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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 03 February 2005 18:36 EDT (US)     51 / 435  
how do command stars help battles precisely- all I know is that they do help a lot and most of the manual is boring obvious stuff so I dont know if it is in there
posted 05 February 2005 12:37 EDT (US)     52 / 435  
Mabye you should post an explanation as to why you should look at what building your about to destroy!
I just (in my immortal words) let MF burn! THE MF WAS A PANTHEON IN AN UNSURE CITY! This of course, caused unbelievable greif!

"Live forever, or die trying!"
TWH Baths Forumer of the Month - November 06
posted 08 February 2005 09:49 EDT (US)     53 / 435  
Another Question: The handbooks says Roman family members will find spouses and have children, gamers do not have to worry about this. Having played as Bruti for a while, I've seen two marriages but no new babies in 20 years or so. How come? Existing family members are aging, and the entire family might soon be extinct.
posted 15 February 2005 05:26 EDT (US)     54 / 435  
Help! How do I select to play non-Roman factions in campaigns? I know that I'm supposed to be able to play several of the non-Roman factions but I can't seem to find where I select this in my game.
posted 15 February 2005 19:49 EDT (US)     55 / 435  
without editing a file, you must destroy a faction in a roman campaign then when that campaign is over you can play the faction you destroyed, unless said faction is unplayable such as armenia
posted 17 February 2005 17:00 EDT (US)     56 / 435  
According to the information on the building browser scroll, an urban barracks gives triarii (experience 1)

(this post would make sense if id noticed the other two pages after the first)

Oopsey daisy, dowsed in flames survive....

[This message has been edited by Zygodactyl (edited 02-17-2005 @ 05:02 PM).]

posted 23 February 2005 23:28 EDT (US)     57 / 435  
I cant get my armies to ambush. I make em kneel in the forest areas, and it says "ambush ready", then I end my turn and enemy armies walk right by or attack my army?
posted 25 February 2005 06:53 EDT (US)     58 / 435  
I only just found out about total war and have a question.

What is a protectorite???????
ive tried to make my enemy one but he/she/it said something about seeing through my "empty words"

posted 28 February 2005 16:37 EDT (US)     59 / 435  
perhaps you can help with the following......

1. why are my enemies in single player able to have more than 20 units in a settlement or army but i am restricted?

2. why do my legionaries fall to their deaths when exiting the ramp of a siege tower that has 'docked' with a city wall???

3. why do my attacking troops come under fire when besieging a city that is only garrisoned by two equites and they are galloping round the forum on the other side of town?

posted 01 March 2005 03:04 EDT (US)     60 / 435  
1. Bug
2. Bug
3. Towers
posted 01 March 2005 06:57 EDT (US)     61 / 435  
I have a question about mercenaries. I'm playing Scipii and just took Carthage. I'd like to have some elephants in my army. Is it possible to get them as mercenaries? And if the answer is yes, how do i do that?
posted 02 March 2005 12:38 EDT (US)     62 / 435  
I have another ? as well... Marrying off daughters: should you take the 1st proposal, regardless of stats, or wait for a better deal? How often do proposals happen??
posted 03 March 2005 02:32 EDT (US)     63 / 435  
um... question??? i'm not sure if this is frequently asked but...

Did you make up the questions on the FAQ and answer them as well?

[This message has been edited by Psychotic_Wumpus (edited 03-03-2005 @ 02:33 AM).]

posted 04 March 2005 12:31 EDT (US)     64 / 435  


1. why are my enemies in single player able to have more than 20 units in a settlement or army but i am restricted?


1. Bug

Actually, they can only have 20. Each of those lines is 9 unit cards, so it makes you scroll down to see the next two, so it looks like 22 but it's actually just twenty. Check it out sometime.


I have a question about mercenaries. I'm playing Scipii and just took Carthage. I'd like to have some elephants in my army. Is it possible to get them as mercenaries? And if the answer is yes, how do i do that?

Yes, but they're EXTREMELY rare, and you can only have two units of merc. War Elephants at a time.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

[This message has been edited by DoitzelKaiserIII (edited 03-04-2005 @ 12:32 PM).]

posted 06 March 2005 17:51 EDT (US)     65 / 435  
howdy, a bona fide newbie here!
you answered the main Q i had (playing unplayable factions) that just for "quick battles" though or for campaign too (wont have a chance to try it out till my other PC is fixed.

also: waypoints, is ther a way to KEEP a unit running if you've set waypoints for it (a unit reverts to walking when it reaches each way point) - it can be a real pain trying to keep track of your flanking units in a large battle, and more of a pain when they turn up late becuase they decided to take their time :P

much thanks - mr reccus

posted 06 March 2005 17:53 EDT (US)     66 / 435  
and is it possible to recruit the amazon chariot warriors?
(northern most province surrounded by woods) been trying for ages, anyone ever managed?
posted 15 March 2005 13:27 EDT (US)     67 / 435  
Hey ive never posted here before, but i had a question i hoped a modder could help me with. Is there a mod or a patch out there i can get that eliminates the turn limmit in campaign mode for Rome or Medieval total wars? If so could you post a reply here, or email me at


posted 17 March 2005 05:08 EDT (US)     68 / 435  
sorry reccus, no matter how much you want those amazons its not gonna happen. they dont exist, but it'd be cool if they did

< Jarrod Nelson>
Nelson looks good in his pics - Gaurdian_112
Wow, Nelson's awfully cute... - HP Lovesauce
Thanks for ruining something that I've waited over 6 years for. - Redneck93
It might be a bit of an odd moment to say so, but I still think Nelson's smile is awesome. - Hnossa
posted 30 March 2005 02:51 EDT (US)     69 / 435  
Yep, I'm a newbie. Well this place has helped me out a lot. Yeah, this place was a good idea.
posted 30 March 2005 15:58 EDT (US)     70 / 435  

Quoted from reccus:

and is it possible to recruit the amazon chariot warriors?
(northern most province surrounded by woods) been trying for ages, anyone ever managed?

The only way you can recruit them is to play as the slaves/rebels.

Quoted from das13617:

Is there a mod or a patch out there i can get that eliminates the turn limmit in campaign mode for Rome or Medieval total wars

Yes there is, you just have to edit your the data in your folders. I'm not sure right now on what to edit. But I will be back.

Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.
Winner of 2005 OD : Best Ownage, Funniest Newbie, and Dinoman Award
"Mastering Others is Strength, Mastering yourself makes you fearless -Lao Tzu"
posted 30 March 2005 19:20 EDT (US)     71 / 435  
1. why cant u offer alliances with other factions any time u weant after the ceasfire and traderights?
posted 30 March 2005 22:46 EDT (US)     72 / 435  
They might have been allied with another faction whom was your enemy. Even if the faction is destroyed, this continues. I suppose they won't ally with you if you destroyed their ally. Irritating, but it makes sense...

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
posted 08 April 2005 15:02 EDT (US)     73 / 435  
Sorry I havent updated at all in awhile. At least the thread is still being used. I just took a hiatus from R:TW, I'm kinda getting the urge to play it again. When I do get back into it I will update the FAQ.

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 11 April 2005 10:02 EDT (US)     74 / 435  
Somehow I've managed to disable the prebattle option (the speech ,deployment and waiting option). How the hell to I enable the speeches again???
posted 11 April 2005 10:05 EDT (US)     75 / 435  
Thats Arcade mode. Turn it off.
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