Blitzing with the Gauls

By Edorix

I find the Gauls are often underrated. In campaign, they tend to be squashed early on between the Britons, Julii, Germans and Spain, the only unit they have which is not shared with some other faction is the Forester Warband... overall, they can be a pretty hard faction to use.

Except with this strategy.

Here, I will show you a foolproof way to defeat Romans, Greeks, Barbarians and every other race on the face of Rome Total War. This strategy was originally devised for multiplayer (on that occasion, my opponent unwittingly chose the Seleucid Empire to play me with. They began to withdraw after their Armoured Elephants routed), but it works even better against the AI. The most useful settings you need are unlimited ammunition turned on and morale factored in. Unit scale and fatigue are your choice. This strategy works on a 19k budget or less if you're skimping on the cavalry, but allowing for full upgrades and the best units you need nearly 156k. Flat terrain is best; I always use "Grassy Flatland", but it's not imperative. Just make sure you're not fighting in a very wooded area or very uneven or steep terrain. I haven't tried it on a bridge before, but I wouldn't risk it if you can help it; that renders your cavalry useless for longer than I would like.

Now let us get down to business; now is the time for Gaul to strike back!

 and Legionairies in close combat

The army you are going to use will be a cross between a rush army and a skirmisher army - a powerful combination. If you are used to relying on heavy melee line-holding infantry, this may not be the best strategy for you. Stick to Chosen Swordsmen.

  • 10 x Chosen Warlord. If you are strap for cash, you can substitute these for Barbarian Noble Cavalry. Or 1 Chosen Warlord, 4 Warlords and 5 Noble Cavalry, or 5 Chosen Warlords and 5 Noble Cavalry, or... yeah, you get the picture.
  • 10 x Forester Warband. Probably the best weapon in the Gallic arsenal.

That's all. When upgrading, give the cavalry priority, especially if you're using Nobles not Warlords. Barbarian Noble Cavalry aren't anything special; very basic stats. In campaign obviously, you won't have ten warlords with which to build this army (if you do, send me the save file); you'll need to use more Nobles instead, like in one of the examples above.

Army setup

Before you begin, check your opponents faction/army. If they have a very heavy-cavalry strong army, like Parthia, Armenia, or sometimes even Rome, you will have to try something else; seven units of Cataphracts are easily a match for ten of Noble Cavalry, or even ten Chosen Warlords if they have some kind of support. Remember that Nobles aren't really anything special.

When you are deploying, have a single line of your foresters flanked by equal amounts of your horse. Your aim will be to quickly wipe out your opponents cavalry and supporting missile troops with your huge numbers of cavalry, then empty your quivers on the infantry until they're weak enough to be routed and chased from the field by your cavalry.

If your opponent has chariots or elephants, with luck they will send them in now. When you see them coming, have all your foresters open fire on them with incendiary missiles. There is no way either type of unit will be able to stand up to arrows in that sort of number; on large scale, you would be firing 800 arrows at them.

 and Legionairies in close combat

Now send your cavalry round both sides. They're not the best cavalry around, but they're not bad and - most importantly - there are lots of them. Use sheer numbers to overcome the enemy cavalry, but make sure you steer clear of the infantry. That can be tricky. It might be an idea to leave a couple of units behind with your foresters in case they send their general through their centre to attack your main line. If necessary, cycle-charge the enemy whenever you get an opportunity until they rout.

The next part is harder. Once their cavalry is scattered and in flight, you want to wipe out their archers. How you do that is up to you; you should continue to try and avoid the infantry, but if there is no other way, you can afford to mass-charge a single unit to get at the missile troops - unless, of course, they are some sort of phalanx. If you find yourself trapped between heavy infantry coming towards you and heavy infantry facing towards your archers, you can always charge through their rear to escape. Again, if necessary, cycle-charge until the missile troops rout - but stay clear of prolonged engagement with infantry. If you are finding it impossible to get at those archers with your cavalry, don't worry; just switch the targets of your foresters to the enemy archer units. Foresters are good, and you have a lot of them; you will easily have a missile superiority, and the enemy archers won't be able to stand up to it for long.

Once all the horse and missile troops are fleeing, you can send your cavalry to chase them down and re-rout any who rally. You don't have to worry about your foresters; just keep skirmish and fire-at-will turned on, and they will decimate the infantry by themselves.

When you have run out of ammo, or you judge the enemy infantry to be sufficiently weakened, charge them in the back/front with all your cavalry and the front/back with all your foresters, depending on which way they're facing. Now all that's left to do is hunt them down, and slaughter them all!

 and Legionairies in close combat

The only requirements for this strategy to work are patience and care. Take care to keep your cavalry from engaging the infantry too soon, and have patience while your foresters weaken them enough to do so. Really, that's all there is to it.

Happy blitzing!