Some of the units are ahistorical as well. The arcani, portrayed as in the game as heavily armoured pseudo-ninjas, are probably based on a group of agents provocateurs and spies known as areani in Roman Britain hundreds of years after the game takes place. Also, units of the Roman army such as the Urban Cohort and Praetorian Cohort are much more widely used for combat in the game than they ever were in the Roman Republic or Empire.
The Romans are not the only factions with ahistorical units. Druids, like those used in-game by the Barbarians, were in fact excused from military service in Celtic culture, being vital to the operation of organized village life.<ref>Goldsworthy, Adrian Caeser: The Life of a Colossus p. 242</ref> A totally invented unit is the British Head Hurlers, who hurl decapitated heads coated in quicklime. Severed heads were a valuable trophy in Celtic culture, and would never have been used as ammunition. The phalanx formation which the Germans employ in the game is also ahistorical, since Roman authors are emphatic that the only military formation employed by the Germani was the wedge, and the idea of pikes as Germanic weapons is contradicted by archeology as well as Tacitus (Germania Ch.6). The huge armored war elephants with howdahs, although perhaps the most spectacular unit in the game, were never used by Carthage; historic sources and depictions on coins all document small (perhaps 2.5 m/8.35 ft at the shoulder) North African Elephants with only a mahout. Also, the Bull Warriors of Spain did not exist.
The Egyptian military and culture is heavily influenced by the ancient Egypt of the New Kingdom than that of the Ptolemaic Egypt. Culture would have been of a Greek style with soldiers being identical to those of the other Diadochi and Macedonia.
Some units, such as wardogs and flaming pigs, were used on rare occasions, but not to the extent with which they can be used within the game. Also, Berserkers were not around during the time setting of the game. Berserkers were only used by the Vikings during the Viking Age, although they may represent some of the more ferocious Germanic tribes.
Furthermore the Macedonian "Royal Pikemen" are depicted wearing a shield with a lambda upon it. In fact the Spartans wore the lambda on their shield as it stands for the region Laconia where they came from. The Macedonian faction emblem also has a lambda upon it.