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Total War Heaven » Forums » Rome: Total War Discussion » Newbie FAQ (Updated) - Please read this thread before asking questions
Topic Subject:Newbie FAQ (Updated) - Please read this thread before asking questions
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posted 21 January 2005 07:56 EDT (US)         
This thread isintended to answer the basic questions about gameplay in Rome: Total War. For a more detailed FAQ, click here.

If you have a simple question about gameplay that is not answered in this thread or the main FAQ, then please post it here.

To everyone, if a simple gameplay question is answered that isn't in here, please point it out in this thread and a moderator will add it to the list.

Q1: How do I get the first legionary cohort? I don't see it on the Recruitment Scroll!

A1: The First Legionary Cohort is a random gift from the Senate, for doing a random mission. Be patient. Although it is cheaper to just train the Early Legionary Cohort.

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

Q2: The Senate is trying to kill me! What do I do? I thought they liked me!

A2: It is a trigger. They will always hate you at a certain point in the game. Your main problem isn't the Senate, though. They are easy. You have to worry about the other 2 Roman factions.

Q3: The Senate wants my Faction Leader to commit suicide! What should I do?

A3: Usually the best option is to not do it. I mean, if the Senate asks you to do this, they must hate you, and war is inevitable anyway. If, however, you do not care about your Faction Leader, I.E. he is about to die of old age anyway, than go for it. All you have to do is get into battle and charge your Leader to his doom. That ought to squeeze a couple more years out of the Senate's respect for you...

Q4: Where should I put my capital? Near my biggest cities or in the center of my empire?

A4: Near the center. It is most beneficial to all, as corruption and happiness deteriorate with distance from the capital.

Q5: My huge cities are losing money fast, and my tiny towns are making tons! What the hey?

A5: It is because the cost of maintaning your army is split between the cities depending on population. So if a city has 50% of your total population, than that city will pay off 50% of your army cost. The cities making money ought to balance out the money.

Look at the Settlement Details scroll for a rundown of where the money is going in each settlement. If you let the settlement rebel and then exterminate it, you are only spreading out the costs to the other settlements and reducing the total income.

Q6: My public order is really low! What do I do?

A6: Lower taxes, more frequent Games and Races, upgrade City, upgrade Temple, upgrade Arena, Make a better governor through Academies, the very LAST thing you should do is let it rebel and then exterminate the population when you recapture it, as this has a huge impact on your economy.

Q7: Should I build up my outermost cities?

A7: Some cities should be economic powerhouses and others should be military powerhouses. Both should be built up, although the economy takes priority. Frontier cities are always worth building up, as that is where the enemy is most likely to attack.

Q8: What are sap points?

A8: Sap points are like places in the wall that you can dig under and make the wall collapse. It is extremely dangerous, so you should get peasents to do it. Trust me.

Q9: How do you hide in forests?

A9: Certain units cannot hide, but most infantry, archers, and cavalry can. All you have to do is move them into a forest and stand still. Keep in mind, Arcani and Foresters can hide ANYWHERE. Absolutely ANYWHERE.

Q10: How do I continue my campaign after I win as a Roman faction?

A10: When the win cinematic (With you taking the Senate) shows, hit Esc and then press Save and then continue from the main menu.

Post 1.5/1.6, there is an option to continue if you so desire.

Q11: How do I make it so that there are more units per unit card?

A11: In the main menu, go to options, and video options, and check the box marked "Advanced Options" and change the Unit Scale. This will only be applied to NEW campaigns you start, not your current one. Keep in mind however, population cost and garrisson effectiveness change with unit size.

Q12: How do I merge unit cards?

A12: IF both units are NOT full, than you click and drag to combine them and fill one of them up. YOU CANNOT make a unit that is twice as big as max. It can't be done.

Q13:I put my slingers behind my troops and let my army and the enemy army duke it out...when I looked back at the screen most of my units were dead and the enemy was almost at the same strength they were at when I left, why is this?

A13: It is because of a little thing called "friendly fire". Most of your slingers will miss and hit your troops that are in front of them instead of the units you tell them to attack. To solve this, either keep the slingers in front, or keep them to the side.

Ballistas and Repeating Ballistas do this as well, although Scorpions can fire over the heads of the troops as long as the target is not too close.

Q14: I have like 4 Huge Cities but still no Legionaries!?

A14: Nope, to get Legionaries you must wait for the Marius Reforms which usually happen when you build your first Imperial Palace making your first Huge City.

Q15: I saw a screenshot where Caesar was commanding! I want Caesar!

A:15: Not really a question, but I'll answer it anyway. I'm pretty sure it is random. From what I've read, you just gotta wait and cross your fingers that Caesar is born...

Q16: How do you play as a faction other than the Romans in a campaign mode?

A16: To unlock PLAYABLE factions, all you have to do is destroy them in another campaign. To play as UNPLAYABLE factions, go to the Rome Total War folder/Data/world/maps/campaign/imperial_campaign/descr_stra t and then just cut the non-playable factions and paste them in the playable section. I guess you could also go here...

Q17: Oook, I did all that, but when I was the Senate I went to check my standing with the Senate, and it crashed! why?

A17: Err, you just answered your own question. It froze BECAUSE you checked your standing with the Senate. You can go to the Faction Details scroll, as long as you DO NOT click the Senate tab while you are the Senate.

Q18: Do the downloadables have viruses/bugs?

A18: No.

...But what about...

Believe me. They don't. Actually, bugs you WILL find, but the game ALREADY has bugs, and they don't affect anything but RTW anyway. So if you are downloading a mod or something, make a backup copy of all of the RTW files. That way if you mess up, you can simply delete everything in your RTW folder and move in the backup files in their stead.



Q19: What's with the pilum on the Hastati sheilds? They only use them once and they have like 3 of 'em...

A19: Turn Fire At Will Mode on, and the Hastati, Principes, Legionaries, Scutarii and Cilician Pirates have two pila or javelins. They will throw these before engaging the enemy in hand to hand combat if fire at will mode is turned on.

Q20: What is the meaning/use of the Wait 1, 2, 3 indicators just before starting a battle?

A20: Well, if you feel that the weather isn't very good, such as it is raining heavily and you have a lot of archers, then you can click this wait button in order to wait a few more days before battle, and see if the weather gets any better. As you do this the number next to wait goes down. When it hits 0, you are stuck with the current weather.

Q21: Can my spies be spotted on the field by diplomats or only other spies from other factions?

A21: I am pretty sure that it is only by other spies unless an army stands on the square that the spy is standing on or the spy has just been ejected from one of your settlements.

Q22: If you send ships out for a sea battle, is there an advantage to the outcome by having actual troops on the ships, as opposed to just the '40' that are initially there?

A22: No, I am sure there is no advantage to that, at least not one that has ever been reported.

Q23: Sometimes I can't move through a sea area because it will say 'can't go through another faction's zone of control' How do I achieve this zone? Can you see the borders of the zone?

A23: Not sure about this one, never happened to me. Could someone post the answer to this? I'll quote it and give you full credit.

Ah, got an answer. Thanks Firefox.

Quoted from Firefox:

When you click on a unit, you'll see the region it can move in green. However, you will notice that if there are any enemy/neutral units in the region, the area around that unit will be red. This denotes the zone of control. If your unit ends a move in the zone on control, it can no longer move. That's why killing that unit sometimes extends movement, and why you can blockade 3-army wide passes with one army.

If you are in an enemy's zone of control, your units cannot move. However, if the unit has not moved that turn, then it can move normally. It must have full movement points to exit a zone of control.

Q24: How do you set way points for troops during field battles?

A24: Hold SHIFT and click on the spots you want your troops to go to in order.

Q25: What is the 'rally point' function for on the main map?

A25: Rally points are where your troops will deploy if created in a city you set a rally point to. This helps by moving troops to wherever you were intending on sending them afterwards automatically.

Q26: How do I build forts on main map, and what is their purpose?

Q27: A fort is a temporary settlement that stays up as long as troops remain inside. They can only be built by an army with a family member leading them. You build them by clicking on the aforementioned army, clicking on the construction button, and clicking on "build fort". The best use of them is in case the army is in danger of an attack they cannot win on the field, you build them. All of a sudden it is like a siege instead, and the defender has an advantage during sieges.

Forts also help to reduce the number of rebels spawning.

Q27: Is there a keyboard key for cycling through all the units I have that still have moves left?

Q28: I don't think so...

Q28: Some units have the 'hide in trees' ability. Is this only on the battlefield or can they actually remain hidden from enemy view on the main map?

A28: Yes, they can remain hidden on the main map. Very useful trick for ambushes. However, if you have a unit that cannot hide, such as elephants, in the army, your army will stick out like a sore thumb.

Q29: What building do I need to be able to produce units that let me attack a city right away without having to siege? It always tells me "you can't attack because you don't have units to attack buildings" I thought you only needed the ram to get through the front gate.

A29: Siege weapons can be built at an Archery Range (Ballistas, Onagers for Dacia, Scythia and Spain only) and its upgrades, Catapult Range (Scorpions and Onagers) and Siege Engineer (Repeating Ballistas and Heavy Onagers).

Q30: What's the average age your leader will die at? I had a ten star general that died at 60.

A30: It is totally random. The normal range of NATURAL DEATH is about 60-80. There have been reports of generals getting so old they go past the maximum age number and restart at age 0, but act like 100 year olds.

Q31: Is there a quick way to select units from a town that will go out other than using 'control/left click' over the units you want to go together? I now that control/a will select them all, but what if I wanted to only send out hastati, and leave town watch at home, for example.

A31: I am fairly sure you can CTRL-Double Click on a unit and it will select all units of that type.

Q32: What do I need to do to recruit [Insert Recruitable Unit Name Here]?

A32: Try building the next level of your type of unit's building. If the unit will be cavalry, upgrade your Stables, Archer, upgrade Ranges, etc.

Also, check the Building Browser for a settlement. It will tell you what units can be recruited where.

Q33: WTF? Why is my capital making negative denarii and my tiny towns making 1000+??? What the hey? I'm gonna exterminate!

A33: It is because your towns pay the costs of unit upkeep based on population percentages. So if a town has 50% of your entire nations population, that town will pay 50% of the upkeep costs. This will be balanced out by your small towns that don't have many people. In short, extermination WON'T HELP make money! If you know very basic math you should know why. If not, I'll tell you. It is because you always have a total population of 100%. Killing people doesn't change the total % of your nation. Now those upkeep costs will be laden on to the next-biggest city. Exterminating only reduces squalor. The best way to avoid having to look at negative numbers on your cities is to conquer, conquer, conquer!

Q34: Is there anywhere here i can post a battle replay?

A34: Here.

Q35: How do I change the unit size?

A35: Go to Options, then Video Options. Check the Advanced Options box (the one below the three drop-down menus). Several more options appear. Unit Size is the top one on the left.

Q36: Why does the AI have more units than me?

A36: It doesn't. The scroll for AI armies has nine units per line, whereas the scroll for your armies has ten units per line.

Q37: What exactly to academy’s do? Do they lower corruption? Train your generals?

A37: Academies give a law bonus in Patch 1.5/1.6, but their main use is to train governors. From an Academy, a Scriptorium or a Ludus Magna, a governor can gain many traits and ancillaries which are extremely good. There are no bad effects to it.

Q38: How do you win favor with the people? I.E when am I allowed to invade Rome? Do I need to have a certain amount of provinces? Armies?

A38: Low taxes, well managed and happy settlements, good profits, being on good terms with the Senate and other factions, and an expanding empire will help you win favour, mainly the expanding empire. You can invade Rome when the popularity with the people is maxed out. You will receive a message that you are encouraged to take power. You don't need a certain amount of armies and territories, but it is good to have an abundance of both before invading Rome and triggering the civil war between the Scipii, Brutii, Julii, and the Senate.

Q39: Are horse Archers/Persian Cavalry any good

A39: All troops are good if used correctly. Horse Archers, when used properly are very valuable assest as they can harry the enemy and retreat to a safe position to fire again. They're good to keep the enemy preoccupied and distracted.

Q40: When you've finished a battle, can you just march anywhere you'd like? So if you were just above Italy itself, could you just get there by marching to a city in central Italy WITHOUT the strategic map?

A40: Sorry, but no.

Q41: How do I unlock all of the factions?

A41: Download this mod for 1.5/1.6 or this mod for 1.2.

Q42: How do I communicate with other players during a multiplayer game?

A42: Press T on the keyboard to open the chat interface. From here you can select who you want to communicate with during a battle: a specific player, all allied players, all players, etc.

Q43: I use Windows 7, and it will not let me modify anything! How can I modify my game?

A43: Thanks to Orcrist_Beleg, we now know that Windows 7 will not let you modify any Program Files. So the answer to your dilemma is simply- install RTW in its own folder, anywhere but inside Program Files. It seems the Program Files folder jealously guards its contents, but allows modification of files located elsewhere. So create the folder RTW on your C:, install there, and happy modding.

Marvin: I ache therefore I am. Or, in my case, I am therefore I ache. Oh look, I appear to be lying in the bottom of a very deep hole. That seems a familiar concept, what does it remind me of? Ah, yes. Life. ~Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 05-18-2011 @ 01:48 AM).]

HG Monument
(id: Jax Omen)
posted 12 July 2005 12:41 EDT (US)     101 / 435       
Hi chuyzoz!

In answer to your questions:


Is there a way to become the senate?

Not by holding all the posts. If you search the downloads section, however, you can download an "all factions" mod, which lets you play as the Senate. Don't expect to order other Romans around, though.


In some cities, when i click on settlement details there are a few icons flashing

The flashing icons display how much a given attribute will change when the improvements you are building are finished. So, if you start to build a port, the "trade" icon will begin flashing. Hover over it to find the amount of trade you will get when the port is finished.


but what about the shields and the swords, sometimes they are gold, silver or red.

These are weapons and armour upgrades, which you get from building certain temples and blacksmiths. A bronze (red) icon represents +1 armour/attack, a silver +2, and a gold one +3.

house won this
posted 14 July 2005 11:41 EDT (US)     102 / 435       
oh ... i see... thanks a lot Jax, if i have any more doubts i will post them here

If three plus three equals six, then why do fish fly?
posted 14 July 2005 17:44 EDT (US)     103 / 435       
Whoah, I'm sure this will come in useful. Cheers for writing this GamerGuy.

I only just got the game, btw .

EDIT: Maaan, my sig looks bad here .

_____•--« ÑÅTHßÉRT »--•_____
•--«¯¯¯¯¯RIP Woad Creations, RIP Shiva.¯¯¯¯¯»--•

[This message has been edited by nathbert (edited 07-14-2005 @ 05:44 PM).]

posted 18 July 2005 19:25 EDT (US)     104 / 435       
ok.. one more question ...i just played a battle where i had to siege a city ... i attacked it with .. 2 sap points, one ladder, and one siege tower..

after the siege tower and ladder is in place which units and how can i order them to climb them up..

with the sap points.. i surprisingly found out how to use them. but a quick question .. if it is succesful how can i then get the units that i used for...
as well. does it make any difference the number of units that go into the tunnels?

If three plus three equals six, then why do fish fly?
Gaius Colinius
Seraph Emeritus
posted 19 July 2005 07:58 EDT (US)     105 / 435       
To use the ladder, select a unit outside the walls and right click on the bit of wall above the ladder. As there is no other way onto the walls other than the ladder they will move towards the ladder and start climbing. I recommend that you get them to run.

For sapping points, you select a unit and right click on the tunnel entrance, when they have finished demolishing the wall, they will automatically exit the same way.

Wonder what happens if you use a ladder on the bit of wall you are sapping.....

posted 19 July 2005 10:36 EDT (US)     106 / 435       
i see, and i suppose only infantry can go up the ladder right ? one more question ... is there a way to open the gates from the inside, i mean a way of not destroying the gate but opening it?

and ... does the ladder function the same way was the siege tower. sorry bout this but my other question was not responded.

(Edit) - After you get rome and have 50 provinces can you still keep playing ? and conquer the world ?eliminate every faction ? just wondering...

If three plus three equals six, then why do fish fly?

[This message has been edited by chuyzoz (edited 07-19-2005 @ 11:12 AM).]

posted 19 July 2005 10:52 EDT (US)     107 / 435       


is there a way to open the gates from the inside, i mean a way of not destroying the gate but opening it?

Yes. Use a ladder or a tower to get up on the walls. Then run inside the gatehouse, and the the gate is yours to open. Voila.

Yes, siege towers are used the same way as ladders. You select the unit with the tower, and right click on the wall.

Oldie from RTWH!
posted 19 August 2005 18:39 EDT (US)     108 / 435       
How do I add a new character? I'd like to add a general with the name Adonis Leonidas, with a maxed out command rating and 3 management points and 5 influence points. I'd also like him to be the youngest age possible. I've seen the links to pages with directions, but I can never set this guy up! I'd really appreciate it if someone could tell me EXACTLY what to type in after the ~ screen. Please don't add " and _ if I don't type them in myself. Thanks in advance.
posted 14 September 2005 22:37 EDT (US)     109 / 435       
I am a complete newbie, just started playing. How long will the campaign map remain 'black' before its starts looking interesting?
posted 14 September 2005 22:40 EDT (US)     110 / 435       
You have to explore the map before it will be revealed. Use spies to explore the map more quickly (they have a further line of sight).

Oh, and welcome to Rome: Total War Heaven!


We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Ace Cataphract
HG Alumnus
(id: Ace_Cataphract)
posted 14 September 2005 22:57 EDT (US)     111 / 435       
Also try trading for and buying map information using diplomacy. And welcome again.

I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed. ~George Carlin
Seraph (in absentia)
posted 14 September 2005 23:02 EDT (US)     112 / 435       
Welcome to RTWH, casius!

GLORYOFSPARTA | RTWH and M2TWH Site Director, AoMH Game Information Admin, HeavenGames LLC
AoMH | RTWH | M2TWH | Ancient Greek Festival - 3rd to 4th of June in Watford, UK, 2006.
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posted 14 September 2005 23:36 EDT (US)     113 / 435       
Thankyou for the welocome and the info!
posted 06 October 2005 13:59 EDT (US)     114 / 435       
I have not even bought the game yet (looking for a good price right now, will buy as soon as I find one) so I can't find out for myself: I've read that you get a big advantage from placing archers on hills and walls, but I wonder what the benefit are. Is it greater attack, greater range or both? All tree seem logical to me.

EDIT: Also, is there any patch that makes the battle AI smarter? From what I've seen from the demo and from what I've read it seems like they are always treating its general like an ordinary cavalry unit, and don't protect it at all.

[This message has been edited by steace43 (edited 10-06-2005 @ 02:01 PM).]

posted 06 October 2005 19:42 EDT (US)     115 / 435       
Hey steace43.

When archers are placed on higher ground, their range is greater. If you think about it, in real life the volley would also do more damage because it's coming straight down on the opponents. But the main effect is range.

And sorry to disappoint you, but there is no patch which makes the AI smarter. However, the recently released Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion includes patch 1.3, which has upgraded AI. The game itself on a whole has better AI.

Oldie from RTWH!
posted 07 October 2005 03:01 EDT (US)     116 / 435       
One more question, can ranged units that can hide fire while hiding, or will they reveal their location as soon as the start shooting? I guess they will be revealed, but maybe thet hide good enough¨so that the enemy won't discover them aven after they start firing.
Dricus Frisii
posted 07 October 2005 04:35 EDT (US)     117 / 435       


will they reveal their location as soon as the start shooting? I guess they will be revealed

Your guess is right, they will reveal their position as soon as they stand up (and start firing). Also when a enemy unit comes too close (don't no the exact distance) their position is revealed...


"The story of our life, in the end, is not our life, it is our story" - Americano
Ad furore Dutchmannorum libera nos domine - Ace Cataphract
posted 14 October 2005 08:34 EDT (US)     118 / 435       
If the Senate asks you to commit suicide it means that you are already powerfull enough to make them fear you.

It may look like they like you but what trully happens is that they fear you.

When i was asked ( as Julii ) to do so i found my self in war with all Roman factions, eventually i defeated them all ( thus i refused )

[This message has been edited by MEGAS_ALEXANDROS (edited 10-14-2005 @ 08:35 AM).]

posted 26 October 2005 06:58 EDT (US)     119 / 435       
Q31, selecting units in a town to go out.
Try b1 on the first unit, then shift b1 on another, it will highlight all units in between the two. You can then use ctrl b1 as usual to add further units.
posted 04 November 2005 12:32 EDT (US)     120 / 435       
Is there a year when an imperial campaign comes to an end? Currently I'm on 70 BC.



posted 04 November 2005 17:05 EDT (US)     121 / 435       
I think it ends in 14 AD.

Aeneas l BFME2 Heaven l WiC Heaven
"The most important thing is to remember to have fun! After all, what else could be the point of nuking your friends?" - Cheesewiz
posted 07 November 2005 14:47 EDT (US)     122 / 435       
What factors determine the public popularity scale on the Senate scroll? As I've got to 68 BC and I'm still just not quite popular enough to be able to take Rome.
posted 09 November 2005 01:34 EDT (US)     123 / 435       
Conquering new provinces raises your popularity with them and I think that winning battles do to.
posted 09 November 2005 09:29 EDT (US)     124 / 435       
Thanks. But now Ive got another Q!

Does the Imperial Campaign difficulty rating affect the variety in 'toughness' of the units you're likely to face on the battlefield? For example if you were fighting the Romans in V.hard mode, would you be more likely to fight a unit of urban cohorts than in easy mode?

posted 10 November 2005 01:54 EDT (US)     125 / 435       
The higher dificulty level you have chosen for the campaign map you have chosen, the better troops the AI will field, but the battle difficulty doesn't affect it. It only alters how good the troops are on the battle field (i.e. an enemy urban cohort will be much weaker on easy than it is on very hard).
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