A top of the day from your friendly resident lurker Potato here with tidings of hope (hopefully) to those of us who are plagued with the curse of aggravating lockups and crashes mid and after huge sized battles.
It is a known fact that RTW itself is not terribly efficient when it comes to handling memory and many of us happen to suffer from a crash or two every now and then. That in itself is quite tolerable if it happens once in a blue moon but ever since I upgraded my modest Pentium 4 2600 to my dual core machine 2 years ago I had found the crashes to happen much MUCH more frequently to the point where battles were unplayable.
The crashes would happen very frequently when the cutscenes trigger for gate or wall breaches, death of general after battles when loading to the campaign screen or whenever I selected to occupy, enslave or raze.
It also crashed whenever it felt like it.
I had tried to defragment, upgrade my nVidia drivers, roll back my nVidia drivers, changed my page file, waiting until the music ends before going back to the campaign map and even prayed to the computer god to not to strike me down with his wrath.
It was then that I decided to change the affinity of the .exe file to CPU 0 only on a stroke of inspiration to see if it helped... and it did.
It is my hypothesis that RTW is unable to handle multi processors properly like many older games and so far it has proven to be accurate. I stlll get the occasional crash every now and then but I have managed to play for 60-100 years without a single crash while following the other crash prevention steps.
Steps to follow:
1. Load your EB until the "Single player, Continue campaign, Multiplayer... etc" screen comes up.
2. Alt+Tab your EB so you return to windows (If you play it in windows mode like I do then you can skip this step).
3. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up task manager.
4. In Task Manager there will be several tabs. What you want will be the "Applications tab". Look for your "Rome: Total War".
5. Right click on your "Rome: Total War" and then in drop down box listed options select "Go To Process"
6. You should now be in the "Process" tab with your .exe highlighted. (I play with the Alexander .exe file so for me "rometw-alx.exe" is selected.)
7. Right click on the highlighted .exe and in the drop down box select "Set Affinity..."
8. The "Processor Affinity" box should now be up with a list of CPUs from 0 - 31. There will be many greyed out boxes but for those of you with multi core processors, you will see several with ticks. (I have a dual core processor so my "CPU 0" and my "CPU 1" are ticked)
9. You will then need to untick all the boxes EXCEPT for one to set affinity to that core only.
10. Click "Okay" and quit Windows Task Manager.
11. Enjoy your (hopefully) stable EB session!
Hope it helps!