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Rome: Total War Discussion
Moderated by Terikel Grayhair, General Sajaru, Awesome Eagle

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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 13 February 2009 17:20 EDT (US)     351 / 435  
Hi, I'm new here, and I have a question: I was visiting this forum and i saw this :
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.
, and I liked it so I did the same thing. But when I choose any of unplayable nations (except Pontus and Macedonia) the error report shows up. Help, please!

I'm sorry if I made some mistakes, I don't speak english very well
posted 14 February 2009 08:57 EDT (US)     352 / 435  
Hi LuckyLuciano, welcome to TWH!

The problem you're experiencing is caused by the absence of faction descriptions for most of the unplayable factions. There are two ways to fix this: patch RTW to version 1.5 or give them descriptions by adding them in RTW\data\text\campaign_descriptions.txt. You can also use the ones in this download.

posted 10 March 2009 18:59 EDT (US)     353 / 435  
Hi, me again...

I've downloaded this mod to unlock all the factions but now I have huge problem. I can't start campaign! I click on campaign, choose faction and difficulty and then i click Start but then it just go back to main menu without starting a campaign (same with BI, I can only play Alexander) please !
Once again, sorry if there is any mistakes...
posted 17 March 2009 10:45 EDT (US)     354 / 435  
How do you shift retainers between generals?

[This message has been edited by Merakses (edited 03-17-2009 @ 10:46 AM).]

posted 17 March 2009 10:49 EDT (US)     355 / 435  
You put the generals in the same unit, bring up the summary screen with the retainers, and drag the picture of the retainer to the other general.
posted 23 May 2009 08:05 EDT (US)     356 / 435  
Hi...i am new here...i have a question???
I have both RTW and BI...but when i try to start gets me to red screen with Logos and other stuff..but then it crashes back to desktop with NO error...then i tried to start BI and it works fine...can someone help me???(sorry about my bad grammar_
posted 25 May 2009 01:33 EDT (US)     357 / 435  
Are you sure you have the RTW disc in when you try to open it?

If yes, try reinstalling the game. Your rig might have missed something.

If no, problem solved.
posted 23 June 2009 12:46 EDT (US)     358 / 435  

New to forum but not new to total war. i recently bought a new computer running Vista, i also purchased a cheap "White Label" copy of RTW (original belonged to my now ex step son). on the previcous cmputer i was able to access the console screen via ` key or ~ key, but now i am unable to access the console screen. I have tried everything i know but no luck in bringing up the console screen.

Help me please!

other total war games are shogun BI, Alexander and Medieval ii, neither of witch will open the console screen, cannot live without my cheats.

Help me please!!!

posted 13 July 2009 16:06 EDT (US)     359 / 435  
When playing as Rome, it is possible to lose the alliances with the other Roman factions before you can attack them.

I think it has something to do with alliances with other factions like the Greek Cities, as I got the message that Scipii and SPQR were no longer allied with me at the same time as the message that they were at war with Greek Cities. (I was allied to all of them beforehand).

This is a bug, right?

I'm fairly sure you shouldn't lose alliances with Roman factions over the Greek...

[This message has been edited by Sir Speshkitty (edited 07-13-2009 @ 04:11 PM).]

posted 22 July 2009 14:12 EDT (US)     360 / 435  
To Eddijeon: Try the § key. It's on top of the Tab key.

To Sir Speshkitty: Yes it's a bug and it has happened to me as well. Allthough the next turn I was allied to them again.

My own question: Where can I find the replay files in Rome: Total War? I'm not talking about the plain replays, but the .rpy files. There is no folder called "replays" or anything in the install directory so any help would be deeply appreciated.


"Loved by few, hated by many, feared by all. We are CoR." - }|{´COR´}|{Keltanokka-]
posted 23 July 2009 07:16 EDT (US)     361 / 435  
For me all RTW's replays are stored in RTW\replays. Make sure you can see hidden folders. (Go to Tools » Folderoptions » View » Check "Show hidden files and folders") Also, are you perhaps using Vista?

posted 23 July 2009 08:12 EDT (US)     362 / 435  
Unfortunately yes, Vista is haunting me. Applied the folder settings but no luck.

E: -Found them. There was a small icon called Compatibility Files. The replays were in there. Thanks for the help anyway Hussar.

"Loved by few, hated by many, feared by all. We are CoR." - }|{´COR´}|{Keltanokka-]

[This message has been edited by CoR_Keltanokka (edited 07-26-2009 @ 08:19 PM).]

posted 12 October 2009 22:26 EDT (US)     363 / 435  
I bought Rome Total War White Label, and I'm wondering what its specs are, why the videos won't play (intro and menu) And the starting attack and defense value of Iberian infantry, I can't seem to find my backup file. (I wanted to utterly pwn with Carthage)
posted 13 October 2009 03:29 EDT (US)     364 / 435  
Hail , Punic Hoplite, and welcome to our forum.

The research I've done on this tells me that White Label has the same specs and files as the original publisher. It was simply transferred to the 'generic brand' since it was an older game, but still popular. If the original game would work on your PC, then the White Label should too.

You can tell your version number from the splash screen, select Options. On that second screen, upper right corner, is the Version number.

As to the not finding files, are you using Vista? It is a known issue that Vista stores backups and saves differently.
posted 13 October 2009 21:19 EDT (US)     365 / 435  
No, I have Windows XP, but I recently updated the software and memory.

All I changed on the IBerian infantry is the pri_att stat and pri_ armor stat.

And its good to be here

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
posted 14 October 2009 01:47 EDT (US)     366 / 435  
If you can't find your back-ups of the original files (tsk tsk- always create a copy and save it in another directory), you can reinstall the game, or visit this link this link to download the original text files again.

Create a new folder(Originals) and unpack them there. Then, whenever you need to restore a corrupted file, you have an original still at hand.

I hope it helps.
posted 14 October 2009 08:42 EDT (US)     367 / 435  

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
posted 13 January 2010 13:29 EDT (US)     368 / 435  
Hello fellow players,

During Custom Games, after basically defeating the enemy, I spend 10-15 min chasing down archers with infantry. Its takes forever to get the game to end (running them out of bounds). What can I do to either kill those fleeing archers faster? Is there a setting I can use?
posted 13 January 2010 13:53 EDT (US)     369 / 435  
Try using cavalry.

As to the time, there should be a speed dial-thingee-control in the map window, lower left. There you have some VCR type symbols- stop (pause), play, play double speed, play triple speed.

Try one of those.
posted 13 January 2010 14:13 EDT (US)     370 / 435  
Thank you.
posted 04 June 2010 01:02 EDT (US)     371 / 435  
I've followed the guide that has been presented in this website, but I'm confused on the problem (-movie_cam: capture_video), seemed to command is not working in my Rome total war.

How does that work?
How do I make the video file into Targa / TGA files (so can watch on other applications)

pacth version: 1.5

Realy I need help. please ....

I want to ask how to make battle video or Movie?

I already make movie_cam but somehow i cannot find the file in RTW directory..

I already write in RTW property

"C:\Program Files\Activision\Rome - Total War\RomeTW.exe" -movie_cam:capture_video

but once again i cannot find the file that i've safe

can you help me..

my rome total war version 1.5

(P.S.= if you want to explain me more detail sent me a message at

[This message has been edited by yuudev (edited 06-04-2010 @ 07:41 AM).]

posted 14 July 2010 02:48 EDT (US)     372 / 435  
Where can i find the screenshots i have recently taken

[This message has been edited by midgiemelendez (edited 07-14-2010 @ 02:52 AM).]

posted 14 July 2010 12:29 EDT (US)     373 / 435  
Depends on how you took them. If you used Fraps, opening it will tell you the directory. If not, they should be in your RTW\tgas folder - although if you had anti-aliasing turned on they will not have come out.

[This message has been edited by Edorix (edited 07-28-2010 @ 11:54 AM).]

posted 27 July 2010 10:05 EDT (US)     374 / 435  
Hi guys, I wonder if there is a way how to switch off "the battle timer"? Sometimes I´d like to fight longer than the "timer" allows me...Thanks.
posted 27 July 2010 13:52 EDT (US)     375 / 435  
Hit the Esc key.

Select Game Options.

Click on No Campaign Battle Time Limit.


And welcome to our forums, Nelya.

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|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 07-27-2010 @ 01:53 PM).]

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