Friends, Romans, lend me your ears. I have the secret to total domination on the battlefield.
As an avid player of Rome Total War, I am always searching for ways to improve my game playing skills. I search for ways to outbest the computer in every catagory. But the computer has one distinct skill that I cannot quite compare to. It can communicate commands to its units instantaneously, whereas I have to pull my mouse all the way over to the bottom right of the screen to the command buttons. Think about the precious time that is wasted to when you have go back and forth from your units and the command buttons.
That amount of time is enough for your archers to fire a volley into the backs of your own soldiers. That amount of time is enough for your calvary to charge into newly lowered spears. That amount of time is enough to cost you the battle.
Therefore I have devised a system that allows you to methodically and instantaneously communicate commands to your units. The answer is Hotkeys.
To edit Hotkeys, (starting at the main menu) go to game 'options', then 'controls'. Then manually edit by double clicking them.
The following configuration is soley the result of my own reasoning and determination. I encourage you to copy it and share it with others, just be sure to give the credit to Good Ship Chuckle.
Good Ship Chuckle's Hotkeys
<k> fire at will mode
<l> skirmish mode
<;> toggle run/walk
<'> special ability
<i> defensive mode
<o> show unit destinations
<p> rotate unit counter clockwise
<[> rotate unit clockwise
How to use them. Please go to the 5th post on this thread for an in-depth, easy to understand tutorial on hotkey usage, in addition to the rest of this post.
Start by placing your pinky-through-index-fingers on the keys <k><l><;><'> respectively. Each finger is also assigned the key directly above it <i><o><p><[>. In addition, the index finger is assigned the </> key.
Now notice how your thumb gracefully falls on the <Ctrl> key. This is intentional. The <Ctrl> key is extremely useful in battle for multiple unit selection. Double clicking a unit while holding <Ctrl>, selects all other like units as well.
Another important key in battle is the <Alt> key in reference to legionaires, Jav Cav, and Cilician Pirates. Attacking while holding <Alt> makes sure that they attack directly, instead of throwing an unwanted volley of pila. This key should also be covered by the thumb. I know its a stretch, but the game doesn't give the option of changing the key that represents <Alt> nor <Ctrl>.
Getting your fingers to cooperate at first is difficult, but becoming fluid with the keys is just a case of muscle memory. Trust me, after a while you stop even thinking about it. I've been using this configuration of hotkeys for about six months (of hardcore playing) and I can honestly tell you that my battlefield dexterity has improved ten fold. As for its effects on Carpal Tunnel...I'm not so sure.
Please use the rest of this thread to discuss how much you love (or loathe) my idea. Tell me about your own personal configurations, or you can simply put in your . I'd also like to see someone come up with a configuration for lefties (As I am right handed). I hope that my idea for hotkeys will help you as much as it has helped me. Go in peace my brother, and impress the world with your newfound hotkey skills.