? I must be really moving along slow as it sounds like most of you are playing other factions or are into new campaigns. I''m still doing the first campaign. I''ve cleared out gaul and rolled through Britannia like nobody''s business. I have two large, unstoppable (so far *knock on wood*,) armies and plenty of reserves.

You unlock all of the available factions when you ""win"" your first campaign. If you selected a full campaign you''ll have to take 50 territories and then take Rome out. If you selected a ""short"" campaign you just need to take like 15 territories and destroy one specified civilization.

I''m not sure you can win the Prologue campaign though, that one is just for learning.

Ah, thanks.

Whoa, 50 territories and then take out Rome? I chose the full campaign.

A question for the masses- this has yet to work for me, but it seems plausible enough, especially considering the depth of the game.

I am about to commence marching on City X, the last bastion of Faction Y, which I have been kicking about the countryside at leisure for nigh-on two decades. It would stand to reason that the leaders of Faction Y are ready to consider subjugation (especially considering that the alternative is to have all remaining members of their people six feet under or in shackles). I send my esteemed diplomat Diplomatus Schmucatelli to City X, where he offers the faction leader of Faction Y the opportunity to become a protectorate, which is rebuffed.

So here is the question: When the faction leader of Faction Y speaks, does he speak for all? If I find an army in the field with their faction heir in command and ask him, could I possibly get a different answer? If I have the old coot assasinated, will his replacement be willing to play ball? Or is it irrelevant who I talk to?

I have yet to see any evidence for different leaders within the same faction being more pliable. Anyone seen anything like this yet?

Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

I can''t believe the game would break it out like that. Maybe it allows some consideration to negotiating skill differential between the two different enemy leaders and you might get a better result because of that, but I doubt the leaders are given different worldviews, for lack of a better term. I would just get a bunch of incendiary pigs and let them do your negotiating for you.

Last night something very cool happened. I set a bunch of sappers to work and then stupidly sent my siege tower to right where the sappers were heading. Tunnel hits the wall just as my light infantry was climbing out the top of the tower. Two survived, and they had no egress from the top of the wall.

Question: do the first horse archers you get run out of missiles? I had three groups riding around shooting the hell out of a group of infantry and then they just stopped and all I could do was send them in to charge.

I don''t think any commander speaks for the whole faction, but just their immediate subjects. A faction leader of a city only effects the city, and a general of an army only effects his army, etc. That faction would take some faction hits, though. That''s the way it seems to be working for me, anyways.

I think that''s what you''re asking, not sure. Anyways, maybe one of the more knowledgeable R:TW folks will chime in. Me, I''m just a Rome: Total WHORE! Played again till 3 AM last night.

Me, I''m just a Rome: Total WHORE! Played again till 3 AM last night.

Maybe we could start a brothel. Two a.m. and late to work for the third day in a row.

"Alien13z" wrote:

Question: do the first horse archers you get run out of missiles? I had three groups riding around shooting the hell out of a group of infantry and then they just stopped and all I could do was send them in to charge.

Alien, I think the little blue bars on their portraits in the tactical view indicate the amount of missles they have left. I have had velites and light auxilia run out of spears on me before in longer engagements.

So here is the question: When the faction leader of Faction Y speaks, does he speak for all? If I find an army in the field with their faction heir in command and ask him, could I possibly get a different answer? If I have the old coot assassinated, will his replacement be willing to play ball? Or is it irrelevant who I talk to?

Far as I can, it doesn''t matter who you talk to, one unit speaks for all. You may want to offer some money along with that protectorate offer, might help sweeten the deal!

Yeah, I was up WAY too late last night playing and almost missed my morning train. Sieging the Egyptians is engrossing work!

Speaking of sieging, I wasn''t sure how the sap point would work. Of course, I placed a tower OVER the sap point last night. When the sappers blew the wall the siege tower crumbled killing the enter light infantry unit therein.

Did I hang my head in shame?! NO!! I wanted to do it again!! AHHAHAHAHAHA! It really looked great!

Anyway, how do you guys conduct a seige? If you spend too much time seiging and building seige equipment, enemy reinforcements inevitably arrive to make your life difficult. If you don''t take the time to build any equipment your attack of the walls is weak and ineffective.

Some things I have learned that might help others:

I am learning that being willing NOT to have your entire army survive critical. This has enabled me to put some heavy infantry up front as meatshields for horses, light infantry and ranged units. You just have to let a unit or two get swallowed whole.

I''ve also learned that holding formation is critical. Instead of selecting all and charging, I''m grouping units together in medium sized groups and slowly marching them up the field to try to keep the formation intact. I think it''s improving my game a bit, although I haven''t earned my first star as general yet. And that is not even mentioning my pathetic retinue which consists of a needy cat (-2 to keyboard and mouse use) and a perturbed spouse (-5 to household influence).

Cheers!

FeralPug

Oh you''re talking more about diplomacy Sanjuro and I was thinking more in line with bribing. Yeah FeralPug, some good advice. I sometimes take a few town watch and send them up ahead sacrificially, drawing the enemy to charge and break formation. Being lowly town gaurd they usually flee, which just draws the chasing enemy deeper into my trap and sometimes will draw in more of the enemy because they see my army fleeing. Muahaha! Poor town watch.

Well I just finally bought the game today and have played more or less full on with no breaks from 7pm to 12am.
What a game! I was to my eternal suprise incapable of defeating the tutorial map. So I after taking the first greek city I felt it was time to move on before I worked up anymore debt.

Anyway thought I''d post a lengthy two part AAR of what I got up to in my first Imperial campaign in those 4 hours (Hard/Hard):

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The Brutal Adventures of General Tertius Tullius in Greece: Circa 270-258.
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On the orders of the Senate and the great Patriarch of House Brutii himself all the men that could be mustered in southern italy -Hastati-Velites-Equites and even the child-lords of the house and their retinues amongst them, were gathered for an invasion on that hideous hive of hellenic depravity, Apollonia.

The slavish rebels of that place were brushed aside with ease. An unopposed expansion followed along the north Adriatic, fed by a trickle of reinforcements and checked only by the need for an alliance with Macedon in deferrence to their powerful sphere of influence in that place and economic difficulties at home.

But trouble was almost immediatly on the horizon for the Brutii clan, the Senate and her allies had declared war on the Greek Cities in a moment of madness thinking they could grab Syracuse, demands from the senate for a blockade followed.
The fools such a thing would require war with Greece!
Brutii with its paltry 500 men spread thin on the Adriatic coast and a flotilla of 2 ships against the Greek fleet and an ever increasingly warrior host on the outskirts of Thermon a matter of miles to the south of newly conquered Apollonia. But they had no choice in these early days... the senates money was holding up the economy, slighting them would be a fatal mistake.

There was nothing for it, the northern conquests had to be abandoned to protect the bridgehead and Roman ingress point at Apollonia. The seperated armies of the Balkans came under the command of one Tertius Tullius, an adopted general, advisor to the Patriarch and commander of some repute.
It was made clear to Tertius that he was on his own, there would be minimal reinforcements from Tarentum and Croton on the mainland whilst the economic crisis continued.

For a year the presence of the combined garrison detered the Greeks, but a 3 large forces were soon spotted by a spy on the outskirts of the sourthern borders, their intention clear... to combine and then to destroy.

Tertius acted quickly, the nearest army was understrength, if he could strike quickly enough with his 500, he would deny his advesaries that edge which could win them the war.
In a single season the army moved swiftly to intercept the greek force of armored hoplites and peltasts of an equal number and through the grace of the gods defeated it in battle of manueover...a good lesson in defeating the phalanx which would be so useful in the near future.

To his suprise the full Greek armies retreated, perhaps now less sure of Rome''s strength, and for 18 months peace came again to the lands of Brutii.

Until once again, the senate meddled in the affairs of the great house.
They demanded the capture of Thermon itself, the regional garrison headquarters for Western Greece! And again Brutii had no choice in the matter. Tertius was ordered to advance with an unreformed force, his only chances were with the 160 mercenary hoplites he had procured at great expense and the hope that the reason for the Greek withdrawal was a need elsewhere.

He was unlucky, he got as far as the foot hills of the mountains of Aetolia when he intercepted by two Spartan generals and their combined army of 800 mixed armored hoplites, peltasts, peasants and Greek cavalry.
So opened the First Battle for Thermon.

Tertius with his experience of the defence on the borders gave him the advantage. After a rousing speech to his men in which he outlined the need for speed, he did the unthinkable and split his army in two.
On one side of the field he placed the mercanry hoplites, flanked with 4 hastati cohorts, one on each side and buffered by a force of Velites. On the other on a hill he placed all the Equite detachments and family guard. Hoping to catch the greeks between an anvil and a hammer.
He only hoped the mercenaries would keep their word and hold while the speedy Hastati drove a wedge between the formations.

It began as planned. Overly confident of victory in superior numbers the Spartan generals marched forwards in a line formation, pikes upright.
The men watched as the outnumbering force drew closer and closer, the Velites were moved forward to begin the skirmishing, but even as they did so 2 of the 6 hoplite phalanx and all the peasants detached from the main group and turned in the direction of the cavalry.
Tertius knew that if the cavalry was tied up fighting these units when the main event began, defeat was guarenteed. The cavalry charged head on, with Tertius at their head... but just as the pikes were lowered and the phalanx stopped to brace, Tertius wheeled the cavalry around the flanks of phalanx and with some speed smashed into their sides, decimating these powerful warriors. The peasants ran for their lives when they saw the massacre but were mopped up by the now victorious cavalry.
Outraged the chief Spartan general charged Tertius side on in an effort to get to the General and had it not been for the speedy riding of the Equites he would not have survived, as it stands it was the Spartan who did not live out that encounter.
The main Greek phalanx line now leaderless was nearing its destination and still outnumbered and outclassed the Roman warriors. But as they neared the lines the Velites skirmishing-retreat paid off, breaking up the Greek line enough that piecemeal victories could be won.
One by one the enemy phalanx lines became seperated, some engaged the Mercenary hoplites one to one and were cut down by the mobile Hastati flanking and others chased Velites into the hills and were butchered from behind by the Equites... the second Spartan commander ran with his cavalry when defeat was certain, unheard of in these times.

In all only 3 greeks escaped the Anvil of Tertius.

Strategically the army was intact, the losses were counted in the 10s not the 100s, they would live to fight another day and unfortunatly that day was only months away, with the sighting of massive greek reinforcements from Corinth, the Second Battle for Thermon was about to begin....the Spartan would be back.

[You can wake up now]

Great post, Illium! It says volumes about the game that you can narrate a post like that with such prose-like detail and I can totally see in my mind how your game played out.

I generally like to avoid hyperbole when talking about a game I like, but this is one of the best games I have ever played. Period. I''ve been playing it a good deal the past few days and I still feel like I''m just scratching the surface of the possibilities. It''s one of those games that reminds you why you''re happy to be a gamer!

My story from tonight was this:

Quintius the Mighty had spent long winters making camp in the frozen Gallic watstelands, far away from the pleasures of Rome. The respect he got from his men did not match what his career had become: a series of inconsequential battles with Warbands while he waited for sufficient force to arrive from home to mount an assault on the Gaul Capital.

His redemtion began as another inconsequential battle: a few hundred foolhardy Gauls charged uphill one wintery morning to harass the Romans. The garrisons from the Gaul capital must have thought something more important was going on, because they issued forth to come to the aid of their comrades. So there was Quintius and his 1000 men (including 200 mean looking wardogs) -- atop a steep hill with a clear view of the enemy. The first wave attacked and quickly retreated, hoping to draw us into a trap while the reinforcements arrived. Quintius, in a moment of passion, chased the warbands with his cavalry while ordering the rest of the men to stay put and preserve their energy. It worked. The Warbands were routed while the bulk of the force waited for the main assault. With fresh troops and higher terrain, the day was ours from the start. I almost regret chasing down the routing enemy with my wardogs. But not really.

The beauty was that their attack left the capital undefended. And that was the end of the Gauls.

Well, played for the first time tonight.

I played the Prologue though to learn a bit. I hope the main game is a bit dofferent as far as senate missions. They would give me 5 turns to blockade a port, with no ship ready and no port.

Also, for some reason, maintaining a medium size army was killing my pocket! Eventually, I missed a senate mission, got no bonus. So next thing I know I;m in the red and it keeps going down. I can''t build any units, I can''t finish any senate missions. One bad siege later and my one army is done, game over...

It did not really give me time to work on my towns to help them make profit.

Plus it was my first time. OK, even though it is 1 Am I''m gonna jump in and try to play the main game.!

Illum, that was awesome! Yours too hubbins!

I''m playing the Britains and I''ve wiped out the Germans and I cut the Gaul empire in half before finishing them off. I''ve left their two provinces that reside alongside Rome to act as a buffer until I feel confident I can march south into the fertile Roman lands.

Wow, good stuff Illum and Hubb! Keep ''em coming!

I plowed through the Gaul and Britannia, though Britannia proved to have a much better navy and sank one of my fleets with a general, some infantry, spy and assassin on board! To quell their confidence I exterminated their last remaining cities. That''ll teach them! They made an aliance with Germany right before I conquered their land and a couple of their armies (that I could see) headed over to the german capital. I''ve declared war on germany and enslaved one of their bordering cities. My resources are spread a bit more thin, with more territories to hold and protect. Keeping civil order in Britannia is proving a challenge while I send troops toward Germany. Now Germany will bow or cower to the might of my armies!

Captain Brominum (not his real name) was content. Today he''d gotten his orders from the city Governor to move out of the border town of Patavium and head East into Dacian territory with up to 300 troops of his choice. Some diplomat had gotten wind of the leader of the Gallic clans in the area, who had been heading down through Dacia to tend to one of their few remaining towns, an important source of Gold and Silver on the coast. It was rumored he had fewer than two hundred men. Captain Brominium was determined to make his name, and be adopted into the Julii.

After a few days march, he and his troops - a unit of Eqites, one of Hastati, and one of wardogs - encountered the enemy. They stood and fought, 180 of them, experienced soldiers all and in fine fettle. Brominium swung the cavalry out, then marched his infantry forward, followed by the dogs. After receiving the enemy charge, the dogs were ordered out and around on one flank, followed by the Equites into the other flank, as the battle progressed. This standard maneuver would become very familiar in the next few weeks...

The enemy infantry was more than decimated, but the Gallic leader''s cavalry staved off a total slaughter and fled on it''s own. Brominium had taken about 20% casualties; these Gauls were obviously campaign veterans, perhaps even assisting the Dacians in their fight against the Julii. And so began a chase through the mountains East of Patavium. Every time the enemy was cornered, they''d savage the Hastati and dogs at the cost of a few warriors, and killing a handful of Romans, then flee the field as Brominium was arriving, back from his escort and scouting tasks. The frustration mounted.

Finally, on the fourth skirmish, Brominium kept his cavalry close so as to have a direct hand in the battle. And the risk paid off. His men spotted the enemy cavalry, now depleted to only 30, on a nearby hill. Highly chuffed at finally having the damned Equites nearby for the fight, they formed up and and the Roman units started on a run towards the enemy, yelling and singing as they went.

As they closed within a few hundred yards, they could hear the whoops of the eager Gauls. Then the Gallic cavalry stirred, as if a wind had passed through them, and taking their courage from that inspiration, they swept suddenly into a full-out charge!

Brominium ordered his cavalry out to the right, where they halted. The infantry and dogs slowed to a trot, then an ordered stop, as they waited stoically, even eagerly, for the crushing assault of the light horse. The dog handlers moved left, which was wise, as the Gallic cavalry hit the Hastati and proceeded to carry right through them. Half the Hastati were killed in the initial attack - but the Gauls, heartened by the attack and eager to meet their Gods, turned and plunged back into the Hastati to finish the job.

That was their undoing. As soon as they turned, the dogs entered the fight from the left, assisting the Hastati and pinning the enemy cavalry in place in a swirling mass of enraged Romans and unnaturally hungry dogs with decidedly unnatural tastes. As the horses stopped moving, the Celtic leader turned to flee yet again, but in working his way out of the mass, he was hit by the Equites, riding into the rear of the fray and cutting them off. Within seconds, he turned to fight by his bodyguards, and went under in a melee of snapping jaws. It is believed his body was untouched by weapons, and so he was given a warrior''s pyre in the field; but in truth, the dogs had served him so badly that no man could tell for certain whether he''d been slain by man or beast, there at the end. His head was taken and packed in salt for Brominium''s commander to see, and the men had an unusually rich array of loot to take from the sworn men of the former Gallic head of family.

Months after he set out, Brominium proudly returned with all flags flying to Patavium. As he checked into the gates, he was informed that his patron had left the city, and died heading across the Alps to another Gallic city, recently taken. The garrison commander politely took his report, noted that he had lost over half of his men and much equipment, quietly availed himself of the best of the looted jewelry - ""for the reimbursement of the Julii"" - and placed the dangerous Bruminium in charge of army work crews out repairing the local roads.

Thus is it shown that truly, to the Gods men are as playthings, and all their deeds as the doings of small animals in the shadow of the big city.

Wow, that was really good Ro!

This game acts like a muse to the fan-fict writer in all of us I see. Good stuff Robear.

I was going to write a follow up to the Second Battle for Thermon, but as I''ve been playing like a possessed man for the whole day I could scribble down reams and reams of great moments, so I''ll summarize just to put you out of your misery.

Suffice to say that Tertius stood his ground with his veterans,( the 480 remaining men of the 8th Legion ""Aquillae"" veterans and blooded everyone) against a force over twice its size under the Greek Prince Demnos and that coward the Spartan governor of Thermon.
The victory there led to the Romanization of the Peloponnese within 6 years, and with the expansion came reinforcements and an end to the financial woes of the Brutii.

Sadly the old Patriarch did not live to see it through, but his sired heir Aulus Brutus (the military genius of the family and formerly Lord of the north Adriatic) led a campaign that would see the capital moved to Sparta and Athens becoming the largest acquisition for the Brutii, and what fine cities he had captured. The peoples of the city states were forced off mainland greece to some backwater colony of theirs far from the light of Rome.

But our allies, the bastard sons of Alexander to the north, green with envy and twisted with malice could not let the Brutii prosper in the lands of their fathers, no matter how much they hated their old rivals the city states.

War began before the ashes of the pyres had cooled.
Between them young Aulus (elected to the post of Questor, then Praetor and eventually the Consulship!) and that true Roman ""of the old school"" Tercius, won sweet victory after sweet victory against the blood-crazed Macedonians, several marking the field of battle forever.
Culminating in the capture of Thessalonica and the nick name of Tertius ""Victor"", the Heroic Defender, Brutii''s most honoured general.

A glorious day for the family and a great day for Rome!

But that was today, tomorrow''s trials will be greater still. Although now the most advanced people in all the ancient world , we are spread thin. The senate has forced us to open a 2nd front with the Gauls while the Macedonians denied their greatest cities have withdrawn to Illyria where they harrass our towns on the coast. To the East the Greek cities have rebuilt an Empire at Hallicarnassus and Rhodes, one which Tercius Victor the aging general is bent on using as his prop to final greatness.

Only their formidable well led fleets stand in the way, and guess what... The Senate has called for their destruction.

Never a dull moment for the Sons of Mars.