WHAT IS THIS?
||Rome: Total War 1.5
"Roman challenge minimod" is a minimod (or micromod) of Rome Total War. The mod is structured to give to the player a challenge playing the roman faction (there is only one playable, roman Julii) making minimal changes to the structure of the game.
First of all, make a copy of the vanilla "Rome - Total War" folder; the full pahth should be "C:\Program Files\Activision\Rome - Total War" or something similar, then rename the copied RTW folder giving it exactly the name "Roman challenge minimod" (this is needed for files extraction). Extract the content of the "Roman challenge minimod.zip" file in the "Activision" folder; at this point the mod is installed.
RESTORING VANILLA GAME INSTRUCTIONS
Only 3 original game files are overwritten by the mod; they are "export_descr_buildings.txt", "export_descr_unit.txt" in "data" folder, and "descr_strat.txt" in "Data\world\maps\campaign\imperial_campaign" folder. At the moment of the installation, also 3 renamed vanilla files are copied, they are "export_descr_buildings vanilla-1-5.txt", "export_descr_unit vanilla-1-5.txt" and "descr_strat vanilla-1-5.txt"; they refer to the 1.5 patch of RTW. To restore the vanilla version you can simply delete the 3 modded files and rename the 3 vanilla files giving them their original names, so you can use the copy of the game as vanilla or install another mod.
PLAYING THE MOD
Simply launch "RomeTW.exe" or its desktop shortcut to start the game. If you have got "Barbarian Invasion" and/or "Alexander" expansions, the AI will play better using them but you need to act as follow:
for Barbarian Invasion: create a shortcut right-clicking on "RomeTW-BI.exe" and choosing the "create shortcut" option, right-click on the newly created shortcut and select the "properties" option, write at the right of the quoted text "C:\Program Files\Activision\Roman challenge minimod\RomeTW-BI.exe", the text "-mod" (without quotes, outside the quotes) then click OK. Launch the game double-clicking on the shortcut
for Alexander: create a shortcut right-clicking on "RomeTW-ALX.exe" and choosing the "create shortcut" option, right-click on the newly created shortcut and select the "properties" option, write at the right of the quoted text "C:\Program Files\Activision\Roman challenge minimod\RomeTW-ALX.exe", the text "-show_err -nm -noalexander" (without quotes, outside the quotes) then click OK. Launch the game double-clicking on the shortcut. "RomeTW-ALX.exe" gives the best chellenge.
HOW YOUR ARMY WILL CHANGE DURING THE GAME
One of the the first thing you will notice is that it is more difficult to mantain your army; this is because roman army upkeep now costs the 50% more. Moreover, roman infantry is weakened: pila make less damage; principes and triarii are available from the start and cost the same as hastati, but principes and triarii are weakened (less melee attack and armour), and hastati are modified (higher attack, less armour). Note that 1-chevron principes have the seme melee attack and defense of the original principes and 2-chevrons triarii have the same attack and defense of the original triarii. Upgrading barracks will give you the capability to train infantery units with 1-2 chevrons; this is not an advantage since other factions have the same capability, moreover they are able to train their best units from the start.
After marian reform, you will manage 2 kinds of infantery units: legionaries and auxilia. They are available everywhere but in Italy you will train legionaries with 2-3 chevrons (depending by barracks level) and auxilia with no chevrons, outside Italy you will train legionaries with no chevrons and auxilia with 2-3 chevrons. Legionary cohorts with 3 chevrons have the same melee attack and armour of vanilla legionary cohorts; auxilia are modified and 2-3 chevrons auxilia are capable to fight in line when supported by legionary cohorts. The idea is that you are able to retrain your units everywhere, but you have to recruit the core of your legions in Italy (let's say 5 to 8 legionary cohorts per army), sending them away and integrating them with auxilia and other units.
VERY FIRST STEPS AT GAME START
Select the city of Rome and put the tax rate at highest level; research roads and 1st market upgrade. Now put in queue a couple of hastati, a couple of princeps and a triarii or another units of hastati/princeps.
Merge your army and start attacking your enemy conquering all his cities as fast as you can and leaving to your base a minimal garrison. Now i will not tell the order in which you have to conquest enemy cities, only know that at least a big enemy army will arrive from the south.
Your treasury will become negative in the very first game years and it will become positive again when you will conquer enemy cities; put their tax rate at high/highest level. When your trasury will return to be positive and you will conquer most of the cities of the italian peninsula, start to lower the taxation to improve the grow rate of the population.
STRATEGIC SITUATION AT GAME START
You own only Rome. The rest of the italian peninsula is owned from your first strong enemy, who represents italian ancient populations: he is the SPQR faction and he is at war with you from the beginning. Being a roman faction such as you, he suffers of the same limitations of your faction, but he is very rich at game start so he can raise armies throwing them to fight against you. What you have to do here is simple: win all the battles against him and conquest all his cities.
As far as your armies upkeep costs more, you will own less and/or smaller armies speccially at the start. Recovery your forces after a battle costs more for you so a battle won by you with only slighty more enemy losses then yours is not a real victory unless you achieve strategic goals or you already own a great empire.
Holding the whole Italian peninsula gives you an advantage since you own many cities that noone will attack but from the north or (very rarely) by sea. A single average army is enought for your defensive purposes there.
Conquer the rest of the world: choose your objectives wisely; none of them wille easy to be conquered, many of them will mean new potential enemies to manage.
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