Opening Moves - Gaul

By Hussarknight

This guide was written and tested while playing on the hardest difficulty level. It applies to all levels of difficulty, however.

Gaul is arguably one of the most difficult factions to play as. They often get attacked by Spain, Britons and/or Germans, and the Romans. This means the early game can be very tough for a Gaul player. This guide will help you get of to a good start by consolidating Gaul and building up your economy in other cities.

First turn

Raise the tax rate to "Very High" in all your settlements. This will help you save up some money for the inevitable wars you'll be facing in the future.

Send your diplomat south to the Julii and get Trade Rights with them. Usually you will be able to get 900-1000 denarii from them in return for Trade Rights, an amount of money which is quite a lot in this early stage of the game. Send your spy south towards Segesta. It's a good idea to keep an eye on what the Julii are doing, because they will always attack you at some point.

Move Lugotorix (the general near Patavium) to Patavium. Having a governor in the town will increase your income and it might earn him some good traits. Only move Lugotorix there; send the rest of his army to Mediolanium.

Take the garrison from Narbo Martius and move it as far east as you can. Let Vindex, the nearby general, join them with his men. This army will move towards Massilia and take it from the rebels. Removing the entire garrison from Narbo Martius will make Public Order drop, but this will be solved by training a unit of Peasants.

Disband the warband in Lemonum. It's too far away from the action to be of much use and is only drawing money from your treasury, so it's better to disband it. Again, this will make Public Order tumble down, but once again this can be solved by training a unit of Peasants.

Buildings to build:

  • Roads in Narbo Martius and Alesia. Being able to move troops around quickly is always important.
  • Meeting Hall in Patavium: war with the Romans is inevitable, so having Swordsmen at your disposal is an absolute must.
  • Land Clearance in Condate Redonum, Lemonum, Mediolanium and Numantia: The higher population growth will help push your cities to the next level and the extra income is always welcome.

Units to train:

  • Peasants in Lemonum and Condate Redonum: Peasants are the best troops for garrisons.

Second turn

Move your diplomat further south, to Rome. Get a negotiation with the SPQR and sell them your map information. They'll usually pay only a handful off denarii for Trade Rights, so you can just as well not get them. Move your spy into the Julii lands. Try to let him perform a mission so he can get some experience.

Move Vindex and his army further east and besiege Massilia. Prepare a couple of rams for next turn's assault. Don't hire any mercenaries: you don't need them and they will only drain your treasury.

Buildings to build:

  • A Shrine to Eupona in Alesia: this will give experience bonuses to newly trained troops.
  • Walls in Narbo Martius: they will help against the Spanish if they attack.

Units to train:

  • Warband in Mediolanium: some more military forces will put the Roman attack off for a bit longer.
  • Peasants in Alesia and Patavium: you'll want to have a garrison available for both these cities.

Don't train any other units. While it may seem like a good idea it will only further reduce the already low population of your settlements. This will reduce your income and prevent the settlements from growing to the next level where better buildings and units will become available.

Third turn

By now two rams will be available in Massilia. Assault the town. There's not much there to defend it, so you shouldn't have much trouble capturing it. When you've captured it choose to Occupy. The populace won't be unruly anyway and the more people there are the more taxes you get. Once you've captured the settlement march Vindex and his army north towards Lugdunum. Capturing this town will clear the way for your troops to go from Alesia towards southern Gaul easily.

Move Brennus north-west, towards the Channel. Build a watchtower near the border with the Britons so you can keep an eye on what they're doing.

Buildings to build:

  • Repair the wall and build Roads in Massilia: roads will allow your troops to move across the Alps more quickly.
  • Roads in Mediolanium and Lemonum: again quick movement of troops is something that will be important.
  • Practice Range in Alesia: skirmishers will be invaluable against both the Britons and the Germans.
  • A Shrine to Epona in Numantia: Numantia will be on it's own for some time so getting more experienced troops will help a lot.
  • Mines in Narbo Martius: those extra 200 denarii a turn are a welcome addition to your income.
  • Walls in Condate Redonum: you need something to keep the Britons out.

Units to train:

  • Peasants in all cities that haven't got a unit of them already.

Fourth turn

Move the garrison from Alesia slightly west. This will allow you to quickly react in case of a Briton invasion. Send Brennus to take command of this army so you have a capable commander with it.

Continue marching Vindex to the north and besiege Lugdunum. Build some siege equipment for next turn's assault.

Buildings to build:

  • Port in Numantia: this will help increase your income.
  • Land Clearance in Massilia: increasing your population is vital while playing as Gaul.
  • Roads in Condate Redonum and Patavium: moving troops around quickly can be vital.

Units to train:

  • Barbarian Cavalry in Numantia: these guys are extremely helpful in sallies, which you will probably be fighting against the Spanish.
  • Swordsmen in Patavium: these guys will help you a lot in the war with the Romans.
  • Peasants in Mediolanium: when you move into Roman lands you need something to act as a garrison in Mediolanium.

Fifth turn

Assault Lugdunum. This battle will be slightly harder than the one in Massilia, but you should still be able to win it quite easily. Once you have won choose to Occupy the town. Once again you will want the people to pay you taxes.

Buildings to build:

  • Repair the wall and build Roads in Lugdunum: all troops you are sending either south from Alesia or north towards it will have to march through this province.
  • Shrine to Epona in Patavium: the experience bonus for your troops will make a difference in the battles with the Romans.
  • Practive Range in Mediolanium: skirmishers will be helpful against the Romans.
  • Trader in Condate Redonum and Lemonum: boosts the population growth there.
  • Land Clearance in Narbo Martius: again, population growth is a priority.

Units to train:

  • Swordsmen in Patavium: more of these guys are always welcome.
  • Warband in Alesia: it's time to start building up some more defences against the Germans and the Britons.

Conclusion

You now have all of Gaul under your control and your economy is reasonably good. From here on you can choose where to expand. Expanding into Spain first will make sure one of your flanks if protected while the mines there will aid your income. If the Britons attack the first thing to do is capture Samorabriva, after which the Britons can be kept at bay by sinking all their ships. At some point the Romans will attack you. Make sure you are ready for this and once you are attacked try to take Arretium as soon as possible, so you can train Swordsmen there. Fighting the Romans will be hard, but once you defeat them there's little that can stand up to you. Best of luck while playing as the Gauls. May the Horns of Victory sound for thee!

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