Rome: Total War

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Developer: Creative Assembly
Publisher: Activision - Original Sega - Current
Version: 1.5
Released: September 22, 2004
Genre: Real-time tactics, Turn-based strategy
Modes: Single player, Multiplayer
Ratings: ESRB: Teen (T) PEGI: 12+
Platforms: Windows
Media: 3 CD - Original 1 DVD disc - Gold edition
Requirements: 1.0 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, GeForce 2/Radeon 72xx series with 64MB VRAM, 2.9 GB hard drive space
Input: Keyboard, mouse

Rome: Total War (often abbreviated to RTW or Rome) is a critically acclaimed strategy game comprised of turn-based strategy and real-time tactics parts in which the player fights historical and fictitious battles within the Roman era. The game was developed by Creative Assembly and released on September 22, 2004.

The game features large-scale battles of ancient armies with thousands of warriors. The main innovation is a brand new high-quality 3D graphics engine able to render over thirty thousand men on a single battlefield. Another prominent feature is the integration of the strategic and tactical views - the landscape for the battles is the same as seen on that particular spot on the strategic map where the armies meet.

The player can take roles roughly equivalent to those of generals such as Hannibal, commander-in-chief of the Carthaginian armies during the Second Punic War, the Gallic warlord Vercingetorix, and Julius Caesar. Among the playable factions are three Roman families (the Julii, the Brutii and the Scipii), which are available from the start of the game, and the free Greek city-states, Carthage, Gaul, Britannia, Germania, Parthia and the successor states of Alexander the Great's Empire: the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Egypt, all of which must be unlocked before they can be played. Like Medieval: Total War, there are also many non-playable factions, including Dacia, Numidia, Scythia, Armenia, the Pontus, and Spain, which can be enabled by making a minor change to one of the game files.

The gameplay is similar to that of its predecessors, Shogun: Total War and Medieval: Total War, although there are some changes to the mechanics of sieges and city fights have been added. Most notable is that players now move their units with movement points; in previous games units were moved by territory.

Prior to its release, a preliminary but completely workable version of the game engine was used in two series of TV programs: Decisive Battles by the History Channel where it was used to recreate famous historical battles, and Time Commanders by BBC Two, where teams of novice nongamers commanded ancient armies to replay key battles of antiquity. The game engine was fine tuned specifically for these television shows by military historians for maximum historical accuracy.

On September 27, 2005, an expansion to Rome was released, entitled Barbarian Invasion, which takes the action to the later period of the Roman Empire, beginning in 363, and ending in 476.

As a special offer for subscribers to their email newsletter, on June 16, 2006, Creative Assembly unveiled a second, downloadable expansion to Rome entitled Alexander; it was released to the general public on June 19, 2006. Although the game is usually only available as a download, it has since been made available on retail sale as part of compilation packages. This expansion focuses on the campaigns of Alexander the Great.


The game revolves around the player who takes control of a faction of the era. One can build armies to conquer nearby provinces by besieging and capturing that province's capital. While doing so, players can build certain buildings within their cities to move up through the tech tree to train more advanced units, increase a province's income, or keep the population happy. Fleets at sea can also ferry troops, and blockade enemy ports, thus cutting down income from trade. The ultimate goal, as in previous Total War games, is to conquer 50 provinces and capture Rome from the Senate, becoming Emperor.

It is possible to be able to play all factions by a simple mod of the games files, however some may contain minor faults or bugs. Factions are described in parentheses what their playable status is by default. All civilized factions can build paved roads, but only Roman factions can build highways.


Roman factions

Rome includes three playable Roman factions: the Julii, the Brutii, the Scipii, and the unplayable Senate, although it can be played in the Battle of Asculum, one of the game's historical battles. The three factions start out allied to each other and the Senate, and may not attack each other, but can bribe each other's units. Each Roman faction can also view the others' map information in real time, a benefit not accorded to any other alliance. Even after the inevitable civil war, all Roman units are visible to a Roman player. However, the factions generally function independently, and a player controlling a Roman faction will rarely lend direct assistance to a Roman ally unless the player is somehow threatened.

All three factions receive missions from the Senate, which are non-compulsory. However, completing Senate missions will increase the player's standing with the Senate and reward the player with rare and exotic units such as elephants. Players in good standing with the Senate will receive progressively greater rewards for completing missions. Failure to complete missions reduces the player's standing with the Senate, and the Senate may demand that future missions are completed or else a penalty will be incurred. In extreme situations, the army of the Senate may declare war on the faction that isn't following its orders.

In addition to Senate standing, Roman factions must keep an eye on their popular standing. In general, popular standing tends to increase as a faction gains more territory; the public likes a conqueror. However, the Senate will get worried when a faction accumulates too much power. At a certain point, the Senate will request that the player's faction leader commit suicide. As with any Senate demand, the faction may accept or refuse— if it accepts, the faction leader dies and the heir becomes the new faction leader, giving the faction a few more years of Senate toleration before the demand is repeated. If the demand is refused, the Roman factions are plunged into civil war. The player may also initiate civil war once his popular standing is high enough by simply attacking another Roman faction. When playing as a non-Roman faction, the Roman civil war does not occur.

Roman armies focus on superior, well-disciplined and well-armored infantry and relatively weak cavalry, as compared to the other factions. The game simulates the reforms of Gaius Marius, which tend to take place sometime between 240 B.C. and 180 B.C. (rather than the historical time of 107 B.C.). Prior to the reforms, the army is made in the traditional hastati-principes-triarii model. After the reforms the army is made up of the famous legions, and better cavalry and ranged units are unlocked.

In addition, each of the three playable Roman factions has a different starting area, as well as regions into which they expand. Each has different temples to build as well as their own type of gladiators, which can be fielded in battle:

  • The Julii start out in the northern portion of the Italian peninsula, and they focus on fighting barbarian tribes to the north, especially in Gaul. They also get Samnite gladiators, and can build temples dedicated to Ceres, Bacchus and Jupiter.
  • The Brutii start out in the south of the peninsula, and they usually focus on the Greek factions to the east. They have access to Velite Gladiators, and temples for Mars, Mercury and Juno. They focus to fight the Macedons and Greeks to the east towards Anatolia.

If the Senate faction is manually unlocked and played by a human player, its role in Roman policy is ignored. Senate missions no longer exist, there are no Senate officers, and there is no Senate or popular standing. If the player attempts to go to the Senate screen, which normally tells Roman factions about these four things, the game crashes. Another thing to note is that the provinces under control of the Senate faction will never revolt, no matter how low public order is. The Senate faction requires all factions to be destroyed, including Rebels, which makes completing the campaign more difficult than other factions.

Barbarian factions

Barbarian factions have certain unique disadvantages and advantages. Unlike more "civilized" factions, they cannot build stone walls nor roads better than dirt paths, which inhibits their strategic movement. More importantly, their technology is limited to only three city levels, as opposed to five for civilized factions, thus they tend to achieve their most advanced units quickly. Though barbarian armies are naturally disorganized, barbarian soldiers are superior fighters compared to the soldiers of other factions.

  • Gaul (unlockable) starts out with a very large territory mainly in modern France, northern Italy and part of Spain. The Gauls have good swordsmen and archers, but little cavalry and even less special units, making the Gaul a rather standard barbarian nation.
  • Germania (unlockable) begins to the northeast of Gaul and the east of Britannia, in what today would be considered the Netherlands and northern Germany. Germanic forces include powerful Gothic Cavalry, strong but undisciplined infantry, including the only barbarian unit able to organize into the phalanx formation, and a few different units of axemen, who are especially effective when fighting armored units (such as Roman infantry). The Germanians can also train berserkers, which are powerful infantry.
  • Spain (non-playable) begins on the Iberian peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Andorra & Gibraltar), and represents the Iberian tribes who fought against the Gauls and Carthaginians, and later resisted Rome. They are a Cartho-Barbarian faction witch have solid infantry units, including scutarii which throw javelins prior to a charge and fight with a gladius that the Romans later adopted, and other similar to Carthaginian units, but they have relatively few cavalry and ranged units.
  • Dacia (non-playable) relies mainly on heavy infantry, notably the superior falx-wielding troops available early on in the game. They are also the only Barbarian tribe along with the Scythians allowed to get siege weapons. They are located in eastern Europe around modern Romania.
  • Scythia (non-playable) is overwhelmingly composed of horse archers. Historically, the Scythians were a small tribe by the time of the game's start, and the Sarmatians had largely taken over the steppes. Sarmatians do, however, appear in the form of heavy cavalry mercenaries. The Scythians control an extensive territory in Eastern Europe, corresponding roughly to modern Ukraine and the surrounding area.

Hellenic factions

The Hellenic factions are located mainly in the Balkan peninsula and around Anatolia and also in Ptolemaic-Egypt. Hellenic armies tend to focus on extremely strong infantry which utilize the superior phalanx formation at the expense of cavalry, other forms of infantry and sub-standard archers.

  • The Greek Cities (unlockable) start with a handful of colonies scattered around the Mediterranean and Aegean. Its troop selection consists of hoplites and good ranged units including Heavy Peltasts (the Greek Cities are within a short distance of Crete, which provides excellent mercenary archers) and relatively weak cavalry. The Greek Cities can also field Spartan Hoplites which, although expensive, are some of the best troops in the game (however, their recruitment is limited to Sparta and Syracuse).
  • The Seleucid Empire's (unlockable) main force is similar to that of the Macedonians, containing the same powerful Macedonian phalangites and shock cavalry (including Companion Cavalry), with elephants. However, its armies can also contain, scythe-armed chariots, war elephants, cataphracts, and Roman-style legionaries, giving it the most diverse troop selection in the game. The Seleucid Empire encompasses a strip of territory running from the Aegean coast to Mesopotamia. However the Seleucids are sandwiched between several different factions and under AI control it is usually destroyed by a combination of Egypt, Pontus and Parthia before it can deploy its powerful late-game units. The Seleucids are challenging to play but very rewarding.
  • Thrace (non-playable) is a Greco-Barbarian faction, with both Greek and Barbarian troops; they begin the game in modern Bulgaria and Romania, along the western coast of the Black Sea. Perhaps the strongest Thracian troops are Bastarnae, who wield the rhomphaia or falx, however, the Thracians also have access to powerful phalanx infantry. Like both the Greeks and Barbarians in general, Thrace has little in the way of cavalry.
  • Egypt (unlockable) troops tend to be lightly armored due to the climate of the area. While historically the armies of Ptolemaic Egypt should be quite similar to those of the Macedonian factions (consisting mainly of phalanx troops along with light cavalry), the Egyptian army consists of large units of axemen, bowmen, phalanx spearmen and various types of chariots. In the game Egypt's location begins in today's Egypt, Israel (Iudia/Judea), Lebanon and Cyprus. When under AI control, Egypt generally destroys the Seleucid Empire and becomes the dominant power in the East.

Carthaginian factions

Carthaginian war elephants attack

The Carthaginian factions are found in northern Africa, led by Carthage. Their armies tend to rely on speedy, but good cavalry and various types of infantry of varying quality.

  • Carthage (unlockable) has a variety of units which include a good mixture of infantry, high quality cavalry and powerful elephants, but a poor selection of ranged troops, including a notable lack of archers. They begin with territory in modern Tunisia and the surrounding area, along with colonies in southern Spain, Sicily and Sardinia. Carthage is a very rich faction. However under AI control Carthage rarely gains much territory and is usually destroyed by a Roman faction.
  • Numidia (non-playable) has speedy javelin-throwing light cavalry and other javelin-based units, as well as some light spear-armed infantry and their own legionaries. Their kingdom lies west of Carthage's African lands.

Eastern factions

The Eastern factions represent the major states of the Middle East not ruled by the Diadochi (Hellenistic successor states). Their armies tend to heavily rely on high quality cavalry, and sometimes evince some Greek influence due to Alexander's recent conquest of the area (which occurred some 50 years prior to the start of the game).

  • Parthia's (unlockable) specialty lies with mounted units, such as Persian cavalry, and the horse archer. While their cavalry is extremely powerful, they have virtually no infantry of value, which can make sieges difficult. Historically the Parthians inhabited central Asia east of the Caspian Sea or more commonly Iran; in Rome, they still do, but also start with territory north of the sea in the territory of the Saka. Ironically, while the introductory cutscene for Parthia emphasizes their potential for wealth, the first few turns are very difficult financially for them.
  • Armenia (non-playable), like Parthia, focuses mainly on cavalry. Armenia is the only faction with cataphract archers and Eastern heavy infantry, the latter being capable of the Macedonian phalanx. They also have their own copies of Roman legionaries. Armenia, in the game, is located in the mountains of what is today Armenia, Georgia and eastern Turkey.
  • Pontus' (non-playable) troops include fast-moving, javelin-armed cavalry as well as phalanx troops and chariots. In the game Pontus' start location is in today's north-east Turkey.


The Rebels are a unique faction. Rebels can be informally divided into three groupings based on how they operate on the campaign map: Brigands or Pirates, Deserters or Freed Slaves, and Independent Kingdoms or Rebel Cities. Note that with cheats involved, the rebels become a playable faction.

  • Brigands and Pirates will attack and rob factions for money in one or more ways; Brigands will sit on roads, blocking trade there and ambushing armies that walk by. Pirates will attempt to cut sea-trade routes and blockade ports. Brigands and Pirates will grow in strength the longer they are allowed to roam freely, and may threaten important armies or generals if not destroyed quickly.
  • Deserters or Freed Slaves are troops or slaves previously belonging to a faction which abandon their homes. They tend to hide out in the countryside and do not usually rob factions for money, although this is not a rule. Freed slaves usually consist of large numbers of peasant units, along with some basic non-military or quasi-military fighting units such as gladiators or town-watchmen. Deserters tend to be more dangerous and well-organized, with many professional military units; they move in formation and are not quick to flee or back down when threatened. Sometimes, Deserters may have a Rebel General with them, a non-faction member military leader, and when one is present, Deserter armies can be larger and more dangerous than an army without, sometimes attempting to burn cities.
  • Independent Kingdoms or Rebel Cities are Rebel-faction cities, and the only differences between them are their origin and their military capabilities. Independent kingdoms are independent, non-faction cities which have existed independently since the beginning of the game and have never been conquered; they usually have some very basic military units like Militia Hoplites or Town Watch, although if left unconquered, they may grow and develop a stronger military presence. Examples of Independent Kingdoms are Athens, Petra in Sinai, and Tara, a town in Hibernia (Ireland). Rebel cities, on the other hand, are cities which once were run by a faction, but which have revolted and come under their own management. The numbers and quality of the troops spawned through a revolt depends on the size of the settlement and the level of buildings present. For example, a Huge City will spawn more and better quality rebel troops than Towns or Large Towns.
  • Amazon Rebels are exclusively situated in the province of Hyperboria, which, in the game, is located far to the north (in what is now Russia) and is difficult to reach due to intervening terrain. They have their own very powerful unique units, including Amazon chariots and gigantic war elephants called "Yubtseb ('bestbuy' backwards) elephants".
  • The Gladiator Uprising are units independent of region/location and may appear in revolting settlements that have an Arena or above. Gladiator Uprising armies are comprised mainly of gladiator units and are noticeably more difficult to defeat in comparison with standard Rebel armies. An example of a historical gladiator uprising would be that of Spartacus.
  • Judean Zealots are units that are created whenever Jerusalem revolts against the faction that rules it. They are good all round infantry with high morale. This, combined with the fact that Jerusalem is a large city with good defences and that they are spawned in quite considerable numbers, can make suppressing the uprising very difficult if there are no nearby armies.
  • Helot Uprising are a group of slave rebels that overthrow Sparta, generally having high morale.


Julii family member with several traits and his retinue

Each faction starts with a set of family members comprised of that faction's leader, his spouse, their children, including a faction heir, any of their spouses, and any grandchildren. Only the male members of the family are controllable once they are 16, at which point they reach adulthood and become "full" family members. They govern provinces when stationed in a city, and when fielded upon the world map, can command armies in the field, recruit available mercenaries and construct watchtowers or forts. Male family members can be added to the family by the following methods:

  • The birth of a son. However as mentioned, he must reach age 16 before he becomes playable.
  • Marrying one of the faction's daughters
  • Adoption by one of two methods: a candidate for adoption proposed by a male faction member or the adoption of a "man of the hour", an outnumbered captain of a force sent against rebels in the field who emerges victorious. These two methods imply that the candidates have extraordinary abilities.
  • Bribing an enemy general by a diplomat. If an enemy force led by a captain is bribed, it disbands unless the troops are an exact match of the same type as the faction making the bribe (e.g. a Brutii diplomat bribing a Scipii force), at which point they are added to the faction's army. But a Britannic diplomat for example, can not add a Gallic warband to the Britannic army through bribery although they are the same troop type. This is because the graphics of the two factions are different and therefore it is not an exact match.

Conversely, male family members can be lost by a family by the following methods:

  • Death of old age
  • Assassination
  • Natural disasters (Will of God)
  • Plague/disease
  • Death in battle

The death of a female family member dying of old age is also depicted by an in-game message.

In the absence of generals commanding field armies, captains are the commanders by default. Admirals fulfill a similar function for fleets. Neither are family members, but appear in the list of forces when displayed.

Family members can acquire traits depending on their actions in battle or when governing a city. These can have positive and negative effects on their command, management, and influence statistics, as well as their command performance and how a province they govern operates. Some of these traits can be inherited by the sons of the family members. Family members can also acquire ancillaries by the same actions. These are members of a general's retinue who can number up to eight. They can be traded between one family member to another when they are in the same army or city.

Family traits on the battlefield

A family member's traits can also be seen on the battlefield (more hit points, more valour etc.), you can see some traits through the speeches that generals give before a battle. The speeches can also show the faction a general belongs to, Roman generals tend to give the player more battle advice, barbarian generals tend to emphasize the importance of slaughter.


There are three available agents that can be used by factions: spies, diplomats, and assassins. Agents can also acquire traits and specific ancillaries, which can be traded amongst them only. They can independently cross over into other territories (neutral and hostile alike) without triggering a transgression message that happens when an army attempts to do the same. They can also be attached to an army, at which point they travel with the army until detached to operate independently.

  • Spies can be recruited once a city has reached a level 2 trade structure. The spy's role is to gather intelligence on the composition of field armies and to infiltrate cities and determine what buildings it has and what forces are garrisoned there. Friendly spies can also aid in the capture of an enemy city by opening the gates during an attack; the higher a spy's skill level, the higher the probability that he will be able to open the gates. Multiple spies can infiltrate an enemy city at once, also increasing their chances of opening the gates. Spies can be killed when attempting to infiltrate a city, by being discovered after they have infiltrated (unless they escape), or by an assassin. They also serve in a counter-espionage role when either in a city or attached to an army that the faction controls. This improves public security, which helps detect other spies. There is a spy in the field at the start of the game.
  • A diplomat can be recruited once a city reaches a level 2 government. The diplomat makes treaties with other factions regarding trade rights, map information, and alliances. They can also present peace offers, make demands and bribe enemy armies, cities or other diplomats. Diplomats can negotiate with cities and any field army. There is at least one diplomat in the field at the start of the game.
  • Assassins can be recruited once a city is built up to a certain point that it has a level 3 trade structure. They can assassinate enemy commanders and agents and sabotage buildings in enemy cities. They can be killed when attempting to infiltrate a city or if discovered by their target's bodyguards. They are the only agent not in the field at the start of the game.


On the campaign map, generals (family members, not captains) can hire mercenaries for a certain amount of gold when the option becomes available. Infantry, cavalry, and missile troop types can be hired. Mercenaries cannot be trained by any faction and can only be hired in certain regions; for example, Samnite mercenaries can only be hired in Italian provinces. They are usually suited for the local terrain that they are hired in and can be used for various purposes, such as augmenting an army's strength, sustaining a campaign, or garrisoning a settlement. All mercenaries have their own frequencies which affect how often they appear to be hired, and some are more geographically distributed across more than one region than others. Although mercenaries can be used for many different purposes and allow a flexible management of an army, they do have their disadvantages. Mercenaries cannot be retrained other than improving their weapons and armor. Thus their losses cannot be replenished although they may gain experience (however you may hire another mercenary unit, and combine them to replenish the unit via SHIFT) . Settlements assaulted by mercenaries also receive less cash than usual as they always take a share of the plunder. If a general hires mercenaries frequently, he acquires the mercenary captain ancillary.

Historical inaccuracies

  • The three playable Roman factions are named after three of the most notable Roman figures, Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus. There were no "Scipii" or "Brutii" families. Both were cognomina - a third name that labeled one as a member of a specific family within a larger clan. The family of Marcus Junius Brutus would have been the "Junii", while Scipio Africanus would have belonged to the "Cornelii." (NOTE: Sometimes a family had also been named after the cognomen of a famous family member. For example, the form "Scipiadae" would be plausible (cf. Vergilius Aeneis VI. 843). This stratification into specific families is difficult, however, since during the Republic there were so few noble Roman families, and they were constantly intermarrying. See Roman Naming Convention for more information.
  • The three-faction Roman system in the game is entirely ahistorical. In fact, the Roman Republic was ruled exclusively by the Senate, which had substantially more power than is reflected in the game, and the various assemblies. Individual families might rule small provinces, but expansions to the empire would have been assigned to new governors, not left to the generals who conquered them. Generals, too, were selected by the Senate and assemblies, and the roles of governorship and generalship were not as conflated as they are in the game. There were cases where influential politicians such as Julius Caesar could quite possibly serve as both generals and governors, but they would only occur during the later Republic.
  • The primary reason for the three-faction system is to simulate the civil war that ultimately resulted in the end of the Roman Republic. Furthermore, while the Julii may in some ways be said to be Imperialists because Julius Caesar became the first dictator perpetuus, the precursor to the modern understanding of Roman Emperor, Brutus was thoroughly Republican and is in fact famous for having killed Julius Caesar after he was granted absolute power through the office of dictator perpetuus by the Senate; and theoretically speaking, the family of Brutus would not have imperial ambitions anyway.
  • In addition, although perhaps more trivially, the names are declined incorrectly. While the plural of Julius is indeed Julii, the plural of Brutus is Bruti, not Brutii. Likewise, the plural of Scipio is Scipiones, instead of Scipii. Latin words are, in general, wholly or partially Anglicized in pronunciation; velites (Classical Latin Template:IPA) is pronounced Template:IPA instead of the expected Template:IPA (compare the ending sounds of the English word indices). Similarly, the C in principes is pronounced as a hard Template:IPA as in Classical Latin instead of the Template:IPA expected for English. See Latin declension and Latin pronunciation.
  • As for the Hellenic factions in diplomacy, if they accept an unreasonable offer, they are reported to say "it may shame a Helot". In fact the only faction that have a connection with these Helots are the Greek Cities, because the Spartans enslaved Messenia and its inhabitants, the Helots. So other Hellenic factions such as Macedon, Thrace, the Seleucid Empire should not speak of these Helots, but perhaps of other minorities in their own respective realms.
  • One of the key events of the game for the Roman factions is the Marian Reforms, instigated by Gaius Marius. Although the events and details of the reforms are not themselves inaccurate, the reforms do not usually occur in 107 B.C., as in history, but instead often occur over 100 years earlier, as the date of the reforms is not hard-coded in the game, but is instead dependent upon other factors. Note that if the reforms occurred at 107 B.C. in game, it would leave a relatively small amount of game-time to actually take advantage of the new troops, before the game ends in 14 A.D. In reality, the reforms changed the structuring of the Roman army, and the land qualifications required to sign up. Within the game, the reforms unlock the more elite troops of the Roman factions, for example the Legionary Cohorts and Urban Cohorts. The post-reform troops are also portrayed as wearing much more armor than troops of the era actually wore.
  • 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.
  • As for character names, some Roman characters (including captains) are named Augustus. In fact this title as a cognomen was first held by Caesar Augustus and the following emperors, but it did not actually represent any sort of constitutional office until the 3rd century under Diocletian. Besides, the title surely wasn't held by any lesser men such as regular family members and military officers.
  • Some settlements on the steppes are named after the tribe that lived there, for example Tribus Getae, are wrongly entitled with "Tribus". This word is the etymon of the word tribunus, which has the meaning of a tribune, and was a title shared by 2–3 elected magistracies and other governmental and/or (para)military offices of the Roman Republic and Empire. They represented certain groups of the Republic, such as the people (tribunus plebis) and the military (tribunes militium). If the Romans wanted to label a settlement according to the tribe living there, they would do so by using genus. The same for settlements labeled with locus, meaning place in Latin.
  • Since they were easy prey for close combat units, the velites did not form their own line; maniples of hastati and principes had a certain number of velites assigned to them, and they came under the command of the centurions of these units with roughly 80 velites per maniple respectively. The triarii, however, did not have them since they fought right at the back away from the front line. In this sense, despite not being part of the main formation, they were regular soldiers. Besides that, the triarii fought in a phalanx formation.
  • The faction known as 'Gaul' was not united in real life as it is in the game. There were many different Gallic tribes in the area collectively known as Gaul. Many of these tribes were actively unfriendly and even sometimes engaged in warfare.
  • The Seleucid Empire's boundaries are wrongly depicted, due to map restrictions. Holding the majority of Alexander's conquests, the empire should extend much further east, and should not be nearly as weak as it is in the game.
  • The faction known as "Spain" did not exist, as Spain was not a single unified tribe. Furthermore, the name Spain was not around at the time. Iberia would be the preferable term.
  • The factions known as "Brittania" and "Germania" were not unified factions, but instead many individual tribes.
  • The Scythians should not be a faction, as their power was on the decline. At the time, the Samartians controlled that territory.
  • The units are too colorful for the time period, as dyes were expensive. Units should be more realistic browns and grays.
  • The faction "Numidia" should be two factions, as there were two major Numidian tribes at the time.
  • The faction "The Greek Cities" presumably refers to an alliance of the city-states Sparta, Athens, and Rhodes at the time. Therefore, this faction should have control of Athens at the start of the game, and should not control Syracuse or Pergamum.
  • The recruitment system of the game is flawed. Roman players can produce many Urban and Praetorian cohorts in the late game, even in newly conquered territory in the Sahara. Civilizations would only be able to recruit their own units in their home territories.


The original music soundtrack for the game was composed by Jeff van Dyck, who received a BAFTA (British Academy) Interactive Awards nomination for his work. His wife Angela van Dyck features in some of the vocals; Angela also wrote the lyrics for the song Divinitus, which lyrics are in Latin. The game's most notable collaboration between Jeff and Angela van Dyck is the song Forever, which plays while the game's credits are rolling. Forever was originally meant to be the game's main menu song.

Reviews and awards

Rome: Total War has been critically acclaimed by many reviewers and is generally regarded as one of the best strategy games of 2004, winning numerous awards and high scores from gaming websites and magazines alike.


A demo of the game was released on August 23, 2004 and is freely available for downloading. It features a playable version of the Battle of the Trebia, with the player taking the role of Hannibal.


Rome Total War: Barbarian Invasion

Barbarian Invasion was the first expansion pack for Rome Total War. It was released on Sep 30, 2005. It allowed the player to take part in the fall of the Roman Empire, and the events which came after it. There were also a lot of new features in the game such as general loyalty, religion, hordes, and sacking cities. It was also commended for the fact that it did not have any unlockable factions, all the playable factions were available from the start.

Rome: Total War: Alexander

The Alexander expansion puts the player in the role of Alexander the Great and replays his conquests and battles.

Modifications (Mods)

RTW is a game that could be considered the most modable because of the easy text file editing and skin editing.

There have been many mods made for Rome Total War. Some of them which edit the skins, units and campaign of the game to make it more realistic.Template:Fact Others move the game's focus to a different time and place.

Europa Barbarorum: Designed to be a definitive, historically accurate, full conversion of Rome: Total War.

Rome: Total Realism: This mod aims towards a much more realistic and historically accurate Rome: Total War. Many new units, more historically accurate rosters, and an extended map make it one of the most popular mods made for the game.

Roma Surrectum: A mod to make Rome: Total War more fun, historical and challenging. Features the 35 historical legions of Rome and a new, historical map.

Extended Greek Mod: This mod aims to give the Greek factions the same sort of depth that the Roman factions have in vanilla RTW, to improve historical accuracy, and to improve gameplay.

Persian Invasion for RTW Alex: This mod focuses on Greco-Persian War, the player will be able to take control of key Greek Factions or the mighty Persian Empire. This mod is not yet released but will be compatible with RTW Alexander. Later, they plan to release a version for RTW.

See also


External links