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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 11 April 2005 10:22 EDT (US)     76 / 435  
Aaah..... danke. Momalways said that beer and being a general don't mix....
posted 12 April 2005 18:30 EDT (US)     77 / 435  
Is there any way to create a line of succession, beyond just setting a faction leader and heir? Also, is there any way to keep the computer from automatically picking a new heir when the leader dies?
posted 12 April 2005 18:32 EDT (US)     78 / 435  
Unfortunately, there isn't. With patch 1.2 it automatically goes to the family member with the most influence.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
posted 16 April 2005 15:08 EDT (US)     79 / 435  
Pardon me if this has been asked before, but how do you take screenshots?
posted 16 April 2005 15:24 EDT (US)     80 / 435  
Hold the print screen button down for a second or two (seems like when I just press it they turn out black). the screens are sent to C:\Program Files\Activision\Rome - Total War\TGA

----•(¯\-{/\} /\ ¯][¯ (¯ }{ |- (_) [_ - () |\| |¯-)•----
posted 17 April 2005 18:05 EDT (US)     81 / 435  
Okay, thanks.
posted 30 April 2005 01:17 EDT (US)     82 / 435  
Help use our video gaming addiction for the better understanding of the human mind!!

I am conducting a university-sponsered psychological study linking gaming genre preference with personality traits. If you are interested in completing the anonymous survey, please go to take the survey, which should take approximately 5 minutes. This study, upon appropriate findings, may be published.

This isnt spam or anything silly like that, I just thought a gaming forum would be the obvious place i'd advertise something like this. Thanks so much for anyone who participants, the results of this study should be very interesting.

posted 30 April 2005 06:34 EDT (US)     83 / 435  



Please do NOT use any of our forums as an advertising medium for your own site or forums. Our staff doesn’t wander over to your site and spam it with adverts, so the same courtesy is expected in return. Linking to your site in your signature is ok as long as it is not accompanied by a slogan.

If you are affiliated with a site that is relevant to the Gaming community and would like to link to it as part of an on-topic discussion, please contact a moderator first and be upfront in your message about the fact that you are linking to your own site. We wish to keep our forums free of the spam generated by promotion teams, public-relation campaigns, and other traffic-hungry webmasters.

You're at least supposed to contact a moderator first.

And that really doesn't belong in the FAQ.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
posted 11 May 2005 17:05 EDT (US)     84 / 435  
How would one exterminate a population without letting it rebel first?

[This message has been edited by primus diddy (edited 05-11-2005 @ 05:09 PM).]

posted 11 May 2005 17:14 EDT (US)     85 / 435  
Hey, how do you get spartans in the Greek campaign?
posted 11 May 2005 19:47 EDT (US)     86 / 435  
Spartans are only available in two cities: Syracuse and Sparta. These must be Large Cities (12,000 people or more) and must have an army barracks.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
posted 17 May 2005 19:46 EDT (US)     87 / 435  
Primus, exterminate the pop after gifting it to an enemy.
posted 18 May 2005 06:14 EDT (US)     88 / 435  
Im back, playing Rome Total War again. The reason I was off was because R:TW was really really laggy and it just lost my interest, but I convinced my parents to buy a memory card to add 128 MB of RAM to my hard drive. RAM was the only minimum requirement for the game that my computer was lacking. Stupid on-board video and sound cards...

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
posted 24 May 2005 10:33 EDT (US)     89 / 435  
Hey, any mod mind changing the title "Newbie FAQ; before you post a question, check here!" to "Newbie FAQ"? My attitudes and maturity levels went up a bit and now I find this title a tad assertive. Thanks.

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
posted 07 June 2005 12:11 EDT (US)     90 / 435  
Can anyone tell me if there is anything to do with my hastati & principle units after the marian reforms? It's kind of annoying that I went to so much trouble to bring them up in experience and now I can't retrain them anymore.

Am I supposed to just use them up? These are gold chevron units btw. Surely you should be able to convert them into legionary units!

posted 09 June 2005 21:10 EDT (US)     91 / 435  
Thanks for making this for new player like me(just got the game).Some of the stuff I read about was funny to so im going to play right now to see if I can get some of these funny things to happen lol.

A mouse that fights and runs away is a mouse that lives to fight another day.~Egbert the mole~The Bellmaker
My name is becuase of the fact that squrriels will conquer the world as soon as they are done with the chipmonks.
posted 09 June 2005 21:37 EDT (US)     92 / 435  
You're one of the few to read this.


Can anyone tell me if there is anything to do with my hastati & principle units after the marian reforms? It's kind of annoying that I went to so much trouble to bring them up in experience and now I can't retrain them anymore.

Am I supposed to just use them up? These are gold chevron units btw. Surely you should be able to convert them into legionary units!

Sorry I took so long to get here. You basically have to rebuild your armies. All you can do is merge your units of hastati or principes together. You could keep them to defend strategic points or something, but they are useless in the long run.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
posted 16 June 2005 23:30 EDT (US)     93 / 435  
When I got the reform, I started to reform my armies in all my cities. It takes about ten to fifteen years to totally finish the reform. I am about 2 turns into it and I slowly disband pre-marius units, but keep enough to keep order. In my frontier cities, I have to keep pre-marius units in order to be able to destroy the britian army sieging it.

"The dark side of the force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural"-Chancellor Palpatine
"Is it possible to learn these powers?"-Anakin
"Not from a Jedi."-Chancellor Palpatine
Blinded by love, you think about the girl of your dreams. YOu think she is perfect. You see no flaw in her. You want to tell how what you feel about her, yet is too scared to.
posted 22 June 2005 09:15 EDT (US)     94 / 435  
A lot of tactics includes alt attack, how do i use it??
posted 22 June 2005 11:51 EDT (US)     95 / 435  
Normally you would right click on an opponent for an attack. If you want legionarries to skip there pila, then you hold the 'alt' key next to your spacebar and right click the enemy. Make sure you hold it though.

Share our wealth!
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
As far as I can tell, Baltimore is in redneck country ~ Bored Scotsman
You all realize that both Halo and Starcraft stole their storyline from tetris, right? ~He113ent

[This message has been edited by exe1 (edited 06-22-2005 @ 11:52 AM).]

posted 26 June 2005 18:31 EDT (US)     96 / 435  
We desperately need a new question and answer concerning the 1.2 Patch. IMO, a whole new sticky would be better (although it kind of clogs the forums, it'll only help in the long run by decluttering the forums of 1.2 Patch questions, which are getting quite redundant).

Oldie from RTWH!
posted 11 July 2005 02:44 EDT (US)     97 / 435  
For When you play a battel and chose some units the most soldiers one unit is 60 how can I get up to 200 soldiers for one unitcard? Help please
posted 11 July 2005 03:33 EDT (US)     98 / 435  


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, the cost of recruitment and upkeep increase as per unit size.

----•(¯\-{/\} /\ ¯][¯ (¯ }{ |- (_) [_ - () |\| |¯-)•----
posted 11 July 2005 11:40 EDT (US)     99 / 435  
THX but can i have that meny units per unitcard in custom game?
posted 12 July 2005 09:39 EDT (US)     100 / 435  
Hi, all , i am new to rome total war and rome total war heaven... so you will have to excuse me if somebody has already asked my question, i have not had time to go through every single post.

i am new to rome total war and i have found it quite realistic. but i have some doubts.

Is there a way to become the senate? i mean... not by overtaking it but by having all the senate posts?

In some cities, when i click on settlement details there are a few icons flashing, (e.g wheel carts, the scroll icon etc) could somebody please explain that to me?

As well, when i have some armies that have won some battles, i see the units and they sometimes have, some vertical arrows <<< i understand this means experience, but what about the shields and the swords, sometimes they are gold, silver or red.

sorry about this, don't have a manual

[This message has been edited by chuyzoz (edited 07-12-2005 @ 09:43 AM).]

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