These are the factions in Rome: Total War. A general overview of the four Roman factions can be found here.
The House of Julii
The Julii are one of three playable Roman families in Rome: Total War. Based in Northern Italy and tasked with dealing with the various barbarian tribes of the North, they obey the Senate’s orders with a vengeance – for now.
In the onset of the Imperial Campaign, the Julii are still very high-ranking, but perhaps not as prosperous as they once were. The opportunities presented by the current age of aggression offers a wide venue for the Julii to vie for power. Under the skill of your leadership, the Julii can accomplish great things for Rome – and themselves. After all, there is no one today who has not heard the name Gaius Julius Caesar, who is a member of this Roman family.
As with their sister-factions, the Julii command a faction that is populated by Roman legions. Their benefits are generally their infantry, and their cavalry selection is modestly impressive.
The House of Brutii
The Brutii have dignified Rome with their history of service. Their origins can be traced back to the revolt against the Etruscan kings of old. Brutii were also responsible for dethroning the dictator Caesar, and many other events that Rome owes them for, greatly. They’re not the most finesse faction, but they have every possibility of being, simply, the best.
They have the responsibility of eliminating the threats to Rome’s east, and restoring the glory of the Republic to a new high point. By the hand of a Brutii, of course.
The House of Scipii
The Scipii are the third great Roman family, and their main duty is to wipe the Liby-Phoenician scum that is Carthage off the map. They are somewhat different from the other factions, appreciating the old-world elements of Greece. The Scipii start with a small hold in Italia, but have the power to expand outward to the sea.
Their goals are to gain honor and dominate Rome under their wise and enlightened rule. After all, they deserve it.
The Senatus Populusque Romanus, safeguarded by its highly disciplined military, controlled the entire Mediterranean, and beyond, at its height. The Latin culture left such an impression on Europe, Asia and Northern Africa that the legends surrounding it still echo today. The foundations of modern, Western democracy are Roman foundations; the foundations of modern language are frequently from the mother tongue spoken by the citizens of Rome.
The history of Rome, as a republic and as an empire, is an epic one. They were people that had risen away from their Etruscan slave-masters to become the single most powerful civilization in the centuries surrounding the birth of Christ. The authority they commanded was revered, and sometimes hated, by the other cultures they ruled over. Even fellow Romans were jealous of the Senate’s, and later, the Emperor’s, power. This eventually led to the civil warring and confusion that destroyed the great Rome and ushered the Dark Ages that enveloped Europe for the next thousand years.
In Rome: Total War, the SPQR, better known just as “the Senate,” is a non-playable faction in the campaign. They hand out missions for the Julii, the Brutii and the Scipii, and are viewed as a political enemy more than an ally. It is one of your goals to crush them. However, in multiplayer and custom battles, they have the powerful advantages of Roman legions and destructive cavalry, as well as a few units of flaming pork to light the way for your army.
Armenia, a land in the Middle East, also starts in a prime position, though one may feel as if he is crushed by factions on all sides. A difficult civlization to master, but one that can provide many benefits, Armenia is ready to become the center of a massive empire.
The Britons are similar in many ways to the Gauls; they are also “celtic” and profit from age-old trading links to the rest of the world. They also have well organised towns and kingships, and some tribes are to be found both in Britain and Gaul.
Britannia is a faction with great strategic potential. They have a natural moat between their homelands and Gaul, which is a priceless defensive asset; ruling the waves will be important in their national defence. Their units are specifically created to strike fear into enemy hearts and many of them do this very effectively.
Their people were engaged in war with the Roman Republic for years, inspiring epic tales of their confrontations. A hardy and tough people that originated from Africa, the Carthaginians were at odds with their Mediterranean neighbors for years. The Carthaginian Navy was envied by even Rome. Their ships brought them to modern-day Spain and allowed them to make war with their arch Roman enemies. Their balanced military, accentuated by powerful Carthaginian elephants, is surely enough to challenge anyone in Rome: Total War.
While certainly an advanced civilization, Roman expansion impedes their manifest destiny. The people of Carthage expect nothing less than the sacking of Rome. They are more than a match for the great residents of Italy. When these two foes meet, blood is sure to flow freely throughout the battlefield.
The Dacians coalesced into a nation in the boondocks of Europa, far from the Germans, Romans, Greeks who could have destroyed the fledgling barbarian nation. Their only really close neighbors were the Thracians and the Bastarnae. Dacia grew inside the curves of the Carpathian Mountains and expanded along the Danube River where they grew rich and strong.
Dacia has a well-rounded roster, though of limited variety, which makes them a good choice for a full development. Their starting position gives them the time to grow, which they need, as their two initial cities are dirt poor. In all, a challenge to play
In early history, the people of Egypt overcame great hardships and built one of the most advanced kingdoms ever established on the face of the earth Not since the times of old have pharaohs reigned supreme.
Fortunately, according to the faith in their gods, the people of Egypt believe the world is reborn amidst chaos and great risk each night, and so shall the new Egyptians overcome all obstacles to achieve power not even rivaled by the Romans.
The Gauls are a loose confederation of tribes who have expanded across much of Europe over many centuries of migration. They share much of their culture with their cousins in Britannia in particular. Although considered barbarians by their “civilised” neighbours, they are advanced enough to have developed extensive trade and metalworking skill equal to anyone else in the world.
Gaul is mainly an infantry faction. Their infantry lack the Hoplons and Xistons of the Greeks or the Gladii and Pila of Rome, but they have a strong melee attack and good morale. Their cavalry is limited but effective and their Forrester Warbands can be upgraded to the best archers in the game.
These people were the bane of civilized nations for ages. Living in their dark forests, they were poor but hardy, awaiting their chance to grow and develop. Ironworking was little known, so the Germani used those weapons natural to the forests- spears, axes, and bows. They had little to begin with, but contact with outside cultures enabled them to learn other ways and learn them fast. The Germans were always a clever people, and soon became masters of metalworking themselves. They also soldiered for Rome, and the veterans returning to the tribes taught those ways to their kinsmen. They eventually conquered all of western Europe- including Rome, using the skills they learned.
While certainly not an advanced civilization, the Germans have much to offer. They have a well-balanced roster of recruitable units, and among them such feared units as the Berserkers and Gothic Cavalry. They lack artillery, but what need do the Men of the Wild have for those dishonorable engines? They have great cavalry, excellent archers, and the toughest infantry in the world.
The Greek Cities
The Greeks have had a huge influence on the world around them and many of the great western civilisations are strongly influenced by greek culture. Although now in decline, the Greeks were once the strongest power in the eastern Mediterranean. Can they regain this position and even more?
Greek military tradition rules that Hoplites reign supreme. Cavalry and skirmish units are merely supporting ones while the Hoplites are the main fighters. This old-fashioned system is nevertheless still very powerful if used correctly, allowing the Greeks to reign supreme throughout the world.
After Alexander’s death, his empire crumbled remarkably quickly. His generals fought each other for the empire but none of the Diadochi, or Successors, were strong enough to hold the whole empire together. The land where Alexander was born is now ruled by the descendants of Antigonus Cyclops, with parts of Greece as client nations. Although their empire is gone, the Macedonians are strong warriors with an excellent military tradition, the potential to go on to re-take Alexander’s empire and perhaps even more.
Originally a state of two tribes and then later a Roman province, the region of Numidia lied to the west of Carthage. During the Punic Wars, half of Numidia split to aid the Romans, while the other tribe supported Carthage. After Roman colonization, Numidia was made a Roman colony and slowly slipped through the sands of time toward their extinction.
The Numidians in Rome: Total War have access to fast desert soldiers, and an ample selection of tough cavalry units.
A secession from the Seleucid Empire brought to life one of the powers in Rome: Total War‘s time period. Controlling many unique units and having an interesting position in the game, a Parthian shot can easily become a Parthian siege.
Pontus are an eastern faction, based in Asia Minor (Modern-day Turkey), having their origins with an ambitious local noble who seized the area when Alexander’s empire broke up. They were best known for their support for the pirates of Cilicia and their subsequent defeat by Pompey.
A refreshingly different faction, Pontus are similar in some ways to the Seleucids, but mainly they are unique. With a large amount of missile cavalry, chariots chariot archers, Cappadocian Lancers and Pikemen, they have a different balance to most factions, while not severely lacking in any department except heavy infantry.
The Scythians ruled the Windswept Plains north of the Black Sea, from the mouth of the Danube in the West to the shores of the Caspian Sea in the East. Masters of the horse and bow, their cavalry roams the Ocean of Grass where unarmored horse archers can destroy many times their number of heavily-armed foes.
The Scythians are basically a cavalry nation, with a few dismounted troops. Bringing them to victory requires skill in battle, as well as getting used to commanding an all-cavalry army of highly-mobile yet delicate troops.
The Seleucid Empire
The fall of the Greco-Macedonian Empire, under Alexander the Great, brought about great changes in the Mediterranean world. For one, his generals divided up the vast empire and took great portions for themselves. The Seleucids owe their existence to one of these generals, Seleucus.
They are powerful and have a vast army of units they may summon. Their power is only limited by the general commanding their vast cavalry, infantry and elephant legions.
The area in which this faction originates was in dispute many a times between Carthage and Rome. As a result, the natives, and other colonists of the Iberian peninsula are both of order and of chaos. They are barbarians, yet the civilization of more advanced Empires have touched them, as is with most of Europe.
They maintain a strong foundation of infantry with minimal cavalry support, but are still a force to be reckoned with.
Thrace, which encompasses modern-day northern Bulgaria, north-east Greece, eastern Serbia and eastern Macedonia, is an area of land and a civilization of significance.
In the game, it is in the center of action between Italy, Greece and the eastern portion of Asia Minor. They have a limited selection of units, however.
Rebels have always existed, in one form or another, though there has never been a united rebel movement throughout history. Armies desert or go over to the enemy because of poor pay, farmers taxed into the poorhouse rise up, or someone with what he/she thinks is royal blood decides he or she has a better claim to the throne than the current occupant. And then there are brigands- sometimes men driven to desperation, other times simply out-of-work mercenaries. Regardless, rebels come in all shapes and sizes.
In our virtual world, there is a single rebel faction, with gods and units from across all factions. They span the known world, beginning strong but are soon crushed into dust, but can be a playable faction with the proper modification
For more information, check out the faction overview.
Each faction in Rome Total War is different. Some are subtly different, like the three Roman factions, while others are wildly different- like Gauls and Parthians. Each has its own nuances and flavors, advantages and disadvantages.
Mons Badonicus looks into these for you, and in his Faction Comparison, presents the starting positions, advantages, disadvantages, and the campaign goals of each of the playable and unlockable factions.
The Faction Comparison is found by following this link. If you wish to play one of the other factions, you will have to midufy your game.