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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).]

posted 29 January 2006 02:54 EDT (US)     176 / 435       
If it actually is possible train and use the uinits, then I guess it's only some referance to the image of the unit card that is wrong. I don't know much about that though, so someone else needs to answear.

posted 30 January 2006 18:01 EDT (US)     177 / 435       
I need i reply as quickly as possible.Can somone tell me why RTW closes as soon as i get into it, i thouht it was a cd patch i put on it but i rienstalled it and does the same thing.

After you click the "play Rome: Total War"
it goes to the second screen with Creative Assembley, then it just closes. why would it do this? i had it working on this same computer a week ago.

posted 31 January 2006 01:08 EDT (US)     178 / 435       
Have you installed any mods? If not, ask in tech help forum.

HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 31 January 2006 02:31 EDT (US)     179 / 435       
Ah... I had that!
I messed about with export_descr_units.txt too much. I had to re-install it, although amazeingly my saved games were still intact!

And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You
posted 31 January 2006 08:57 EDT (US)     180 / 435       
Yeah this is something that occurs when you change the export_descr files, so trick is to change only one or two things, keep a record of your changes and then test it.. otherwise you have to change your changed file back to the original or to the last version the worked.. I always copy the last sucessful changed file as a back up, and keep and original clean copy (this all may be obvious to most of you of course!) but being organised and listng chnaged accurately help to learn where you are making mistakes.

More help in this area is in the modding forum

posted 04 February 2006 12:03 EDT (US)     181 / 435       
I used the show_err command line option and the reason I can't play the campaign is because I accidentally deleted Macedon from the descr_strat file! Apparently, my other files are fine, because the campaigns worked after fixing it.

Thanks anyways, everyone!

posted 17 February 2006 19:39 EDT (US)     182 / 435       
hey why is it that sometimes when I am in a battle, the option for withdrawing doesnt light up? I think its happened to me, if i remember correctly, when an enemy army has assaulted me, and i have retreaded, but that same turn they force me to fight.
(id: Marcus Orentius)
posted 17 February 2006 20:09 EDT (US)     183 / 435       
Yeah, there's two ways (as far as I know) for this to happen out on the open field: Either when you're against the sea or you have run out of movement points.

Exilian - a website for mods for Mount&Blade, Rome Total War, Empire Total War and news about Shogun 2: Total War
"There is no extreme metal, death metal, progressive metal or vegetarian metal." - Tryhard
"Light infantry, rangers, and riflemen all have the unique ability to pull yard-long poles from their arseholes and plant them in order to stave off cavalry." - BurningSushi460
posted 17 February 2006 20:23 EDT (US)     184 / 435       
Ahhh, that makes sense. All of the times that it has happened, my army was out of movement points. Btw does withdrawing have any negative effects or results?
(id: Marcus Orentius)
posted 17 February 2006 20:47 EDT (US)     185 / 435       
The only result I've found is that it adds another point to your "battles lost" statistic on your faction scroll.

Exilian - a website for mods for Mount&Blade, Rome Total War, Empire Total War and news about Shogun 2: Total War
"There is no extreme metal, death metal, progressive metal or vegetarian metal." - Tryhard
"Light infantry, rangers, and riflemen all have the unique ability to pull yard-long poles from their arseholes and plant them in order to stave off cavalry." - BurningSushi460
posted 18 February 2006 01:59 EDT (US)     186 / 435       
How high does your popularity have to be to attack Rome? I tried doing it on easy campaign mode but I only had 10% popularity. So it said i didn't have enough influence to attack. Before my popularity crashed I had 100% popularity with the senate. If I had of tried to attack then would've it worked?
posted 18 February 2006 02:31 EDT (US)     187 / 435       
You don't have to have high popularity to fight Rome. If you assassinate (or attempt) one of their family members, they'll usually declare war on you.

posted 01 March 2006 02:44 EDT (US)     188 / 435       
In RTW how do you manage to take a screenshot? please explain.

I think the world is ugly enough without you having to contribute to it.
I resent reality and subsitute my own.
I don't want to become immortal through my work, I want to become immortal by not dying.- Woody Allen
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence to suggest you tried
don't click this link...
posted 02 March 2006 20:52 EDT (US)     189 / 435       
Press ctrl+prtscr. That's up in the top right corner, above the insert and delete key place. I have no idea for Macs. When you take the screenshot, open paint or a bitmap editing program and paste it in with ctrl+v or by pressing paste in the men bar. Save the bitmap and you'll have a screenshot. If you want to host the screenshot on a website or image hosting website, such as imageshack, save it as a jpeg file. To do this, when you save the screenshot, find where it says save as type or something. Click the drop-down and choose jpeg. This will cut down on the file size dramatically.

posted 13 March 2006 01:20 EDT (US)     190 / 435       
With the faction ranking scroll, on the horizontal axis it shows the number of turns played. But on the vertical axis it also has numbers, usually in the hundreds of thousands. Does anybody know what these numbers represent? They aren't labelled.
Auxilia Motya
posted 21 March 2006 00:13 EDT (US)     191 / 435       
Good list RTS_GamerGuy!I'm sure my friends new to RTW would love it.

SPQR Hadrian's Firewall Click Here
Norton Anti Vesuvius BUY NOW!
Add umph to your pilvm.(or pila if squalor/poor man)
SPQR mart:why buy from barbarians any were else!
*only to promote laughing from Bacchus,not real ads*
posted 24 March 2006 15:18 EDT (US)     192 / 435       
Two questions:

First, am I blind, or is there no way to search this forum? Directions to a search button will minimize the number of stupid questions I might ask.

Second, I have a new packaging of the game which does not include the hotkeys on the back of the manual or the tech tree insert, etc.

Are the hotkeys or the tech tree on the web somewhere? Thanks.

posted 24 March 2006 16:30 EDT (US)     193 / 435       
1. There is a search function at the bottom of the forum.

2. The tech tree is only for Roman factions. There is a real tech tree in the game. Open the building scroll for a settlement and choose the Building Browser. That will show the tech tree for the current faction. For hotkeys, mouse over a button, and it will show a hotkey in angle brackets (<hotkey> ).

posted 24 March 2006 16:51 EDT (US)     194 / 435       
I guess I am blind. Thanks. I also found this from a search:

"...pressing F1 will give you a list of hotkeys."

I had read there were hotkeys for use during a battle. I'll have to check F1 later.

posted 27 March 2006 22:58 EDT (US)     195 / 435       
Hi. i am brand new here and i just got rtw. i have the patch 1.5 and everything and want to play as all the factions. but (totally newbie) what does it mean, go to the Rome Total War folder/Data/world/maps/campaign/imperial_campaign/descr_stra t. if u can help me get there i would be truly grateful. other than that i am very impressed by your guy's forums. very neat and helpful.
Leo IV
(id: leonadas_IV)
posted 27 March 2006 23:04 EDT (US)     196 / 435       
Go to your C drive and then find the Actvision folder, in program files, then you can go to Rome total war and follow the path that is given, Once your at Descr_strat scroll down until you reach the Factions list and move the ones under unplayable to Unlocable.

Im new here also and i and i wish you a warm welcome and hope you have a good time

Pugna Concusio ~ Fight the Oppression
Army Commander
posted 28 March 2006 11:00 EDT (US)     197 / 435       
Yeah welcome! We hope you enjoy your stay.

Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.
It would be a violation of my code as a gentleman to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed person.-Veeblefester
Ego is the anesthetic for the pain of stupidity.-me A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
I've put most of my units/skins and ss of them on my new site!:
Proud winner of most underrated forumer award!
posted 09 April 2006 12:24 EDT (US)     198 / 435       
Every enemy or neutral army/navt has a ra area around it called a zone of control that you can't move through without mashing them first
posted 17 April 2006 10:49 EDT (US)     199 / 435       
hey um im not sure if its already been posted but what does RTR mean? in some walkthroughs the writer has mentioned it and i have no idea what it is can u clue me in please?
posted 17 April 2006 15:55 EDT (US)     200 / 435       
RTR. Rome Total Realism. It is a patch that extends the map to make it more like back in Roman times. Thats all i know maybe someone else knows more.
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