Rome Gameplay Guide, by Malrubius - *SPOILERS INSIDE*
Rome Gameplay Guide
Your first step upon beginning a campaign, or reloading, should be to activate the background script that will give you the full EB experience, with 4 turns per year and special events. To do this, click on one of your settlements. The advisor will appear. Click on his portrait, and he'll ask you to click the "Show Me How" button (circled in the image below). Click "Show Me How" and the advisor will disappear, activating the script. This is very important!
Rome’s starting financial situation is not nearly as dire as some of its neighbors. Pyrrhos of Epeiros has just earned the dubious distinction of having his name become an adjective, by winning costly victories against Rome. But he’s been busy fighting all his neighbors lately, and there is an armistice in place between you. He may send a diplomat to obtain better relations shortly, but could turn his attentions on Cannae if he smells weakness in your defenses.
The Gauls to the north are occupied with each other, and the Arverni will be happy to negotiate a settlement with you to end your current struggle.
The Carthaginians have, in their struggles with Pyrrhos, lost some of their holdings in Sicily, but still hold Lilibeo.
In other words, there is a power vacuum to your north and your south. Segesta and Bononia are ripe for the picking to your north. To your south, Rhegium, Messana, and Syrakousai are tempting fruit, with their control of vital trade routes. But they are defended by mercenaries, formerly in the employ of Pyrrhos, and left behind when he turned his attention to the east.
You may wish to strike out in both directions at once. However, your armies are somewhat understrength after your battles with Pyrrhos. You will need to recruit soldiers in Arretium and Capua to fuel your expansion.
First Turn – Ver (Spring) 272 BC
Your number of generals equals your number of starting provinces, so you start with a governor in each settlement. Your settlements will need no new buildings immediately, so you can focus your mnai on military spending. Cannae and Ariminium are smaller, and could do with low taxation to encourage growth. Their size will be important in future wars with Epeiros and the Arverni. Your other settlements can bear higher taxation.
I prefer to start my turns with diplomatic moves and scouting. You start with a diplomat near Arretium who should advance north to meet with the Arverni. Spvrivs, your spy in the same area, can sneak into Segesta for a peek at the defenses.
You have two other spies. In Sicily, Canidivs can find Lilibeo, Messana, Syrakousai, and Rhegion by exploring the island. His skills at first are not great, so think before sending him into a city.
Your spy Galerius will be trapped on Sardinia unless you send Admiral Brvccivs to rescue him. Alternately, you can send him to explore Karali.
In Arretium, Praetor Cnaevs Cornelivs Blasio can begin recruiting an army, perhaps Principes? As the likely successor to Dentatvs, a few battles should look good on his resumé. In Ariminium, Quaestor Cnaevs Scipio Asina can be moved to Arretium to keep an eye on the expenditures of Blasio. Wasteful expenditures could send you quickly into debt.
If you’ll study Asina’s character scroll below, you’ll see some new traits. The Biography trait tells a little about the historical figure who really existed over 2000 years ago. The trait displaying troop morale will be an important one to keep an eye on. Currently, Asina’s men are stationed in Ariminium and are confident in their ability to repel any invaders. Their morale will fluctuate, however, depending on the skill of their commander, and the situation they are in. More on this later. Another trait displays Asina’s physical characteristics. He’s intelligent, charismatic, and vigorous. This is the best you can have. Any time a new general presents himself with these characteristics, you should accept him into your ruling faction. He’ll be better at everything he does than someone who is Dull, Uncharismatic, or Langorous. Next we have his personality—Unselfish, Optimistic, and Loyal. These are good qualities in a Quaestor, and you may read the explanation below. Finally, we have “Ver”, telling us that it is Springtime for Rome.
Asina is accompanied by a family retainer. This man has known Asina for years and is a good source of advice and knowledge. Even without an academy, Asina may pick up some knowledge from him during lulls in the campaign.
In Arretium, you should take advantage of your Ferrarivm to outfit your troops, using the Retrain function. This will give them better armor and weapons, to take on the defenders of Segesta and Bononia.
In the south, you may want to build a watchtower to give early warning in case Pyrrhos turns his greedy eyes towards Cannae. Young Cotta is just beginning his military career and has a bright future ahead of him. His first office he can look forward to is that of Military Tribune. From there, he may become Quaestor. As a Patrician, Curule Aedile would next be open to him.
If you wish to take Rhegion before Epeiros, you will need to perform some logistical maneuvering. You can bet on Epeiros sending forces to besiege the town before the year is out, if you don’t. I had Lvcivs Cornelivs Scipio set up recruitment in Capua, then moved him from Capua towards Rhegion. I filled the vacuum in Capua with Rorarii from Cannae, and sent young Cotta to join Scipio, being mindful not to cross the border into Epeiros. We don’t want young Cotta to start up the war with Epeiros again before we’re ready. Dentatvs dispatched Triarii and Hastati from Roma to follow Scipio. They can all meet up at the gates of Rhegion.
This covers most of the moves for the first turn. Be sure to save your game! This is a beta, after all.
Second Turn – Aestas (Summer) 272 BC
Epeiros will want trade rights with you. You should agree, but try to get some coin for the deal. The Arverni diplomat may come into view, so you can track him down and negotiate a ceasefire, if you wish. After dealing with the Arverni and Aedui, you may want to pursue trade rights with Qarthadast. You may notice that your diplomats, spies and assassins move further inside your provinces. This is due to better support and less security concerns (they are actually harder to assassinate in your territory). Yes, this also means they are more vulnerable outside your own provinces.
Meanwhile, Blasio has met a physician in Arretium. As usual, this man may be helpful in healing battlefield injuries and concocting aphrodisiacs. But you’ll find he has other abilities. The good doctor’s attendance actually ensures Blasio’s good health. The physician has joined up to take care of Blasio, and wouldn’t be satisfied being dumped off on another general.
In Arretium, you’ll want to continue building your forces for the assault on Segesta. You can send your spy to investigate the defenses and report back. If you like his report, you may be able to lay siege now and wrap things up before winter sets in.
Canidivs, your man in Sicily, needs to sneak into Rhegion to get good intelligence on the defenders and their commander. He might be able to open the gates and save you the trouble of a siege.
Scipio can continue moving towards Rhegion with his army. Don’t forget to save!
Turn Three – Autumnus (Autumn), 272 BC
This isn’t good. Blasio, an energetic and ambitious man, has gotten bored sitting around in Arretium. Bored Romans start doing things that waste money and leave them unmanned by foreign queens or decide to become gods and emperors.
There’s a sure cure for boredom, though:
Your spy has opened the gates, so battle commences immediately. Blasio wins the day, and enslaves the populace.
Now he (actually--the Senate--i.e., you) must make a major decision: how to incorporate this subjugated settlement into the Republic. This is determined by choosing a government building. He has three options here, each of which grants the subjugated people a greater level of autonomy than the previous option. Type II government (Provincia Romana) makes the region a fully Romanized region. For a small province like Segesta, this is ideal. While it will take three and a half years to set up the necessary infrastructure, it will give the greatest number of options down the road.
The other government types can be installed faster, but they give the Senate less control over the province. They are better, however, for more developed regions, or those further from Roma. Provincia Romaniensis (Type III) is only lightly Romanized, and Amicvs Popvli Romani (Type IV) is a Roman allied state. Before making a choice, you should carefully read each description and determine what best fits for your situation.
In the south, Canidivs wasn’t able to open the gates for Scipio. At least Scipio was able to hire some mercenaries for the assault.
Don’t forget to save!
Turn 4 – Hiems (Winter) 272 BC
Brigands have sprung up outside Ariminium. Asina will have to gather some forces to crush them. Blasio will stay in Segesta to maintain the northern frontier.
Camping outside the walls of Rhegion during winter has not been kind to Scipio and Cotta. Cotta has gotten sick; maybe he thought since he was young, he was invulnerable. Maybe this will be a good lesson for him for later in life.
As for Scipio, his troops are not happy with the situation. Maybe the mercenaries are causing dissent. Maybe some of the men are homesick for their farms and families. Or maybe they just don’t like the weather. It may be best to assault the walls in Spring. Cotta will be well, and the defenders will be worn down. Another thing to keep in mind, is that during winter in most regions, your generals will have their movement greatly restricted. (In more arid regions, the restrictions will apply in summer).
Turn 5 – Ver (Spring) 271 BC
Now it’s time to assault Rhegion. The defenders have been starved and weakened, though that has only made commander Melampos more stoic. It doesn’t look like the odds are in his favor.
How did the battle turn out?
Scipio and his men were forced to retreat towards Capua. He got several traits out of the battle. Since the odds were well in his favor, he has a trait noting his preference for easy battles. Fighting battles where the odds are against you give a better chance of becoming a better general. Another trait tracks the results of his battles, whether narrow victories or crushing defeats. He was scarred in the battle, and has gained a reputation for making rash judgments (Securus).
On the next turn, Dentatvs died and Blasio became Princeps. The brigands laid siege to Ariminium. Epeiros laid siege to Rhegion, and is sending scouting parties to the border near Cannae. Lvcivs Cornelivs Scipio is tired and has been force marching his men in their retreat from Rhegion. The Swêbôz tried to bribe Cannae.
To turn things around, Asina must drive off the brigands. Blasio must maintain Segesta and try to replace Dentatvs. Scipio and Cotta must recuperate and rebuild their army in the south.
Rome faced numerous setbacks during its history, but Roman drive and perserverance led them to adapt and overcome. Keep this in mind, as you expand and confront your enemies, and you will one day be victorious!