Rome Total War: Overview

By SubRosa

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Rome Total War is a PC game created by the Creative Assembly. It is a strategy game simulating ancient warfare and empire-building in the period of Rome's rise to greatness, beginning in 270 B.C.E and running to the year 16 C.E. It features both turn-based play at the strategic level of the game, and real-time-strategy play when battles are fought out at the tactical level.

The game was released in September of 2004, and is the third game in their Total War series, the earlier two being Shogun: Total War and Medieval: Total War. Since its release RTW has been complemented with the addition of a first expansion pack a year after the game's initial release. Named Barbarian Invasion, the expansion focuses on the fall of the Roman Empire. It was later followed in the summer of 2006 by a second expansion named Alexander that depicts that famous general's conquests. Furthermore, the game engine was modified for use in the History Channel's Decisive Battles series, as well as in the BBC's Time Commanders.

Rome Total War offers several options of play, in both single and multiplayer modes. In Singleplayer a person can play a Custom Battle in which they select the Faction and units they wish to command, as well as those the computer will use against them. A Quick Battle is simple, but skips the selection and jumps straight into a random battle. Historical Battles allow the player to re-fight some of those great battles of history, such as the Battle of Lake Trasimene, or The Battle of Carrhae, and more. Finally, they may play a Campaign, leading a single nation to conquer the ancient world. In Multiplayer a person can play in battles either online or through a local network.

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In the singleplayer game, the player has complete control over one of the 21 factions in the game. Each represents a different nation or political power bloc in the ancient world. At the beginning of the game only the 3 main Roman families are playable.

Afterward certain factions can be unlocked to be played later if the character can first conquer said factions. There are also some factions that cannot be unlocked even if the player conquers them. This was most likely due to game-balancing issues. However, they can all be unlocked through a simple modification of the game files.

The factions are:


  • Roman-Julii
  • Roman-Brutii
  • Roman-Scipii
  • Gaul
  • Briton
  • Germania
  • The Greek Cities
  • The Seleucid Empire
  • Egypt
  • Carthage
  • Parthia
  • Dacia
  • Scythia
  • Macedon
  • Thrace
  • Spain (Iberia)
  • Numidia
  • Armenia
  • Pontus
  • Rebels/Slaves
  • Roman-Senate

Go to page two: The Strategic Map